If you cling on to the idea that every day is going to be a good one, you’re going to spend a lot of the time disappointed. If you cling on to the idea that you’ll always be at peak performance, you’re going to spend a lot of time angry with yourself. If you cling on to the idea that your PhD should be straightforward and linear, you’re going to spend a lot of time resentful.
If we cling on to unrealistic assumptions about the PhD, the world and our place within it, we’ll have a mistaken view that things should turn out a certain way (normally we expect things to be better than they are). Instead we need to recognise that for every productive day there is an unproductive one, for every sunny day a rainy one and for every breakthrough in the PHD there will be a dead-end. We need to see this not in terms of things not going our way, but rather a reflection of the natural order of things.
That isn’t to say you should settle for struggle, misery and overwhelm, rather you should instead see life as consisting of both ups and downs. It can’t always be plain sailing, but neither will it always be choppy. Cherish the good times, ride out the bad.
Good luck and have a great week.
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