Seven Stages Of Research

I always torment myself with my own pursuit of useless things. I shove away all the high priority things and dig into researching whatever fancies me. This time, I outdid myself so much that even my dreams were about it. I realized that I always go through different stages.

Seven Stages Of Research
Seven Stages Of Research

1. Curiosity:

It all starts as fun. You find something by fluke, you find it interesting, you can't believe you never took interest in it. The universe 'conspires' to bring you closer to it, you find it everywhere around you and you never took notice before! The world is so full of possibilities and even the sky is not a limit. You imagine and day dream about all the exciting things you could do. 

2. Beginner's Enthusiasm:

You have found your ikigai and you can't wait to get out of the bed to dig into it. Your brain is high, extremely alert, you find a million references and you want to dig into them all. You are like a new born baby or a sponge absorbing it all. You are ready to work hard and dedicate your entire life to it. Your brain is full of ideas and there's lot of inspiration to find everywhere. 

3. Obsession:

You have now entered a dark world, a black hole, where nothing else can seep in. It's just you and 'it'. You are bound by the shackles of it, drawn in by the powerful drug. You see it in your dreams, if at fall, you manage to get away from it and sleep. Solution to a problem that has bothered you all through the day, conjures up magically in your dreams. Everything else becomes invisible to you. You consider yourself a scientist and behave like a know-it-all. You think you can be a professional in that field, in fact, you think that you are better than the experts. You dream of an utopia, because it's possible, duh. People around you, find you delirious and call you a mad man/woman. But you don't care, you know you are not a wackadoodle and you will create utopia, just armed with your vision. If you are forced to talk to people during this stage, you will only blabber so incessantly about it, that people will frantically search for your switch off button.

4. Analysis Paralysis:

You are overwhelmed by the infinite options and loads of information. You can't understand the actual core technical aspects of it. You are dazed and confused. You realize that you know nothing and whatever you came to learn about it so far was just superficial knowledge. You lower your standards and try to pick basic over complicated. You lie to yourself that this is what you have always wanted. This is when you secretly wish for it all to go away and leave you alone.

5. Side Quests:

You dig into the minor side branches of the actual task and pretend that you are still on track and you are getting things done. If rocket building is your actual task, you instead focus on Konmari techniques to keep the launch area clean, because 'it sparks joy'. If building a house is your actual task, you instead focus on what kind of rug will go with a blue sofa.

6. Deadline Pressure:

While your subconscious brain has been carefully crafting your escape by focusing on side quests, the deadline for the actual thing has come close. You seriously consider the alternatives - most of which are about quitting it all and taking a nap. But you can't. Congratulations, you played yourself. You curse yourself for getting into this. But you must focus on it. You do that begrudgingly, grinding your teeth, pulling your hair, hating every moment of it and hating everyone.

7. Aversion:

Aversion is just a light word for it, it's more than that - revulsion, abhorrence, repugnance. Your brain tries to jump of it's skull and run away, at the very mention of 'it'. But since it can't, it starts emitting this high pitched noise commonly called as 'screaming'. Your brain has already by now, locked away all the information about 'it' and filed it all under multiple tags - trauma, disgust, x-files, area 51, confidential, don't open/open only in case of therapy. After this stage, you can't really understand the state of mind you had in stages 1-3 : "That wasn't me, that was some crazy obsessed person". For the current you, it's a long forgotten nightmare or a repressed dark memory.



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