Small Wins

By | October 29, 2023

Is the job of an IAS officer impactful? Can an officer bring about change for the better?

When we think of transformative change, we often envision a rapid and dramatic impact during an officer’s  tenure. We all aspire to make a significant, positive difference in our domain, but it’s essential to recognise that immediate results are not the norm. 

Think of the last time you wanted to change some aspect of yourself for the better. It might be exercising every day or eating healthy or cutting down on social media use. How difficult was it? We try to inculcate good habits, but we often relapse. And then we try again. It’s a long struggle against ourselves.

Now imagine how difficult it would be to change a set of populace for the better. It is possible, but it is often slow, painful, and difficult.

Throughout history, meaningful and lasting change has always taken time. We have not eliminated polio in one day or one year. It took the relentless effort of countless health workers across the country to reach that milestone. No one invented the iPhone from nothing. It was a yearly refinement of ideas that led to Steve Jobs unveiling the smartphone.

It’s the same in the government. Radical changes and cult personalities happen only in the movies. If you enter the service and think you can transform everything overnight, you are going to be disillusioned. To be an effective public servant is to understand the limits of one’s power.

Rather on a day-to-day basis, what you need to work on are the small wins. It can be about solving a chronic land acquisition problem that’s been pending for years. Or ensuring 100% safe, institutional deliveries in a Gram Panchayat. Or it’s about providing a digital classroom for a remote school that improves the learning outcomes of 50 children. That’s 50 lives transformed. 

It’s about notching these small victories along the way. I have immense respect for the countless and invisible officers who are working their way towards these improvements.  Like a river that cuts through a mountain, it’s the collective push over years that results in meaningful change.

You may not be able to overhaul the entire system, but you can transform the lives of people in your limited sphere of influence. The impact might not be felt by everyone, but for those lives you touch through your work, it’s deep.

Personally, I keep a running note of all my accomplishments that I am proud of, no matter how small or insignificant. Every now and then, I go through the list and it inspires me. It’s these little successes that make the job of an IAS officer impactful and fulfiling.

68 thoughts on “Small Wins

    1. Anonymous

      The way you conveyed how success take time
      those who really working hard for their dreams. Thank you sir.

  1. Ajju

    Thank you for the insightful blog sir. This makes you different from other toppers of UPSC. The way you like to change the outlook of an aspirant and the will to guide us is what makes you different.

  2. Anonymous

    Really inspires a lot sir especially the noting process of all your accomplishments for a motivation towards your aspirations.

  3. Anonymous

    I hope you are doing great sir… What you said is very true.. It applies to both in field and out of the field.. Thnku for this reminder 😇

  4. Anonymous

    Hello Sir, Glad to see ur post after a long time…Sir,From few years we aspirants are hearing it so much that Uspc has become a matter of Luck more than Hardwork…Even after studying 10-12 hrs. It has become pure Gamble,and aspirants are just wasting their time,youth,money,emotions..What’s your take on this? Please reply.. Thanks

    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author

      I don’t agree. At every phase of UPSC exam, you would hear bad takes like these. I used to tell myself the same— that the exam is all but a gamble (during the years I didn’t get through). It was my way of soothing my pain of failure. But in the long term, such negative thinking kills our drive and motivation. Ignore them and give your best.

  5. jatinsukhija1999

    Lakhs of student are willing to become IAS. If you would have failed in the exam, someone else would have taken your seat. He/She would have done similar things to what you do. Thus, impact on society of a PARTICULAR person becoming IAS is limited. On the other hand there are careers which not many people want to choose but are very important like making AI safe, teaching underprivileged kids etc. I believe these careers are more impactful for the society then becoming IAS.

  6. Anonymous

    Thank you so much for writing about this Sir. This question lingers in the minds of aspirants all the time, before they start the journey and even throughout the preparation. This was inspiring and a reality check as well. Every word that you write speaks volumes and you always explain complex topics with such simple narratives. Please always keep writing!

  7. Anonymous

    I read all of these writing, it is so much inspiring me, i accept that what i thinking to change all when entering in civil services it is different practically when will be entering in service, there will be process step by step improvement to the big change for the wellfare of the nation…
    Thanks for sharing this beautiful and down to earth experience with us sir..

