A lot of people say that you don’t have to be super-intelligent to crack the civil services exam. This is true. All it takes is well, some amount of intelligence of course, and a whole lot of strategic preparation. In fact, studies reveal that intelligence accounts for just 30% of your achievements. Now, what is the rest? Mental toughness. In common words, the thing called GRIT! There is a lot of new research pointing out to the importance of mental toughness on people’s performance. Intelligence and talent are just a tiny part of the story. This is, in fact, good news because you can always work on your mental toughness and up your performance. The rather tough IAS exam too requires a candidate to be resilient and persistent. Even students with brilliant academic track records have failed to clear the UPSC exam. And, there have been many instances of students with poor academic backgrounds scoring top ranks in this exam. What is the one quality that separates winners from failures in this exam? The ability to go on forward in the face of extreme conditions and adversities. In other words, mental toughness. Read on to find out how to be mentally tough to clear the USPC Exam.
Keep your emotions in check
A mentally strong person doesn’t have outbursts of emotions. If you want to be mentally strong, you must keep your emotions under control. Emotions cloud your mind and you will not be able to think rationally.
No wasteful spending of mental energy
You must be able to use your mental and physical power for the most beneficial purposes. To cultivate a strong mind, you must not waste your mental faculties thinking about unproductive and unnecessary trivial issues.
“The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.” – Winston Churchill
A sure-shot formula to gain in mental strength is to remain positive throughout. Don’t allow even a sliver of negativity to seep into your mind and life.
“Get comfortable being uncomfortable”
The above words are used by the United States armed forces to motivate its soldiers. In order to succeed in the daunting IAS exam, you must get out of your comfort zone. You must be able to adapt to change and face an unfamiliar situation with relative ease. The IAS exam requires long hours of intense preparation. You will be required to exercise great mental strain during this time. Being mentally strong helps you pull through this period.
Handle victory and loss with equanimity
There will be many ups and downs in the course of your IAS exam preparation. This is natural since it is a long process spread over at least one year. Try to view small victories and losses with an equal eye. Instead of harping too much on, say a mock test that you did exceptionally well or really bad, focus on what you can take away from the test in terms of knowledge and exam experience.
Never say die attitude
“Patience and tenacity are worth more than twice their weight of cleverness.” – Thomas Huxley
A great quality to develop to be mentally strong is tenacity or ‘never say die’ attitude. Never give up on your dreams till you give it your all. Concentrate all your efforts and talents onto our goal and don’t rest till you’ve achieved it.
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