Attitude and You- Remembering Dr Abdul Kalam

  • IASbaba
  • July 28, 2015
  • 9
Motivational Articles
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“Attitude & YOU”- Remembering Dr Abdul Kalam





Yesterday, one of the guiding lights of this generation has left us in body, only to motivate the stars now. Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, our Missile Man is no more.


It now falls on our mantles, on the youth of this country to ensure that his legacy is continued to make his dreams for this country our own, to make his dedication, perseverance and excellence a hallmark of the people of this country. Now it is up to us to keep him alive, not by making idols (as we did with Gautam Buddha) but by each one becoming Abdul Kalam in his own sense. Now how can we accomplish this? Is it impossible to be like him? Was he the “Chosen One” –

“One in a Billion” . In his own words, “ Attitude makes a man”. Dr Kalam has time and again enforced the point that there is nothing like “God-gifted”. It is only your actions in life that decide your destiny. Now let us pay our homage to Dr Kalam and strive to imbibe values that he always stood in all our actions, including preparing for this prestigious examination. Success is bound to follow.

All of you are full of energy at this moment. Thousands might be at the excited level of preparation, some at the middle of transition to reach the excited level and rest, either being pushed by high energy protons or still juggling to realize how to cross the ground level?


Can you relate any one of the levels, mentioned above?

This article tries to unearth one of the most important and a sensitive aspect of one’s life that is, Attitude and related attributes while remembering our beloved President Dr Abdul Kalam. 

Attitude is a subjective term. Here we’ll discuss varying types of it. You are preparing for a coveted exam and this in undeniably your dream. As rightly put by Dr Kalam

“Great Dreams of Great Dreamers are Always Transcended”. 

Who can better to know about attitude than Civil Service Aspirants rather Potential Civil servants? Attitude or should we say, Right Attitude determines the success in Civil Services and life in general.

What’s the point of preaching all this, right now? Why are we bothered? The answer, AGAIN, is 23rd August, 2015.

We think our Attitude is perfect just because we are preparing for UPSC?  Let us explore further

You know, they say

“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do BUT Attitude determines how well you do it.”

Naturally as the exam nears the fuss, the fear and discouragement of an aspirant is at the apex. There are different kinds of aspirants with different sets of attitudinal behaviour. So, what we intend to do, is to direct this article towards ‘THREE’ broadly classified ‘TARGETS’:-

  • Over-Confident 
  • Under-Confident 
  • Mixed-Bag of Confidence


Let’s come to the first one i.e. OVER CONFIDENT :- Most Dangerous

Laxmikanth -CHECK, Bipan Chandra-CHECK, The HINDU- CHECK, et al-CHECK.

I have studied everything. I’m doing excellent at mocks. I can relax” NO, You Cannot.

‘I know almost everything’– is a sign of non-seriousness. I have revised around 10 times and remember each and every word by heart, is a peculiar attitude that leads to perfunctory approach. At this moment (1 month before the exam), revision is the key. What do you understand by revision?

It is not to re-read everything again. Revision is a successive reading wherein you make sure to go deep in learning concepts that you missed in first reading. Similarly, consecutive revisions are meant to assimilate all those left out or missed concepts.

Unfortunately, most of the aspirants falling in this category behave otherwise. Their revision is only to boast themselves since their mind is already convinced that “I have studied everything. I’m doing excellent at mocks. I can relax” .

You cannot,WHY?

Because it doesn’t matter if you’re getting 95+ Questions right in the mocks, until and unless you replicate this performance on D-Day, there is no point in doing all this and your complacency won’t get you anywhere but a ditch of despair after the exams. Let’s tell you something which you might already know:

Typically F1 cars drive at 300+ speeds for ‘n’ no. of laps. The one who is leading the race doesn’t say that I’ve clocked 350+ so I can go slowly in the final lap unless of course the difference between the 1st and 2nd is very large (unlikely in F1 and in CSE alike). Driver keeps the throttle high till the time chequered flag is waved again

You are scoring well. NICE. You have studied everything under the SUN. VERY NICE. Re-visit them. Revise. Fill in the lacunae in your system. There is a shloka in Katha Upanishad


So keep striving. Keep Improving.



Hey! There. Just take a deep breath and think, of the journey in the past months (or Year; depending upon when you started preparing) It’s been good, isn’t it?

You have learned so many new things, new concepts, you have seen yourself transform; You have become a better human. That’s Wonderful, isn’t it?

