So.... One of my biggest challenges through life, and especially through my academic job search, is stability. In short, I want to be like this owl:
Why? Because the owl (or more specifically the owl's head) is stable no matter what is going on around it. And it seems to me that the best of the best never get caught up in the highs or lows of life. When the reach a peak, they remain grounded and focused on bigger things. Whether finding new research areas or asking new questions about how the work fits in with the literature, it's all just another day in the office. And when things get rough and experiments fail for a solid week, they have the perspective to know that with each day comes new knowledge and new solutions. In other words, they have confidence that they will not remain at the bottom for long.
Yes, I am knew at this. Yes, I am only beginning to be independent, and haven't a clue what I'm doing.
But keeping an even keel is a great way to keep sane through the ups and downs, and quite frankly I think it is also a great way to run a lab. I've seen my share of emotional lab leaders and most fizzle out before long (usually from a mental break down, but that's a different story).
I will be stable. I will be the owl.