Closing the article

A colleague of mine found herself stuck in the final stages of completing an academic article.

She had dedicated an immense amount of time to this endeavor, immersing herself in exhaustive research and seeking copious feedback from peers. Despite her diligence, she reached an impasse when it came to concluding her paper.

During a moment of visible struggle in the library, I approached her for a chat.

“What’s the issue?” I inquired.

She exhaled, burdened by frustration. “I can’t craft a decent ending for my article. After pouring so many hours and so much research into it, every conclusion seems to be the wrong one”

Good,” I responded.

Perplexed, she asked, “Why would you say that’s good?

“Because the solution is closer than you think.”

“And what might that be?”

“Engage in something entirely unrelated. Be it a leisurely stroll in the park, listening to Metallica at earsplitting volume, or wandering through a museum. The answer often reveals itself when you divert your focus elsewhere.”

Her expression mirrored her skepticism, but I nudged her away from her work for a coffee break, sparking a deeper conversation on the subject.

I explained that she had several choices in such a predicament:

  • Clocking more hours at the desk
  • Seeking someone else’s input for a conclusion
  • Consulting Chat GPT for assistance.
  • Deliberately trying not to think about the article (a tactic we know often backfires)

In my view, all these options missed the markā€”not for ethical or practical reasons, but because she deserved the best possible finale.

You know, articles are like concerts. The beginning and the end matters more. While the core content is essential, it’s the beginning and end that leave a lasting impression.

It’s easy to overlook that our greatest insights often emerge during moments of unfocused thought. The laws of gravity, the theory of relativity, and even the structure of DNA were all conceptualized in such moments. The most profound eureka moments are more likely to be found in the bathtub than in the library.

Embracing detachment is crucial for tapping into the profound truths of the universe. By investing countless hours into reading and writing, you’ve already demonstrated to the universe a profound commitment to your subject. But what if you could deepen that connection further?

She decided to test this approach, not out of belief but because it was uncharted territory for her. So, she ventured out for a Starbucks coffee and a walk in the park.

“Turns out, you were right,” she messaged me later.

No,” I replied. “You were right to trust your instinct and give it a try.

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