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Emotional skills

Some emotional skills are particularly useful for research.

The following list of emotional skills merges practical aspects, attitudes and values that are helpful for your research when developed in a balanced way:

  1. Insatiable curiosity
    Question everything. Work smart and hard to find answers.
  2. Put reality over models.
    Judge models and ideas by how well they describe or explain real observations. Do not judge observed data by your notions of what you expect.
  3. Growing intuition
    Develop a feeling for how things are and don’t waste unexpected events or errors. They are opportunities to train your intuition to base it more on observations of reality.
  4. Enduring tenacity
    Never give up if a question is important. Instead: work around problems and think outside of the box to find answers. You will be surprised to see what is possible.
  5. Clever self-protection
    Learn when to stop if a question is not that important in the bigger context.
  6. Humility
    Never ever think you are the center of the universe, know-it-all or can-do-it-all. Accept your limits.
  7. Assertiveness
    Stand by your observations and know what you can know.
  8. Learn to live with the unknown
    Not everything can be resolved or known about reality. Don’t pretend you can. 
  9. Learn to live with the randomness of life
    Research progress, grant writing success, and many other things in life depend on skills and timing and LUCK.
  10. Learn to live with what you cannot control
    You cannot control everything and you do not have to.
  11. Learn where hope is appropriate
    Avoid presumption and despair.
  12. Find your unique worth and come to recognize your dignity
    You are best at being you with your talents. Stop comparing yourself.