What they think.

One theme I read a few things about today is about what other people will think. This has been a constant struggle for me in my life. It is almost certainly an outgrowth of perfectionism, a trait I think I share with many scientists. I read Anna Quindlen’s 1999 commencement speech about putting down the bag of bricks that is trying to live up to what everyone else expects of you. That is a good message for me to hear and it’s a change in perspective I am trying to bring to my life. I still care, but I care less about what abstract people who I don’t even know might think. So far, the world hasn’t ended and I seem to be freer to pursue things that want to because they’re people, issues and work I care about. I’m not perfect, but I’m doing the best I can and finally trying to be an actual human being in all my complexity.

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Author: Ian Street

Ian is a plant scientist and science writer relating stories of plant science and scientists on his blog, The Quiet Branches as well as other outlets. You can find him on Twitter @IHStreet.

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