When it comes to the civil services exam, a below average aspirant with not so great academic track record will hands down clear this exam provided she consistently works towards improving her knowledge and skills. On the other hand brilliant aspirants with extremely good memory and academic track record will fail in this exam when they practice inconsistency consistently despite all god given gifts they possess. We have witnessed this not so strange phenomenon many times in front of our eyes here at Insights.
And when it comes to life, let inconsistency be the virtue you practice. No human can ever be consistent with anything he or she does. One can not be creative all the time to create masterpieces. One can not be a fastest runner forever. One can never be a good leader all the time. You know very well that you can not hit the gym every day(even when your BMI has crossed 30). We can’t stop the urge to go out and socialise even when we know that Corona is silently lurking around in a corner. This is the truth. There can not be perfection.
In fact little inconsistency is needed to understand and enjoy life better. This is when things around us are normal.
However, when it comes to the UPSC civil services exam (which is not normal), or for that matter any competitive exam – there should be consistency in how, what, where and from whom you prepare for these exams. This is a competition where individuals should work on maximising their chances of scoring highest marks in all the stages of this civil services exam – be it in prelims, mains or personality test – to finally get selected for the civil services. To maximise their chances, one must improve their knowledge and skills to meet the demand of the exam and to beat the level of competition that they are facing. Improvement will happen only if you make mistakes, understand them and not repeat them.
The one who makes maximum mistakes early in the preparation and makes most improvements by the time the exam appears, will have the maximum chance of clearing this exam. One can improve only if one is consistent most of the time. The more you are consistent in following a plan and executing it (perfectly or imperfectly), the better are your chances of making more mistakes and learning from them.
Problem is that many aspirants are scared to commit mistakes. They want to write perfect answers on day one. They want to write the best essay on day one. They want to score highest in prelims mocks in test one. They want to score perfect 30 out of 30 in Instatests. Any score that is very low (compared to others) stops them in their tracks. This mentality is one of the main reasons why people fail often and never see improvement.
To reach a level of competency you must work hard consistently.
Now coming to the question of how to stay consistent, it’s easy provided you have clarity about why you want to be in this competition. To stay consistent you should stop worrying about the future, and focus more on what you can do best today. One hour at a time. One day at a time must be the strategy. Never think of the outcome without putting sincere efforts today. Most of you have the tendency of getting scared about Prelims papers, interview boards and the final result. Self-doubt will kill consistency. Fear of failure will kill both consistency and your chances of success.
To not to procrastinate or to quit (as most people usually do for the fear of not performing well – in test series, in daily quizzes, in InstaTests etc) – you must prepare your mind to face uncertainties on a daily basis and be prepared to face the worst. Every day can not be smooth. Sometimes you study very well and sometimes you waste the whole day. It’s fine. But no matter what happened in the past, never quit. And never ever try to make your own plan. For example, our Insta 75 Days plan is intended to improve your skills and knowledge by helping you stay consistent. This revision plan is your best option to stay consistent. If you are not following this plan and not giving tests daily, you are missing out many things. Forgive yourself when you miss one or two tests. Forgive yourself if you have wasted a few days in the past. But never regret. Start focusing on today’s or tomorrow’s targets.
Sometimes you should push the limits to achieve impossible things. Every human has innate potential to achieve the greatest things. But very few have the will to realise their potential. Having chosen this path you should not think small and act small. Be very ambitious. Despite facing failures and daily little hurdles, still be ambitious. Have the grit to face anything with utmost determination. If you think you lack abilities, focus on cultivating those abilities. Nothing is impossible as long as you keep putting sincere efforts.
Even when things are boring and uninspiring to do, do them anyway. Don’t wait for someone to come and inspire you to do things (like we are doing right now through this article). Have strong internal motivation to keep yourself up and awake all the time chasing your goal. If you are able to do things even when you lack mood or inspiration, you will be able to achieve success sooner than all your competitors.