It’s astonishing that it has been so long since I last blogged. These last few months have been a blur of teaching, assessment and report writing, returning to work activities and, amongst it all, planning and having a fabulous wedding!
This year, with my new interest in gardening, I’ve been more aware of the seasons. I hadn’t appreciated, before, how March heralded the coming of Autumn (for those of us in the southern hemisphere) and I hadn’t even realised that the three months making up each season divided the season into “early”, “mid”, and “late”. The timing instructions on seed packets are making more sense! So little time for each planting!
I rushed to get lots of seeds planted in seed trays in late summer. Although I was initially a little disappointed with the arrival of autumn (and the awareness that there were fewer varieties to plant), I decided to try and grow artichokes – one of the things that can be planted in Autumn. My first lot of seeds failed. Not one germinated!
Not to be defeated, I had another go and…success!!
Persistence is such an important psychological skill. In supervising research students, I really notice that it is persistence that matters in the longer run. No matter how insightful, original and creative someone’s idea is, without high levels of persistence, there is no thesis, or paper, or finished product at the end of the day.
I’ve been thinking about persistence a lot as I’ve been reading more about neuropsychological functioning and the executive system in particular. In a nutshell, the executive system is about planning, organising our activities, holding things in short term memory and focussing on a goal. My students this week are working on a hypothetical case of a child with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). This is one disorder where significant issues with the executive system can be seen. The good news for adults (and children with ADHD) is that there are psychological interventions that can help with these executive system issues.