Reflective Essay Topic – Where There Is A Will There Is A Way

You can find Previous Year Reflective Essay Topics asked in ICSE board exams.

Reflective Essay Topic – Where There Is A Will There Is A Way

Introduction: Man has done the impossible by sheer willpower.

  • Example from everyday life
  • Meeting challenge is the essence of life
  • Examples from history, Wright Brothers, Mahatma Gandhi

Conclusion: God helps those who help themselves.

Man is a creature basically six feet tall, but he has been able to conquer space and the majestic height of the imposing mountains. He is relentless in the pursuit of breaking new ground, not on account of his physical prowess, but because of his firm resolve and willpower.

All of us possess this, to a less or great extent. However, great souls have been known to exercise it to achieve the impossible, while lesser mortals in its absence lead an ignoble existence. This is for men with a wavering mind and feeble will, cannot succeed in life for “People do not lack strength, they lack the will,” said Victor Hugo.

A keen desire to do something makes one explore ways for doing it successfully. This is akin to the personal experience of cycling in childhood. We fell and also bruised ourselves, but it did not stop us from trying again, nor did it dampen our resolve to learn cycling.

Thus initial failures should not discourage us, for pursuing big and ambitious goals, for there is no short cut to success. Our constant perseverance will sooner or later bear fruit. Initial failure should not deter us from the chosen path, for failure is a stepping- stone to success.

Meeting challenges is the essence of life; it strengthens our skills and improves our lives. “He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skills. Our antagonist is our helper,” said Edmund Burke. We would not be privy to such spectacular developments in Science and technology, had our predecessors, not overcome challenges posed to them by nature.

The history of mankind is replete with instances of ordinary people achieving great things, by dint of willpower. The pioneers of aviation – the Wright Brothers, had their limbs broken, but they finally succeeded in achieving their dream of flying. The result today is the development of supersonic planes that take us around the world in a couple of hours.

We also saw a feeble old man Mahatma Gandhi, challenge the might of the British empire by his invincible willpower and self discipline. The lives of such great men and many others conclusively prove, that nothing is impossible to achieve, provided one has the will to go about it.

One must therefore, not only wish and aspire for something, but also work with resolve for achieving it, for ‘God helps those who help themselves”. This is for “Great souls have will, feeble one’s have only wishes,” and wishes we know lead nowhere.

Assignments

  • “People do not lack strength, they lack the will”. Discuss.
  • “Great souls have will, feeble one’s have only wishes.” Discuss.

Reflective Essay Topic – Your Ambition In Life

You can find Previous Year Reflective Essay Topics asked in ICSE board exams.

Reflective Essay Topic – Your Ambition In Life

Introduction: Need for an ambition

  • My ambition; Why is it my ambition
  • How I plan to achieve it

Conclusion: Firm resolve to achieve it

We are all familiar with the proverb ‘Hitch your wagon to a star. ’ The logic behind it is simple. If we do not aspire for something great, we shall not strive for it and consequently lead a life of ignominy. The autobiographies of great men reveal their dreams very early in life, of what they would do or become.

Such dreams are different from daydreaming, for in the words of William Shakespeare, “Ambition should be made of sterner stuff.” Hence one must not only dream but also work relentlessly to achieve and realise it.

I too have a dream, an ambition of becoming a doctor. Besides being a noble profession, it also commands a lot of respect in the society. The white coat and the stethoscope mesmerised me since childhood. The sense of empathy and confidence that a doctor inspires in a patient, mitigates his suffering. People look up to him as a messiah. No matter how big or powerful a person may be, he invariably does fall sick and has to seek the doctor’s help.

There are many other professions that offer more money, power and glamour, but none commands the respect and the dignity of a doctor. Money and power are all but transitory things, that are here today and gone tomorrow, but the status and service of a doctor does not diminish. On the other hand, it increases and multiplies with the passage of time.

The road to realising my dream is not easy, nor do I expect it to be so. I have to pass the competitive premedical examination, before I get admission to a medical college. I have started preparing for the same in right earnest and with God’s grace, I do hope to clear the test.

