Acharya Prashant, with students: What is smart work?

Blog-6Questioner: Sir, nowadays it is said that it is not the hard work that can lead you to achieve whatever you want it is actually the smart work. What is this smart work actually?

Acharya Prashant: Jugaad! Nothing else!

That’s what the world means by smart work.

Be a little cunning, chalu, no shortcuts, have connections in the right places, that’s what the world means by a smart work. Unfortunately, choosing between hard work and smart world is like choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea. Whichever way you go, you are doomed, hard work and smart work, what does hard work mean?

Hard work means I do not know what I am doing, why I am doing, who is doing but I have been told that doing is important so I am just doing and doing; that is hard work.

What is smart work?

I’m still doing but I have been told some efficient ways of doing that save energy and time. But I still do not know what I am doing, why I am doing, who is doing yet I am just doing and doing.

Hard work at least tires you down so you will stop at some point, a physical limitation, working so hard you got a heart attack, so thank God you can relax in the hospital!

Now, smart work, you’ll never relax! Because now you have an efficient machine, you do not know what the machine is doing, why it is doing and who is doing. The doing still just doing both these are the same kind of people the hard-workers and the smart-workers, don’t think that one is better than the other, the devil and the deep blue sea.

There is a third type of man possible, who is less interested in doing and more concerned with being.

If I’m speaking to you right now I am not really bothered about what I am saying, but I will be bothered if there is a disturbance in this room. Understand this: I am not at all watchful about my words, I don’t watch what I say, or at least I try to minimize it, let it flow, I need not measure it, but I am quite concerned about the environment in the room there should be no disturbance, why?

Listener: So, that the message can be conveyed to us.

AP: It’s not about the conveying of the message. The very emergence of the message might be hampered if there is disturbance; being is more important than doing.

The mind of the speaker that must be very-very calm for the right words to emerge. You need not bother yourself with the words but you must be watchful about the mind. The mind has to be calm. The mind has to be absolutely centered and still; so if there is a disturbance then I will want to take care of it but I’ll never take care of what I’m saying.

You’re not getting the difference, are you?

I’m saying, what are these words?

These are my action. Right now, these are the doing. What am I doing right now?

L: Speaking.

AP: So what are words?

My action.

I’m saying I need not be bothered with the doing, the words, the action, don’t worry about that; that will be alright on its own.

But please be watchful about the climate of the mind; if somebody is beating drums here, then the climate is spoiled, that is what you need to be more bothered about.

That is the third type of man, neither a hard worker not a smart worker, he’s more concerned with the worker.

Who is the worker?

You, the mind, your mind.

Is she your friend?

L: Yes sir.

AP: Now you want to kill her. What’s her name?

L: Sir her name is Pranjali.

AP: Alright. Now, Pranjali wants to kill Divya. If she’s hardworking then she will kill Divya in a very hardworking way! She will bring a blunt knife that cannot even cut a potato, and using that blunt knife in a very laborious way, she will slit Divya’s throat, hard work, right?

If she is a smart worker what will she do?

She’ll bring a sharp knife; if she’s smarter then she will bring a cyanide capsule!

Divya won’t even know, ‘She will say new flavor of toffee’, and gone! Smart death!

But in both the cases, what is the quality of the mind?

What is the quality of the worker?

Violent, angry, abuses, full of hatred.

This is the third man who says, ‘I’m not concerned whether I am killing using a blunt knife or a cyanide capsule. I am more concerned with what the climate of the mind is, with the wrong kind of climate every action is going to be wrong, then it doesn’t matter how I kill, killing is happening.’

The third person does not think about hard work or smart work, he thinks about the worker, is the worker mindful of violence? Or is the mind at peace? Is the mind agitated or is the mind relaxed?

From a relaxed mind naturally the right action will spring forth. From a peaceful mind naturally the quality of action will be loving.


Excerpts from a Shabda-Yoga Session. Edited for Clarity.

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant, with students: What is smart work?


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