Tag Archives: Willpower

Is willpower really needed? || Acharya Prashant, with youth (2013)

Is willpower really needed

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Question: Acharya Ji, how to improve willpower?

Acharya Prashant Ji: So, what has Aditya (the questioner) asked? “What can we do, to improve will power?” Right?

What is ‘willpower’, and why do we need it? What is ‘will power’?

Listener: To have determination.

Acharya Ji: To have determination. Determination, for what?

Listener: For our goal.

Acharya Ji: For our goal. To ‘do’ something. Right? To ‘do’ something. You need willpower in order that, something happens, that something gets done, right? Now, why does something, not get done? We often find that we are unable to act, to ‘do’.

Why are we unable to act, and ‘do’?

Listener 1: Because of fear.

Listener 2: Because of restrictions.

Acharya Ji: Fear. Restrictions.

If fear is there, if restrictions are there, and you give them importance, then obviously you cannot act. And when you cannot act, then you get up and say that you need willpower.

So, willpower is needed, only when you feel fear, only when you feel restrictions.

In order to overcome them, you need willpower. And that is what you are asking – “How can I enhance willpower?” What could be a better question?

Would it not be a better question: How not to be afraid? How not to be restricted?

Are you trying it, with me? We say, “We need willpower.” What if the willpower is actually not needed? What if you are fighting imaginary demons? You say, “You know, I require a lot of willpower, to enter that room, because in that room, there are ghosts, are there are demons?”

And as long as you believe, that there are ghosts, and there are demons, what will you require? Will power.  Willpower, motivation, somebody to give you courage. Somebody to pump you up. What if you come to see that there are no ghosts, and there are no demons? Would you still require willpower? Would you still require willpower?

(Pointing at one of the listeners) You are shaking your head, would you require willpower, to shake your head? You are again shaking your head, do you again require willpower? You are saying, “No, Sir,” do you require any willpower to say, “No, Sir”?

You just know, and out of that clarity, a simple action is happening. There is no willpower needed. But, if you are told that the fellow sitting in front of you, is a maniac, and the moment somebody shakes his head, nods his head, he shoots from the podium itself, then you will need a lot of willpower, to nod in ‘Yes’, or ‘No’. Right? Otherwise the action is simple. If you have to enter a room, you have to just step in. If you have to shake your head, you just shake it. A simple nod.

We need willpower, because we have created obstacles.

When we look into these obstacles, we find that they are only, as long as, we believe in them.

Then, you do not need willpower. Wisdom is enough.

Then, you do not need courage. Clarity is sufficient.

But, instead of asking for clarity, we often ask for courage. Now, courage is not needed, clarity is needed. Instead of asking for wisdom, we ask for will power. Will power is not needed, wisdom is enough.

If you are deeply afraid, and you believe that everybody will laugh at you, when you will ask a question, then you will need a lot of willpower. But if you are wise, and you say, “First of all, not many people are going to laugh. Secondly, even if somebody laughs, how does it matter to me?” then, will you still need will power?

You don’t need willpower. You need willpower, only as an antidote to fear. Where there is no fear, there is no need of willpower. So, don’t ask me, “How to enhance will power?” The more afraid you are, the more will power you need.

Is that not so?

Listeners: Yes, Sir.

Acharya Ji:

The more restricted you feel, the more willpower you need. Is that not so? Just open your eyes and see, that there is no restriction, except those, that you subscribe to, except those, that you willingly self-impose.

Then you will say, “Well, willpower! Who needs it?” When you are enjoying a particular sport, then you run around a lot. You expend a lot of energy. Do you need willpower? Do you need willpower?

Listeners: No.

Acharya Ji: But you will need a lot of willpower, if you are told to go jogging, and if you don’t enjoy jogging, then jogging even fifteen minutes, twenty minutes, you will say, “O my god, I am just dragging my feet. Give me some willpower.”

When you are really into something, when there is no fear, who asks for will power?

It is not needed.

Are you getting it?

