Editor’s Note: We welcome Nick Lindsay, a solicitor from London, who shares his experiences with leaving law and dealing with what came next. Enjoy! When you’re sitting at your desk and thinking about leaving the law, you want your next step to be perfect. It’s only reasonable. After all, you’re leaving a career that you…
By starting to take steps to change your hours, you change your days, and then your years. Don’t let happiness simply dance on your horizon. Get closer, a few hours at a time.
Rather than indulge your creativity to create doom-and-gloom scenarios, harness your creative power for your own damned good. Start imagining possibilities. Start dreaming.
So here we are on the threshold of a new year, when everyone gets their panties in a twist about changing their lives for the better. Now, I am a big advocate of change that makes your lives happier and more fulfilling. It’s just that most people go about it bass-ackwards.
This Is Shit: If unhappy, yet creative lawyers haven’t crashed and burned on the shoals of This Is Tricky, this is usually where we founder. Comparing our fledgling efforts to the final product of masters runs rampant. All the warts of reality scream at us, and we are keenly aware of how much distance there is between our original vision and where we are. Oh, how agonizing that distance is! And we have little, if any, idea of how to fix it. Our usual bag of tricks, whether paltry or plentiful, has failed us.
I remain amazed at how well the Uh-Oh Bingo technique works to defuse anxiety, so I thought it was high time to share it. The holidays are filled with potential (likely?) landmines of unmet expectations, both yours and those foisted on you. Rather than get all worked up about Aunt Gertrude’s insensitive comments about your weight, your lack of children, your lackluster career or your lack of $1M in the bank, put her likely carping on the card. Then sit back and laugh.
The head of the neuroscience lab at NYU, Dr. Elizabeth Phelps, has pointed out, “If you are pessimistic, you are unlikely to even try” to do things that will help you improve or guard your health. Wow. This may, just possibly, sound like a familiar dynamic to lawyers.
The good news is, pessimism is not completely hard-wired. It is, to a significant extent, learned behavior. That means, naturally, that it can be unlearned, and replaced with more useful ways of viewing problems.