Our misplaced self-confidence is our central problem

Acharya Prashant
5 min readMar 31, 2020

Why we do anything that we do, look at any person and any activity that the person is doing. In his own eyes, the person is quite smart, quite wise. In his own frame of reference, he’s doing the best thing that he can do. Does anybody ever, on his own accord choose a sub-optimal option? Any life decision that you have to take big or small, if you have five options, which one do you go for? The one that appears best to you. So if you look at the life of even the most wretched and most defeated person, what has he been doing? He has been taking decisions that according to him are very right, great actually, wise and smart. You may regret later on but at the moment when you are taking a decision do you ever deliberately take a wrong decision? At the instance of decision-making, we go for the option that appears the best to us. If you can now humbly see that you have not been deciding correctly, then it will be a great revolution in your life.

Our false and misplaced self-confidence is at the root of all our troubles.

When the wise ones are put in front of us as standards, as great examples then if we have some sense we are forced to confess, how wrong we have been all our life. Otherwise, we reserve the rights to brag that we too are somebody that I did this, I did that. Let’s look at the Buddha now, what did he do? Let’s look at some other wise man, what did he do?

One possibility is you could say, “Oh! the wise man did not really do anything, all this that we are reading or hearing about him it’s just folklore, exaggerated rubbish actually”. You could easily take that route or if you have a better sense, you will say, “So much was possible to them, so much could have been possible to me. I do see that I have missed out. I do see that not only have my decisions been wrong, actually, the decision-maker himself is a fool”.

All the decisions are like products coming from a machine, decisions are products, machine is the decision maker. Why blame the products when the machine itself is defective. I am that defective machine, how will I ever take a right decision. How will I ever produce a perfect good?

The moment that humility comes to you, you drop your foolish self-confidence and then change can happen. That’s what I call a revolution.