Splashes and Dissertations
January 11th is Step In A Puddle And Splash Your Friends Day. What kind of splash are you making with your dissertation?…
Everyday I talk with doctoral students about their dissertations. Although many have reached the point of being terribly frustrated, I can still tell that they are all inspired to do big things.
I recently spoke with Rob, an education student who is determined to improve retention at the college where he works.
Another student pursuing his Ed.D., Jon, is focused on ensuring student athletes are successful in the classroom as well as on the field.
And, then there’s Barbara, the management student who’s called to advance diversity in her non-profit organization.
Donna wants to create more opportunities for women in intercollegiate athletics.
Deborah wants to improve the therapeutic services available to inmates.
Jamie wants to reduce recidivism among young parolees.
Philip wants to inspire more Hispanic students to pursue their college educations.
The list of reasons why folks are called to pursue the doctoral degrees goes on and on. I am so inspired each time I talk with one of you. To know that so many people are so passionate about helping others and making a difference renews my faith in our future.
Quick question, though: Do you know what all of these doctoral students have in common?
Their passions all focus on helping people in the real world. And, none of these passionate doctoral students will be able to help those they’re called to serve with their dissertation study.
You see, there are two types of problems: Real-world problems involve the loss of money, prestige, health, or life. These problems are deeply felt by those who suffer them. Academic problems, like the kind you’ll write about in your dissertation problem statement, involve a lack of understanding, usually pertaining to a real-world problem.
Dissertations solve academic problems by helping us understand. They don’t solve real-world problems by reducing suffering.
Although you are called to make the world a better place, to serve others, to end suffering, you should not try to act on that calling from within the confines of your dissertation.
It’s just like when you’re told that, in the event of an emergency on an airplane, you should put on your own oxygen mask first, that way you are in a better position to help others. The same is true of your dissertation.
First get your dissertation done. Then, when you have the doctoral credential and the instant credibility that goes with it, you’ll be in a much better position to help those you are called to serve.
If you’re feeling stuck in the mud with your dissertation and you’re afraid that you’ll never get the chance to make you big splash, click here to schedule a quick, 15-minute chat with me to see if you’re a good fit for our Fast Track Your Dissertation Coaching Program. If you are, then I’ll invite you to join the fastest group of dissertation students out there and help you to reach graduation a good year or two faster than you would on your own.