Come on Lawyer; Be Stupid!

Feb 14, 2024

In a profession revered for its intellect and precision, the notion of being ‘stupid’ might seem, well, stupid. Yet to me it’s clear that stupid is not about lack of intelligence. It’s about bravery. It’s about the willingness to embrace uncertainty, to do what others won’t, and to challenge the status quo. For senior lawyers, caught in the crossfire of professional demands and personal desires, this could be the key to unlocking a more fulfilling path.

The Trap of the Golden Handcuffs

Many senior lawyers find themselves wearing golden handcuffs. The prestige, the paycheck, the position—it’s all there. But so is the gnawing feeling of being stuck, the imbalance between work and life, and the pressure from clients, partners, and even loved ones. You’ve climbed the ladder, but is this the wall you wanted your ladder against?

The Courage to Be Stupid

Being stupid means daring to ask yourself tough questions. Is this where I want to be? Does my work give me purpose beyond the courtroom or the boardroom? It’s about considering a pivot—whether it’s a new role, a new field, or even a new balance between work and life—even when everyone else thinks you’ve got it made.

The Stupid Experiment

Start small. Dedicate time to a hobby that’s always intrigued you, something entirely unrelated to law. Join a community class, start a blog, or volunteer in a field that fuels your passion. The point isn’t to find an immediate alternative to your career but to remind yourself of the joy of learning and the thrill of the unknown.

The Network of the Stupid

Reach out to others who’ve made unconventional choices. Networking doesn’t have to be within the legal field. Expand your circles. The insights from individuals in different professions who’ve embraced their stupid can be surprisingly relevant and inspiring.

The Reward of Risk

The fear of failure is potent, especially in a profession that prides itself on precision and success. But remember, every significant legal victory was once a case that seemed unwinnable. The stupid path is fraught with potential failures, but it is also the only path to genuine, personal victories.

Embracing Your Stupid

As senior lawyers, you’ve mastered the art of risk assessment in your profession. Now, it’s time to apply that skill to your life. Assess the risk, yes, but also weigh the potential gain—a life where work and personal satisfaction are not at odds but in harmony.

Final Thoughts

Being stupid is not about abandoning wisdom. It’s about expanding our definition of what is wise. It’s about recognizing that the path less traveled by senior lawyers can lead to destinations of profound personal and professional fulfillment. So, I challenge you: What’s your stupid move going to be?

As your coach, I’m here to support you through the stupid, the uncertain, and the extraordinary. Together, let’s redefine what success looks like for you.

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