What is the secret of excellence?

Acharya Prashant
5 min readApr 13, 2020

Following is an excerpt from a samvaad (diaogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Question: Sir, what is the secret of excellence?

Acharya Prashant: Excellence comes from enjoyment. Can you excel in something you do not enjoy? Can you really excel in something that you do not enjoy? Since childhood you are fed on a diet of statements like, “Hard work is the key to success.”

Now that is such a stupid thing to say, but it has been rolling on and on and on for generations. We were kids, we could not understand, so we accepted it. The kids are not to be faulted. But are we kids even today? Should we keep living on such flawed basis, on such flawed fundamentals? Essentially, what is it that you are afraid to accept?

You are afraid to accept that life can be joyful, that freedom is possible. That is what you are really afraid to accept, nothing else.

Were I to tell you that you know life is deprivation, and you must keep working and working, you would be too keen to accept it. You will say, ‘Yes this is the truth.’ But it is so hard for you to accept when I say, ‘No, life is bliss, life is freedom, life is love and life is not a torture.’ You will say, ‘No, this is not true. Life is a torture.’ You have been conditioned into believing this. This rubbish has been drilled down deep into your mind that life is a torture. You won’t accept this easily that life is not a torture.

Listener: How can those IITians, as you mentioned, how did they realize this noble secret of life? That life is meant to be enjoyed. They also came from the same background. They were also drilled, conditioned same stuff.

AP: Nobody needs to realize it. Actually you see, even the child knows this secret. It’s not as if those IITians went on a special journey to realize it. Even that kid knows this secret. What does the kid do all day, except having a good time?

Have you ever watched a small child, a really healthy two-year old? He dances for his own fun. He will not dance to your tunes, and everything that he does is intended at his own joy. Right? So, even the kid knows that secret.

However, after that a tragic event happens. That tragic event is, that the family, the society and the education, starts…

Acharya Prashant