Question: Acharya Ji, my question is, “How to be free of botheration and still be focused on our goal”?
Acharya Prashant: What’s your name?
Questioner: Kumar Abhishek.
AP: Sit, Abhishek.
Abhishek is saying, how to be free from botheration and yet to be focused on the goal. Let’s examine.
Abhishek, where does the goal arise from?
You are asking, one – I need to be free from worries; parallelly, I need to be focused on my goal.
I am beginning by asking you, from where does the goal arise?
Do you have a goal when you are free of botheration?
When you are Light and Joyful, are you still thinking of goals? Go to your moments, when you are free, light. Were you planning, were you concerned with goals? Were you concerned with goals?
It’s obvious that goals arise from botheration. The more bothered you are, the more is your sense of inner incompleteness, the more goals will be there in your mind. A goal is like a medicine. I am feeling sick, I am feeling sick, so I am searching for a medicine in the future. Goals are not only like a medicine, they are also a ‘False medicine.’ Because the botheration is right now and the medicine is in the?
AP: Future. It’s like saying, I have a severe headache, a migraine right now, but I have planned for a medicine that will work two years hence. What kind of medicine is this? If you have a migraine right now, when do you need the medicine to work? Right now. The suffering is right now, the botheration is right now, you need something that heals you?
L: Right now.
AP: Right Now.
Two things, One – goals arise from a sense of turbulence, from a sense of, there is something wrong somewhere, from a sense of there is something unworthy, inadequate about me and I need to make up for it by achieving something in future. I am not alright. I will be alright when that goal is achieved. Right? That’s what the goal tells you. You will be good, admirable, lovable, adequate when you get that promotion when you have that amount of money when you earn that respectability. That’s what the promise of the goal is. And we fail to see that it is a false promise. A false medicine.
So, Abhishek you are asking for the impossible. You are saying, “How not to bother and how still to be focused on goals?” Do you see how you are asking for the impossible? Goals themselves arise from the poisonous soil of botheration. If there is no botheration, how will there be any goals either? How will there be any goals, if you are not worried?
Tha’s why you see, In many systems, in many institutions, in the minds of many people, it is essential that they keep those around them, worried. Because they know that unless you are kept worried, you will not run after goals. In many professions, the lure of incentives is given, to achieve targets, goals. Parallelly, there is a threat of disincentives. And in any case,
not to get the incentive is itself a disincentive.
Is it not?
You ‘have’ to be kept worried so that you keep running.
The system has a stake in keeping you worried, through many ways. But the system is clever, it will not tell you that it is keeping you worried. It tells you, you are already worried, we are giving you a solution. It will tell you, you are already sick, we are giving you a medicine. But look at the trap there! Who gave me the sickness? Ask.
You are telling me, I am sick. And you are telling me that you are providing me a medicine, a treatment. But, before you give me your medicine, tell me, who made me sick? And also tell me, whether your medicine is a true medicine or a false medicine. The false medicine just promises, just promises.
You are telling me when my class Tenth results come, I am home. I didn’t come home after class Tenth results came!
Go and meet a class Eighth boy. For him, class Tenth results are everything. Are they not? He is told that he will be home the day his board results are out. It was a false promise. The day class Tenth results are out, he begins preparing for something else. Let’s say the JEE or other entrance exams.
Now, another hope is shown to him. The day your entrance exam results are out, you will be home. But, does he reach home? No. The day you land a job after your B.Tech or B.B.A. or M.B.B.S. No. Go ahead, do an M.D., an M.B.A., an M.S. or an M.Tech, still not home.
Alright, now I am done with studying. Out of the campus for good. Am I home? No, you are still not home. Where is the job? Alright, I landed a job; let me throw a huge party, I am home. Are you home? Really? Where is the promotion? And your salary? It does not compare too well with that of your neighbor. Alright, I did that. Now? See, everybody is getting married. See, how beautiful are their wives. And you, couldn’t find a partner? You are a loser. I thought I was home. And now I am being told that I am a loser. Now, I am being told that all my certificates and degrees are just a pile of paper. Alright, the wife is there now. House, House! At least 10 BHK. The neighbor has 25 BHK house!
