APJ Abdul Kalam Quotes: Life Lessons From One of India’s Greatest Presidents

APJ Abdul Kalam Quotes: Life Lessons From One of India’s Greatest Presidents

APJ Abdul Kalam Quotes: Life Lessons From One of India’s Greatest Presidents
APJ Abdul Kalam Quotes: Life Lessons From One of India’s Greatest Presidents


By Anubhav Srivastava (Register for his Workshop Super Confidence For Super Success here!)

In this article you will learn incredible life lessons from Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Quotes. If you are someone from India, you need no introduction about Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. However, if you are from another country and do not know about the great man, here is a brief profile of him. The late great Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam is considered to be among the greatest presidents of India and was a top space scientist. Coming from a very humble background and living in abject poverty in his younger days, he rose to amazing heights. Not only did he go on to become one of the top Rocket Scientists in India and was instrumental in both its defense program and the space program, he was also awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest honor for civilians BEFORE he became president.

Known for his honest and humble image, Kalam became the president of India in 2002. During this time he greatly impressed and inspired the general public through his demeanor. He wrote several inspirational books that became best sellers and motivated many young people to follow their dreams. I myself had the rare opportunity to meet him personally in 2008, a moment that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Post Presidency, Kalam traveled all across India and internationally and inspired millions. On July 27, 2015, Dr. Kalam passed away from a cardiac arrest, while doing what he loved the most, delivering a lecture to a group of students at IIM Shillong.

Dr. Kalam was an amazing role model to millions of people. In this article I will share with you some of his most amazing quotes and give a detailed explanation of them so that you too can be motivated to reach out for your dreams, through the words of this great man!


1) If you Want to shine like the sun, first you need to burn like the sun.

The sun is the most powerful energy source for our planet is the brightest object in our sky by far. For ages the sun has been revered across most cultures, some even considered it a God. But do you know what makes the sun shine so incredibly and make it such a great energy source. Inside the core of the sun, a nuclear fusion reaction is always taking place that converts hydrogen into helium and releases a tremendous amount of energy every second as a result of it. Inside the core, the temperature rises upto MILLIONS of degrees celsius. Thus the sun is always burning in order to become an energy source worthy of such reverence. By asking us to burn like the Sun, Dr. Kalam implied that we must be tremendously focused and disciplined in our endeavors and put in grueling, intense efforts day in and day out. The sun doesn’t stop burning even for a moment and neither can we afford to become distracted. Only when you burn like the sun, do you become worthy of reaping great rewards from your efforts.


2) You have to dream before your dreams can come true.

Desire and Belief are the starting points of all achievement. Our dreams signify our desires, our inner longing. If you do not dream, you will not achieve, it’s as simple as that. If you think that something is out of your reach, you will never put in a realistic effort to actually reach out to it. As a consequence, that thing forever remains out of reach. Out of the thousands that dream, some fulfill it. But out of the millions that don’t, none does. Some people think it is a waste of time if you chase your dreams. The truth is it is a waste of life if you don’t. But just like dreaming is important, so is putting in the action to make those dreams come true. Dreaming without action is pointless. Action without dreaming is senseless. So dream but more importantly work hard to make them come true.

3) Those who cannot work with their hearts achieve but a hollow, half-hearted success that breeds bitterness all around

In this quote, APJ Abdul Kalam advises us to to take up work that we are truly passionate about from the core of our heart. When you only go after money, without any passion for what you do, even if you do end up making the money, every day seems meaningless. In fact people who use the phrase TGIF (Thank God it’s Friday) are mostly those who are doing something they hate for a living. Which is why they dread getting up in the morning and going to work. Finally when Friday comes along, they finally heave a sigh of relief because now they get two days off. It doesn’t matter how much money they earn, the apathy or dislike towards their job remains high. As a consequence even if they become successful in the eyes of the society, deep down inside they hate their life and become burnt out. And it it’s not hard work that burns them out. It’s that they are forced to work so hard on something they absolutely hate.

