“Life is Long”, Dr. Cindy Farach-Carson, Biochemistry & Cell Biology

People always say life is short, but I’ll tell you life is long.  When you go to work every day, you have to go to work a lot of days, a whole lot of days.  It feels so long.   You got to go to work on days when you don’t feel great, you got to go to work on days when you’d rather do something else.  So you better like what you do. If you don’t like what you do, look for other things to do.  Definitely choose something you like, but also try to teach yourself to take criticism well and to improve yourself.  Don’t get defensive.  Abandon all defensiveness.  Because it’s your worst enemy.  People will tell you, even now, I did a science café last night out in the community with my son.  It was terrifically fun.  Afterwards, I tried to ask some folks “how can we do it better?”  Don’t tell me I did perfect.  I didn’t do perfect.  Tell me how we can do it better, how can we connect better, because it’s important that we do.  Every time you send a grant in or every time you send in a manuscript or every time you do any of those things, you’re going to get criticism.  Don’t get mad, just let it go and learn from it.  It helps a lot.  So I would tell students, because students get defensive.  You’re in a stage in your life when you’re trying to do this, but you don’t like to get criticized, you don’t like it.  It’s not a human quality to like to be criticized.  So I would say kind of work through that and realize that most of the time, criticism is offered as an opportunity to help you grow and get better.