Motivation is energy for the brain of doctoral students


The path of developing a thesis is in most cases a long and difficult path at many times, full of demands, deadlines and moments of frustration.

It is fundamental in the life of a university student to be aware, if they are in that phase of preparing a doctoral thesis, of the importance of generating new knowledge. And for this, motivation and creativity must be enhanced.

Strategies to improve said itinerary and fill it with meaning at every step and every moment help in this task. Thus we will refer to different elements that we need to master our effort and that it is not in vain.

The value of time

First, the importance of the value of time. The value of a year, a month, a week, an hour, a minute or a second will depend on the situation in which a person finds himself. The doctoral student must manage time so as not to have a sense of loss in mind.

It is necessary to make a realistic calendar of how to face the study and subsequent writing, to comply with each stage: chapters, sections, small mountains that must be climbed.

The need to take advantage of the here and now allows fear, uncertainty or anxiety to be exchanged for more favorable ideas that help us grow in our efforts: understanding, awareness, appreciation and positivity.

Everything is usable

This means taking advantage of the present, the moment, the opportunity we have to do it now, without waiting for tomorrow. Anything we write, any idea, even if it seems meaningless, will surely be useful to us in the future if we have matured it.

Moreover, it is not the first time that those notes that we made for a dissertation and that later did not enter the final draft are used for an article in a magazine. Everything is usable.

Change of card

Secondly, we must take into account that, when we finish our academic training, the card in the form of a university degree that they grant us enables us to drive simple vehicles, that is, to exercise certain professions.

The doctor’s card gives us that extra knowledge to enter the scientific world, and therefore lead larger companies from the field of research, doctrine or educational projects.

Just as the standard driving license enables us to drive cars and motorcycles of up to 125 cc and a maximum power of 20 CV, a superior license, such as a doctor’s license, will allow us, in addition to scientific recognition, the possibility of working as a teacher university, to lead a group of students: teaching at its maximum extension.

Patience, attitude and creativity

We need mental wealth to sow, gather and harvest, since many things today can change only thanks to education. That richness is what will allow us to have a great knowledge of the subject in which we specialize and get others to refer to our achievements to achieve theirs (when they quote us, for example, in a work). And therefore doctoral students need: patience, attitude and creativity.

Creativity is the ability to generate original and innovative solutions. But to get there you need:

  1. See what others don’t see.
  2. Think what no one else has thought.
  3. Do what no one dared to do.

The creative person is curious and never tires of learning. After her doctoral thesis, she is interested in making others see the results obtained.

And it is what we ask in this effort from the university to doctoral students: that they have a great imagination, that allows them freedom of thought and the development of new ideas; but they must be aware that it can only be achieved with a great knowledge of the subject.

Kinder egg theory

The world is divided into two, those who settle and those who decide to improve and go for more. If we feel part of the second group, we need mental wealth (knowledge) and motivation.

A formula that is used in a colloquial and extra-academic way is the so-called “kinder egg”: V = (C + H) x A. The value of a person (and therefore of a doctoral student) is the sum of the knowledge acquired plus your skills, multiplied by your attitude. What multiplies someone’s value is their attitude and their ability to leave a mark on others. That footprint is what they say about you when you’re not there.

In short: let us enjoy the day to day, of believing to create, let us write, let us dare, let us be creative and, when we have before us sections of the thesis where there is only the elaboration of data or quantitative review of the issues in question, that is to say where we do not have to think about, let’s take it as a break to boost our knowledge and interpretation of what is about to be written.

Author Bio: Francisco Javier Ales Sioli is Professor of Law at Universidad Loyola Andalucía