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TheSecretof Success| 7

Prologue
11:30p.m.,7Feb1996,NewDelhi
ItwasachillyFebruarynight,withthetemperature
downto4DegreeCelsiusandasusual,Iwassitting
outsidemyhouse,dressedinasweaterandajacket
warmingupformyIITJEEexam.Theexamwas
less than three months away. In those days, I
preferred studying in the freezing cold on our
verandabecauseinsideinthewarmthofourhouse,
IfearedIwouldfallasleep.Also,Iwantedtoprove
tomyselfthatIwascommittedtosuccessandcould
gladlyendurethishardship.

I was clear about the fact that this is one of the


toughest examinations in the world, with around
200,000 students appearing for the exam and only
2000gettingselected.This1%acceptancerateofan
institution was much lower than those of even
Harvard and Stanford. Still, for some reason that
night, I was happier than I had been before. I
suspect this was because somewhere deep down, I
was confident I was going to sail through the
choppywaters,a messagethatI hadbeenpumping
intomyheartandsoul,dayinanddayoutforclose
totwoyearsnow.

I had always thought of myself as an average


student, who could do no better than score 78 per
cent marks in his tenth Class Board examination,
butIguess,somewherealongtheline,Ihadindeed
8 | TheSecretofSuccess

comealongway.Mypresentconfidencestemmed
fromthefactthatduringthisinterim,Ihadputina
lot of hard work, acquired some knowledge and
devisedavastarrayofsuperiorstudyingtechniques
thatIknewIcouldeffectivelybankon.Likeaman
possessed, I was driven towards my goal, I was
workingaccordingtoasetplan,allmyactionswere
thoughtout in advance, and every strategy was
revised and rerevised with friends, mentors and
guides.

Meanwhile, I kept on visiting many relevant (or


irrelevant, as they happened to be) centres of
information to jot down notes or pick new tricks
about how to crack exams. At times I began to
wonder, if this level of awareness could go waste
after I had mounted the hump that I was now
scaling? That thought would send a shiver down
my spine. Thats when, for the first time, I
committed myself to writing a book in which I
promised myself that I would put down all my
experiencesofthistransformationforstudentswho
wantedtoexcelinstudies,beitsuccessinschoolor
college examination, or competitive exams like
CAT, IITJEE, AIEEE, IAS, Medical, PMT, CA,
CBSE, GRE, GMAT, GATE and several others. I
had understood by now that The Secret of Success
wassameforsuccessinstudies,independentofthe
goal. On that particular night, I must have toyed
with this idea for 20odd minutes before I jolted
myself back to reality in order to refocus my
TheSecretof Success| 9

attention on my studies because, you see, I hadnt


clearedtheIITJEEyet!

3:00p.m.6June1996,NewDelhi
Theresultshadbeguntopourin.Despitemyearlier
cocky confidence, I was suddenly feeling quite
nervous and jittery. One of my friends, who was
alreadyastudentatIITDelhicalledupwhileIwas
sendingmyprayersup.

It was he who broke the news that I had secured


39th rank at the JEE 1996. Hurray! I was ecstatic,
euphoric, relieved and also thankful! I cant
describe the million emotions that must have run
throughmeatthatmomentortherushofadrenaline
that I felt.Idontthinktherearewordscoinedto
describethatfeeling.

IwasallexcitedabouttheprospectofgoingtoIIT
Delhi and in that rush of excitement I had to once
again remind myself of my commitment that one
day,Iwouldhelpothersachievethelevelofsuccess
theywereseekinginstudies.

The definition of life is progress and if future


students could glean some lessons from all that I
had gone through, whats the point in reinventing
thewheel? Ireasonedwith myself. Atthattime,I
also coined the word The League. The League
referredtoagroupofstudentswhoweresuccessful
in achieving their study related dreams, be it a VI
10 | TheSecretofSuccess

grader who comes first in class, or a BSc


Electronics graduate who tops the university exam,
orsomeonewhoclearstheMedicalentranceexams
and also students who clear IAS, GRE, GMAT,
CAT and all other competitive exams. In essence,
any student who sets a study related goal, and
achieves it in a specified time frame would get a
membership to this fictitious group called The
League. And I knew that the secret to success in
studies in all those areas is the same, and if one
mastered The Secret of Success, their membership
toTheLeagueisguaranteed.

Withthatresolution,IdecidedIwouldwriteabook
on The Secret of Success in studies after coming
out with a book specifically targeted for IITJEE
students. Imusthavenursedthisbookideaforover
two years, carrying it with me wherever I went,
lettingitgerminateinmymind.Icouldhavewritten
a book based solely on my own learning and
experience, but because I wanted to give my best
shot to prospective students, I decided to first
researchthesubjectextensively.

Thats when I began making mental notes of the


various success factors that I was going to put in
thisbookthemantrasthatIwasgoingtosharewith
other students. I began quizzing my friends from
different fields, ones who had gotten entrance in
AIIMS tooneswhosucceeded inGREandseveral
othersfromvariousotherfields, andrealizedthatI
had loads of research material to work with,
TheSecretof Success| 11

although I would also have to sift through this


material before I could zero in on the golden
mantrasofTheSecretofSuccess,IalsoknewthatI
would have to understand this success formula in
depthandnottakeanyshortcutthatcouldresultin
my packing some easytopontificate, general ideas
intothisbook.

Iguess,Ihadaclearhandleonthetipsandthesteps
that IwantedtodiscussatlengthbutIdoubtedif I
had a very good understanding of the Science
behind it. This struggle with basic ideas was so
confusing and time consuming that at one point of
time,Irecall,Ieven thoughtofshelvingthewhole
project!Butofcourse,bettersenseprevailed!

3:00PM6June2001,Boston
With bated breaths, my friends and I were waiting
formykidbrother,RajatsIITJEEresultstocome
in. I was more nervous than Rajat because I was
aware that he had devoted just 70 per cent of the
time I had spent on the same preparations the year
before and although I admit that he had a much
better understanding of the success formula than I
hadduring mytime,Istill haddoubtswhetherthat
factoralonewouldhavesufficedandworkedinhis
favour. Thats when, interrupting my train of
thoughts, my mother rushed in with the breaking
newsthatRajathadmadeitinfact,hehadstood
26thrankatJEE,2001.
12 | TheSecretofSuccess

I was no doubt delighted, more so because despite


my initial misgivings, Rajat had scored one Ace
overmeandthattoowithmuchlesseffort.Icould
onlyattributethisperformancetoasuccessformula,
which he and I, together had hit upon, and the
practice of canned recipes, which I will share with
you in this book as you begin to flip through the
pages.

Rajats results firmed my resolve to pursue my


book dream more seriously and unravel the
mystery behind the Psychology of Success in
Studies, if there was any. And I was pretty sure
that there was. I also decided that my book will
highlight various tools for achieving success and
would go on to explain the science behind those
tools so that the students who wanted to be
successful in studies in their own fields and
examination have a firm grip over what they are
doing. It goes without saying that it took me over
sevenyearsofrigorousresearchtowriteandfinish
thisproject.

11:20AMSep1,2004SanDiego
Sprawledonthesand,surroundedbypalmtreesina
community beach on a cool sunny day in San
Diego, as I am putting these last few thoughts on
paper, I have also begun to reflect on all the effort
thathasgoneintowritingthisbook.Ihavetoadmit
to myself that I have indeed come a long way
throughtime.
TheSecretof Success| 13

The book that you are presently holding in your


hand is by no means a sureshot guarantee that it
will make you a success story in life, but it
definitely is designed to improve your chances of
thesame.Thisbookismylabouroflove,theresult
of my relentless pursuit of that elusive success
formulaandsevenyearsofmeticulousresearchand
understanding of the science behind that success
formula.Iamconfidentthat youwillbenefit from
thisbookandenjoyreadingitasmuchasIenjoyed
writing it. So without any further ado, let me
introduceyouto:

The Secret of Success Your one stop guide to


success in studies and examination. So pack your
bagsand getreadytocomeonajoy ride with me!
We may not be taking many breaks, so make sure
you finish all your other important work
beforehand!

HereswishingyouLoadsofLuck!
14 | TheSecretofSuccess

THELEAGUE OFEXTRAORDINARY
GENTLEMEN(ANDWOMEN)
He was overhearing my conversation on phone. I
always noticed him listening patiently whenever I
was coaching a client on phone regarding How to
become a member of The League? One day his
curiositycrossedthethreshold,andduringamartial
artspracticeheaskedme,BigBrother,whatisthat
you do on phone? And what does the word The
League that you use so regularly on phone really
means? At that time, I advised him to focus his
attentiononthepractice.Whenweweregoingback
tohome,heaskedthesamequestionagain.Iguess
it was about time he knew more about this topic. I
startedexplaininghimabouttheresearchIhaddone
on really understanding what is that separates the
studentswhotopinschool,collegeandcompetitive
examinations, and the years spent in demystifying
The Secret of Success. And now, I spent a
considerable amount of time with students, helping
themexcelinstudiesasaprofessionalcoach.

Is The Secret of Success the same for students of


allages?askedmybrother. Thatsetmethinking.I
coachedstudentsallovertheworld from 3rd Grade
onwards all the way up to graduate students even
older than myself in helping them achieve their
goals in studies and life. Every one had a different
goal, most students wanted to come first in their
class,beitattheschooloruniversitylevel.Someof
them wanted to win international competitions like
TheSecretof Success| 15

the Olympiads. Many X and XII grade students in


India wanted to get over 90% in their Board
examination. A huge chunk had ambitions of
clearing competitive exams like IITJEE, AIEEE,
Medical, PMT, CA, CBSE, IAS, CAT, GRE and a
hugebunchofotherexamsthathadthepotentialof
changing the whole course of their careers.
Internationally, students wanted 99% score in their
SATs. The list was endless. I had given a single
uniquenametoeachofthegoalsthesestudentshad,
andthegoalwastobeamemberofTheLeague.
In essence, The League refers to a group of
extraordinary students who have excelled in their
fields and achieved goals they had set for
themselves in studies. And that is what I coached
peoplefor,tobeapartofTheLeague.

Reflecting back at all the people I coached


independent of their age, nationality, background
andevengoals,TheSecretofSuccesswasthesame
for all! Actually, the goals were different for each
studentonlyinappearance,asinrealityallofthem
wantedtoamemberofTheLeague.

His curiosity made me smile. But why would


anyone want to be a member of The League?
askedmybrother.

I smiled because I thought that everyone in the


wholeworldknewtheanswertotheabovequestion,
as, without a shadow of doubt, its known that
Success in Studies and Examination is a source of
16 | TheSecretofSuccess

everlasting success and joy to many, but at that


time, simultaneously I began thinking how
membership to The League had transformed the
lives of millions. The first name that came to my
mind was of the President of India, Dr APJ Abdul
Kalam. Politics was supposed to be miles away
from education, but this one man, an aeronautical
engineer and scientist by profession and a
distinguished member of The League proved that
even reaching the highest level of position is made
possible via the education route. If success in
educationcanmakeonethePresidentofIndia,then
is there anything else thats impossible. Another
name that comes to ones mind is Dr Deepak
Chopra,agraduateofAllIndiaInstituteofMedical
Sciences(AIIMS)whohasmadeaplaceforIndiaat
an international level through his various books on
the subject of medicine, healing and spirituality.
Having cleared the prestigious AIIMS entrance
exam, he would definitely be an honorary member
of The league. Or think about Mr TN Seshan,
Chief Election Commissioner and a well known
name in Indian household who had a Bachelors in
Physics, cleared the All India Civil Services
examination and underwent the IAS Officer
training.WellknownIPSofficersincludeKPSGill
and Kiran Bedi who also cleared the Civil services
examination. Membership to The League and
exemplarysuccessinlifeviatheIITrouteisawell
known phenomenon and a few well known people
include Y.C. (Yogi) Deveshwar (ITC President),
Deepak Satwalekar (Managing Director, HDFC),
TheSecretof Success| 17

Rajendra Singh Pawar and Vijay Thadani


(Founders NIIT), Rajat Gupta (CEO, Mckinsey)
andVinodKhosla(Cofounder,SunMicrosystems).
Many of the above successful people had also
cleared the CAT entrance exams and joined IIMs
orclearedtheGMATexamanddidtheirMBAfrom
universities like Harvard thatcontributed largelyto
theirsuccess.

Let alone the so called top institutes, even


membership to The League via achievement of
their career goals through other colleges is also an
exemplary example. See Vinod Dham, designer of
the Pentium Chip from Delhi College of
Engineering who would have cleared AIEEE
equivalent at that that time and Sabeer Bhatia,
founderofHotmailandagraduatefromBITSPilani
for example. A number of Doctors from institutes
like Maulana Azad Medical College among others
whowouldhaveclearedthetoughMedicalentrance
exams figure among the top level doctors in
institutes like Escorts and Appolo and would be
earningsalariesimaginablebyafew.

Definitely,ittakesefforttoclearcompetitiveexams
in any field, but the effort is definitely worth it, as
wesawabove.Letalonecompetitiveexams,beinga
member of The League at school and college
level,beitcomingfirstinyourclassoryourboard
examsisarewardingexperienceinitself.Imaynot
havenameshere,butweallknowthatsuchstudents
arelikedandpreferredinallareas,byteachersand
18 | TheSecretofSuccess

studentsalike! Iamsureyouwouldliketobeoneof
them!

CanIbeamemberofTheLeague?

If my previous paragraphs have completely


overwhelmedyou,youmayhavebeguntowonder,
Is The League some sort of an Ivory Tower for
thePrimaDonnasoftheacademicworld?Letme
assureyouthatNo,itisnot.Evenanaverageor
below average student in academics can aspire to
nurture this dream, provided he or she decides to
commithimselftothisgoal,andapproachesstudies
and examination in a strategic and careful manner,
asIwillshortlyexplaininthisbook.Studentswho
excel in studies come from all backgrounds and
geographical areas, from cities and rural
countryside. They are sometimes toppers and at
other times not. Their socioeconomic background
is also varied. In fact, there are no common
variables that can define the DNA of a member of
TheLeague.

So to answer your question, Is The League for


me?isnotthatsimple.AndIcanthelpyouanswer
thequestioneither.PreparingforTheLeague isa
personaldecisionandyouhavetocommiteffortsto
thatdecision.Myroleissimplytoinspireandmake
TheSecretof Success| 19

youaspire,whichiswhatIamsetouttodothrough
themediumofthisbook.

Remember,theonlymeaningthatlifecarriesisthe
meaning that we ascribe to it. This means, that if
youfeellimitedinanysense,youarefeelinglimited
only by your own thoughts. If you allow yourself
into believing (even subconsciously) that you
cannot make it to The League, I would agree
wholeheartedly with you. You definitely cannot
and this book cannot help you either. Perhaps you
should put it aside and engage yourself with
somethinglesstaxing.

But if you have a small spark glowing in some


cornerofyourheartthatsaysIcandoitorrather
Iwilldoitmysincereadvicetoyouis:Dont
let that spark die. It is my 100 per cent guarantee
that this spark will make you do it. Once you
choosetobelievethatyoucanyouwill.Actually,it
is nothing but our belief systems that eventually
manifest themselves into reality. (We will discuss
more about this phenomenon in a later chapter on
SubliminalConditioning)

Remember that all


Quotablequote
"Thebeliefthatbecomestruth beliefs that we hold are
forme,isthatwhichallows somewhererootedinthe
methebestuseofmy past. Those beliefs are
strength,themeansofputting not absolute realities.
myvirtuesintoaction."
AndreGide People who have a
limiting belief of who
20 | TheSecretofSuccess

they are, or what they can be, are forever


condemned to a life of mediocrity. Just because
they have not been successful in the past, does not
mean that they cannot be successful in the future
too.Howeveriftheycontinuetoholdsuchnegative
thoughts, they will soon turn these into self
fulfillingprophecies.

Then there are those pessimists among us who are


sohungupaboutbeing'realistic',theydonotmake
anyattemptatbeingoutstandinginstudies,sothey
livewithaconstant fear of failure. Thatstoobad
because in real life, the past does not govern the
future. If you can develop an absolute sense of
certaintythatpowerfulbeliefscanprovide,youcan
accomplishanything.Successinstudiesisjustone
smallchallengeinyourlife.

I know scores of otherwise brilliant students, who


thinkthatbecausetheynevertoppedintheirschool
orcollegeexamstillnow,theywillnotbeabletodo
soinnearfutureandforsuretheywillnotbeableto
clearanycompetitiveexam,beittheIITJEE,CAT,
Medical,PMT,CA,GMAT,GREorCBSE.Inmy
opinion, this is a myth that needs to be shattered.
Past performance bears little or no corelation with
performanceinfuture,unlessonechoosestolivein
thepast.Icangivemyselfasanexamplehere,after
scoring 78 per cent marks in my Class X boards I
diddaretodreamfor membership inThe League
and realized in different phases in life in form of
91% in XII Boards, 0039 rank in IITJEE and
TheSecretof Success| 21

2290/2400 inGREexam. AndIam nottellingthis


impressyou,theonlyreasonIamsharingthiswith
you is for a fact that it is possible to change ones
future in studies if one is determined. If it was
possibleforme,soisitpossibleforyou.

Another myth that needs to be demolished here is


that becoming a member of The League is very
tough.Idefinitelyagreethatsuccessinstudiesdoes
requirehardwork,andonemayhavetoputinafew
extra hours, but that does not at all imply that the
process is tough, it can also be real fun if you
choose to look at it this way. All it needs is to
master the science of the process as we will be
discussing inthebook,andtheresultswouldcome
inplentifulandeasy!

The first thing that you need to do is shed all your


inhibitions all your negative emotions and fear of
disappointment, before you embark on this
rewardingjourney.

Most of the vital ingredients are already in place:


You have understood that your past performance
has no bearing on your future performance you
know that you need to take full charge of the
situation,regardlessofwhetheryouhavepreviously
topped in yourclassorbeencounted inthebottom
half your belief system is strong and most
important, you are confident of your success. So
lets now move on to a discussion of some of the
key characteristics that are going to make you a
memberof TheLeague.
22 | TheSecretofSuccess

YoucanwinthegameofStudiesif..
Youbelievethatyoucan becomeamemberof
TheLeague
Youunderstandthatsuccessinstudiesinfutureis
independentof yourpastperformance,unlessyou
choosetoliveinyourpast
Youlearnthescienceandtechniquesrequiredfor
successandpracticethem regularly

Successinstudiesisacombinationofmanyfactors,
including determination, hard work, positive self
assertions, understanding learning and memory
concepts, time management, and using some time
tested proven techniques for taking tests. We will
discuss all these techniques individually and at
lengthinthelaterfewchaptersofthisbook.Before
thatletsunderstandhowthisbookwillhelpyou.
Let meask youa question here, ifonedoespoor
work,whatkindofresultsdoesheorsheget?Think
aboutit.Moststudentswillanswerthatifonedoes
poor work they get poor results. But that is
actuallyathingofthepast.Intodaysworld,ifyou
dopoorwork, you get absolutelynoresults.If you
studypoorly,youfail,ifyoudopoorlyatwork,you
getfired.Thuspoorworkbringszeroresults.
Nowletssaythatyoudogoodwork,whatkindof
results do you get now? Most students will answer
that good work will bring in good results. This
again,wastrueinthepast,butwheneveryoneinthe
world is putting in good effort, one actually gets
poorresultsthesedaysandnothingmore.
TheSecretof Success| 23

I hope you understand my chain of thoughts. You


would probably be able to guess the answer to my
next question. If someone does excellent work,
what kind of results would he or she get? Its
correctheorshewillgetonlygoodresults.Inthis
competitive world, so many people are putting in
excellent efforts, its doesnt have that level of
competitiveedgeanymore.

How about if someone does Outstanding work?


Outstanding is a state that is just 2 inch above
Excellent.Itisastatewhereastudentwouldputjust
a little extra effort than excellent, which scores of
otherstudentsput.Youwouldguessthattheanswer
is excellent but that is not true. When you put in
Outstanding efforts you get Superoutstanding
results.Youwouldaskwhythisisthecase,orthat
thisisnotfair,butmaybelifewasnevermeanttobe
fair!When you give those2 inchesabovethebest,
youstandout.Youarelabelledasthebetterthanthe
best and the results you get surpass everyones
expectation. The world touches your feet, yes all
this with just a little extra effort than excellent.
Remember this in life, its always the one extra
repetition after you are tired while lifting weights
that brings the maximum results, the extra five
minutesafterofjoggingafter30minutesthatresults
inweight lossandthe littleextra hoursofeffort in
studies that would make you a member of The
League.Sobepreparedtogiveinyouroutstanding
effort,andIpromise,yoursuccessisguaranteed.
24 | TheSecretofSuccess

HowCanThisBookHelpMe?

Thisbookwill:
1. Helpyoumotivateyourself
2. Help you programme your brain for optimal
performance
3. Give you plenty of hotshot ideas on how to
crack becomeamemberofTheLeague
4. Help you visualise and crystallise your
success
5. Sharemany toptesttaking mantraswithyou
6. Andlastbutnotleastmakeyouawareofall
the other supplementary factors that can
enhance your performance relaxation,
practice, the role of the teachers and many
more
TheSecretof Success| 25

My solemn assertion is that even a student of


average intelligence,will beabletodevelopaself
improvementplanafterreadingthisbook.Andeven
though this book is not filled with the usual
hackneyed metaphors and politically correct
statements, the results of his or her efforts will get
validatedatthetimeoftakingthetest.SoIamnot
going to use clichs like, You can succeed by
workingharderandsmarter.NoramIgoingtolist
important questions and topics that are likely to
comeinthepaper.Allthatinformation,Ibelieve,is
alreadywithyou.

Howthisbookwillhelpyou?
Itwillhelpyoudevelopapsychologyof
success
Itwillstrengthenyourhabitsforbeing
successful

Instead, all that I want you to do with the help of


this book is to walk the talk with me. Its a
journeythatwecanundertaketogether,onestepata
time, on the course that you have chosen for
yourself. This book will examine the psychology
behindthesuccessofpeoplewhohavemadeitthere
before you, and from whom you can pick practical
tipsandstudyguidelinesforyourownsuccess.
26 | TheSecretofSuccess

Thisbookwilldiscussallfactorsthatcancontribute
to your success. But most importantly, this book
will work on two aspects of your personality:
Psychological and Mechanical. The first refers to
your mental and behavioural aspects, i.e. how you
think,dreametc,whiletheMechanicalaspectrefers
to how you may eventually act i.e. the techniques
you are going to employ in your study and in
relating bookish concepts to reallife or practical
applications.

