Good morning all.
Previously, we discussed that the secret to dissertation completion may very well come down to one word . . . attitude.
The question to ask is whether or not there is just on thing in the secret sauce in creating an effective (and timely) strategy to completing a successful doctoral journey. Perhaps the best way to begin is to decide how one defines success. Success is often quite subjective and unique to the individual.
Is success simply graduation? Or is there perhaps a timeline, such as perhaps graduation in less than 18 months (3 of my Walden graduates have earned this phenomenal achievement!). Graduation with less stress, less debt, and more fun? *mischievous grins*
Obviously, success is meaningful and unique to the individual. Perhaps a good strategy to consider is to start with the end in mind to answer the question why. Why are you completing the doctoral journey in the first place? The honesty of self-reflection may help determine the most effective path forward. The challenge is truly fear of the unknown. As a student (unless you have completed the journey before), the doctoral path is a daunting challenge simply because you don’t know what to expect.
There is a quote by Emerson that may offer us some guidance here.
Do not go where the path may lead,
Go instead where there is no path,
and leave a trail.
—RALPH WALDO EMERSON
In the doctoral journey, one has a mentor so as not to have to go it alone; this journey is NOT one that can be achieved in the spirit of being a pioneer. To complete the doctoral journey, it does take a village. Remember that while your name is on the front of the diploma; there are many coaches, cheerleaders, and colleagues who are on the back.
This idea of following in someone’s footsteps is really the foundation for the mentor and coaching process. The difference? A coach will know the rules, while a mentor has played the game. The purpose in this case is to follow the lead of someone who has already been through the dissertation process—your mentor, your committee, perhaps even your editor.
How can we learn to trust those who have gone before us to show us the way? Let me invite you to find a great mentor, a terrific coach, and a community of those also moving forward along this path. These people will be invaluable in completion of your journey. Follow those who have come before you; someday perhaps others may follow you.
My best to your success!