I would like to specialise in Cardiac surgery, after completing my MBBS. This is a fatal disease that is on the rise. It has now started afflicting even young people and the country would need many cardiologists in time to come.

I hope this dream comes true, for I am leaving no stone unturned to make it a reality. I firmly believe that our triumphs and defeats are in us, for in the words of H.W. Longfellow, “Not in the clamour of crowded streets not in the shouts of plaudits of the throng. But in ourselves are triumphs and defeats.”

Assignments

  • Ambition
  • ‘Ambition should be made of sterner stuff”” – Discuss.

Reflective Essay Topic – God Helps Those Who Help Themselves

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Reflective Essay Topic – God Helps Those Who Help Themselves

Introduction: Importance of self help

  • Inspiring life stories of great men
  • Fortune favours the brave
  • Importance of Karma in the Hindu mythology

Conclusion: Need to strive for our betterment

“God gives every bird its food, but He does not throw it into its nest,” said J G Holland. God indeed has provided everything in the universe for our life and comfort. One has only to reach out and enjoy the splendor so abundantly bestowed for us.

There is an old fable of a carter whose wagon got stuck in the mud, Bewildered he prayed to ‘Hercules’ the God of strength to get it out for him. Hercules answered his prayer saying, “Put your shoulder to the wheel man.” The carter took his advice and the wagon was out of the mud. This simple old fable portrays the value of self-help.

There are many inspiring stories of great men born in extreme poverty, but by hard work and sincerity they rose to the highest positions in their country. Names like Abraham Lincoln and Lai Bahadur Shastri are illustrious examples of what can be achieved by self-help. Abraham Lincoln began his life as a woodcutter, while Shastri was a schoolteacher. They rose to become the President and the Prime Minister of their respective countries.

We are also privy to real life ‘rags to riches’ stories of many great industrialists. They started from scratch and in course of time became wealthy, creating great industrial empires. Few examples being Swaraj Paul and our own Dirubhai Ambani of the Caparo and Reliance Industries fame.

While Swaraj Paul came as a refugee from Pakistan, Dimbhai a small trader of Gujarat, challenged the multinationals and founded the largest private sector company in the country. They achieved such phenomenal success because of hard work, perseverance and enterprise. They are living examples of the adage ‘Fortune favours the brave.’

According to the Hindu mythology, Karma or deed is of supreme importance and is the purpose of life. Lord Krishna in the the Bhagwad Gita, extolling the virtue of ‘Karma’ inspired Arjun, to fight for his right, for that was his Karma as a Kshatriya. According to the Gita one should continue to do karma (duty) and not wait for reward, for it is bound to follow sooner or later.

Undoubtedly ‘God helps those who help themselves’, for one achieves nothing without effort. We must therefore strive for our own betterment.

Assignments

  • Self Help. “No gain, no pain, no thorn, no throne. No gall, no glory, no cross no crown.”
  • “Fortune favours the brave” Discuss.

Reflective Essay Topic – Choice Of A Career

You can find Previous Year Reflective Essay Topics asked in ICSE board exams.

Reflective Essay Topic – Choice Of A Career

Introduction: Perplexing decision

  • Many new avenues have opened up; Opening new career opportunities
  • Cardinal principle to follow in making the choice
  • Take a decision giving due weightage to advise of parents and peers

Conclusion: Having taken a decision work upon it sincerely

The dawn of the new millennium has thrown up a plethora of new career opportunities that were hitherto non-existent. This has made the task of choosing a career for the youth more confusing and perplexing. Often the decision is fraught with suspense and anxiety as faced by a gambler. However, this is a vital decision, which has a direct bearing on our life and hence should be taken with due deliberation, consultation and advise.

Fortunately there are many avenues for getting information on different career opportunities through newspapers, electronic media and the internet. Various career options are now available in new fields like Information Technology, E-Commerce and health care.

One can take up assignments as Web designer, network administrator and developer in information technology. In the field of science and technology there are avenues in biotechnology, environmental sciences, genetic engineering, etc. These careers are in addition to the traditional options of doctor, lawyer, engineer and teacher.

