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Forget Expectations, Just Hit the Ball!

Through the Mystic Eye, the personalities from various walks of life in conversation with Sadhguru.

This week’s episode features Virender Sehwag, one of Indian cricket’s most scintillating batsman. He holds the record for the highest individual score and won the Internationals and the fastest triple century in test cricket. Sevag has opened the batting for India for over a decade and his right arm off swing has seen the Indian team through some tight situations. In April 2009 he was honored as the leading cricketer in the world. Watch as Sadhguru and Virender Sehwag look at the very mechanics behind what it takes to successfully play both the game of cricket and the game of life.

The critics or whatever, somebody’s criticizing me or somebody’s saying something, I’ll become more detrimental on score runs also, but I’ll get very disturbed very quickly also, so what should I do at that time? Should I apply to that?

What is the most important part of your life is what’s happening within you, isn’t it? Whether misery happens within you or joy happens within you, it only comes from within you, isn’t it?


So if joy is coming from within you, why can’t you have it coming all the day? If it is coming in a daily tap, I know it goes dry, but if it’s coming form within you, why can’t you keep it flowing? Because we have not taken care of this, isn’t it? How you are should never be determined by how somebody else is. Once you allow that, you will remain a slave to somebody all your life, because they will decide whether you will be happy or unhappy.


The question is not about justice and injustice. That’s a different thing, but still whether there is justice or injustice, the most unjust thing that you can do for yourself and everybody around you, especially other people who have such a big expectation of you, is that you make yourself unhappy, because unhappy means unpleasantness. Unpleasantness means inefficiencies of life. Inefficiencies of life means you will get out.


In your profession.


Inefficiency of life means you will get out in somebody else’s profession. You will shoot a bad picture of me. Somebody else will do something else, but in your life, inefficiency means you’re back in the pavilion, so in your life, it’s much more stark compared to other peoples lives, because other people can explain.


Other people can explain their inefficiency. You cannot explain your inefficiency. We see it and that’s all.

There are so many expectations from people, from family, from friends, that every time I walk on the field I have to score runs and they want to see me on the field to score hundreds, so it’s difficult to perform at every time, but the expectation is there. When I got out, my son says, “Papa, why are you getting out every time? Why aren’t you scoring a hundred every time?” I can understand …

A child.

Yeah, he’s a child. He doesn’t know anything, but still, he’s expecting from his father that whenever he goes to the field he can score runs, at least 50 or 100, so that expectation is so much …

You have more 100’s than 50’s.


You are one of the few who has more 100’s than 50’s.

Yes. When I got 21 centuries, I got 20 50’s and 21 centuries, and then later on I score more 50’s than 100’s.

Once you enter the field, once you go there and stand, you should not be anybody’s husband, anybody’s father, anybody’s son. Not even an Indian. You must just be a batsman. You’ve got a bat and the ball coming. Your business is just to hit the ball as it deserves. If you stand there as an Indian, one billion people will stand on your head. It’s too much heavy weight to carry. If you stand there as a father, your children will sit on your shoulders. Very difficult to play the game with 2 children sitting on your shoulders. You must leave all of them outside. When you go there, you’re just a batsman, and that’s all your job is. You must exclude all these things.

It’s very difficult for me to leave that all behind.

But that also … There are methods. See, right now, I’m constantly involved with people day in and day out. 20 hours a day I’m on and on and on with people, 7 days of the week, but if I close my eyes, the world stops for me. Finished, it is. The world doesn’t even exist for me if I close my eyes. You must bring at least a little bit of this essence into your life, that there is … You were born alone? Or were you born with one billion people?

We are born alone.



When you die, you’ll die alone.


Right now, within this body, you live alone.


You may do many other things. All these other things come in between and go in between, okay? One way or the other, this being this piece of life is a complete piece of life as creator has made. This doesn’t become complete by making additions to it. It’s incomplete human beings who invented those things. This is a complete piece of life, so bringing this into your life, there are methods to do this, that every day if you simply close your eyes and sit for a few minutes, you must be able to shut off everything. If this happens in your daily life, when you go and stand there, it’s just a business between you and the ball. That’s all, and that’s all it should be. This business does not involve your family, it does not involve India, it does not involve anything. It just involves the laws of physics, the ball, the bat and you. That’s all.

