How to know what one must do?

Acharya Prashant
11 min readJun 25, 2021

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

Questioner (Q): So, we were talking yesterday, you were mentioning yesterday about liberation is being disassociated with the things around and keep doing what needs to be done but not assign value to stuff in life, give too much importance, to think that there is too much to do. So, generally when one has to choose the work in his life. So, students generally are advised, “Figure out what your passion is, think about what you are so passionate about, do some work while you don’t feel it is a work — you don’t think that you are doing a job, you will do this work even you are not paid. Something you are passionate about.” So, disassociation and passion do not seem to go together. For me, I don’t see how passion and disassociation can happen together. So, if I have to choose, for example, the foundation has got a mission, PAF (PrashantAdvait Foundation) has got a mission, you have a mission, you are running, you are doing all this for so many years with a mission. I also understand that like from the example of the YouTube channel getting hacked. There could be things happening, you are disassociated to the extent that things won’t hurt you. Like you will keep going on doing your mission. So, without any passion or attachment or assigning a value. I am not able to understand, how do I choose a mission for my life? How do I know what should I be doing? Like for my life.

Acharya Prashant (AP): There are a few things in this regard. One thing is choosing work under external pressure, which many people do, under the pressure of peers or situations or market forces, or choosing it by dint of just coincidence. One happened to get placed in a particular industry in the campus placement process. It happens so many times, right? One just happens to get placed and then one’s career starts rolling on in that particular direction.

So, that is one thing that happens. Where your career is being determined by so-called external situations. Then there is the other case of your career being determined by your passion. It is just marginally superior a situation compared to the previous one. Because what we call our inner urge towards a particular work is again something, very, very conditioned.