The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Questioner (Q): Sir, usually when we want to achieve something or we want to become a better person, we usually push boundaries. And when we push boundaries, we encounter pain. So, now what happens usually, every day, when I am trying to push my boundaries in any field, for example, then the pain starts accumulating over time and that will slowly, at the end of the week or end of the month, it will just implode. So what is your suggestion for this?
Acharya Prashant (AP): You see, if the goal is worthy, then the worthiness of the goal is itself the antidote for the pain. Pain cannot accumulate if the goal has been right, please understand this. Obviously, when you are pushing ego boundaries when you are pushing the limits of patterns, then pain is inevitable, right? But that pain will be lesser than and dissolved by the fruit of your endeavor if the endeavor has been in the right direction. It is basic, please understand. If the goal is not worthy enough, then why go through the pain? The very fact that you are enduring pain for the sake of a goal implies that the goal must be bigger than the?
AP: Why else would you endure the pain? So if the goal is right, then the pain that you get in service of that goal is smaller than the relief that the goal brings. Whereas, if the pain is accumulating, goal after goal, what does that tell about the quality of your goals? It means that the goals themselves have been insubstantive. It means that the goals have not been right. So there has been a net negative trade-off. You have endured a lot of pain and the attainment of the goal has not brought proportionate relief. You have suffered a loss in the transaction. You have…
Q: Sir, but for example, it would be very easy to say, watch TV every day, and then we will of course feel no pain. But then say we want to, say we will take an easy case of say, trying to lift many weights.
AP: It is not at all true that if you watch TV every day, you do not face any pain. It is just that instantaneously, you may not be conscious enough to know that you are in pain. In fact, if you are not in pain, why would you watch long hours of TV? Watching long hours of TV itself…