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Purpose of The POSITIVE Lawyer®
We know from extensive research that lawyers tend to have higher levels of pessimism, introversion, depression, suicide and drug and alcohol abuse than many other professions.
There is so much research that indicates that IT IS POSSIBLE to become more positive. A positive mindset is linked to increased success and more happiness. Everyone wants that right?
Not everyone has the resources and support to get there. And that’s why The POSITIVE Lawyer® program, training and resources have been brought together.
Committing to a Positive Mindset
It’s easy to say that you will try to be more positive, although many people don’t really understand what that means, and the word ‘try’ is the critical failure point in that commitment.
In the words of Yoda…”No! Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.”
Some people are naturally more optimistic and more positive than others, it has to do with our brain chemistry. That’s NOT a reason to STOP! There is so much research in the field of Positive Psychology that points to the benefits of positive thought.
Everyone benefits from consciously putting effort into thinking and behaving in a more positive way.
And when combined with a Growth Mindset…we can all learn and master better ways of thinking, living and being!
Nurture versus Nature
My primary role model growing up is an incredibly negative person – always assuming the worst; unable to let go of the past; expecting bad outcomes; assuming they didn’t deserve good things; critical of anything unless it was perfect; unable to provide praise; self-absorbed; closed off from their emotions; and unloving.
Those close to me often ask how I could turn out so different. Well, something changed for me when I was about 11 years old. I had a panic attack, and it was so unpleasant that I made a decision to never feel that way again. The sensation of being so out of control, unable to control my emotions, and being disassociated from my body was not okay. It has happened only one time since then, when I was working for an incredibly unreasonable boss and also facing challenging family circumstances. Both times I made a plan to change my circumstances, reduce the impact of negative influences, and regain control of my life!
Principles for a Positive Life! Self-regulation is the key…
I’ve reflected and read extensively on concepts related to positivity and make it a daily habit to consciously consider how I can inject more positivity into my life. For me, this is the foundation for living a happy and fulfilled life.
As I was about to write about ‘the rules that I live by’, I realised that I find the concept of ‘rules’ to be inherently limiting and in some way negative. So, here are my ‘Principles for a Positive Life’…
- Look for purpose and fulfillment – having a specific purpose for your life provides direction and meaning. It contributes to your sense of satisfaction and happiness. Contributing positively to the world provides great joy and supports you through challenging times! Those without purpose or direction are significantly more depressed and more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol. The purpose of my life is to share knowledge and create change and my core value is ‘abundance’. I select my work to make a positive contribution that aligns to my values. I do this by supporting lawyers to transform their working lives through personal productivity, legal project management and legal process improvement…AND NOW through THE POSITIVE LAWYER program.
Direction and meaning contributes to your sense of satisfaction and happiness and helps you live longer!
- Develop a positive mindset and environment – concentrate your mind on good and constructive aspects of life and eliminate negative or destructive attitudes and emotions. Surround yourself with positive people and master your thoughts to replace negative thoughts and limiting beliefs with positive thoughts and empowering beliefs. Self-talk is also critical, so in only 21 days you can rewire your brain to scan the world for the positive…and in 42 days you reap the benefits. This requires awareness and discipline on a daily basis. It is FUN and will set you FREE!
Be kind to yourself and turn that inner critic into your inner coach!
- Sleep well, eat well, move well, breathe well – if you are neglecting your health, diet and fitness then you will lower your productivity and happiness. I put effort into supporting my body to be healthy and to ensure my mind is operating at maximum effectiveness. Our bodies are the vehicles through which we live our lives so let’s keep them in good shape. Our cognitive function and mindsets are linked to the well-being of our bodies. It is possible to build your very own ‘Virtuous Cycle of Optimal Performance’. Mine includes the following elements – quality sleep; good nutrition; exercise; positive mindset; purpose & meaning; work-life balance; knowledge & learning; disciplined processes; creativity; and connection.