I really appreciate. I want to ask a question that when I’m playing, there is a couple of negative thought comes in my mind [inaudible 00:06:40] and the bowler is running and is ready to deliver the ball. Suddenly the thought comes, “hit the ball,” and if that thought comes, it’s difficult to control that thought at that time, because I’m about to play that ball, so how will I control that thought? What should I tell or what should I do to control that thought?

Hit the ball is not a bad thought.

Yeah, it’s not a bad thought, but still, you know? I can’t hit every ball.

No, that is true, but looking at your track record, you hit the ball pretty well, so that thought is a good thought, not a bad thought, but it should not become a compulsive thought, and above all, there’s something that all of us have to understand, whether you’re playing cricket or you’re running a business or whatever you may be doing. There is something called as reality.


There is something called as impressions of reality that we carry within ourselves.


Suppose you never played cricket in your life. For the first time, you stand there.


A ball comes at you. You naturally look at it, how it comes, and then hit it. Only because you played cricket for a certain number of years, now you have this thought because there is a score to fulfill and there are expectations. This time India has to win and so many things, you know? The expectations of 1 billion people. All that stuff, but actually you don’t play a game. I would call everything a game in life, whether you are on a playing field or you’re in any other field. It is a kind of a game. You don’t play any game … Well, you don’t win any game because you want to win. You don’t hit the ball because you want to hit. It is only because you do something right, it all works, so if you want to do something right, if you want to do anything right, first thing is, be able to grasp the situation for what it is.

You are expecting the ball at 160 kilometers per hour. Suppose he lets it out at 60 kilometers per hour. It’s the easiest things to hit, probably, but you may miss it simply because you’re expecting it to happen in a certain way. This expectation is coming because your memory’s projecting into reality and making an unreal reality, so if there is an intelligent bowler, he reads this and he will make those things and it is not always the fast bowler or the one who spends most who gets the wickets. It’s one who reads the batsman’s expectations and just does the reverse of that, who manages to fox the batsman, so it doesn’t matter which aspect of life, whether a sport or otherwise. The important thing is being able to grasp what is there and do the appropriate action.


In a sport, it becomes very … What to say, kind of focused, because so many people are watching, and we know if you don’t hit the ball right, all of us know it. Somebody is driving. If he instead of missing the pothole, if he hits the pothole, maybe not everybody notices. Somebody is doing business. Instead of doing the right thing, if he goes a little off, maybe not too many people notice it, but in sport, if you don’t hit the ball, if you don’t take the ball in the center of the bat, all of us notice it, not just you. Not just the bowler. Every one of us know that you didn’t hit it right, so because of that, all this is building up.

I was just talking to somebody and somebody was telling me, “We’ve got to beat Pakistan this time.” I said, “Don’t try to beat Pakistan, just hit the ball.”


If you want to beat Pakistan then raise a war.


You don’t try to beat Pakistan. All you have to do is hit the ball. If you try to beat Pakistan, Pakistan is not in the ball. It will be somewhere there. In trying to beat that, all that will happen is you’ll go and sit in the pavilion. That’s all that will happen. In human mind, there is perception, there is memory, there is imagination. People are not able to keep these things separate. There is memory of the game. There is imagination of how you will carry the cup, and there is a reality of a ball coming at you. It is only the reality that you can handle. Memory and the imagination, you can only fancy with. One is about that which is over. One is about that which is yet to happen. The reality is the ball is coming and you have a bat in your hand. You have to hit it the way the ball deserves it, not the way India deserves it. Not the way Pakistan deserves it. Not the way somebody else deserves it. You have to hit the ball the way the ball deserves it, the way it’s coming.

