“Because it is the curtain that kept him shrouded in darkness. And it’s the darkness that holds out the light. It is the light, the openness, the clearing of all the obstacles to knowing that had become his true purpose: to be open. To be awake, to be available to what’s really going on, to give up false beliefs.”
Michael E Gerber, The E-Myth Revisited
The message is clear: we have to stop living within our comfort zone (the darkness) and be prepared to tear down the curtain of mediocrity that prevents us from reaching our full potential (finding the light).
For me the light is finding your passion, your calling and the thing that speaks loudest to your heart.
It means you have to strive for a higher purpose, on your terms.
Survival is your watchword. You have spent many years striving to be the best but, chances are, now that you have reached the scary (or exhilerating) heights of career success, you will be asking yourself:
“What is it all about?”
I have worked with many people in the legal profession, and it always surprises me how few people can answer the ‘Why’ question: Why law as opposed to something else? Some will openly say it is for the money, a few might say they love the work but most don’t know.
I am sure the business of law is no different in attracting people who realise, perhaps, that it is not for them but, rarely, do I find so few people who are willing to take a risk on doing something else.
Once a lawyer always a lawyer?
None of us are born to one thing.
I wrote previously about the ‘Pick Me’ culture that exists in professional practice. Hell, I was one of those people: I still remember the exhausting travails of climbing the hill towards partnership, only to be met with a panel of people who insisted that I tell them why I should be picked (I had only been at the firm nearly 10 years!).
If you believe that law, or more accurately, the business of law is your thing, then it should inspire you every day to do your very best work. That may mean that you focus incessantly on your drafting skills, or you look to develop as a manager or you are known for your exceptional, client-centred service.
But whatever you decide on, keep the veil up.
As soon as it drops the reigns of mediocrity will drag you down to a place of conformity, mediocre and average.