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Practice Management: Chuck Newton
The Third Wave Helps In The Delicate Balance Between Self And Others
Susan Smalley at HuffPo has recently posted about the delicate balance between self and others. It is really the struggle that all of us lawyers face between independence and dependence in life. The purpose of a home office or a virtual office or a solo practice is to achieve the right balance of independence in your life that might otherwise not exist in the practice of law.
But, whether you work for Big Law or you work in front of a computer out of your home on your own terms, the balance between independence and dependence requires your careful attention. If you over-emphasis yourself and independence this can lead to lead to overindulgence, consumerism, and narcissism.
On the other hand, an over-emphasis on others and dependence can lead you to neglect yourself, to doubt yourself, and a failure by you to attend to your own health and well-being.
Like Goldilocks in the home of the Three Bears, you are looking for something in the middle where your awareness of independence is balanced by your awareness of your dependent nature. In this a family is a key because it teaches you to sacrifice yourself for the good of the family while, at the same time, working to teach your children to be independent.
The problem can be that, outside of a Third Wave practice of law, the balance can be lost as you sacrifice your independence not only for the family, but for the Court, and for the law firm, and for the staff, and for your partners. Heap the family on top of this and it leaves you little time to pursue your own independent nature. The Third Wave is a perfect model for honing your awareness of both dependence and independence in a way in which you can see own orientation toward this balance.
The path toward balance comes through self-awareness. Many families and cultures place a greater emphasis on self and this orientation is balanced by the vast number of people who place others first. However, as we move through the Third Wave portion of the 21st century, perhaps we lawyers can move our evolutionary path forward by recognizing the value of both, and work toward finding a balance within each of us.
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