Do you feel like the whole wide world around you is moving at a fast pace and yet you are stuck in your place? Do you envy the people who are living their dream at LBSNAA and yet all you do is just dream? Are you wondering if you could make more out of your life?
Many of us ponder over these questions and end up feeling more dejected in life. The IAS Principles can help you push through and start making real progress toward your dream in life.
The following timeless and universal principles can help you achieve unprecedented success.
Principle 1: Give NO excuse. You are where you want to be
The first rule is to give NO excuse. For procrastination. For failures. For incomplete tasks. Always remember that you are exactly where you decided to be. You can decide to be laid back and stay in the present or you can decide to be a visionary and start working towards your dream.
When we fail, we often look for an excuse, blaming the failure on things that happen to us. But how these events affect us in the long run depends on how we respond to them.
Imagine this circumstance – You have 2 hours left in the day. You can spend it by studying or you can spend it by watching a movie. If you opt for the former, you are taking baby steps towards your goal. If you opt for latter, you are taking baby steps away from your goal.
Remember, its always baby steps. It is true that drops of water make an ocean. So, if you want to start seeing improvements in your life, you need to change the direction of your baby steps towards your goal.
It’s far too easy to just complain about your circumstances. Everyone has temptations. But if you pay more attention to the choices you’re making, you’ll soon see yourself on the right path to success.
For instance, you either give it all in for your dream or you don’t. Ask yourself, what are you doing – or not doing – to achieve your dream?
No one says that success is easy. It requires discipline, persistence and some sacrifice. In the following principles, you’ll find out how to get a good start on changing your life.
Principle 2: When you visualize your dream, you should be able to see it, smell it and feel it, as if it was real.
How do you push beyond your comfort zone toward achieving your goal? Two practices – assertion and visualization – can help you.
Assertion starts when you state your dream as if it has already been realized. It is usually specific in definition.
For example, “I love being an IAS officer and serving the people of my country” is far more effective and precise than saying, “I want to crack the Civil Service Exam.” You should specify exactly what your goal will look like once you have reached it.
It is also important to add to your assertion, how you will feel when you have reached your goal. Researchers have found that ideas stick in our memory better when a thought is coupled with a strong emotion.
Thus, “I feel ecstatic when I am an IAS officer and serving the people of my country” is a great assertion!
Once you’ve crafted your assertion, connect each with a vivid image of your assertion, called a visualization.
To do this, close your eyes and imagine your assertion in as much detail as you can. If your assertion is, “I enjoy training at LBSNAA,” visualize the colors of the place, the people clad in suits, the horses waiting to be ridden and so on.
Add sounds, smells and tastes to your mental picture. What does it physically feel like to sit atop a horse and ride it? Can you hear the sounds of the busy classrooms, or feel the cold breeze of Mussoorie?
The more you fill your visualization with emotions and sensory details, the more intensely you’ll feel it, giving you more power and momentum to reach your goal.
Principle 3: To succeed, be persistent, and don’t forget to pursue, pursue, pursue.
Now that you’re well on your way to achieving ultimate success, you’ll need to prepare yourself for potential obstacles and possible rejections.
Rejection and failures are speedbumps on the road to success. If you don’t top in mock test 1, keep trying till you top one of the following mock tests, while keeping in mind your larger goal.
On your road toward your dream life, you need to excel at what you do. An important principle to focus on is to become an over-achiever. Don’t be afraid to keep trying and work your way toward your goal, one step at a time.
If your relatives and friends ask you to give up on your dream saying you can’t reach it and that it is unattainable, turn a deaf ear to them.
J.K. Rowling had just gotten a divorce and could barely afford to feed her baby in 1994, just three years before the first Harry Potter book was published. She was so poor she couldn’t afford a computer or even the cost of photocopying the 90,000-word novel, so she manually typed out each version to send to different publishers. It was rejected a dozen times until finally Bloomsbury, a small London publisher, gave it a second chance after the CEO’s eight-year-old daughter fell in love with it.
However difficult it may be, PURSUE. Do not give up as yet. Despite being tight on cash, never taking a vacation and losing a lot of sleep, pursue. In the end, it will be worth it.
Now that you know perseverance is the key to success, how do you allow success to happen?
Principle 4: Clear your slate of unfinished tasks or material: do it, delay it or dump it.
Now that we’ve seen some fundamentals of success, let’s focus on some work you need to finish before you can really achieve your dream.
First, you need to address unfinished business. Do you have any notes you’ve abandoned or left half-done? Do you need to clear out your table of clutter, or finish watching a video lecture? These small things can take valuable energy from achieving your larger goals. Oh, and on a side note, always clear out the clutter around you. A cluttered space leads to a cluttered mind.
View it this way: it’s better to have five completed tasks than 15 half-completed tasks.
One useful method is to schedule a day or two in week for completion, where you take time to clear your slate of all unfinished business. Be clear and decisive: either do it, delay it or dump it.
Remember, choosing to delay a task differs from procrastination. You are consciously deciding to assign an inferior rank to the task.
Decide to dump it if you think it is going to be a sordid waste of time.
Principle 5: Believe in yourself. Think positively!
Once you start taking care of unfinished business, you will be on track in achieving your dream. Lets also work on getting your thoughts in order now.
We can be our biggest enemy. We harbor a lot of negative thoughts which deflates our confidence and eventually our motivation. Most times, it is just mind over matter. We constrain ourselves to a limit. The rest categorized under “beyond reach”. Get over that thought! YOU CAN DO IT!
“What we face may look insurmountable, but what I learned is that we are always stronger than we know” — Arnold Schwarzenegger
When you desire something so much in life, you don’t care what other people are going to think and you’ll figure out a way to make it happen, even when all odds are against you.
To succeed, you need to stem out your negative thoughts. By transitioning from negative thoughts to admitting fear, you can start taking actions to overcome the fear, you’ll start changing your limiting beliefs into thoughts that are positive and beneficial.
So stop judging yourself and start talking to yourself like you know your real value!
Principle 6: Building a support team with like-minded people
Having personal resolve is important on your path to success, but you can’t walk that path alone. Highly successful people always have others to inspire or mentor them along the way.
One thing you can create is a support group. It can be a bunch of friends you want to study with or discuss question papers with, a supportive circle of people with whom you can share ideas and challenges.
Consider identifying six people with whom you are close, and schedule discussions and brain storming sessions. For you to get the most value from these sessions, each member should be equally or more determined than you to achieve the dream or must have achieved the dream you covet. Also choose members who are strong in different areas of the syllabus.
For example, if you’re discussing the previous years’ UPSC CSE Mains question paper, it might be advantageous to include one member strong in History. The other in Geography and so on.
Another powerful way you can find support is to identify a mentor. Even though it’s tempting to ask advice from friends or coworkers, it’s far more useful to ask people who’ve already achieved what you want to achieve. You needn’t be reluctant to approach successful people. Most of them will be eager to share their success recipe with you. Ask 15 minutes of their time per month to advise and mentor you. The worst they can say is “no,” and in the best case, you might find a person who will be an invaluable resource in helping you live the life you want and in inspiring you beyond imagination.
You can achieve your greatest ambitions, but it takes some know-how. Following and practicing the above principles will equip you to reach your goals and live your dream life. All the best!