The Best will not come to you as a result of your want

Acharya Prashant
5 min readDec 10, 2020

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

Question: Sir, I would like to ask something from a topic which was touched on yesterday but that has been revolving around in my mind even today. We were talking about self-improvement, and all the time, I try always, to see, what’s wrong in me and bring about some change.

When you said that actually self-improvement is nothing, it really shocked me, and became really difficult for me to believe because until I know the difference between ‘What I should do?’ and ‘What I am doing?’, then, how can I change?

Acharya Prashant (AP): You see, self-improvement, the agenda for improvement, is decided by the ‘self’. The self totally disregards the greater agenda and imposes its own little agenda. And that it calls as self-improvement. Obviously in its own eyes, what it wants to do, where it wants to reach, what it wants to become, the questions that it wants to ask and get answered are very important, but only in its own eyes.

Right now, what is the wider agenda that has been set? What are we here to discuss right now?

Listeners (L): The Essential.

AP: We are here to discuss the Essential and how we miss out on the Essential. That is the wider agenda. But the self, the ego, is following some other agenda, some other personal agenda. It has a total disregard, even contempt, for what? — Anything other than what it can be.

Was it not obvious to all of us what this particular session is going to be about? But you see the functioning of the personal agenda here. Are you able to see this? Totally disregardful of what even the Teacher has asked you to do. You were here when I spoke of the instructions, right? You very well know if we are here what is it that we must discuss. “But no, I personally think that something else is more important.” And that is exactly why you must not try for self-improvement. This was your effort at self-improvement. See, how disastrous this effort is.

We talked about two things:

  1. How my trivial priorities harm me.
  2. How they harm my relationships and group members.