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 How Discipline Can Help You Crack UPSC Civil Services Exam

Discipline is the process of training yourself so you can develop self-control and become more effective in your work. It is a quality of being able to behave and work in a controlled way that involves obeying particular rules or standards in order to get the positive results we crave. Regulating ourselves in this way is incredibly important because it can build self-esteem. When we achieve the goals we set for ourselves, we get a boost of confidence which can improve many aspects of our lives. 

UPSC civil services exam is one of the toughest exams in India given the fact that the number of aspirants appearing for it every year and the diversity of the syllabus, which demands long study hours and determination. Thus CSE preparation has discipline as its prerequisite. Only if you are ready to commit whole-heartedly and with discipline then only you must consider yourself in the race. 

The magnanimous syllabus of this examination can be thought of as being covered only through following your schedule with discipline and proper planning. The preparation and exam process itself takes more than a year and the exam is conducted in three different stages namely: 

  1. Preliminary Examination 
  1. Mains Examination 
  1. Personality Test 

These phases have different qualifying marks and cut-off based on different subjects.

Firstly Discipline is an entirely self-consciously developed ability. Nobody is born with the unique ability to be disciplined. As a process of growing up, our ability to be deciplined changes over time due to several external and internal factors. 

Indeed, most UPSC aspirants work hard. Multiple attempts and revisions can be a daunting task during which an aspirant might lose interest and choose a different career pathway. Losing many crucial years of life for UPSC preparation poses a lot of challenges in a candidate’s life. The struggle does not lie only while preparing for it, but also after that if the candidate fails to achieve fruitful results. The very important quality in most people who cracked any exams and achieved great success is “discipline”. They stressed the importance of time and energy in one’s study routine and the need to be extremely disciplined during study hours and timings daily. 

Thus, Civil Services are about discipline, dedication, honesty, integrity, patience, consistency, and above all, it’s the passion for one’s country, its development, and prosperity. A disciplined person is one who has complete control over his or her actions, mind, body, and soul. It is an essential lifelong value that should be inculcated in oneself from the very beginning.  

Discipline often turns out to be a weighing factor in future life success. It often becomes a way of one’s life where punctuality and systematic approach take a prominent position. It is the best way to get rid of laziness and procrastination and gain commitment towards one’s goal. 

If you are disciplined, everything will fall in line by itself. Consistency, Hardwork, and Dedication are important values an aspirant needs to follow throughout their preparation and are constantly stressed by every UPSC Topper. “Motivation comes from discipline”-was the statement given by Tanya Singhal who cracked the Civil Services Exam in the year 2019 with an All India Rank of 159. In fact, this was stressed by every candidate who cleared the UPSC exam. 

Hence we know that self-control and discipline are very important to achieve success. However, we must agree to the fact that developing this habit is difficult and thus only a few can endure the pain of inculcating this habit of being disciplined. This is also one of the reasons why out of Lakhsof aspirants appear forthe UPSC civil services examevery year and onlyafew get selected. 

How to have Self-Discipline when you study: 

  1. Eliminate Distractions: Self-discipline is the easiest when things that distract you from your studies are out of sight. If you find yourself tempted by external distractions like your cell phone, TV then, by all means, turn the thing completely off.  
  1. A healthy diet and sound sleep: Mental health is very important to lead a disciplined life. Studies have shown that when we are exercising willpower or self-discipline, our mental energy tanks slowly get emptied. Forcing ourselves to give up what we want in the now for what we want later physically zaps our reserves of glucose, which is very essential for the functioning of the brain. Eating healthy is linked to better memory and alertness, and faster information processing. Apart from proper diet, one should get the proper amount of sleep for 7-8 hours at night to help stay focused, improve their concentration and performance and also ensure that they are physically fit. 
  1.  Meditation: Meditation is an age-old technique to induce discipline in your life. Meditation is all about aligning your physical body with your inner soul. When these two are aligned, it is believed that one can lead a more focused and healthy life.  
  1. Never wait for the perfect time to start: There is never a perfect time to begin studying. If you wait until everything is just right and when everything else is accomplished and you feel great —you will never find the time to study. The right time to start studying is ‘now’. 
  1. Have a routine and set clear goals: You can organize your targets and manage your time more efficiently with a proper schedule. Figure out when you’re most productive and set time aside for the topic which you feel is difficult. Keeping a planner or digital calendar will help you keep track of your daily and weekly targets. Set up yearly and monthly targets and break down into daily targets will help you stay focused and disciplined. Keep your study desk clean and organized.  
  1. Follow up and track your progress: This ensures that you are on the right track and correct any inconsistencies in your preparation and helps you remain focussed and dedicated. One best way is to enroll in a test series from one of the    Best IAS Institute in Bangalore. The unique feature of the test series is that they help you out with an organized timetable and provide expert guidance and timely feedback and help assess your performance on all India levels based on their All India Ranking. Kindly refer the test series from one of the Best IAS Institute in Bangalore for prelims and mains to have a holistic view. 
  1. Give Yourself a Break: A minimum amount of recreation is necessary because it helps to focus on your goal. This type of relaxation helps to not crack from the pressure of your studies. 
  1. Reward yourself: A little motivation can go a long way. Setting up a reward system is a good way to encourage yourself to do something. For example, if you finish your daily target without any distractions, reward yourself by watching a TV show or taking a nap. 
  1. Hard work and Persistence: Persistenceis a continuation of effort and striving in the face of difficulty, opposition, or failure. Many a time during your UPSC preparation, you might feel you are not up to it and might be discouraged by other people. You must persist with your work and dream. Never give up. Hard work is one of the most important things in life as it helps us to be more confident. Working hard with full determination always pushes us one step ahead in life and helps us surpass our limitations. Thus persistence and hard work coupled with discipline can make wonders in civil services preparation. 

If you are disciplined you will soon reap the benefits. When you will be distracted by WhatsApp messages, tempting offers by friends to chill out, only your discipline will bring you back to your books. The bottom line is not making plans, but making plans and then sticking to them, which is nothing but the function of ‘discipline’. Rather than regretting not utilizing the time efficiently, it is better to remain disciplined and move ahead to taste success. 

The price of discipline is always less than the pain of regret! 

A little more persistence, a little more discipline, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success! 

May 2024