Role of mindset in qualifying Civil Services Examination.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.
-Albert Einstein

The various ingredients that are required for success in civil services examination are hard work, a good knowledge on general awareness, proper selection of optional subjects, proper guidance, interview skills, belief on self and a positive mindset.  Of all the above the mindset plays a major role in achieving success in the examination, because it is latent, hidden and deceptively harmful.

Thoughts are the starting point to all that we do, both good and bad, either success or failure. People underestimate the power of thought. Thoughts are things. They are energy. Every thought leaves its trace upon our minds.

What we let into our minds and hold onto governs what our circumstances and our actions are.

Each individual has the seeds of success within him. The seeds of success are the thoughts that they carry around with them. We are all the product of our own thinking and beliefs.

The students preparing for the civil services may come from similar educational and social background, have the same amount of time for preparing and undergo coaching but their performance shows lot of anomalies imbalances and differences. The wide differences in the performing abilities is ascribed to their differing mindsets and attitudes.

  • Some feel that they can never get through the examination but they prepare for the sake of satisfying their ego or parents expectation.
  • Some put all their responsibility on the coaching Institutes for their success or failure.
  • They pick up the compulsory or optional paper without doing their swot analysis. Rather it is based on the rumors in the market or guidance of their senior friends, who do not customize the suggestions.
  • Some think that students from background in English medium have better chances to succeed.
  • Some develop a fear of failure.
  • Some  feel  they need to study 17hrs a day to be successful.
  • Some think that memorising the answers will fetch them more marks, consequently develop a mental block.
  • Some study from too many books and are not able to focus on specific books.
  • Instead of developing learning attitude they develop a habit of criticizing and blaming their teachers, parents or friends.
  • Some overestimate the level of examination while some underestimate it.
  • Some are too busy concentrating on the subject which is of his interest as a result the optional preparation suffers.
  • Some neglect in the name of hard work and looses upon the perspective of balance.
  • Some want to prepare for his exams along with his job, while some quit jobs for the preparation.

Most of them have consumerist mindset, and think teachers as commodities, therefore develop a ‘give and take’ relationship.

Some want only the topics to be taught, chapters to be dictated, instead of surrendering themselves to their mentors who can correct them in whatever way is desired, wherever is desired, and improving the balance of perception.

Some are arrogant enough not to admit their mistakes, and developed a stunted perspective.

Now the question is what a student should do, since one can give supportive evidence for many of these approaches as a tool of success. The answer is that there are a number of factors that determine the success in the examination and each individual’s situation, circumstances, interest, potential, attitude, strategy etc needs be analysed before providing a proper guidance for the examination. Now each mentor or a coach has a specific strategy for the success. For example a doctor may approach a treatment under allopathy, or homoeopathy or ayurvedic or unani system. A student should try to take guidance from his mentor and follow the strategy. Well, one must select a mentor judiciously, and although there can be many teachers who can teach them, there has to be one mentor.

Once one has made the choice of subject, mentor he should strives to keep his  mind on the positive and the constructive. We gradually grow into what we are holding in our minds.”We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. And with our thoughts, we make our world.If you want to make positive changes in your life, you need to begin with what is in your mind. Our thoughts are the tools with which we build our lives. The key is to keep your mind on the big picture and the goals leading to it. Think only of what you want, not on what you don’t want. Replace negative thinking, unproductive worrying, and thoughts of fear with positive, imaginative, and constructive thinking. Keeping your mind busy with productive matters will prevent negative thoughts from creeping in.

If we  fail to control our own mind, we may be sure we  will control nothing else. A controlled, focused mind pays attention to thoughts, words, actions, and plans. A person who lets their mind wander aimlessly around will never achieve lasting success. Slowly but surely, sustained positive thinking creates an irresistible momentum. People begin to notice a change in you. More opportunities come your way. You feel more confident. Gradually your outer environment begins to grow in the likeness of your inner environment.

A person with a fixed mindset believes that their basic qualities are already carved out for them. They believe that they have to be flawless in order to succeed. They always have to prove themselves to be better than anyone else and avoid failure and mistakes at all costs. As a result they tend to fail in life as the thought of failing at something new often deters them from trying new opportunities. These individuals tend to judge and label people by how intelligent and talented they are. They also constantly need praise and often only continue doing what they know well and don’t take any chances in life.