HowThisBookIsStructured?

The first chapter of this book gave you an


introduction about Success in Studies and how this
book will help you become the member of The
TheSecretof Success| 27

League. Remember that The League represents


success in your study related goals. The second
chapter is about the importance of determination
andmotivation.Thischapterwilldiscusshowthese
two factors can become important tools in your
studyarsenal.Alltheothertoolswillflownaturally
from these two tools. Next, we will learn how the
human brain is structured and how you can
programme this brain for success. The concepts
you will come to learn in this chapter are time
honoured and have been used for centuries for
Successinstudiesismadeofthefollowing
ingredients
Determinationandmotivation
Brainconditioning
Timemanagement
Statemanagement
LearningandMemorizingtechniques
Thepresenceofan outstandingmentorand
coursematerial
Sleep,relaxation,dietandexercise,loveand
encouragement
Optimalstudyandtesttechniques

achieving similar goals, although they have only


recently been presented in such a true, scientific
form.

The fourth and fifth chapter will discuss how time


and state management plays a crucial role in our
success.Youhavejust24hoursinaday.Sothere
is no choice but to make the most of this limited
timeresourceatyourdisposal.
28 | TheSecretofSuccess

Learning and Memorizing can be fun and easy, if


youchosetolookatthemthisway.Inthesixthand
seventh chapter, we will look at a number of
innovativeapproachestobeabletolearnfasterand
smarter,andatthesametimeretainallthatwehave
learnt.

Another factor that is common to all successful


people is the presence of a reliable mentor in their
lives.Thismentorcanbeintheformofacoaching
institute,postallessons,aprivatetutor,oraparental
guide. Having a mentor has become mandatory in
todayscompetitiveenvironmentinordertogainan
edge over competitors. This discussion will be
covered in chapter eighth. In the ninth chapter, we
willdiscusstheimportanceofallthefactorsthatwe
generallyignoreanddonotconsiderveryimportant
for our success: Factors such as sleep, diet and
exercise etc. However, if neglected, these factors
can play havoc with your study plans. The tenth
chapter is where I will share some optimal study
plans and examination cracking techniques with
you. This chapter will give you a good
understandingofthe importanceof regularpractice
andtheuseoftherightpostureforstudying.Finally,
our lastchapterwill give you valuable insightsand
tips straight from the horses mouths i.e. from the
people who are already members of The League
and have achieved this position through different
ways like exemplary performance is school or
college,orclearingexamslikeIITJEE,CAT,SAT,
TheSecretof Success| 29

GRE,GMAT,Medical,PMT,CA,AIEEE,IASetc
with flying colours! This section has firstperson
accounts from other members of The League. In
their stories they will share many of their success
mantraswithyou.

In short, this book can be your onestop guide to


successinstudies.
30 | TheSecretofSuccess

ASuccessCocktailDetermination&
Motivation

When Warren Buffet, a shrewd investor and the


billionairechairmanofBerkshireHathawayIncwas
asked about his success formula, his oneline
pointer was: Define your goals, then decide what
are you going to give up to achieve those goals.
Period.

This may sound elementary, but believe me, what


Buffet said is the simplest recipe to achieving any
kind of success in life. Giving up some of the
activities,whichareverygratifyingintheshortrun,
toachievesomething,whichisgratifyingmainlyin
thelongrunmaybeeasiersaidthandone,butthatis
preciselythepricesuccessextractsfromus.Ittakes
loads of will power and Warren Buffets kind of a
singletrackmindtoachievewhathedid.Evenasa
child, this hyperactive investors mind was ticking,
thinkingofnewerandbetterwaysofmakingmoney
onthestockmarket.

Do you have that kind of a charged battery? In


ordertopursueagoalwhichisimportanttoyouin
future, are you willing to give up X number of
activities, which may seem very engaging and
entertaininginthepresent? Thosesmallthingswill
have to be discarded for the Big Thing, i.e. your
membershiptoTheLeague.
TheSecretof Success| 31

Lets now train our guns on another question: Is


Exemplary Performance in Studies the goal that
makes you so firm in your resolve that you can
willinglydotheneedful,nomatterwhatforthatone
goal! Put differently, is membership to The
League, one of the most important goals in your
life? Evenifitsnot,yet,dontworryaboutitaswe
will be working together in this chapter to make it
absolutelyessentialforyoutobeamemberofThe
League.Andifthatisalreadyanimportantgoalin
yourlife,youreffortswillhavetomatchyourgoal.
Tounderstandwhythatssoimportant,letsdothis
littleexperiment:

Askyourselfifyouhaveeversetapersonalgoalfor
yourself that you failed to achieve. It maybe a
commonplace goal, such as securing above
80 per cent marks in a school test, winning a race,
proposingmarriagetoaclassmateorlosingweight
butthedisappointingthingwasthatyoufailedin
yourmission.

Iwouldinsist(andlaterinthischapter,Iwillprove
toyouexactlyhow)thatyoufailedbecauseyoudid
notputenougheffortsintothatgoal.Thealchemy
did not happen because you did not give your 100
per cent to that cause. If you were a little honest
with yourself, youllrealisethat you reallywerent
thatdeterminedtosucceedhenceyoufailed.

Because barring a few exceptions, which of course


arebeyondhumancontrol,therecannotbetoomany
32 | TheSecretofSuccess

incidents in our lives where our determination was


100percentbutwedidnotsucceed.AmIright?

Now,trytorememberatimewhenyouweretotally
motivated to succeed. Your determination was so
total that nothing stood in your way. You were
determined to win, come what may. What I am
talkingabouthereisINTENSEdesireorPASSION
toachievesomethingcouldbeanything.

I bet that it was the time when you overcame all


obstaclesinyourpath.Youmaynothaverealisedit
then, but your determination played a key role in
yoursuccess.Iamwillingtowager my lastdollar
on the assertion that efforts bring results 100 per
cent efforts bring 100 per cent results. The
relationshipbetweeneffortsandresultsisreallythat
simple,directandproportionate.

Inthischapter,wewillworktogetheratbuildingthe
sameoreven higher level ofdetermination for you
as you get ready for The League . But first, lets
breakafewmyths!

TheUselessEducationMyth

As a school student, we may sometimes feel that


what good would history, geography, chemistry or
othersubjectshelpmewhenIbecomeamusicianor
acricketer,orabusinessmanforthatmatter.Orasa
college student, we are sure that the accounting or
TheSecretof Success| 33

the botany subject included in curriculum are


practicallyuselessandatotalwasteoftime.

Even I thought likewise during my school and


college Career. I always thought in school days,
How would geography ever help me in becoming
an engineer? Or while pursuing computer
engineering, I always questioned, How would
learning Foundry where you work like a
BlacksmithcontributetomeasaComputerexpert?
Ilaterrealizedtheimportanceofbeinganallround
learning. All these subjects do serve us in many
ways as I am able to relate today. Believe me, its
subjects like history and geography only that will
enableyoutostartaconversationwithotherpeople
whenyoustepoutsideIndia,asyouwouldknowas
muchabouttheircultureandgeographyastheydo.
Masteryintheseandothersubjectsismeanttoopen
a childs mind and make him or her aware about
various objects and cultures as they exist, and be
able to comprehend life. Education is meant to
evolveahuman mind,andthatisthe mainpurpose
itserves.Youmayneverusetheactualinformation,
butthetransformation itbringsabout in your mind
that helps you analyze life better and make
continuousprogressis priceless.I never hadto use
lessonsIlearntinFoundry,butoneconceptIlearnt
thereisbeingusedineveryaspectofmylifetoday.
The foundry teacher hadtaught usthat if youwant
to hit a nail using a hammer, just focus constantly
on the nail and the hands holding the hammer will
automatically be guided. I utilized this principle in
34 | TheSecretofSuccess

life by understanding that in case I want to reach


any goal, all I need to do is focus constantly on it
and my actions will automatically be aligned to
achieveit!Simple,yetapowerfullesson.

Iadmitthatthestateofeducationinmayareasmay
be a little outdated, but even in its current form
really imparts plethora of information and
understanding useful in any career and life. It is
yourcallifsuccessinschoolacademicswouldserve
you in life, it definitely did serve me and I would
recommend ittoanyone independentofwhat goals
they may have in life! At this moment, you may
have to take my word for it assuming I have best
interests for you. Else you may recall this lesson
laterinlife,andatthattime,itmaybetoolate.

TheOffbeatCareer Dilemma

Ialsounderstandthatmanyofyouwanttobecome
agreatmusician,cricketer,sportsman,artist,model,
actor and take one of the many other so called
unconventionalpaths. Ican totallyrelate withsuch
students,asIhavemyselfchosenanunconventional
careerrightnow,ofbeinganauthorandapersonal
development coach who is someone like a
motivational speaker, after graduating as a
Computer Science Engineer from IIT. I am also
mentoring an engineering student to become a full
time musician, composing symphonies like Yanni
TheSecretof Success| 35

and starting a music school titled School of


Symphony.

Imyselfpromotestudentstofollowtheirdreams,to
follow their heart. Be it on footsteps of Amitabh
Bachchan to become a legendry film star or Major
Rajvardhan Rathod to bring an Olympic Medal in
shooting. I would even say that you could directly
pursue these paths by enrolling in a school that
promotesthesearts.Entrytosuchschoolsmayalso
require an extensive understanding of the art and
would be considered as membership to The
League.

At the same time, I would also suggest that being


successful in education and academics could be
another route you could take to success in these
careersaswell.Iknowthatpersonally,althoughnot
required, having an IIT Degree has helped me
tremendouslyinbuildingcontactsandcredibilityas
an author and speaker. I also have an uncle who
used his success in business after getting a degree
from Delhi College of Engineering to launch a
careerindevotionalmusicwithHMV!Oryoumay
have heard of Sriram Parsuram, an IIM Calcutta
Alumniwhohascarvedacareerinpopandcultural
music. You might not know that Jaspal Bhatti of
Flop Show fame and Palash Sen the lead musician
of success album Dhoom Pichak dhoom are
engineersanddoctorsrespectively.
36 | TheSecretofSuccess

Most times, success in academics can come along


with exemplary performances in your own
disciplines. Education doesnt have to come at the
cost of your hobbies and interests, it is meant to
supplement it. We will study Time Management
techniques in great details in later chapters using
whichyouwillbeabletoaccomplishboththegoals
ifyoudesire.

Again, I would reiterate that you could directly


jumpintothebandwagon,ormaychoosesuccessin
education as an entry point to fulfil your hearts
desires. This being a book dedicated to producing
students who would perform exceptionally in
studies, and the fact that you are reading this book
tellsmethatyoudefinitelyhaveanactiveinterestin
studies,althoughthemaingoalofyourlifemaybea
different field like music. And an outstanding
education will take you places in most fields,
especiallyinIndia!

Today,oneofthemajorchallengesateenfacesisin
making decisions be it decisions about career or
lifeingeneral.Thereasonbeingthepresenceofso
many choices, but very little guidance. Inability to
makedecisionsaccountsforbeingstuckinapattern
andmayleadtofrustration.Inorderbeanexcellent
decisionmaker,wehavetofirstunderstandthatits
the decisions that we take today shape our lives
tomorrow. If you start off at paths just 5 degrees
apart, 5 years from now, you would be a radically
TheSecretof Success| 37

different places, such is the power of making


decisions.

The first lesson for decision making is that a good


decision now isbetterthanaperfectdecision later.
And there are no right or wrong decisions the key
to successful decision making is to take it after
conscious analysis of all the data and information
availableatthattime,andunderstandingthatitwas
the best you could do at that time. For example if
youarecontemplatingbetweenchoosing Computer
Science and BioTechnology, you can do a simple
analysis of what are career opportunities in both
fields and which one you like more, and then just
make a decision instead of struggling with it
forever. And later on, independent of future of the
twofields,youcanalwayslookbackandsaythatit
wasthebestoneIcouldtakeatthetime.

Remember that decision making is like a muscle


the more you use it the stronger it grows. Use it
often. Success is generally a result of ability of
having a good judgment, and good judgment is a
result of taking decisions, independent of whether
theyweregoodorbad.Sogoahead,andstartusing
thismusclecalledDecisionMaking!
38 | TheSecretofSuccess

WhyDoI wanttogetintoThe League


BadEnough?

A few fundamental questions you need to ask


yourself before getting set for the level of success
youdesire:
Why do you want to become a member of
TheLeague?
Why do you want to invest several hours,
daysandmonthsofyourlifeintothisgoal?
What does membership to The League
meantoyou?

Let me ask you a question here. Why do you do


whatever you do? I know its a silly question, but
thinkabout it.I guessIwill haveto help you here.
Well, whatever we do in life is for one of the two
reasons, either to gain pleasure or to avoid pain.
Thinkaboutitagain,isntittrue?

Andyouwouldhavetoagreewithmethatgettinga
membershipofThe Leagueviasuccessinstudies
in school, college, board exams or competitive
exams like IAS, GRE, GMAT, IITJEE, AIEEE,
CBSE,Medical,PMT,CA,AIIMS,CEEandothers
would mean a lot of pleasure, wouldnt it? What
will you get via achieving your academic goals a
secured job, a fat salary, freedom to travel around
theworld,nameandrecognition,abilitytoaskyour
girlfriends hand from her father, a secured future,
loads of money, confidence in your self, chance to
bewiththe best,abilitytoservethe nationandthe
TheSecretof Success| 39

world, a new car from your dad, being the most


popular kid in school and town, stepping stone in
your glorious career. Yes the list is endless, and I
knownoteveryoneoftheabovegoalsinspiresyou,
but I am sure that at least one does. Your reason
may not appear in the list, there may be an even
more encompassing reason to enter The League
foryou.
Sodoesthatgoalbegintoinspireyounow?
We just read how success in studies was the root
causeofsuccessforsomanyindividuals.Ifthatdid
not motivate you, think hard about what else can
motivateyou.Therehastobesomethingstrongand
compellinginyourlifetomakeyouaspireforThe
League? Figure out what it is. You must know
whatyouwantfromlife.AndmembershiptoThe
Leaguemustalignwiththatgoal.
If you are still questioning whether the effort is
worth it, let me tell you that you would find a few
peoplewhobecameamemberofTheLeaguewho
wouldnt agree that his or her effort was every bit
worththejoyandabundancethatbeingamemberof
this prestigious group brought into their lives.
Scores of students study just because their parents
want them to, but many others do it simply for a
personal,allencompassingreason.Areyouoneof
thesepeople?Putthisquestiontoyourself.
I suggest that you look for a paper and pencil this
very minute and start jotting down all the benefits
that youcoulddrawjustby virtueofbeinginThe
40 | TheSecretofSuccess

League (and also what you might miss out on by


notbeing one)!Oncethis listiscompiledand you
have made 2030 entries, go over the list, a little
slowerthistime.Thisexercisealonewillhelpyou
concretise your goal. Mind you the list must
include all good and nice things of life that you
mightpossible missouton, if youdontmake itto
TheLeague.Soatsomeplaces,ifyourgoalwas
to clear the CAT examination for entrance to IIMs
which are at par with Harvard and Oxford, the list
couldevenread:Iwillhavetolookforadmission
in a local MBA college where the quality of
education may notbeas goodand myprospectsof
securing a job after graduation may not be so
bright.OtherplacesitmayreadIwillgettostudy
withbrighteststudentsofthecountry.

Done?Gettingthedirectionof myflow?Areyou
becoming moredeterminedtosucceednow?Good,
so lets move on, but make sure that you do the
aboveassignment beforedoingso.

TheMeaningofDetermination

Recently I met Anton Ohno, a gold medallist in


speedskatingatOlympics2002.Iaskedhimifhe
could name one, just one, characteristic that made
him succeed at various speed skating events. And
hisanswerwas'determination'.
TheSecretof Success| 41

Determination is the power of deciding definitely


and firmly. 'Determination' runs, as a common
thread between all successful people be they from
the fieldofsports,education, music,art,politicsor
anyother.Itismyfirmassertionthatifyoubecome
absolutelydeterminedtoachievesomething,andare
willing and able to drop everything else, you can
achieveyourgoal,whateveritmaybe.

Exactly the same holds true for success in studies


and examination. I have met and interviewed
several successful candidates who cleared exams
likeIITJEE,Medical,PMT,CAandCATandover
99%ofthemsaidthatdeterminationfiguredintop
5 factors that contributed to their success. Most
students who get within top 3 ranks at school also
are determined to be successful. Take any member
ofTheLeagueandyouwillseethatthereisnotan
42 | TheSecretofSuccess

iotaofdoubtintheirmindsabouttheirsuccess,and
they destroy it the minute it starts to originate.
Everythingelsefollowsfromthisdetermination.

'Determination' to succeed makes all other factors


cometogetherandfallinplace.Askyourself,"Am
I absolutely determined to find a position in The
League?Ifyouranswerisyes,thenextstepisto
ask "Are all my actions consistent with my
determination? If this answer is No ask, What
can I do to make my actions align with my
determination? Go on playing this game with
yourself till you have all the answers in the
affirmative.

Onewordofcaution:Evenifyoudontfeel100per
cent charged up at this point, dont worry. Not
everybody is born with a Mohammad Ali size of
determination. It takes time and effort to build it.
Meanwhile, just keep playing and replaying your
The League dreams in your head and very soon
theywillbegintoworktheirmagic.

An apt definition of determination is that it is a


processthatconvertsallyourshouldsintomusts.
What I mean here is that as long as you keep on
saying I should study or I should work hard,
nothing will happen. But the moment you change
thisstatementtoImuststudyyouwillhavebuilt
yourdetermination.Stophertoexaminewhatother
shouldsyouarecarryinginyourlifethatneedtobe
changedtomusts?
TheSecretof Success| 43

Thelongandshortofmysermonizingisthatevery
day, you must play this what if ..? scenario with
yourself.Itwillnotjuststrengthenyourresolve,it
will also develop a gut feeling in you that come
whatmay,andeventuallyyouwillsucceed.

However, determination alone is not enough for


success.Youalsoneedtokeepyourselfmotivated.
Determinationandmotivationarenotsynonyms.If
you have one, it doesnt mean you will necessarily
havetheother.Motivation istheturboengine that
keepsdeterminationhighandsuccessfulpeopleuse
itconstantlytocompletetheirarduousjourney.

TheMeaningofMotivation

As I mentioned earlier, motivation powers


determination.Motivationprovidestheammunition
to keep your determination level high so that your
goalalwaysremainswithinyoursight.Pastsurveys
show that successful people keep more than one
motivational factor to charge their batteries. Not
sosuccessful people unfortunately do not have
those many motivational tools to fall back upon.
This is the single most important factor that
differentiates between successful and notso
successful people. Achievers dont let themselves
forget their motivators. They keep tossing and
turning them in their heads. Whenever they feel
their chips are down, they remind themselves of
44 | TheSecretofSuccess

theirgoals.Whenevertheyfaceadilemmabetween
studyingandspendingtimewiththeir friends,they
chosethe former,because intheir mindseye,they
havealreadytastedsuccess.

I can understand that its not easy to be motivated


foragoalthatmaytakesometimetoachieve.But
if you can constantly remind yourself of what this
achievement means to you, the task will become
thatmucheasier.

Inretrospect,IrealizethatnoneofthemotivatorsI
mentionedaboveactuallyworkedforme.Instead,I
hadthisone,allconsumingdesiretoimpressagirl.
I knew that if I made it to The League, which at
that time was selection in IITJEE, I would have
every chance of marrying her. There would be no
way she or her parents would refuse someone in
The League for a prospective groom. It may all
sound very silly now but the formula did work for
me,allright.Iwonmyseateventually.DidIalso
winmygirl?(YoucangoonguessingJ).

WhatMotivatesYou?

Using motivationasa factor,wecandividepeople


into two categories the moving towards type
and the moving away type. A moving towards
personisonewhoismotivatedbyopportunitiesand
the likelihood of his success. He does things in
TheSecretof Success| 45

ordertoprogress,i.e.togetfromPointAtoPointB.
But a moving away person is driven solely by the
fearelement.Ifhedoessomething,hedoesitoutof
the fearof failing. Forexample,anemployeewho
is moving away type would go on working hard
forfearofbeingchuckedoutoftheoffice,oneday.
Heisnotworkingforpleasure,promotion,poweror
pelf but out of a paralysing fear of losing his job.
This too is fine, because in the final analysis, the
purpose of a motivational strategy is to make you
succeedatwhateveryouaredoing.Soinasense,no
motivational tool can be considered superior to
another.

Doyouknowwhatmotivatesyou?Whatistheone
guidingfactorinyourlifethatdrivesyouon?What
gives you such an adrenaline rush? Rush and find
out.Itcanbejustaboutanything.

HowCanYouKeepYourselfMotivated?

A very common scene in a feature film, whether


Hindi or English is when the hero gets into a
fistfight with a villain. After exchanging a few
puncheswiththevillain,theheroisindireneedof
someextraenergyormotivationtofurtherfighthis
opponent. Flashcomesan insightand the memory
of the villain killing his mother, raping the heros
girlfriend or any such big hurt or embarrassment
thatthevillainmayhavecausedintheheroslifein
thepast.Thisrecollectionisenoughtomotivatehim
46 | TheSecretofSuccess

todeliverthefinalpunchandthevillainfallsflaton
theground.

This is one example of how people use motivation


toviewnegativeconsequencesofwhatcanhappen
if they do not do this or that. In our analogy, the
hero could also have viewed the positive
consequences of winning the fight such as
winning his girls heart and both would have
workedasequallygoodmotivators.

The same concepts can work beautifully for


achieving success in studies as well. When in
doubt,begintoviewallyourmotivatorsonebyone
till your vision becomes clearer. This would be
TheSecretof Success| 47

akintoreallifeimitatingreellife.Butsolongasit
works,itsfine.

