Is it time for an attitude adjustment?

I read a book that got me really thinking about how much is merely in our heads versus how much is physical. Logically speaking, any idea or belief originates in a mind. It is sometimes (and often) expressed via words or images. Occasionally, there will be a response. Regardless of the progression, it is really all in our heads.

This got me to thinking about all the physical things I do not understand. I hear a lot of people saying often that football players only work once a week. I know that’s far from true, they work on and off the field. They have to mesh well as a team in order to perform well. They have to be mentally prepared to handle unexpected play calls, momentum swings, injuries to key players, etc. The first string knows they have to be ready to play, but what if someone who plays through every injury suddenly gets injured so badly, there’s no choice but to bring the next man in. He must be ready too. And the guy behind him.

Even if you see yourself as a third-stringer, you have to be ready to start at any given time.

I believe this is what holds so many people back from success. We allow other people’s ideas and beliefs get to us, we allow what they think and feel and do stop us from performing like a starter. We get complacent sitting in the background and watching other people do work we maybe don’t really believe we can do. But, the only thing that can hold you back forever is not trying. You can hinder yourself a lot by not believing. But believing in yourself, in my opinion, is the easiest attitude to change.

I truly feel that if I’m not the absolute best in my field I will be happy. I don’t feel like the prestige, the title, any of that, will satisfy me in a way that will make me as happy as I am right now. I definitely have more rough days than smooth ones, and there are a lot of frustrations every hour. However, every night when I go to sleep and every morning when I wake up I am happy and pleased with what I am doing. I am a person that needs to feel challenged, and for a really long time (essentially my whole life) I could not understand why other people did not feel the same way. I also did not understand that people could feel challenged in ways other than academics.

See, for me, science is super cool because there is always more to learn. The universe is too large for me to fathom humanity ever understanding it all let alone myself. I just could not see how the same was true for other things, like literature or sports. But now, I can see that there is always going to be a new opponent, rival, colleague that surprises you. I can see that challenges come in all colors, shapes, sizes, etc. I can see that I have drastically changed my attitude on what it means to be challenged.

In changing my attitude on the meaning of the word, I have opened myself up to a great deal of tolerance and understanding. I have always been supportive of what makes people close to me passionate, however, until recently, I never allowed myself to see how they found their passion. Now, I feel like I can be genuinely supportive of far more people and career tracks. I also feel this is shaping me to get called in from my place on the bench. It didn’t take any physical work from me, it just took some long overdue thought.

If you were to take 5-10 minutes out of your week to think about what it is that drives you and how it could apply to other people would it help you grow? It sure helped me.



Published by She Got The PhD

A web-based soapbox of an Assistant Professor of color in Chemical Engineering; sharing my feelings on books, academia, and current events. I hope you enjoy reading :)

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