We’re kicking off our new blog with a five-part series from Ava Chisling, media lawyer and award-winning author, editor and advertising copywriter.
The first two posts appeared on July 18, 2022. With the balance coming over the next two weeks.
Follow along as Ava examines the link between life, work, and happiness for legal professionals.
Are you ready for change?
Billions of people on this planet have had their lives upended, altered and sometimes lost because of the pandemic. How we eat. How we shop. How we socialize. How we work. What we prioritize. Who we are. All changed by a single event. What’s coming next may be worse. Or it may be better. We don’t know. Nobody knows. And this causes a lot of anxiety, especially after years of upheaval. What in the world can we do about the unknown?
A lot, as it turns out.
Think about how much you’ve adapted to these past years. How you first dealt with your new reality versus how you are today. You may be someone who never worked remotely. Or ordered groceries online. Or learned to cook (or at least cook well)! Or taught your kids at home. Plus, much of your adult life may have revolved around heading out – to restaurants and bars, client lunches, after-hour drinks, patios and shows. And travel! And yet without each and every one of them, you adapted.
You took something that was entirely and totally OUT of your control and brought it within your control. You assessed what was around you and made decisions that worked, and still work, best for you. And when that happens, your anxiety drops.
And what was once overwhelming becomes manageable and then preferable – and eventually, normal.
Take charge of whatever change is coming and the result is the same: you feel better, you work better, you become better.
So far, we’ve talked mostly about the pandemic. But the truth is, any major change in recent decades has affected us the same way. How you practiced as a lawyer before computers was entirely different than how you work now. And most definitely, if you’re over 50, how you practiced law before the internet cannot compare to how you function today. Think about how much has changed since you’ve started law and much you’ve adapted – if you were open to it, of course.
There was and still is a lot to adapt to: digital contracts, virtual hearings, enhanced online research, client portals, artificial intelligence… not to mention Zoom, Meet, Facetime and texting, and the other communication tools, all replacing the once important bastion of client interface and internal meetings: the boardroom. With its speakerphone.
Some changes come your way whether you like it or not. And others you may need or want to make your work and personal lives better, or simply easier. Regardless of what kind of change is in front of you, how you adapt and embrace it has a lot to do with how much of it you can control once it’s here.
Whether we’re talking about a new computer system at work or a smart home system for your home, the more involved you are in the decision process, the implementation process and ultimately how you adapt and use this new “thing,” the happier you will be.
The trick is to understand and accept that this is a fast-changing world for most and that includes you. If change is forced upon you and you are not free to choose how you will adapt to it, then change can be hard. And bad. However, if you can assess what’s in front of you and can choose for yourself how to embrace it, how to use whatever change you find before you in a way that works for you and make your life better, then change is very good.