Love works a different way in different minds, the fool it enlightens and the wise it blinds.John Dryden
Wings of Fire
- Wings of Fire: An Autobiography of APJ Abdul Kalam (1999) ISBN 8173711461
- I wonder why some people tend to see science as something which takes man away from God. As I look at it, the path of science can always wind through the heart. For me, science has always been the path to spiritual enrichment and self-realisation. (p. 15)
- ... the best way to win was to not need to win. The best performances are accomplished when you are relaxed and free of doubt. (p. 31)
- One of the important functions of prayer, I believe, is to act as a stimulus to creative ideas. Within the mind are all the resources required for successful living. Ideas are present in the consciousness, which when released and given scope to grow and take shape, can lead to successful events. God, our Creator, has stored within our minds and personalities, great potential strength and ability. Prayer helps to tap and develop these powers. (p. 32)
- 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. (p. 38)
- I often read Khalil Gibran, and always find his words full of wisdom. "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. (p. 45)
- I have always been a religious person in the sense that I maintain a working partnership with God. I was aware that the best work required more ability than I possessed and therefore I needed help that only God could give me. I made a true estimate of my own ability, then raised it by 50 per cent and put myself in God's hands. In this partnership, I have always received all the power I needed, and in fact have actually felt it flowing through me. Today, I can affirm that the kingdom of God is within you in the form of this power, to help achieve your goals and realise your dreams. (p.49)
- I have always considered the price of perfection prohibitive and allowed mistakes as a part of the learning process. I prefer a dash of daring and persistence to perfection. I have always supported learning on the part of my team members by paying vigilant attention to each of their attempts, be they successful or unsuccessful. (p. 58)
- I was (and am) a terrible conversationist but consider myself a good communicator. (p. 76)
- To succeed in your mission, you must have single-minded devotion to your goal. Individuals like myself are often called 'workaholics'. I question this term because that implies a pathological condition or an illness. If I do what I desire more than anything else in the world and which makes me happy, such work can never be an aberration. (p. 89)
- Total commitment is the common denominator among all successful men and women. (p. 90)
- I have used the word 'flow' at many places without really elaborating its meaning. What is this flow? And what are these joys? I could call them moments of magic. I see an anology between these moments and the high that you experience when you play badminton or go jogging. Flow is a sensation we experience when we act with total involvement. During flow, action follows action according to an internal logic that seems to need no conscious intervention on the part of the worker. There is no hurry, there are no distracting demands on one's attention. The past and the future disappear. So does the distinction between self and the activity. (p. 91)
- To me, the level of responsibility is measured by one's ability to confront the decision-making process without any delay or distraction. (p. 96)
- To live only for some unknown future is superficial. It is like climbing a mountain to reach the peak without experiencing its sides. The sides of the mountain sustain life, not the peak. This is where things grow, experience gained, and technologies are mastered. The importance of peak lies only in the fact that it defines the sides. So I went on towards the top, but always experiencing the sides. I had a long way to go but I was in no hurry. I went in little steps—just one step after another—but each step towards the top. (p. 98)
- Happiness, satisfaction, and success in life depend on making the right choices, the winning choices. There are forces in life working for you and against you. One must distinguish the beneficial forces from the malevolent ones and choose correctly between them. (p. 106)
- Perhaps the main motive behind my isolation was my desire to escape from the demands of relationships, which I consider very difficult in comparison to making rockets. All I desired was to be true to my way of life, to uphold the science of rocketry in my country and to retire with a clean conscience. (p. 121)
- It has been my personal experience that the true flavour, the real fun, the continuous excitement of work lie in the process of doing it rather than in having it over and done with. (p. 135)
- A person with belief never grovels before anyone, whining and whimpering that it's all too much, that he lacks support, that he is being treated unfairly. Instead, such a person tackes problems head on and then affirms, 'As a child of God, I am greater than anything that can happen to me.' (p. 135)
- I never used any outside influence to advance my career. All I had was the inner urge to seek more within myself. The key to my motivation has always been to look at how far I had still to go rather than how far I had come. (p. 140)
- 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. (p. 140)
- Great dreams of great dreamers are always transcended. (p. 161)
- I will not be presumptuous enough to say that my life can be a role model for anybody; but some poor child living in an obscure place in an underprivileged social setting may find a little solace in the way my destiny has been shaped. It could perhaps help such children liberate themselves from the bondage of their illusory backwardness and hopelessness. (p. 167)
- Are you aware of your inner signals? Do you trust them? Do you have the focus of control over your life in your own hands? Take this from me, the more decisions you can make avoiding external pressures, which will constantly try to manipulate and immobilise you, the better your life will be, the better your society will become. The entire nation will benifit from having strong, inner-directed people as their leaders. (p. 175)
- Life is a difficult game. You can win it only by retaining your birthright to be a person. And to retain this right, you will have to be willing to take the social or external risks involved in ignoring pressures to do things the way others say they should be done. (p. 176)
- Look at the sky. We are not alone. The whole universe is friendly to us and conspires only to give the best to those who dream and work.
- Tell me, why is the media here so negative? Why are we in India so embarrassed to recognise our own strengths, our achievements? We are such a great nation. We have so many amazing success stories but we refuse to acknowledge them. Why?
- All God's creatures are His family; and he is the most beloved of God who tries to do most good to God's creatures.
- God has not promised Skies always blue, Flower-strewn pathways All our life through; God has not promised Sun without rain, Joy without sorrow, Peace without pain.
- Thinking is progress. Non-thinking is stagnation of the individual, organisation and the country. Thinking leads to action. Knowledge without action is useless and irrelevant. Knowledge with action, converts adversity into prosperity.
- Thinking should become your capital asset, no matter whatever ups and downs you come across in your life.
- What actions are most excellent? To gladden the heart of a human being, to feed the hungry, to help the afflicted to lighten the sorrow of the sorrowful and to remove the wrongs of injured.
- When you speak, speak the truth; perform when you promise; discharge your trust. Withhold your hands from striking, and from taking that which is unlawful and bad.
- Whenever you face problems or are in the middle of them just think— What has happened, has happened for the good. What is happening is happening for the good. And what will happen will also happen for the good...(Probably noting from Bhagvad Gita Saransh.)
- We have built the Agni to deliver all forms of warheads, including Flowers.
- In the context of his role in building India's premier Missile, The Agni.
- BBC News article on his election
- President of India Online
- Website Dedicated for Former President of India
- APJ Abdul Kalam: Cosmic angel
- Mission India President Kalam's Vision for BITS Pilani