A lot of very successful people work 16 hours a day effortlessly, because they love what they do and so for them it doesn’t even feel like work. A great example of this Thomas Edison who worked super hard in the eyes of the society, but claimed he never worked a single day in his life, it was all fun! When you love what you do, you won’t thank God that it’s friday, you will thank God for everyday.


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

This APJ Abdul Kalam quote inspires you to not become complacent or lazy once you have tasted some success. When you set out to achieve a major life goal it won’t happen all at once, you will first have to reach many milestones along the way. The problem is that a lot of people become complacent the moment they reach the first milestone or after achieving a goal they set out for. They think that now they have succeeded so they can afford to relax. The problem is that you start sliding down the ladder of achievement the moment you think you have climbed high enough and can afford to rest.

Now if you are truly content with where you have reached and desire to go no further, that’s another thing. But if you really desire to go further but just feel too lazy to move ahead and get jealous when someone else overtakes you, it means things need to change.

So how do you do it? Make ridicule your motivation. The truth is that there will always be some people who do not want you to succeed and are jealous of you. There will always be some people looking for that one moment when you stumble and fall so that they can laugh at you. Do you want to help them derive their sadistic pleasure by watching you fail? I bet not. So keep moving on. Until you have decided you have reached the absolute peak you wanted, keep moving and take no rest!


5) Man needs his difficulties because they are necessary to enjoy success.

Imagine for a moment if you got everything you ever wanted without ever working for it? How happy would you be? Do you really think you would be happy if you had, let’s say a Magic Lamp that gave you what you wanted without a problem? You would initially but then later you would simply stop valuing things and start taking them for granted because they came so easy.

It would seem people born into riches must be extremely happy. On the contrary the rates of mental depression in the rich actually exceed that of everyday people. Why is it that even after having everything one could ever want, those people are still not happy and cannot enjoy success. The reason is that when you get everything without working hard for it, you take it for granted, you don’t see it as a gift. And when you start taking something for granted, giving it the value it deserves is impossible.

When you work hard for something and obtain it after much struggle, you value it, protect it, love it and enjoy it much more. So be thankful for your struggles. If the reward is food, the struggles are the fire that cooks the food, without which you just can’t enjoy the reward!


6) “Six decades of professional career has taught me there is absolutely no substitute for hard work.”

This quote by Dr. Kalam emphasizes the importance of hard work. In today’s world, people often undermine hard work by saying that hard work is overrated, it is smart work that pays. The truth is that hard work is the core of all achievement and working smart does not mean NOT working hard. Smart work simply means that you ensure all your efforts are streamlined so that you can achieve the maximum results in the shortest amount of time. The greatest achievers in history worked smart, but they extremely hard at trying to work smart as well. So if you have a dream, go ahead and try to figure out the fastest ways to achieve the dream but then work bloody hard on it if you want to decimate all competition.

Remember that Champions are not made in front of millions of cheering crowds. Champions are made far away from the limelight, during the grueling hours of practice and preparation where nobody is cheering you on, except your own will to win. To achieve everything that others don’t, you have to be willing to go through everything that others won’t. The question is, are you willing to do whatever it takes to win?




By Anubhav Srivastava, Author of the book, Unlearn: A Practical Guide To Business & Life. The book that will show you why almost everything you were taught by the society about “success” was WRONG.  Download a COMPLETELY FREE Digital Copy by going to https://anubhav323.gumroad.com/l/unlearnbook , don’t worry you don’t need to pay anything. Just enter $0 as the fair price, click on “I want this” and you are done! You can even send it to Kindle! Watch the Book motion poster below.

Hello, my name is Anubhav Srivastava,  and I am a Business Consultant and Keynote Speaker for over a decade having provided services for almost hundred companies across a range of industries. If you are a business leader, you may be interested in improving the overall performance (and consequently PROFITS) of your organization.

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