Inspiration from Ira Glass

I am still too busy to function, and unfortunately, that means I am too busy right now to write any high-quality posts about the awesome psychology research coming out lately. As much as I love blogging, I am a grad student first and foremost, and if I want to remain one, I need to pass my qualifying exams in 2.5 weeks. Meeting the two deadlines I have coming my way this month wouldn’t hurt, either.

So, even in the absence of my usual posts for the next few weeks, I’m still going to try and keep the blog updated every so often with (very short) interesting/relevant thoughts, images, or Psychology tidbits.

Today I’d like to share an Ira Glass quote sent my way by my friend Jenny, who runs the fabulous website Lovely At Your Side with her sister Olivia (you may remember that I wrote a guest post for them a few months ago!)

Here is the quote, in fancy image form (not designed by myself; I saw it on Tumblr and it popped up a few places on Google Images, but I unfortunately cannot find a proper source. A version of it with different coloring appears to have been first created here: http://forrst.com/posts/Ira_Glass_Quote_Poster-9OF).

I actually think that this could be some of the best advice I’ve ever seen about graduate school. When new lab members arrive in town, one of the first pieces of advice that my labmate usually gives them is that they should expect their first projects to be awful, and they shouldn’t take it too hard…because all of ours were awful too. You need to have a “first project” that sucks in order to learn how to devise second, third, fourth, or fifth projects that are better. It’s called the “creative process” for a reason: It’s a process, and even the big names in your field probably didn’t hit the idea jackpot on their first tries. They were probably just too stubborn to give up after the first few embarrassing flops. Or didn’t know what else to do other than graduate school, perhaps.

What are your thoughts about this quote? Do you think Ira Glass has it right? If you’re a blogger, graduate student, faculty member, post-doc, research scientist, undergraduate student, high school student, or anything — do you think these words apply to your field, life, or work? I’d love to read what you have to say in the comments!

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