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I think your suggestions were solid, practical and generally useful.I have been thinking about your advice for the month since I first posted this, and I unfortunately have to admit these strategies haven't helped me find any motivation to make much progress on my dissertation.I am not depressed, although disappointed at my decisions (or lack thereof).
I only need to finish the fourth, revise the 3 earlier and then write an intro and a conclusion.I don't feel the need for the work to make a difference is required to get it done and think trying to convince someone it is interesting is wasting my time and theirs.I think Paul Garrett hit a nerve with his comment that is at the root of my conundrum.I may have felt that way in a different project, program, school, country, etc. And now I am not looking to find internal motivation to channel my passions to create my life's master work but to finish writing something that is good enough to pass the defense and can be forgotten about on the back-shelves of the library. (2011) 'Anatomically distinct dopamine release during anticipation and experience of peak emotion to music', Nat Neurosci, 14(2), 257-262. If you look around you and start asking how many people in their 40s or 50s are still doing the work their college degree qualified them for, you'll realize that the fraction is not actually all that large.I haven't been interested in what I have studied since day one and now is beyond the time to expect it to get interesting now. Having a degree in one field does not lock you into employment in this field for life.I think it would be wonderful if it were the case but Peter's reason #3 is an example of the disconnect between ideal and reality.Many people in this unequal world would be ecstatic to be earning K a year for the chance to write papers and do research for a professor, but no amount of counting my blessings (and I am very thankful I was born into a world that allowed for the luxury of higher education) gives me the belief that the dissertation is anything but wasted time and paper.Exacerbating my lack of motivation is that I am skeptical that this degree will lead to employment (if I would want it in this field of study anyway): as I haven't been interested in my subject I haven't made the connections and done all of the networking I think is necessary to get a job with this degree, so I feel it is pretty useless to finish because I will likely have to reinvent myself after I am finished anyway.But leaving without a degree seems wrong somehow, given all this wasted effort (aren't we all subject to the sunk cost fallacy? Any ideas on how to find the final burst of energy to finally finish?I thought I would respond to a few of your suggestions and see if anyone has additional thoughts or considerations.There was the suggestion that I should go visit a counselor and to be screened for depression.