I have never understood persistence… not until I started my dissertation journey. If you have only just started off, all I can tell you now is you have to have persistence for the year(s) to come. Writing the dissertation is a ‘long’ journey, depending on how fast you can complete it. For me, it has been nearly a year since the start and I’m only halfway through.
If I didn’t have persistence throughout this time, I would have given up long ago. It did cross my mind at the earlier stage where everything looked hopeless. I wasn’t able to write much. There were tonnes of reading to do. I didn’t know where or how to start. There were not many peers who I could relate to since everyone’s doing something different. Most importantly, everyone was too ‘busy’ to actually lend a helping hand or ear. I’m not putting blame here. This is reality when one is given free reign to do what they want in a dissertation with a due date that seems very far away. Without strict supervision or tight due date, everyone is just taking their own sweet time. Me included.
When the reading materials was queuing up in Mendeley Desktop with no obvious writing was being done, I actually started to panic and lost hope. I couldn’t see the end of this journey and I didn’t believe I could reach the destination. My future looked bleak. There’s where persistence comes in. I read about it one day and it started to change my perspective.
In order to succeed in this journey, we have to TRULY BELIEVE that we can. This is very important. Remember the talk to the brain we need to have, so that when the mind believes, the body will believe too. This is one of such talks. We need to talk to the mind that we believe we can finish this dissertation on time. I started to have such talks with myself. I told myself I would finish writing these chapters by these dates. I listed steps that I needed to do to accomplish that. I started to plan what to do and actually do it bit by bit. It was a slow process but at least a steady one.
Surprisingly, when the mind believes, the body is more ready for the action. With action, more are accomplished over time. When more tasks are being checked off from the list, motivation is starting up again, resulting in even more work being done. Can you see the cycle? It all starts in the mind and persistence is where you keep doing the actions to achieve your goals.
Thanks to persistence, I have finally ‘finished’ writing my chapter 2 and 3…sort of…it took me a few months to write 40 over pages but I wrote them nonetheless. Some sections make me proud but I guess some sections still require some revision. Anyway, I declare them completed because I need to move forward to other chapters. It’s time to have another talk to the brain that the next chapters will be completed on time. Haha!