Q: The period of youth is defined by challenges, goals, achievements and ambitions. Many chase success as defined by others. In this hyper-connected, information-saturated era, there is the added stress of information overload and work-related burnout. Such stress takes away the happiness of our youngsters. We see more and more cases of depression amongst youth. How can the youth continually be happy in such challenging times? I want to know the truth about youth and happiness.
Sadhguru: In every generation, there is a set of people who are always complaining about something. Of course, there are also people who are making use of the situations of their times.
As a generation today, we have more conveniences and comforts than ever before. The world is not moving any faster than what it was a few thousand years ago – it is still spinning at the same pace. But we feel that the distances have been reduced simply because of technological progress.
People who are complaining about information overload must visualise life a thousand years ago. You would not know what was happening just one hundred kilometers away. Even if something fantastic happened, or there was a great calamity, it would take one or two months for you to get the information. Today, whatever is happening anywhere in the world comes to you quickly.
We are technologically empowered like never before. This is one of the greatest privileges we have as a generation. Right now, people are complaining about technology which has made their life easy and comfortable. The problem is just that they have not prepared themselves for the life that they need to handle.
Enhancing Your Capabilities
I want you to just imagine if you lived a thousand years ago. In the morning when you woke up, you would need water for your use, so you would have to walk down to the river and carry two buckets full of water. Believe me, most of the youth today are not fit enough to carry two buckets of water for a mile. Physically, they are just not capable of doing it.
If you were here a thousand years ago without technology, would you carry these buckets of water without complaint? You would definitely complain, because you are physically not capable. Similarly, if you have not made yourself mentally capable to handle the various realities of today, then you will complain.
You must engineer yourself in such a way that you are fit for life. In the early part of your life, the most important thing is not your ambitions, your desires or the lifestyles you aspire for. The only thing you should be concerned about is how to enhance this life to a higher level of possibility. If you invest enough time in the inner development of who you are, handling the present situations will be effortless. Above all, you will not be complaining about the greatest gifts that have been offered to you.
Never before could you fly from India to United States in 14 hours’ time, or pick up your phone and talk to someone in any part of the world, or see a million things happening all over the world and even in outer space. You can see beyond your normal vision, hear beyond your normal sense of hearing, and experience things beyond your normal sense of experience.
The technology around you is phenomenally upgrading itself every few months or years. It is time you upgrade yourself. Inner Engineering or yoga means you focus on enhancing this life. If you enhance your activity without enhancing this life, of course you suffer the activity. It is like taking an old, junky car on an F1 track – it will fall apart. That is all that is happening to people.
Instead of educating our children just to make a living and find a job, we have to educate them first of all to enhance themselves. Tools for self-transformation are the most important requirement of this age because external situations are largely going to be handled by machines. It is very important you are a little smarter than the machines you handle.