Can I succeed at …?


In preparing for an introduction session with post-graduate students I flipped through Steven Pressfields “Do The Work” again. A couple of statements managed to really struck home if I look at new post-graduate students (but it really holds for any new endeavor). Here is my ideas…

You are not doing a post-graduate degree to stay the same. In fact in Pressfield’s words “The last thing we want is to remain the same“.

However, you will experience resistance. Seth Godin talks about quieting the lizard brain, or the amygdala, that part of your brain that are responsible for fear, rage and reproductive drive.  You need find a way to manage it…

I will be one of the first to submit that it is difficult to do a couple of simple things necessary to be much, much more successful at ventures (like post-graduate studies).

So here is some points from “Do The Work”

Stay stupid. You have no idea how difficult it is to get your research question answered, but you need to be cocky enough to believe that you can pull it off anyway. Don’t think. Act!

Be stubborn. Don’t stop. You are in it now – the worst thing you can do is stop. With post-0graduate studies you don’t stop, you move forwards, or backwards, there is no standing still.

Blind faith. In yourself and you abilities… in your creativity. If you believe you can’t, you are indeed correct. Have faith that it works the other way round as well – it does.

Passion. If you are not passionate about your subject field don’t even think of doing post-grad work… start running, run fast and run in another direction.

You will meet resistance. Accept the fact, but fight the resistance with stupidity, stubbornness, blind faith and passion.

So how do you begin?

Begin now, before you are ready and you too can succeed. Don’t wait for the right moment – it never comes, it is the job of the resistance to keep it away, and the resistance is very good at that!

What does your lizard brain tell you? Identifying the actions of the lizard brain is a good start at fighting them. In the comments share with me what your lizard brain is telling you…

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One Response to Can I succeed at …?

  1. Darelle van Greunen says:

    I want to add one more point. The journey…research is a journey. As in any journey you will come across stumbling blocks and will have to make alternate plans to work around such stumbling blocks. But, most importantly, ensure that you enjoy the journey!

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