StayingAwayFromDemotivators

'Arretereseyehbhinahinhua?'(HeyDumbo!You
couldn'tevensolvethispettyproblem?).Nowthis
is the commonest refrain that friends use to pull
down each other. You would also hear statements
like I attempted 11 out of 12 questions, what did
you do? When you know very well that there
wastimeenoughtoattemptjustseven!

Here, its important to understand that different


people use different prisms to understand lifes
complexities. For instance, there are people who
always overestimateeverything,be itthetimethey
devote to studying, or the marks they think they
wouldobtaininamocktestandtheywillgleefully
share these thoughts with you, little realising how
their tall claims are demotivating the listener, i.e.
you.Ontheotherextremeofthiscontinuumarethe
NaySayerswhounderestimateeverything.

Myfirmadvicetoyouisstayawayfromboththese
extreme kind of people. The company of de
motivatorswillhamperyourprogress.Thecompany
of demotivators will hamper your progress. I
rememberhowmy12thGradeEnglishclassteacher
once predicted that I would one day be enrolled in
48 | TheSecretofSuccess

an English Honours course and I should forget


aboutIIT.Herstatementmayhavebeenareflection
of my own poor performance in class, but I must
confess that at that time it did make me feel
worthlessanddoubtfulofmyabilities.

Therefore,asimpleantidoteagainstdemotivatorsis
to stay away from them. Dont let stray, sarcastic
remarksrun down yourenthusiasm.There maybe
students who are smarter than you and could
succeedfasterthanyou butdontforgetyouhave
yourowntalents. Youcanstill give yourbestand
rest assured in the knowledge that the best will
finallycometoyou.
TheSecretof Success| 49

SubliminalConditioning

DidYouKnow?
Peoplehavemiraculouslyrecoveredfromcritical
illnessessuchascancer,andhaveovercomesevere
disabilities without the use of any drugs, chemical
treatmentorradiationtherapies?

In 1970, an Indian yogi, Swami Rama, stunned the


scientific world.Hecausedtwoareas,acoupleof
inches apart on his right hand to change their
temperature,inoppositedirection. Therateofthe
temperature change was about two degree Celsius
perminuteandhewasabletomaintainthatchange
untiltherewasatemperaturedifferenceof6degree.

Tennis player Billie Jean King was considered by


heropponentstobealmostunbeatableonceshehad
mentally programmed her body to win, despite
the fact that there was no particular physical area
inwhichshewassuperiortoeveryoneelse.

Impressed? So was I when I read this passages


from Head Strong written by Tony Buzan,
HarperCollins,2001.2

Attheendofthe20th century,thehumanracemade
anastoundingdiscovery:thatthebrainisconnected

2
TonyBuzan,HeadStrong,HarperCollins,2001
50 | TheSecretofSuccess

to the body! For the past two centuries, a giant


conceptual divide had separated intellectual and
physicalactivities.Then,peoplerealisedthatthere
is a connection and that a human being can exert
automatic control and change certain bodily
processes like temperature and heartbeat, physical
health and athletic performances on the basis of
these biofeedback mechanisms. Bingo! A new
sciencewasborn,writesBuzan.

ThisscienceiscalledSubliminalConditioning.In
Oxford dictionary, the term Subliminal is defined
as below the level of conscious awareness. The
term conditioning refers to Grooming. This
chapter examines what cues you can issue to your
subconscious that will enhance your learning and
performance abilities. At the conclusion of this
chapter, I will also suggest certain tools for
achieving subliminal conditioning, such as the
power of thoughts, the technique of visualisation,
thesignificanceofbeliefs,andlastbutnotleast,the
useofpositiveaffirmations.

To help you understand this concept, tell me first,


haveyoueverparticipatedinasportingevent,saya
school race, a game of football, cricket, throwball
orbasketballoraliteraryeventlikeanextemporeor
a debate, where you felt terribly nervous, because
you were not sure that your success was 100 per
cent guaranteed? In other words, you had serious
misgivingsaboutthe outcome oftheeventbecause
youanticipateditwouldnotgoinyourfavour.And
TheSecretof Success| 51

youkeptsayingto yourself,What ifIdont make


it? What if I become the laughing stock of the
whole community? What if.? And, right on
D Day, your worst fears came true. You came
down with flu! And sure enough, you could not
participateinthecompetition!

Now consider another instance, where you again


have to participate in a 400meter race. You are
feeling clammy and nervous, and you repeat to
yourself,Icandoit,Iwilldoitandthenguess
what happens? You bounce full steam ahead and
wintherace!

Folks dont get me wrong. I am not saying that


positive communication is the only factor in
winning a race and that you dont require a good
52 | TheSecretofSuccess

physiqueorgoodtrainingorpractice.Factis,you
dorequireallthosethings.However,aboveall,you
require positive conditioning. It is the most
important ingredient for your success because
besides ability, practice or knowledge, the
subliminalmessagingthatyouconveytoyourbrain
always has a tremendous impact on your
performance, especially during the final haul of a
majorevent.

Wewilldiscusssimpletechniquesthatyoucanuse
for conditioning your subconscious mind. In fact,
youmayalreadybeusingsomeofthesetechniques
unconsciously. Here in this chapter, Ill tell you
how to use them consciously and deliberately in
order that these techniques begin to work in your
favour.Excited,arentyou?Sothengetsettogo.

During your free time, enter into an empowering


dialogue with yourself. An empowering
communicationhappenswhenyoupumpyourmind
with passion and enthusiasm and when you keep
affirming to yourself that you are going to win the
race, no matter what. Thats when you actually
begin to see yourself touching the finishing line
beforeanybodyelse.

Disempowering commu
JustAMinute nicationhoweverworksjust
Inthemiddleofa in the opposite manner.
difficultyliesan
opportunity Your doubts run so deep,
that they keep eroding the
TheSecretof Success| 53

thin fabric of your confidence, you are reluctant to


participateand yes you dontput inenougheffort,
so finally you lose the race. Everything becomes a
selffulfilling prophecy. Many of us go through
thesedoubtdynamicsbeforewerealisewhatweare
doingtoourselves.

Although,thestudyofthehumanbrainhasnotyet
crossed the threshold of this level of deep
understanding and manipulation that we have
withotherbodypartslikeheart,lungsorkidneys
scientists have come up with many conclusions
about our minds basic structure and functions.
Theres even a section of parascience that deals
extensively with a subject called Neuro Linguistic
Programming(NLP)3,whichwasdevelopedbytwo
computer scientists, Richard Bandler and John
Grinder.

The NLP principles explore how it is possible to


optimise our neural faculties by improving the
channels of communication between the conscious
andthesubconsciousportionofourmind.

Let us start from the basics first. Let us first


understand how the brain is structured. For that, I
willfirstbediscussingthePsychoanalyticmodelof
brain conditioning, as proposed by Sigmund Freud
in1893,whichdividesthebrainintothreesections:

3
SeethebibliographysectionofThePsychologyofSuccessfor
suggestionsofmoreresourcematerialonNLP
54 | TheSecretofSuccess

TheId(Subconscious),theEgo(Conscious)andthe
SuperEgo(orHigherConsciousness).

ThePsychoanalyticModel

Under this Freudian model, a human being is a


highlycomplexandsystematizedorganism.Allour
behaviorisassumedtoresultfromtheinteractionof
threekeysubsystemsofourbrain:TheId,theEgo,
andtheSuperEgo.

Ego(Consciousmind):

Thisportionofthemindiswhatweareawareofin
ourwakingstate.Everydayconceptslikethecolour
of the grass or the size of the bed are governed by
this conscious state of the mind. Conscious mind
TheSecretof Success| 55

helps with rational understanding of everyday


concepts.Generally,itstheconscious
mind that comes up with a rational solution to all
oureverydayproblems.

TheId (Subconscious mind):Thissectionofour


mind stores all our memories. All our involuntary
actions emerge from the subconscious section of
ourbrain.Haveyouevernoticedhowwhenyouare
attempting to recall a name, or a formula from
inorganic chemistry, it doesnt come to you
instantaneouslybutwhenyoustopthinkingaboutit
for a moment, it rushes back to you almost
automaticallyjustwhenyouarenotconsciously
trying to retrieve it? What actually happens is that
theinformationrequestthattheconsciousminddid
not process went into our subconscious mind,
where this brain section went to work on it and
furnishedyouwithasolution!

Super Ego (Superconscious): This governs


intuition and higher awareness. I will not go too
deep into a discussion of this subject because this
maytakeusbeyondthescopeofthisbook.

Onetechniqueofbringingyourmindtoanoptimum
performancestatethathasextensivelybeencovered
in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) is how to
strengthen the communication links between the
conscious and the subconscious sections of our
mind.
56 | TheSecretofSuccess

Thislineoftheoryimpliesthatyourmentalfaculties
can increase multifold if you learn how to tap the
powerofthesubconsciousmind.Unknowntoyou,
it has tremendous potential. Heres how you can
harnessthispowerwhilecommunicating with your
subconsciousbrain:

1. Make Every Suggestion A Command.


Rememberthatlikeaslave,oursubconsciousmind
onlyacceptscommands.Itdoesnotfallintothetrap
ofevaluatingalltheprosandconsofasituationas
ourconsciousminddoes.Itsmorelikeanobedient
child if you have won his trust, she/he will
follow you to the end of this planet. Example: If
you want to finish a particular section of
Mathematics in three days, assign the task to your
subconsciousmindinthefollowingwords,Finish
this in three days. Your wish will be his
commandand itwilldirect yourconsciousbrainto
dotheneedfulasyoufillfinishyourtaskinajiffy.

2.DontBeANaysayer. Oursubconsciousmind
does not understand the language of negation. In
fact, the very use of the word NOT does not carry
any meaning for our subconscious mind. In other
words, it lies beyond its comprehension. For
example, if you are trying to memorise a difficult
maths theorem, instruct your brain, I recall this
theorem. Do not say, I will not forget this
theorem as your subconscious will interpret this
negativestatementasIwillforgetthistheorem.
TheSecretof Success| 57

Wheresubliminalconditioningisconcerned,weare
wrong inourassumptionthattwo negatives(not&
forget) will make a positive. Our subconscious
minddoesnotfunctionlikethat.Lookingatitfrom
another perspective, if I tell you not to think of an
elephant wearing pink shoes, your brain will
automaticallystartthinkingaboutit.AmIright?

3. Use Present Tense. Our subconscious mind


cannotdistinguishbetween imaginationandreality.
Allyourcommandsmustthereforebeissuedinthe
present tense. For instance, how many times have
youmadeasillymistakewhilepracticingaconcept
and told yourself I will not make this mistake
againandthengoneaheadandcommittedthesame
mistake during the exam? Thats because using
futuretensewordslikewill,shalletc.donotissue
proper commands to the subconscious. But when
youstatesomethingasifithasalreadyoccurred,it
commands the subconscious mind to achieve it.
Therefore saying, I am excellent at time
management, will prove more effective than
saying,Iwillbeexcellentattimemanagement.

Thus when you want to condition yourself into


scoring 100 per cent in Maths or winning a race,
youshouldissueapositivecommandinthepresent
tense, such as I scored 100 per cent marks in
Maths, or I won the race, rather than saying, I
willscore100percentinMaths,orIwillwinthe
race.
58 | TheSecretofSuccess

4. Repeat and Repeat. Yes our subconscious


mind too follows the laws of repetition. Repetition
ofamessageleavesconcreteimprintsonitssurface.
Think the thought regularly and it will become a
habit. It will take the form of a wellused path.
Have you noticed how when youwant to call up a
friend, you involuntarily dial the phone number of
another friend, whom you may be calling more
often? Do you know why this happens? Because
this second friends phone number has formed a
pattern on your subconscious mind. Another
exampleiswhenyouaresoattunedtogettingupin
the morning for school that even though it is a
holiday, you unconsciously begin to follow the
sameroutine.

5.DetailEverythingOut. Oursubconsciousmind
loves all nittygritty. In this property, it can be
compared to the work of art. Just as a painting
begins to fadeawaywithtime, unlessit isrestored
toitsformerglory,thesamewayyouneedtogive,
exact detailed messaging to your subconscious in
ordertomakeitunderstandyourcommandbetter.

Hence, when you are preparing for a competitive


examlikeMedical,setsmallquantifiablegoalsfor
your subconscious, such as, I can finish X
portionofmyBiology syllabuswithinthenextthree
months and specifically I will do A in the first
week, B in the second week and so on.
Remember, the more detailed the plan, the easier
willbetheoutcome.
TheSecretof Success| 59

A few examples of communication that we can


practiceto usewithoursubconscious mind onthe
basisoftheabovestatedprinciplescouldbe:
I am feeling the thrill of scoring top rank in
mycompetitiveexam
Iampassionateaboutstudyingforschool
Iam toppingtheexamsinmycollege
Iusemytimepursuingproductiveactivities
Imakethebestuseofmytime

Youcangivewhatevercommandtoyourgenieand
trust me it will march to your biding. The only
condition is that you have to issue your command
withfullconvictionandemotionalintensityinorder
to make these affirmations stand out like solid
testimonialsoftruth.
60 | TheSecretofSuccess

ToolsforSubliminalConditioning

Now lets move on to the identification of a few


tools that can make subliminal conditioning work
foryou:

ThePowerofThoughts

RalphWaldoEmersononcesaid,Amaniswhathe
thinks.Accordingtoconceptsofmetaphysics,our
thoughts are quantum energy units travelling in
time. In other words, a thought that you may be
TheSecretof Success| 61

having now is capable of travelling to your future


and getting transformed into a reality, before you
knowithashappened.Itsthereforeimportantthat
you only bear positive thoughts in your sub
consciousmindabouttheoutcomes.

Be obsessed with your success. The outcome you


want will be directly proportionate to your thought
constancy,intensityandpower.

Over 90 per cent of the people I interviewed said


they constantly fed themselves with positive
thoughts during their studies and otherwise, and
theyconsciouslykeptatbayanykindofcriticismor
discouragingthoughts.

Usually three kind of motivational tools work best


with human beings: Auditory (hear), Kinesthetic
(feel)andVisual(see).Ofthese,althoughthevisual
tools work the best with most people, some find it
easier to gear up to a challenge with the help of
auditorystimuli.Findoutwhatworksthemagicfor
you.Forinstance,ifyoulovemusic,trylisteningto
thesoundofpeopleapplaudingyoursuccess.Ifyou
are stirred by emotions and feelings, feel what it
will mean to your parents when they hear that you
havedoneexcellentlyinstudies.Spendatleastfive
minutesofyourtimeeveryday,baskingintheglory
ofyourfutureaccomplishments.
62 | TheSecretofSuccess

TheTechniqueOfVisualisation

Do you know that the theory of relativity was first


visualised by Einstein before he put it on paper.
Many great inventions are first visualised in the
headofthe inventor.Telsa inventedthealternating
currentmotorin1888.Heranthemotorinhishead
foralmost three months. Later, hetookaparteach
motor part in this mental picture, juggled a few
pieces around and Voila! He came up with a new
design.Ourhistoryisrepletewithsuchexamples.

Over99percentofthestudents I interviewedsaid
they had visualized their success before they
achieved it. There are two kinds of visualization
techniquesthatworkbestundersuchcircumstances:
Visualization of the end result and visualization of
theprocess.

Visualize yourself achieving your study related


goals in terms of actual events that would occur:
Forinstance,youlookingatyourrankprintedinthe
newspaper, hosting a party in celebration, or
working withthebestinthebestoftheinstitutions.

Ofcourse,theendresultswillbeproportionalonly
totheeffortsyouputintoyourdreams.Biggerthe
dreams, bigger should be your efforts. Abhishek
Singh, Rank 93 IITJEE, 1998 claimed he had
visualized playing soccer at IITDelhi and
occupying the last bench in an IITDelhi lecture
TheSecretof Success| 63

room chatting up with the girls there, during his


preparation.

Also visualizetheprocessofstudying hardandthe


factthatyouareenjoyingthisprocess.Seeyourself
working efficiently using all the principles of time
managementthatwewilldiscusslaterinaseparate
chapterofthisbook.Pictureyourselfinyourmind,
finishingallthecourseworkontime,whileyouare
usingupthebalancetimeinentertainment.Finally,
64 | TheSecretofSuccess

see yourself scoring good marks in the preparation


tests.

BelieveinYourBelief

Believe me, belief is the mother of all inventions.


Becausesomeonebelievedthathumanbeingscould
fly,wehaveaeroplanes. Becausesomeonebelieved
inX,thereisY.Beliefoverridesallaspectsoflife.
There have been experiments in medical science
where placebos have cured terminally ill patients.
In a recent experiment conducted at Harvard
TheSecretof Success| 65

Medical School, a large sample of patients were


administered tranquillisers and they all reported
feeling chargedup, imagining that they have
receivedashotofsteroids.

In my own survey of successful students, almost


everyoneofthemsaidthatintheirheartsofhearts
they had a strong sense of belief in themselves,
which is why they did succeed. Conversely,
amongstthosewhodidnotmakeit,only3percent
had this kind of a strong belief in themselves, the
rest97percent harbouredsomeortheotherdoubt
abouttheirsuccess.

TheSignificanceofPositiveAffirmations

Considerthesestatements:
Iampassionateaboutstudying.
Iammakingthebestuseofmytime.

Spend at least five minutes a day reaffirming your


commitment . Say it aloud and clear I am a
member of The League, and then watch these
affirmations do the trick for you. One thing that
reallyhelpsinmakingaffirmationsworkisthatyou
do it with a full body motion, and in a high pitch
excitedtone.

TheLearning

The purpose of this chapter is to make you


understand that for any kind of success, you must
66 | TheSecretofSuccess

firstcarryastrongbeliefinyourself.Manystudents
Imeet,wanttobeinTheLeaguebutalwayssay,
IthinkIcanmakeit,maybeIamwrong,butletme
tryanywayOfcoursetheytriedandofcourse,
they failed. Are you surprised? Well, I am not.
Youcannotwinabattle if you give up onyourself
before the fight has even begun. People have
performedsuchmiraculousfeatsinthepast,whatis
success in studies compared to those feats? And
remember, the techniques of positive affirmation,
visualisation,understandingthepowerofbeliefand
thoughtwillhelpyouinthisjourneyaslongasyou
believe in them, even if you do not understand the
sciencebehindtheseconceptsintotality.

Inotherwords,believeandyouwillhaveit.Amen.
TheSecretof Success| 67

MasteringYourTime

You have only 24 hours in a day. This made me


wonder,ifeverybodyhasthesameamountoftime,
how come some students do so well and others
dont?

The answer of course, lies in time management.


Successfulpeopleseekoutbetter,fasterandsmarter
alternatives in learning. They invent their own
learningstrategiesandtrytominimisetheimpactof
timewastingactivitiesontheirstudyroutine.They
pack in more productive hours into their days
(which are made up of the same number of hours
incidentally) and are then left with enough time to
pursuesome leisureactivities.Smart learnerskeep
tabs on every minute that they have because they
know they are racing against the clock with over
several competitors!

WhatisTimeWastage?

WhenIusethisterm,Iamnotreferringtothetime
you spend on watching movies or television,
chatting with friends or going out for dinner. In
their proper context, all these activities are healthy
and to an extent necessary, if indulged in
moderation. What I am referring to is your use of
some inefficient study methods or squandering
disproportionate amount of time on activities, such
assleeping,eating,bathing,etc.
68 | TheSecretofSuccess

By the same token, entertainment overload is bad


justlikewatchingtoomanymoviesorspendingtoo
much time on 'no use' activities, such as day
dreamingthatdonotevenfallunderthecategoryof
relaxation. A goodcheckontimewastingtactic is
whenyouasksomeoneWhatareyoudoing?and
patcomestheanswer,Idontknow. Ifhedoesnt
knowwhathesdoingwithhistime,surelyhesjust
whilingitaway,isntit?

I do not want to quantify what overdoing certain


entertainment activities means. This definition
should better come from you. All I want to
emphasise on is that whatever prevents you from
utilisingyourtimeoptimallyrepresentsawastageof
yourtime.

If you are indulging in the abovecited activities in


moderation, I see no harm in them. Although I
would still suggest that you reduce the spread of
these activities to twoor three hours (at the max.)
per day, just to unwind and then get back to your
vision of joining The League. Also, when you
select these activities, see which ones carry the
potential of giving you the maximum possible
relaxationandentertainmentintheshortestpossible
span.Thenzeroinonthoseactivities.
TheSecretof Success| 69

TheConceptofTimeManagement

If determination is crucial to your success, so is


learningtomanageyourtime.Aftertakingstockof
all your content shortcomings, its mandatory that
you also take stock of your time availability and
make a firm resolution to yourself that you will
overcomealltheseshortcomingswithinafixedand
scheduledtimeframe.Thereshouldbenoroomfor
anycompromiseonthatcount.Over98percentof
the students in The League I interviewed
confessedthattheypracticetimemanagement,often
in itsextreme form inorderto make itthroughthe
exam, although most of them did not use the word
timemanagementtoexplainmetheconcept.

ReasonsforConservingTime

Itmaysoundclichdandabittoorhetoricalbutlet
mereiterate:

A. Time is one of the greatest resources and a


perishablecommodity
B. Withalittleplanning,itspossibletodomore
inlesstime
C. Withtimemanagementyouworksmarter,not
harder
D. The time that you earn through better
management can be used for fun activities and to
rejuvenatetheenergiesexpended instudies.Itcan
also be a source of fresh energy, positive thought
andhighselfesteem
70 | TheSecretofSuccess

The point in reiterating all this is that success in


studies is easy, but not until you understand the
science and technique. Whoever has ever been
successfulinstudies,hasconsciouslydistributedhis
or her time between different activities, thats why
he or she made it this far. Preparing for The
League does not permit you to have a causal
approach.Itsratherlikeplayingagameofchess
youhavetobeawareofallyourmovesandthinkin
advance.Youwillalsohavetocarveoutaspecial
timeframeforyourstudyactivitiesandifyoucant
doanyofthis,youdbetterforgetaboutthiswhole
thingofsucceeding.

TimeAwareness

MytrystwithtimemanagementstartedwhenIwas
sixmonthsintomyeleventhgradestudies.Atthat
time,Iwasputtingintenhoursintomystudyevery
daybutstillnotgettinggoodresultsatleast,not
the kind of results I wanted. (At that time, my
definition of membership to the League was
entrancetoIITwhichrequiredmetostudyhard,not
all goals such as topping in school, outstanding
marks in GRE or CAT etc requires this kind of
effort. So dont be overwhelmed by the number of
hours.)

