“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney
We all have highs and lows in our life but our ability to get going when we are on our lows is what defines us. There is a famous saying by Martin Luther King Jr which goes like “If you can't fly then run if you can't run then walk if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” UPSC is a long journey which checks you on your patience, your attitude of not giving up, and your ability to sacrifice short-term pleasure for long-term goals. Whatever obstacles and challenges you face in your preparation you have to keep moving forward. A little progress every day adds up to big results.
It is normal for any aspirant to feel demotivated many times in the journey to feel like giving up, to settle for some ordinary goal because UPSC seems an impossible task, you might feel it's not worth it but when you feel all of this just think why you started in the first place?. Was it because of money? power? authority? social status? or was it because you wanted to impact the lives, create a revolution, leave your own legacy in this world. Whatever it is, think about that whenever you feel like quitting.
There are tons of examples where IAS officers have gone a step ahead to define what public service actually is. I will share with you a recent example that inspired me a lot.
The story is of Divya Devarajan, a 2010-batch IAS officer who was posted in Adilabad, Telangana amidst the tribal conflict of 2017. She recalls " The mistrust was at an all-time high when I took charge. The issue at hand was sensitive and needed subtlety and mature handling".
With a firm belief in the power of dialogue and discourse, she knew that she had to find a way to get through the community for arbitration to work. Within three months, she became proficient in the language of the Gonds (Gondi), enough to have a conversation with the people. And her efforts paid off.
From appointing special tribal coordinators, language translators in government hospitals, making the administrative office more accessible, to learning the language herself, Divya went from being just an “Officer Madam” to a member of their families.
Recently, the denizens of Adilabad named a village “Divyaguda” in Divya’s honor. This gesture shows the kind of impact she has left on the people and their gratitude towards her for bringing a change in their lives.
This is what you can do when you become an IAS. Imagine the impact you can create on people's lives. Whenever you feel like giving up on your preparations just think about the great impact you can create.
Let the FIRE inside you motivate you to beat all because your zeal to do good work is more than anyone out there. People might have Money, Social status, etc. as their motivators but all of these are short-term motivators, for you to succeed, you need long-term motivation which is doing good, power to change, and impacting thousands of lives out there.
You have the power to make India a better place to live. There are many inspiring stories of IAS officers who have done this. Let me share with you the story of one of my seniors and my college alumni Athar Amir khan who took charge as SDM of the Badnore sub-division of Bhilwara district, he realized that the high prevalence of child marriage and lack of infrastructure in government schools required immediate intervention.
His massive campaign on awareness about child marriage has trained local Anganwadi staff, Self-Help Groups, and Gram Vikas committees. This staff now holds regular meetings across 20-odd Gram Panchayats.
Result: Not a single case of child marriage has been reported over several months. Additionally, more than 70 government schools that lacked basic infrastructure like benches, desks, study material have been transformed with financial help from villagers and good samaritans. The benefits of both initiatives are now reaching 6,000 children.
I would like to share his words "In any profession that you aim to pursue if you have scope to undertake work that can impact lives, do it" and clearing UPSC is one of those professions which helps you achieve it.
Just believe in yourself and the bigger purpose you are working for. Everyone has a purpose, a dream & a vision. The question is are you ready to give it all ? are you willing to sacrifice everything for your dreams? The answer lies within you.
Make every day count. Study as if there is no tomorrow. I know you can and will do it. I believe in you and I want you to believe in yourself.
As usual, I will see you in the next blog until then I would remind you to dream big, take action, and don't stop until you make it happen.
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