Abhijeet Profile picture
9 Jun, 14 tweets, 3 min read
In UPSC prep and life
Habits form the bedrock for long term success.

Here's how you can use them to your advantage.

= A Thread =
Back Casting

What habits do you build?
Depends on where you're going.

Simple exercise: Consider you've got AIR 1 in CSE2021. What do you think helped most?

My list:
• Scheduling
• Sticking to daily targets
• Practicing answer writing
• Test series
• Effective revision
Pre-Mortem

Just like the positives, you need a negative list.

Assume you've failed Prelims.
What might've caused this?

My list:
• Using self-isolation as an excuse to waste time
• Lethargy
• Wasting time with day-trading
• Too much chess

Build your own lists.
Some Ideas

Positive habits:
• focus
• reading
• writing
• consistency

Negative habits
• social media scrolling
• laziness
• impatience
• feeding self doubts.

Pick the ones with the highest impact for you.

Then build/remove accordingly.
Habit Loop

This part is from Atomic Habits by @JamesClear , everyone should read this book.

Habits can be broken down into:
• Cue
• Craving
• Response
• Reward

Let's take an example.
Cue: A signal that sends you in the habit loop.

Craving: What you brain interprets the signal to mean.

Response: The unthinking loop.

Reward: Dopamine!

Example: Phone beeps, (thinks must be someone liking my post), checks phone, dopamine release.
Problem: With zero conscious thought you picked up the phone and before you know it you've spent 30 mins on twitter/insta.

Solutions
• Remove the cue (mute notifications)
• Rewire the cue (the beep reminds you that you should be studying)
Identify Your Cues

If you want to build/break a habit, identifying cues is the first step.

Meditation helps with this.

Something to think about:
How many times a day are you doing the things on the Back Casting and Pre-Mortem lists?
Re-Wire Craving

This is the hard part where habits are formed.

Dopamine decides what's going to happen long term.
Learn to get your dopamine from the process of studying instead of test scores.

Learn to enjoy the journey & you become unstoppable.
Make the Response Easy

Don't set yourself up for failure by planning to study 10 hours on day 1.

Build up to things.

Enjoy completing small tasks everyday and before you know it you've rewired your dopamine rewards.
Stacking Habits

Add a new habit after an existing habit.

You are already used to the old one, so sneaking anew one will make it easier to do.

Example: In the morning, after making coffee I immediately sit for meditation. Zero thought or effort required.
Finally

Long term success is built on habits.

The more you workout, eat healthy and read as a matter of habit the more you will grow.

The more you eat junk, consume content mindlessly and be sedentary the worse your long term prospects.

Your choice.
If you liked this thread please RT the first tweet.

👇👇
Will be hosting a Twitter Spaces event soon.

Topic: Habits, their utility in life and UPSC Prep.
Date: 12th June (Saturday).
Time: 8PM.

Do join if you've got the time.

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More from @abhiwhy

10 Jun
Reading is an essential skill.

But we're not taught about it beyond the most basic levels.

= a thread on 4 types of reading =
Reading Speed

High reading speed is a dubious achievement.
Anything worth reading is worth reading slowly. Yet there will be those that ask how to read faster.

Easiest method: Read more often.

The more you practice the better you get.
The ideas here are borrowed from How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler.

If you have time skim through that whole book.
Read 11 tweets
8 Jun
Choosing an Optional for UPSC CSE

It's an important decision during prep.
But it's often made into a bigger problem than it is.

= 3 Ideas to help you choose your Optional =
Range of Choice

48 optionals to choose from:
• 25 subjects
• 23 languages

Subjects include engineering, sciences, social sciences, maths, law, commerce, etc. Languages include all 22 Schedule VIII ones + English.

But you've got to pick 1.

Here's how:
1. Your Interest

You need a BA/BSc/BTech level of understanding for your optional.

Not interested in the subject?
Things will get hard.

If you want to succeed, make prep easy for yourself.
Choose an optional based on your interests.
Read 7 tweets
11 May
While preparing for UPSC Civil Services Exam

Emotional management is critical. Yet no one talks about it.

Let's change that.

= A Thread =
Fear

Preparing for UPSC?
Get ready to face the fear of failure.

We've got risk aversion hard-coded in our DNA, so fear of failure is not easy to avoid.

Yet unless you move past that fear you won't find success.

Take the leap.
Doubt

To doubt is human.
Even successful candidates have doubted themselves.

Yet the successful are defined by what they do with that doubt.

Do you just end up feeling miserable?
Or do you take action on the issues?

Stop overthinking, start doing.
Read 12 tweets
8 May
I was trying to buy a health insurance for myself from @policybazaar

This was the first time I was buying insurance so I had some basic questions.

The Sales Rep had some amazing answers ranging from secret dealings, Akshay Kumar, and Policy Bazaar CEO ki 7 pushtein.

Read on
• How and why could my claim get rejected?

Sales Rep:
Arre sir wo to kisi ka bhi ho jaata hai par aap policy bazaar se khareedoge to aapka claim kabhi nahi reject hoga.

Likhit mein dunga main. Tension mat lena.

Me: Okay, that sounds fun.
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Sales Rep:
Bilkul mat lena, ghatiya policy hai.

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Me: Okay
Read 11 tweets
7 May
Preparing for the UPSC Civil Services Exam?

Then you know that you have to read multiple books.

But instead of reading 5 books per subject, value lies in reading a single book multiple times.

Here's a list of my books:
(& how many times I've read them over 6 attempts)
A Brief History of Modern India
By Rajiv Ahir (Spectrum)

A good book for covering history thoroughly.
If you're new to the game, nothing beats this book.

The chapter summaries at the end of the books are pure gold.

Read - 20+ times. Image
From Plassey to Partition & After
By Shekhar Bandopadhyay

This book is amazing.
It teaches you to think about history and gives you a lot of perspectives to understand events.

There are no easy answers here but you learn to think.

Read - 5 times (2020 attempt pre+mains) Image
Read 15 tweets
4 May
The Pandemic is still raging strong.
We've all had personal brushes with it by this point.

In such a case, getting through every day can seem a little overwhelming.

Here are 8 things that can help you cope better
Focus On What You Can Control

Things you can't control:
• Who gets infected
• When you will get infected
• When people will recover

Things you can control:
• Wearing double masks.
• Regular handwashing.
• Staying indoors.

Focus on the latter group.
Experience Your Emotions

It can seem pointless to express anger, frustrations, helplessness, and outrage when everything seems to be falling apart.

If you deny these emotions, they will slowly undermine you from the inside.

Feel your emotions but don't let them consume you.
Read 10 tweets

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