Birthdays and Dissertations

Everyone has a birthday. August 22nd is mine. As a child, I thought of my birthday as a huge show of which I was the star. As an adult, I tend to use my birthday to think about the world and my place in it. Reflection is a good thing, and something that dissertation students often forget to do…

In my life, I play the roles of a husband, a father, a business owner, and a teacher. I have goals for each. And, I succeed, and I fail.

But, it’s not the individual successes nor the individual failures that really matter. It’s the process of setting your priorities, planning to achieve them, evaluating your progress, and making adjustments that really matters.

I try to set aside time on a regular basis to think about these things. To evaluate where I am in life. To determine where I want to be. But, I do tend to spend a bit more time contemplating on my birthday than most other days.

Quite honestly, most days I’m busy talking with dissertation students. Taking my kids to school. Planning the next meal with my wife. Paying bills. Tending to a sick child. Taking the dog out. Applying band-aids. Fetching groceries…

You know the drill.

It can be hard to set aside time to strategize when you’re always in the middle of the battle.

But, it is important.

When do you set aside time to think about your dissertation? Not to work on it, feverishly, head down, typing away. But to think about it. While on a walk, hike or, run. While sitting by a fire or on the beach.

How often do you reflect on where you are and where you want to be?

How often do you evaluate your progress and make course corrections?

How often do you celebrate your victories?

How often do you learn from your defeats?

If you’re too busy doing your dissertation to find time for thinking about your dissertation, if you’re not happy with your progress but can’t seem to figure what changes to make, if your victories are few and far between and you spend more time lamenting your mistakes than learning from them, I may be able to help. If you’d like to find out whether you qualify for the support we offer throughout the dissertation process, then…

If you need extra support and guidance to make it to graduation, I may be able to help. If you'd like to find out whether you qualify for the support we offer throughout the dissertation process, then...

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Dr. Russell W. Strickland

RUSSELL STRICKLAND, Ph.D., has been referred to as a “rocket scientist turned management consultant.” In truth, he applies an eclectic body of work from astronomy and nuclear physics to dynamic inventory management to market research to each of his student engagements.

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