MIDLIFE CERTAINTY 3 Life Lessons After 40 Years
fulfilled because I’m focusing on what really matters to me. This isn’t to say I’m always a barrel of sunshine or that I don’t sometimes focus on the right thing, but I try to remember that I have control over what I want to focus on. No. 3: A Beautiful Life Is Made Up of a Million Small Moments In life, it’s easy to get frustrated waiting for big moments and focusing on the brass rings. We can fall into the habit of measuring our life based on the major achievements. But it’s those small moments where true joy resides. Big vacations and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities are wonderful, but they’re rare and fleeting. The real beauty is in the everyday moments we take for granted until they’re gone. Getting to sit at the table in the mornings to have breakfast with my wife and two kids is the most awesome part of my day. If you spend all your life working toward bigger and better goals, you miss out on those little beautiful moments. These are the lessons I’ve learned after years of mistakes and chasing the wrong things. Following these lessons helped me feel certain in myself and confident about my life as I turned 40 years old. They also make me a better lawyer.
I celebrated my 40th birthday at the end of July. As the big day approached, I started to wonder if I was doing something wrong. I hadn’t started freaking out and having a midlife crisis yet! Isn’t that what you do when you turn 40? At this stage of my life, I find myself in a different head space than I would have expected. Rather than feeling panicked by the passing of time, I felt pretty good about it. I attribute this feeling to three important lessons I’ve learned in the last 40 years. No. 1: Focus on Family My family brings me the most riches in my life, the most joy. I talk about my family a lot in the newsletter because they are truly the centerpieces of my life. Focusing on them is what helps me stay grounded when things get chaotic. Being a father and a husband has also helped me with the incredible work we get to do at the firm. It has shown me what it really means to love something. Having a family reminds me to look
After breaking up a toy-snatching fight and banging my knee, Nicole asked me, “Do you feel 40?” I said “No, I don’t! I feel 80!”
at my clients’ suffering as if it were my own. The people who come into the office looking for help have been through so much. Being able to relate to their pain is an important step in being able to really fight for them. No. 2: You Have Control Over What You Focus on in Life There have been times in my life when something bad happens, and suddenly, that’s all I can focus on. Soon enough, everything seems terrible. This happens to everyone, and I’ve learned that while we can’t control what happens to us, we can choose what we focus on. I’m not suggesting we ignore the bad things. Rather, we should try to focus on the good things we can control.
Over time, many lawyers forget how to think like humans and start acting like automatons. They get so swept up in their work that they lose touch with themselves. I think this is a huge disservice to themselves and their clients. Staying connected to humanity and remembering what makes life wonderful helps me understand my clients on a deeper level. In turn, I’m able to tell their stories in a way that resonates with jurors and gets justice for my clients.
These lessons are at the core of who we are as a firm, and they’re the reasons we’re so good at what we do.
When I feel out of control in life, I think about my family. That adjusts my mindset and changes my outlook on life. Every day, I feel happier and more
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