Motivation and demotivation are real, especially when you are in process of doing a Ph.D. research. I have to say that now that I am in this 2nd semester of my Ph.D journey, the demotivation curve is potentially lethal!
I’ve always been a Kiasu person, full with enthusiasm for my Ph.D project – as I love writing and the hunger for knowledge is immense. But at the beginning of last December 2016, I began to exercise procrastination – I made excuse that since my lecturers were going to spend their long overdue vacations, probably they were not available to meet me for my research and therefore, I should take a break as well. So, I went to Sabah (REFER to https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2016/12/20/mmy-spontttaneous-virgin-borneo-adventure-sabah-the-land-of-beautiful-nature-beautiful-people/) & I even spent nights at Lumut and Penang Hill (REFER to https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2016/12/25/mysstified-byy-nnorthhernn-ppeninsular-wwanderlust-bellevue-hotel-penang-hill-from-the-ocean-of-lumut-to-zenith-of-penang-hill-to-delicious-laksa-of-alor-star/). After that, the Kiasu alter-ego just evaporated out from me and I was in no mood for my doctoral degree research, any more!
Since this year I’ve been appointed as the PIBG (Parents-Teacher Association) Treasurer which demands my constant attention to the cashflow, the ledger’s affairs and the continuous errands as school’s banker (ceti), I’ve make it as an excuse to procrastinate my research. Is it easy to be the Treasurer? No, it is not as there are a few steps I have to master in order to manage the ledger BUT once I got the hang of it, I know I can manage it and there is no way that this going to be my first and last year as the Treasurer, I am sure! Nevertheless, I have been a sloth and mostly devout myself into reading books which are not even related to my doctoral degree research! In short, I’ve been procrastinating over and over again…
When you are demotivated, you realize that it is wrong but you still can’t find the wills to force yourself because by forcing, you know that the write-ups will not be as fruitful as what they should be. So, I thought that for this 2nd semester, I would take a break a bit and re-evaluate myself. I went to Palestine-Israel circa 20th-27th March 2017 like what I’ve always want to do (REFER to https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2017/04/18/hymn-for-the-soul-the-land-of-the-prophets-my-spiritual-journey-at-the-promised-land-palestine-israel-al-ar%E1%B8%8D-al-muqaddasah-eretz-hakodesh/), with the hope that while doing Ibadah (religious devotion) there, I would have some sense of emancipation out from this procrastination, by ALLAH’s grace! At Jordan I’ve seen a vast plain with UNHCR refugee camps and that somehow reminded me of my doctoral degree research; I thought it was ALLAH SWT’s sign for me.
Once I came back to Malaysia, it took me more than 2 weeks to finish blogging the experience when prior to this, I would be mostly agitated and quite itchy to write experiences. I believed that the lacking was due to the procrastination in writing, prolonged by the one due to the doctoral degree research! In the end, I forced myself to write and gradually, that feeling of wanting to write began to reemerge! After finished writing my blog; I could feel the new sense of wanting to focus on my doctoral degree research and shun off that dreading procrastinating habit!
Emancipation, rising up like phoenix from ashes!
Alhamdulillah, in no time, I’ve managed to complete my first draft of Chapter 1 (which has been taking me ages!) and I’ve submitted to my Supervisor, The Dean Prof. Abdul Muati on 25th April and just now on 27th April, I’ve met him to discuss the paper for the first time in this second semester (which is not myself because in 1st semester, I’ve met him like more than 5-6 times, even prior to the 1st semester!) and Alhamdulillah, I’ve managed to set a date for my first Committee Meeting in this upcoming 9th May 2017 – with Dr. Hamisah and Dr. Moniza. I am kinda anxious but excited as well to have my first Committee Meeting (for those who don’t know; UPM has assigned for a Ph.D candidate to have 3 supervisors; 1 is the Chairman who the Main Supervisor and the other two are the co-supervisor who would give constructive comments throughout the candidate’s journey in completing his Ph.D thesis and to overtake as the Chairman if there were something unexpected happen that make the Chairman unable to assist the candidate!).
Spiritual Quotient is very important in life, to stabilize our mind and soul.
I am writing this so that I could reflect the journey I’ve taken. Hopefully I would not sucked into that dark, demotivated abyss again. Perhaps when I read this again in the future when I am forlorn, I would emancipate myself from the procrastination. Amin! This is me, giving myself a sense of Spiritual Quotient (SQ); life isn’t about Intelligent Quotient (IQ) or Emotional Quotient (EQ) only; but SQ as well. I’ve learned this in IKIM FM’s “Science and Islam” slot and I can vouch that it helps me a lot, in this life. Alhamdulillah!
This part of “I Am Moana” lyrics really hits me. I know it is childish but then again, Disney always helps us to believe in ourselves. And I like the part where Moana finally discovers that she has to rely on herself; no one else.
When you lose your hopes and motivation, listen to your heart. They lie inside you. They call you and you will know the way.