I think my best quality is my persistence. I rarely give up on a goal once my mind has been made up. I am flexible on how the goal is accomplished, but I remain focused. I had to apply to the Whitaker and Fulbright two years in a row to win the Fellowship to move abroad. Similar to sports analogies, I do believe that it is good to fail. You learn a lot about yourself. When I fail at something, I usually am upset for a few hours. Then I get mad and start develop a new plan so I dont fail the next time.
With persistence in mind, I signed up for my second half marathon. I was happy that I finished the first one, but I know I can do better. This half marathon is being hosted in the city I live, Nijmegen. I can run through the course and practice before the actual race. Besides being persistence, I also prepare a lot. My dad taught me that if you practice (prepare) and do everything you can before the game (meeting, etc) you have a right to be confident. Most of the time, I have good outcomes. Sometimes, I dont.
The downside of persistence is sometimes it manifests into obsession. Tuesday night, I was in lab until 10 pm working on a model. When a project is going right, you want to keep going. Also, I seem to work better when there are less people around.
Lately, I have found my long to do list a little daunting. Between creating my finite element model of the tibia, post-doc fellowships, writing my dissertation, learning dutch, etc, I dont seem to have a lot of free time. However, I am enjoying staying busy.