There is no doubt about it, when we leave the law, we mess something up. A lot of stuff. We miss the boat on some things. We are too early with others. We will never understand how this-and-that works. We’ll feel that we are becoming short on cash. We’ll suffer from self-doubt. People we admire and love may think we’re crazy. We will miss the structure and stature of the firm life.
We won’t be perfect.
But no one is. We weren’t when we began the law, and we definitely are not now, especially when branching out into a world of the unknown . . . and full of potential. And you don’t need to be perfect or wholly ready to leave the law. You just need to be honest (with yourself) and courageous (to take a babystep).
Leaving the law behind is a messy and anxious and unnerving act. It’s also thrilling and relieving and eye-opening. Let’s not let our consistent need for perfection and validation get in the way of creating our path to happiness and self-worth.
It can be very difficult to escape the fact that our society ranks an individual’s success almost exclusively on the basis of fame, fortune or power. The more you have, the more successful you are.
You don’t need to look far to see how this is reinforced time and time again. It could be the recent Super Lawyer rankings. It could be that profile you read of the guy who was #7 at Facebook or #4 at Mint or #12 at Google. It could have been the Vanity Fair New Establishment list. It could be the recent eulogy of the maverick football owner or brilliant tech visionary.
Making money and gaining influence are great things. But as we focus exclusively on fortune, fame and power, something always has to give (and this is usually our time, our health, our relationships, our happiness.)
As we leave the law behind, or leave our current practice of the law behind, we are provided with a great opportunity to find the time and space to land on other lists: Top Parent, Top Spouse, Top Friend, Best at Just Chillin’,