Motivation Letter

Finish that PhD - the Wolf of Wall Street way

«Listen, myself, as much as you'd like to, nobody can get on the bench and finish that PhD for you. Only you can pick up some more tubes and take action. Without action, the best intentions in the world are nothing more than that: intentions.
Now, look down at the little blue tool right in front of you. You see it? It's a wonderful little invention called the pipetman. Here, I'll spell it for you: P-I-P-E-T-M-A-N. Now, gues what? This pipetman won't plunge itself! Yeah, that's right. Until you take some action, it's nothing more than a worthless hunk of plastic. It's like a loaded M16 into a deadly weapon. And in the case of the pipetman it's the action of you - a highly trained PhD student who won't take failed experiments as an answer, who won't hang up the pipette until his project either succeed or dies, someone who's fully aware that there's a paper being published on every single pipetting done and that it's only a question of who's pipetting what. Were you the one who did the killer experiment? Were you proficient enough and motivated enough and gutsy enough to take control of the controls and get the results? Or was it your cells who did the experiment-explaining how they couldn't make it through right now because the confluence was wrong or they needed a lower passage or fresher medium or Santa Claus or the tooth fairy.
a pipetman won't plunge itself!

So don't you ever forget that the pipette sitting on your bench is a deadly weapon. And in the hands of a motivated postdoc it's a license to write papers. And it's the great equalizer!
All you gotta do is pick up the pipette and make the steps I've taught you, and it can make you as powerful as the most powerful P.I. in the country. And I don't care whether you are graduating from Harward or you are procrastinating on the mean streets of italian research. With that little blue pipette you can achieve anything.
That pipette equals results. And I don't care how many problems you have right now, because every single one of them can be helped with conclusive results. Yeah, that's right; positive results are the greatest single problem-solver known to man, and anyone who tries to tell you different is completely full of shit.»

Note: I freely adapted this motivation speech from the book: The Wolf of Wall Street. In the original version, the pipette was a telephone and good results were money. There are interesting parallels between financial trading and scientific research, unfortunately remuneration is not one of them. Feel free to read this post each time you do not feel it is worth giving that crazy project another chance. Thanks for the inspiration.