Sunday, 14 June 2020

Empowering a Person While Empowering Yourself

How can you avoid that? Eat healthy snacks. At the end of each trial, we lawyers shake hands. After years of conflict, arguments, and objections, our case is in the jury's hands. We've given our best in advocating for our clients, and there's nothing left to fight. Win or lose, we can leave one another with dignity and respect. I always shake an opponent's hand when the jury leaves to deliberate. Sometimes my clients don't get it. They want me to reject the opponent, deny his dignity, and treat him like an enemy at all times. I understand. Oftentimes, showing the opponent respect isn't easy. I've had cases where I didn't like the other attorney. I am grateful that my daughter Allison survived; Her father, Larry, raced to the hospital when I was in labor to deliver nine weeks early at three pounds, one ounce. She is my miracle baby who was meant to be here. The Grateful Soul: The Art And Practice Of Gratitude miracle means something that you wouldn't think would happen or seems impossible to happen does and surprises you. I am grateful this morning as I look out the window of Allison's home in White Rock beside the sea. We are here together, and I wish all my children could be in one place so I could share time with them all. They say that sometimes the shortest distance between people is a smile. Carl is my neighbor, who is generous to help me run errands with his car, as I am not able to drive.

His east coast Nova Scotia accent reminds me of my travels there. sense when I was there. Remember that you're looking for an easy win here, your equivalent of dunking on a seven-foot goal. The other condition is that you genuinely make this a routine. The difference between doing something to protect your peace occasionally and doing it every day is huge. This was something I learned during my football days. When I was getting ready for a game or for practice, I always prepared myself the same way--getting dressed the same way, stretching the same way, going through my mental checklist the same way. Some might suggest this was a robotic approach to things, but what I found was that preparing like this subconsciously set me up so I was ready to go. The actions themselves were getting me primed. If you get into the routine of doing whatever you choose to do to protect your peace, and you get an emotional boost from this, that emotional boost will be your signal that you can handle anything that comes at you the rest of the day. There's a cumulative effect to this. Doing it every day makes it much, much stronger than it would be if you only did it some of the time. Not only will you feel better, but you'll also make better decisions--and you'll be able to exercise more willpower in making those decisions. And while we're talking about long-term outcomes . You want to build a bigger company, but when you're mentally tired it's easy to rationalize doing less than your best. Or you want to lose weight, but when you're mentally tired it's easy to rationalize that it makes better sense to start your workout program tomorrow. Or you want to better engage with your employees, but when you're mentally tired it's easy to rationalize that you really need to work on that proposal instead. Mental fatigue makes you take the easy way out--even though the easy way almost always takes you the wrong way. The solution is easy: Create tangible reminders designed to pull you back from the impulse brink. For example, a friend keeps a copy of his bank loan taped to his computer monitor as a constant reminder of an obligation he must meet.

Another keeps a photo of himself when he weighed fifty pounds more on his refrigerator as a constant reminder of the person he never wants to be again. Another fills his desk with family photos, both because he loves looking at them and to remind himself of the people he hopes to provide for. I didn't trust him, I resented her inability to cooperate, I hated his tone. But I have to believe that each of those attorneys was doing the best job possible for her client, and I have to respect the fight itself. For me, the courtroom is all about respect. I respect our system, and our judges. I respect the juries, and they know it. I've had jurors tell me they appreciated how much I respected their time and their attention. Even when I have to cross-examine injured patients with vigor, I respect them. I work hard never to take a witness' dignity even when I take their version of the truth. I have to show respect for the other side, because otherwise I'd lose respect for myself. And if in fighting the war, you lose self-respect--you lose your elegance--have you really won? I am grateful that I was able to have this traveling experience that has become a treasured memory to recall. When I hear Carl's accent, I smile fondly. You never know how life will turn out? I am relaxed as I savor the simple pleasure of a good cup of coffee first thing in the morning. I awakened early today and watched the clouds drift by on the blue horizon. I anticipate the day ahead as I listen to soft music. The music of this song grabs me. It's like being mindful?

This reminds of the elderly people in homes who are sad and lonely, some have Alzheimer's like me, and when they hear a song from their era, they light up and become full of joy again. This makes me smile to see people happy, and I am grateful people are doing this work to spark joy in seniors. I know that when circumstances make it impossible for me to do my routine on any given day, I can absolutely tell the difference. Now, protecting your peace doesn't necessarily mean that you have to shut yourself off from the rest of the world while you're doing this. It also doesn't mean that you have to do it entirely alone. Doing something with a loved one or a partner can be a great way to protect your peace. If you and a friend go for a run together first thing, that can really work. Or maybe there's an exercise class that you love going to before you go to your job. During the school year, I'll drive Tristan to school and we'll talk about his goals for the day and how he's going to achieve them. We both get a huge amount out of that, and it always gets my day off to a great start. The only challenge that comes with protecting your peace with someone else is avoiding things that don't protect your peace. If going for that run with your friend requires you to text her to make sure she's ready and then you decide to spend a little time on Snapchat since you already have your phone out, come up with some other way to make your plans. Think of moments when you are most likely to give in to impulses that take you further away from your long-term goals. Then use tangible reminders of those long-term goals to interrupt the impulse and keep you on track. Every time you have to decide not to do something you would like to do--even though what you would like to do runs counter to your goals--simply rework your environment so you eliminate your ability to be impulsive. Then you don't have to exercise any willpower at all. Take the candy jar off the counter and stash it in a cabinet. Turn off all your social media notifications and check your accounts only every couple of hours. Take a different route to work so you won't be tempted to pop into Starbucks. Or take the opposite approach.

Put your running clothes on the floor by your bed so you'll have to put them away if you decide to skip your morning run. Keep your to-do list on top of your work pile so you'll have to move it--and ignore it--if you are tempted to work on something urgent but not important. Whether you apply these lessons from lawsuits to the courtroom, the bedroom, or the boardroom, I hope you start and end with respect and dignity. When you refuse to respect others, whether you're ending a relationship or leaving a job, you take a piece of their dignity. And if you don't respect yourself, you lose a piece of your dignity. Finding it again takes time and effort that is better spent on other things. I was surprised by how little research there is on dignity and respect, especially since they are important to all of us. In one study of twenty thousand employees worldwide, respondents ranked respect as the most important leadership behavior. Yet they also reported more disrespectful behavior every year. If you win your trial but lose respect, your own or that of your opponents, the long-term result may be a loss. When you respect yourself, others follow. Teach people how to treat you. My late father played piano with a tailgate jazz band in Edmonton, and my mother played as well. Music was naturally a part of our family, and I am so grateful for it as it helped shaped my love for the joy of song. Although I had a love for music, I would much rather enjoy the outdoors when I was a teenager. I had a horse when I was 15, and my motto was: Just grab the mane and jump on! I loved riding free in the pastures that surrounded our neighborhood, which were aplenty back in those days in Edmonton. I smile at these memories and also enjoy my time currently with walks around Mill Lake Park near my home. Watching the wildlife and water of the lake truly brings me happiness in the moment. I smile at other people walking by and rejoice in receiving a smile in return.

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