Letter To My Younger Self

By | August 11, 2018

After my UPSC results, someone came up to me and asked: “Now that you’ve succeeded after a long journey, you must have learnt a lot of lessons along the way. If you were to meet your younger self who is starting his preparation just now, what advice would you give him?”

I wrote this speech trying to answer that question. I titled it Letter to My Younger Self and delivered the talk recently to a group of bright, enthusiastic aspirants at the Ravindra Bharati Auditorium in Hyderabad.

Sharing it here so that it reaches those who couldn’t attend the event. Hope you find it useful.

Link to the Video

64 thoughts on “Letter To My Younger Self

  1. Anonymous

    It would be helpful if you can suggest some tips for effective reading of news paper so as to save time.

  2. poojaart

    This touched my heart, brought tears and rejuvenated me and my belief to continue and persist. It inspired me to not lose hope and do what the present demands. Thank you sir.
    I really like how you consider others as your own and not have boundaries of self and others. Keep being such beautiful human being.

      1. sandhya

        Hii Sir glad to see your Inspirational Video. I am also an Engineer working in MNC company not Satisfied with My work !. willing to achieve something, Please Guide me sir through Ur Inspirational words.

  3. Prathibha Srirangam

    Quite thoughtful and much needed.Thankyou for sharing!

      1. Thota Erappa

        Sir suggest some test series to get perfection on ncerts

  4. Saiz

    Thankyou for sharing it sir..I think now I will able to concentrate more on my small targets…

    Sir could you please tell that how did you prepare current affairs for prelims specially…

    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author

      I’d written about my current affair strategy in one of my comments on this site. Please find it.

  5. Gousiya Sultana

    Hello sir, Thank u so much sir….these true words Wil surely helps me in my journey,no matter what I should move on and have determination,perseverance and commitment with my goal……..Thank you again sir.

  6. Ramya Rk

    I never thought I would begin to admire you to an extent where my day starts with watching you speak and ends with reading your writings!!! It’s reallyyy euphoric at times 😄plzz do continue writing!!!

    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author

      Thanks. You are kind.

      Sure, plan to write more.

  7. tedtri

    I saved this as Guru Mantra. You’ve not mentioned anything about your interview in your site. Best wishes for your 93rd FC. – a 2019 Aspirant

  8. Meena

    Thank you sir
    Could you suggest how to read newspapers and prepare for current affairs.

    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author

      I didn’t make notes from newspapers but read them carefully. I’d make a mental note of important recurring issues. I would do this exercise for a week and then on a fine weekend, I would just sit and go through 7 days current affairs compilation from CD/Forum/Insights (choose as per your liking, all of cover the same content anyway) As I read these online compilation, I used to highlight important things so that they became my revision material when I refer to it later.

  9. Divyam Verma

    My name is Divyam Verma. I am a junior BITSIAN from 2017 Batch. I saw a bit of coincidence while reading this post so I decided to share.
    1. This “Letter to my Younger Self” post was posted on my Birthday which is 11th Aug 1999 (!).
    2. I am exactly a decade junior to you.
    3. While you were addressing your fellow BITSians on 13th August, I was also present there (!).
    4. I also asked you a question from the audience ( Is leadership skills necessary for UPSC ? – yes the second question!) and you gave such an awesome answer ( while looking at me!!) which uprooted all my self doubt.
    5. I just hope there was a fifth point too…

    I hope that this much of coincidence will be necessary for cracking the UPSC Exams (lol). Another thing I want to mention is reading your blog feels like drinking the milk of a cow ( mother cow does all the hardwork, eating grass, digesting and making milk. But the calf gets it for free!).
    I just wrote complete booklist in my diary and will refer it whenever I feel lost. I will also keep reading your blog because I always thought there should be a different study plan for people who cracked JEE , BITSAT etc. but your words still ring in my mind that ‘Arrogance will take you nowhere’. So I pretend to not succumb to arrogance. Hope to see more of your success stories and maybe meet you personally after clearing UPSC CSE (!!). Thank you for the precious support.


    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author

      Glad to know. Best wishes, my fellow BITSian!

  10. riya

    I am a upsc aspirant from a small city of port blair.I am going to prepare for upsc 2020 please tell me how much time should I spend in a day to prepare

  11. Barnalee Paul

    It is very motivating sir. The speech that you have delivered is very valuable and boosted me up to start preparing without the hesitation of being imperfect at first(“start imperfect”). That example of pot was really good. I will keep it in my mind. Thank you so much for motivating and giving us a right direction.

  12. Anonymous

    Hi Anudeep

    Waiting for more articles by you, especially on meditation.


    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author

      I’m hard pressed for time at the academy. Hope to publish before end of FC.

  13. maloth vinod

    Hi Anudeep,
    Hearty congratulations…
    Really inspired by your journey..
    I am writing my mains this year and this is my first attempt. …I request you to upload your all your mains test copies which would really be helpful. Thanks in advance

  14. Hari

    In interview upsc DAF it is asking leadership position in college. If am I not having that will be iam out of th race ? or will the board think it a weak point
    in me.

  15. Raju

    Hi sir Iam Raju From karimnagar District I want to guides with you sir My goal also IAS sir ..Sir when ur free just cal me once sir please…This is my Request sir ….This is my Nbr 8008270758

  16. Sandeep Kumar

    Hello sir,
    Life is sometimes very cruel but at the same we tend to forget it teaches us very important lessons as well.
    I am a tax assistant in CGST DELHI and fighting very hard to prepare for CSE. I would like to request you to pls share your time table/ schedule as it is very difficult to prepare with regular job and due to some circumstances I cannot afford to go on EOL.

