Kindness. I have heard this word many times during the last days. Why am I sharing it with you? Because I heard it here, at the ANU. I attended one of the activities offered by the Research Student Development Centre (which, by the way, is closing at the end of the year due to a decision taken by higher authorities). The activity was: Willpower, putting first things first.
I’m in the third year of my PhD, and during this period I have learned that I am a master in procrastination. Don’t laugh. Because I also learned that we are all in the SAME boat. Today it is me, tomorrow it will be you. What can we do then? Well, here it is what I learned.
Every day, every moment of our lives we are facing points of choice. When we wake up, we decide if we want to stay in bed or get up; when we get up, we decide to go for a walk or directly to work; when we have breakfast, we decide on cereals or eggs and bacon… should I read that paper or should I interpret my data? Should I write or should I go to the lab? It looks pretty overwhelming, doesn’t it? Don’t worry though because it seems there are three of you (and maybe more) who make the decisions.
Take two chairs now, while you are deciding to keep on reading this post or to go back to what you were doing before. One of you wants to read it and sits on one chair, the other one wants to do something else and sits on the other chair. Can you talk to each of them? Can you be KIND and not judgemental and understand why they want to do different things? It’s all about listening. Yes, listening to yourself.
Can you find a balance between their requirements? If not, this means you need the third ‘you’ that I mentioned before. He/She is standing behind the chairs and tells you what to do. That part of you is the leader. And you need a good leader, not one that PUSHES you but PULLS you. An inspirational leader sets goals, and doesn’t judge the ‘you’ who doesn’t feel like working (otherwise that part will hide and find excuses). A KIND leader.
Now, I can imagine some of you sitting on chairs, pretending to talk to one another and playing different roles, but for all the people who feel uncomfortable with that, I have something else:
I hope one way or the other helps you a bit. Certainly, the “crazy” approach helped me. BTW, you don’t need to sit alternately on two chairs and talk to yourself, you can do it in your head too.