Pezzano Mickey & Bornstein May 2018

MAY 2018

(908) 293-7330 |

Perspectives PMB


head and ignoring his child. He may have missed a beautiful interaction with her because he allowed his thoughts to take him away. ‘The Power of Now’ Even after reading the book, I continue to struggle with the goal of living in the present. To be honest — I’m a worrywart. Like everybody else, I sometimes ruminate about past events, and I am constantly planning for future contingencies. While this type of thinking may be an occupational hazard for lawyers, the stress it causes is unhealthy. One trick I’ve learned to reduce worry that’s helped me live in the present is to employ the rule of 10. If whatever is worrying me is likely to resolve in 10 hours, 10 weeks, or 10 years, is it really worth worrying about for even 10 minutes? Probably not, which makes it easier to get out of my head and focus on life now. If we let go of the past and stop worrying about the future, we make room for the present. I try to employ “The Power of Now” in both my personal and professional life. Each case I am working on has my full attention. It’s hard to do, but I deliberately cut out distractions. If I am working on behalf of a particular client, my aim is to focus 100 percent on that client’s problems. Our staff knows not to interrupt me with a phone call from a salesperson or claims adjuster. Unless a judge is on the line, the call can wait. When I return the call, that person will then have my full attention. In the same vein, I have disabled email alerts so that I am not sidetracked every time an email arrives. These time management skills have really helped me become less stressed and more effective as a lawyer. Has “The Power of Now” made me a fully enlightened person? Unfortunately, no; I still have a lot of work to do. I still become stuck in my own thoughts at times, like the father with his daughter. I worry about world events that I have no control over. I procrastinate by thinking too much about the trial brief I have to write instead of just starting to write it. I sometimes miss out on chatting with the nice stranger in line at Starbucks because I’m looking down at my iPhone. But now, I’m more likely to recognize when I’m not being present, and I have developed an ability to pull myself back to reality. That’s the nature of life, isn’t it? It’s the great balancing act. I encourage you to check out “The Power of Now” and try living in the present to find your happiness. –Lisa Pezzano Mickey 1 (908) 293-7330

“It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living.”

–Eckhart Tolle, “The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment”

I’m not a new-age, crunchy-granola type of gal, but some years ago, I read a book that resonated with me. It was Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now.” The concepts in the book have been meaningful to people all over the world. Tolle’s central message is that you should

always strive to live in the present. You should not dwell on the past or live for some theoretical point in the future. Don’t put off happiness until you reach a certain goal, such as “I’ll be happy when I get that promotion” or “when my kids are out of school,” or “I’ll be happy when I retire.” You will find more peace by focusing on the here and now. In “The Power of Now,” Tolle also discusses how your thoughts are not you. Your mind is a tool to be utilized for making your life and the lives of those around you better. But your thoughts should not control you; instead, you should control your thoughts. Of course, we can and should learn from the past. There are moments or seasons in our lives we would handle differently if given a second chance. But Tolle instructs us not to dwell on those perceived mistakes or failures. You must pick yourself up and move on. Similarly, although we cannot go through life without some planning for the future, if all of our attention is focused on tomorrow, we will miss today. Even the most mundane tasks in life, such as doing laundry, can become more joyful if you focus on them rather than allowing your mind to wander. You will also find that you get things done a lot faster! I believe that most people would benefit from being more “present” in their daily activities rather than permitting their thoughts to pull them in all different directions. For example, I recently noticed a father with his daughter while waiting in line at the grocery store. The little girl was trying to speak with him, but it was obvious that he wasn’t listening to her even though he was not busy with any other tasks. He was clearly lost in his own


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