Nearly everyone I’ve ever met has a book that changed their life. For me, that book is Yes Man by Danny Wallace. It’s non-fiction and tells what happened when Danny decided to say yes to every opportunity that came his way for six months. All sorts of fun things happen, but more than anything else the takeaway message is that sometimes you just don’t know what good things will happen when you say yes to something. You can’t always see the end from the outset of the opportunity, or the doors that could open by doing something.
I read the book after my PhD and it really inspired me. I was starting a business and trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life post-PhD; Yes Man got me to thinking that maybe I was a little too stuck in my comfort zone. Maybe I needed to say yes a bit more.
If your viva is in the near (or distant) future, I think it could be helpful to think of it as many opportunities to say yes:
- Say yes to prep – so you’ll be open to what you find!
- Say yes to a mock viva – you’ll know you can answer tricky questions!
- Say yes to being confident – because it’s not all up to crossing your fingers!
Say yes to the viva, and you’ll go to it feeling happier, more ready and eager to show what you can do.
(and say yes to Yes Man, because it really is a good book!)