I recently watched the Tony Robbins documentary I Am Not Your Guru on Netflix. I’d really recommend it; it’s uncomfortable at times, funny at others, but it’s an interesting look at an interesting person and it gets you thinking.
At one point he observes, “Questions control what you focus on.” It made me think of my workshops. I ask people for their viva-related questions at the start, which I’m always happy to answer and help with. Candidates ask me questions that they’re already asking themselves. Frequently asked questions include:
- What if my mind goes blank?
- What if my examiners are harsh?
- What if I can only say “I don’t know”?
- What if I fail?
These are important questions, and clearly some answers or thoughts could help people feel better and prepare better. I just wonder how the general mood of the viva and viva prep would be if candidates more regularly asked themselves:
- What will help me be prepared?
- Where can I find good help?
- What have I done to put me in a good place?
- How can I make the most of this opportunity?
Questions control what you focus on. Change your questions, change your focus.