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

Watch the session:  Is willpower really needed? || Acharya Prashant, with youth (2013)


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You are so powerful that it scares you

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Question: Sir, I experience fear a lot of times. How to get rid of it?

Acharya Prashant: As long as it’s just an experience and you honestly acknowledge it, every such experience will burn away the seed from where this fear comes. Every time you experience without yielding to the experience, every time you experience without being afraid of the experience, you are letting the experience burn something inside you. It’s like there is someone who is firing a revolver at you, and how many shots does the revolver have? Six. Every time you are able to survive a shot, what have you done? You have heightened your probability of survival. Now he has one bullet less left. Something that was firing at you has burnt down. Something has burnt down without harming you. So it has burnt down and you have not been harmed. That is how you have to go through experience. Every time you experience fear without yielding to fear, please see that your past conditioning has reduced a little. Continue reading

Do you really need knowledge, power and money to love?

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Question: When I see children in a slum or working at a construction site, I feel like to give them all the knowledge or at least help them to study the basic things but then a thought came that you are still not in a condition to help anyone, first acquire knowledge and get placed so that you can financially support anyone.

AP: How much knowledge do you want to acquire?

Let’s say, you invest all your life in acquiring knowledge, how much of that would you have by the end of your life? Let’s say all your current knowledge is 1 G.B (gigabytes) and the remaining life is invested in just adding to this database. How much would you have in your hundredth year? Somebody, please toss a number, every number is as bad as the other. Continue reading

You are going to be afraid

You are going to be afraid.

And not only ‘fear’, you are going to experience all that which you usually call as
negative emotionality—temptation, jealousy, greed, insecurity, possessiveness.

All that will come to you.

But remember, your resistance to all that, is the energy that inflates it up.

Don’t resist fear, and you will find that fear is just a thing in the brain.

Don’t have pretensions about jealousy and possessiveness, and you will find that they don’t really have too much power of their own.

The relationship between freewill, destiny, and law of attraction

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Question: Can you talk about the relationship between free will, destiny and the law of attraction?

Acharya Prashant: All three do not exist.

(Laughter)

Free will belongs only to the Truth.

Your destiny is to reach the Truth.

And only the Truth really attracts you.

Free will — only the Truth has free will, all other actions are unfree.

Destiny—the Truth is your destiny, nothing else is. Destiny is something that is inviolable, only the Truth is your destiny.

Law of attraction—nothing else attracts you only the Truth attracts you. It may appear that this or that or x, y, z is attracting you but the fact is that whenever you have been really attracted, you have been attracted only to the Truth. Continue reading

Honesty- a direct uncorrupted movement from Self to action

Speaker: When you say ‘honesty is the best policy’ to a kid in school, you are validating honesty but more than honesty you are validating policies. You are on the side of honesty; that is obvious. You are saying ‘honesty is the best policy’; so you are advocating honesty. What we do not notice is that simultaneously we are also advocating…?

Listener 1: Policies.

Speaker: Yes and what are policies?

Listener 1: Man-made, rules and regulations.

Speaker: Policies are alternatives, policies are choices. I may do this or I may not do this. All policies are decisions and you have made honesty into a…?

Listeners (in unison): Policy.

Speaker: Decision, and the moment you say it’s my decision to be honest, you are saying that I am bigger than honesty. I am choosing honesty and I reserve the right to…?

Listener 2: Not to choose honesty.

Continue reading

What is unconditional freedom?

Question: Is there any difference between freedom and unconditional freedom?

Speaker: We live in bondage. What we call as our normal, usual, daily life, is a series of bonded movement in time. Our thinking, acting, even breathing is bondage. It is happening as per forces we have no understanding of, and hence no control over. And then suddenly, without our explicit demand, it so happens that this series, that this chain gets disrupted for a while, like a flash of lightning in dark sky, not lasting long, but having its distinct presence, an undeniable presence. It didn’t last, but it illuminated as long as it was there, and I can’t forget that it illuminated Continue reading