Thursday, 24 February 2011

A word of encouragement

I was sad to read this blog the other day. I found it worth the read because I never want to feel that way about my job. It is about a successful academic gets sick of the rat race and has left academia. He even likens doing science to a drug addiction. 

While some comments ring true, the only thing I could think of was this anonymous poem that I discovered many years ago, which I like to remind myself of on occasions like this. I thought I'd share it here, and I hope it might come in useful to someone else out there.

If there was ever a time to dare,
To make a difference,
To embark on something worth doing,
It is now.
Not for any grand cause, necessarily...
But for something that tugs at your heart,
Something that's your inspiration,
Something that's your dream.
You owe it to yourself
To make your days here count.
Have fun.
Dig deep. 

Dream big.
Know, though, that things worth doing
seldom come easy.
There will be good days.
And there will be bad days.
There will be times when you want to turn around,
pack it up, and call it quits.
Those times tell you
That you are pushing yourself,
That you are not afraid to learn by trying.
Because with an idea,
Determination, and the right tools,
You can do great things.
Let your instincts, your intellect,
And your heart, guide you.
Believe in the incredible power of the human mind.
Of doing something that makes a difference.
Of working hard.
Of laughing and hoping.
Of lazy afternoons.
Of lasting friends.
Of all the things that will cross your path this year.
The start of something new
Brings the hope of something great,
Anything is possible. 


  1. Wow - that artile you linked to is deppressing.

    It doesn't sound anything like RAL though. Everyone is very supportive - even to outsiders like me - and there is very little cynicism.

  2. I agree - it is depressing... but not all labs are like that! Feel sorry for the guy, a change of employer could have prevented the fallout.

  3. I think some areas of academia are a lot more resource-starved and competitive than others.

    All I can say is that if you end up in a situation where your work environment seems inordinately tough considering what your wage is, it's time to move on.