Fear, and career decisions

Acharya Prashant
6 min readJun 12, 2021

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

Questioner (Q): Acharya Ji, pranam. Gail decided what he would like to do when he was just 16 and followed it throughout his life. I have always been risk-averse and I have followed a conventional career path.

I have planned to go for MBA next, though I decided this long back there is also a feeling in me that I should experiment and do more of what I like. I am trying to understand why it is so difficult for me to follow my inner voice. How can I overcome this mental block to be sure of my decisions? Please guide the steps that I should take to realize my calling.

Acharya Prashant (AP): First of all, it’s not MBA versus something else. It’s about the center from where you decide. If you are deciding from the wrong center, then whether you do MBA or MBBS it’s just the same. It’s the same and it’s wrong.

“He wanted to do an MBA, he could not do an MBA, he had to do an MS instead.” Okay. Why did he do an MS, instead of an MBA? “Oh! His father pressurized him, so he went for MS instead of MBA.” Okay okay, right, right, his father pressurized him so the poor chap couldn’t do an MBA. But why the hell did he want to do the MBA in the first place? “Because all his friends were doing MBAs. So, he desperately wanted to do an MBA.”

Now would it have been any better had he managed to do an MBA? MS he did, influenced by his father, MBA he would have done influenced by his friends. How is one choice superior to the other?

Why do you want to do your MBA? You don’t look one of the business kinds, look at your face (laughs). Do MBAs look like this? Not successful MBAs. MBAs like me look like this.

What do you want an MBA for?

Q: I want to get into advertising.

AP: To influence other people through your Ads? What will you advertise?

Q: I want to do MBA so that I can do advertising and become a brand manager for a company, something like that.

AP: Is there any bit of you in all this? Advertising, brand management. “I want to end as a brand manager.” You may end, but you will not end as ‘brand manager’. What is all this? Will it be too difficult to see that…

Acharya Prashant