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  • Hello, everyone!

  • My name is Emily Warren,

  • and I am a PhD student in psychology.

  • P-h-D student.

  • That has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

  • It means I got my shit figured out.

  • (Laughter)

  • Well, I may be the most atypical grad student you'll ever meet.

  • I did something that most people would not advise you to do.

  • I applied to graduate school on a whim.

  • Why would I do such a thing?

  • You see, I did it because I had an expectation

  • that maybe I would find some missing part of myself

  • by being back in school, by being on a path,

  • a path that led to anywhere, other than moving back in with my parents.

  • Did it work?

  • No!

  • I haven't found some missing magical part of myself,

  • but in my past two years of graduate school,

  • I have learned something that I think is more important and more valuable

  • than any class you'll take as a PhD student.

  • I'm on stage today not because I have all the answers,

  • but because I have a question.

  • How many of you have ever felt the need to find yourselves?

  • A lot of you.

  • Me too.

  • We are driven by this need, this expectation,

  • that our all important purpose in our adult lives is to find ourselves,

  • that our latent selves are just out there somewhere,

  • waiting to be discovered.

  • Huh!

  • I think that makes us treat the present moment like a placeholder.

  • A lot of people will talk to you about their biggest fear,

  • so I'm going to tell you mine.

  • My biggest fear is reaching the end of my life

  • and realizing that I was never awake to any of it,

  • never in the present moment,

  • because I was so focused on what I should be doing,

  • or where I should be going.

  • A life spent constantly searching for who I'm supposed to be,

  • instead of learning about who I am.

  • I'm here to tell you that there is no such thing as finding yourself

  • in the way that we have come to believe.

  • It's a story, a story that we've made up for ourselves

  • under the guise that we are meant to do a certain thing,

  • or to be a certain way.

  • It's the expectation that one day

  • the unruly strands of our lives will bind together

  • and point us in the right direction.

  • Finding yourself is nothing more than a myth,

  • and believing it is doing us a disservice.

  • Why?

  • Because it inherently implies that we are lost.

  • So, how does this myth manifest in our lives?

  • We jump around a lot: between jobs, between majors,

  • between relationships, between visions of who we are meant to be.

  • We train our eyes to be constantly looking outward, never inward,

  • and completely lose sight of who we are and what we're doing.

  • There is a beautiful wilderness trail here in Claremont,

  • we call it "the wilderness loop."

  • Just a short time ago, I went on a hike on this trail with a friend.

  • We spent hours trekking up and down those dusty hills,

  • but afterward, I couldn't remember any of it,

  • not the sights, not the sounds, not the smells.

  • I had been so fixated on myself,

  • worrying if I was on the right path in life.

  • And where did I end up?

  • At the end of the path, right back where I had started.

  • If we keep jumping around, out of fear, out of self-doubt,

  • we are never going to land, and it's the landing,

  • the grounding ourselves in our experiences,

  • that allows us to gain our footing as wobbly or clumsy as we may be.

  • So, how do we land as a student of psychology?

  • Here are the skills that I think are critical to taking charge of who you are

  • and where you're going.

  • We need grit!

  • It just sounds so bad - in a good way.

  • "Grit" is a concept developed by Dr. Angela Duckworth

  • from the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Grit is the tenacity to keep going in the face of challenge.

  • It is the humility to admit that this is really hard,

  • and we are not going to be good at all of it.

  • We need tolerance.

  • Being okay with not knowing if this is what you should be doing,

  • not knowing exactly where we're going,

  • but being confident in our ability to make it work.

  • So, the next time you find yourself struggling with a decision,

  • or worrying if you're on the right path,

  • I want you to get your grit on.

  • Be tolerant with yourselves.

  • Let go of the expectation that you need to find yourselves

  • or figure things out perfectly, right here, right now.

  • My hope for you is that you allow yourselves to be fully engaged

  • in your experiences, whatever they may be.

  • Use them to collect data on yourselves.

  • As Bob Evans has shown us tonight:

  • "You don't need to be a psychologist to become your own researcher."

  • As Vanessa has told us:

  • "Pay attention to who you are and what you're doing."

  • Build your capacity for self-awareness,

  • for I firmly believe that path will never lead you astray.

  • It is going to be dusty,

  • it is going to be uphill,

  • but it is going to be worth it.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

Hello, everyone!

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B1 grit path expectation student myth biggest fear

【TEDx】The myth of self-discovery: Emily Warren at TEDxClaremontColleges

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    SylviaQQ posted on 2015/09/05
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