The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Question: Is it always true that a man or a woman will give their best performance due to pressure only?
Acharya Prashant (AP): No, who said that?
The question is, ‘Is it true that we give our best performance only under pressure?’
Not at all. On the contrary, pressure brings the worst out of you.
It is a bad bad education that teaches you that pressure is important.
All pressure is violence, all pressure is a torture, a distortion of the mind.
The mind is being pushed by an external factor.
But what happens is — I understand from the way you are coming — what happens is, when the mind is deeply conditioned for a long period of time, it loses its internal capacity to see, to move freely. It becomes like a car whose engine in spite of being beautifully designed has become dysfunctional because of disuse.
A beautifully designed engine will not work if you do not use it for ten years, twenty years. Will it work? It may be the best engine in the world. The same is the case with the mind. Our mind is a beautifully designed machine. It’s an instrument of the highest order, an instrument that man cannot make. But because of conditioning, we do not use the mind, instead, we start using memory. Using the mind means, application of intelligence but our education is such that we substitute intelligence with memory, then the mind becomes dysfunctional.
What is the use of applying intelligence if memory can get me marks, what is the point in applying intelligence? So the car will not move Now what car needs an external push? In spite of having the best engine of the best design, the car is being towed away or somebody is pushing the car from outside, it’s a sad situation. Is it not? That is what you call pressure.
Now depends on you whether you want to take care of the engine or whether you want to apply pressure. Pressure will not take you very far. And it’s stupid, you are applying pressure on a car that can run so fast on its own. What is the point in applying pressure? Leave the mind free and it will know what to do. Pressure is fear. Go…