Why can’t I change my behaviour?

Acharya Prashant
5 min readJan 26

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

Question (Q): I am distracted, both mentally and physically. The world pulls me in different directions. I chase this and that. I chase respect. I chase accomplishments. I chase women and sex as well. All this is a problem because it interferes with my day-to-day comfort. The urge is so over-powering that it disrupts my daily patterns. How to deal with this?

Acharya Prashant (AP): You have a particular way of living and you want to talk about it. You have selectively picked up one aspect of your living for discussion because you want to get rid of it.

We do not see that it is impossible to change just one aspect of one’s behavior. There are many ways in which the pattern of our mind finds expression, a thousand ways. Of these thousand ways, a few pertain to academics, a few pertain to your job, and a few pertain to your beliefs about the world, religion, and politics. But of all these thousand ways in which the mind finds expression, you pick up only two or three for discussion. Which are these two or three ways? The ones that are the most conspicuous, right?

You do not talk of the other ways because they are either hidden, or pleasurable so far, or at least they don’t pose any problem of any kind. Even a moral dilemma is not being posed by them. They are either socially sanctioned, or they are below the radar of your consciousness. You do not even know that these patterns exist and they come from this source. So, you are alright with them. You never talk about them.

I have never seen somebody come to me to ask, “Sir, why do I feel like going to a temple on every Tuesday?” You never mention this as a problem, because this conduct is socially sanctioned. So, it has never become a problem for you. I have never seen somebody come to me and ask, “Sir, I want success. How do I get rid of this wanting?” The entire world tells you that being successful is good. So, you never think of this as a problem. But if you are chasing girls, then you will come and talk about it as a problem, especially if her brothers are a little violent.


Now it is a problem! Now, is this attraction towards women a problem, or is this mind that cannot…

Acharya Prashant