Talking to my roommate one night, a researcher from a different field, made me realize how much freedom we get to enjoy in doing our work, unhurriedly even when time-bounded. We are given the freedom to think freely at the workplace and consider that work done. Because how else can we solve problems no one bothered asking if we don’t devote time to think about our research interests? Thinking is a major part of our jobs.
And with this freedom, we enjoy the autonomy to explore the branches of our decisions, hoping that we’d find our way to the root of the problem and eventually provide the right solutions (and maybe to more questions down the rabbit hole).
There are so many things to learn, and in learning, we begin to realize how much we don’t know! And this could be so overwhelming at times, knowing that we have to at least scratch the surface of what we don’t know by reading more and studying more from the works of those who came before us.
So much to do, we might tell ourselves. I’ll do it tomorrow. For now, let me do administrative work instead. Because administrative work is predictable, like ticking off boxes on a checklist.
But doing research? We could convince ourselves I’ll look at that concept someday. Maybe tomorrow, eventually, but not today.
And I am not just talking about work anymore. I also mean the things that we’ve been planning to do but keep on holding off to a later date. Until later becomes tomorrow, and tomorrow becomes the next, until it becomes that dreaded someday we’ll never get to.
We tell ourselves that we have to wait for the ideal conditions before we pursue the things we really want to achieve in life, the goals we think our future selves should become. So we say, someday, I’ll work on it.
But someday isn’t part of the week.
It’s either you work now on the things that would help you reach your goals or do nothing and become less than what you could have become.