February 13th, 2019       Civil Services Preparation, UPSC

“I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way…But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.
I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have
come……
….But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.”

These lines of the great NELSON MANDELA very beautifully reflect upon the CSE journey.

UPSC civil services examination is not just an exam but it is an eye opening as well as life changing process. It teaches you many life lessons which shape the future of you and your life….This article tends to explore how the arduous CSE journey impacts your life, transforms you and gives you an opportunity to grow i.e. what more an aspirant can expect from the exam process other than just being a step towards realization of their dream…

Just everything changes drastically in a very positive manner. Your mindset/outlook/vision/thinking, knowledge level, communication and language skills, personality, social values, ethics etc….and so on. It is not the success but the process of the examination that makes you a better person.

LESSONS LEARNED…..

# Life is uncertain

Just like UPSC question papers, which are totally unpredictable, Life gives many surprises as well as some shocks. UPSC preparation teaches not to get high during happy times and low during the sad ones. They are all a part and parcel of life.

LIFE NEEDS TO BE LIVED, AS IT SHOULD BE-ON THE BRINK, TAKEN TO ITS VERY EDGE…..

# Makes you more sensible

It makes you capable enough to read between the lines and widens your horizon of understanding. It inculcates rational/ scientific/ critical thinking in you.

# Failure is not the end

CSE preparation teaches you to fight inner demons and never give up. Even if you fail, you will at least be a more learned person. Failure is the stepping stone of success. It must be analysed so that the mistakes are not repeated again. It teaches a person to carve a path in all odds.

# Hard work is not enough

Hard work is not sufficient to be successful. You have to be a smart worker. CONSISTENCY and PERSEVERANCE is the key to success. To get something which you have never achieved before you will have to do things which you have never done before. Success is a very demanding mistress. The harder and smarter you work, the luckier you get!!! There was, is and will never be any shortcut to success. One must be disciplined, dedicated, patient and hard working. This rule is not restricted to UPSC preparation but is applicable in all walks of life.

# Less is more

It is foolish to go for 100s of books. It is important to go for the selective important ones and then revise and re-revise them again and again. The same lesson goes true for life.

# Life virtues

No matter whether it is any exam or life, being responsible, moral, ethical and disciplined has to be the foundational virtues.

Lessons from UPSC Preparation

# learning the fact that there are a lot of things in our life which matters much more than money, some of which are: Service of my nation, of the unprivileged, of the unattended, of the unreachable and of those who can give you nothing in return except their blessings. IT TEACHES YOU TO LIVE IN HARMONY, RESPECT THE OPINIONS OF OTHERS, TRY TO INCULCATE THE LEARNINGS IN YOUR LIFE AND CONTRIBUTE TOWARDS TRANSFORMING THE LIVES OF OTHERS…

# Patience, composure and calmness

The Civil Services exam requires almost one year of preparation and then with the process itself consuming one year, being patient/calm/composed can serve as a great asset. Life also has its own way of answering questions and we don’t receive everything as soon we ask them.

# Enjoy life to the fullest

Rather than being pessimistic and living in despair. Be optimistic and confident. Enjoy every moment of the process and savour all those little moments that come in your way however hard you may be working for the exam…The same goes for life. It keeps the system running at an optimum battery level!!!!

# Self awareness and realisation

You would realise that you can do anything starting from zero without blaming your background and abilities. You don’t look up for anybody and don’t look down on anybody. You will learn never ever lean to other’s opinion or belief of you and your abilities. If you have a strong and firm faith in yourself, then you can turn the sails towards your side at any moment of life.

# Value of time

This is the only thing once spent can’t be recovered.

# A better and well informed citizen

You get to learn about so many things about your country which make you appreciate the magnificence of it. Polity, Culture, Geography, Social Issues, Ecological issues, International issues, Ethics, Science and Technology…and the list goes on. IT ENSURES THAT YOU LEAD A LIFE WHOSE FOUNDATION IS BASED ON CONSTITUTIONAL AND ETHICAL VALUES LIKE equality, fraternity, liberty, justice, compassion, empathy etc….It thus helps to realize your individual identity as a citizen of India. Preparation helps one to evolve into better version of self who is ready to serve the society with efficient utilisation of one’s skills. Also, studying the harsh realities of the nation like inequalities between the haves and the have not, poverty, illiteracy, social issues like gender inequality, hunger and malnutrition makes you realize that you will have to work not only for self but for the society as a whole.

# A better human being

UPSC Preparation makes you a better individual by filtering out your impurities and ills. Your preparation isn’t enough, if you fail to achieve empathy and compassion.

# A new orientation to world

This preparation helps you to respect the “grey color” and prevents you from taking extreme positions. It ensures that you understand- “when it comes to choosing between good or bad, it depends upon which end of the river you are standing on.” You would realize and can analyze better what is wrong and right in the world, why things are happening in a certain manner and what all you can do about it.

# Others

Happiness is only remotely related to your achievements, what really matters is the acknowledgement of your achievements. There is no end to the knowledge, so if you think you know enough, then simply you do not know enough. You learn to observe all things in a different perspective. When you learn from your mistakes it makes you an INTELLIGENT person. When you learn from others mistakes it makes you the SMART person.

Khoobsurat Safar

In a nutshell, UPSC CSE preparation ensures that you emerge as a confident, strong, humble and more compassionate person and face the life challenges that lie ahead. It will ensure that you become capable enough of bringing a positive change. It will make you a more aware and wise individual. It makes you interact with your inner self and also makes you understand about the society and your country better. UPSC CSE preparation lays a solid foundation of the belief that, “What does not kill you makes you stronger.

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