When you are young the only people you want to impress are your parents. As you get older you meet friends and they become more important and you might want to impress them instead. That my friend is a sign of adulting in this world (unless you learn earlier that you will never fully impress human beings – that piece of knowledge would save you a lot of head/heartaches). Most of the time you will find yourself trying to impress people who don’t even matter, so imagine all that wasted energy??
I had a conversation with a dear friend and an ex research group colleague about our academic futures. I first met her when we were both doing our postgraduate studies as we shared a supervisor, upon completion of our studies we moved on into the working world but there was always something hanging over our heads – when we are going back to school to complete our PhDs. Just like he knew what was on my mind my dad asked me a few days later when I am going back to school, I stunned because I know my dad is old and approaching 80 but he surely has not forgotten that I just graduated about 2 years ago. I told him that I just finished school so I wont be going back for my doctorate any time soon. He interjected and told me that I am not done with school and I still have to go back and get my doctorate. That meant +/-4 years of student life……
I had to stop myself and ask who I am doing this for? In the past it was expected of me to go to school, get a degree and a good paying job, check, check, check, I have done that all. As I get older I am learning that whatever choices I make should be ones that bring me joy. The old me would have gladly gone back to school so I can later to called Dr. Kaimbi it has a nice ring to it but that cannot be the only reason I am going to spend sleepless nights in a lab. Who am I really doing this for?
Who Is This For? Is a very powerful question to ask yourself… For a long time I was afraid of the answers I would get so I just waltz passed the question because I knew some of the choices I had taken were made to make other people happy and I didn’t want to admit it to myself. With fear in my mind but courage in my heart I now courageously answer this very powerful question and it has led me to a path of self-discovery that is both scary and exciting but I soldier on.
So my beloved readers, what is your compass question that one question that directs you back to your true self, that question you are afraid to answer but keeps popping back in your mind every single time?