The 11th President of India, Late Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam (A. P. J. Abdul Kalam) was born on Oct 15, 1931, at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu. He was a great scientist, an outstanding teacher, and an exceptional author. He was fond of writing poetry and songs, and have written 25 books on various subjects. His life is a great inspiration for all of us.
On his 87th birth anniversary, we have listed five lessons that all aspiring writers can learn and apply in their life to accomplish their goals:
Exploit the opportunities to Develop your Talent
“All of us do not have equal talent. But, all of us have an equal opportunity to develop our talents.” Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Only a handful of writers are born with gifted writing skills. Rest of them cultivate the skills with a lot of hard work and patience. You may not be a born writer. However, you do have an opportunity to hone your skills and set yourself apart. There is no better time than now to learn effective writing due to the availability of ample amount of resources on the internet. Take a pledge to start writing every day and use vast resources at your disposal to improve your writing skills.
Think, not Worry
“Thinking should become your capital asset, no matter whatever ups and downs you come across in your life.” Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Reasoning should be your best asset for any work that you do in life. As an aspiring writer, you may face several challenges on a daily basis that stops you from practicing regularly. Don’t get overwhelmed by such problems. Instead, think constructively and find out ways to focus on your long-term goals. Also, develop a habit of thinking before writing a word. The more you think, the better you write.
Don’t Limit Yourself
Being a Scientist by profession, Dr. Kalam has written 25 books that cover a wide range of non-science related areas such as governance, mind, music, inner strength, spiritualism, inspiration, and motivation, etc. He didn’t limit himself to Statistics, Maths, and complex scientific theories.
The key lesson is not to limit yourself to your profession. Stop treating yourself as a technical or non-technical writer. Explore and keep pushing yourself to go beyond your comfort zone and write about things you don’t know. Be a writer who can research, learn, and write on almost any topic. For instance, if you are an Engineer, read books related to Psychology, History, Arts, etc. and write more on these topics. If you come from Arts or Commerce background, then explore new technologies and write more about them. The idea is to explore and write about everything that can generate an impact.
There is no Alternative to Hard Work
“If you want to shine like a sun. First burn like a sun.” Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Dr. Kalam died at the age of 84 when he was delivering a lecture at IIM Shillong. Till his last breath, he did something that he loved the most. It tells a compelling story of how diligently he has worked his entire life to bring about a positive change and inspire millions of youth across the world.
To achieve something tangible, you need to work hard irrespective how much talented you are. You can’t become an excellent writer in a matter a few days or months. You need to work hard and continuously refine your skills. Good writing is not a destination; rather it is a beautiful journey that you should cherish. Stop thinking of shortcuts and start aiming for excellence.
FAIL means “First Attempt in Learning”
As a good writer you can influence and inspire a large number of people. You can change many people’s lives by sharing your experiences and thoughts clearly. To reach that stage, you need to work hard, embrace failures, keep learning new things.
The “Missile Man of India” had faced many failures in his life. Not all of his books got critical acclaim or appreciation. Some of the books are hardly known by even most of his avid fans. However, lack of success on a few books didn’t stop him from exploring and publishing new titles on diverse topics.
As an aspiring writer, this should be your most important lesson. Fear of making embarrassing mistakes may stop you from sharing your write-ups with your friends and colleagues. Overcome these fear and share your thoughts openly. Take feedback with grace and work on them.
There are many lessons that one can learn from one of the greatest human beings on the earth. Most of us are lucky to be grown up at a time when we could see and hear Dr. Kalam and consider him as our role model. As a tribute to this greatest personality of our time, do take a pledge to learn at least one lesson from his life and teachings, become a better writer, and make this world a better place to live and work.