POTUS 18 and Dissertations

April 27th marks the birthday of the 18th President of the United States. Here’re some words of wisdom from Ulysses S. Grant that you can apply to your dissertation…

Grant is well known for his presidential role during Reconstruction, as well as for his military leadership of the Union army during the Civil War. About the latter he said:

In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten, then he who continues the attack wins.
—Ulysses S. Grant

Do you ever feel like you are in battle with your dissertation committee? And that maybe you’re losing because they keep sending it back to you?

It’s not a war, so try not to think about things this way. Instead, think of it like a game of tennis. Your dissertation will be finished when they send over those final revisions, you make the revisions, and send it back.

And then, finally,…instead of sending it back AGAIN with MORE revisions, they say “OK” and give it their stamp of approval. To win this game, just keep being ready to revise and get that ball out of your court.

There is nothing more I should do to it now, and therefore I am not likely to be more ready to go than at this moment.
—Ulysses S. Grant

Grant reportedly said this on his death bed about his memoirs. (See, he was a writer too!) Unlike Grant, you don’t have to die to be finished making changes to your work.

Stop trying to make it perfect, and just stop.

Your committee will tell you if you should still be making additional revisions (see above!). And, if they don’t ask you to change something, don’t change it! You’re only inviting them to ask for still more revisions!

Look, you don’t get extra credit for perfectionism in this game. And since perfectionism is an unobtainable goal, anyway, it just ensures that your dissertation process will drag out…forever.

Are you having trouble figuring out how good is good enough? Click hereto 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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