Beginning back in December 2013, I published Rules for Being Human. It was so popular here that it gave me the encouragement to begin publishing chapters of a manual I had written back in 1994 for a course I taught to attorneys for the California State Bar’s Mandatory Continuing Legal Education. The name of the manual was When to Lay the Weapons Down. Throughout January 2014, I published the chapters on Rules 1 through 7. Then I reached Rule 8 and came to a full stop. I liked the Rule, but not what I had written. It seemed inane in light of events ongoing in the world and in my life. Hmmmm.
It’s taken about seven months to see the wisdom of Rule 8 and how I tackled it. While the manual was written for attorneys, if you ignore the stuff about pleadings, there is much in here for those who are not attorneys. The manual and its exercises were intended to shake up the person who chose to follow through on reading it and doing the exercises. Why? What’s the benefit?
We’ve got a malaise going on like a virus. We’ve got 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day since 2011 and for the next 19 years….. This is the group that was the most productive from 1980 until now. We’re living much longer. We’re ramping through changes enough to make you dizzy. If you honestly believe such an extraordinary group of productive people are going to go quietly into that good night, you need another think. Vacations, gardening, etc. are lovely, but like too much dessert, you start looking for “Where’s the beef?”
At 65, it is no wild stretch of the imagination to recognize you might live well into your nineties. That’s another 30 years. A third again of what you’ve lived. You’ve already done 30 years twice. What are you going to do with your next and last 30 years?
And, in truth, it doesn’t matter what age you are. You need purpose. You need to matter. And then you need to pursue your purpose with every ounce of energy, joy and will you possess. Too often, we accomplish some goal and then mourn its achievement because we’ve lost our focus, our passion, our reason to get up every single morning and walk out the front door.
Some of you know what your purpose is. You are the lucky few. When to Lay the Weapons Down was written for those who had lost their true north compass. Attorneys burden by the reality that swamped their dreams of why they became attorneys in the first place.
If you tried the exercises and the ones forthcoming, you are well on your way to understanding and completing Rule 8. You need a map. Rule 8 is your map. Rule 8 is the contract between you and your purpose. Rule 8 is your true north compass.
Note: Rule 8 forthcoming tomorrow. I wanted to make sure you read this first. Grin. Off on the right hand side of this home page, you will see a category labeled AWOL – click on that for all the earlier chapters. It’s a good idea to scroll down to the beginning if you’re just coming in.