Role of teachers and guide in developing positive mindset

An important part of jobs as teachers is to empower students to manage themselves from the inside out, and to assist them in building personal strength and resilience, foster a belief in their potential, and develop the mindset for success. Teachers, more in the form of mentors help them in many ways. They help to

  • Gain new insights leading to greater self-awareness and self-regulation
  • Connect to a compelling positive vision of their futures
  • Take responsibility for their learning and their lives
  • Build resiliency by focusing on and developing their strengths
  • Learn ways to combat negative habits
  • Identify and eliminate barriers to their success
  • Discover new strategies for minimizing disempowering beliefs
  • Be motivated to set and achieve SMART goals
  • Build acceptance of self and others, leading to a decrease in bullying
  • Improve upon their social emotional learning leading to higher student achievement

The Values That Bring Success!

How Praise Can Harm, and How To Use it Well. When, What, and How to Criticize. Why Bright students Stop  studying and What To Do About It. How To Communicate

The teachers and guide are required to develop growth mindset  in students.A person with a growth mindset however believes that they can continually enhance and develop their skills with effort and practice. Their mindset urges them to get a deeper understanding of a subject rather than be content with basic knowledge to look good or merely to just pass a course. They have a more flexible approach to life and will compile a list of reasons why they can succeed with a new business venture. If they experience a problem along the way they will work hard to find a resolution to the problem and will invariably go on to succeed. A person with this mindset will be more likely to succeed both in business and in their personal lives and will go on to prosper. People with these mindsets adopt a positive attitude to everything in life.

It is possible to change your mindset from one to another. If your fixed mindset creates doubts in your mind as to whether you can succeed you need to adopt a growth mindset to offer a solution to the problem.  For example if your fixed mindset makes you feel that you will not be able to qualify your mains examination this year since you failed last year then allow your growth mindset to reassure yourself that you have only failed on this occasion and by investing more time, effort and gaining more knowledge on the subject you will learn from your mistakes and will go on to achieve success next time.

It is always important to remember that mindset is something that you choose. You are yourself responsible for the attitude that you wear. Choosing which mindset you adopt will determine whether you succeed or fail. Having a positive growth mindset will enable you to prosper. Developing a positive mindset is crucial to success in civil services examination especially if no one from your family or your relative has ever qualified in civil services examination. Having a positive mindset is a very powerful tool that will lead to success.

A successful student has no special advantages over an unsuccessful student. The thing that sets them apart is their mindset. Positive minded people succeed because they recognize opportunities and they don’t stop until they achieve their goals.

Acquiring a positive mindset requires focusing on all positive aspects of your goals. The Law of Attraction states that if you have a positive mind set then you will attract positive results into your life. Developing a positive mindset is one of the most powerful and rewarding things that there are. There are numerous ways that you can apply the principles of the Law of Attraction into your life:

Think and visualise about what you want and NOT about what you don’t want. Remember to always give as well as to want. By doing so you will achieve your goals whether it be to succeed in business or in your personal life. Try to document your goals on a daily basis either by writing down a list or by merely visualising how good it will feel when you achieve your goals. By thinking positive you will attract positive results. If you want money then give money to help others too. If you want love then give love in order to get it back. Believe that you can get what you want so that your subconscious mind knows it as well as your conscious mind.

Create a mastermind by talking and hanging out with winners and leaders in order to create the right mastermind. Interact with your mentor , or your  teacher/ guide/coach. A mastermind is when two or more people working together can create something neither one can do by himself. It is important not to surround yourself with people with a negative mindset as they will lead you to have self doubts whereas being around people with a positive mindset will inspire you to succeed.

A successful student will always persevere and accelerate his success at all the stages of the examination, from prelims to interview and he will develop a strategy to make it work and will not give up until he succeeds. Our mindset is important as it helps us to shape our goals and our attitude towards work and relationships. It ultimately determines whether we remain optimistic or pessimistic in achieving our goals. If we have a million dollar mindset we can achieve a million dollar success.

Mindsets have origins, and parents, teachers and coaches happen to be key in their development. There are a number of coaches in the field of civil services but they are not able to change the mindset of students as per the requirement of the examination. It is the parents, friends and these quack coaches who are the major hindrance in the success of a student either for civil services examination or  any other challenging field.  It is true that no parents would like to be an impediment on the success path of a child but their attitude and mindset affects the child. Every word or action they send is a message that can be either judgmental or developmental. The problem here is that the majority of the time parents, teachers and coaches do what they think is best for the student/children, without realizing that they are doing exactly the opposite.   The best thing to do is to teach children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning. Lastly I would like to say that as it is required to have the constant body temperature of 98.423 F to remain healthy similarly we need to keep our mind at a balance to remain healthy which will foster positive mindset and further lead to success.

Always remember, Civil Services is not qualified by talent………. It is won by attitude.


Vivekanand Vivek

(He is a motivational Guru, trainer and a Psychologist. He is an Honorary member of ENSEMBLE Interview Panel.)

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