How can I remain in the present without any expectations from the future?


Question: When I am busy in doing certain activities that I enjoy doing, there are expectations from future but no frustrations in present, what is this state? Can it remain forever?

Acharya Prashant: If this can happen, it is a very welcome thing. There are certain actions that produce results and you might be indulging in those actions to get a specific type of result. But if you are not bound to the result, if the result does not mean the world to you, if the result does not mean your own existence or worth to you, then fine go ahead. Do project a result.

Expectation is merely a projection. In the normal usage of the word expectation when you expect then you are also afraid. You’re afraid that your expectation might be betrayed. Is that not so? Can you expect without being afraid? Can you hope without being suspicious or doubtful? To not to expect does not mean that you will have nothing to do with the future. You may still peep into the future. The mind has that capacity to project, to extrapolate. You may still peep into the future but that movement into the future will have no bearing upon your core, upon your essence. It will not shake you up right to your center then you can keep thinking about the future. There is nothing prohibited about the future.

Surrendered to the present, go ahead, take a bath in memories. Allow yourself to fly in imaginations about future. It doesn’t matter. Past and future both lose their sting, their harm when you are surrendered to the present. Now memories will not become an alternate reality. Now future will not become an escape. Now you get total authority to keep thinking about future because now you will not be needlessly thinking about the future. Now you have the free license to wallow in memories because now you will not misuse that license. 

This too is somewhat of a spiritual myth that the spiritual mind has nothing to do with the past or the future. This is bogus.

Firmly tethered to the present, past is fun; future too is good fun.

Listener: Sir, is there something within which is unshakeable that is observing the disturbance?

AP: We need not say even that much.

When you let the disturbance be, then it is proof that there is something that is undisturbed. But when you say that there is something within that is observing the disturbance then you are saying that you are observing that thing observe the disturbance. Otherwise, how would you know? So do not comment on it. Do not say anything about it.

Just be patient with the disturbance. This patience, this capacity to live in the disturbance is that unshakable thing. It cannot be known directly. You cannot talk about it or describe it. It can be known only by its fruits.

Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: How can I remain in the present without any expectations from the future?

Further Reading:

Milestones to Success


While innumerable books have been penned down by contemporary motivational speakers and writers on success, ambition, motivation, positive thinking and accomplishments; very few books, if any at all, have talked of what success actually is and how it is different from a socially-defined set of parameters.

He vividly talks of how understanding of ‘your’ real aim will bring you to peace even during the race. He jovially remarks on how playing hard and not working hard will be a more sensible way of moving towards a goal. Author’s genius lies in the fact that he has very simply answered the most intricate and complex questions that arise in the mind of every student and working professional, giving clarity on success, a topic that haunts them perpetually.




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