Sadhguru: For the kind of possibilities human beings hold, life is a brief amount of time. Only for people who do not explore the full depth and dimension of who they are, for those who are miserable and depressed, life is long. This is because time is a relative experience. If you keep yourself vibrant, exuberant, and joyful, it is a very brief life. There is no point in dwelling on yesterday, as long as you did the best you could do. The important thing is that what you thought was the best you could do yesterday should not be good enough to you anymore today. What you are doing today should be much better. That means you are growing.
If you act to the best of your ability and intelligence, every day will be an explosion of possibilities. If you are driving fast, there is no time to look back. Only those who are living in a parked car keep looking in the rearview mirror, because they are not going anywhere. There is no point in doing postmortem on yesterday. Crafting tomorrow is what is important. To create an exciting future, you need to be at your best. Growth means to make yourself the way you want to be. And how you want to be may change as you mature. Determine what the highest levels for you are in terms of body, mind, and emotions. That is what you should go for.
You do not have to be better than someone else, but you should not be anything less than what you can be. If you think your life is worthwhile, you must be at your best – anything less than that is wasted life. If you live exuberantly, life is fantastic. If you are half alive, everything is miserable. In a way, it is a preparation for hell. If you make yourself wonderful, wherever the hell you are, you will be fine. Otherwise, you may be in heaven but turn it into hell. If you want to create a future, it is important that you use your past as a stepping stone, not as a load. The more miserable your past was, the wiser and more mature you should become, sooner than others. When things happen to us, either we can become wise or wounded. This is the choice we have. Do not sit in a corner, hoping nothing bad will happen to you – life does not work that way. Whatever happens in your life, you can turn it into a fortune.
When we began establishing the Isha Yoga Center, it created a stir in town. People started gathering around us, and a few influential families did not like it. They met and came up with the plan to come here with a few hundred people and demolish the Yoga Center. But there was a wise old man who said, “You don’t know whom you are dealing with. If you throw stones at him, he will build something out of it. Don’t make that mistake.” What life throws at you, what kind of situations come your way is not always in your hands. But what you make out of it is always yours.
Take charge of this in your life – no matter what someone says, what life does to you, what the world does to you, turn it into wellbeing. For this, you need balance, and you need to function at your highest level. Indiscriminately, whoever it is, whatever you do – always give your best. Learn to look at everyone and everything with the same intensity and the same involvement. Selective involvement means being half alive. To mature into a full-fledged human being, always strive to function at the highest possible level of your capability, in every little thing you do.
Unfortunately, ninety percent of humanity is functioning well below their potential – to some extent because someone else said or did something, or even just because they are afraid someone else may think something. That means you are getting into other people’s mind – what a filthy place to be. Whatever anyone else thinks, says, or does, whatever comes your way, learn to turn it into your wellbeing. If someone throws poison at you, you must know how to use it for your wellbeing. Poisons have been turned into medicines, because people paid attention and realized the source of the problem is also a solution.
There is a saying in Kannada that if someone did something wrong, and other people talk about it, the negative effect of it will be greater for the people who talk about it than for the one who committed the act. Let them carry your burden. If someone abuses you, only their mouth gets dirty. That is not your problem. What someone else says, does, or thinks should not affect you. If you are giving your best, all the time, you will be able to look through whatever they say. What is significant, you can take as a suggestion. The rest, you can drop.
If you are giving less than your best and someone says something about you, you will get confused as to who you are. This does not mean you should establish your way of being once and for all. Growth is a constant process. It is about building yourself up to the highest possible level. Most people are volatile, in the sense, one moment, they are wonderful – the next moment, they are nasty. Instead, determine what the highest level for you is at this time and strive to get there. Just bring this into your life – in everything, give nothing less than the best.