A PhD is like a long, difficult ascent up a steep mountain, where you learn how to climb as you go, and the terrain is only known once you reach the peak. You’ve got to lift your game to top pitch. If you can’t make excellence a daily habit, you’re likely to drag your feet, be allured by diversions, and hit the wall. Fortunately, I enjoyed the challenge so much that I was able to thrive. But even then, it was a long and hard pursuit, up to the final day. There are many things I learnt from it. Here’s the top three.
How essential reading, writing, thinking, and speaking are to our professional lives, and in how many different circumstances, cannot be underestimated. The development of these practices begins in the first years of life and continues until the very end. But how can they be harnessed? And what are the limits to enhanced reading, writing, thinking, and speaking? What are the personal, professional, and cultural implications of mastering these practices, for our individual lives and for our society?