I always got panic whenever I have a meeting with my advisors on the next day. It was always a long day of waiting and more of worrying rather than trying to calm myself down and focus on things I should do.
Back then when was 19, which I was in matriculation, I think was the best of myself where I was always present, focus and ready for anything. I had the highest motivation level, more than any other moments (before 19 and after that age) simply because I wanted to prove that I’m too, like others is smart.
Today, for a second I thought why I can’t be like that again? Is it because I’m getting older, I’m not full with passion and I’m becoming less energetic? I’m questioning myself over and over again. Then I came to a conclusion that, at that age I have a target which I can simply see by the A’s, the B’s and the CGPA at the end of each semester. Right now, I can’t see anything unless I’m at the end of this journey, which is still quite far away (2014). So, I have to make the goals achievable, and maybe at every 6 months I have a check on it?
I woke up this morning, thinking this was another punishment. I have to get ready for work, cook and eating breakfast was always painful. I was not quite sure why I’m becoming so less motivational. Anyhow, last night I read an interesting blog on the net. There weremany things I can do, not to discipline (punish) myself but actually getting myself motivated again.
One of it was being present at anything you do.
The blog wrote that I have to always be present in anything I do. Try not to add complexity in each of this thing, and rather try to simplify the thoughts and work on it. For example, if I’m trying to achieve my most important goals for today, when with FB, sms, emails and other things came in between, I should always be present for the goals. It’s not easy to do it, but I had tried it this morning where, when I started to panic about what to cook as well as worrying about my datasets. But later, I started to take a deep breath, be present in the kitchen and started to cook. I finished cooking in 1/2 hour and later decided to cycle to work. Along the way, I try to be present on the road thinking how nice the day was. Then I started to motivate myself about what my purpose of being here. When I arrived at my workplace, I sat down.
That’s when I open FB!
Oppss.. I’m not perfect anyway. But, make sure not to do it many times. Always make a rule that, you can do that, but when it happen, try not to spend too much time on it. Maybe 5 minutes and let it go. Always stay present on your work. What I did was, I wrote my objectives, and let myself know how much time I allocated for each task. In this way I know how much time I have, rather than getting myself thinking I have 24 hours until this work was due.
Similarly, when I’m back at home I will try to be present for my daughter and my husband. It’s tough but you will start to notice that this will simplify your thoughts, and you will be calmer. So, both you and your family can communicate better when everyone stay present.
Another thing that I always had was trying to be perfect. No matter what you do, you will never be perfect although you try to be one. For me, it hurts to try to be one so I tried to be less perfectionist in almost about everything. For example, in making a decision between two things I wanted to include in my statistical anlaysis, I have to act based on any information I had in hand. But sometimes these were not sufficient enough. I usually got scared to do trial and error, but that was research is all about =KEEP SEARCHING. So, what I try to do is less worrying about the outcome but rather work on if the choice is good enough, try to get more information about it and later on if the choice I made is wrong, I can always come back to make a new choice. I have always worry about the outcome when in fact, what I have to do is focus on why I made such choice.
What it have to do in this case? Well, we always want a result which is perfect. Perfect ending, perfect story and perfect thesis. But it is not always happening, and we don’t live in a perfect world anyway. So, I have accept that doing PhD is not like doing a test or exams where we need to find the exact answer or true answer. Because the answer is always subjective, depending on people point of view and perspective, and information we have right now. What I can do is focus on the way I’m conducting my research, have a clear thought both in wide and narrow view.
And one of the way is always be present in anything I do!
p/s; A motivation that keeps me sane!