Managing yourself: Do something every day that moves you forward
Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.
- Marilyn vos Savant
One of the things I have learned about life is that it often throws you a curve ball and that you just sometimes need to roll with it. A couple of days ago, I couldn’t feel stronger. I felt on top of the world. And yesterday, despite all the work I had to do, I felt that I wasn’t myself. I felt exhausted, tired and sleep-deprived.
And then I remembered something I learned years ago. Something that my parents taught me that has kept me going: do something every day that moves you forward. This lesson is particularly valuable for someone who works in academia, like me. Most academic coaches will tell you (particularly if you are a young, up-and-coming, rising star, or if you have to juggle several projects in a portfolio-style kind of academic/consulting life) that you need to write EVERY DAY. Even if for 15 minutes, write every day.
I’ve kept my parents advice to heart and even though yesterday I felt crappy, I did the things that I had to do to move me forward. I wrote, reviewed research materials, read, had meetings with students and my teaching assistant. And then I took some time off to recharge. All of these things, whether I read 20 articles or I read one, have been things that move me forward. It’s not the number of articles I have read, it’s the fact that EVERY DAY I read.
It’s the fact that, every day, I do something (even if it’s small) to move me forward. That’s what needs to be done to get the work done.
Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.
- Booker T. Washington