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?

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Beginning itself is wrong

Defeat is hardly ever to be measured in terms of the events that happen outside of you. Defeat hurts exactly because defeat happens inside of you.

The beginning itself is wrong. The end will follow the beginning. When you have begun wrongly, the process cannot correct the beginning.

You might be a great driver, but if you do not know where you are coming from and where you are going, then your driving skills will only take you quicker to the wrong place.

What has begun wrongly cannot be corrected by the finesse involved in the process.

And one feels bad about his condition only when he strongly identifies with his condition.

Defeat is not the end of the war. Defeat is not in the end of the war. Mostly defeat lies in the beginning of war.

The more you pick unnecessary battles, the more you will feel defeated. The more you will feel defeated, the more will be the urge to fight another unnecessary battle. It’s a downward spiral. Once caught you remain caught.

Willpower, commitment, determination they are of so little use because they are extremely superficial. One can be a very committed person and yet have a very petty mind because one is needlessly committed. Committed to the wrong thing from the wrong center.

Efficiency or discipline or determination or commitment make sense only when the fundamental has been taken care of.



Read the complete article: Forget winning, first choose the right battle

Forget winning, first choose the right battle

Question: “What are the reasons due to which we remain trapped in defeat? We continue with our irregularities, knowing fully well that we are not doing justice to ourselves. At times there is a strong feeling to do better, but this feeling or commitment does not last.”

Acharya Prashant: In the right battle there can be no wrong result. Defeat is possible only when one is fighting the wrong battle. If you find yourself defeated, and defeated regularly, just know that you have picked up a battle that you should never have been fighting in the first place.

Defeat is hardly ever to be measured in terms of the events that happen outside of you. Defeat hurts exactly because defeat happens inside of you.

How is it possible for any movement outside of you to hurt you? That is the reason Kabir had to say, “Mann k haare haar hai, mann ke jeete jeet”(You lose, if the battle is lost in the mind). Mind is shaken up, impacted, and hurt by an external happening. This is what we call as defeat. Did this defeat happen when a particular event took place? Is this defeat the result of an action? No, every defeat is a defeat right since the inception of the action that at some point hurts.

If you are fighting a battle, if you are involved in something, and somewhere along the way that thing, the process, the result of an action, starts hurting you, it only means that you started from a position of inadequacy, incompleteness in the very first place. That is why this session on defeat comes after the last session on incompleteness. You start from a point of incompleteness and you fight, you strive, to somehow get over the incompleteness.

The beginning itself is wrong. The end will follow the beginning.

When you have begun wrongly, the process cannot correct the beginning.

You are proceeding with the wrong idea. You are proceeding with an assumption. You’re driving from the wrong place with the wrong map. Now even if the process of driving is immaculate, yet it would not help.

You might be a great driver, but if you do not know where you are coming from and where you are going, then your driving skills will only take you quicker to the wrong place.

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Our hard work is just labor, labor done to get result.

Since childhood we have been told about effort as a duty, hard work as an obligation, hard work as a result oriented investment. “Work hard so that you can have dividends later on.”

But there is another kind of hard work, very energetic hard work, which arises from your happiness, which arises from your completeness, and it’s not result oriented.

It’s like a herd of deer running in a jungle. It’s not that a tiger is chasing them, and it’s not like they are running towards a grassland. They are just running and they are running terribly hard; you can’t catch them. Have you seen? At least video recordings of animals running very very fast in a jungle, of birds soaring high, it’s not necessary that they are hungry, they are just soaring high, must have climbed to that height and that requires energy. They could have decided to sleep, why put in so much effort, why climb to that height? Why keep gliding? Why flap your wings?“No no, I am happy so I am working hard.”

Our hard work is just labor, labor done to get result. And the result that you want never satisfies you. The proof is, that you want more. At no point do you stop and say that I have had enough. And because you want more, you have to put in more labor. So, in all your life you are just a laborer.



Read the complete article: Real hard work is a result of a really happy mind

Real hard work is a result of a really happy mind

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Question: Happiness is the only key to success, isn’t it some hard work is also required to become successful in life?

Acharya Prashant: So you are assuming that the happy one does not work hard.

Listener: We are always told that only happiness is required to become successful.

AP: Yes only happiness and happiness excludes hard work, is that so?

L: That’s what we read.

AP: You read that, happiness excludes hard work?

L: No sir, only just you need happiness to become successful.

AP: Yes, happiness is the key to success, correct, but does happiness excludes hard work? If happiness excludes hard work then all those who work hard surely must be very sad. Can’t you work hard happily? Can’t hard work emerge out of your joy? “I’m so happy that I am working very hard.” Or must you work hard only with a long face? “I am so frustrated, that I am slogging.” Continue reading

Be patient with the disturbance

Question: 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.


To read the complete article: How can I remain in the present without any expectations from the future?

You will never own up your mistakes

You will never own up your mistakes.

You will be brought to a point where you will have no option but to see that you have been an idiot.

You will be left option-less.

Till the time you have an option, you will exercise it.

Till the time you have an option, you will only choose the ego because only the ego has options.

What else will you choose?

Willingly, it is never going to happen.

Never, ever!

And those for whom it is happening willingly, it is not really happening.

If it is happening willingly for you, then it is not really happening.

Then it means that it is a part of your internal conspiracy.