Chapter 22When Everything Goes Wrong

Nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

—Shakespeare

It was the eleventh draft of my dissertation. I had invested hundreds of hours of work, blood, sweat, and tears into what I considered my masterpiece. My family had made sacrifices for my schooling and writing for years. I could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and began to anticipate some free Saturdays filled with fun! The dissertation was completed and I was ready to move on with my life. After eight years of classes, research, writing, and interviewing employees in corporate America, I had 253 pages of brilliance! I was ready to defend my dissertation. With only a few weeks left to make final preparations for my defense and graduation, I had to get everything done quickly. I pushed the Send button, forwarding my dissertation to my chairperson, then went to bed with a sigh of relief.

The next evening I received an email from my chairperson (a very tough, but brilliant professor and writer) with a subject line that read: “A few changes.”

I opened the email to find what I considered to be an ocean of red corrections. In fact, I think there was more red than black in the document. I was horrified. I could feel the anger and devastation welling up. How could she do this to me? All I could do was just stare at my masterpiece, now bludgeoned with red like something out of a horror movie. I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. The moment was literally more ...

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