Survival of the Phittest?

Hope you’re not tired of the “Ph” puns cus there are more where that came from (you’re lucky I didn’t write phrom instead of from)!

But in all seriousness, this next post is the first installment of my second blog series (check out my first blog series here and here).

I’m really excited about this new series because it’s all about the insta! I have to admit really like social media, and I’ve been able to tap into some pretty amazing communities that I think have really enriched my day-to-day life and overall well-being. And while, I’ve admittedly probably spent too much time scrolling through pictures of adorable labradoodle, I also think I’ve been able to get a lot productive personal development and even professional support from the use of instagram and other social media platforms. And I’m not alone in this line of thinking, check this out as an example. 

Besides labradoodle puppies, my instagram feed seems to be filled with inspirational fitness accounts and engaging scicommers. And it is in these two areas that I’ve discovered some overlapping life lessons on personal growth that I want to share with you all in 5 part series. Read part 1 below to see what I’ve learned about my own “Phitness”!

Part 1: Phding your Passion

I hear all about this concept ALL OF THE TIME, and it can easily be applied to many areas of life – not just fitness or your professional career. In general, I agree that it’s easier to accomplish a task when you’re passionate about it. I see time and time again amongst instagram fitness accounts how it helps to find your passion for a healthy lifestyle in order to achieve your fitness goals, i.e. half-assing it is only going to make it harder. You can easily guess how this can be applied to your time in your PhD as well. It helps to find a project that you’re passionate about, and in general, it helps to be passionate about science and research.

But I want to take this post to actually focus on a couple things that I think deserve a little more emphasis with regards to finding your passion, 1) being passionate about more than one thing and 2) realizing that your passions may have changed.

I’ve almost always loved science, and I’ve grown to love fitness ( though I seriously never thought I’d say that last phrase). Now I’m not saying I’ve become athletic or anything (so far from it!) and I try my darndest NOT to spend ALL of my time in lab, but these are two things that take up pretty big chunks of my day-to-day. And I do feel that I’ve developed a pretty strong passion for both. At the same time, I genuinely don’t want my life to revolve solely around either of these two things. There are fitness social media accounts out there that make you think the host only eats, breathes and sleeps fitness, but I’ve found tons of accounts promoting BALANCE – you can be passionate about fitness AND have a life! This resonates with me. This is what I’m trying to do in graduate school, and it’s awesome to get motivation for it from areas outside of science too!

Another area I want to touch on is that sometimes, passions change. I’ve seen a lot of fitness bloggers shift from a passion for intense bodybuilding and strict diets for competition physiques to just general clean eating and workout routines centered around general health and well-being. These are very drastic lifestyle changes, but I think it shows it’s ok to change your mind about what you want to dedicate your time and energy on. And if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, it’s kind of obvious how this applies to my own PhD experiences. I started graduate school with a strong passion for cancer research and genuinely thought I’d spend my life as a cancer researcher. Now, an ideal career sounds more like talking about and writing about rare diseases, neurological disorders or even still about cancer and bringing information and awareness about science research to the general public! Still science for sure, which is nice, but my passions have definitely shifted.

So that’s my two cents on two aspects of “finding your passion” that I don’t think often gets enough recognition. I could spend posts on posts discussing the concept of passion and how it plays a role in many aspects of our lives, but maybe that’s a series for another time!

Instead, stay tuned for Part 2 of my Survival of the Phittest series: “Buiding a better me”! I’ll try to get it out in the next couple of weeks, but my end-of-May and early June schedule gets very hectic (I’m attending my 5-year college reunion at the end of the month! How is that happening so soon?!?!?!). So, may I suggest hitting “follow” on my blog to get notified when Part 2 is posted! I’ll also share on my social media accounts of course! So feel free to follow along there if you’d prefer!

I’d love to hear from you on your thoughts and musing about passion! What are you passionate about and how does passion play a role in your life (fitness, science or otherwise)? Share in the comments!!!!




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Michelle Dookwah

I'm currently a graduate student working on my PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Georgia with hopes of pursuing a career in science communications! Come share in my musings, struggles and triumphs as work on my PhD and try to enjoy life while doing so!

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