Does self-improvement lead to worldly success?

Acharya Prashant
5 min readSep 7, 2021

Following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Questioner (Q): Does self-improvement lead to worldly success?

Acharya Prashant (AP): The same self that you are seeking to improve, thereby admitting that it’s in need of improvement and is therefore currently flawed, is the one that determines your ideal of success. From where does your thought or ideal of success come? The self, isn’t it? And at the same time, you are saying the self needs improvement. Which means the self is not fit enough to determine targets for you. It’s like going to the GPS repair shop because you know your GPS is faulty and using your faulty GPS, to know the route to the GPS shop.

Who is giving you your concept of success? The self that you are admitting is in need of improvement; which means even your concept of success is faulty. So, self-improvement will not give you success. If you see that the self is misplaced or flawed then self-improvement in itself is the success, because that’s the mother of all failures. Who determines your success or failure? The self, meaning the little Ego determines that. The little Ego is the one that sets your targets, it then certifies if you succeeded or failed. Who does all these things? The little self, so are your successes, really your successes?