Trophies and Dissertations

March 24th is International Day for Achievers. The New Oxford American Dictionary defines an achiever as “a person who achieves a high or specified level of success.” Sound like a doctoral student you know?…

“If I could just get this dissertation done, so that people would me Dr. Me, that would be such an awesome achievement.” Do you ever think about that? For some doctoral student this way of thinking can be incredibly motivating.

Then there are the other doctoral students. I often talk to students who fall into this trap of thinking that their dissertation has to be an eternal ode to academic achievement itself in order to be good enough. They get so stressed out when they think about their dissertation, because they have the whole thing so high up on a pedestal that they’ll never be able to reach it.

Is this you? If so, you need to adjust your sights. When I was in kindergarten, the teacher used to put a gold star on my forehead whenever I’d had a particularly good day. That way, my parents would know, and they could congratulate me. Some doctoral students want to make sure that they do such a good job on their dissertation that they’ll earn a figurative gold star. But, the point they’re missing out on is that the dissertation is the gold star.

Being addressed as “Dr. You” for the rest of life is the achievement. And, this achievement will enable you accomplish so much more in the future.

Think about the following questions:

Why do you want to get your doctorate?

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Can you get excited about that?

I’m betting you can. And, that focus on the long-term goal removes some of the pressure from the dissertation process. It doesn’t have to be perfect for you to achieve your real goals. It just must be done. Remember, this dissertation won’t be your crowning achievement. The best is yet to come!

Do you feel like you could use some help adjust your sights and following through with this new mindset? Then, 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.

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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