- Cultivate an attitude of gratitude – gratitude is simply defined as a state of being grateful. It involves expressing thanks or appreciation for something – it could be a sunrise, a hug, a healthy meal or even life itself. Gratitude has been shown to contribute to an overall sense of well-being and can even boost your immune system. Developing and maintaining a gratitude practice is a great way to boost your positivity. This could be a daily gratitude journal answering the questions – What am I grateful for today? What am I looking forward to tomorrow? Or perhaps expressing gratitude along the way when someone does something nice for you and paying attention to the little things in life. Or my practice of texting my best friend the 5 things that I am most grateful for today. Note to self – be more regular about this habit!
Developing and maintaining a gratitude practice is a great way to boost your positivity
- Concentrate and remain mindful – mindfulness is all about being completely in the present moment. I love the concept of being ‘ indistractable’. It doesn’t happen all that often, so when I get distracted, I have a quick break and then come back to the task. Living in the present and practicing mindfulness improves self-regulation and increases positive emotions; it increases your appreciation of your surroundings and of others; you become more engaged and more connected.
Learn from the past, plan for the future and live in the present!
- Manage emotions and develop your emotional intelligence – being smart and having a high IQ are not enough to ensure success. Emotional intelligence is often more important when it comes to being happy and successful. Being self-aware, having empathy and being able to manage our emotional responses increases our positivity. People with higher EQ also have better relationships. We can all become better at working with emotions by enhancing our awareness and developing an Emotion Self-Management Process. Here is mine – identify the emotion; acknowledge the emotion; determine the underlying cause; consider the feedback; select a positive response.
Emotional intelligence is often more important when it comes to being happy and successful.
- Be disciplined about your habits – it is critical to ensure that your daily habits are all aligned to the creation of the life you deserve and to achieving your ultimate purpose. And to having a fun, healthy and happy life! It is too easy to be lax and fall into poor habits. Habits are the foundation for how we live every moment of every day. It’s easy to review your habits to remove the bad ones, and more challenging to select and commit to new, better ones. Tiny changes to your habits will make a BIG impact – if you get 1% better each day then you will be 37 times better at the end of a year. That’s simple compound interest!
Tiny changes to your habits will make a BIG impact – if you get 1% better each day then you will be 37 times better at the end of a year.
- Develop connections and relationships – one of our most important gifts is our capacity to create and share meaningful relationships and connections. Relationships matter – evidence shows that good relationships are important to our mental well-being and happiness. Depression soars for people who are lonely, isolated or have very poor relationships. It is critical to surround yourself with positive people and to be selective about your connections. Creating bonds with colleagues, family and friends increases our feelings of happiness, belonging, self-worth and security.
Depression soars for people who are lonely, isolated or have very poor relationships.
- There is no failure, only learning – I realised this very early in my life and it is absolutely core to how I approach every aspect of my life. It is one of the core character strengths of someone with a growth mindset. It also relates closely to being a lifelong learner and being brave. All experiences in our lives can be seen as opportunities for growth, even the negative ones. This ability makes us more resilient and more likely to be happy and successful.
All experiences in our lives can be seen as opportunities for growth, even the negative ones.
- Have conversations not arguments – I adopted this as one of my principles many years ago when I read my favourite books – How to Have a Beautiful Mind by Edward De Bono. It’s all about improving relationships and communication by remaining open and curious; by discussing opinions and concepts calmly and with consideration even when we find the situation challenging or the person difficult.
“A good listener is very nearly as attractive as a good talker. You cannot have a beautiful mind if you do not know how to listen.” Edward De Bono, How to Have a Beautiful Mind
- Be curious, not judgmental – this is a quote from Walt Whitman (a poet, essayist and journalist in the mid 1800’s) and it instantly struck me both intellectually and emotionally. It’s all about suspending judgement and approaching life with curiosity. You can apply it to every situation and every person you encounter. It becomes a superpower when you apply it to challenging situations and difficult people. This simple state of mind increases our empathy and allows us to find more meaning. Ask questions like – “What’s going on for them?”, “Why has this happened?”, “What can we do differently next time?”.
