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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"The one with getting that viva la vida moment back..."

[Dedicated to all those hard-working grad students drenched in sweat, grit, tears and blood working their best to get that distinguished doctorate title – wherever you are, whatever you do.]

In a nutshell – life has been like opening a can of worms. Ever had that lingering thought where you feel like you’ve accomplished nothing reinforcing, but instead constantly fall short of a panting breath as you rest your frail behind on the couch; after a full day’s worth?

Well, I have. And probably am still in that limbo perhaps.

Like other high spirited, aspiring scientists (hah!) out there – we often hold ourselves as self-proclaimed martyrs; bent on the next Nobel-worthy discovery. I say this in confidence; for all those pursuing their PhD candidature, fingers crossed of course (*wipes sweat off forehead*). Thus in this regard, on certain occasions we may unconsciously put at stake, expectations beyond our own credibility. An honest credential, provided the fact that we are nurtured onto a society which commends and rewards those who are brave and adventurous, and descend instead on the normal and rigid. Congruent it is then; for us to easily stray away from our work, especially when we do not work the plan we initially plan to work. Blame this on eventful distractions, or even our innate ability and susceptibility towards the immortal sin of procrastination. Whatever it may be, each and every one of us grad students constantly live under the fear of inadaptability; the feeling of unworthiness towards our own science – but far worse; that reeling thought of not being able to finish our dissertations on time!

But then again, it took a 30-minute general discussion with a colleague of mine to put things back into perspective. Simply put; the fears we all have are products of our own design. A flaw articulated by our own virtue of scaring the crap out of ourselves. We busy ourselves thinking about what may or may not even come to be – and in return, we actually forget about the present. Busy worrying about that research experiment waiting to happen (in a month’s time), but wail on work which is due tomorrow. The inconvenient truth is; we stray from our work as a direct consequence of escapism, to the inevitability that we think we may screw up bad or even flunk out of candidature – thrashing out the fact that the sole reason why we got here in the first place is by virtue of our own accomplishments, and nothing less. We are here on our own accord, and we definitely are able to do all this. Or else, we wouldn’t have made it this far.

In research, we become our own best mate, and our worst enemy. Our accomplishments vary only by the soles of our own abilities, and our best is only a measure of our own dedication. In research, progress is fueled by the inquisition of perseverance and hard work, and that little sprinkle of lucky dusts along the way. We defy the masses, work within our own school of thought – pursuing the defying sciences, which may have only been an imagination in days of our forefathers. In provident prudence and foresight, our journey is a canvas we convey – we being the only ones knowing its potential, prospects, and in that forethought – its end. We are those who are brave and adventurous; but why do we limit ourselves to falter the war, when the battle hasn’t even been fought?

Don’t hold back, and always know – that all the answers will indeed unfold. When are how, only we would know.

So, what are you waiting for?

Spread your wings, and soar.


P/S : Thanks Barry for inspiration to pen down this post.


Wa aka Wawek aka Siti ;) said...

Thanks so much Jep! Perfect timing as a confidence booster to my lack-of-focus & motivation self these past few days. "we stray from our work as a direct consequence of escapism, to the inevitability that we think we may screw up bad or even flunk out of candidature" Huhuhu... How true! Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Well said bro.

I guess the saying "What you give, you get back" augurs well with what you've written in this entry. And knowing a lot of PhD candidates in Sheffield over the years, I can't agree more to the fact that procrastination is one big hindrance that needs tackling.

But I know you'll get there eventually. I genuinely believe so.