Then, one day out of the blue, I decided to take


stock of exactly how I was spending those ten
hours. Very meticulously, I began to keep an
TheSecretof Success| 71

accountofevery minute,every hourthatIhadina


day. And, you know what? At the end of this
exercise,IrealisedthatIwasstudyingonlyforfive
hours!

The rest of the time, I was either on the phone, or


takingfiveminutebreaksthatoftenstretchedinto
halfanhour jaunts with friends or organising an
atmosphere for my study. Clearly, I was fooling
nobody but myself. In fact, I was not going
nowherewithmy50percentoutput/inputratio.
72 | TheSecretofSuccess

This forced me to devise what I later dubbed the


'timeOmeter.' The concept is similar to a
'calorimeter.' Withacalorimeter,wekeepawatch
onourweightwithatimeOmeter,wecankeepa
watch over our time expenditure. You wouldnt
believe it, but this timeOmeter did wonders for
me. I will, in fact, recommend it to every student.
DoyouwanttosetupatimeOmeteratyourhome?
Thenfollowthesesimplesteps:

SettingupaTimeOmeter

1. Placetwotableclocksonyourstudytable.Both
shouldbestopclocks.Giveeachclockaname.Let
their names be Actual and Believed. The Actual
clockwillkeepacountoftheactualtimeyouspend
on your studies, while the Believed clock will
maintain a record of the time you believe you are
spendingonyourstudies.

2. Setbothclocksto12 noon when you startyour


studies for the day. Stop both (not one) when you
giveyourselfaplannedbreakofmorethanhalfan
hour.Thiscouldbeforanafternoonnap,forgoing
out with friends, watching a movie or something
else.

However,when yourbreak isofadurationsmaller


than halfanhour, or at least that is what you
believe, stop the 'Actual' clock and let the
Believed clock tick as usual. This is the time
when you could be taking an unplanned nap,
TheSecretof Success| 73

attending to a friends phone call, calling up


somebody, going to the toilet, or simply stepping
out to check the weather. Even if you are
daydreaming, stop the Actual clock by the
appropriatetimeamount.

3. Check the time on both clocks when you are


done for the day. The ratio of time difference
betweentheActualandtheBelievedclockwillgive
you the exact measure of your efficiency. An
efficiency of over 80 per cent is excellent. An
efficiency of over 70 per cent is acceptable.
Anythingbelowthatisabsolutelyunacceptable.

4. Next, jot down on a piece of paper, a rough


estimateofthetimeyouspendonother,littleuse
activities, such as attending phone calls or
daydreaming.Thatwillaccountforthedifferencein
ActualandBelievedtime.Thiswillalsogiveyouan
idea of where and how you are spending a bulk of
your time. This will also help you plan your day
better.
Letmeputthistoyouinanotherway.Letsassume
thatyouplantostudyforsixhours(asmeasuredby
the Believed clock) and you end up spending over
80 per cent of these six hours in actual study. I
would say you are doing excellent from time
managementperspective.Ifnot,youneedtorevise
yourstrategy.

The point I am trying to make in this exercise is


that you mustbeawareabout how much timeyou
74 | TheSecretofSuccess

are actually spending on studying, as opposed to


whatyoumayhaveplannedtospend.Awareness
is the first step in time management. When I did
this exercise, I eventually realised that my time
efficiencywasonly50percent.Iwas,ofcoursenot
happywiththeseresultsand immediately setabout
correctingmycourse.Isetaremedialplanbecause
I was honest with myself and I had a correct
assessmentoftheavailabletimeresourcethatIhad.
You needtoworkwithatimeOmeter for at leasta
week to get a clearer picture of your time
management abilities. Later, when you have taken
steps to contain time wastage, you may also be
interested in knowing what amount of time you
have begun to gain every week! (Seriously, not
joking!)

Note however, that here I am talking about


efficiency, nottheactual numberof hoursspenton
studying which is another parameter to work on.
Forthis,youcouldsettimegoalsforeachdayora
week. Forexample, youcoulddecidethat youare
going to spend three hours on your studies during
weekdays,andsixhoursonweekends.Thisisjust
anexample.Howmuchtimeyouwanttosetaside
is of course your discretion and this is not
something that I can comment upon, even if I
wantedto
TheSecretof Success| 75

GoalSetting

ImaginewatchingagameoftheWorldCupFinals.
Imagine that Indian team is chasing a goal of 300
runsin50overs,i.e.anaverageofsixrunsperover.
Sachin Tendulkar and Saurav Ganguli are the
opening batsmen. They score at the rate of three
runs per over in the first 25 overs and later they
increaseittofourrunsperoverfortheremaining25
overs.Eventually,theteamscores175runswitha
loss of no wicket andWhoosh! We lose the
match!
Acricketfanreadingthisaccountwillimmediately
begintoyellandrantthatsuchascenarioissimply
not possible. This defies all common sense
cricketinglogic.And,hewouldntbewrong.When
ateam hastoscore300runs,they willalways feel
motivated to keep this goal in front of them when
they are hitting the ball and score at a rate, which
would make itappearasif thetarget isachievable.
They may have a lower their run rate initially, but
soon they will begin to catch up because players
knowthattheyhavetomaintainacertainminimum
threshold. They may try different strategies for
different bowlers but they will fundamentally keep
this logic in mind. They will try to score more on
thenotso goodoneswhileconcentratingonlyon
maintainingthewicketwiththegoodones.
AnotherwaySouravGanguli,thecaptain ofIndian
Cricket Team might decide to swing the match in
his teams favor is by dividing the total score into
76 | TheSecretofSuccess

smaller, more manageable chunks. He may for


instancedecidethathisteamwouldtrytoscore150
in 30 overs 230 in 40 overs and 300 by the 50th
over. But no matter what method the captain may
chose for his game, he and his team will have to
keep an eye on the goal (or goals) while trying to
meetorbetteritinthestipulatedtimeofovers.

The cricket analogy can be applied to anything,


even your preparation for a school or competitive
exam.Youneedtokeepthegoalconstantlyinsight
as you proceed. For this, try to keep the following
pointersinmind:
TheSecretof Success| 77

That you will complete your course work in


time with full confidence (i.e. score all 300
runs)
Thatyouwillsetatimelineforthenextone
twoyears(equivalenttothe50overs)
Thatfinally,youwillkeepaclosetabonthe
rate at which you finish your coursework
(Thefinalrunrate)

Remember that you will have to maintain your


studyrateaboveacertainthreshold.Ifitbeginsto
fallbelowthisbenchmark,thepressureonyouwill
increase,whichevenresultsinhightensionoracute
anxiety or even a nervous breakdown for a few
students, just as it happens with the fans in the
cricketingworldwhentheircricketingheroesbegin
tothrowawaywicketsveryfast.

Or, try another methodology and break your


curriculumintosmallchunksasSauravGangulidid
inourexampleandsettheseagainstfixeddeadlines,
e.g., finish Quantitative in a month for your CAT
preparation and Comprehension in 15 days and so
on.

At the end of this grueling yet enjoyable schedule,


remember, your trophywould be your membership
to The League. And just as the cricketers' lives
change dramatically after winning the World Cup,
withfansworshippingthemandcorporatebigwigs
chasing them with multimillion pay cheques for
product endorsements, your life may also change.
This is no hype. This is a fact. Take my solemn
78 | TheSecretofSuccess

word for it. After you become tremendously


successfulinyouracademicambitions,yourlifehas
the potential of becoming stable and even more
respectableandcomfortablecomparedtoothers.

As a member of The League, you will have, at


least,aregularjobwitha fatsalary,ortremendous
research opportunities with opportunities to go far
beyond.Needyouwantanythingmore?Thereisa
goodchanceyoucouldevengetthat!

ThePurposeofSettingGoals

Doyouknowwhatscommonbetweenadreamand
a goal? Both work best when they have been
writteninblackandwhite.Thesewrittenwordsare
like the road maps, which give us a sense of
direction.Theyrepresentmorethanamerescribble
onascrapofpaper.Foranyonetohaveacleargoal
and an action plan, a road map in life is a very
important tool to carry. Incidentally, thats our
topicfordiscussioninthischapter.

Setting goals and following them is the first


principle of time management. When you define
goals, youspelloutboth yourshortterm and long
term strategies. Longterm goals imply writing
down monthly, quarterly six monthly and yearly
plansformembershiptoTheLeague.Writedown
what portion of your courseware you are going to
cover in that one month and then start working
backwards from that goal. Next ask yourself, Is it
TheSecretof Success| 79

possible to accomplish the same goal in 15 days?


Orevenaweek?

Tociteyouanexample,whenyouarepreparingfor
your Medical Entrance exam, if your goal is to
finish chapters on Organic Chemistry, Modern
Physics and Anatomy of a human in Biology in
threemonths,youneedtowritedownexactlywhich
chapters you will cover from each topic, every
month. Split your task into small, manageable
modules. While it may be true that you may never
beabletofinishataskinastipulatedtimeframe,or
may finish it way before you had planned, but
settingagoalwouldgiveyouthedirectionyouneed
to reach your target. Moreover, with practice, you
would get better at estimating these time frames.
Also, if you are enrolled with a Medical coaching
institute or if you are using postal tutorials, this
institutewilldothismappingforyou,givingyoua
clear year or two years plan. Generally, the
scheduling scheme has been tested and proven on
manystudentsandisfoolproof.Sogofaithfullyby
thisscheme.

FundamentalsOfGoalSetting
There are certain basic fundas that you need to
knowwhilesettingyourgoals

A) Writedownallyourgoalsseparately.Writingis
described as the act of inscribing characters or
shapes on a surface to convey thoughts and ideas.
Have you ever wondered why this symbolic,
80 | TheSecretofSuccess

mechanical act is considered so important in the


goalachievementprocess?

It is important because putting pen to paper gives


body to our thoughts. It transfers nonverbal cues
into tangible, concrete expressions. The writing
becomes your signed testimonial. You can look at
it,physicallyfromadistanceanditwillremindyou
ofwhatyoupromisedyourselfayearago.

This act of using your eye in coordination with


your hand, while holding a pen, will make a firm
impressionon your mind,sowhile youarereading
or rereading a particular phrase, a sentence or a
booksection,thisimpressionconsolidatesandslips
deeperintooursubconscious.

B) Define goals in terms of specific activities and


specific processes. Without specifics, the whole
exercise is futile and meaningless. So split your
goalsintermsofspecificactionsandprioritisethose
actions.

C) Prioritiseandreprioritiseyourgoals. Thiswill
help you make the maximum use of your time
resource,sothatnothingimportantgetsleftout.

D) Identifyyourobstacles.Thesecouldbeinternal,
as well as external. Decide what additional
knowledge you need to gather before you can set
outtoachieveyourgoals.
TheSecretof Success| 81

E) Defineyourgoalsandstartworkingbackwards
from those goals. Affirmative commands are
excellent for time management. Keep repeating to
yourself, I am always punctual, I am well
organised, I use my time productively. Repeat
thesecommandsinyoursparetime.Actorpretend
as if you have already begun to follow these
commands.Inshort,fakeituntilyoumakeit.

ToolstoConvertGoalsintoReality

Icanassertwithconfidencethat if youemploythe
tools discussed under this topic, your chances of
succeedingwouldincreasemanyfold.Useareward
strategyfor'local'motivation.Rewardyourselfona
daily, weekly or monthly basis for optimum
performance. Tell yourself that if you manage to
finish your work in X amount of time, you will
give yourselfan houroffto gooutwith friends,or
treatyourselftoapizza.

I didn't invent this trick. It has been used for


Donkeysyears.MyparentsuseditonmeandIam
sure their parents must have used it on them.
Remember the statement Beta, agar homework
khatamkarlegatotoffeedoongi(Son,ifyoufinish
yourhomework,Iwillgiveyousweets). Buthere,I
amsuggestingthatyoubegintouseitonyourself.I
didit.AndIsucceeded.Nowitsyourturn.

BeforeIclosethischapter,Iwanttoshareonelast
time 'mantra' with you. At any point of time,
82 | TheSecretofSuccess

during your life, just stop for a moment and ask


yourself,Whatisthemostvaluableuseofmytime
now? Whenyougettheanswer,andyoudetecta
mismatch, immediately align your activity to your
goals. This would be your best approach to time
management.

Inthenutshell,itisimportanttomanageyourtime
well, but what is more important is how to extract
thebestresultsfromwhatevertimeyouarealready
spendingonyourstudies.Here,themostimportant
factorthatwilldetermineyourresults,andwhichis
also the factor that no books speak about is the
state in which you study. Peak state studying
would increase your output manifold, and is one
factor that separates the winner from the loser. So
lets dive into the next chapter termed state
management...
TheSecretof Success| 83

StateManagement

Just think about it: The role of government in a


country is similar to that of an individual in a
society,andthatroleisofStatemanagement.The
word state of course refers to different things. If
you have full control over your state, and by
state I am referring to your mind and body, then
yoursuccessisalmostguaranteed.However,before
wegetintodetailsofthisstatemanagement,letme
demonstrate a technique that would bring you to
your peak state whenever you want yourself to get
into that heightened awareness state. I call it a
power move and some students whom I have
taught earlier have started calling it Whoosh. In
order to bring you to that state, I suggest that you
stand up and stand straight and fold your fingers
intoafist,movingyourhandveryfast,whilesaying
YesorWhoosh,bendingalittleandgettingyour
wholebodyinvolvedinthisexercise.Ifitshardfor
you to visualize what I am saying, imagine what
you would do after coming out of an exam hall,
where you know you have performed well and can
expect excellent results. A simple movement like
thiscangoalongwayinchangingbothyourmental
and physical state to one of optimal performance.
Anddonttakemywordforit,doitnow.Yesnow.
Put this book aside for a while stand up, and
performthepower moveatleastthreetimes.Dont
belazy,justdoit!
84 | TheSecretofSuccess

Tell me, how do you feel now? Excited,


rejuvenated, energetic or at least woken up? I still
use this power move to feel alert. Some students
with whom I later shared this technique, told me
that they were able to study for two extra hours
simply by using this simple technique, whenever
theyfeltwornoutortired.

PeakPerformanceState

Peak state performance has many definitions, but


for simplicity sake, we will define it as a state in
which an individual is able to obtain 80 per cent
results of his maximum capacity. Massively
successfulpeopleremainintheirpeakstatesmostof
the time and not just when they are performing a
feat or an activity. Michael Jordan, the star
basketball player revealed in an interview that his
success was attributable to the fact that he took
everypracticeasifitweretheNBAfinals,implying
thathewasalwaysinapeakstateofmindandbody.
Success in examination can be largely attributed to
remaininginthispeakstateallthetime.

Iknowthatsomeofyoumaybesaying,Weknow
thatwemustalwaysbeinourpeakstates,buthow
doyouexpectustobeinapeakstateallthetime?
MyanswerissimpleYoucanremainandstudyin
a peak state simply by choosing to simply by
committingto be inapeakstate.Once you make
thiscommitmentthatyouwillstudyonlywhenyou
TheSecretof Success| 85

are in this peak state, you will find ways to quit


studying when you are not in this state and then
quicklycomebacktothepeakstateagaintostudy.
ThepowermovethatIdiscussedbeforeisahandy
tooltobringyourselftothispeakstateofmindand
body. Another way to improve the quality of your
study experience without reducing efficiency is by
clubbing the study act with certain other activities
thatyouenjoy.Forinstance,listeningtolightmusic
(not songs with lyrics) like Beethoven while
studying, has been scientifically proven to increase
productivity of people by transporting them to a
happy state. Similarly, taking a shower, or a short
walkhasalsobeenproventobebeneficialforquick
mindandbodyrelaxationduringastudybreak.

If nothing works, then maybe its time to change


youractivityandcomebacktothechapterlater.

Remember,howmuch youstudythat matterslittle,


but how you study is what distinguishes students.
PeakStatestudyingshouldbe yourcentralconcept
whilestudying.

EmotionalMastery

I conduct and give seminars titled Your Power to


Succeed,regularlyandthe mostcommonquestion
thatIhavecomeacrossis:HowisitthatIeatwell,
exercise regularly, enjoy my job, love my partner,
think positively yet I frequently find myself in
86 | TheSecretofSuccess

negativemoods.Ifeelangry,panicstricken,guilty,
dreadfulanddepressed,allthetime?Itoftenseems
thatI have nocontrol over theseemotionsandthis
is seriously hampering my capacity to work or
study.PleasehelpandtellmewhatshouldIdo?
Thegoodnewsisthatyoucanhavefullcontrolover
youremotionsandthereisahugebodyofresearch
thatprovesjust that. Emotional mastery ispossible
withMoodswingsthatcan beachievedwiththe
helpofcertainAnchors.Anchorisatermusedin
NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) a concept
thatwestudiedearlierinthechapteronSubliminal
Conditioning. An Anchor explains how your
moodcanchangeinresponsetoapositivetriggeror
astimulus.Letssayyou'rewatchingaprogramon
TV. It flashes an advertisement for some snack
foodandthenextmoment,youareheadingforyour
refrigerator for some 'comfort food'. That's an
example of anchoring. The advertisement
(Stimulus) immediately triggered a desire for food
(Response)inyou.
Another example of anchoring is when you are
studying and the phone rings, or you hear a dogs
bark, or you seeing the teddy bear sitting on the
couch or simply smell a particular fragrance. The
resultant emotion will come from the past
information that your mind has stored on this
stimulus. Thats called conditioning. Sometimes,
your mind may have linked a negative state to
someone touching you in a particular manner on
yourshoulder, maybeduringatimewhensomeone
diedinyourfamily,andyearslaterwhenthisperson
TheSecretof Success| 87

uses the same gesture with you again, you


immediatelywillgointoanegativestateofmind,as
subconsciously, you link these two activities (of
shouldertappingandtheeventofdeath)ofnegative
connotationstogether.Thisisthepowerofanchors.
The anchor will automatically and instantly propel
youintoanemotionalstate,withoutyourbeingable
todoanythingtopreventit!

Oncewegetabetter understanding ofouranchors,


we can chose to break anchors that put us in a
negative state of mind and instead concentrate on
anchors that steer us to a positive state of mind.
Breakinganegativeanchorrequiresyoutoidentify
the stimulus that may be causing a change in you
emotional state, breaking away from it and then
coming back to a normal happy state by realising
that the cause of this event was anchors. Although
completely breaking free of negative anchors is a
complicated phenomenon, I am often able to take
peoplethroughthisprocessduringourseminars.
Forinstance,whatworksformeisthefactthatItry
to override an anchor by forcing myself into my
peak state by using power moves. Creating a
positiveanchorissimplerthanyouwouldimagine.
Whenever you are in a peak state of performance,
you can capture and reinforce the effect of those
moments by attaching a unique stimulus like
listeningtoapieceofmusicorperformingaunique
motionlikeclappingtothatstimulus.Byrepeating
this a couple of times, your brain will form a link
between your peak state and the music or the
88 | TheSecretofSuccess

clapping sound. In Psychology, this would be


identified as Pavlovian conditioning.4 Later,
whenever catch yourself slipping into a black
mood, play that piece of music, or perform that
moveandyouwillautomaticallyfeeltransportedto
a different (more relaxed) state of mind. Sounds
corny,Irecommendthatyoutry itoutonyourself.
This phenomenon has roots in science and I have
justtwowordsforit,ItWorks.

Everydayquestions

A manapproachedSwamiParsatharthyandputthe
following question to the learned seer: Swamiji, a
companyhasreleasedanappointmentadvertisement
for the post of a CEO and a clerk. Which position
should I apply for? The Swamis answer was
clerkbecauseapersonwhoqualifiestoapplyfora
CEOspostwonteverhaveaskedthisquestion,in
thefirstplace!

Theinferenceisthatthequalityofquestionsweask
others play an important role in the quality of
answers that we get. However, what is even more
important, are the quality of questions we ask
ourselves. Small events that occur in our life
everyday and the questions we ask our mind shape
up our entire life. Have you ever gone out in the
blazingheatandaskedyourself,Whyisitsohot?
4
LookupPavlovianConditioningontheInternetbyloggin
ontohttp://employees.csbsju.edu/tcreed/pb/pavcon.html
TheSecretof Success| 89

insteadofaskingyourself:WhatcanIdoaboutthis
heat?Hadyouaskedyourselfthesecondquestion,
youwouldhavegotavalidresponselikeMaybeI
should go out only in the evening. Or, maybe, I
shouldinvestinacooleroranairconditioner.

Let us go back to a time when you faced some


problem in life, a problem that may have appeared
larger than life at that time. Our mind generally
throws questions to us at such times, and the
answers that we generally come up with often lead
ustoastateofdilemma,wherethewholedecision
making process becomes painful and slow. For
example,ourmindmayask,Whyisthishappening
to me? And then we look for answers to the
question like Maybe it is the result of some bad
karmainthepast,ormaybeIamjustplaindumb!
If you have faced such a scenario, as the most
motivatingthingtotellyourselfis:HowcanIdo
better next time? instead of allowing yourself to
feeldemotivatedwithallthenegativethoughts..

I am confident that once you consciously start


askingtheseempoweringquestions,insteadofthose
lousy demoralizing ones, you would yourself
acquirethetechniqueofasking goodquestionsand
coming up with equally good answers. And the
questions youask yourselfwould improvewiththe
quality of experiences you have and will steer you
toultimatesuccess. Generally,afteryouwakeupin
the morning and before going to school, college or
work, if you ask yourself Why do I need to wake
90 | TheSecretofSuccess

up? or It would be such fun if it were a holiday


today? or Do I have to do this? or even
CouldntIsleepforjust5moreminutes?,youare
only representing your feelings through these
questions. But did you know that these sorts of
questions intensify your feelings, and most
importantlyifyouweretochangethequestions,you
can actually change your feelings. So, when you
wakeup,tryaskingthefollowingquestionsinstead!
How excited I am about starting a new day? or
HowcanImakebestuseofmyday?Incaseyou
got lower marks in practice tests, ask, How can I
improve my marks? The quality of questions you
ask would determine your state, and hence your
results.
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TheLearningExperience

Whatislearning?