However, in making the choice one must observe a basic cardinal principle, that is to objectively identify one’s strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes and other inborn propensities. Keeping this in mind, one should identify careers which are most appealing. It is common to find people, enamoured by the glamour and razzmatazz of a particular profession, to have their dream shattered, as it does not suit their temperament.

They end up highly dissatisfied and frustrated. Some take to the legal profession, on being infatuated by an eminent lawyer. After spending considerable time and money, they discover that it is not only oratory skills, but also a sharp and incisive mind, that is essential for a roaring practice. They end up doing anything, to keep their body and soul together. Obviously their decision was made on purely extraneous and illogical factors.

While taking such a crucial decision one should also give due consideration to the views of parents, friends and peers. They can help, provided their advice is objective and dispassionate. Students often study for a career bowing to the wishes of parents, but end up disillusioned and frustrated. Thus the son of an eminent doctor, takes to the medical profession to please his father. He may become a doctor, but in the absence of a right aptitude and inclination, he can never achieve his father’s eminence.

The right choice of a career is important, for as they say ‘well begun is half done’. The right career option makes one work more assiduously in realising the dream. It does not matter if one does not get admission into the best of institutions. What matters, that after getting the requisite qualification, one excels in it.

Assignments

  • Career option for the youth in the new millennium. Discuss
  • Youth and Career. Discuss

Reflective Essay Topic – The Person Who Influenced Your Life

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Reflective Essay Topic – The Person Who Influenced Your Life

Introduction: Influenced by the books and autobiography of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru.

  • Background of his life
  • Characteristics that influenced me-sacrifice, patriotism, statesmanship, visionary, industrious nature, love for children

Conclusion: Inspiring leader

In the journey of life we come across many people and also read the autobiographies of great men, which leave a lasting impression in our mind. Often the influence is so great that it changes the course of one’s life.

The influence of Mahatma Gandhi on the young Jawaharlal Nehru, was so great, that it changed the course of his life, making him quit the luxuries of life and join the freedom struggle.

I too have been profoundly influenced by the life of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, after reading his autobiography and books. The more I dwell on his life, the greater becomes my curiosity to know him.

He was born on 14th November 1889 with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth. His father Motilal Nehru was a wealthy lawyer, who sent him to a public school at Harrow, Harrow in England when Jawaharlal was barely fourteen years of age. He subsequently joined Trinity College, from where he graduated in law. He returned to India, and was so greatly influenced by Mahatma Gandhi, that he plunged into the freedom struggle.

He was jailed several times and spent his youth in prison. Here he took to writing books like the ‘Glimpses of Indian history’, ‘My Autobiography’ etc., which are regarded as masterpieces of literary work. His relentless struggle during the non-cooperation movement led to the Quit India Rresolution in 1942, which finally paved the way for India’s independence. He was the unanimous choice for the office of Prime Minister and under his able guidance, India began its tryst with destiny.

Some of the noble characteristics which endeared him to me were his strong will and self sacrifice. He could have easily led a cushy life, but he chose a thorny path for the welfare of his country. Such people are indeed rare and worth emulating.

He was a patriot to the core and was ever willing to make sacrifices for his country. Not only did he spend his youth in jail, but also took to wearing khadi, when the nation was in the thick of the movement against foreign spun yam.

He was a gentleman to the core, with an impeccable character and an acclaimed world statesman. His foreign policy pronouncement of non-alignment with power blocks and the Panch Sheel for international relations, are a testimony of his foresight. India under him was intently heard at world forums, for he voiced the feelings and emotions of the under developed and developing countries, boldly and truthfully.

Being a great visionary he laid the foundation of a socialistic government, with emphasis on industrialisation, in the core sector. This made the country advance in science and technology, making it a nuclear power, and a strong contender for a permanent seat in the Security Council.

A workaholic by nature he worked more than eighteen hours a day. He still found time for children, who lovingly called him ‘Chacha Nehru’. To commemorate his memory, the nation celebrates his birthday on 14th November as Children’s Day.

His noble attributes of sacrifice; character, patriotism, statesmanship, industrious nature, liberal attitude and love for children endear him to me. Such leaders are not born every day. His life and its travails inspire me, and would continue to inspire generations, who may wonder that such a person stalked the earth in flesh and blood.

