For better or for worse, a PhD in the biomedical sciences requires a certain amount of luck. In my case, that luck has been a long time coming. Today I got to report my first solid piece of reasonably novel data, and from here I ought to be able to build my thesis around what I’ve discovered. As much as I’d like to go into the gritty details, I’m going to wait until I’ve published to disseminate the information so that I don’t jinx myself or end up eating my words later. What I will say is that persistence and endurance appear to be much more important to the completion of a PhD than outright intelligence or productivity.