Stories say that there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
The reality is that a rainbow’s end moves as you move. Make any progress in getting closer to where it appears to be and you’ll find that it’s not where you thought it was. Struggle and strive but it moves further away.
You can perhaps figure out where the end of the rainbow would be based on where you are now – but by the time you reach that point it will have shifted (or maybe disappeared).
I think this resonates with the reality of the PhD journey. The viva or graduation might seem like the big event you’re aiming towards, but as you get closer you’ll realise that there’s something more. You get closer to what seems like the end, only to find that there’s more waiting for you.
The PhD journey is just a part of the greater journey; it’s an important stage, and the benefit could be valuable to your future. If you feel like there’s nothing else but your PhD, remember there’s no pot of gold at the end. The end is further away and you are more than your research.