Assignments

  • My Favourite leader. Discuss
  • Mahatma Gandhi – The Father of the Nation

Reflective Essay Topic – The Dignity Of Labour

You can find Previous Year Reflective Essay Topics asked in ICSE board exams.

Reflective Essay Topic – The Dignity Of Labour

Introduction: Work is worship: Its importance

  • People recognise us by our work.
  • Perfection requires dedication.
  • Bhagwad Gita extols ‘Karma’ (Duty)

Conclusion: All work is divine for without it one can achieve nothing.

Work is worship for as we all know, “An idle mind is a devil’s workshop.” Work provides livelihood and helps keep the devil (other vices) at bay. Not only does it provide sustenance, but gives purpose to our life, differentiating us from other creatures in the universe. In the words of a poet, “I slept and dreamt that life was beauty. I woke and found that life was duty”.

“What you are will show in what you do,” said Thomas Alva Edison. People and the society recognise us by our work. This is because life is action not contemplation. Work enables us to improve our quality of life, so that the society enjoys the fruit of labour. All work is dignified, for it is better than living on doles or charity. Besides giving dignity to life, it generates tremendous self-confidence and self-esteem. People do not break down from overwork, but from worry and dissipation.

Work generates energy and optimism, which makes life pleasant. Ordinary people have risen to great heights by excelling in their work, like Florence Nightingale, Albert Einstein and thousands of others. Their hard work and devotion to duty made them immortal.

Work does not mean doing the daily chores, but also doing it with excellence. The work could be in manufacturing a product, or rendering a service. It should be done with sincerity, devotion and strict discipline, so that the right product or service Can be delivered at the best price.

Lord Krishna in the Bhagwad Gita, extolling the virtue of ‘Karma’ (Duty) exhorted Arjun to do his duty, without expecting or waiting for reward or recognition. This is for work is divine and our moral duty to accomplish. In our daily life we observe the artisan, workman and trader offering a short prayer before commencing work for the day. They celebrate Vishwakarma puja with great pomp and show, offering prayer to the deity of creation. This is a manifestation of reverence to work, which they regard as divine and sacred.

Work creates opportunities which could be missed if one is idle or daydreaming. In the words of Thomas Alva Edison, “Opportunities is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Indeed numerous rags to riches stories of ordinary people like Bill Gates and Dirubhai Ambani validate the above statement. Their sincerity and devotion to work, enabled them to seize opportunities that came their way with both hands.

Eulogisng the virtue of work Rabindra Nath Tagore said, “God is there where the tiller is tilling the hard soil and the path maker is breaking the stones’.’ Indeed all work is divine and by working hard we enjoy the fruit of labour, which tastes sweet. One achieves nothing without effort for “No gain, no pain, no thorn, no throne; No gall no glory, no cross, no crown.”

Assignments

  • ‘All work and no play make Jack a dull boy’. Discuss.
  • Man is a tool-making animal. Discuss.
  • “Honour and shame from no conditions arise. Act well your part, there all the honour lies”. Discuss.

Reflective Essay Topic – Patriotism

You can find Previous Year Reflective Essay Topics asked in ICSE board exams.

Reflective Essay Topic – Patriotism

Introduction: Define Patriotism

  • Characteristics of a true patriot
  • False or pseudo patriot, with narrow nationalistic interests
  • Much abused word in present day party politics
  • Importance of a true patriot

Conclusion: Be a true patriot at heart

The word ‘patriotism’ is derived from a Latin word which means ‘father’. Thus the land or the country to which one belongs is called the fatherland. We owe everything to our country and are happy in serving it. Alexander Pope rightly said, “Happy the man whose wish and care, a few paternal acres abound. Content to breathe his native air in his own ground.”

We love our country and pride ourselves as Indians. To some extent we all are patriots. However, a true patriot is one, who places his country first and foremost. He is ever ready to make sacrifices for his country, for he has the welfare of the country at heart. He criticises the wrong policies that prevail in the society. His criticism is good and constructive without any self interest and motive. However, in times of crisis like war or natural calamity, he is ready to make the supreme sacrifice.