  8. Anonymous

    Thank you sir…much needed advice to not to get disappointed for not overcoming your bad habits overnight.the list of making achieved things to remind ourselves that you came so far through this and with little push from with in is just needed come to out of self pity n insecure abyss.
    Great fan of your writings sir,please write them often
    From an non upsc aspirant

  9. Anonymous

    Good to see u in a long time Sir. I heard someone mentioned Private victories as a constant reminder to all those small wins that often go unnoticed but has immense potential to rise in future.

    I hope you post your top best books you hv read in past couple of years.

  10. Anonymous

    Definitely sir,

    Everyone can’t change everything, but everyone can change something undoubtedly.

  11. Anonymous

    Thank you for your new blog post I’m no longer into preparation now I exhausted all my attempts without success in UPSC-CSE. Resumed my Advocate practice but finding it very hard because of years of gap in preparation lost touch in law subject. Till now my mantra is ‘one step at a time’ now I’ll concentrate on ‘Small wins’ really it is thought provoking.

  12. SHIV OM

    Hello Sir, it’s been a long time since you wrote your last blog. First of all, thank you so much for writing this inspiring and knowledgeable blog and looking forward to many more frequent such blogs in the near future.
    Sir, I want to know your experience in service so far, the type of real time challenge you have faced in the service on daily basis, how you overcome it? Any past success in service which can give us insights on the things how they work on the ground? and how one can solve or achieve things with strong determination and Sir, want to know what changes you have seen personally in your value system like what earlier you used to think about this now how its actual work or exist in this real world is? which makes your any change in your values system. Want to know your viewpoint sir
    Thankyou sir.

  13. Anonymous

    Thank you, sir, for your valuable insights. Small wins add up to larger changes over the course of time.

  14. Anonymous

    Reading your blog is absolute happiness for me sir….I just came here read this blog for fifth time just to feel happy when I am alone
    I have read all yours blogs atleast thrice and few blogs even more..
    I feel as if I am talking to you when I read your blog..
    Please keep writing regularly sir.. This is the only means of happiness for me as of now..
    Would like to see a blog from you on the following topics sir
    •Team India’s loss in cricket world cup 2023
    •About all your memories and learnings from your journey at bhadradri kothagudem (our district)
    •How is working as collector of Hyderabad different from being collector of a rather remote district like bhadradri kothagudem
    Thank you so much all the inspiration and happiness you have given me sir..

  15. Chanakya

    Sir , my humble request to put your best reads of 2023 . Last time you recommended some books out of which my favorites were 1) Make it stick 2) Food Rules .Please do tell us your best reads of 2023 . Thank you 🙂

  16. Anonymous

    Ilike it when you mention -I go through the list and it inspires me. It’s these little successes that make the job of an IAS officer impactful and fulfiling.

  17. Priyanka Shinde

    I’m a doctor, but I came across one of your interviews where you mentioned about knowing our limitations and also accepting our failures , accepting that we were not good enough, that’s why we didn’t qualify . But also learning to not give up through the tough phase . Quite an insight

    Really liked this article as well👏

  18. Anonymous

    Sir just seeing you stay connected with us gives immense confidence and potential to overcome problems gradually.
    That’s only bcoz we can connect ourselves in many ways with yourself.
    Thanks sir.
    God bless you.

  19. Anonymous

    Sir, your words always have that long lasting and deep down effect ,your blogs contain those hidden messages which somehow gave a broad perspective . the precious years that you have given in your preparation not only benefits you but thousands of aspirants like me who are struggling, Thank you so much for your kind , generous and authentic efforts. Nowadays you became Inspiration and role model for me as well as all for other candidates. Lastly , there is lot to learn from your personality, way of speaking, humbleness etc. You indeed exhibit all the officers like quality.😊

  20. Anonymous

    This is awesome and i am going to make note as well from now on (small wins) thank u

  21. Anonymous


    You literally inspired a lot… 🙏⭐


Leave a comment