What matters more in work — skill or love?

Acharya Prashant
14 min readNov 24, 2020

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

Acharya Prashant (AP): What's your name?

Listener (L): Venugopal.

AP: Venugopal, repeat your question for everybody. Which instrument did you initially had a liking for?

L: Tabla.

AP: But you say that you were forced to play?

L: Violin.

AP: And today you say that you are greatly fond of playing the violin.

L: And I know it myself.

AP: Do you see what is happening? Venu clearly recalls that at some point in his life there was something that he was attracted to. But then circumstances made him do something else. And today he says that he is greatly fond of the thing which he initiated probably under pressure.

There was a boy who was greatly fond of this girl but because of various reasons, because of parental pressure, he married another girl. When he was marrying the second girl, he hated it. He was crying. Today after 20 years, he has 2 kids with that girl. He claims he is greatly in love with his wife and he also says that the best that could happen to him was that he got married to this woman.

Same story? Is that what you are saying?

And now the girlfriend comes back to the boy’s life. How does that sound? A good masala movie. Should he go back to his first love? All the young people in the hall would say, “Yes, yes, because he was forced to marry. He did that under pressure. His first love was that one”. And then, there is the more seasoned, more reasonable section of the audience, which says, “No, he is a married man and he has two kids and past is past. You have responsibilities. How can you go back to that woman?”

This is the story of our life. It happens with everybody. You have to understand what is happening.

There is a difference between skill and self-realization.

Often, what happens is that we look for appreciation and appreciation comes when we are good at something when we are skilled at something. Do you understand what skill is?

What is skill?