Iknow itsoundslikeasimplequestionbutbelieve
me, I have asked this question to millions of
students and teachers, and have never gotten the
rightanswer.Thinkaboutanansweryourself,andif
youcanfindapencilrightnow,writeitdowninthe
spacebelow,Whatislearning?

Learning is ________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________

If you would notice, the answer you have given


would represent a characteristic of learning, but is
not the definition itself. To understand Learning,
we will first have to realize that our universe of
information and knowledge can be divided into 2
areasknownandunknown.Knownportionofthe
universe, as the name suggests comprises of
knowledgethatyouarewellversedwith.Unknown
portionoftheuniverserepresentsinformationthatis
newforyou,informationthatyouarestillnotaware
about,notatleastfully.AndLearningistheprocess
ofconnectingtheUnknownwiththeKnown.Iwill
repeat here, Learning is the process of connecting
the Unknown with the Known. And if you think
clearly, isnt this a million dollar statement? Once
92 | TheSecretofSuccess

we understand this fact, it can bring a rapid


transformationinoneslearningcareer.

Letmegiveyouanexamplehere.Sayyourgoalis
to understand Electric Resistor in Physics. And I
start explaining you that Resistance is the ratio of
CurrentandVoltageandismeasuredinOhms,and
sayyouhavenoideawhatvoltageis,thentheabove
learning experience would not be that good as you
are still connecting Unknown with Unknown. It
may sound funny but isnt that what we do often
whilelearningnewconcepts.Andsurprisinglytrue,
thatiswhatanumberofteachersdo(Iamsureyou
are not one of them in case you are a teacher and
readingthisbook)whileexplainingnewconceptsto
children and later complain the child is a slow
learner.

If onewastoexplainresistancetoastudentwhohas
no idea about electricity, and say you are that
student,Iwouldaskyouanotherquestion.Haveyou
ever seen (or can imagine) a tube with water
flowingthroughit?Iamsureyouhave.Nowifyou
wanttocontrolthe flowofwaterthrough the tube,
whatwillyoudo?Thinkaboutit!Right,youwould
use a stopper something like a Dam does for a
river. Similar to a stopper, a Resistor is what
controls the flow of an electric current in a wire.
The higher the resistance, the less is the flow of
currentandviceversa.MakesSense!
TheSecretof Success| 93

LearningCurve

Most students (and even adults) dont really


understand how the results vary with efforts. If we
look at Diagram 2 on page no. 95, the X axis
represents efforts and the Y axis represents results.
Lets take an example that we are trying to learn
tennis.Initially,asweputinefforts,westartgetting
results in terms of improvement in our game. We
arehappywithourprogress.Butafteralittlewhile,
wehitaplateau.Basicallyweareputtinginefforts
but there is no progress, our results are still the
same.About99%ofpeoplegiveuplearningtennis
at some place or other on the plateau. Towards the
end of plateau, there is a slight dip. This dip
indicates that although we are putting n more
efforts,theresultsareactuallydeclining.99%ofthe
remainderpopulationquithere.Butwhattheydont
realize is that just beyond the dip there is sunlight.
Thecurvetakesasteepupwardturn,andwithvery
little effort, we start getting outstanding results.
Thisisaplaceinthelearningcurvewherewinning
takes place, but as you see that only 0.01% of
people ever reach here. See how much you can
relate this curve to your life. Initially you start
somethingnew,sayaselfstudycourseinRobotics
thatteachesyouhowtomakearobot.Initiallyyou
areexcited,youputineffortandstartgettingresults
intermsofcreatingtherobotbase.Aftersometime,
youarestillputtingineffort,butnomatterwhatyou
tryyoudontseemtobemakinganyprogress.You
are now on the plateau. Now that you understand
94 | TheSecretofSuccess

that this plateau will pass as long as you keep


putting in effort (only the losers will start getting
bored or saying this isnt for me) you know that
afterthedip,youwillbecameawinner.Youwould
have created the magnificent robot can walk and
evenmaketurnsonitsown.

This learningcurve isapplicable isstudiesaswell.


Wemayreachapointwhereputtinginextraefforts
isnotbringinginresults,butweneedtorealizethat
we are standing on a plateau and should keep on
putting effort to cross that area, not become de
motivated.Alotofstudentsloseoutthebattleinthe
plateauandthedip,whereastheyweresocloseto
success. Again, lets say that you are determined to
clear the Medical entrance examination, and
preparing for the same. You are initially putting in
effort, and in mock tests your score is increasing.
Afterawhile,yourscoredoesntincreaseandhitsa
plateau.Youstillkeeponpracticing.Onceawhile,
yourscoremaydipalso,youarestillmotivated.
TheSecretof Success| 95

Understanding the curve would really help you


understand where you are standing right now
whicheverareayouwanttomaster.

3StepStrategyforLearning
I want to share a guaranteed success formula for
startingandmasteringanythingnew,beitstartinga
newcourseoreventryingtolearntomountainbike.
This formula was developed by a close friend of
mine. I noticed Mitesh during a play at IIT, his
enthusiasm for acting was beyond turbocharged.
Here was someone who was so enthusiastic about
everything, from small to big and so adventurous
thathewouldtryanythingonce.
96 | TheSecretofSuccess

Irecentlyinterviewedhimthathowdoeshefollow
up on his whimsical desires. I had known so many
peoplethinkingaboutlearningtoflyanairplaneasa
hobby, but would never do it because they would
rationalize the high price or time commitment or
how they would benefit from it. Once there was a
hypeabout learning flyingatourofficeandalmost
everyone enrolled but only one eventually
completedthecourse.Thedayhegotthelicenseto
fly,whichwas10monthslater,Ilearnthowhedoes
whathedoesandactuallyfollowsupwithit,where
manypeoplenevertakeeventhefirststep.

Firstly, he has this governing principle in life,


learningnewthingswouldbepleasurableandneeds
tobegivenashot.Thisunderlyingvaluehehasin
life helps him to take quick decisions regarding
opportunities to learn new things, be it acting,
flyingorlearningtorideamotorcycle.

Another step he takes to ensure that he grabs a


learningopportunityistotakeastepinthedirection
withinadayofmakingthedecision.Heenrolledin
flyingclassesassoonas hedecided,boughtabike
as soon as he decided he wanted to learn it. He
understandsthatitisimportanttotakethefirststep
in the direction as soon as you make the decision,
thissetsupmomentumandthenthereisnolooking
back.

He also follows up on what he started by keeping


himself motivated by short term goals. Although
TheSecretof Success| 97

flyingmayseemveryexcitingtomany,takingtime
outofabusyscheduleanddoingthesamethingfor
10 months can be pretty hard and boring, but he
keeps himself motivated by focusing on short time
successes instead of focusing strictly on ultimate
success, which would be getting the license to fly.
Like he had intermediate goals of learning to land,
andthen learningto landwithin100 metersandso
on. Setting a goal for each class and rewarding
himselfaftereveryclassisawayofkeepinghimself
motivated. Another thing is not to have regrets in
life, as to no matter what, you would have learnt
somethingnew.

You might be thinking, what does the above


example have to do with success in academics or
competitiveexams?Wellthethreeprongedstrategy
used for learning flying is applicable directly to
studies also. Say you intend to start a chapter of
Molecular Biology, then you should first have an
underlying value that you would be learning new
things that is exciting and would bring rewards.
Secondly, start the course within a day (if possible
thesameday)of makingthedecisionto finishthis
specific portion of the course. And lastly, to keep
yourself motivated, make subgoals of the course
and reward yourself when you finish that smaller
portion, dont fall in the trap of being motivated
only by the end goal which may take months to
finish. The above method can of course be applied
inotherareasoflearningaswell.
98 | TheSecretofSuccess

SensoryLearning

This is another silly question. After understanding


what learning is and other information related to
learning, the next question is How does Learning
reallytakeplace?Iamgoingtoanswerthisquestion
myself Learningtakesplacethroughoneor more
ofthe5sensoryorgans, most learningtaking place
through 3 of them namely eyes (visual), feel
(kinesthetic) and ears (auditory). Thus Visual,
Kinesthetic and Auditory are referred to as
modalities of learning and each individual learns
throughthese3modesonly.Forexample,ateacher
writing with a chalk on a black board is a visual
mode teacher saying things aloud to students
represents an auditory mode while a student
learning robotics by assembling a kit represents a
kinesthetic mode of learning. Let us study these
modes in a little detail, and very soon I will walk
you through how understanding these learning
modescandrasticallychangethewayyoustudy!

Auditorylearners:

Auditory learners tend to benefit most from


traditionalteachingtechniques.Manyteachersusea
lecturestyle forum, presenting information by
talking to their students. Regulating voice tone,
inflection,andbody languagewill helpallstudents
maintain interest and attention. Auditory learners
TheSecretof Success| 99

succeed when directions are read aloud, speeches


are required, or information is presented and
requestedverbally.

Visuallearners:

Some students rely upon a visual learning style:


"Show me and I'll understand." Visual learners
benefit from diagrams, charts, pictures, films, and
written directions. These students will value todo
lists, assignment logs, and written notes. Many of
these techniques, however, also benefit kinesthetic
learners.

Kinestheticlearners:

Most of the school population excels through


kinesthetic means: touching, feeling, experiencing
thematerialathand."Childrenenterkindergartenas
kinesthetic and tactual learners, moving and
touching everything as they learn. Kinesthetic
learners are most successful when totally engaged
withthelearningactivity.Theyacquireinformation
fastest when participating in a science lab, drama
presentation, skit, field trip, dance, or other active
activity. Handson teaching techniques are gaining
recognition because they address the challenging
needsofkinesthetic learners,aswellasthediverse
needsofauditoryandvisuallearners.

Scientists have found out that each individual has


oneprimary modeof learning.Manystudents have
aVisualmodeoflearningandtosuchstudentsyou
100 | TheSecretofSuccess

have to show them things. You can try teaching


thembyauditorymodewholedayandtheymaynot
understand a thing. Some students may have
auditorymodeasaPrimarymodeanditsimportant
that they learn by listening. Students having
Kinesthetic mode of learning as a primary medium
always have to do things by themselves, such as
those computer geeks who can assemble and
disassemble computers. Showing and talking will
nothelpthemlearnasmuch.

Youmayhavealreadyidentifiedyourlearning
style.Incaseyouhavent,thereisacomplete
exerciseinAppendixAtohelpyoufindyour
primarylearningstyle.Asaquickfix,justanswer
thefollowingquestion:

IfIhavetolearnhowtodosomething,Ilearnbest
whenI:

Visual: Watchsomeoneshowmehow.
Auditory:Hearsomeonetellmehow.
Kinesthetic:Trytodoitmyself.

Now that you know which learning style you rely


on, you can boost your learning potential when
working to learn more. For instance, the following
suggestions can help you get more from reading a
book:

If your primary learning style is visual, draw


pictures in the margins, look at the graphics, and
readthetextthatexplainsthegraphics.Envisionthe
TheSecretof Success| 101

topicorplayamovieinyourthoughtsofhowyoull
actoutthesubjectmatter.

If yourprimary learningstyle isauditory,listento


the words you read. Try to develop an internal
conversation between you and the text. Dont be
embarrassed to read aloud or talk through the
information.

If your primary learning style is kinesthetic, use a


pencil or highlighter pen to mark passages that are
meaningful to you. Take notes, transferring the
information you learn to the margins of the book,
into your journal, or onto a computer. Doodle
whatevercomestomindasyouread.Holdthebook
inyourhandsinsteadofplacingitonatable.Walk
around as you read. Feel the words and ideas. Get
busybothmentallyandphysically.

Do remember that having a primary learning mode


doesnt mean that you dont use other learning
modes.Youwouldstilllearnthroughallmodes,be
itvisual,auditoryandkinesthetic.

Many course developers and teachers take special


precautionofaddingallthethreemodesoflearning
so that every student in the class can learn in a
proper manner. In case your teacher uses a single
mode for teaching, say auditory (speaking), do
request him and her to include visual (writing on
board or using slides) and kinesthetic (practical
exercises)sothatyoucanhaveacompletelearning
experience.
102 | TheSecretofSuccess

Memory andMemorization
Howdoesourmemorywork?

Werememberthingsbyassociation.Everypieceof
information in our memory is connected to other
piecesinsomewayoranother.Forexample,ifyou
are given the word "apple", what is the first word
that comes to your mind? Perhaps something like
this:

APPLE:red,round,sweet,teacher,tree,fruit,
computer,ipod,music,juicy,juice

You may think immediately of a word that is


present in this list, or maybe some other word that
youmighthaveassociatedbeforewithappleinyour
life.Generally,thewordwillsomehowberelatedto
apple like the above list. But it's unlikely that we
mightsee"apple"andthinkof"elephant"(unlessof
courseyouremembersomefunnyincidentinwhich
anelephantinzoowasplayingwithanapple).

And what if you were asked what the 7th letter of


the alphabet system (AZ) was? Chances are, you
wouldn't know that "G = 7," but you could easily
think to yourself, "A B C D E F G," and then say
"G". You used association to get to the letter G,
because you knew A was the first letter, then you
kept choosing the next letter in the sequence until
you got to the right one. Essentially you had
remembered AZ in associations AB, BC, and CD
andsoon!
TheSecretof Success| 103

Howcanwelearntorememberthingsbetter?

Ifyouarewonderingthatwhyyoucantremember
everything you studies, the answer is obvious. If
there is no obvious association between things, it's
very difficult to remember them. For example,
suppose you needed to remember that your plane
takesoffat2P.M.Thereisnothingabouttheplane
thatwouldsuggestthenumber2morethanitwould
any other number (at least at first glance).
Therefore,2iseasilyforgotten.Likewise,howdoes
your best friend relate to his phone number, an
arbitrarystringofdigits?Orhowdoesanewword,
like"hypothalamus,"relatetowhatitrepresents?

Its simple. If memory works by association, we


activelyworktocreateanassociationbetweentwo
bitsof information. Forexample, forthe plane that
we need to catch at 2 P.M., we can imagine the
plane in our mind, and notice that it has 2 wings.
Two wings, 2 P.M. There's an association. We are
nowtentimesmorelikelytorememberthetakeoff
time long after it has faded from our shortterm
memory.

Sometimes an association comes very easily. For


example,supposeyouareintroducedtoaMr.Smith
whoisaBlackSmith.Prettyeasy,huh?Orwhatif
you'retryingtoremembertheclassroomnumberfor
aChemistryclass,anditjustsoturnsoutthatit'sthe
same as your hostel room number. Another natural
104 | TheSecretofSuccess

association! Do you think you'll have a problem


rememberingit?

When pieces of information are not obviously


related in any way, however, we have to be a bit
morecreativeinlinkingthingstogether.Butitisn't
ashardasitseems.Mostofuslearnedrhymesand
acronymsinschoolthathelpedusrememberthings.
Doanyofthefollowinglookfamiliartoyou?

Nevereatsourwatermelons(directionsona
compass)

Why dothey work? Becausethey formaneasyto


remember and clever association between
themselves and the information that is to be
remembered.

PropertiesofMemory

Herearesomeotherpropertiesofmemory:

LawofRecency:
We are more likely to remember things that
happenedrecentlythanthosethathappeneda
long time ago. You can probably remember
what you had for dinner yesterday, but not
whatyouatefordinnertwoweeksagotoday.

LawofVividness:
Wetendtorememberthemostspectacularor
strikingimpressionsratherthanthosethatare
more ordinary. You can probably remember
TheSecretof Success| 105

whatyoudidonyourlastbirthday,orperhaps
the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion, but
not what happened on the previous day of
those occasions (unless, that too, was a
"special"occasion).

LawofFrequency:
We tend to remember things we experience
the most often, rather than those we
experience only once in a while. You are
muchmorelikelytorememberyournameor
yourphone numberthanthesquarerootof3
(unlessyouareamathematician).

We can take advantage of these laws, too. You


probablyalreadyusetheLawofrecencybyrevising
allthecourseworkbeforetheexamination.

YouprobablyalsousetheLawofFrequencyaswe
allknowthatifwerepeatawordorphrase20times,
we can remember it more easily. How about 50 to
100timesforthingsthosearereallycrucial,likethe
Periodic Table? Although time consuming, this
approach to memorizing is really useful as it
presents a simplistic approach to memorizing. One
morepointtobenotedherethatwritingdownthings
50timestomemorizeisfarbetterthanreadingit50
times. Writing is more of a full body activity and
our mind remembers things much more clearly
when compared with what we read just with our
eyes. Personally, during my school, college and
competitiveexamdays,Iwasnotawareaboutother
106 | TheSecretofSuccess

memorization techniques and used to write


everythingIintendtorememberover50100times,
andIstillrememberquiteafew!

What about the "Law of vividness?"The idea is to


be unusual, creative and clever. The emphasis here
isonthewordunusualasourmindtendstoforget
usual things. we need to remember a list such as
periodic table, instead of trying to remember the
whole table, we can focus on learning in pairs i.e.
focus on remembering Na Mg, Mg Al, Al Si
separately in the list Na, Mg, Al, Si. It is also
helpful in associating Na and Mg by a unique
picture like a Soda (Sodium) bottle falling on a
Magzine(Magnesium)withthesodamakingamess
of the magzine. The above picture will always
remind you that in the periodic table, Sodium is
followedbyMagnesium.
TheSecretof Success| 107

MentoringAndMaterialTalk

In this chapter we will discuss the need for a guru


and good books/reference material for success in
studies.

MentoringMatters

You may wonder: Why do I need a mentor or a


guru?Yes,whyindeed?Exceptthatifyouwereto
ask someone who is already a student of The
League, he is very likely to attribute a portion of
hissuccesstosomeformofmentorship,coachingor
guidancethathereceivedduringhispreparation.I
can bet my last rupee on the fact that formal
learning from a teacher does figure in the top five
factors that contribute to a persons success in
academics.

Thiscoachingmayormaynotbeverystructuredor
formal. It may come from a coaching institute,
private tuitions, or even through a correspondence
course. Or it may be someone you know and is
willing to help you out. Or for that matter, your
school teachers as long as you are willing to take
themseriouslyandplaceyourtrustinthem.

A lot of students and parents have a contrary view


towhatIamsuggestinghere.Theysaythatlearning
shouldbedonebyselfwithoutanyhelp,onlythenit
108 | TheSecretofSuccess

is real learning. A student should do things strictly


ontheirownwithoutanyexternalhelp,onlythenhe
or she is bright, otherwise the success was the
resultant of the mentorship they received and not
based on their own merit. Personally, I believe in
leveraging all resources one has. If Guru was not
required, why would since the traditional times of
Mahabharata and Ramayana, all princes have
Gurus for learning anything and everything from
archery to Vedic mathematics? Why would all
sports personalities from the new age icon Sania
Mirza to legends like Sachin Tendulkar and Limba
Ram have coaches even after getting unparallel
success.

WhyMentoring?

I would say, although not absolutely essential,


mentoringdoeshelp.Infact,ithelpstremendously.
Amentorissomeonewhotakespersonalinterestin
yourprogress.Amentormustbetakenasafriend,
philosopheroraguide.Didyouknow,forinstance,
that the word mentor originated from Greek
mythology, where Mentor was the name of a wise
andfaithfuladvisortoOdysseus?
TheSecretof Success| 109

LessonsfromtheBigBrothers/BigSisters
mentoringprogrambeingrunintheUS:
85percentoftherespondentsreportedan
increaseinmenteesselfesteem
63percentreportedanincreaseinschool
grades
56percentsaidthatrelationshipswiththeir
familiesimproved
69percentsaidpeerrelationshipswere
better
66percentreportedimprovedmentee
relationshipswiththeotherteachers,aswell
And,86percentsaidyoungstersinthe
programexperiencedincreasedexposureto
culturalandeducationalservices

Mentoring 5definitely helps increase a student's


chancesofacademicsuccess.Itcanalsoleadtoan
increase in the learner's self esteem. Because
mentoring is a social relationship, a oneonone
bondingwithaseniorandexperiencedperson,who
believes in his protges abilities, it greatly helps
the protge hone his basic learning skills. An
evaluation of the success of various mentoring
programmesdonebyCaveandQuint(1990)6 found

5
BigBrothers&BigSistersInternational,
http://www.bbbs.bm/Files/aboutus.htm
6
Cave,G.,andJ.Quint.1990.CareerBeginningsImpact
Evaluation:FindingsfromaProgramforDisadvantaged
110 | TheSecretofSuccess

that students who participated in these mentoring


programmeshadhigherlevelsofcollegeenrolment
and higher educational aspirations than non
participants.

WhatExactlyDoesAMentorDo?

A mentor is someone you can go to with all your


problems both personal and technical. He (or
she) is your troubleshooter. He is also your
soundingboard,someoneyoucanuseforvalidating
information received from other, diverse sources.
The main benefit is that if you have a mentor you
are not required to reinvent the wheel every time
you encounter a problem. He or she will have the
solutionreadyforyou,oftenservedonaplatter.

A guru or a mentor can also help you in selecting


appropriate study material and/or in making a
structured study plan that could be followed round
the year. If the mentor is committed to your
aspirations,hewillbemorethanwillingtosharehis
pearlsofwisdomwithyou. Inthisrespect,itwould
be ideal to choose a mentor whom you could look
uponandhavecompletefaithinhisadvice.Such a
mentorisgenerallysomeonewhohaswalkedonthe
path you are attempting and has been successful in
beingamemberof TheLeague.

HighSchoolStudents.NewYork:ManpowerDemonstration
ResearchCorporation.
TheSecretof Success| 111

A mentorwill help you divide yourstudyschedule


into manageable chunks, which you can complete
over one to two years. He can pave the path for
you. You will only have to concentrate on the
journey and the objective of reaching your final
destination.However,toaccomplishthat,youmust
firstandforemost,reposeblindfaithintheabilities
of your guru once you have accepted them as a
Guru.

I am repeating this only because this is so critical,


youmustacceptthatyourguruknowsthebest.My
advice is for you to choose a mentor in whom you
haveabsolutefaith,someoneyoubelievecandono
wrongbecause,ifyoubegintodoubtyourmentors
intentionsorquestionhiscoachingability,youwill
end up spending an enormous amount of time in
testing the validity of every concept that he is
teachingyou,whichwouldrepresentnothingbuta
wasteofapreciousresourceyourtime.