However, patriots are of different hues. Some pseudo patriots camouflage their real motive by appealing to narrow minded sectarian interests. They aggressively flaunt their superficial patriotism, for they prescribe to the motto “My country right or wrong”. Such patriots are dangerous for the country. They also pose a threat to democracy, for they discourage dissent and are the precursor to authoritarian or fascist rule. Such patriots abounded in fascist Germany and Italy, during the Second World War. They perpetuated crimes against humanity, under the misplaced notion of patriotism.

Patriotism is a much used and abused word in Indian politics. All political parties claim to be more patriotic than the other. Often it is a facade for public consumption, while their real interest is in gamering votes, by fanning divisive and contentious issues. Referring to such scoundrels masquerading as patriots, Doctor Samuel Johnson said, “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”

We should be on guard against such pseudo patriots and be a true patriot. This is for a true patriot is the strength of a country. We owe our freedom to them. Such people are in the forefront to defend the country both in war and peace. They do not ask what the country has done for them, but ask what they can do for the country.

Saluting the patriotic pilots, who laid down their lives, during the invasion of England by the Nazi air force, Mr Winston Churchill said, “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few”.

A true patriot upholds all things that are good for the country and is ready to make sacrifices to safeguard it. Indeed the soul of a person who has no love for his country is dead. In the words of Sir Walter Scot, “Breathes there the man with soul so dead. Who never to himself hath said, this is my own my native land.”

Assignments

  • ‘Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.’Discuss.
  • A true patriot. Discuss

Reflective Essay Topic – Experience Is The Best Teacher

You can find Previous Year Reflective Essay Topics asked in ICSE board exams.

Reflective Essay Topic – Experience Is The Best Teacher

Introduction: “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.”

  • Experiences could be good or bad. Both are valuable.
  • Wise men learn from the experience of others and from books of great men.
  • Life is one great journey of learning and experience is the best teacher

Conclusion: Its lessons can save us from many pitfalls of life.

“Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards,” said Vernon Sanders Law. Indeed lessons learnt through personal experience leave an indelible mark on our mind, which are invaluable and lasting. Like a good teacher, her lessons are very thorough and one can ignore it, to one’s own peril.

Experiences could be good, like helping a person in need, or bad like losing money on a risky investment. The important thing is the learning that we get from them. One gains from good experience arid steers clear from harmful ones.

Telling a child not to play with a match box, would probably have no impact on him, but once he scourges his hand with the match stick, he will never in his lifetime play with the match box. Indeed learning from personal experience is more lasting and valuable than following the advice of others or reading about them from books or periodicals.

However wise men learn from the experience of others, like parents, teachers or an elder. They also profit from books that are a virtual treasure house of knowledge and experience of great men. Eulogising the importance of books Francis Bacon said, “Some books are to be tasted, others swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested.”

Such books like the biographies of great statesmen, proverbs and folklore are a gold mine of knowledge and experience which enrich our lives. Unfortunately people prefer to learn from bitter experience rather than appreciate age-old truths like “All that glitters is not gold,” “A bird in hand is worth two in the bush,” or “Honesty is the best policy.” The bad experienced once undergone is unlikely to be repeated in their lifetime.

Life is one great journey of learning and experience is the best teacher. We learn the virtue of patience and forbearance when faced with adversity, courage in the face of danger and wisdom from mistakes. However many people learn the lesson very late in life. Such people ignore the simple dictum that ‘Health is wealth’, to regret it later when their life becomes a wretch.

“Life is brief – a little hope, a little dream and then goodnight”. In this short span of life, one should not only learn from one’s own experience but should also profit from the experience of others. This would save us from many pitfalls of life.

Assignments

  • Once bitten twice shy
  • Do we really learn from our mistakes? Discuss.

Reflective Essay Topic – Qualities Needed For Success

You can find Previous Year Reflective Essay Topics asked in ICSE board exams.

Reflective Essay Topic – Qualities Needed For Success

Introduction: Qualities needed for success

  • Perseverance and hard work
  • Keen sharp mind with vision and ambition
  • Patience and leadership qualities
  • Positive attitude

Conclusion: There is no short cut to success.

