Questioner: How do I decide on a goal for my life and develop a personality to achieve it?
Sadhguru: Your dreams, goals, and desire, aspirations – it’s good that you spend little more time on it and see, will this really mean something to you even after 25 years, 50 years. If you’re in your deathbed, will it still mean something to you? You must look at it. Whatever you’re aspiring for, whatever you’re dreaming of, whatever goals you have set, will it really mean something?
Most of these goals are traps
Because most of these goals are traps. They’re just traps. You get in, it’s only one way street, you can’t turn back. I want you to look at this. Because, many of them are older than you [questioner], you ask them, what they dreamed of at 18. They are fortunate it didn’t come true. Yes or no? If everything that you desired and dreamed came true in your life, could you live with it? Fortunately, many of those things got filtered and never came true, isn’t it?
So, it will be very good – if anybody of your age, if they want to decide and fix the goals of their life, it’ll be very good if they take a break from all influence that’s around them. Social influences, family influences, other influences. Withdraw somewhere – that’s why an ashram – withdraw somewhere, sit down, meditate, bring yourself to a certain level of clarity and joy. When you’re very happy and clear, you must decide. Not in desperation you set goals. Desperate goals that you set will mean a lot to you at that moment. Tomorrow morning you look, you don’t know why you’re tangled up with it. So, it’ll be good if you’re fixing your life, it’s best that you do it when you’re very, very peaceful, happy, and clear-headed. Isn’t it? Not influenced by anything around you. Simply by yourself, sit and decide what is it that you really want to become in your life. What is it that will be of enduring value for you, not for somebody else, for you. And, you don’t have to build a personality for that, you strive for that. The necessary persona will come.
You must understand what a personality is. The word personality comes from the word persona. Persona means, in Greek, or in Latin, I’m sorry – is a mask. This is a mask that they used to use in old theatres. Now, the same people will be playing many roles. Let’s say Ramayan is happening. You have to play Rama’s role also, and Sita’s role also, and Lakshman’s role also. For everything there’s one, one mask. You hold this mask and speak like Rama, keep it down. Hold this mask and speak like Sita, keep it down. Hold this and speak like Hanuman and keep it down. This is how the plays were done.
Personality means, you held a mask, and mask got stuck to your face
So it is those masks which were referred to as persona. So personality means, you held a mask, and mask got stuck to your face. You couldn’t pull it out. That means you have a personality. Personality is something that people are trying to develop, because they have no sense of ‘be-ing’. Instead of the real thing, you’re trying to concretise a fake thing. If you are in touch with your ‘being’, why do you want a personality? It’s not necessary. You can be a different kind of personality in different places. You are, actually, already. Or are you stuck with one personality? Some people are. People who are simplistic in their head have only one personality. Others have different personalities in different areas of life, isn’t it?
Sadhguru consciously changed his personality
If you had seen me before, like 1999, that is before the consecration of Dhyanalinga, I was a completely different kind of person. ok! To such an extent – everything about me was so different. Well before that things happened that was beyond me. But this was conscious. At that time I was single minded towards a certain purpose. I was in a certain way. So after… I never thought I would live beyond that. But somehow things happened. Then I thought, ok – now that the work is over, let me change my personality, completely. To fulfil that, I had acquired a certain kind of personality. Now that it’s over, I thought let me change it. And, I told people around me – see, I am going to change my personality. Don’t be shocked, I’m still the same guy. They said – no problem, this, this, this. I said – just hang on, because things will change.
Everything about me will change – the way I operate will change, the way I speak will change, the way I dress will change, the way I do everything will change. They said – no problem, we know you, we love you, this, this. I said – that’s ok, hang on tight. Because when things change, people fall off. Lot of people fell off. Because they couldn’t believe – where is that person that they knew? That person just evaporated, you know. This is a new person. They can’t identify with this new person. I told them and changed. Inspite of that, they fell off – so many of them. So many of them, who were very dear to me, and very close to me – they fell away, because I changed so dramatically. And, I told them, I’m going to change, because one phase of work is over, now it’s time to change my personality. The way I look, the way I dress, the way I speak, the very way I am – everything about me. I even changed what food I like. A changed my personality, so I thought I’ll change my food also.