    Waiting for your reply,
    All the very best for FC
    Stay Blessed

    Warm Regards
    Sandeep Kumar

  17. Anonymous

    Hi sir, I want to evaluate my answers online …for this what I have to do …pls suggest me.


    Great to hear the golden words for the up comming youth i mean the aspirants…we take you as an inspiring personality.

  19. Tannu Kumari

    Very inspiring video .Thanks for it sir. Just got the lost confidence after seeing it. I will remember those three things as a thumb rule for my civil services preparation. I m glad that you are still helping the aspirants like us. I request you to continue helping us.

  20. Prãçhï Singh

    Sir please help me , how to prepare for upsc with a job , as u always been my source of inspiration nd a guider too , so please try to help in ur own words , how to give our best in upsc preparation wt a job.
    9am-8pm job

  21. Sofia

    I have listened to so many toppers that I have lost count..BT one thing that I always believed and u proved is that failures r there to make us stronger …because one attempt and ist time topper would have made u an accomplishelment but ur failures and ur persistence and endurance made u an inspiration. Great lecture

  22. deepikasdiary

    Sir ! This post filled me writing up about the best day of 2k18! Yes I attend the “Vijaya padam” @ravindra bharti auditorium just to watch you n boost myself by knowing your journey live there and also your cute cherishing personality. I am blessed to get valuable advice n clear path .
    And all your bligs have always keep me motivating ! U r my guru since that day !

    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author

      I’m glad you found the speech helpful. My best wishes.

  23. deepikasdiary

    It was 21-may 2018 !
    And I made one commitment that day to be there one day when my efforts are in the right way and fruitful.
    They way u say ” mee lo kasi unteh edaina sadinchochu”. (Im not that good in Telgu).

  24. Devika Sreenivasan

    “A Great Man shows his greatness by the way he treats little Men.”
    – Thomas Carlyle

    For that ‘letter to younger self’ finds those little men around.

    Thank you sir,for being truthful!

  25. Anonymous

    Hi Sir, I attended that meet only because you were the chief guest there and I must say it was one of the very good addressals I had ever witnessed. I had also asked you a question on optimal solution for UPSC coaching and you gave the best reply! Thank you and wish you all the best.

  26. Anonymous

    Dear sir,
    apart from reading ias books,blogs.how will you come to know the things from other areas.
    The example in your speech is really awesome.what you have said is everything is truth.you accepted your failures.its great.when you fail who motivates u for next time?.
    can you please share your practice books .blogs you used for essay writing.and any important notes which you revised for exam before short time.
    Thanking you,

  27. jagadeesh kumar

    I have a dought …
    For upsc we should exprienced in any job
    Or it’s ok if fresher

  28. swayam

    it is important to read ground zero in hindu newspaper regrading upsc because sometimes there is no correlation with the syllabus of upsc?

  29. Teena

    This is really really helpful for me sir.. whenever i feel demoralised, i watch this speech.. and this really really motivates me.. Thanks sir.. pls. Upload some more articles which will help UPSC aspirants.

  30. Anonymous

    Anudeep, I thankful for such a great advise. I will kick-start my 2.0 version now

  31. Girly Hacks

    Im thankful for such a great advice sir.
    IAS is my dream from childhood…
    But I don’t even know the exact meaning of it. And I don’t even know what to prepare and how to prepare for UPSC.After reading all ur advices and suggestions I think now I’m at a point…
    You are my true inspiration sir..
    Now I’m gonna take a very first step towards my dream…
    Many said that IAS was a very big dream that only rich and intellectual people can achieve…you middle class girl cannot achieve it…
    But I think that unless you dream big u cannot achieve big…
    Sir after reading all your suggestions I have a confidence that I will achieve on ONE BIG DAY…

  32. Yasaswini

    Sir, how did you manage the stress after 1,2,3 failures ? Please suggest something. I am going through a tough time

  33. Sonu verma

    Hello Anudeep. Thank you for this inspiration.
    You are a great guy. I can see on your face the integrity you carry, the hard work and disappointment you have gone through. I can see on your face the bliss and gratitude of your success. Your face clearly reveals the joy you have accomplished after your persistent hard work. You are a great man.
    Inspiration. Thank you.

  34. Anonymous

    “The first essay you’ll write will be the worst ever “, ” The power of current moment “, “set small targets” ..Thank you for these golden words.. Sir, You have one of those most amazing personalities ever. Hope to meet you someday for sure. Respect for you sir! And the hard work, determination, gratitude and the integrity that aptly define you!

  35. Reema Padhiyar

    I am doing Ca final right now. I failed in that in my first attempt even though putting lot’s of hardwork. I can’t understand the reason of my failure in that days I found your vedio on YouTube I didn’t seen your vedio jst look at you & read that you get sucees in UPSC on 5th attampt same day on night when I sleeped I found you in my dream & you told me in that dream that nothing is impossible I crack UPSC on 5th attampt seen. In morning I go back on YouTube& than search that vedio which is on vision IAS platform & heard entirely…I wrote down the 3 principles you provide on one page & till today it is on my study room wall. Sir I try to search my mistake in exam that is I don’t practice the answer writing due to which I failed in my first attampt than I put my entire focus on my that lacking areas & sir I cleared my exam in this attampt. I always called that insidence as my turning point that god creat, thank you very very much Anudeepsir for coming as god at the right time through inspirational vedio in my life .. Now onwards I want to go for UPSC 2020 examination & I definitely want to follow your tips for that… Thanks a lot sir.😊🙏

  36. Anonymous

    Sir…i just started my preparation a months ago for upsc…pls help me how can I aaproach towards my journey…i don’t have any idea regard to this as I am now in part1…i belong from small district of bihar where is scarcity of sources and financial condition…pls reply sir…


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