How giving thanks helps us leave the law

 January 25, 2012

By  Casey Berman

Leave Law Behind is back, after a bit of an extended holiday.  When we last spoke in the Fall, we heard a lot about “giving thanksâ€.  Blogs, books, social networks, the media – there were reminders, advice and lists of how to be more thankful, more appreciated, more self-aware of what we have.  This of course is appropriate for Thanksgiving time.

And this is appropriate throughout the rest of the year.  Throughout the rest of our day-to-day lives.  And it’s essential if you want to leave law behind.

Now, let’s be real – it can be difficult to be thankful and full of appreciation.  Even in our relatively privileged lives, the forces around us are replete with examples of what we don’t have yet, of what we are not yet, of what we have yet to accomplish.  This makes it very easy to focus on the gaps we have:  It’s easy to dwell on the fact that we haven’t yet made equity partner . . . and not beam with pride that we are a long way from that nervous, law school graduate we once were years ago.

And giving thanks is not just a fluffy, good energy mantra that is nice to practice and write about.  It is also an essential tool for leaving law behind.  When we think of what we have, what we have completed already, it makes us feel more confident, more secure, more empowered.  It shows us what we’ve achieved so far, which can be a good indicator of what we can (exponentially) accomplish in the future.  Giving thanks gives us clarity.  It helps us determine the next babystep we want to take, we can take, we should take, that is most appropriate for us, and most in alignment with our unique genius.

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