A No-Nonsense Motivation Blog for IAS Aspirants

This looong post is for everyone who could not make it to the list. Most importantly for those among you who really, really, really believed that they had a rock solid chance this year but UPSC still treated them like a spurned lover.

This was originally intended to be a major motivational blockbuster blog. Trust us, we had even googled some of the oft quoted-recycled gyaan to get your attention and prep you up on a steroid enriched diet for the next year but, but, but… when has artificial motivation ever sustained? Never.

The aim of this write up is to help you take a step back from all this commotion of success and failure and create a room to think. Let go of all the overwhelming niceties & consolations which your friends and families may shower at you (because they care and fear for your sanity). Although, we would advise you try and be nice to them and not air any of the “quotes written in blue” as a retort but let it pass over. This is not the time to resign to fate. Not just yet.

The way of the samurai


In his classic treatise on the philosophy behind the Samurai code of “Bushido,” entitled Hagakure, and often billed as “The Book of the Samurai,” retired Samurai-turned-monk Yamamoto Tsunetomo wrote that “the way of the samurai is found in death.”

He admonished young warriors to calmly accept that death would occur on the battlefield, regardless of the efforts of the individual. Despite this, the samurai trained in earnest for battlefield effectiveness from youth onward. It didn’t matter that you calmly accepted that you were going to die, you still trained hard to be as lethal as humanly possible.


If you have been sincere with your mains’ attempt, chances are that you would have directly or indirectly been a part of one such group.


If you happen to identify with the guy on the middle or the left, there are high chances that you already know that you were not playing your “A game” at the mains this year. Your setback is understandable but you will soon be able to analyse your attempts and improve on your scores next year. Unless…. unless of course the scenario is this – 

You are the guy on the right, who had done most of the things under his/ her control to optimise for high scores – demolished the GS papers comprehensively, quoted philosophers par excellence in the ethics paper and made sure that the optional papers rival the doctoral thesis of the examiner BUT STILL GOT DITCHED BY UPSC.

And if this were not enough, your two buddies who up until now were not even sure of a respectable exit, qualify for the interview! That’s a classic case of what a famous american slang refers to as –

SNAFU = Situation normal all fucked up


If you are at this stage (or have been at it at some point or the other in life), you would agree that no amount of palliatives, niceties, wishes can really help you come out of the zone. You feel betrayed by some weird version of justice which you do not understand.

You probably would have left a decent job and decided to pursue UPSC (among other choices of MBA, startups) OR made a promise to your parents and those around that you will sit out sincerely for an year for this prestigious exam OR other more equally compelling sacrifices and it’s understandable that you might feel angry for you did not sign up for this.

Let yourself be. Release your emotions. Don’t put on an artificial smile (but be aware that it is a slippery slope and you need to pull yourself right back up).

Try and be with people who can empathise with you and not sympathise.

Preparing for UPSC is like running a marathon. And as with all good runners, with time and patience, you tend to understand yourself better. No other exam in the world expects you to open up your faculties to such gigantic amount of information and force you to process them at a speed which can put a reasonably outdated Intel processor to shame (that is still a lot to compare with you know!)

By now, you would have developed a fair bit of liking to some subjects, appreciation for some finer aspects of life, possibly a bent of mind for public policy making, well nurtured interest in social sector landscape or a penchant for long distance hiking (or something equally exciting).

Go to that island in your thoughts now. Remove yourself from the commotion. The shit has hit the fan here and you need to change a room till someone cleans it up!


You are not alone in this dilemma


This is the time that you need to be a master of your senses rather than a slave of emotional waves. Answer the big question for yourself. Keep mum but think hard.


Civilsdaily is not an online coaching portal. We are sure that you are aware of that fact. We are dedicated to the cause of providing news with context and making content approachable to everyone BUT we do believe that many among you have the potential to dent the social fabric of our country in your own unique ways. Go ahead, identify the your angst and your driver and take the plunge.

If you feel like talking to us, drop a mail at hello@civilsdaily.com

If you think this long post was worth your time, do share it with your friends who may benefit reading from it.


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By Root

Caretaker @civilsdaily

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3 years ago

Hi, thanks for the blog.

I have already joined the Crackias institute and I got many free resources there to start my preparation.


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