JustaMinute Evenifagurudoesgo
Firsthewrought wrongafewtimes,the
Thenhetaught harm done would be
AChineseProverb lessthanifyouwereto
doubt his wisdom
every time he tries to teach you something new.
Remember, a guru will challenge you with new
ideas. His job is to provoke your passive mind, to
bombard you with challenging thoughts. So dont
panic whenthis happensdontstruggleagainst his
112 | TheSecretofSuccess

methods dont question his motives, and believe


me,youshallsailthrough,justfine.

ChoosingTheRightGuru

To choose the right guru is very important and the


thumb rule to follow in this regard is choose a
mentor, who once trod the same path. Someone
withaproven track record,asopposedto someone
completely raw and inexperienced, however bright
heorshemayotherwisebe,willbethebestforyou.
Also,itwouldbefareasierforyoutotrustsomeone
with experience and one with a few grey hairs on
hisheadthanonewithlittleornoexperience.

Again, a mentor need not be a person. A coaching


instituteoraprivatetutorcanalsoassumethisrole.
Coaching institutesareavailablea dimeadozen in
this country and selecting the right one may be
tougher than you had initially imagined but dont
worry. Instead, try to make a prudent choice.
HoweverstaywaryofMomandPopoutfits.Dont
fall into the trap of flybynight operators or get
swayedbytheirmarketingblitzkrieg.Further,dont
hesitate in making inquiries from students already
enrolled with the coaching institute, inquire about
the faculty, the number of students who have
succeededfromthatinstituteinthepast,thekindof
infrastructuretheyhave,andthenmakeadecision.
TheSecretof Success| 113

BewareOf
Whenyouchoseacoachinginstitute,employthe
followingparameters
Makediscreteinquiriesfromstudentsalready
enrolledwiththeinstitute
Checktheirinfrastructure.Mostcoaching
institutesareonemanoutfits
Checktheirtrackrecord.Howmanystudents
haveenteredTheLeaguefromthatinstitutelastyear
Checkthefacultybytalkingtothemandthe
studentsaboutthem

To be a member of league in high competitive


times,ItoohadaprivateMathstutorduringIXand
X grades and had even joined a coaching institute
for my preparation for JEE and recalls all its
benefits. My teachers spared no efforts in
motivatingandprodding me toput in moreefforts.
They selected my course material and devised a
foolproof, study plan for me, which I followed
religiously till the fag end. I was graded on all my
assignments and given constant feedback, after
which I gradually began to improve. It was a
compelling, competitive atmosphere, where I could
benchmark my progress to other students,
something that is not possible under selfstudy or
postalcoachingplans.

Yet if you do not have the financial resources to


footthesteepfeethatsomeoftheprivatetuitionsor
114 | TheSecretofSuccess

coaching institutes charge, there are still many


optionsleft.Oneoptionisdefinitelyhavingavirtual
mentor, where your Mentor may not be physically
present with you but you could consult them at
timesthroughphoneandemail.Therearenumberof
societies and foundations who work in this area.
You could also find some retired people who have
the time and expertise and are willing to help you
out. Of course doing on your own is an option
where you could pick a study material that is self
explanatoryandconnectswellwithyou.

ChoosingtheRightStudyMaterial

Incaseyouarefollowingastrictcurriculum,likeat
school or college, the choice regarding study
material is easy as you probably have a single
choice based on what your teachers recommend.
And that is perfectly fine as the exams would
probably be created from the same course material
itself.

Another preferred way of choosing appropriate


study material is to first chose a mentor and then
select the material on his recommendation. There
could be two advantages to this approach: Firstly,
you get pretested material and secondly, your
mentor is so familiar with the material, he will
undoubtedly be able to help you with all the
conceptsandtheproblemsthatwouldinthebook.
TheSecretof Success| 115

ImentoranumberofselectivestudentsforIITJEE
coaching and initially I had a hard time
recommending a study material to students as I
thoughtthatnostudymaterialforJEEwasprepared
using learning principles and did not really talk
about motivating a student and preparing them for
thecompetitiveexam.Iwouldntcallabookletjust
havingquestionsandsolutionsonmaths,physicsad
chemistryasstudymaterial,itsmerelyacollection
ofresources.Thatiswhywehadtocomeupwitha
comprehensivestudymaterialforJEEourselvesthat
would work with a student at his or her level of
understandingandconstantlyboostthestudents for
peak performance. The best part of this complete
study material for JEE is that is not written
commerciallybutwiththe helpofexistingIITians,
who really understand to be a IITian and acts as a
virtual mentor for students as we discussed earlier.
As a part of my mission, we are encouraging
eminentpersonalities indifferent fieldstocome up
with such noncommercial study materials for all
kinds of exams, be it Medical, PMT, CA, GRE,
CATorevenboardexaminations.Youcangetmore
information about these study materials by writing
to usat thecontact informationpresent onthe first
pageofthisbook.

Another thing:Iwouldsincerelyadvisestudentsto
prepare within the boundaries of the syllabus.
Instead of looking for answers to hifi things
concentrateonthehereandnow.Youcansetaside
a specific time bigger learning, and I agree that it
116 | TheSecretofSuccess

wouldhelpinthelongrun,butmakesureitsnotat
theexpenseofyourentrytoTheLeague.Atthis
stage, pay close attention to learning all the basic
fundas and their application, which is what most
exams are all about. The rest of the peripheral
learningcan happeninyourfreetime.
TheSecretof Success| 117

UsuallyNeglected,ImportantFactors

You might think that these small and often


neglected factorsare not important,but inthe final
analysis, they can either seriously enhance or
hamperyourlearningcapabilities.

StressManagement

Isstressalwaysbad?Notnecessarily.Whenstress
creates a healthy competition, it can actually be a
good thing. Stress is caused by an imbalance
between external demands and our perceived
inabilitytomeetthem.Imbalancescanhaveserious
physical, physiological, psychological and mental
repercussions.Butinsteadoflookingatstressasan
impediment, why not take it as a turbulent flowing
river and built it as a positive stress factor in your
life? If you can tap into its latent energy, you can
produce hydroelectricity (by erecting bunds and
dams around it). If you let the untamed river run
amok, it may cause floods and eventually maybe
drown you in its depths. So, decide what course
youaregoingtotakewiththisfactor.

Have you noticed how assignments that have no


time frame take ages to be completed and their
results are also poorer, while those with definite
deadlines get finished in a jiffy. This is because in
thecaseofthe former,weareunder nopressureto
deliver, and in the latter case because we are
118 | TheSecretofSuccess

working under pressure, we do our best to deliver


ontime.

Apointtoponderon
Extensiveresearchinsportssciencehasconfirmedthatthe
capacitytomobilizeenergyondemandisthefoundationof
IdealPerformanceState(IPS).Ourownworkhas
demonstratedthateffectiveenergymanagementhastwokey
components.Thefirstisrhythmicmovementbetweenenergy
expenditure(stress)andenergyrenewal(recovery),which
wetermoscillation.Inthelivinglaboratoryofsports,we
learnedthattherealenemyofhighperformanceisnotstress,
whichparadoxicalasitmaysound,isactuallythestimulus
forgrowth.Rather,theproblemistheabsenceof
disciplined,intermittentrecovery.Chronicstresswithout
recoverydepletesenergyreserves,leadstoburnoutsand
breakdowns,andultimatelyunderminesperformance.
Ritualsthatpromoteoscillationrhythmicstressand
recoveryarethesecondcomponentofhighperformance.
Repeatedregularly,thesehighlyprecise,consciously
developedroutinesbecomeautomaticovertime.
JimLoehr,aPerformancePsychologist,whohasworked
withhundredsofprofessionalathletes

Youcanmaximizeyourlearningcurveifyouknow
how to harness the good stress factor. Just as
athletes are able to set world records and
entrepreneurs can beat their competition hollow
with the good stress element figure out what
pressures prod you into giving your best output.
Then rein those to your advantage and begin to
galloplikeagoodhorse.
TheSecretof Success| 119

Think of stress as fire you can control it and


enjoy its soft, glowing embers during a winter
evening,oryoucanletitbefannedintoatowering
inferno.Notknowingbetter,moststudentschoseto
dothelatter.

In this manner, negative stress can greatly deplete


your energies, besides inflicting physical harm on
yourbody.Howevercountering thisnegativestress
iseasierthanyouthink. Infactifyoufollowsome
of the principles that I am going to suggest in the
next few pages, you can minimize or totally
eliminatetheeffectofthesenegativestresselements
fromyourlife.

Ifyouarefeelingstressedoutbecausetherearetoo
many things on your platter, sit down, take a deep
breath and begin to chalkout a priority list. Then
starttickingoffitemsonthelistonebyone.Your
stresswillautomaticallyvanish.

The very first principle in stress management is


howtoavoidfatigue.Restbeforeyoubegintofeel
tired. For instance, if you are feeling a burning
sensation in your eyes, or you are feeling mentally
exhausted, pause and take a short break. The key
strategyhereistobuildanintuitionthatwilltellyou
when to rest even before you have the feeling of
beingtired. Another importantprinciple isto focus
on the positives. Focusing on the negatives or
harboring feelings like What if I miss my exam?
120 | TheSecretofSuccess

orWhatifIblankoutintheexaminationhall?are
majorcontributorstostress.Everythingwillgowell
asdesired.Amen!

Food,DietandExercise

Thetriooffood,dietandexercisehavealwaysgone
together. To stay alert in mind, eat several light
meals through the day instead of stuffing yourself
withjunk foodatone go. Foodacts like fuel. The
engine wont move if there is no fuel. Dont eat
unless your appetite is fired, but dont starve
yourselfeither. Instead, havea healthy, nourishing,
andbalanceddiet,supplementedwithlotsofhealthy
foodtokeepyouwellnourished.

Schedule your meals at proper intervals. Dont


postpone a meal until you have finished another
chapter.Itneverhelpsinthelongrun.

Alongwith yourdietregulation,regularexercise is
veryimportant.Aworkoutdoesntjustrejuvenate
someofourtiredcellsitalsopumpsinvigourand
energyintoourlethargicbodies. Severalsuccessful
students have reported that they played some sport
like soccer or cricket for an hour every day during
their study break. It helped them increase their
productivity when they came back to attack their
study. Also, as discussed above, a wellenjoyed
breakcanserveasastrategyforlocalmotivation.
TheSecretof Success| 121

Sleep&Relaxation

This presents another complex duality. I may not


have scientific proof for it, but based on my own
experience, I know that relaxation doubles my
productivity.

For you too, it is important to work in the 'high


zone' i.e. work within the 80 per cent peak period
time for maximum productivity. Then, when your
energy begins to sag. break off, do something less
taxing (reading, perhaps) and start all over again.
Again, sleep cannot be your time management
bank.Inordertomakeupforthelosttime,dont
begintocurtailyoursleepinghours.Thiswillupset
yourbodyclock.Youcannotdeprive yourbodyof
the amount of relaxation that it must necessarily
have.

MyownexperiencesaysthatwheneverIenjoyeda
good seven to eight hours of undisturbed sleep I
woke up feeling fresh and ticking. We cannot all
hope to be Swami Vivekananda, who spent only
four hours on sleep every day. In fact, you need
some extra sleep time, whenever you have studied
or worked extra hard. I remember sleeping for ten
hours at a stretch on days when I had fourhour
continuous coaching sessions. An afternoon nap,
althoughmaynotbeyourbestbetforhealth,itstill
can do wonders for your productivity. However I
122 | TheSecretofSuccess

wouldmentionherethatsleepandrestdemandsare
determinedbyourspecificbodilyneeds,whichcan
differ from individual to individual. Now I have
learnt to sleep only for 6 hours and still be
productive. The messagereally isto find onesown
sweetpointandnotindulgeinmoreorlesssleep.

Love &Encouragement

Quotablequote
Inthemidstoftheprobabilitiesanduncertainties
thatsurroundthem,peoplewantsomeanchoring
points,somecertainties,somefaiththatwillserve
eitherasabeaconlighttoguidethemorasabalm
toassuagethemduringtheinevitablefrustrations
andanxietiesthatlivingengenders.
AuthorUnknown

Letmenotwaxtooeloquentonthissubjectexcept
forusingaveryclichdphrasethatLovecanmove
mountains.Ifyourparentsandfriendsbelievethat
you can achieve something, you certainly will. If
theybackyouup,througheverythickandthin,you
will always come up trumps anyway. Love,
whetheritscomingfromparents,siblings,relatives
or friends reinforce our belief in ourselves and we
have all experienced this fact at some point or the
other in our lives. In case you or your parents are
interested in knowing more about the role our
parents play in our success, read Appendix B for
sure.
TheSecretof Success| 123

HotTipsForSuccess

Bynow,youwouldhavegotagoodideaaboutthe
major factors that contribute to success in studies.
Optimal use of time is definitely one of the most
important plus factors. However, since we are
discussing the psychology aspect here, it might be
helpfulforyoutoquicklyscanalistofhottipsthat
Ihavecompiledforthissection.

WhatarePROBLEMS?

Prediction:Problemsaretheretomouldour
future.
Reminder:Problemsremindusthatweare
notsoselfsufficient.WedependuponGod
andotherstohelpus.
Opportunities:problemspullusoutofourrut
andcauseustothinkcreatively.
Blessings:Problemsopendoorsweusually
donotgothrough.
Lessons:EachnewchallengeorProblemis
ourteacher.
Everywhere:Problemscancropup
everywhereandbeforeeveryone.
Message:Problemsaretowarnusabout
potentialdisasters.
Solvable:Noproblemiswithoutasolution.
124 | TheSecretofSuccess

Let me however tell you that some of the tips


discussedin thischapter havebeentriedandtested
onseveral successfulstudents. So, in a manner of
speech, these tips are coming straight from the
horsesmouthstoyou.Thatsaid,Imustalsoadmit
thatbynomeansisthislistexhaustive,thoughIcan
assert with confidence, that you may find it very
comprehensive.

Gleaned from my own personal experiences and


fromafewothermembersofTheLeague,simply
byrepeatingthesetipsinyourmindafewtimesand
by incorporating each into your life, you shall be
able to overhaul your study methodology and
extractthemaximumoutofyourstudyeffortsinthe
shortestpossibletime.

IWorkingPhysiology

Physiology refers to the state of you body.


Remember the time when you were a kid, and the
schoolbellrangafterthelastperiod?Or,thetime,
when your mother allowed you to play cricket or
football after you had finished your homework?
Youhadthisbigsmileplasteredonyourface,your
facialexpressionsconveyedabsolute, unadulterated
excitement and you broke into a run? That was
physiology working its effect. Now remember the
time, when you were sad after scoring badly in a
classtestandreceivedascoldingfromyourDad,or
you lost a game of chess, and you carried a long,
TheSecretof Success| 125

gloomy face for days afterwards, shoulders


drooping, as if your world had collapsed around
you. That was also physiology working but this
time,againstyou.

Weoftendo not realise it,but thephysicalstate of


our body has a direct and close relationship with
howweare feelingand vicea versa.Forinstance,
researchstudiesonBiofeedbackhaveshownthatwe
can control how we feel simply by changing the
126 | TheSecretofSuccess

physiology of our body. For example, if I were to


siterect and pretend to be excited and relaxed and
bringasmile to my face, verysoonI willbegin to
feel excited and happy even about the most
mundanethingsoflife.

If you dont believe me, give it a try. Check your


posturenow.Areyousittingerectwhilereadingthis
book? Are you wearing an expression of curious
excitement on your face? If not, change your
posture and expression right away. Dont just
pretendchangeit.Verysoon,youwillstartfeeling
good and increase your grasping power in relation
toyourstudies.

Have you noticed that your productivity is often at


the lowest ebb when you are sick or not feeling
well?Thatsalsophysiology.Usethistooltofeel
goodaboutyourselfandyoursurroundingsinorder
to enhance your productivity because physiology
and productivity have a direct and proportional
relationship. Sitting straight and walking erect are
just two small physical activities that increase
productivity.

So take a pledge that no matter how you feel, you


will try to sit ramrod straight and walk erect. You
will always wear a smiling, happy expression on
yourface.Myguruusedtosaybeingseriousabout
studies does not mean that you have to also look
sternandseriousallthetime.Instead,bejovialand
friendly.Also,promiseyourselfthatyouwilltryto
TheSecretof Success| 127

whip up excitement about small things in life and


keep a brave front, no matter what the provocation
orthetestingtimesthatyouface.Imaginehowthe
time that you would save by working on your
physiology can be used for doing all sorts of other
interestingthings,suchaswatchingmovies,playing
withfriendsetc.

IIOptimalStudyingTechniques

Now, I will share study techniques that I picked


from my interaction withother successful students,
whenIwasinthesameshoesasyouarenow:

a) Identify The Best Time For Studying:


Everyone has a high and a low period of attention
andconcentration.Soaskyourselfwhetheryouare
a morning person or a night person Use your
peakperformance7 timestoattacknewanddifficult
concepts and reserve your down times for more
regular stuff or revising theories that you have
alreadytriedyourhandat.

b) Study Difficult Subjects First: When you are


feeling fresh, you can process information quickly
and save time. Most people tend to attack easy
things first but by the time they reach the more
difficult topics, they feel so worn out that they can
7
ReadJim Loehr, TheMakingofaCorporateAthlete, Harvard
ManagementUpdate,
www.hbsp.harvard.edu/.../topic_browse.jhtml?term=TH_
606&term1=TH_608&topTerm=&browseType=n 166k
128 | TheSecretofSuccess

manage to put only a halfhearted attempt into the


difficult part. This way, they are never able to
devote sufficient attention or time to the difficult
subjects.

The solution to this problem lies in handling the


difficult subjects (as perceived by you) first and
thenwhenyouarenotfeelingsofreshandenergetic
movingon totheeasyones.

c) Use Distributed Learning And Practice


Sessions: Studyinshorttimeblocks,takingseveral
breaksinbetween.Thiswillkeepyoufromgetting
completely washed out with fatigue in the end.
Takingbreaksworksbecausewhenyouareresting
your mind is still processing information, so even
thistimedoesnot gowaste.Createtime blocksof
6090 minutes for handling complex tasks.
Punctuatethesewithcompleterelaxationtime.You
should not even be receiving visitors or attending
phone calls during this time. In fact, you should
close all doors on communication at these resting
moments.

d) Try Clubbing Activities: Use the Twofer


concept i.e. try to combine two activities to
conserve time. On a bus, while commuting, or
while waiting for an appointment with a doctor,
carry your study flash cards with you, which you
can browse through in this free time. Or, while
waiting in line for buying tickets to a movie, lug
TheSecretof Success| 129

your Inorganic Chemistry flashcards to mug


conceptsinbetween.

e) Arrange All Stationary Before You Start:


Assemble all relevant information on a subject
before you take up any study task related to it. It
canbeveryfrustratingifyoucannotfindanotebook
or a pencil amidst solving a tough problem. It is
therefore mandatory that you have all your
stationary at hand before you start your study
session.

f) Time Management and concentration:


Concentration means going in a straight line from
thecurrentpointtothegoalpoint.Finishwhatyou
have in hand before you move on to the next
project. Changing horses midstream can be de
motivating, confusing, taxing and timeconsuming.
Butifyoudogetstuckonaproblem,switchtopics
to break the monotony or to increase your speed.
With a little practice, eventually, you will learn to
strikeabalance.

IIIOptimalStudyEnvironment

Study environment has to be conducive and


encouraging, so that you can concentrate on your
subject. Under this topic, we will cover all the
external arrangements that you need to make, in
ordertoenhanceyourretentivecapabilities.
130 | TheSecretofSuccess

a) Make Sure that your surroundings are


conducive to studying: This will reduce the
negativeimpactofdistractions.Ifthereisacorner
in the school hall or your apartment where there is
lot of noise and commotion, use this time to
accomplishactivitiesthat require minimumamount
of brain activity, like practicing questions that you
havealreadyworkedon.Frequently,retreattoyour
private den where you would not be disturbed to
tackletherestofthetoughersubjects.
TheSecretof Success| 131

b) Neatness: Neatness and order are Heaven and


Earth'sfirstlaw.Keepyourthingsinperfectorder
you so wont have to squander precious time in
looking for things that you put somewhere there.
Pastresearchshowsthattimespentinplacingthings
back to where they belong is less than looking for
thingsplacedinappropriately.Whowouldknowthis
better than me because I have lived in both the
132 | TheSecretofSuccess

worlds the world of a muddle head who


routinely lost all small and big things, to being
someone who is so fastidious that now I know
exactlywhereIputeachitem,andbelieveme,this
latterapproachdoeswork!Sothesedays,insteadof
leaving multiple books and notebooks open on my
table, I have just this one book that I want to read
andnothinggoesmissing!

IVThePlanningStage

The importance of planning cannot be over


emphasized.

a) Plan Your Day. Before you start your day,


writedownexactlywhatyouplantoaccomplishon
thatparticularday.Thenprioritisetheorderofthe
taskslisted.Thissinglestepwillsave50percentof
yourtime.
b) FollowTheParedoPrinciple. Accordingto
this principle, 80 per cent of the work can be
finishedwith20percentactivities.Thisappliesto
everything e.g., 20 per cent customers account for
80percentprofits. Anawarenessofthis principle
willhelpyouplanandundertakeactivitiesthatwill
account for 80 per cent of results in 20 per cent .
Gotthedrift?
TheSecretof Success| 133

VPractice,PracticeTillYouArePerfect

Practicemakesamanperfect.Forthisyouneedto:
Practice the same problem till you have
understood the concept thoroughly instead of
consultingmultiplesources.
Practiceuntilyouhaveperfectedtheconcept.A
simple way to test this principle is to practice
solvingaproblemthatappearsthe mostdifficultat
leasttwodozentimes,sothatintheenditbeginsto
appearthesimplest.

