Question: How do we overcome the fear of failure?
Sadhguru: There is no such thing as failure. Failure is an idea because success is also a stupid idea. Instead of trying to change the world, change the idea. If you just change that, everything is great. If you were a beggar on the street, today, if you could walk into the restaurant and eat a dosa, this would be the height of success, isn’t it?
Every idea, thought, emotion or value that you have, is picked up from somewhere and it rules you from within. This idea of success is not even your idea. It is somebody else’s idea of what success is. Your religion, your society and your culture have trained you to believe that this is it. Don’t become a slave to somebody’s idea–that is the first and foremost success. Success and failure is not in the volumes of money flowing into your life. Success and failure is not dependent upon the recognition that you find in the world. You are successful with life if you know how to walk with joy even through hell.
A stepping stone
For one who is looking at the simple events of this life itself as the goal of life, for him there is failure and success. For one who is seeing this life as a stepping stone for a larger possibility, there is no failure. Whether you have a good deal or a bad deal, whatever the situation is, it’s very useful–you use that for your wellbeing.
Once, there was a farmer who was tired of various natural factors ruling the quality of his crop. So, one day he called Shiva and said, “I am tired of all the natural nonsense happening. Obviously you are not a farmer. I know from history that you were a hunter. You don’t know what it means to farm so why don’t you leave nature in my hands? I am a farmer. I know when it should rain, I know when there should be sunlight, I know everything. You don’t know because you are just a hunter and a crazy ascetic. You are definitely not a good farmer. Everything is happening at the wrong times. You leave it to me.”
Success and failure is not dependent upon the recognition that you find in the world.
Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic and founder of Isha Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to addressing all aspects of human wellbeing through yoga programmes, and social and environmental initiatives.