If you are an aspirant civil servant preparing to take the June 2019 UPSC civil services exam, chances are quite high that your UPSC preparation would be in full swing by now. You must be feeling enthused about following your dreams and would be leaving no stone unturned in your efforts to make it till the UPSC board interview. Your motivation level must indeed be high for you have a lofty target to achieve. But are you sure that your energy and motivation will not drain somewhere along the way? Would the weight of all those books and expectations come crushing down on you before you even take the prelims? The IAS exam is one of the most challenging exams in the country. Roughly 50% of those applying to write the prelims do not appear for it. And an even lesser percentage of people make it as civil servants of our country.
Preparing for the civil services seems like a colossal task. The syllabus to be covered is vast and diverse. A successful candidate is not just the one who is better prepared but also the one who is able to sustain his/her motivation levels throughout the process. Read on to get a few tips to be and remain motivated until you reach your ultimate goal.
Why do you want to take the UPSC civil services?
Ask yourself, “Why do you want to be a civil servant?” The answer to this question should be motivation in itself. If you want to change the system; if you want to serve your country and people; if you really feel you can use your talents and help steer your country towards development, just think that by clearing the civil services you get the opportunity to do just that. Having your goal firmly in place will motivate you to propel further. Think about the benefits to yourself and to society.
Be your own motivator
An unknown quote says, “Push yourself because, no one else is going to do it for you.” This quote is right on the money. The goal is yours, so must be the efforts. Tell yourself, no one is going to study for you. To attain your goal you must buck up and back yourselves. Don’t wait for external stimuli. Stop procrastinating.
Break it down
If expectations wear you down, the best way to deal with it is to break it down. Have mini-targets and strive to achieve them. Not only does it make your work less scary, it also makes it look more achievable.
Do what you enjoy
Why do most of us love watching movies? It is because we enjoy them. Remember, it can even be a torturous process to endure a bad movie. The same thing goes with studying. If we enjoy studying, it becomes less work and more something to be enjoyed. Choose subjects that you are genuinely interested in. Generate interest about topics that you know nothing about. Be curious to learn. Treat studies as an opportunity to learn and not as a chore. Curiosity can be a great motivator to keep you going.
Boredom kills your motivation
Understand what topics bore you and try learning those parts by a different method. Be creative while dealing with these topics. Instead of books, try watching videos. Try teaching these subjects to an audience. Remember you will encounter topics that bore you as the UPSC syllabus is vast. But you can get through them by these innovative methods. Don’t let uninteresting topics lower your motivation for the IAS exams. Watch video lectures here. https://byjus.com/free-ias-prep/video-lectures
Tell yourself your strengths
Many times during the course of your civil services preparation, you will feel that you are not up to it. The UPSC exam study can take a year, and it is natural to feel a little low at times. At these times, remind yourself of your strengths. If you are good in mathematics but week in English, tell yourself – ‘I am a good mathematician. I can deal with English too.’
Record your progress
Regularly record your progress. If you are feeling down and out, go through this chart. You will feel good about what you have achieved and get that boost required to move on.
Have a break!
It is not human to go on without breaks. A good break can refresh your body and mind. A change of scene can also give you a fresh perspective, thus giving you better ideas and pointers for your answers.
Do not get demotivated when you see a hurdle. There is no race without hurdles. The successful person is not someone who didn’t face any obstacles but the one who faced obstacles and overcame them.
The right environment
Preparing for the IAS exams would mean sitting for long hours in your study room. Ensure that your room is peppy and clean. Having the right ‘mood’ to study goes a long way in maintaining motivation. Have proper lighting and comfortable seating. Have a picture of your icon or an inspirational saying on the wall or study table. Also read |UPSC Civil Services Exam Preparation: How to enhance your study for long hours?
You can’t be motivated unless you are healthy. Have a healthy diet and regular exercise to be fit and fine.
Imagining yourself as a top civil servant can work wonders if you are not feeling motivated. But avoid daydreaming.
Avoid any negative people – people who constantly put you down or those who doubt you. Just don’t be around them. Their negativity can rub off on you.
Gratitude gives happiness which in turn is a motivator. Be grateful for your blessings and express gratitude to those who support you.
Get inspired from other greats
If nothing works, take a cue from greats – your favourite entrepreneur or sports icon or even past civil service toppers. Read what they did or said. Watch a motivational video even if only for ten minutes. This can vitalise you to start again.
Hoping this saying from tennis great Venus Williams motivates you to shed off all doubts and go achieve that civil services dream of yours.
“Just believe in yourself. Even if you don’t, pretend that you do and, at some point, you will.”