Target UPSC Prelims: Be Your Own Motivation

“Never wish life were easier, wish that you were better”   –    Jim Rohn

The IAS Prelims is just a few months away and all those preparing to take it must be feeling the heat now. The UPSC civil service exam is one of the toughest exams in India (and some say the world), as it is a three-stage process, and the UPSC Syllabus is humongous and diverse. It is a long process and a complete preparation will take at least one year.

Every year lakhs of people apply for the IAS exam but only about 50% actually take the IAS prelims. Just look at the numbers listed in the table below and you will get the picture.




Total Number of Applicants



Number Appeared in IAS Prelims



Number Appeared in IAS Mains



What is it about this exam that is so unnerving that candidates chicken out even before taking the prelims? Do you want to be among the ones who back out before even giving a shot, or do you want to see your IAS dreams come to fruition?

Remember, it is in your hands to change your life, you can’t leave motivation to chance. You cannot wait for inspiration. If you don’t move, others will and before you know it, you will be stung by the prick of regret. You will live the rest of your life always boggled by the question, ‘what if?’

Successful people will tell you that you have to realize your own dreams by initiating. Make the first move and follow your outlined plan.

Don’t wait for external inspiration. Be your own motivation. It has to come from within. In the words of Larry Bird, former American basketball player and now President of the Indiana Pacers in the National Basketball Association,

Push yourself again and again. Don’t give an inch until the final buzzer sounds.”

Read on how to be your own motivator and get unbeatable motivation for UPSC success:


  • I am better than my conditions


Don’t let your current circumstances belittle you. If you feel you are not intelligent enough to crack the IAS exam, think again. Who is letting you down? It is you. There is nothing that hard work coupled with planned strategy cannot achieve. You don’t have to be academically brilliant to become an IAS officer. All you need is an unquenchable hunger for knowledge and the willingness to study. Take the case of former IAS K. J. Alphons Kannanthanam. Born in Manimala, Kerala in 1953, Kannanthanam was considered a poor student in his school days and his teacher had told his parents that he wouldn’t pass the tenth board exams. But he passed with 42% marks. That event changed his life and he decided to change his life for the better. Kannanthanam, who had done his schooling in a Malayalam medium school taught himself English and went on to become a top university student. He became one of the best debaters in India during his college days. He also became one of the toppers in the IAS exams of 1979. Kannanthanam went on to become an officer who was known for his bold stance against corrupt politicians.

Kannanthanam was able to achieve what was deemed impossible for him to achieve because he decided that he was intelligent. He took things into his own hands and motivated himself. You can do it too. You can read more about him on his official website.


  • I don’t know now but I’ll learn more


If you don’t know how to do anything, never give up saying, ‘I don’t know.’ Always have a positive attitude and say, ‘I’ll learn how’. If the IAS exam procedure seems daunting to you, and you haven’t a clue where to start, don’t fret over it. You have various resources to figure out how to go about it. BYJU’S offers free IAS prep – IAS exam pattern, UPSC Syllabus, tips on all the three stages, subject-wise strategies – you name it. Learn all about the UPSC civil services from this website and be prepared. Ignorance is never an excuse.

“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.


  • My dream is my power


Your biggest motivator should be your dream – in this case, the IAS post. Why do you want to become IAS/IPS officers? Obviously, you think you can do your part in changing this country for the better with all the power and authority you get after getting into the services.

Your dream or purpose in life should give you the kind of motivation that will make you jump out of bed every morning. You should get goosebumps just thinking about it. Only this kind of inspired thinking can get you the success you want. If your dream doesn’t motivate you into action, change your dream to something you truly desire. Remember the saying by American entrepreneur and motivational speaker, Jim Rohn:

“If you really want to do something, you will find a way. If you don’t you will find an excuse.”


Tune into for more such articles and tips to crack the IAS exam.

Also see: