An Opportunity

Problems are only opportunities in work clothes.

I first came across this sentiment after my PhD was finished. I wish I’d heard it sooner. Every time I remember it I feel a boost for weeks afterwards as I’m working.

If a piece of writing is tricky then I remind myself that it’s a chance to figure out a good way of expressing something. When an admin process gets me down I realise I can explore ways to do things more simply or easily. And if a period seems like it could be very busy I start figuring out how to lighten the load.

All problems of one form or another. All opportunities to learn, develop, grow and change how I do things.


What aspects of your viva or viva prep seem like problems to you? Are they big or small? Have they been on your radar for a while, bothering you, or have they only recently started made an impact?

Whatever the problem, can you change how you look at it? Where is the opportunity? Can you learn something? Can you create a better position by “solving” your problem? Can you reach out for help?

Some problems go away by themselves, but rather than hope and be stressed later, act soon to take advantage of the opportunity before you. Work towards being ready for your viva, despite the obstacles and problems in your path.