APJ Abdul kalaam was one of the remarkable and unforgettable personalities of India. Popularily known as missile man and a critically acclaimed author, Kalaam was a man whose each statement are still an inspiration for most of the youths in our country. Kalaam was one of those few Presidents who earned immense respect among youths and new generation of India. I am myself a big admirer of Kalaam sir and if you are not then you must be. Despite being a renowned scientist and president of India you would be amazed that all his life he never attracted towards fame and wealth.
He died while giving speech to the students. He may be no more alive but his teachings, inspiration will always find a way to guide the students towards a successful career.
In order to remember his teachings we have shortlisted excerpts of interview of APJ Abdul kalaam.
You can read his words mentioned below and get inspired.
Q. What are the possible causes and elements to make someone’s dream true
Commitment, parents or access?
A. Dreams are finally nothing but goals or mission in life. In my case I had great teachers in various phases of life. And also my parents, my father and mother were very useful teachers to me throughout their lives. I was the only fellow in the family studying, and their commitment to me was absolute. The spiritual environment at home shaped me.
You should convert your goals and me mission to success in spite of problems. That is my lifelong commitment.
Q. How should someone encounter their failure?
A. Of course, I have myself gone through many successes and a few failures. And I have also met a number of successful people throughout the world wherever I have gone, and when I discuss with them, they reveal how many problems they have encountered, what kind of failures they have had.
So, I have come to the conclusion that great success has some element of failure also. I still remember Prof. Satish Dhawan, he gave me a project in 1973, were you born then?
Q. Would he like to share his experience with SLV project in 1973?
A. He gave me the SLV project in 1973, and named me the project director. I found that there were a lot of senior people above me, you know, experienced people, they should support me and there were a number of youngsters with high technical knowledge. So, I had to bring them all together to succeed. At that time I was in my thirties, 39 or 40. So, I was frightened, whether I can do it. It’s a great job, how can I do it for the first time, how to build a rocket, to make a satellite, and it’s a big vision and how can I do it?
Q. How much expectation people had from him?
A. A lot of expectation. So then Prof.Satish Dhawan, the chairman saw my hesitation. He called me and gave me some advice, famous advice. He said, “Kalaam, if you don’t do any work, you don’t experience any problem.” Even in media, if you don’t report there is no problem. If you report, problem starts. (He laughs heartily at this). So,
Prof. Dhawan said major programs are always coupled with major problems. But don’t allow problems to become your captain, you should become the captain of the problem. Defeat the problem and succeed
. This advice he gave me in 1973, even now it’s true. It is true for politicians, educationists, media people, it’s true in every area. So, the message I’m giving is we should take control of the problems, okay?
Q. What could be the possible reason behind 2/3 of India’s engineering graduates unemployable?
A. During my recent visit to Canada visited a university called Waterloo. For an engineering degree students are taught in the classroom for one year, the next year they go to the industry. So two out of four years they spend in the industry. And in the industry they learn to work within the system, it may be the software system or the hardware system, machine system, electronic system, or chemical system. But they learn to apply what they studied at the university. So when they graduate there is good demand for them. They can hit the ground running.
Q. How important entrepreneurship and skill development was for him?
A. We add seven million people every year at 10+2 level and three million graduates every year. So, we inject ten million people into the society every year as employment seekers. This is because entrepreneurship is not taught, either in the secondary school education or in higher education or university education. Entrepreneurship is not part of the curriculum, neither is acquisition of usable skills. That’s why I’m saying if 30 per cent people have to procure their skills, that training should be started during the period of education itself.
Q. Name three qualities that are needed to aim for success in a long run?
A. I will say four qualities, okay.
Number one, a clear aim in life, without it you will be going in all directions. Second, you should acquire the knowledge. You acquire knowledge in multiple ways. Great books should be your friend, great teachers should be a friend, and even home environment and parents can help you gain knowledge. The third aspect is hard work with devotion. I am saying since your work is towards your mission, it should be permeated with the devotion to that mission you have in mind. And the fourth one is perseverance. Persevere continuously. You do these four things and you can become anything. All these four things you have, work for it, you will achieve anything.
Q. How could someone focus on one goal and achieve it?
A. It is finally that the goal should be in front of you. That is my experience.
We are always tempted to do many things simultaneously. But if you start doing one thing, have one goal and put all your efforts into that, then definitely you will succeed. Of course, you have to win! A problem always appears here and there but you have to face the problem and defeat the problem.
Q what did he tell his followers?
A. They must think in a big way. I remember 2000 years back, there is a famous saying in Thirukural by Saint Poet Thiruvalluvar — Vellathanaythu Malar Neetam Mandartham Ullathanaytu Uyarvu. It means that, just like the height of the water in a pond determines the height to which a lily would grow, it is the heights of thoughts that determines the heights to which you could aspire for. So as human beings they should have great thoughts, great aims, and when thoughts become transformed into actions performed with perseverance and devotion, success has to follow. Thank you very much sir.