Forget winning, first choose the right battle

Acharya Prashant
8 min readApr 23, 2020

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

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 Guru Kabir had to say, “Mann ke 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

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