“If you wish to succeed in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counsellor, caution your elder brother and hope your guardian genius,” said Joseph Addison. These are indeed some basic qualities, required to be successful in life. People possessing these qualities, are successful in whatever they do, while others bear the ignominy of failure in almost all activities they indulge in. Success therefore does not come naturally, behind it is perseverance, experience, caution and a never say die attitude.

Success is indeed ninety nine percent perspiration and one percent inspiration. There are many rags to riches stories of people achieving great success, by sheer dint of hard work and determination. Abraham Lincoln and Lai Bahadur Shastri, rose from very humble beginning to become the President and the Prime Minister of their respective countries. Some of the richest businessmen like Dhirubhai Ambani and Bill Gates also came from very humble background. However their zeal and enthusiasm made them establish great business empires.

Such great men besides hard work and perseverance, also possess a keen and sharp mind, with a clear vision and goal they want to achieve in life. This ambition acted like a beacon of light, impelling them to relentlessly strive towards their goal. They also had the courage of conviction to move away from the beaten track and blaze a new trail for others to follow.

Besides the above qualities one must exercise caution and patience in dealing with problems. Just as a rolling stone gathers no moss, similarly rushing from one action to another without thinking of its implication gets one nowhere. There is therefore need to spend some time with the problem, seek the views of elders and peers, use past experience, before coming to a decision. Decision once taken must be implemented patiently. This is for all good things take time to happen.

The last but not the least prerequisite is a positive attitude and mindset. This enables one to have an optimistic approach to problems and seek opportunities in them. Such a person is not easily disheartened and his perseverance pays off in the long run.

Agreeably there is no short cut to success and it does not come by chance. One has to assiduously work for it, with dedication and perseverance. This is for in the words of H.W. Longfellow, ‘Life’s battle does not always go, to the stronger and the fastest man, But sooner or later the man who wins is the man who thinks he can’.

Assignments

  • ‘Nothing succeeds like success.’ Discuss.
  • ‘Success is but destined.’ Give your views for or against the statement.
  • Success is ninety nine percent perspiration and one percent inspiration. Discuss.

Reflective Essay Topic – A Stitch In Time Saves Nine

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Reflective Essay Topic – A Stitch In Time Saves Nine

Introduction: Meaning of the proverb

  • Practical and sound advice
  • Examples from history

Conclusion: Ignore it to your own peril

‘A stitch in time saves nine’ is an old adage which implies that one must attend to problems well in time, so that they do not become big and difficult to face at a later date. Just as it takes only a small spark to start a fire, which if not put out immediately causes great devastation. Similarly the smallest problem if not attended immediately, could become a major catastrophe.

Just as one immediately stitches a small hole in the pocket, to avoid a big tear, requiring nine stitches at a later date. Similarly postponing minor day to day problems do not make them disappear, but they come back to us in a much more gigantic form. It is akin to a small breach in a canal, which, if not blocked in time could breache the entire embankment, inundating large tracts of land in cities and villages.

Kingdoms have been lost by neglecting small things as a nail in a horse shoe. Most of us have heard the saying, “For want of a nail, the shoe was lost, for want of a shoe, the horse was lost, for want of a horse, the rider was lost, for want of a rider the battle was lost, for want of the battle, the kingdom was lost.” Indeed tackling small problems successfully makes one more confident in overcoming big problems in life.

History is replete with numerous examples validating the above saying. Had Germany got a honourable settlement after World War I, the conflagration and destruction of the World War II could have been avoided. Had the National leaders shown understanding and trust, the partition of the country and the consequent blood shed could have been avoided. These are glaring examples of what can happen to great countries, if small problems and differences are not resolved in time.

Indeed it is the most practical and sound advice given by our elders including parents and teachers. However, in our haste, we tend to overlook the small details, which cause major problems at a later date.

One should therefore not ignore attending to minor problems. This is for postponing action to a later date, may be a little too late. It is a sound logic which is relevant even today and would always stand one in good stead in life. We can ignore it to our own peril.

Assignments

  • Prevention is better than cure
  • Nip the evil in the bud
  • Unity is strength
  • Look before your leap