Commerce is something that we believe will decide the quality of human life in many ways. It is 50 per cent truth because when a human being is in poverty, you cannot talk to him about anything other than food. If you go and ask a beggar how much is 2+2, he may say four chapattis. The whole focus of your life will be about food when there is no food.
Moving from poverty to affluence is a hard journey—whether it is for an individual person, a society, nation or large populations in the world. It comes with an enormous price attached to it. But most of the time, when people get there, they cannot enjoy their affluence.
Most societies suffer their affluence. For example, Europe has experienced a longer spell of economic wellbeing than any other society on the planet. Average citizens have the kind of comfort and convenience that even royalty could not have afforded a hundred years ago. In spite of that, 39 per cent of the population in the European Union is on some kind of psychiatric medication. If you just take away a few medicines from the market, almost half the people will go crazy. That is not wellbeing. It does not matter where you live, how you live, what you eat, what you wear or what you drive, if you are not happy, you cannot call it wellbeing.
If you do not know how to manage yourself, your happiness will be accidental. External situations are not always going to be in your control. Some situations will come your way, some situations will not. This is because the outside situation involves a million different ingredients. You only understand some of them and try to control those. With the rest, you do not even understand or know about them, so there is no question of controlling them. You just hope it will all fall into place.
But when it comes to the inner situation, there is only you. This inner situation at least must happen your way. Please see, the world does not happen 100 per cent your way, your home does not happen 100 per cent your way, nobody happens 100 per cent your way—not your husband, not your wife, not your children, not even your dog, he does his own things. So at least this one person—yourself—must happen your way. If this one does not happen your way, you are a lost case.
Real human wellbeing will happen only when a man is peaceful and joyful within himself. If you do not know how to be peaceful and joyful within yourself, the home that you live in, the car that you drive, the clothes that you wear, the people you have around you—all that you worked for—go waste.
So if you want to be happy, you have to manage yourself properly. Management means creating situations the way you want them. Just as you manage your family, finance, industry, business, it is important to manage your mind, emotion, energy and body. And your ability to manage external situations is greatly enhanced only when the inner situation is well managed. Unfortunately, we as individuals, as a society, nation and world have not invested anything towards inner wellbeing. It is time we invest in our inner wellbeing.
Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic, a bestselling author and poet. He was conferred the Padma Vibhushan in 2017. Isha.sadhguru.org