VIModelingAndRemodeling

Modeling someone involves changing yourself to


become akin to your role model. Hunt around for
successful people to model your life after. Who do
you think had 100 per cent chances of being
successful?Trytomodelyourpersonalityafterhim
orher.Iunderstandthattheotherpersonslifemay
becompletelydifferentfromyoursbutsurely,there
would be some aspects that can be modeled vis
visthisperson?Figureoutwhattheseaspectsareor
couldbe.Rolemodelscanhelpyouwith:
Gleaningsuccessstrategiesfromtheirlives
Pickinguptheirgoodhabits
Imbibingtheirprinciplesasyourown

VIIMuggingConcepts

A majority of the topics/subjects included in any


curriculum require an understanding of the basic
134 | TheSecretofSuccess

concepts. However, there are a few topics where


you may simply have to mug formulae and apply
them wherever fitted. We studied a number of
memorization techniques which would work
beautifully when practiced. I want highlight one of
techniques again, called the brute force technique
whichIusedoften:
a). IwrotetheformulathatIfounddifficulttomug
onapieceofpaperandreaditatleasta100timesa
daytillIknewitsexactDNA
b).Ipracticedquestionsbasedonthoseformulaefor
another100times

Here,100 isjustasuggestednumber.Doit fora#


of times you begin to feel comfortable with it.
Writtenpracticeisoftenthebestoption.

VIIITheTrialAndTribulationOfTaking
Tests

You have to prepare yourself for taking the final


entranceexam intermsofpracticeandattitude.To
enhance your ability for taking this exam with a
cool head, you need to work on the following
factors:

a).PracticeTests
Practice mock test series, as many times as you
possiblycan.
Check out all the previous years papers if you
canfindthem.
TheSecretof Success| 135

b).Temperament

If you begin to perspire or feel nervous during the


exam, start thinking about all the others who are
sailing in the same boat with you. Typically, after
the first one hour of the test, a students
concentrationbeginstowane.Atsuchatime,stop
writing the exam and instead try to gather your
thoughtsbysendingupaquickprayerorbyquietly
gulpingaglassofwater.Itwillhelp.Whateveryou
do, don't fidget or look around, trying to observe
what others are doing. This will disturb their
concentration, as well. Finally, when the exam is
over, don't rush out to discuss the paper. If at this
pointyousuddenlydiscoverthatyouhavenotfared
too well, it might leave a negative impact on your
nextdayspaper.

Oneweekbeforetheexam,mendyoursleephabits.
You must try to take more than normal hours of
undisrupted sleep for peak concentration. Avoid
afternoonnaps,asyoumaynotgetitonthedayof
theexam.

c) WhenTheDDayDawns

Read all the instructions on the examination


papercarefully!!
Remember to preview the test to see how
much time (a rough estimate) you would need to
allot to each section/question and in what order.
Spend some time on this evaluation and
136 | TheSecretofSuccess

categorisation of each question. Then closely


followtheorderyouhaveworkedoutforyourself.
Often you may face three choices pertaining to a
question:
A.Youmayknowthesolutiontoaproblem
(This may appear like a question you have already
solvedbeforeorsomethingsimilar)
B.Youarenot100percentsureoftheanswerbut
believethatyoucanstillattemptthequestion
C.Youhaveabsolutelynocluewhattheanswerto
thequestioncouldbe

Thegoldenrule
Attemptquestionswiththegoalofpocketingasmany
solidmarksasyoupossiblycan.Alwaysthink,ifIcan
attemptthisonemorequestiontoincreasemychances
ofselection,whichonewouldIattempt?"Thengo
aheadandcrackit.Bestofluck!

Within these categories, attempt questions in the


order, which youthink, will consume least amount
of time and get you the maximum scores. The
format of many exams changes from year to year.
Therefore,varyyourstrategyaccordingly.

Fewtipsrelatingtomultiplechoicequestions:
Be wary of the fact that the examiner might
slip in a few questions that have a specific
method of solving, but at the time of taking the
TheSecretof Success| 137

test, it may take you half an hour to solve that


one question! I would advise you against
attempting that sort of a question. Instead of
wasting precious time on that one question,
move on or take a wild guess with the answer
and without hesitation move on to the next
question.
Ifyouareinthehabitofreadingveryrapidly,
force yourself to read one word at a time.
Identifythekeywordsinthequestionandcircle
them. Key words may be technical terms or
qualifiers likenever,always,oronly.You
maybesurprised howoftenthis simplestrategy
works. It will instantly caution you against
misreading a particular question or missing an
importantdetailonafirstcasualreading.
Ifyoudecidetopassaquestionbutintendto
return to it a while later, circle that question
number so that you can locate it quickly and
easilywhenyouhavethetimetocomebacktoit.
Put a slash through the circle when you are
finallyfinishedwiththisquestion.
Readallthechoicesbeforeselectingthefinal
one, even if the first or the second choice
logically appears to be correct. Often, a latter
choice in the series, such as All of the above,
mayeventuallyturnouttobethebestchoice.
Ifyouareunsureoftheanswer,guess,unless
there is negative marking for wrong answers.
Even while guessing, do it intelligently using
whatever partial knowledge you have of the
138 | TheSecretofSuccess

subject to improve your odds of guessing


correctly! Dont shoot wildly in the dark.
Instead, you should be able to eliminate at least
some of the choices as clearly wrong or just
impossible. Cross them out and concentrate on
the remaining ones. Hunt for key words in the
answers and match them to keywords in the
question.Thatsafoolproofstrategytoemploy.

If you practice these tips a few times, you will


eventually be able to devise a strategy that best
servesyourinterests.Sohappygoing!
TheSecretof Success| 139

StraightFromtheHorsesMouths

This chapter will give you true accounts of how


these ordinary people like you and me made it to
TheLeagueviadifferentdomainareaslikeSchool
Studies, Board examination, College entrance
exams, IITJEE, Medical, PMT, CA, IAS, CAT,
GRE, SAT, GMAT and so on. How they fought
againstalloddsandcameuptriumphsonthedintof
their hard labour and perseverance. These stories
haveinspirationalvalueandtheywillalsohelpyou
findarolemodelifyouhaventalreadyfoundone,
yet.Soreadonandenjoy!

#1.NikhilRasiwasia
SchoolTopper(ThroughoutSchoolCareer)

Iwouldbethefirstonetoagreethatmanystudents
inmyclassmadethesamecommentwhentheclass
results came out and I would come first, and the
commentwasYehHameshaPadtahiRehtaHoga
(Hemustalwaysbestudying).AndonlyIknewthat
it wasnt true. Coming first in class did require
effort,butitwasreallyeffortputattherightplaces
attherighttimeandnotreallyextraordinaryeffort.
Speakingwithsomeof my other friends,Iactually
foundoutthatIstudiesmuchlessthanthem.OnlyI
would giveaquick5 min readtoevery lessonthat
wassupposedtobetaughtthenextday,beattentive
in class and a quick revision to what was taught
after coming back from school. And thats it. Only
140 | TheSecretofSuccess

other time I studied was the examination, where I


even foundtimetoplaywhereall myotherfriends
studiedthroughoutthenight.

I understand that all the above may sound very


nerdy, but it is really a simple way to succeed in
school. You do need a reason to be attentive and
revisebeforeandaftertheclass,forme,itwasjusta
way of life. I was really not crazy about coming
first,butitdidhelpmealotintermsofextrapocket
moneyandtotalfreedommyparentsgaveme.Iwas
allowedtoattendlatenightpartiesaswellaswatch
moviesonmywish,somethingnoteverystudentin
schoolgot.LittledidIknewthenthatthisattitudeof
minewouldchangemyentirecareerandlife.Sitting
here, in a high rise building in San Diego,
California,IlookbackatthetimewhenIfirstcame
firstin2nd or3rd gradeandneverlookedbackinlife
after that. I would not be someone you would call
intelligentorevenhardworking,butthetechniques
Ilearnttogetsomethingdonereallyworkedforme.
My recommendation to all would be to study
smartly, and no matter what your future goals are,
studyingforschoolexamsreallyhelpsinachieving
it!Eventhoughitmaybeviabuildingofconfidence
orcredibilityonlyasopposedtoknowledge, itstill
contributesalottolife.
TheSecretof Success| 141

#2.NaveenSingla
TopperGRE2000

Perseveranceandperspicaciousnessarethekeysto
success in GRE. Anybody with knowledge of high
schoolmathematicsandanIQabove70candowell
in the analytical section but the verbal section is a
totally different ball game and is usually what sets
apart a mediocre score from an impressive one.
Obtaining a good score in the verbal section is
contingent upon only one thing, your ability to
memorize the meaning of as many words as
possible!

A common misconception is that since we are not


native English speakers we are at a potential
disadvantage, but unless you are an avid reader of
profound philosophical tomes, you are likely to be
inthesameboatasanyotherperson,betheynative
Englishspeakersornot.Theidealwaytoapproach
theverbalsectionistochooseagoodwordlistand
cram it day in and day out. Again, dont be
disheartenedifyouseetoomanywordsyouarenot
familiar with, you will become familiar with them
asyoukeepgoingthroughthewordlistsagainand
again. For some problem words, it really helps to
form your own sentences using those words. The
importance of flash cards can not be over
emphasized inthisregard.Whenever you getspare
time, just whip out the cards and give yourself a
quick revision.
142 | TheSecretofSuccess

Give yourself at least two months for the


preparation and an additional 15 days for doing
mocktests.Thisiswhatworkedformeandmanyof
myfriendsandwithalittlebitofeffortyoucanalso
getthatstellarscorethatgivesyouasolidbasisfor
yourgraduateschoolapplication.

#3.SorabhBabuMaheshwari
TopperCivilServicesExam(IAS)2000

I believe that planned Studies, Hard Work And


Inner Motivation Are The Keys To Success. The
pathtothecovetedCivilServicesisfullofupsand
downs and is a highly uneven track to traverse.
Before taking a decision about Civil Services as
yourcareer,it isexpedienttocheck uponeselfand
remaindeterminedafterwards.

Thefirstandforemostthingtodecidewhileaspiring
for Civil Services is the judicious choice subjects
for the Prelims and the Mains. This is the most
importantand firststepof yourjourneyandshould
be accomplished most carefully as coming things
hinge on it and a wrong decision may prove to be
disastrous. Careful analysis of syllabus, previous
years' papers, your calibre, requirement of subject
(Visionary, Numerical, Theoretical), comfort level
with the subject and past trends should be done.
Advice from seniors and fellow candidates should
alsobesought.Toavoidditheringinchoiceatlater
stage, initial deep thinking and consultations are a
TheSecretof Success| 143

must. Havingdecided thesubject, it isadvisable to


sticktoyourchoiceeveniftheperceptionofothers
aboutitisnotfavourable.

Be self confident but not complacent, honest,


motivated, have patience and be optimistic. Work
hard as there is no shortcut to success and hard
work never goesunrewarded.Iwould liketoquote
Swami Vivekanand and often my eldest brother
remindsmeofit):Ariseawakeandrestnottillthe
goal is achieved. There are many ups and downs
duringthecourse.Itisthe'downs'whichneedtobe
tackled more vigorouslyandskillfully, it iswhena
person's qualities are on test and they emerge as
winners who have these qualities. To cite my
example,Iwasoftentoldthatitisjustimpossibleto
think for IAS while working. I was advised
sometimes even to quit the job. Yet, I managed to
come out with flying colours despite all these
hiccups' kudos to good planning, my faith in
Almighty, parents' blessing, hard work and God's
grace.Ihavereadsomewherethatwinnersarethose
whomanagetheirhardshipseffectivelyanddolearn
from our mistakes makes us successful. Never feel
depressed,selfconfidenceandinnerstrengtharethe
twobasicrequirementsforanybodytoappearinthis
examination.Believeinyourself.Youareyourown
bestjudgeandyouknowwhichareasareweakand
needreinforcement
144 | TheSecretofSuccess

#4.DrGeetaKumar
TopperPMT(Equivalent)1971

Ialwayswantedtobecomeadoctor.Iknowalotof
peoplesaythat,butIactuallydid.Havinggrownup
in an environment where there was just one doctor
in our village serving a population of over 1200
inhabitants, I always had tremendous respect for
doctors and the kind of service they did for
everyone.Ialwaysthoughtofitasthebestkindof
service possible,afterallwhatcouldbebetterthan
saving human life. The only glitch was, I was not
sure if I could ever become one. Today, while
writing this essay I look back at my life almost 30
years ago and realize that I am not sure how
everythingmusthavehappened.Ididrememberthe
strict resistance from my parents and my early age
marriage. My dream of becoming a doctor was
almostshatteredwhenIhadmyfirstbaby.Iwasnt
sure if Iwilleverbeabletobecomeadoctor now,
withmyfamilycommitmentsandthestrictmedical
entrance exams they used to have. When my baby
was2yearold,Istartedstudyingfortheexam.My
goalwastogetintoLadyHardingMedicalCollege.
Although considered impossible, I studied in
intervals of 15 mins to an hour, basically trying to
squeeze to every possible minute I could from my
busy family schedule. My husband was very
supportive and that helped a lot. Finally, after
failing in the first year, I did clear the PMT exam.
Almost as filmi as it sounds, this is my real life
story. My only advice to medical aspirants is to
TheSecretof Success| 145

keepyourvisionsintact,nomatterwhattheexternal
circumstancesare.Andthefeelingofbeingadoctor
and helping people would be worth 100 times the
effortyouput!

#5.PrateekAlawadi
TopperGMATexam2004

I always thought I had a strong hold over English


vocabulary and grammar. Little did I know that
GMAT required a little different skill set. It was
onlylikeamonthawaynow,andIrealizedhowfar
IhadtogowhenI gavemyfirst mocktestandgot
only 590/800. I had always known that being
confidenthelps,littledidIknowthatIhadactually
becomeoverconfidentintheprocess.Thelowscore
shotlikeabulletinmyheart,butIwasactuallythat
thishadhappenedasIstillhadamonthlefttorevert
my fate.Istartedstudying hardalongwith myjob.
Togetthebestpossiblescore,Itooka15dayleave
from workandstarted giving23 mocktestsonan
average a day. And my scores started improving. I
also prepared flash cards and did comprehension
every day. Everyone had advised me to postpone
my exam, but I was determined. With almost 8
hours a day going into preparation, my last mock
test score had reached 710. I knew that I needed
moretogetintoHarvardorWharton,butdecidedto
leave things on fate. I couldnt believe when I got
760inmyGMAT!Maybeitwashardwork,maybe
the stars were on my side. But whatever it was, it
becamethemostmemorableexperienceinmylife.
146 | TheSecretofSuccess

#6.MayankKakkar
TopperSchoolX(2003)BoardExamination

I dont really know what to write. I had dreamed,


but never thought I could reallybecome the topper
inmyschoolattheXclassboardexamination.Idid
scoregoodmarksthroughoutmyschoolcareerbut
had never come first in my life. I guess it had to
happen in theboardexams for me! Tobehonest,I
dont know why but I wasnt really excited,
meaning I was excited but wasnt that excited as
should be when the results had come. But when I
saw the happiness on my parents face, and how
excitedtheywerecommunicatingthe newstotheir
friends and family, my happiness had no bound.
They had even arranged a party for me in the
eveningthedayaftertheresultscameoutandalot
ofpeoplehadcomeandcongratulatedme.Thatday
Irealizedthata movieI hadseen yearsearlierwas
absolutely true, and the movie was Jo Jeeta Wahi
Sikandar. I realized that when you come first, the
wholeworldiswithyouandyouarereallyelevated
tothelevelofAlexandertheGreat!

#7. KumarGautam
CATTopper2003,CollegeTopperIIMB2004

I had too much to lose. A secured job and a


prosperous job seemed too much to leave and start
preparingforCAT.Engineeringjobwasgood,butI
was always interested in Management. Having
workedforalmost3yearsinasoftwareindustryand
TheSecretof Success| 147

beingoutoftouch fromstudiesand learning forso


long, CAT seemed like a distant dream. I started
preparing in July 2003 along with my job. I was
working in Microsoft, USA at that time and was
reallyinterestedinmovingbacktoIndia.Initially,it
seemed like a lot of trouble taking out time for
studying vocabulary and giving mock tests and on
top of it, the schedule didnt really support me. I
wasevenmorefrustratedbythefactthattheresults
weresameevenafter2weeksofpractice.Andthen,
thingsstartedfallinginthegrooves.Iwasabletoset
myscheduleinthemorningandweekendstostudy
forCAT.Ithinkthatstudyinginearlymorningwas
thewisestmoveImadebecauseeveryeveningafter
work,independentofmydeterminationlevels,Iwas
tooexhaustedtostudy. But morningand weekends
were high productivity time for me and started
bringingresults.I hadtospenda lotof moneyand
timebetweenUSAandIndiaforgivingtheCATas
well as the GD and interviews, but I guess it all
proveditsworthwhenIgotintoIIMBangalore.

AfterjoiningIIMBangalore,initially,Ihadlostmy
drive to study. But I did not want to repeat what I
haddoneduringmyengineering,thistimeIwanted
tomakeittothetop.Iverywellunderstoodthatthe
key to success in college was not hard work but
regularity in college and regular revision of stuff
being discussed in class would make all the
difference. And that is exactly what I did! I also
applied for the Aditya Birla Scholarship which is
given only a few students across the country and
148 | TheSecretofSuccess

based on my background and curriculum results, I


became the only one to have won that scholarship
from IIM Bangalore. Right now, I have graduated
and working in Tokyo, Japan with Lehman
Brothers.Mygoalistoinspireeveryonetostudythe
smart way while preparing for CAT or any other
school and competitive exam. The right strategy
wouldgenerallyleadtorightrewards!

#8.NitinKakkar,
TopperIITJEE1996

IcannoteasilyforgetthedayswhenIwaspreparing
fortheJEE.Myeverywakinghourwasfilledwith
oneobsessionthatsomehowImustgetintoIIT
Delhi. Yet, if there were any golden moments in
my life then, I would count preparing for the JEE
1996asoneofthosemoments.

Each day, I looked forward to solving tough


problems whatever I could lay my hands on. No
doubtIhadtoapply yogicselfcontrolonmyselfbut
the lessons I learnt in those days have stood me in
good stead till date. If I had a time machine, I
wouldwanttowinditbacktothosedaysagainand
make one more attempt just for the thrill of
experiencingallthestrategisingandthenfeelingthe
adrenalinerushonwinningthegame.

Bestoflucktoallofyouwhoarepreparingfor any
competitive exam and I hope that you would also
experience that yogic zone in your life that I
TheSecretof Success| 149

experienced and which gave me such a feeling of


high that I actually felt transported to the tenth
world!
Voila!!!

#9.VijiRaghunathan,
TopperIITJEE1976

Theyearwas1971.Iwasstudyinginasmallschool
in Coimbatore with a thatched roof. My female
cousins had been married off by age 18, and my
sisterbyage20withthegenerallyaccepted"3year
college degree" for girls. I had heard about IIT
JEE, and had applied though no one at home paid
any attention. My parents were abroad, and the
uncletowhomIwroteaskingforan JEEbook(with
5 years of questions etc) did not respond. I heard
through friends that schools in cities like Madras
weregivingtheirstudentscoachingclasses(thiswas
beforecoachingbecameaboomingindustry).Ihad
nothingbutmyhighersecondarycoursebooks,and
only60percentofthoseportionshadbeentaughtat
ourschool.Onthedaymyuncleputmeonthetrain
toMadrasfortheexam,hesaid,"Go,youwon'tget
in. I'll come and get you into Queen Mary's
college."Withtheseblessings,Iwentandwrotethe
exam.Whentheresultscame,(Ihadgotin!)allhell
brokeloose.Allelderswereextremelyupset.Ihad
todefyveneratedgreatunclesandfuriousauntsand
unclestojoinIIT.Many years later, my husband's
business nosedived. I was able to apply for an
MBAatBerkeleyandwemovedtotheU.S.When
150 | TheSecretofSuccess

he got cancer and was unable to work for several


years, I was the soleearner. It's one thing to tell
daughtersthattheyarestrongandcapableofmuch.
It's another to be a living example. I appeal to all
girls who like Maths or Science to recognize the
global value of an IIT degree and consider it a
viableoption.Iappealtoallparentsofgirlstowant
careersuccessfortheirdaughtersquiteasfervently
astheywantitfortheirsons.Iappealtoallteachers
of girlstudents to motivate girls in quite the same
way they motivate boys towards such goals. IIT
gives not just an education but also a confidence
thatcanchangealife.Itchangedmine,andIthank
IITforit.

#10.PankajMangal
TopperGATE2005

It had been several years since I finished my


Bachelors. I always had a desire to do my Masters
butwasnotsureifIwouldeverbeabletoclearthe
GATE examination. Of course you compete with
the best in India and moreover I had not been in
touch with studies for the past 23 years. Not sure
about my decision, I kept on postponing my study
planstillJanandnowtheexamwasonly2months
away. One day, I attended a seminar where the
speaker had everyone of us break our fears. He
brought out a hard wooden board and asked us to
break it karate style. The board really looked think
andIwasntsurethatitwouldeverbreak.Thetwo
threepeopleinfrontofmewerereallybuffwerethe
TheSecretof Success| 151

first one to try. They were able to break it after


some motivation from the speaker, I wasnt still
convinced. Then my turn came, and I dont know
how but suddenly in my mind, I got a sense of
absolute certainty when I started shouting Yes,
Yes,Yesonreceivingadirectcommandfromthe
speaker.ThatwasitformeandImovedaheadand
broketheboardinasingleblow.WhenIcameback
from the seminar, I started studying with full
enthusiasmandvigourandmostimportantlystarted
getting up early in morning which I originally
thoughtwas impossible.I had notbeen responsible
during my college days and had to study all the
computer science subjects all over as if I was
reading it forthe firsttime.Withallthe hardwork
and determination, I knew that it will pay off
eventually. And it did when I got 99.2% marks in
the GATE exam. I have just one advice for
everyone,believeinyourself!
152 | TheSecretofSuccess

EPILOGUE

Ireallyappreciate youtakingthetimetoreadthis
bookdespiteabusyschedule.

In writing this book, a lot of emphasis was put on


the various factors that contribute to a students
membership to The League, the most important
being his or her determination to succeed. In the
lastfewpagesofthisbookhowever,Iwanttomake
one startling revelation, i.e. membership to The
Leagueisreallyveryeasy.

It may sound contradictory to what you may have


read in this book, but the fact is that although the
benefits of being in The League are plentiful,
studying and cracking the exams is every for a
wellpreparedmind.

