It is the courage to continue that counts

The other day I found out that my post-doc research project was rejected by yet another foundation. I sometimes think that we academics must be gluttons for punishment since this is what we choose to put up with again and again. My husband suggested that I frame the letter of rejection (see my previous post Temporary setbacks for more on framing letters of rejection), except there was no letter of rejection to frame. It was one of these foundations that only lets you know if you do get funding. If you don’t, there’s nothing, no letter, and definitely no feedback regarding why you didn’t get the funding, or what you could do to improve your application.

Well, since there was nothing, I decided to hang an empty frame on the wall of my office instead, which I did, and I find it strangely empowering. I have a beautiful, empty, oval frame over my desk and it reminds me that no matter what setbacks I experience, they are just temporary and they don’t define me. They aren’t going to stop me from getting on with my life and doing whatever it is that I want to do.

While I was hanging the frame, I happened upon a post-it note among the papers on my desk, on which I have apparently jotted down the following quote some time ago:

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.”

– Winston Churchill

How appropriate. I stuck it in the middle of the empty frame.

So I will leave you with these words as I take a break over the next few weeks. I won’t be completely silent though; I’ll be reposting my four most read posts since I started my blog. These posts have by far accumulated the most views, so hopefully you’ll enjoy them! I’ll be back at the beginning of August!

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