So personality is something that you have taken on. But, you have become so unconscious about it, that you think it’s for real. You’re asking how to develop – that means you’re making it up, right? Another word for developing is making up, isn’t it? You’re making it up. Make it up whichever way is suitable for your kind of activity. But you must be able to keep it down. If it gets stuck to your face, then it becomes misery. Then all suffering will come to you. You can take on any kind of personality, but when you want to keep it down, you must be able to keep it down.
The story of the wise sage
There was a sage. He was so wise, people went to him, and crowds gathered. Then the king went to him. And the kind saw such a wise man should be in his court. So, he told the sage – you must come and become my chief minister. Because a wise man like you shouldn’t go waste sitting under a tree. You must be useful for the people. The sage said, see that’s fine. But I have a condition. You must give me a room in your palace, where I will spend everyday 1 hour. You should never peep into that room. You should never ask me what it is about. You should never break into it. Nothing. This room should be left unexplored by yourself, your servants, your secret agents and everybody. The king thought – that’s not a problem. What’s the problem with me! You want your room, why do I want to look into your room – take it.
Then whenever any important meeting is to come, this man, who is sage, now who has become a minister, so now he is wearing appropriate clothes for the palace – but he goes in to this room and locks himself for 1 hour, and comes out. A few months and years passed, but after that king’s curiosity, you know. That even got us to Mars! He wants to know, what the hell is he doing inside. So rumour started all around – oh, he is doing something. He’s got somebody inside. Maybe he is an enemy agent, he suddenly landed here. What is he doing there? what is he doing there? Everybody, the whole palace started buzzing around with – what is he doing in this room? Everybody wants to see what’s in the room. But it’s always locked. He goes in, spends time there, and comes out. Especially when something important is to be done, he goes in. All kinds of rumours happened.
So, one day, king couldn’t hold it. King asked this man – I want to see, what’s in that room. He said – well, there is a promise you’ve given me. If you break the promise, I will leave. So he contained it. He doesn’t want to lose the man. He is too wise. And then, his other courtiers started talking – how can you allow this? We don’t know what’s happening inside. It could be dangerous. It could be this, it could be that. One day, when he was not there – they broke open the door and went inside. They looked around – the room is empty, no furniture, no nothing. Just empty room. The looked – nothing! What does he do here? Then in one corner they saw very, you know, worn out clothing, hanging there. And a begging bowl. They went. They couldn’t make out what this is!
Then he came in. He said, well you wanted to see, you have seen. The king asked – what do you do here? He said – whenever I want to make any important decision, I come here, wear my worn out clothes and sit with a begging bowl. Clearly… you know, I don’t want to be caught up with the… with all the things of the palace. I want my wisdom not to be lost in these clothes, and in this jewellery, and in this stuff. So, I come here, wear those clothes, sit with my begging bowl, make the decisions, and then come out. Now you’ve broken the promise, and he left.
Your personality is a lie. Your being, your existence is the truth
So, this is what meditation is for you. Everyday when you sit, you strip yourself down. You don’t have to do anything about it. If you sit there simply… See, anything that’s made up needs constant support from you, isn’t it? See, suppose you tell a lie. It needs constant support to keep it up, isn’t it? But if something is true, you can even forget it, but it’s still there, isn’t it? You understand what I’m saying? If something is true, even if you forget it, it’s still there – no problem. But if it’s a lie, you have to keep it up. Your personality is a lie. Your being, your existence is the truth. You don’t have to keep this up. This will be anyway there. What you make up for the sake of the society – to function in the society you need a certain kind of makeup. You must be able to keep it down. If you are going to bed fully made up, then something wrong with you!