How can I regain my motivation to finish my studies? What’s Troubling You? with Philippa Perry

How can I regain my motivation to finish my studies? What’s Troubling You? with Philippa Perry

Hi, I’m Philippa Perry. What’s troubling you? (Caller) Hi Philippa, I’ve been doing a PhD now since 2008 and I just can’t motivate myself
to finish it. When I started, I was in my 20s and I had nothing to lose, I thought I
had plenty of time to get it done, and I didn’t really have any barriers. Now, all these years
later, I’m 32, I have a part-time job and a four year old daughter. It’s not just that
I can’t find the time though, it’s that my motivation for finishing it is wobbly. I really
want to get it done for my career and I know I have to, to be the academic that I want
to be, but I can’t find it within myself to sit down at my chair long enough to get anything
done. It might be that I’m daunted by the task, or that I’m now a different person to
who I was… I don’t know. I would just really appreciate your advice. (Philippa) Sometimes
it seems as though we’re split in two. It’s like theres a top dog who tries to loudly
call the shots and say things like “You’ve got to finish your PHD!” and then there’s
the underdog who doesn’t really say anything but seems to rule the roost anyway. The underdog
just does what it wants and it drags you along with it. It seems to me that your top dog
would very much like to complete your PHD but your underdog is having none of it. What
you need to do is imagine that underdog, and although you don’t want to, listen to it,
because until it’s heard it’s going to keep on sabotaging your plans. This isn’t a new
idea, Plato imagined the soul being a chariot being pulled by two horses. One horse is “high
ideals”, that’s what I’m calling “top dog”, and the another one was “appetite”, “underdog”.
You are the driver and in order to get the damn chariot to where you want to be it’s
no use just listening to just one horse, otherwise you’ll just go round in circles. You have
to listen to both. I imagine what it will take to get your underdog back on board is
a bit of excitement and enthusiasm. The idea of obtaining a PhD might have been excitement
enough when you had more time and you were in your 20s, but these days, in your maturity,
you need something more. And if I’m right about this, you’ll have to go back to your
academic supervisor and re-write your research question in a way that excites you and
gets your underdog back on board again. Good luck!


  1. Just need constitution as computer program    and remove spyware from internet.All need is a political party to support it.Green Party ,Labour,N.D..P Liberal whoever.ignored from 1964-2015 anyway.the possibilities can be seen from history

  2. felt like i wrote the email. i got the same problem. but i dont know how to rewrite my research question 🙁 and teachers dont help with it

  3. Wait, so everyone here has lost their motivation for something (more specifically education — gaining a degree)?

  4. I was hoping to find the motivation to finish my summary of this article assignment I have to get done by Tuesday and my article response paper. Buuut oh well… on to the next video.

  5. I disagree with the advice. What she needs is to find the reasons why she started in the first place

  6. I have no motivation, I don't know if my master will help me get a better job, since I don't have any experience in that area..I do have working experience but not specifically in that area which related to the area I am studying at the moment..I am confused and scared..If I back out now, it looks as if I am taking things for granted..cuz my mom actually wish that I would take this course..but I personally, I don't even know if I want this..

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