Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try, and today is the beginning of the end of a great accomplishment for my brother Nick. Tonight at around 7pm, Nick will turn in his 686 page dissertation that will finalize his journey towards his PhD in Archeology from Bryn Mawr College. Entitled Middle and Late Bronze Age Metal Tools from the Aegean, Eastern Mediterranean, and Anatolia: Implications for Cultural/Regional Interaction and Craftsmanship, Nick’s years of studies that are complied into this dissertation are not only specialized and way above my head, they are full of determination. For the past nine years, Nick has embodied determination by living in the library, traveling the world to lead archaeological digs in Greece and Cyprus, and presenting at archaeological conferences — all in an effort towards the completion of today’s dissertation. He is a master of his trade and among the leading researchers in his specialized field.
What impresses me the most about Nick’s dissertation is the determination that he has put into his work. Every page, every source, and every sentence have been carefully edited and re-edited (and then re-edited again), crafting his project into perfection. In his own right, I believe he is genius for he has dedicated himself to the study of something he loves deeply in his heart and has never looked back since he started his long PhD journey.
Nick, through his belabored hours of study and writing, has demonstrated to me that genius comes when we unabashedly follow our heart’s passions. As Albert Einstein has said, “everyone is a genius;” sometimes we just aren’t following the right paths for our genius to be evident. There is something to be said for those in this world who find their niche, follow it to its fullest, and pursue their interests with determined passion.
“We must remember that one determined person can make a significant difference, and that a small group of determined people can change the course of history.” -Sonia Johnson
May you have a determined Ides of March day today; stop living your life according to others’ expectations, and start following Nick’s example. Do what you love and don’t turn back.