Paul Gauguin and Dissertations

June 7th is Paul Gauguin’s birthday. If you’re of a certain age, you’ll remember Gatorade’s “Be Like Mike” ads. Well, dissertation students certainly don’t want to Be Like Paul!..

Paul Gauguin was a French post-Impressionist artist who would have never finished his dissertation.

Why not? For starters, he wasn’t interested in doing what needed to be done to become successful in the eyes of the establishment. He refused to jump through hoops, to play well with others, to get along.

Do you know what that sounds like? An artist!

Although his work is highly regarded now, he was completely unappreciated during his lifetime. Much of that lifetime was spent disillusioned. In fact, he moved to French Polynesia for the last 10 years of his life, in an attempt to remove himself from Western culture completely.

Do you know what this doesn’t sound like? A successful dissertation student!

Gauguin wasn’t the type to impress a dissertation committee. Of course, that wasn’t his goal, but it is your goal!

Even so, Gauguin had a few things to say that may help you with your efforts to actually complete your dissertation.

“Stressing output is the key to improving productivity, while looking to increase activity can result in just the opposite.”
— Paul Gauguin

This is a very important point. Although I always advise students to make sure they are setting the time aside to work, which sounds like “increasing activity,” I ensure that the first have a proper foundation to ground their work…to make it productive. Effort is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for dissertation success. In fact, most students are surprised at how little effort is actually required, once those efforts are focussed and productive!

‘Whatever may happen the sun will rise tomorrow as it rose to-day, beneficent and serene.”
— Paul Gauguin

I like this one — it’s going to be ok! Students often feel like they have the weight of the world on their shoulders. Completing your dissertation is important, to be sure, and I encourage you to take it seriously. However, taking yourself too seriously can cause you to become stressed and anxious. When that happens, your work suffers causing you to lose productivity causing to work harder causing you to be…more stressed and anxious! It’s a vicious cycle, and you should simply refuse to play that game.

Do you feel like you’re all alone on an island with your dissertation? If so, click here to schedule a quick, 15-minute chat with me to see if you’re a good candidate 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...

Let's Talk About Your Dissertation
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.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Leave a Reply: