If you happen to win the Nobel Prize for any reason at all, you have probably worked quite hard at something. You must have convinced a certain number of people, that your idea is worth the effort. AND you have to be a pretty good team player.
This is certainly the case when it comes to Nobel Prize Winner Joachim Frank (Chemistry). Yesterday, he attended a talk at the Stockholm Goethe Institut – well he is originally from Germany, after all.
Listening to intelligent people is always a treat and a challenge – really understanding “cryo-electron microscopy for the high-resolution structure determination of biomolecules in solution” might be trying too hard.
More up my alley, is the notion of us all being human and sharing the same challenges, joys and misfortunes of life itself.
Joachim Frank was interviewed by Katharina Buck, head of the language department at the Goethe Institut, and he delivered some good stuff when it comes to simply going at it.
First, he established that:
“you can get your direction from recognising the wrong direction.”
So true. Ever felt like you got off on the wrong track, kept going for a while and just started feeling really bad about it all? Well, there you go – instead of continuing on the wrong track – turn around.
There is no pride in keeping on. Instead, the ability to actually see that there is another, better way of doing things, might just be what gets you where you really want to go.
In my line of work we talk a lot about this right now – how to work in an agile way. Change when change is needed. Listen to input. Recognising problems and addressing them instantly.
Secondly, he stated that:
“if you have a brilliant idea, and really believe in it – don’t listen to your mentor. Just run with it!”
According to Frank, mentors are good for guiding you to a certain extent. But when you start seeing things, your mentor doesn’t, don’t stick with your mentor’s ideas – stick with your own. And see how far that got Mr. Frank.
Inspiring and good to keep in mind whenever that doubt starts digging at you.