Success is to realise that failure is the inevitable finality of our ways || Acharya Prashant (2014)

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Questioner: Sir, I have heard someone say that real success lies in failure. What does this mean?

Acharya Prashant: What does the mind always want? Success or Failure?

Q : Success.

AP : Success! Right? What are we always running after?

Q : Success!

AP : Success! Right? Running after success, do we ever stop running? Have you ever come across someone who says that “I am finally successful now?

Do you understand the meaning of the word, ‘finally’? Nothing after this, final, full stop! ‘I fully well and finally know that I am successful and my chase stops here. After this no more thoughts of getting this, or obtaining this.’ Have you ever come across such a person?

So, you are continuously running after success, without ever getting any final success. Right? Intermittently you get the illusion of success, that is alright. You did something and you felt successful in that, but it is never final. Is it ever final? Sooner than later you discover, ‘Oh my god! Not sufficient. I want more, I want more!’ And that ‘more’ never suffices. Right?

Are we then ever successful? We are running after success, that is alright. But are we ever successful? Remember if we are actually successful, then we will stop running after success. Not getting it? Are we ever successful? We are never successful. I know that it is hard to admit. But go and find a man who is really successful. You will have a hard time. You won’t find such a man who is really successful, who says, ‘Success is mine now, I am not running after it anymore.’ You won’t find such a man.

So, we are never successful. Right? If we are not successful, then what is the word that we can apply to ourselves? Failures. Anybody who runs after success is condemning himself to failure. The very chase for success is failure. The moment you start chasing success, you have already failed. But our ignorance lies in not realizing that we have failed. We remain hopeful. We say, ‘Yes I have failed, but I still have motivation. I will still go ahead and conquer the mountains. I will go ahead and pluck the stars from the heavens.’

Failures we already are, but we don’t realize it, because realizing that would hurt us very badly. No? Try doing that. Trying telling somebody that “you are a failure”. Try telling the man in the mirror that “you are a failure”.

Go, look at the mirror, and try telling that man or woman in the mirror that “you are a failure”, and see how it feels. How does it feel?

Q : Bad.

AP : Bad! Our self-esteem takes a beating. Right? We start feeling low. ‘Oh! Am I so unworthy? I am a failure? The ‘F’ word, the bad ‘F’ word, Failure.’ Failures we are, but we don’t admit it. Who admits that? Nobody admits that.

Now he is asking that what does it mean to say that ‘real success lies in failure’? It means that the one who comes to realize that he is a failure, stops running after success. And once he stops running after the success, that means that now he is successful.

Realization of failure is success, running after success is failure.

If someone tells you to chase success, ask him, ‘When will the chase end? Because if I am actually successful, then the chase should end.’ Ask him that when will the chase end. ‘Alright I will chase success. As per your advice I will chase success but also tell me when will it end. And how will I know that it has ended? And can you show me somebody for whom the chase has ended?’ Just ask this much.

Just ask this much and you will realize, what is really happening. Admit that human effort cannot get it, cannot get the real thing, admit that. Surrender to that fact. Surrender to the fact that the real juice of living lies in Peace, and you will not get Peace by chasing success. Admit that Love makes life worthy, and you do not get Love by chasing success. Admit that unless you are seated in the Truth, you will keep suffering. And you do not sit in the Truth by chasing something else. Admit that whenever you will chase, you will only go away from your Essence, from your real home.

We all are anyway meant to live in our real home. Every chase takes you away, away, away… Failure means, ‘I am not chasing anymore. I have realized the stupidity of chasing. I am admitting my failure. Whenever I tried to chase, that was stupidity. I admit my failure.’ That is what failure means, that ‘I admit.’

And the moment you admit, you surrender, you give up your ego, you give up the restless tendency. You are successful, already successful. When you admit you discover that you should not have gone after it, it was already yours. There was no need to run. You are already home.

Is that clear?

Watch the session at: Success is to realise that failure is the inevitable finality of our ways | Acharya Prashant The transcription has been edited for clarity.

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  1. ‘Success’ one of the most fascinating word for most of us.
    Let’s understand it. Are we going to be part of an endless chase?

    A must read article


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