Even though it is technically day 15 today, here are some reflections from my 2nd week in this project.
1) I’m significantly more motivated in my work. It’s amazing how setting a goal, using the internet to keep me accountable, and going into work every day with the attitude of getting something measurable about it has greatly influenced my productivity.
2) I’m planning ahead more. If I need 2 days to get something from an experiment, I need to start working things out. Sure, it’s extra thinking, but the planning has become more of a routine. I’ve started outlining each day in my work week to see what I can get out of it.
3) I’m not that afraid of failure. Some TED talk I was listening to once mentioned that fear is basically the result of time and uncertainty. I no longer have time because I really just need to get stuff done if I’m going to get my data for the day. So any uncertainty gets attacked before I have time to sit and be afraid of what could go wrong. Just do it.
4) I’m hopeful in my work, which to me feels like I’ll actually be able to complete a Ph.D. There’s a Bible passage (Romans 5:3-5) that reads:
…but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
“Sufferings” may be a bit of an extreme term, but sure, sometimes our work can really be a struggle. Brene Brown writes in her book Daring Greatly, “Hope is a function of struggle.” It’s interesting to think that persevering through some sort of struggle is what’s going to give us hope, while when we’re going through the struggle we feel something like THIS IS THE WORST AND IT’S NEVER GOING TO GET ANY BETTER.
So I choose to hope, to do the right thing, to persevere. And this is why it takes 4+ years to finish a Ph.D.