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How to stay motivated to conquer Prelims?


“Do not delay. Get up, rise, run towards your goals!”- The voice boomed as the video came to a close. She was super motivated…but wait, not for long- just until the afternoon. Solace then came through her books of motivational sayings. In the evening, she needed to refuel her motivation again: so out came the phone with her friend, philosopher & guide- InsightsIAS & their posts. Like a car that needed periodic refueling – she too needed regular motivation from her mentor, YouTube, books, articles. But it was always back to square one the next day!


Can you relate? The quest for motivation which we constantly seek from external sources? Why is motivation important? And how do we manage to stay in a constant state of being motivated to seize the day? Let’s talk about it & share our views. Please do leave a comment & tell us how you do it- we’d love to learn!


The Cambridge dictionary defines motivation as “the enthusiasm for doing something” or “the need or reason for doing something”. Remember the first inkling you had of this dream? The rush of excitement, the fear of the unknown, you may not have known what you’re getting into completely then. When you decided to take the civil services exams – you had a solid reason: to serve the people, to bring about a positive change in the society. You had internal motivation to make this choice.


But has that strong motivation slowly made way for fear of failure, stress & under-confidence? We’d like to assure you that it is absolutely normal- you’re not alone. But it is important for you to learn to stop being completely dependent on external sources for motivation. While they can help, they shouldn’t be the main fountain of motivation. They should supplement your strong internal motivation to accomplish any task in life.


Always remember that you are your own biggest cheerleader. You embarked on this uncertain path due to a strong & noble reason. Motivation sustains & grows when we see progress. Let’s say you decided to solve our Prelims 75 day plan today & you scored a little less. But you decided to persevere & learn from your mistakes. A week later, you’d see an incremental improvement in your score. This would “motivate” you to continue putting in the work because you know that you will see progress eventually.


The oft-repeated quote by Zig Ziglar states that “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing -that’s why we recommend it daily.”  Thus, make staying motivated a subconscious habit, your default attitude. Everyday acquire & retain that enthusiasm to accomplish your goals as a matter of duty (to yourself, your family, your society).


Write down your goal now and stick it on your table/wall/board: let it fuel you every single day. You want an AIR 1? Write it in capital letters. See it every day whenever you feel like giving up. Tell yourself that you will accomplish it with your dedication & efforts. Note down your progress, however small, every single day.   You got a 90 today & a 90.25 tomorrow? That is progress (seriously, so many have lost out on their dream by 0.1 marks too).


As Swami Vivekananda had said: “Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life; dream of it; think of it; live on that idea. Let the brain, the body, muscles, nerves, every part of your body be full of that idea and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success, and this is the way great spiritual giants are produced.”


So find that fire within yourself- to stay consistent & achieve your goals. Tell us in the comments, are you going to make staying motivated an inbuilt attitude henceforth?  Every time you feel like turning your back on your targets for the day, close your eyes, take a deep breath & remember why you started. 


Until next time!