Thereismorehypesurroundingsuccessfulstudents
in studies than reality! And if, as a student you
embark on this journey with a relaxed mind, and
with a belief that focused practice will lead to
success, you will find the exam much easier than
youotherwisehadimagined.

Incaseyouhaveanythingtoshare,bothpositiveor
negative, or just want to share your story or ask a
question, feel free to write to me personally at
anuj.khare@appinonline.com. I will reply to your
emails personally, individually and in strict
TheSecretof Success| 153

confidence.DuetothelargenumberofemailsIget,
doexcusemeforaslightdelayinreply.

Basedonalargenumberofrequestsfromstudents,
we are soon launching a very personalized Home
Preparatory Course for IITJEE. This course will
coverPhysics,Chemistry,Mathematicsindepthand
will focus on clearing the basic fundamentals in
each area as opposed to correspondence course
created by many coaching institutes focusing on
questions and solutions only. This home study
course can act as a replacement for costly JEE
coaching institutes and will definitely benefit
students who want to study from their home. This
course will also contain lot of psychology boosters
that will make learning fun. To get more
information about this course, please email
anuj.khare@appinonline.com. If you liked this
book, you will love this course. We are in the
process of creating a number of books and courses
forschoolstudiesandvariouscompetitiveexamsat
lowpricessothatstudentscangetthebenefitofour
researchinthesefields.

I also want to seize this opportunity, with your


permission,tointroduceyoutohandsonworkshop
titled Psychology of Success in Studies. This is a
bootcampworkshopwherewenotonlysharesome
basic fundas of membership to The League, but
instill them in your nervous system, as well. You
will get the privilege of spending quality, oneon
onetimewiththesepeopleandhaveallyourqueries
154 | TheSecretofSuccess

answered. This is a fully residential workshop


aimed at changing your life totally, while helping
youbuildsuccessstrategiesnotjustforstudies,but
for rest of your life, as well. The entrance to this
workshop is extremely limited. For details, contact
us using the information listed in the beginning of
thebook.

APPIN Knowledge Solutions, the promoter of this


bookandtheorganizerofPsychologyofSuccessin
study workshop also run mentorship programmes
for college students, besides holding various
technologyandpersonaldevelopmentworkshopsat
severalengineeringcollegesthroughoutthecountry.

Finally, thank you all for your continued support


and the well wishes that I received for this book.
And if you feel, even if remotely, that you have
derived some sort of benefit from this book, I
intend, with your permission, to ask you back a
favour. And that favour is that you must commit
your200percenttowardsyourpreparation.Ideeply
empathisewithstudents,whom Iseelurking in the
shadows, uncertain of their future, despite the
tremendouspotentialthateachoneofthemcarries.I
hope that this book will clear those cobwebs and
giveyousomedirectioninyourpreparation.

Onceagain,bestofluck,andfarewell!
TheSecretof Success| 155

AppendixA

Stylesof Learning: Visual(V) Auditory(A)


andKinesthetic(K)Modes.
Toknowyourprimarymodeoflearning,answerthe
followingquestionshonestly:

1.IfIhavetolearnhowtodosomething,Ilearn
bestwhenI:

V.Watchsomeoneshowmehow.
A.Hearsomeonetellmehow.
K.Trytodoitmyself.

2.WhenIread,IoftenfindthatI:

V.VisualizewhatI'mreadinginmymind'seye.
A.Readoutloudorhearthewordsinsidemy
head.
K.Fidgetandtryto"feel"thecontent.

3.WhenIamaskedtogivedirectionsI:

V.SeetheactualplacesinmymindasIsaytheor
prefertodrawthem.
A.Havenodifficultyjustgivingpeopledirections
verbally.
K.HavetopointormovemybodyasIgivethem.
156 | TheSecretofSuccess

4.IfIamunsureabouthowtospellawordI:

V.Writeitinordertodetermineifitlooksright.
A.Spellitoutloudinordertodetermineifit
soundsright.
K.Writeitinordertodetermineifitfeelsright.

5.WhenIwriteI:

V.Amconcernedabouthowneatandwellspaced
mylettersandwordsappear.
A.Oftenfindmyselfsayingthelettersandwords
tomyselfasIformthem.
K.Findmyselfpushinghardonmypenorpencil
andcan feeltheflowofcertainwordsasIform
them.

6.IfIhadtorememberalistofitemsIwould:

V.RememberbestifIwrotethemdown.
A.RememberbestifIsaidthemoverandoverto
myself.
K.RememberbestifImovedaroundandusedmy
fingerstonameeachitem.

7.Ipreferteacherswho:
TheSecretof Success| 157

V.Usetheboardoroverheadprojectorwhilethey
lecture.
A.Talkwithalotofexpression.
K.Usehandsonactivities.

8.Whentrytoconcentrate,Ihaveadifficulttime
when:

V.Thereisalotofclutterormovementinthe
room.
A.Thereisalotofnoiseintheroom.
K.Ihavetositstillforanylengthoftime.

9.WhensolvingaproblemI:

V.Writeordrawdiagramsinordertoseeit.
A.Talkmyselfthroughit.
K.UsemyentirebodytogestureandmoveasI
think.

10.Whengivenwritteninstructionsonhowtobuild
somethingI:

V.Readthemsilentlyandtrytovisualizehow
eachpartwillfit together.
A.ReadthemoutloudandtalktomyselfasIput
eachpart together.
K.Trytoputpartstogetherfirstandreadlater.
158 | TheSecretofSuccess

11.Tokeepoccupiedwhilewaitingforclassto
beginI:

V.Lookaroundtheroom,stare,readorlookat
mynotes.
A.Talkorlistentoothers.
K.Walkaround,manipulatethingswithmy
hands,ormove/shakemyfeetasIsit.

12.IfIhadtoverballydescribesomethingto
anotherpersonI:

V.WouldbebriefbecauseIdonotliketotalkat
length.
A.WouldgointogreatdetailbecauseIenjoy
talking.
K.Wouldhavetogestureandmovearoundwhen
talking.

13.Ifsomeonewasverballydescribingsomething
tomeIwould:

V.Trytovisualizewhatshewassaying.
A.Enjoylisteningbutwouldwanttointerruptand
talkmyself.
K.Becomeboredifshegottoolonganddetailed
inherdescription.
TheSecretof Success| 159

14.Whentrytorecallnames:

V.Irememberfacesbutforgetnames.
A.Iremembernamesbutforgetfaces.
K.IrememberthesituationwhereImetthe
personbetterthantheir nameorface.

Scoring Instructions: Add the total number of


responses you had for each letter and enter them
below. The area with the highest number of
responses is probably your primary mode of
learning. Because most people learn through a
mixture of all three styles, read all of the learning
suggestions given and select those you feel will
workbestfor

Visual(V)=

Auditory(A)=

Kinesthetic(K)=

Visual Learners. Visual learners learn best by


seeing. The following list of suggestions would
enhance the visual learner's ability to store and
recallinformation:

1. Your study environment should be clutter free,


awayfromwindowsandmovement.

2. Highlight and write as you study. Use different


colorstoselectandorganize.
160 | TheSecretofSuccess

3.Alwayswritedownwhatyouneedtoremember.
This includes using notesasremindersand usinga
calendar to list due dates and dates to begin
assignments.

4. Make class notes visual with drawings, spacing,


symbols,etc.

5. Make use of text visuals such as charts and


pictures. If you have to recall them from memory,
practicereproducingthemonapieceofpaper.

6. Use study cards with written information


organizedintooutlines,wilddrawings,ordiagrams.
Review them by writing to reproduce the
information.

7.Makeyourrecallcuesas visualaspossible.Use
capitalletters,colors,illustrations.

8.Recall information forexamsby visualizingtext


pages,notes,orstudycards.

9. When solving problems, draw or illustrate the


problemandsolution.

10.If permitted, make notations on test questions.


Underline key words or draw what you do not
understand.

AuditoryLearners.Auditorylearnerslearnbestby
hearing. The following list of suggestions would
TheSecretof Success| 161

enhance the auditory learner's ability to store and


recallinformation.

1. Have a quiet place to study. If you cannot


eliminate background noise, conceal it by quietly
playing classical music or an environmental sound
track.

2.Recitealoudasyoustudy.

3.Attendalllectures.Copyinganother'snotesisnot
aseffectiveforyouashearingthematerial.

4.Useataperecordertorecordlecturesinaddition
to taking notes. Always ask the instructor for
permission totapealecture.Asyoureviewyour
notesafterclass,usethetape forthosepartsofthe
lecture that were difficult to understand. Play
lecture tapes in your car to make good use of
commutingtime.

5. Study in groups or with a friend. Explain


information in your notes to another person. If
youfindastudy groupdistracting,haveaperson
you can call on a regular basis to discuss class
contentoverthephone.

6. Talk to yourself! Describe diagrams or practice


answeringtestquestionsoutloud.

7.Recitestudycardsintoataperecorderandplayit
backforrepeatedpractice.
162 | TheSecretofSuccess

8. When solving problems, talk yourelf through


eachstep.

9. Recall information during exams by hearing


yourselfreciteinyourhead.

10.Chunk test questions and recite each part to


yourselfinyourhead.

Kinesthetic Learners. Kinesthetic learners learn


best by doing and moving. They often have
difficulty sitting still for long periods of time. The
following list of suggestions would enhance the
kinesthetic learner's ability to store and recall
information:

1. Use many of your senses as possible when you


study:see,hear,touch,taste,smell.

2. Move around when you study. Put as much as


youcanonstudycards.Laystudycardsout onthe
floor in various locations and practice reciting
themasyoumovearoundtheroom.

3. Carry study cards with you everywhere and use


themwheneveryouhavetowait.

4. Study in small, frequent chunks. Give yourself


breaksandrewards.

5. Use a timer and decide upon an amount of time


you feel you can effectively sit and work.
Underestimateandwork upto longertimeperiods
TheSecretof Success| 163

if possible. When the timer sounds, take a


breakanddosomethingphysical.

6.Setagoalastoaspecificamountofinformation
you will cover such as five pages, etc. When you
reachyourgoal,takeabreak.

7. For surface learning, use a mnemonic device


calledthemethodofplace.Whenyouhavetorecall
itemson a list, mentally imagine them placed in
sequential locations in your home and associate
themwiththoseplaces.Forexample,ifyouhaveto
rememberthenamesofthepresidentsofthe United
States, begin in your kitchen. Wash Washington in
thesink,bakeAdams'appleintheoven,andsoon.
Inordertotriggerrecallforatest,imagineyourself
walkingtoeacharea.

8. Study with another kinesthetic person. Their


gestures and activities may give you additional
input.

9. When solving problems, move around and


manipulateitemstorepresentpartsoftheproblem.

10.Whentakingexams,tryto"feel"howyoustored
information by remembering what you physically
didasyoustudied.
164 | TheSecretofSuccess

AppendixB

Parent'sRoleinEducation
Parents hope their children will have success with
their education so they can make great
accomplishments in life. What is important to
remember when wishing your child to succeed, is
that parentsplay in integralpart intotheirstudent's
education. Parents assume the role of the
cheerleader,friend,teacher,andenforcerwhenthey
sendtheirchildrentoschool.Ifaparentfailstofill
one of these roles, their child's confidence and
achievement may wane, leaving them with a
partially unfulfilled education. The first step in
helping to improve your child's education is to
understand the four major roles you must fill as a
parent.

Acting as the cheerleader, or motivator, in your


child'sschoolworkandacademicskillscanbeone
of the easiest or hardest roles to fill. One would
thinkitwouldbeeasytomotivateachildtoliveup
to their full academic potential but some students
squirm at the very thought of school. In order to
motivate,aparentmustfindwhatismostimportant
totheirchild,and relate ittoschool.If it issports,
forexample,thenexplaintoyourchildthatthelogic
skills gained through math and reading will help
whenexecutingtheskillsandstrategiesusedintheir
favorite game. Also, remind them that they must
maintainacertain grade intheirclassesinorderto
TheSecretof Success| 165

continue with their sport. Another way to fill the


cheerleader role is to celebrate your child's
successes. One of the best ways to motivate a
person is to reward them for positive behavior or
outstanding work. This will give your student
something to look forward to when they are
studyingorworkinghardonasubject.

Thebestwaytofilltheroleofyourstudent'sfriend
is to listen to their concerns. Sometimes your
student will be confronted with a difficult task or
subject matter.Or maybetheyare having problems
with one of their teachers, friends, or a bully at
school. No matter what the problem is, it is
importantthattheyhavesomeonetheycantrustand
talk to. If your student is holding in their worries,
theywillhaveextrastressintheirlifethatwilltake
away from their studies, hindering their success in
school.Makesuretoletyourstudentknowyouare
thereandcareforthem.

Next is the role of the teacher. Even the most


adequate and effective school teachers have
problemsaddressingeachchild'sneeds.Thisiswhy
parents must step up and help their students after
school with the subjects they are struggling with.
There are numerous signs that your child is having
problemswiththeirschoolwork,including:Lackof
selfconfidence, poor attitude, selfdefeating
behaviors, poor and declining grades, and teachers
expressing concerns. When you notice these
changes in yourchild, it isespecially important for
166 | TheSecretofSuccess

you to take your role as the teacher. Designate a


specific time each day for your child to ask you
their homework questions. Additionally, make it a
dailyhabittoreadwithyourchildandtochallenge
them to do mental mathematical problems. This
allows you to keep track of their education and
knowledge. If you have noticed the warning signs
listed above, you might also want to check into a
tutoringprogram.Tutoringprogramswillfillarole
thatparentsaresometimesunabletofill.Tutorsare
trained to help children catchup with their
fundamental math and reading skills. There are
tutoring centers all over the country and some are
evenavailableonline.Onlinetutoringprogramscan
be especially convenient because students are able
to complete their lessons on any computer with
Internet access. These Internet lessons are
individualizedthroughanassessmenttest toensure
yourstudentislearningtheskillstheyarelacking.

The lastroleofaparent istheroleofthe enforcer.


As hard as it may be, parents must discipline their
childrenifneeded.Thereisnoneed,however,tobe
overly harsh or strict. When it comes to your
student's education, the enforcer makes sure the
child is studying and completing their daily
homeworkandspecialprojects.Onewaytodothis
istocreateahomeworkcalendar.Studentswritein
thecalendarwhenhomework,projects,andtestsare
due or scheduled for each class. This helps the
student and the parent to stay aware of which
assignments are due and what the child should be
TheSecretof Success| 167

working on each day after school. Also, sit down


withyourchildandcreatetherulestogether.Rules
arefullyeffectiveonlywhenboththeparentandthe
child understand what they are and why they are
necessary. Many parents worry they will lose their
child's trust when they fulfill the enforcer's role.
However, children actually tend to lose respect in
their parents or authority figures when they fail to
fulfill this role. The truth is, children know there
mustbeboundariesandrules,andthisisespecially
true when it comes to important matters such as
theireducation.

Once parents are able to fulfill these four roles,


there are other actions they should take in their
child's education. These include: Staying involved
with the school, keeping communication open with
teachers and counselors, attending school events,
and being up to date in state educational matters.
Onecannotexpectachild tobe matureabouttheir
educationifadultsfailtodoso.Bybecomingyour
child's cheerleader, friend, teacher, and enforcer,
you are teaching them the importance you place in
education, which helps your child succeed more
thananywishorhopecould.
168 | TheSecretofSuccess

Appendix C

Howtoperformsuccessfullyon exam day?

Topreparewellforexamsyouneedtomanageyour
academic work load throughout preparation and
revise early and effectively. Success in exams can
bebrokendownintodifferentareaschronologically:

Getprepared

1. Twoweekstoamonth beforethestartofexams:

2. Checkthelatestexamtimetableforthelocation,
date,time,roomandwhat(eg.calculators,notes,
drink,snacksetc)canbetakenintoexamination
hall.Lookoutforanylastminutechanges.

3. Review old exam papers. Get to know the


format, types of questions and scope of topics
covered.

4. Practice answering exam questions within the


time limits and under similar conditions as you
willexperienceintheexam.

5. Practice some stress management and/or


relaxation techniques like Breathing and Power
Moves.
TheSecretof Success| 169

6. If you find that youre distracted or lacking


motivation,workingwithotherstudentsstudying
the same subject can be an effective way of
revising.

7. Dont burn yourself out before the exams have


evenstarted.Payattentiontoyourdiet,drinklots
of water, exercise (but not to distraction) and,
aboveall,trytogetatleast78hourssleepeach
night.

8. It is worth trying to practice concentrating and


being alert at those times of day when exam
wouldbeheld.

Thenightbeforetheexam

1. Dont spend the night before an exam trying to


cram in moreor new information. Atthis stage,
itsbestjusttoworkwiththeexamnotesorflash
cards you have made during revision sessions,
thattooonlyifrequired.

2. Packyourbagforthenextday,eatagoodmeal
andtrytogetagoodnightssleep.

3. If you feel anxious about the limits of your


knowledge, remind yourself that you will earn
more marks by being refreshed and alert in the
exam than by trying to cram another topic into
your shortterm memory. Often shortterm
170 | TheSecretofSuccess

cramming does not work. Its better to know


wellwhatyouhavelearnedoverthelongerterm
than to panic and exhaust yourself at the last
minute.

4. Youcouldhavesomeentertainmentlikeplaying
agameorwatchingamovietorelaxyourmind.

On examday

1. Allow plenty of time in the morning to get


yourselfreadytoleaveontimefortheexam.

2. Haveahealthymealpreferablywithproteinand
complex carbohydrates that will provide slow
energy release over several hours. (eg whole
grainbread,milk)

3. Take water and lemonade with you to sustain


youthrougha3hourexam.

4. Dress appropriately for the weather and


remember that exam rooms can sometimes be a
littleextremeintemperature,sobeprepared.

5. Make sure you take your student card and


appropriate writing instruments (pens, pencils,
ruler,eraser,etc).

6. Arrive in good time but dont talk with other


studentsaboutthetopicsortheexam. This may
confuse you and will certainly contribute to
TheSecretof Success| 171

exam anxieties. Perhaps talk about what you


mightalldoaftertheexam.

7. Asthe nervesbuild, focusonstayingasrelaxed


aspossible.Wrigglingyourfingersandtoeswill
keep muscles loose, deep breathing can reduce
anxiety and chewing gum can help to prevent
tensionbuildinginyourjawandneck.

Duringpaperreadingtime

1. Getanoverviewoftheentirepaperbyscanning
throughitquicklyfirst.

2. Readthe instructionsVERYcarefullyandwork
outhowmanyquestionsyouneedtoanswer.

3. Calculatethetimeyoucanspendoneachanswer
relative to its mark value. For example, if
question1carries20%ofthe marksfora3hour
paper, you should spend about 35minutes on it.
This is a simple strategy that would work most
ofthetimes.

4. Allowyourself1015minutesreviewtimeforthe
end.

5. Decide which questions are the best ones to


attempt. Skim the paper again and tick any
questions you feel you could attempt. Then go
backandreadthesecarefully.
172 | TheSecretofSuccess

6. Decidetheorderinwhichyouwillrespond.The
general rule is to start on the one that seems
easiest to you. Also, plan to attempt the ones
worth most marks reasonably early. Leave the
onesyouareleastsureaboutuntillastyoumay
getsomeideasaboutthemalongtheway.

7. If you have any time left, analyse the questions


you will attempt. Ask: What exactly is the
question asking? Can it be broken down into
parts? Can I restate it in simpler terms? How
does it relate to the preparation work? What
information is provided? Are there any clues
elsewhereinthepaper?

Duringwritingtime

1. Reread your question and plan your answer.


Dont rush or feel you have to beginwriting an
answerstraightaway.

2. Stick to your allocated time for each answer if


yougetstuck,moveon.

3. If,despiteyourbestefforts,yourunoutoftime,
jot down notes on how you would have
proceeded to solve the problem or answer the
question.Pointformisfineatthisstage.

4. Ifyouhavenoideaoftheanswer,dontleavea
blank.Writedownanythingyoucan thinkofthat
isrelatedtothequestionunlessthereisnegative
TheSecretof Success| 173

marking. Sometimes you can get marks for just


writingyourthoughtsdown.

5. Avoid spending too long on difficult questions


for which your answer may or may not be
correct,especiallyattheexpenseofrunningout
of time to attempt the questions you are more
confidentabout.

6. Besuretoanswerthequestionasked.Nomatter
how brilliant your response, it will earn ZERO
marksifitdoesnotrelatetothequestion.

7. Answer all parts of the question. Be aware that


essay or short answer questions can contain
parts.

8. Try to identify how the marks have been


allocated. For example, if you are asked to
explain 4 causes of heart disease and the
question is worth 20marks, it is likely that 5
marks are available for each of the causes you
discuss.

9. Makesureyourwritingislegible.Examinersare
undertimeconstraintstoo.Iftheyarestruggling
to read your writing it may seem to them your
ideasareunclear.

10.For mathematical or scientific calculations,


check your responses carefully. For written
responsescheckthatyourideasareclearandon
174 | TheSecretofSuccess

target. Everyone makes simple mistakes when


underpressureandyouwillloseeasymarksif
youleaveoutakeywordor misplaceadecimal
point.

Aftertheexam

Somestudentsenjoytalkingwithothersabouttheir
answers to exam questions. Beware as this may
increase your exam anxieties and shatter the
confidence you had developed. This could
particularly harm the next exam. Nothing you do
aftertheexamwillchangeyourmarkforthatexam
sodontagonize.Dosomethingrelaxing,something
you know you will enjoy, immediately after an
exam.

After youve had a break, however, its worth


reviewing your performance. Remember that the
aim here is not to agonize over what you could
have done but rather to identify where you could
improveyourresultsnexttime.Reflect:
Wereyousufficientlyprepared?
Which areas of exam revision or rehearsal could
youimprove?
Wasstressmanagementanissue?
Did you manage your time in the exam
effectively?

Also,aftertheexams havebeen marked, it maybe


useful to work with a tutor, other students or a
TheSecretof Success| 175

learning skills adviser to identify where you could


havegainedextramarks.
176 | TheSecretofSuccess

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178 | TheSecretofSuccess

InternationalSuccessPsychologyCoach
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Anuj a Computer Science graduate from Indian


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