This may help:Tenacity means sticking with things even when you get depressed or when things aren't going well. The best way to finish the dissertation is to do something every day that gets you closer to being done. Don't just do it when you are "in the mood" or feeling productive. This level of discipline will keep you going through the good times and the bad and will ensure that you finish. Mom said, it may be difficult for you but after 3 years, you will be fine. Part of earning earning a Ph.D is building a "thick skin" so you are not so fragile that you will give up at the first sign on any difficulties. Politics is mostly about who is allowed to do what and who gets the resources (money, people, equipment, etc). Cultivating interpersonal relationships is mostly about treating people with respect and determining their different working styles. Once you start a task (grab a ball) you want to get enough done so you can ignore it for a while. Otherwise, you waste too much time in context switches between tasks. Earning a Ph.D. is like running a marathon. You have to learn to pace yourself and take care of your body if you want to reach the finish line. Ph.D. is the beginning, not the culmination, of your career. Don't worry about making it your magnum opus. Get out sooner, rather than later. The black belt represents the beginning- the start of a never-ending journey of discipline, work, and the pursuit of an ever-higher standard.