Listener: Should one start early to achieve or excel in life?
Acharya Prashant: Siddharth, you don’t need to agree with me. You only need to understand what is being said. Agreement and disagreement come out from your conditioning. I am not looking for that. I am asking for your intelligence, so that you can understand what is here. And after understanding, you are totally free to reject it.
Who taught you that one must achieve in life?
The very foundation of what you are saying is that life must be an achievement. What you are saying is there must be targets and goals and life is a process of attaining them. Where are your goals coming from?
Don’t you see the entire process of conditioning that is behind it?
Do you see what is being said?
What is being said is, there must be a goal, there must be an effort in attaining that goal and to attain that goal one must start early. That is the line of argument that is being given. I want you to understand the basis of it.
The fundamental assumption is that life is nothing but an achievement, but mind you, all achievement is in the future. You have been told that life is something that is divided between success and failure. Do you really think that this is your own understanding?
This comes to you from education, media, family, society. Since childhood you have been goaded to attain this, attain that, X percentage, Y percentage, clearing the JEE, getting a job and how has that process proceeded?
Through greed and fear.
If you attain something, there will be an external reward. If you do not attain it, there would be an external disincentive. So, what is happening?
A goal is being set from the outside. A reward is coming from the outside. All disincentive is coming from the outside.
Is there any bit of you in all this?
But because it is happening over a long period of time, you have started thinking, in the delusion that these are my goals that I must attain and to attain them I must prepare.