You, guys have covered all the basic concepts, the books; you’re doing the current affairs diligently, you seem to be doing OKAY/Not-OKAY in the mocks.  You know WHAT, It’s Okay! It’s an exam albeit an important exam and you are losing your sleep, meals, health over it. It will do you more harm than any good.

We have a stupid yet practical advice for you

Remember when you were in 6th standard and you had a Unit Test, next day. A whole freaking Unit had to come. You were prepared yet under-confident still you topped the class by scoring 50/50.

Think on the same lines. Usually we are over-awed by the magnitude of the task, so why can’t we look at it, microscopically. We are all small fragments of matter. Aren’t we? Divide the damn pressure building blocks and let it release.

Anyways it would in no way help you by thinking that you wont be able to make it, it is absolutely pointless to think like this. Just study in the remaining time as much as possible, give your best. Who knows what the result might hold for you!! You may TOP the exam. Just be confident 🙂


As they say

“There can be no positive result through negative attitude. Think positive. Live Positive”

Now, the last one MIXED-BAG OF CONFIDENCE:-

One day, you are BATMAN and the other day, you are JOKER (not Heath Ledger, but JOKER :P)

You have studied everything, did the mocks diligently and become (over?) confident. Next Day, you can’t seem to remember a certain function of the politico-administrative set-up and BAMM! On the ground, you fall.

It has been a periodic phenomenon for you to be pernicious and guess! What? You’re the most vulnerable ones of the lot with a potential to go from “Arsh se Farsh”(top to bottom) and vice-versa.  Chuck!

All your fears, apprehensions and inhibitions should be channelized properly into a monk like embodiment of yourself.  Even Achilles had a heel. Come on! Buckle up! Make this attempt your last (by succeeding). Devote yourself to the idea of becoming an IAS. If the driving force is big enough then nothing can come in between.

Let us quote a dialogue from Batman Begins for you

If you become more than a man, devote yourself to an ideal, then you become something else entirely”

Become that something else. Become an epitome of success so that People look up to you.

So, everyone! Rise up; conquer your fears and weaknesses. Fight your inner demons and Shine!

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude”


So what is the CORRECT ATTITUDE then?

Pulkit Garg- UPSC-2014 Rank Holder- IIT Delhi, First Attempt

I would like to bring some points from my preparatory phase last year which helped me to score decent marks in Prelims. The fundamental strategy comprises primarily to :

Stay curious and hungry for knowledge – the desire to know – to emotionally relate with everything would provide you holistic coverage and good retention capability as already mentioned by IASbaba through this wonderful piece of writing- A Must Read

This is succinctly put in 3 Idiots“Dont run behind success. Strive for excellence, Success would come running behind you”.


So in the last 1 month before prelims exam, I made sure that I studied as much as I possibly could.

  1. My main focus was on revising the most important standard books for main topics, such as :
  2. Laxmikanth – Polity
  3. Spectrum – History
  4. NCERTs – 11th, 12th – Geography and E&B
  5. CCRT – Art and Culture
  6. NCERTs – S&T
  7. 11th, 12th NCERT + Economic Survey – Economics
  8. You are already getting the Daily doses by IASbaba 🙂


These are the core topics of the Prelims from which a huge number of questions come in the exam. It is of utmost importance that these books are done with utmost care and precision without fail.

  • Revising Current Affairs from the months of January on wards. Doing this well could fetch very good marks in Preliminary Examination. Daily Tests is covering them all. You just need to learn the concepts from them. Don’t rush for magazines and compilations. Won’t help much other than killing your time and energy.
  • Giving as many mock tests as possible and learning from them- But not at the cost of revision and conceptual learning.
  • Dont worry about what the result would be : As the popular saying in Bhagwad Gita goes – “ Karma kar, fal ki chinta mat kar” – I did the best I can and did not worry about the result. As long as you are giving your best, it is pointless to worry about results as it does no good in any way. It would just waste our precious energy and reduce our efficiency in studying. Just keep studying smartly and stop letting emotions dominate your intellect.


To cut the matter short, just focus on studying and revise as much as possible. There is no time to think if you would do very well in exam or if you might do well in exam or if you won’t do good in exam. It is useless to think on these lines at least at this moment. 

On Difficult times like this one, Dr Kalam has rightly said ” Man needs Difficulties because they are necessary to enjoy Success”. 


Let us pay homage to our Great Leader and Human Being by pledging that, we all will strive towards excellence with a positive attitude since “Problems are common, but attitude makes the difference!!!” 

Share your thoughts and let us form a community of strong people with strong determination. 

Best Wishes

IASbaba and Pulkit Garg (AIR 490, CSE-2014)

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