Question: Nmaskaram Sadhguru, I'm a twenty-year-old university student, striving to live a life of truth, involvement, fulfillment. How should I and people my age balance the inner path with the outer world…be it, going to med school, getting a professional career or spending more time at ashram?
Sadhguru: See, all of us have to live in this universe. No choice about it right now. But university is a choice and that’s why you’re asking this question. How much time? Education is of value to do certain things, but what should we be doing as individual human beings, as a generation of people, what should we be doing in our lives?
What I would say is as a young man, I want you to open your eyes and look at the world. Right now, please see what is the most needed thing in the world right now. You don’t do some fanciful thing that you like to do. You must do what’s most needed, isn’t it? Isn’t it so? If you get carried away by situations, people become like this, it’s useful, but it is not the basic thing. Today, you saw a train burning. So, you want to become a firefighter. Tomorrow you saw something, you want to become that. In reaction… in emotional reaction, you choose to become something. It could be useful on some level.
But now when most young people cannot think, you are thinking,“What should I do with my life?” When such a thought has come, I would say spend little more time on it, not being influenced by anybody or anything. Simply look at it, what is it that the humanity needs most? What is it that the world needs most today? I want you to recognize that. The only thing that needs to be fixed on this planet is human beings. Everything else is fine. Isn’t it so?
So, I would say all young people, not just you, must take a break from what you’re doing. Just caught up - because you did… you did school you went to the college, because you did college you went to the next thing and the next thing and you end up with a Ph.D. what to do? It’s dangerous, you know? Because, the education scientists are saying, if you go through twenty years of formal education and land up with a Ph.D. or something, seventy percent of your intelligence is irrevocably destroyed. Yes. You will become a very knowledgeable idiot.
And today, knowledge has no use, because whatever a Ph.D. holder knows, a high-school kid can open the internet and talk the same language. You can’t even look smart anymore with what you collected, isn’t it? Because… just about anybody will talk these things because it’s all over the place. So, are you preparing for a university or the universe? That’s where you have to live, unless you want to become an academic. I am not saying these things are wrong, but human beings, sensible human beings must invest their life towards what is needed most, isn’t it? Not some fanciful thing that I want to do or you want to do.
You can do whatever, joyfully or miserably, isn’t it? And just because today you think, “By doing this, I will be happy,” if you go, don’t ever think you will stay happy by doing that after some time. Everybody when they got their first job, what a beautiful day it was! You went to this mangy little office, sat there and wow! Tch, how it felt! But after a few years, sitting behind the same table, it’s taking your life. The same job, the same marriage, the same situations – they’re taking your life. At one day, it looked like heaven. After some time, it looks like hell, isn’t it? Not because there’s something wrong with those jobs, simply because you’re doing it for the wrong reason, you’re just doing it for the wrong reasons, that’s all.
Now that you are thinking, I would say take a few weeks off. We’re willing to give you the space. Just stay, uninfluenced by anybody, just look at it. There are many things you will want to do right now, because of immediate compulsions. You are broke right now. You think the first thing is to find a job or some other compulsion within you, you think the first thing is to do this. Beside your compulsions, suppose, you had none of these compulsions, what would you like to do with life, that’s what you should do.
You should not decide your life and the course of your life based on immediate compulsions. You decide in your life, if you do this for hundred years and look back, after hundred years if you look back, is it still worthwhile? You do that. There are many others who would like to be you. Tch, “Oh, I wish I was twenty, and I wish I could think what to do at that time.” There’re any number of people here. Now that you are twenty and you are fortunate that you’re thinking and it’s fortunate that you are here. You think straight before you do anything.