Abdul Kalam’s – Top 10 Fundamentals to Success

a-p-j-abdul-kalamFormer President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, the ‘missile man’ who came to be known as ‘People’s President’ died on 27th July 2015 evening after he collapsed during a lecture at the IIM in Shillong.

Being a fan of Abdul Kalam and his thoughts, I chose to put in my most liked quotes from APJ. Our beloved missile man does not need an introduction, but for starters, APJ Abdul Kalam is a scientist turned reluctant politician. Kalam was born and raised in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu and studied physics and aerospace engineering. He was a scientist and science administrator, mainly at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and was intimately involved in India’s civilian space program and military missile development efforts.

“We are all born with a divine fire in us. Our efforts should be to give wings to this fire and fill the world with the glow of its goodness” ~ APJ Abdul Kalam

To moot about A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, to me he would be the second best person to have inspired youngsters after Swami Vivekananda. Kalam has also authored many books, including his biography “Wings of Fire”. In his other book India 2020, Kalam strongly advocated an action plan to develop India into a “knowledge superpower” and a developed nation by the year 2020. His other books include, “Ignited Minds”, “Mission India”, “Inspiring Thoughts” and “The Luminous Sparks”.

My take on his thoughts with cues from his most famous quotes.

1. Dream In Dream Out, Dream is your launchpad.

“Dream, Dream Dream
Dreams transform into thoughts, And thoughts result in action.”

“Dream is not that which you see while sleeping it is something that does not let you sleep.”

Dream until you succeed is a phrase often used. Very few make it into reality. Very true, ain’t it? if you day dream about something, anything you need badly – you just can’t be relaxed. Day in-day out you would think about it. Yes! Think About It. Figuring out your dreams, visions, and taking calculated risks is the first step onto succeeding.

2. Attitude makes the difference.

“All Birds find shelter during a rain. But Eagle avoids rain by flying above the Clouds.”

“Problems are common, but attitude makes the difference!!!”

Its true that attitude matters, and possibly the most. The fact is that, this determines our belief in what is possible, determines the questions we ask and the quests that we embark upon. Attitude is everywhere; it determines our limits and those that we expect of other. It is the underlying attitudes that determine the outcomes and progress of students in classrooms and schools/academies.
Think Out of the Box. Draft your own way.

3. Failures are Stepping pad to success

“Man needs difficulties in life because they are necessary to enjoy the success.”

“If you want to shine like a sun. First burn like a sun.”


Failure is not an option – Who said that? As kids we are always taught to succeed. Failures are never encouraged. Folks who have been through such pressures, simply quit after a try, or just back off before they smell it. As always said, diamond was just a stone until it was cut and chiseled before it twinkled, and similarly gold had to go through blistering furnaces before it glittered.
As a person, we need to learn to accept failures and analyze them; only to have a better success. In some organizations, failures are celebrated. Biggest failures are voted, and given off awards based on the risks they took and creativity they fumbled on.

4. Humility & being Amiable Matters

“It is very easy to defeat someone, but it is very hard to win someone”

It indeed takes a lifetime to get someone into confidence, and just a moment to break it. Humility is the key essence of mankind. But with the self-marketing approach being taken up by most, amiability is fast losing ground. There is no harm in being simple and grounded.
Instead of expressing your busyness, just look up, give a smile, say ‘Hi’ and listen. This gesture alone will get you 70% of the other person’s confidence and trust. The rest 30% is on your response 😉

5. Grab up, take calculated risks

“All of us do not have equal talent. But, all of us have an equal opportunity to develop our talents.”

This needs no definition.It does not take courage to take risks. If you calculate your risks, you can very well define and work within the constraints. Opportunities are galore. Some say you should wait for the right opportunity to grab it, I would rather say we create the opportunity. Drive your way through to streamline and create the aura for the opportunity to breed. No one hands you an opportunity unless you show the mettle to work through it.

6. Keep Learning

“Learning gives creativity
Creativity leads to thinking
Thinking provides knowledge
Knowledge makes you great.”

“When learning is purposeful, creativity blossoms. When creativity blossoms, thinking emanates. When thinking emanates, knowledge is fully lit. When knowledge is lit, economy flourishes.”

Continual Learning is absolute essential. Learning can happen through books, ebooks, classes, training and such other avenues. But Prime learning happens only during interactions with people, formal or informal. In this changing digital world, where nuclear families are becoming atomic, it is a cause worth thinking for. Kids have to interact with others, participate in large events and forums to share their piece of knowledge, in-turn learn more.
Moreover, they need to be apprised about the purpose of learning, the outcome, and where it helps. Rightly said, creativity blossoms out of purposeful learning.

7. Slow and Steady Wins

“Be more dedicated to making solid achievements than in running after swift but synthetic happiness.”

Some forwarded joke said, ‘Creativity needs time. Under extreme pressure what comes out is sh*t’. Fast food, fast success, fast money is all that anyone cares about – shortcuts?!! Remember grounded accomplishments stay for ever; shortcuts get vaporized in moments.

8. Thought processing and Hard work should never stop

“Thinking should become your capital asset, no matter whatever ups and downs you come across in your life.”

“Thinking is the capital, Enterprise is the way, Hard Work is the solution”

Our Brain is the most powerful supercomputer. The fastest supercomputer takes 40 minutes to perform an activity which an average brain completes in about 1 second. Ever heard of Human Brain Project? Go check it out.
So powerful is our brain, our dreams and our thoughts that we can just focus and convert any dream into reality. Never stop dreaming, never stop thinking.

9. Immerse yourself

“Without your involvement you can’t succeed. With your involvement you can’t fail.”

Ever noticed kids watching cartoons? you call them! shout at them! great chances, that they won’t even know. Soo engrossed are we into activities of interest that we just lose track of our surroundings. When immersed into the area of interest we live every moment, absorb every detail, and work towards its success.

10. Victory is not equal to Success.

“Don’t take rest after your first victory because if you fail in second, more lips are waiting to say that your first victory was just luck.”

No explanation needed. There is no level point scale, which can define Success. Continuous improvement is the way forward.

Failure will never overtake me if my definition to succeed is strong enough
Failure will never overtake me if my definition to succeed is strong enough

Very much as Prime Minister Modi said yesterday (27/07/2015) “I got to work with him closely. I have lost an uttam marg darshak. The country has lost a son who worked for the strength of India. He had spent every moment for the youth of India. No person will be able to fill the gap left by him. His work will inspire us to work for the development of the nation”

RIP ; Salute to the youth inspirer.

1 thought on “Abdul Kalam’s – Top 10 Fundamentals to Success

  1. Mahesh Bongale Reply

    Hi Deepesh,

    The details you share related to JDE are truly helpful. But this article of our beloved APJ Abdul Kalam ji is truly inspiring. He is irreplaceable person.
    Thanks a ton for sharing this article.

    Mahesh Bongale

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