The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Questioner: Acharya Ji, it is a question about selfless goals. I have not understood ‘goals’ yet. The freedom fighters, social workers, humanitarians are all working tirelessly to achieve something. What’s my responsibility towards my country, people, and religion? For example, our culture and tradition need to be preserved. Is it not good to have a goal beyond one’s selfish desires?
Acharya Prashant: The only genuine goal is the one that fulfills your life. Obviously, when you are talking about having goals, you are talking about having goals as a person. You are born; you are living; you take yourself to be a person. And you are talking about the goals of that person. Essentially, you are asking — What is worth doing? Essentially, you are asking — What is worth taking as a goal?
The goal of work has to be aligned, obviously, with the goal of life. You cannot say that in the end, you want to reach north, but right now you are traveling south. If the goal of life — just an example, please get the drift — If the goal of life is to reach the north, then the goal of every month, every day, every hour has to travel to the north direction.
So, the goal of work, the goal of all small periods of time has to be aligned with the overall goal and purpose of life. Do you get this much?
What you are doing this month must be in the direction of what you need to do all your life. If you want to come to Rishikesh from Delhi, you cannot justify how you are moving towards Jaipur; it’s almost the opposite direction. So, the goal of life has to be first of all known. If you know the goal of life, then you can talk about long-term, medium-term, short-term goals also. If you know that you have to reach Rishikesh from Delhi, then you can talk of reaching Meerut or Muzaffarnagar or Roorkee; short-term, medium-term, long-term.
First of all, you must know what the ultimate goal is.
First of all, you must know that you are coming to the Ganga from Delhi. Life is nothing but this — A movement to the Ganga from Gurgaon. You are born in bondage. We are trying to see what the ultimate goal of life must be.