The Four Tools: Taught by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam

by Phani Madhav Rss Share via -



Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, the 11th President of India, the leader behind the development of India’s Missile System, the leader who expanded the India’s Space Programme, the teacher who ignited the minds of over 19 million youth, the writer who authored as many as seventeen books that inspired the youth and a great human being who will continue to inspire millions of people, the great teacher and leader, the most revered figure and is most adored by everyone. He was the recipient of three of India’s highest civilian awards – Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan and Bharat Ratna.

He delivered several speeches addressing the youth. In one such speech he gave ‘Four Tools’ that are most essential to become unique and successful person. He disclosed them to the students but I strongly believe that they are not just meant for the students but are meant for everyone whose ambition is to become successful.

The four tools the ‘Teacher’ mentioned could seem to be very simple but, they are very powerful tools. A man with abundant experience and success in life stressed the importance of these tools. We must listen to the voice of those who are wise and great because that voice comes not from the edge of the tongue but from the depth of their heart that filled profound experiences and great satisfaction of accomplishment.

Through the rest of the article you would find me addressing Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam as ‘Teacher’ because I believe that it is very much pertinent.

#Tool 1 – Set Goals

The teacher said that every one of us should ‘set goals’. Not just some small goals but set bigger goals. He said that setting small goals is a crime. He meant that we should dream the impossible if we want to become unique and successful. When the Teacher was ten years old, he was inspired by his science teacher and he ‘set his goal’ that he wanted to fly. This was not achieved because he could not clear the physical exam to become a pilot. But after becoming the President of India, when the Chief of Air Marshall came up to him he mentioned about his dream that was not fulfilled. The air chief asked him to go through the training and later he finally succeeded in flying for 30 minutes. This way he made his bigger goal achievable. Observe that a goal when was set it will drive you till you achieve it. So, the teacher inspires us to set goals that are bigger.

#Tool 2 – Acquire Knowledge Continuously

The teacher is asking us to make learning a continuous process in our lives. Setting goals alone will not help, we must also have profound knowledge on what we wanted to achieve. In one of his famous quotes he said, “Learning gives creativity, creativity leads to thinking, thinking provides knowledge and knowledge makes you great”. So, the second tool insists us to acquire knowledge incessantly by all means.

#Tool 3 – Hard work with Dedication

The teacher is asking us to do hard work with dedication. His life presents us enough proof to make us believe that hard work pays. He said that “efforts never die” and there is no end to working. The teacher had to sell newspapers for supporting his family, he had to face several adversities, several failures but regardless of all these hardships he did not quit working hard with love and passion. Working and working hard with dedication are two different things. In dedication there is love and passion. Everyone works for a living but a person whose heart is filled with an ambition works with love & passion. That person never even complains about the hard work but embraces the opportunities that come along.

#Tool 4 – Perseverance

The teacher compels us to move forward in our journey dealing with difficult situations and hardships. He talked very intricately about the importance of ‘Perseverance’. His life, again, illustrates the importance of this tool. In his autobiography ‘Wings of Fire’ the teacher told several difficult situations that tried to break his willpower. In one of his quotes he said “Failure will never overtake me if my definition to succeed is strong enough”. He also said that ‘man needs difficulties in life because they are necessary to enjoy the success.’

Perseverance is most important tool among the other three because if you quit in the mid-way all your efforts, hard work will become a vain attempt. The teacher stated that if you fail, never give up because FAIL means ‘First Attempt in Learning’.

The above mentioned four tools are from the life and achievements of the great teacher. They could not be wrong unless we go wrong in understanding & endeavors.

“I have taken ‘The Teacher’ to number of my training sessions where he inspired and motivated my participants with his four tools”. May his inspiration shine through the eyes of every human being striving with determination for success and bliss!

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