what being a lawyer never taught me

Padstow

padstow, february 2012 from my flickr page

#1 – patience

#2 – trust

#3 – openness

#4 – self-awareness

#5 – emotional intelligence

#6 – to let go of my emotions

#7 – to truly care for people

#8 – to live for now

#9 – the value of service

#10 – balance

#11 – love

#12 – simplicity

#13 – mindfulness

#14 – how to cope with stress

#15 – to say No

#16 – to be myself

#17 – to find time for life

#18 – to sit still

#19 – that i wasn’t a lawyer

#20 – time is not money.

of course, there are many things it did teach me – which i am grateful for – but, overall, it is no surprise that so few people are able to break free of practice: they are ill-prepared for life … outside of law.

for the record, i don’t believe that people would so easily sign up for a life-time of billing (and not much else counts) when set against the lifelessness that that brings.

does the most of anything mean anything to you, or are you comfortable with the constant of showing up, doing your time, staying as you are and keeping your fingers crossed that the sands of change are kept in abeyance?

a growth mentality?

my journey out of law was fortuitous. i was able to break into business development, and social media. if i hadn’t had an escape route, then heaven knows what i would have done.

i now realise that my knowledge base, for all my curiosity in and around the practice of law, gave me no sense of the wider world of business, the necessary emotional anchors and how to live a life of purpose.

knowledge comes in many ways.

so, i have read a few non-legal books since i left practice in 2010, but all that has done is to make me feel foolish. i can’t believe that there existed all that wisdom and i was blissfully ignorant.

knowledge management?

but all focused in one direction: developing better technicians.

developing you as a person?

but perhaps the greatest sin, is that being in law leaves so little time to think.

how ironic.

you are paid (handsomely) to think for others, and in doing so, apart from the occasional bout of introspection (weekends, holiday and illness), you make no time to think about yourself.

what is important in your life?

“Not hurrying, the purposeless life misses nothing, for it is only when there is no goal and no rush that the human senses are fully open to receive the world.”

Alan Watts, The Way of Zen

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