I’m getting more and more into Stoicism. It’s over 2000 years old but still in force (see modern stoicism). In short, Stoicism, “it’s a meditative technique that transforms negative emotions into a sense of calm and perspective” (Ryan Holiday). Or if you prefer a more academic definition, Stoics claims “the path to eudaimonia (happiness) for humans is found in accepting the moment as it presents itself”.
I think these definitions fit perfectly my life as a researcher. Adopting the Stoicism philosophy can bring back some serenity to our lives and help us survive the perils of the academic world. Don’t you believe me?. Read some of the most famous quotes by the greatest Stoics like Seneca, Cato, Marcus Aurelius,… slightly adapted to our research struggles.
It is in times of accepted papers and grants that the spirit should be preparing itself for rejection times; while fortune is bestowing favors on it is then is the time for it to be strengthened against her rebuffs. -Seneca
Choose not to be harmed by a reviewer and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel offended and you haven’t been. -Marcus Aurelius
The Top Researcher in your area and his/her junior PhD both died and the same thing happened to both -Marcus Aurelius
“Count your years and you’ll be ashamed to be wanting and working on exactly the same research topics as when you were a PhD Student. Of this make sure against your dying day – that your faults die before you do.” – Seneca
Wise men learn more from practitioners than fools from a fellow colleague. – Cato
Grasp the research subject, the words will follow. – Cato
Today I escaped from tenure track anxiety. Or no, I discarded it, because it was within me, in my own perceptions—not outside. – Marcus Aurelius