Why resilience as a topic? I have read countless articles on mental well-being and the power and importance of being resilient. Resilience is a very sought after trait in all professions, particularly in the legal profession where we are constantly dealing with important decisions, challenges and obstacles put before us by our clients, our colleagues and our peers, while also managing our personal lives.
And while there are plenty of resources that discuss the topic of resilience, I have not had the fortune of landing on an article that talks about how to build and practice resilience. I am not going to pretend that I can compound the knowledge required to practice resilience in a couple of pages or a blog post. In fact, resilience merits a whole book or even several volumes and such resources can be sought out if desired. However, due to the importance of this skill in our profession, I thought I would give it a go from what I have been learning pre and post COVID-19 lock down.
Resilience is a practice, an exercise in mindfulness. Fortunately, our profession has made progress in appreciating the importance of mental health. The stigma that was once attached to mental health is slowly wearing off from the minds of prospective employers, law firms, and recruiters. Yet, due
to the traditional nature of the practice of law, we often overlook the practice of mindfulness, which is the key ingredient to resilience, the secret sauce so-to-speak. In fact, it is now more important than ever to recognize that mindfulness is a very important tool for our development and success as professionals.
This is why I have decided to write about how to begin developing a resilient mind. I became very interested in this topic because it really touched home both personally and professionally as a young lawyer. While potentially an unconventional topic for a lawyer to write about, it is my hope that this article will assist young lawyers and students build the skills that law firms so eagerly search for in young talent. How do I know it is a highly sought out trait? I have been told by recruiters and firm partners time and time again that, any associate can learn the practice of law, but not every associate can be taught the skills and tools of life that are necessary for a long and prosperous career in law.
My article is particularly directed to young lawyers looking for an opportunity with prospective employers, just as myself, or who are thinking about what actionable and positive steps to take in the present moment. Resilience will help tremendously in developing the necessary strength to push forward. A wise mentor of mine recently told me, that we live in a world where our minds should be directed at completing a marathon and not a sprint. I completely agree and take his advice to heart. I am therefore here to discuss how to develop the skills necessary to develop the stamina required to complete this marathon, based on tools and techniques I have researched, and have been applying and practicing on a daily basis.
To start this article off, I will first demonstrate how common societal misconceptions of success constrain our ability to developing resilience. Secondly, I will discuss what techniques you can use to develop resilience. Thirdly, I will provide suggestions how to apply resilience to (a) navigate these unprecedented times and; (b) remain relevant in a troubled economy. To wrap things up, I will offer some feel good motivation, positivity and hope so that we can go about feeling awesome about our goals, desires and the future ahead.