Why do we set goals and targets for ourselves?

Acharya Prashant
12 min readApr 25, 2021

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

Questioner (Q): We are too concerned about our society or the people around ourselves. So, whatever they say, like, a particular thing is the best, so, we start thinking in that direction. We get so-called motivated by them to achieve that thing. So, I guess ‘A’, make targets first, and ‘B’, move forward to try to achieve that.

Acharya Prashant (AP): And, more?

Q2: You have said that we have been critically diseased and we don’t like being silent or at peace. So, when we are sitting idly, we just either think of ourselves making past or future. We want to go somewhere; we are not happy where we are. So, this is the main thing that I think that we are making goals for ourselves, we are thinking to go somewhere. We are not at peace, at the conditions we are in, we don’t have silence. We are in commotion to reach somewhere.

AP: Yes, yes all of that and more, I want somebody to hit the core.

Q: We actually don’t feel that we are at the center of our mind, of our soul. So, that’s why we are always trying to find that origin in something outside ourselves.

AP: Yes, yes, nice, nice you are coming there.

Q3: We always feel incomplete or insufficient and we always crave to get something that we don’t possess. So, we always feel that we are not having something, we are incomplete.

AP: Right, right! Do you see, first of all, this, that the deeper is your sense of inferiority, the more you will want to become superior? Is this not obvious? Do you see this? The smaller I feel, the more will be my urge to become big. Do you see this? You don’t see this? Do you realize this? If I am constantly feeling inferior, what will be one wish that will rule my mind? How to become superior, right? Don’t you see this? Speak.

Q: Yes (everyone)

AP: If I am constantly feeling ugly then I am also constantly wishing to become pretty. So turn the whole thing around. If I am all the time wanting to be pretty, then it is proof that I am feeling ugly. If I am all the time trying to become superior, then it is proof that I keep feeling…