Finding it hard to remain motivated!


Hi all

I'm a Masters student who is finding it difficult to remain motivated about what I'm doing.

I began my research as a PhD, left it for a few years + have returned as a Masters

I'm hoping to complete what I started over 10 years ago, but finding myself asking "why bother?"

Any ideas?


Hi Dora!

I'm going to turn the question back around to you: Why did you decide to try to finish the Masters?
Is it just the idea of finishing what you started, or is there more to this story...?


Good Question!

1. The idea of finishing what I had begun at one point in my life was certainly one of my motivations.
Unfinished business is something which I don't find particularly desirable!
I had put a significant amount of work into my research as a PhD + didn't want to see it go to waste

2 I wasn't sure what to do with my life when I was offered the opportunity to restart
Or, for that matter, to restart as a Masters or PhD student

My supervisor was keen that I recontinue as a PhD student, but I wasn't so sure

For that reason, if I was positive that I wanted/needed a PhD I would have gone for it
Seeing as I wasn't, I opted for a Masters


======= Date Modified 23 Jul 2012 21:52:25 =======
It could be the reason you're finding it hard to get motivated is because you've lost passion for your research topic and/or feel distanced from it because of the long stretch of time that has passed. Maybe instead of thinking about the end result (earning the Masters degree), you should focus on what inspired you to do the research in the first place. As you well know, there's a great deal of drudgery involved in academic work, but if you can rekindle some of the initial curiosity, and passion, it might help you get going again. What do you think?


Thanks for those insights!

I agree with you that the passion for what I've been doing has certainly waned. Most likely, its been down to a combination of internal + external factors

What kept me going up to this point was

1. A sense of wanting to finish something noble which I had started

2. A desire to bring about change

3. A desire to make a meaningful contribution

4. de Unamuno's poem "Throw yourself like Seed" where he encourages the reader to "look to the work" that one was born to do, which is obviously as unique as the person who sets about doing it.

I've done lots of other things, teaching etc in the meantime, but there's always seemed to be soemthing calling me back to finish a task I had begun, at least I think so anyway!

What I've been doing of late is weighing up the pros + cons ie low salary, drudgery, life is short, time is precious etc vs. the value of what I've been doing. This exercise has been valuable in itself + although painful, essential for me, in that its clarifying some issues in my life which clearly needed clarifying!