To keep this clarity of mind, there are methods with which you can hold your mind in such a way that this moment, if I sit here, the memory of who I am, my parent days, my upbringing, my growing up, the things that I know. If all these things come right now in my mind, I will not perceive what is here. Memory will play. Memory is not a reality, because it is about something that is over which does not exist. That which does not exist, if it impedes into that which exists, you will miss that which exists. This is so in everybody’s life, but in a sports person’s life, the effect of that is immediate. In other peoples lives it will play out and they will see it after some time that it doesn’t work, but with your life, it’s right there. You’re either not there or you’re sitting up there and clapping for somebody. It’s very clear.

Because of that, it stands out, but this is true for everybody’s life. When you are given such a sophisticated mechanism called mind … Human mind is not a simple thing. It’s a magnificent mechanism. Even if you buy a phone, a simple phone, which they’re calling it smart. It’s not as smart as you.


Even if you buy a phone, you have to read a manual which runs into 20 pages of how to use it.


They’re not telling you how it works. They’re only telling you how to use it will take a certain amount of study. If you want to know how it works, it will take much more amount of study. Did you ever read the user manual for your brain?


That’s a whole thing. We are not looking at how this works. Simply we are trying to use it. By nature or by accident, people negate to use it, but not consciously.

What is, there is a method or …

There is a method.

… A technique to use?

There is a very established method.

Okay, my next question is, is that only how I’ll control that thought?

Don’t try to control it, you need to liberate yourself from this. I’m not talking about controlling your mind.


I’m talking about liberating it from all kinds of additions that it has added on. If you control your body, if you control your mind, what it means is … Control means to hold it within certain limits, but you’ve become who you are in the world only because you cross the limits. Only because you cross the limits that other people never cross, you become whoever you are in the world, so the methods should be not of control but of liberation. Over a period of time, you gather a body and a certain level of mind. If you know how to use it to our advantage, it will work one way, but a whole lot of humanity uses their body and their mind to their disadvantage. Their body and mind are the biggest problems that they have in their life.

To make this body and mind in such a way that you don’t have to control them, what would you like to control? You would like to control something that’s gone berserk. You’d like to control something which is destructive. Why would you like to control something that is creative? Something that is competent? Something that is capable? Why would you like to control that? Would you like to control your intelligence? Because if there is a certain level of ignorance, you want to control it. Would you like to control your intelligence? Would you like to control your physical strength? Would you like to control anything? You would want to liberate it. You will want to focus it. You would want to put it into proper use. If this has to happen, the most fundamental thing, the various other methods, if you have the necessary time, more sophisticated methods can be approached.

Necessary time does not mean you have to spend 12 hours a day at something. If you spend 20 to 30 minutes a day, you can do miraculous things for yourself. Because you know how to play the game, you know how to do all that, all that it takes is a little more clarity at that moment and the body and mind responds with much more ease rather than tension and fear and anxiety. It responds with ease. There is substantial scientific and medical information today to clearly say only when you’re at ease, your body and mind functions at its best. We have given it to the cricket team also. I don’t know if it reached you.

It’s a simple process. The important thing is to make a distinction between what is you and what is not you … When I say, “What is you and what is not you,” whatever you associate yourself with, after some time you start experiencing it as myself, because somewhere in your mind, you identify with it. Starting from the most fundamental thing, it goes into various things, which causes enormous amount of disturbance and misery, but the most basic thing which breeds this is your own body and your mind. When we say “your mind,” your mind is largely the thought process and emotions that go on there. These thought processes and emotions mainly happen the way it happens because of the type of memory that you have gathered there.

Obviously you gathered memory over a period of time, isn’t it? The body, the physical body, from the time when you were born and how you are today, you gathered this over a period of time. Anything that you can gather can be yours, but can never, ever be you, isn’t it? To create a distinction between what is you and what is not you, if this distinction arises, which is what it does, if you bring this distinction into your life, you will see suddenly your ability to use your body and your mind is phenomenally enhanced, many, many fold. The same body and same mind, simply because you are not tangled up with it. You can use it so much better simply because there is a little bit of space between you and your body and you and your mind. This is guaranteed from me.

Okay, thank you.

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