As you know I am writing a novel (I’m on my 9th version, so if nothing else I’m getting great practice). I am also reading several books about writing at the same time.
One of them is Steven Pressfield’s book: The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles. Here is a good discussion on why you need to read the book: You Need to Read The War of Art.
What interests me most about the book is that much of it applies to lawyers as well as writers. The chapters are quite short and tend to make one main point.
As I flew home from Los Angeles last week, while I was watching my Virginia Tech Hokies beat Miami (I wouldn’t share that I was watching if we had lost), I read a chapter that really resonated with me: The chapter title was Approaching The Mystery.
In the preceding chapters, Pressfield had stressed professionalism because the most important thing about art is the work. As he wrote:
Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.
That’s the message I shared with one of my favorite lawyers last week.
He goes on and I thought I was reading about my own experience.
Because when we sit down day after day and keep grinding. something mysterious begins to happen…
When we sit down each day and do our work, power concentrates around us…
When we sit down and work, we become like a magnetized rod that attracts iron filings. Ideas come. Insights accrete.
I realize now I owe my success to grinding. I worked every day at learning to become a better lawyer and more valuable to my clients. It wasn’t to make more money. It was the pure joy of learning, striving to become a better lawyer and striving to be more valuable to clients.
It was out of that grinding that I became most creative.
A lawyer I recently coached is a grinder. Nothing has come easy for her. She has worked hard to get to where she is in her career. We talked about taking that same effort and applying it to client development.
That discussion is what inspired me to write this post, because I know she is not alone. Many of you have worked hard for everything. I encourage you to believe in yourself and grind your way to become a rainmaker.
P. S. When I think about grinders, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant immediately come to my mind. Did you ever see the Michael Jordan Nike I missed more than 9000 shots in my career commercial?
Kobe was like Michael. If you are interested in what made him that special read: 18 Motivational Kobe Bryant Work Ethic Stories from Other NBA Players & Coaches