Suspend judgement and approach life with curiosity
- Be a lifelong learner – I have always loved learning, it stems from my disadvantaged childhood when I realised that education was my ticket out. Every few years I select a new skill or new knowledge that I would find fun to learn and master. Four years ago, it was snowboarding and I’m getting better and better. Last year it was my international wine certification and I sailed through that so easily that I’m motivated to progress to higher levels of certification. Learning can be fun and helps to fight boredom, it keeps your brain healthy and your mind sharp. It is enhanced by having a growth mindset, so you don’t become disheartened when you find something more difficult than expected.
Be brave enough to seize opportunities and live a BIG life!
- Be brave – my close friends have recently started telling me that I’m brave. I had never really thought about it before. I have reflected and realised that I have taken opportunities and made decisions that many people would consider courageous. Being brave or courageous doesn’t mean that you have no fear, it means that you are willing to feel the fear and do it anyway, by managing your emotional response to fear. During my life I have been brave enough to leave home at 17 to go to university; live and study overseas twice; seek career progression; change career direction; become an academic; speak at international conferences; take a stand against workplace bullying; and dust myself off and consider new relationships after divorce and suicide.
Showing kindness makes you feel good and boosts your mood – it has a multiplier effect.
- Be kind – kindness is defined as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. It becomes more powerful when combined with its synonym of empathy – the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. Performing an act of kindness for 10 days significantly boosts happiness so imagine if you did it every day for the rest of your life – you’d be pretty happy! Showing kindness makes you feel good and boosts your mood, it also has a multiplier effect and creates a positive feedback loop – when you are kind, you feel happy and that makes you more likely to be kind again and more frequently.
LOVE is an infinite force. The more you give out the more you receive.
- Have a beautiful life – this is inspired by a quote from Audrey Hepburn “Do something exquisite every day”. I love the word exquisite! It simply means extremely beautiful. This is a very personal and intimate concept, as everyone defines a beautiful life in different ways. For me it’s about bringing all of my “Principles for a Positive Life” together and embedding them into my mindset and my life every day. To me it means – saying thank you; doing something kind; being my best; making a positive contribution; helping someone; sharing my knowledge; and living a life filled with love! LOVE is an infinite force. The more you give out the more you receive.
About the author…
Hi, I’m Therese Linton, a global leader in legal project management and legal process improvement, and over the last decade I’ve worked with thousands of lawyers to introduce innovative ways of working that delights clients, reduces stress, improves work-life balance and leads to better legal outcomes.
I’ve been encouraged by my best friend, business partner and many clients to expand the positive impact of these ways of working with the NEW Positive Lawyer coaching program.
I’ve been growing and learning throughout this journey myself. I have firsthand experience with learning new skills, along with the ups and downs that are inevitable when striving for mastery.
So, are you ready to make a conscious choice to think, live and work more positively? This has never been more critical for lawyers and the perfect time to get started is NOW!
Announcing an amazing new program – THE POSITIVE LAWYER®
The Positive Lawyer provides the new ‘non-negotiable’ approaches to legal work, and a well-researched collection of tools and techniques to support positive mindsets, improve resilience and uplift legal working environments.
It’s the solution for lawyers who want to stress less and live more! Participants will be supported with a ground-breaking coaching program, tailored to address the complex challenges faced by lawyers today. Over 12 weeks you will participate in 6 face to face sessions, or workshops, and have fortnightly contact to complete guided activities to support your breakthrough and transformation.
If you’re committed to releasing yourself from limiting beliefs; learning new skills that are critical to your success; developing and implementing realistic action plans; reigniting your enthusiasm for your career…then register you interest at https://products.basaltgroup.global/registerpl.
You will be the first to know when the program is available and we’ll keep you motivated and updated along the way.
My aim is to inspire you to achieve great things and I look forward to joining you on your journey! Cheers….T