Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam (A.P.J. Abdul Kalam), an Indian aerospace scientist who also served as the 11th President of India, came to be known as the Missile Man of India for his work on the development of ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology. He was a great source of learning and the most humble person of that stature.
His life teaches many lessons as to what an individual should possess and practice in order to lead a successful and happy life. Following are the life lessons we can learn from him:
- Being Optimistic
Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, in his journey from being son of a boat owner to becoming the President of India faced lots of challenges posed by life, yet by staying positive and working hard with dedication and sincerity, he achieved great heights. He believes that an individual should have a positive outlook towards life. No doubt that life brings challenges, troubles and hardships, but by being positive during difficulties one can overcome it and enjoy the fruits of their labour.
- Never Give Up
“We should not give up and we should not allow the problem to defeat us” – A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
When one encounters failures in life, Kalam advises not to give up, but to work even harder to transform this failure into a success. He believes that failure and success go hand in hand. And without facing failures, one cannot gain success. He was of the view that if we learn to treat our failures in the same way we treat success then we will never lose hope after a defeat, but moving forward to overcome the defeat.
- Being Visionary
“You have to dream before your dreams can come true”- A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Kalam strongly believed that one should have a clear vision or idea in order to prosper and flourish in life. One with clear vision in mind will eventually adopt the right strategy to accomplish it. But for a person without a vision any strategy will fail to work. Kalam inspired millions of young hearts to dream and to believe in their dreams. He wanted people to dream and to convert their dreams into thoughts that can result into actions. He said, after defining a dream it should be nurtured, worked upon and then patiently wait to reap its fruits.
- Being Courageous
“…have courage to think differently, to invent, and to travel the unexplored path, to discover the impossible and to conquer the problems and succeed”. – A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Kalam encouraged individuals to think creatively and identify techniques that may be different from the rest. He motivated all to be daring enough to choose a path which is unknown to many and to solve problems with innovative ideas. He believed that one should be courageous enough to take risks and achieve the impossible. Thus, anyone with courage and confidence can attain great height and complete any difficult task.
- Being Devoted towards Goals
“To succeed in your mission, you must have single-minded devotion to your goal”. – A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Kalam advocated the mantra of single-minded devotion towards the goal in order to be successful in every mission. He believed that complete dedication towards the targets helps to complete the task effectively as it gathers all the energy onto one single point. Hence, devotion is necessary in every field of work in order to make it a success.
- Being Hardworking
“If you want to shine like a sun, first burn like a sun”. – A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Kalam advocated the idea that, ‘God helps those who help themselves’, laying emphasis on hard work and dedication in every tasks. He advised to overcome laziness and work towards achieving goals. He proposed that if one wants to be prosperous in life, they must give their hundred percent by working with complete dedication and sacrificing their other worldly desires in order to achieve the desired goal and gain success.
- Being Humble
Abdul Kalam was noted for his integrity and simple lifestyle. Even after gaining power and position he never glorified his superiority, rather, he stayed humble at every point of time. He always made sure that the people he met do not feel inferior, but equally important. Kalam always emphasized that we should never lose our humble self even if we are at the peak of success. It is essential to remain grounded and maintain humility at all times.
- Sharing with Transparency
Kalam was an intellectual leader who did not keep the knowledge to himself alone, but shared it with transparency and sincerity to each and every one through his writings, speeches, and lectures and through dialogues with all those he encountered throughout his life. Similarly, we should also practice this idea of sharing with transparency by being self-less, hence contributing towards the development of other individuals, and at a long run, towards the development of the nation.
Dr. Kalam did not only preach these principles, but also practiced them in his day to day life. He always made statements based on his life experiences because a person with experience can teach many significant things about life and one can really rely on his teachings. Anyone who understand these lessons and put it into practice, will see and discover good and great things throughout the journey of life. Also, as Dr. Kalam, they will be able to share their knowledge and experiences to others, leading towards building a powerful nation.
I would like to end this article by quoting Dr. Kalam, “learning gives creativity, creativity leads to thinking. Thinking provides knowledge and knowledge makes you great”.