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Mentality and Working Environment for Maximal Performance

  1. Nov 5, 2017 #1
    What would you think is the best mentality to have while having a career in say, HEP? What do you think of seclusion? And what would be the best working environment? Comfortable office? Collaboration? (YES!) Take mind off physics once a while?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 5, 2017 #2


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    I seem to recall a study somewhere that grouped people into two basic groups with respect to their outlook on their studies. One group was those who believed that academic abilities were innate. The other believed that academic abilities were learned. (I realize that it's quite likely there's a whole spectrum to consider on such a complex and at times subjective parameter, but that's what I remember from the study).

    Those who more strongly adhered to the "innate" outlook tended not to do as well academically as they went on. When faced with a choice of tasks they consistently chose the easier option. More of them failed to complete the degree they enrolled in, etc. On the other hand those who had a more "leaned" outlook tended to go further and do better because they more consistently challenged themselves and learned better from mistakes.

    Study details aside, I suppose my point is that in terms of outlook, to the extent you can control it, it would seem better to adopt the latter one, because it allows you to grow more.

    And cutting yourself off from others is generally not a great strategy in my opinion when it comes to success in academia.
  4. Nov 5, 2017 #3
    Thanks for taking the time to reply.
    My problem right now is that going into grad school in HEP-Theory worries me because I am afraid since I don't have the reach the qualifying IQ for HEP-Th. I understand that a lot can be achieved by working hard, but there are just some people out there you can never catch up with despite putting in my entire lifetime. Based on the assumption that physical theories are improved and developed based on the knowledge of previous ones, I am afraid that my ~80 years remaining juts isn't enough.
  5. Nov 6, 2017 #4


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    Well I'm not going to say go for it anyways. And I won't argue that anyone can overcome any obstacle with hard work. But you initially asked about "mentality" (which I take to me one's chosen mindset). I'm of the opinion that the more you believe that your talent or skill level is plastic, the better - though of course, within reason.

    That said, if you're seriously doubting your own ability to succeed in this field, then maybe it's just not the right fit for you.
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