One would say that doing science is in the pursuit of discovery. I agree! And I also have to say that in my case, that discovery was also personal. Science teaches you two important qualities: patience and perseverance.
In most cases, trying to find something new that no one else has discovered in your scientific field is a daunting endeavor. You have to look into many, many…many rabbit holes to find it. For this kind of hunt, patience is the key to success. While growing up, my parents would have said that I did not have any patience and I was short-tempered, qualities that were ‘genetically’ passed down from grandfather and father. However, over time, while doing research, I became more patient and less short-tempered and am very happy for it. I think maturity also played a role in this regard.
For those of you who have gone through the rigors of a PhD would agree that there are times when you have doubted your pursuit. That’s where the perseverance comes in. In my case, it also came from playing sports. I was an ardent badminton player and one thing playing a sport teaches you is that ‘you never give up,’ however hard the game may be and however strong the opponent is. I always have thought “imagine the possibilities when you do find something new.” That’s also why we scientists do what we do. But to get to that one lonely spot where only you know what is going on in the cell, perseverance is vital.
I still remember what my grandfather used to tell me when I was a kid. He said, “patience and perseverance are two golden keys that open any door.” I now know what he was trying to say, 26 years later.