The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Questioner (Q): I want to talk about being committed to our decisions. Let’s say, for example, I decide that I will stop eating junk food from today, or rather minimize my consumption of junk food. But what happens is that I stick to it for a month or forty-five days, and then I go back to my earlier pattern of eating whatever I want. And this happens with my other decisions also. For example, even if I decide to attend all the lectures from today onwards, after a week or two weeks I will start skipping lectures. So, how can I become more conscious or more aware and take ownership of my decisions?
Acharya Prashant (AP): Why do you want to attend lectures?
Q: So that I will get the required information to do well in my classes. So that I will learn enough to do well in my exams.
AP: Make up your mind.
Q: I want to attend classes because that is what everyone says.
AP: “Because that is what everyone says.” That is the way you are born, you know. The entire population of this Earth — that is the way we are born. Two people say, “That is what everyone says.” Why do you want to attend lectures? Is there an attendance requirement?
AP: What is the usual attendance in classrooms?
Q: Let’s say, if there are a hundred students, in good classes, there would be around sixty students. And if the professor is not liked by the students, there would be around fifteen to twenty students.
AP: Or is it so that fifteen to twenty is anyway the upper limit, irrespective of how good the professor is?
Q: No, in some classes sixty percent of the students are attending.
AP: Then you guys are a special lot!
Q: That is, including the lab classes and all.
AP: Where anyway if you don’t go you flunk, right? So, you have to go. I am talking of lectures because that is what you started off with.