Being an academic is tough. This might not be unlike working in other disciplines – true – but trying to make it in the academy has its own unique challenges. This is why it is so important, helpful, and inspiring to read other academics’ experiences and hear their advice. For me, this helps to find focus in a world that’s always characterized by More, Faster, Better. This is my own personal (growing) collection of columns and quotes I found inspiring – just to read again every now and then.


  • A letter to young scientists, by John Cacioppo
    • “Be serious and not at all serious about your science, at the same time, all the time.”
  • As she departs Penn, Amy Jordan’s last lecture shares life wisdom
    • “Don’t take life too seriously.”
  • Tilburgse in Jonge Akademie: Weg met het superheldenmodel [Dutch]
    • “Het wordt echt tijd dat we de hele mens meenemen naar het werk.”


  • Prioritize the people and projects that matter, and it won’t matter how long anything takes.” Adam Grant
  • “The first study can only tell you that you weren’t completely wrong – not whether you were right.” Joe Walther
  • “Everything will be alright in the end so if it is not alright it is not the end.” Deborah Moggach
  • “the measure of success is how we cope with disappointment.” Deborah Moggach
  • “Success requires perseverant effort.” Albert Bandura
  • “Greatness is many, many individual feats, and each of them is doable.” Forgot who said this clever quote 🙂


If you have any inspiring columns or quotes to share, please email me at k.m.fikkers [at]!