Lawyer thinking vs intuition
I was a lawyer for 20 years. Lawyers are trained to think logically and analytically – This is how it goes:
I have a problem. How do I, as a lawyer, solve that problem?
- By establishing facts.
- By then analysing and categorising the problem.
- By then checking the letter of the law.
- By then applying the law according to the cases that have gone before it to get the answer.
This works really well for solving legal problems. But what about when you get questions like:
How do I best serve my clients?
What is the best direction for my career/with my business?
What do I do to ease the huge time pressure and stress that I am under?
For these questions, my lawyer problem-solving strategy was simply not much help.
Solving these kinds of problems and answering these questions solely by establishing facts, analysis, logical categorisation, setting targets and creating linear plans sucked the life out of me.
I ended up stressed, depressed and ill – but with a huge desire and drive to find another way.
Meditation - First, I found meditation and experienced how this instantly caused the stress and tension to evaporate, leaving a clearer mind and a better feeling in its place.
Presence - Then I discovered the concept of “presence” – from the teachings of Eckhart Tolle* that we all have a natural tendency to be incessantly thinking about what has happened in the past or what is going to happen in the future. This is at the expense of noticing what is actually going on now. When we live in an awareness of what is going on right here and right now, everything changes - for the better.
This was simply the most powerful and life changing single realisation/understanding of my life. This is because it created a new awareness in me. This awareness is an awareness of physical sensation and emotional awareness, unlike the strictly “brain centred” approach of legal problem solving.
Connection with intuition - It created a connection between me and my inner self – and here I have found that there is a deep well of wisdom and knowing. This is intuition.
When you have spent a lifetime believing that the only way to make good decisions and to decide how best to do things is using logical, analysis and known facts, it turns out that it takes a lot to learn to trust your intuition fully, especially when logic disagrees.
However, as time has gone on, I have learnt to trust my intuition more and more. And each time I do, it results in things turning out far better than my imagination was capable of envisioning. While my brain/logic/known fact based decisions and plans usually end up in hard slog, stress and dead ends.
Now, from my own experiences and from working with my clients, I can see more clearly than ever that in this world of exponential change which requires new solutions to be found for new problems, we can only thrive and succeed as human beings if we access and act from the promptings of our deepest inner wisdom.
*See Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now.
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About Liz Gilmour
Liz Gilmour is a transformational life coach with a mission to help lawyers and other professionals find extraordinary happiness success and fulfillment in their lives and careers
Liz was a practising lawyer for 20 years and now runs her own coaching business .