At the moment I am working with a particularly hilarious lecturer. I've never met any one quite so enthusiastic about anything in all my life. He practically shakes with excitement when he's talking about his (our) subject, and he completely lights up. Anyway, i do admire this but it made me realise that I'll probably never be that passionate about my phd. I do enjoy it and find it interesting, but i don't get that kind of happiness out of it. In fact, some of my research I find to be a complete pain in the arse. Just wondering how enthusiastic the rest of you get about your work? Do you thrive on it, or do you struggle with motivation etc? M,x(snowman)
i really don't enjoy my subject, I could take it or leave it. But when i go to conferences I pretend "oh wasn't that talk on xxx fascinating!" but that's only because everyone else talks like that and I end up thinking, do they really enjoy this stuff or are we all pretending?
I like my subject, but oh my god my motivation is low. I wish I was rattling with excitment. Really I do.
I used to light up like that about other interests, but I suppose back then I had a really good life balance, and now I'm lazy and boring. I think the problem lies when the research becomes the only thing in your life. If there were other interesting things along side it, that also challenge you, then you have something to compare your 'research side of life' with and see just how good it is and how lucky you are to have this oppportunity, and then SMACK BANG...WAHOOO! Your motivation comes right back to you.
Hungry? Here (turkey)
I think I am quite lucky because I really really love my topic (although admittedly, I don't actually shake with excitement!). I put my own project together and applied for funding for it, so I have had a lot of flexibility and control over what I wanted to do and how to do it. It also has some personal relevance to me which is a good motivator. Sometimes I get a bit bogged down in the detail and the nitty-gritty but I just take a step back and think about it and I get excited and fascinated by it all over again. I figure this will probably wear off eventually and I will no doubt be sounding less smug in another year lol! But seriously, I couldn't spend 3 or 4 years of my life doing this if I didn't love it. If I could have a career working in this area I would be absolutely thrilled... KB
You are so lucky KB. I wish I had that feeling back. Perhaps I will soon.
I wonder though....why do human beings become so unmotivated? Why do ya get a lot of lazy buggers in this world that can't be bothered to get their arse off the sofa and do some work? Surely this isn't natural?
I'm not sure really. I study literature and so my studies cross quite a range of disciplines; philosophy, linguistics, history etc. (not that I know much about any of these fields individually, I just dip my toe in). So that tends to keep things reasonably fresh. I've always, always loved reading and studying books and plays and the love of literature itself hasn't gone. But the really in-depth stuff, puzzling over one word or one line for weeks or months...yeah that can get boring. I don't know, I'm going through quite an energized phase at the moment so things seems quite rosy, but I remember being in the pub with some other PhDers one night and somebody said 'do you ever wonder when you'll be able to talk about the stuff you're REALLY interested in?!' My answer was that if you got that opportunity you'd probably be bored again once you got down to the nitty gritty. I find marine biology fascinating but if I had to study fish bones for three years (APOLOGIES TO MARINE BIOLOGISTS, I know not what you do) I'd probably start to re-think.
I like to think the ambiguity of this post reflects my feelings quite accurately (sprout)
I love my subject. It's something that anybody can see every day, but in my country there has been very limited research.
But despite my love for it, I don't shake any time I think of it. But I tend to pay more attention to what is going on around me and connect it with my research.....
I have personal life that keeps my mind away from my PhD and maybe this is why I don't treat it like that lecturer....
I love my subject too. Even though I'm sick to death of writing up and just want this whole thing to be over, I still love my topic. I also worked broadly in the area of my research for years, and generally my career before the PhD was geared around this, so this area comes to me almost naturally and has been a part of my life for a long, long time. It also fed into extra-curricular activities. I don't expect to stay in academia, but will go back to working in this area once I finish studying. I think I'm pretty lucky in this respect. I think a lot of students have a topic that is just a lot like a job, that they don't have passion for, and therefore lack motivation. (robin)
No passion or interest in the topic whatsoever. I was backed into a corner, needed something to do that would provide an income and the PhD fitted the bill. I actually resent it because I do enjoy research when I'm researching something that I've a passion for. I feel quite uptight that I have to feign interest to my supervisors and that I couldn't secure funding to research a topic which I love and actually feel is much more important. However, my supervisors are delighted with my work and I do work, just not as hard as some of you. I treat it like a job and take the attitude that I'm being paid to do it. I think it's great if someone has a passion for their subject and it probably makes the PhD experience more interesting and worthwhile but I'm proof that you can work towards a PhD without a passion for the subject.
Not really enthusiastic. If my thesis was a relationship I would be "over it" and be in that awful stage where one is waiting until they can bear to tell the other person...
Still a few more months. seriously though, I have got all the publications I am ever going to get out of it and so writing up is tortuous.
I'm actually taking a new direction with my MA. I did American Studies and English Lit. at UG level, and now want to study the Vikings! Yes it's partly because I'm descended from the Vikings and I'm passionate about their/our history, but it's also because I feel me and English Lit. have 'run our course' so to speak. I know I'm good at English Lit., but the thought of tackling history, sociology, linguistics, archaeology etc in one frantic year fills me with pure, utter joy.
And don't even get me started on my PhD, which I've known the title of since the first week I set foot in a (proper) university. Arachnophobia and its basis (or rather, lack of) in mythology. It's going to be seriously, seriously epic, and I'm going to love every moment of it. For realz. I want to create a univeral 'scale' of arachnophobia, based on specific species causing more or less reaction in arachnophobes, and the thought of doing so gets me more hyper than sugar ever could.
So yeah, pretty enthusiastic about my future PhD ;-)
I love my subject. Yes, now at the finishing stage, I does get a bit tedious, but actually seeing things finished, and conclusions on paper, makes me proud of my work. I cannot imagine what it must be like to work on something that you are not really enthusiastic about, but I guess not everyone has to love their subjects. To be fair, I love my subject, but I do go home after a day's work and read fiction, watch telly etc, and not read more papers... I don't breathe and live the PhD topic 24/7, so maybe I am not quite up there with your hilarious lecturer in terms of passion?!(sprout)
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