I am writing this article from my hotel room overlooking the city of Denver and the beautiful snow-capped mountains of Colorado. This business trip with my husband has reminded me how important it is for legal professionals to frequently step out of our normal every day perspective.
- Get out of town! This was a business trip, and our first flight was canceled due to the blizzard and 14 inches of snow which visited Oklahoma City. Unfortunately, it was not canceled until we had made our way from the country into the city on the snow and ice. We spent the night locally at our daughter Stacey’s home because she lives closer to the airport. It was a wonderful evening with both of our daughters. We spend lots of time with them, but staying in their home gave us a different kind of opportunity to truly appreciate the women they have become. The next morning we caught a 6:00 a.m. flight for Denver.
- Make specific plans and just do it! I think we have great expectations for dream vacations. Sometimes we are guilty of just waiting for those trips — dream vacations or any vacation — to magically happen. Making memories and experiencing times of renewal rarely happen without planning and stepping out to take action.
- Make your personal Bucket List! Life can be much shorter than we plan. Don’t rob yourself of life’s joys by simply saying, “Someday, I’ll…!” Have you made that personal Bucket List? No one knows exactly how many days are left in this life. Imagine the quality of life you might enjoy if you begin doing some of those things on the List now. The new perspective, energy and zeal you gain could totally change the direction of your personal and professional life.
- Capitalize on the ebb and flow changes in normal daily activities! The first day our Denver temperature was in the teens. The clerk at the hotel registration counter excitedly told us we would have a view of the mountains from our room. For nearly 24 hours, the clouds and snow blanketed the city so my field of vision was limited to immediate surroundings only. Today is a totally different story. It’s a beautiful, clear day and the view is breath-taking.
- Frequently change your altitude! We all experience frequent altitude changes in our emotions as we daily embrace the challenges of the legal profession. I’ve learned a valuable lesson this weekend. Physically changing my altitude gives me an opportunity to get a new perspective, new focus and new motivation. I’ve traveled in a car going up, down and around slick snow-packed local roads allowing me to see that other people were experiencing greater challenges than my own. I do not frequently travel by air, but every time I do, I feel the weight of everyday challenges lift from my shoulders as that aircraft climbs upward. Somehow, my true priorities and life balance come back into focus through this experience. When the aircraft descends back to earth, and the wheels touch that runway, I’m ready to embrace life again with new excitement. By the time I experience this process again on the return flight home, all those internal thought patterns and emotions which sometimes prevent me from moving forward have been replaced with new energy and zeal.
- Look for patterns! I experienced this same dynamic on a secondary level during this trip. Our hotel room was on the 22nd floor. Each time I rode the elevator down to street level and then up again to the beautiful view of the mountains, I recognized new things in my surroundings. The first time I looked out that 22nd floor window, I was totally oblivious to the beautiful church and steeple in the distance snuggled at the foot of the mountains. I think I was more shaken though that I did not even see the tall slender clock tower which was located in the forefront of my view. It was even eye-level, but I had totally missed it!
It’s been a wonderful trip, but I am looking forward to returning home to apply these same principles to my daily work as a virtual paralegal and business owner. I’m going to look at the tasks at hand from different perspectives.
Just maybe I have missed something right in front of me at eye-level which is within my easy reach!