Had limited success in UPSC Mains? This is for you…

Your heart was thudding against your rib cage as you were typing your roll number in THE PDF. And then…

Everything was blank for a while. As if the world has come crashing down on you… As if your heart is trying to force its way out of your body…As if… What not! All this because you searched for a natural number (your roll number), and got this message-

upsc roll number | upsc mains result | upsc prelims result| upsc result

Believe me without a second thought – All this will go! If you are faced with a difficult situation few years down the line, you will tell yourself, “I have sailed through more troubled times in the past. Yeh toh kuchh bhi nhi hai”. And, what you are going through now will be source of the above confidence tomorrow. Yes, you are burning today so that you shine tomorrow! May sound fancy!

If you ask me, it is not a failure, it is ‘limited success’ as the title says. In a highly subjective exam like UPSC Mains, with diverse subjects, diverse optionals, diverse evaluators, how can we objectively dub our performance as- success or failure? It is not UPSC Prelims wherein the answer you mark is either correct or incorrect, and in which the paper is evaluated by a machine. So, Please do yourself a favour – do not blame yourself! Snap yourself away from academic stuffs for a week. Engage in activities that interest you. Talk to friends you trust. Write out your feelings as much as you can. Avoid listening to sentimental songs – they may exacerbate your pain. Do not make promises, do not take vows at least for a week.

Give time some time. And it will settle things down for you to a great extent. After the emotional outburst settles down, make a rational analysis of your strengths and weaknesses. Accept with humility that others have performed better than you did, and you need to catch up. According to Karma theory, fruits of our action depends on the action of ‘others’ as well. And, action of others is not in our control. Hence, fruits of our action is not in our control. So, embrace the reality with humility, without being scornful of any person or institution.

Some people may start distancing themselves from you – do not panic. They came close to a future ‘IAS’, not to you as a person. Some relatives may laugh at your back, may downplay your abilities – take them as positive feedback without any remorse. They are happy that you could not outpace them, at least for now. Respond, not react! And, the best response would be rising again and afresh like India!

Writing helps get things off our heart. If you feel I can be of some help, feel free to blurt out all your feelings/ emotions/ negativities as an anonymous comment below. OR you may write to me at: [musmuna95@gmail.com] 

The short term pull factor behind your decision to go for UPSC CSE may have been power, prestige, sense of service etc. But, the deep seated motivating factor which even you may not have observed, is intense. You want to contribute towards changing India and restore its past glory. You, somewhere deep within, are desirous of making your coming generation breathe in a ‘better India’.

Until next time,


Steve Jobs

(You just cannot fail more than he did)

I loved the description of Steve that “whatever he was touting was the best thing he ever produced.”

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