A question from an engineering student who is frustrated with his exams, answered by Sh. Jaggi Vasudev Sadhguru: “Frustration, discouragement, and depression are a continuous process. Once you get frustrated, you will get discouraged. Once you get discouraged, you will get depressed… So how do you drop frustration? Don’t buy it! You don’t have to drop it because life – every life – is enthusiasm.”
Question (from an engineering student who is frustrated with his exams) – I have been trying to clear the engineering entrance exam but have already failed twice. I have become very frustrated and am unable to come out of it.
Answer by Sadhguru – Frustration, discouragement, and depression are a continuous process. Once you get frustrated, you will get discouraged. Once you get discouraged, you will get depressed. Let me tell you a story. The devil decided to go out of business, so he put all the instruments of his business on sale. There was anger, lust, greed, jealousy, passion for wealth, ego – he put up everything for sale, and people bought them all. But then somebody noticed that he still had something in his bag. So they asked him, “What is it that you have got?” The devil said, “These are my most effective tools. I am not putting these for sale, just in case I decide to get back into business. And above all, even if I put them on sale, they will be too expensive, as they are the best instruments of my work to somehow destroy life.” People asked, “Tell us what they are!” The devil said, “Discouragement and depression.”
Once there is no enthusiasm, once there is depression in you, there is no possibility of life. When you say “I am getting frustrated with something,” you are not far away from discouragement and depression – frustration is the first step.
Frustration, discouragement and depression only mean that you are working against your own life.
So, how do you drop frustration?
Don’t buy it! You don’t have to drop it because life – every life – is enthusiasm. Just see, the very way an ant is moving about. If you try to stop him, does he ever get frustrated or discouraged? Till he falls dead he will make his effort. Look at the little plants. Even if you put one little plant on top of the roof and just give it a little mud and nothing else, it will put one root down twenty-five meters all the way to the ground. Do you think the plant ever gets frustrated? Life energy knows no frustration. It is a limited mind which knows frustration, because the limited mind works out of false expectations. When your expectations are not in line with life as such, when your expectations are fanciful psychology and not life phenomena, then when the expectation does not get fulfilled, the mind feels this is the end of the world.
When people fail their examination, many of them commit suicide, isn’t it? Because they feel without this, it is the end of the world. All the people whom you worship – Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus – they never passed any examination. Why do you worship them? To pass your examination, you are calling upon people who never cared to pass an examination. It doesn’t make sense.
So not passing your examination doesn’t mean anything. You want to pass because of a social requirement, which is different. But you getting frustrated is a purely psychological phenomenon, not a life phenomenon. When you are frustrated and the mind is saying “There is no good living, let me die,” just close your mouth, hold your nose for two minutes and see, the life within you says, “Let me live.”
Anything that you do against your own life is simple ignorance and stupidity. Only a fool works against his own life. But right now you have gotten yourself into a mental state where you are working against your own life. Frustration, discouragement and depression only mean that you are working against your own life. Only if you are being stupid will you ever get depressed. If you are intelligent how would you be depressed? Only because you have frozen your intelligence, there is room for depression. Otherwise there is no question of depression or frustration.