July 25th, 2018 | Updated on June 3rd, 2020
India’s 11th President, Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam. Named as the ‘Missile Man‘ for his contributions towards the developments of India’s missile projects. He studied aerospace engineering and spent years working as a scientist.
His contribution in the development of ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology earned him the title of the Missile Man of India.
In July 2015 he collapsed while delivering a lecture and passed away on July 27. However, his words remain relevant and inspiring even to this day and the books written by him like Wings of Fire and Ignited Minds, among others, continue to motivate us.
1. “Dreams are not those which comes while we are sleeping, but dreams are those when u don’t sleep before fulfilling them.” ― A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Wings of Fire: An Autobiography
2. “I am not handsome but I can give my hand to someone who need help… Because beauty is required in heart not in face….” ― A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
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3. “My impression of the American people can be summarized by a quotation from Benjamin Franklin, “Those things that hurt instruct!” I realised that people in this part of the world meet their problems head on. They attempt to get out of them rather than suffer them.” ― A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Wings of Fire
4. “The country doesn’t deserve anything less than success from us. Let us aim for success”.” ― A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Wings of Fire
5. “If You’r a Mechanical Engineer Don’t Feel So Proud, Because You Can Repair Everything Except Your Own Heart”!!!” ― A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
6. “When the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again”.” ― A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Wings of Fire
7. “Bread baked without love is a bitter bread that feeds but half a man’s hunger,”—those who cannot work with their hearts achieve but a hollow, half-hearted success that breeds bitterness all around. If you are a writer who would secretly prefer to be a lawyer or a doctor, your written words will feed but half the hunger of your readers; if you are a teacher who would rather be a businessman, your instructions will meet but half the need for knowledge of your students; if you are a scientist who hates science, your performance will satisfy but half the needs of your mission.” ― A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Wings of Fire
8. “Bread baked without love is a bitter bread that feeds but half a man’s hunger,”—those who cannot work with their hearts achieve but a hollow, half-hearted success that breeds bitterness all around.” ― A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Wings of Fire
9. “To succeed in life and achieve results, you must understand and master three mighty forces— desire, belief, and expectation.” Iyadurai” ― A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Wings of Fire
10. “Don’t read success stories, you will only get a message. Read failure stories, you will get some ideas to get success.” ― Sreechinth C, Ignited Quotes of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam
11. “Then the Second World War was over and India’s freedom was imminent. ‘Indians will build their own India,’ declared Gandhiji. The whole country was filled with an unprecedented optimism. I asked my father’s permission to leave Rameswaram and study at the district headquarters in Ramanathapuram. He told me as if thinking aloud, ‘Abul! I know you have to go away to grow. Does the seagull not fly across the Sun, alone and without a nest? You must forego your longing for the land of your memories to move into the dwelling place of your greater desires; our love will not bind you nor will our needs hold you.’ He quoted Khalil Gibran to my hesitant mother, ‘Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts. For they have their own thoughts.” ― A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, The Righteous Life: The Very Best of A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
12. “When learning is purposeful, creativity blossoms. When creativity blossoms, thinking emanates. When thinking emanates, knowledge is fully lit. When knowledge is lit, economy flourishes.” ― A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Indomitable Spirit
13. “This is my belief: that through difficulties and problems God gives us the opportunity to grow. So when your hopes and dreams and goals are dashed, search among the wreckage, you may find a golden opportunity hidden in the ruins”.” ― A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
14. “Thinking should become your capital asset, no matter whatever ups and downs you come across in your life.” ― A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
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15. “Sometimes, it’s better to bunk a class and enjoy with friends, because now, when I look back, marks never make me laugh, but memories do.” ― A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
16. “Be active! Take on responsibility! Work for the things you believe in. If you do not, you are surrendering your fate to others.” ― A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Wings of Fire
17. “Let not thy winged days be spent in vain. Whenonce gone no gold can buy them back again.” ― A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
18. “We are all born with a divine fire in us. Our efforts should be to give wings to this fire and fill the world with the glow of its goodness.” ― A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Wings of Fire
19. “The sides of the mountain sustain life, not the peak. This is where things grow, experience is gained, and technologies are mastered. The importance of the peak lies only in the fact that it defines the sides.” ― A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Wings of Fire
20. “Desire, when it stems from the heart and spirit, when it is pure and intense, possesses awesome electromagnetic energy. This energy is released into the ether each night, as the mind falls into the sleep state. Each morning it returns to the conscious state reinforced with the cosmic currents. That which has been imaged will surely and certainly be manifested. You can rely, young man, upon this ageless promise as surely as you can rely upon the eternally unbroken promise of sunrise… and of Spring.” ― A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Wings of Fire
21. “What makes life in Indian organizations difficult is the widespread prevalence of this very contemptuous pride. It stops us from listening to our juniors, subordinates and people down the line. You cannot expect a person to deliver results if you humiliate him, nor can you expect him to be creative if you abuse him or despise him. The line between firmness and harshness, between strong leadership and bullying, between discipline and vindictiveness is very fine, but it has to be drawn.” ― A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Wings of Fire
22. “My story—the story of the son of Jainulabdeen, who lived for over a hundred years on Mosque Street in Rameswaram island and died there; the story of a lad who sold newspapers to help his brother; the story of a pupil reared by Sivasubramania Iyer and Iyadurai Solomon; the story of a student taught by teachers like Pandalai; the story of an engineer spotted by MGK Menon and groomed by the legendary Prof. Sarabhai; the story of a scientist tested by failures and setbacks; the story of a leader supported by a large team of brilliant and dedicated professionals. This story will end with me, for I have no belongings in the worldly sense. I have acquired nothing, built nothing, possess nothing—no family, sons, daughters.” ― A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Wings of Fire
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