The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Questioner: Recently, you had a talk at IIT-Delhi and now you are here (IIM- A), both of these universities are your Alma-mater. Your batch-mates today would be at multiple corporate senior positions and you are a spiritual leader. So, how do you look at them and whom would you see as most successful? More importantly, how would you even define success? And how do you evaluate success?
Acharya Prashant: You see, success obviously is subjective. It depends on who ‘you’ are. Do we see that? When you say that one has to succeed, the underlying assumption is that one is currently not successful. When you say that you want to succeed, what you are saying is; you want to reach somewhere and the point where you want to reach is not the point you are currently at. Correct? And that’s a fair assumption because all of us are indeed restless. We are restless and that proves that we are not, where we must be. We are all desirous, we want to become something else for the other. This desire to become in itself is a strong indicator that our current state, our current configuration is not ideal, not final, something needs to change, something needs to improve within.
So, we are all restless but we are all restless in our personal and unique ways. At a general level, we could sum up the situation of every sentient being in one word — consciousness is restlessness. If you are conscious — you are restless. And if you are not restless, then you don’t need to succeed, you are already successful. So your restlessness is your demand for success. But our restlessness comes to us in very-very personal and very unique ways, therefore, success has to be different for each one of us. It’s like saying that each one of us is in bondage but (referring to different listeners present in the audience) you might be held by the right arm and he might be held by the left arm. He might be pinned to a wall, and he might be held to the floor in some other way. So, we all are enslaved, but freedom will come to us in very different ways, success is the name of that Freedom. And therefore, the efforts and endeavors of each one of us have to be particular to that entity. You have to define your own success, your…