Friday, May 20, 2005

Conference thoughts 1

I suck at research. If you want to be just above average you cannot afford to have an average life. I now realize now that if I don't do the extra step and devote myself to what I am doing I'll spend these 5 years in vain and then I'll look back years from now and I may regret for my choice of doing a PhD here in LA... And I think that even if I have the most fun in the world, even if I get to make the best friends ever, even if I visit all the cool places, at the end I won't be satisfied unless this is accompanied by good research.

They say a similar thing about marriage: Everything starts from the bed. Even if you have money and have a great time and lovely family, if the sex doesn't go well then everything else is shadowed. In the same way if my research isn't more than average then it will shadow all the other activities no matter how fun they are.

I know it because I now look back at my first 2 years here, and I realize that I've been to places and I've done things that most people back in Greece would be really jealous of... Things I had I made a different choice I would have never lived. However my feeling of happiness does not seem to be proportional to these activities; and the reason is because this happiness feeling is multiplied by the research factor.

Now that I've been to this conference I know where are most people standing, I know what I need to do to stand out. Therefore I now make the decision to sacrifice some of my personal life for studying - I'll have less short-term fun but at the end I will have more long-term satisfaction; and this is more important to me: to look back and be happy overall. The outcome has to be greater than the sum of its parts.