(Laughs) Whatever that means!
Numbers! Why to stop at 2, 3, 4, 5? You can go till ten thousand. Not home, yet! Then you have kids. And now the kid’s percentage is your percentage. And now the kid’s JEE is your JEE. Not yet home! And finally, even on the funeral ground, you find that you are not yet home. Deep under the soil are you; the skin is burning, the flesh is burning, the bones are burning, the hair are like grass, burning… burning… and you are still not home. That’s what goals are, such a false medicine. Accompanies you, brings you to the funeral ground and still never heals you. But it gives you always the promise, that keeps you going. A false motivation, a hope.
Always remember, you will not run after something unless you are worried.
All motivation has a close linkage to worry.
Pursuing or running, anything has a close linkage to an inferiority complex. I am inferior. I lack something. So, am I suggesting that you should not work, you should not act? Am I suggesting that any kind of movement is born out of sickness?
No, I am not saying that. There is another possibility.
There is another location, another center from where you can operate. One is the center of incompletion. Why am I working? Why am I studying? Because I feel incomplete. So, I am studying so that I can get something. What will I get by studying? Recognition, marks, percentage, job, money. So, I am studying so that I may get something. Right?
There is another way, another mind, another spot from where you can study. I am studying because I am already alright! I am not going to the book in order to heal my wounds. I am going to the book in my Joy. I am not with the book in a mood of tension, that I must cram this up so that in the exams I may write an answer. I am with the book because I like being with it. It’s like a Love-affair. That’s another way of being. Not only with the book, but primarily with yourself.
When you feel alright within, then you do move, then you do act and then you move energetically and then your movement has a ring of health about it. It is not a sick man’s movement.
If your concern is, that Acharya Ji if goals are removed, then how will we move? Why would anybody work? Then this is not a very valid concern. You would still work, you would still move and then I am saying, your movement would be far more healthy. It would be like playing. Born out of enjoyment. Not from tension or worry. Botheration, no, not from there.
Always have a firm realization, let me even call it a feeling, that I am alright. I might be defeated, I might take losses, I might be rebuked, scolded, still, fundamentally I am alright. Never lose that inner faith.
If you feel that you are doing something and it didn’t go alright, then see, what were the shortcomings. And if you need to do it again, do it again and if you don’t feel like doing it again, drop it. But, never for a second, let it bother you deeply. Work is work, botheration is a botheration. Why must the two go together? I am asking this to you.
Is it necessary to be bothered, so that you may move, act or work?
That is the question! Is it necessary?
Is it necessary that your entire movement arises from a sense of inadequacy? Unworthiness?
Is it necessary?
Is it necessary that you work only when you are threatened? Only when you are afraid? Is it necessary? Is it not possible that there is no greed, no fear and yet there is beautiful action happening. Is that not possible? Is that possible or not?
But that won’t be possible if you make goals too significant for yourself. If you must have goals, let there be goals, but don’t become too serious about them.
No goal is bigger than you.
You are bigger than anything your mind can come up with. A goal, a fantasy, an imagination, a concept, you are bigger than that.
So, alright. Let there be goals. If they are achieved, good. If they are not achieved, very good. I am still alright. Always, already. It cannot be a botheration on the mind then.
L: Acharya Ji, you said that all the goals, they come from botheration. That means, if we have the worries, we have goals. But goals should not be the only object of our lives. But Acharya Ji, if we don’t have the worries, we would not have the goals, if we won’t have the goals, we won’t be having the worries, Right?
AP: No, I am not saying that. I am saying, you are not worried about goals. I am saying, that you often think that I am worried about goals; I am saying, No, you are not looking at it rightly.
You are not worried about goals.
Goals come because you are worried.
Do you get the subtle difference?
You think that goals come and when you can’t achieve the goals, then you are worried. I am saying, No, look at it closely. Goals don’t come first. You are thinking that goals come first and when goals come then you get worried, that, will I be able to reach the goal? No.
Worry comes first. And then
when the mind is worried, then it sets more and more goals and becomes more and more serious about them. Becomes very serious about the goals.
That’s what I am saying.
-Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity
Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: How to be free from botheration?
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