An Astronaut’s Guide to Living Your Life [or Rezooming a Legal Career] on Earth.

Space StationBy now everyone has had enough of the extreme weather this winter; snow, drought, flooding and fire. If you are like me, spending time locked indoors invites musings about what I am doing now and what I might think about doing in the future. Rezooming. These ideas often take root, turning musings into reality.

If these musings guide you toward taking the rezooming plunge, a new book you may want to read is “An Astronauts Guide to Life on Earth”. Canadian astronaut, Col. Christopher Hadfield, wrote this book and talks about what he did to reach his dream. He describes how thinking differently about how you approach your passion can often spur bigger ideas and successful new opportunities.

I was encouraged to read this book by my oldest son Drew. He is living and working in LA, post-college, trying to decide what it is he should be doing with the rest of his life. He is a filmmaker and has a job; one of the lucky few. He is thinking about striking out on his own and doing what he feels he needs to do while he can. Hadfield’s book centered Drew in his quest to find a purpose driven life. It is now successfully helping me focus as I continue to rezoom my legal career in my own way. It may do the same for those of you contemplating going back to your roots in the law.

Col. Hadfield’s book illustrates an ingenious way to employ a new method of reaching your full potential. His process completely resonated with Drew and I. He said if you want to master anything in life, look to a person who has already achieved what you want to do and emulate her. Not only by working in the same field and being a model employee but by emulating your chosen mentor in every facet of your life. That would include working, sleeping, eating, partying and planning your wardrobe.

If you want to be Steve Jobs, imagine and implement what he would do when given a choice between watching an old movie rerun or designing a gadget? If you admire an Olympic athlete, imagine what they would do when making a choice about food, rest or partying. As Col. Hadfield illustrates in his book, do the thing the person you admire most would do in any situation. He looked to the original astronauts for inspiration. It kept him focused and moving forward. It may well be all the impetus you will need to let go of your fear, the thoughts that keep you tethered to the same old same old, and allow you to reach for something totally out of your comfort zone. Imagine their comfort zone then simply mimicking them.

I love this suggestion. I can easily ‘follow my leader’, even if he doesn’t know I am alive or she has never met me. For me, Erica Fox is someone I could emulate. She does something similar to what I do and she works at Harvard. I have decided to start thinking the way I imagine Erica might think. I am sending my mediation programs out to more schools for consideration and possible acceptance. It certainly cannot hurt my progress.

I think Col. Hadfield’s suggestion creates something special for those of us rezooming our legal career. By suggesting people emulate the person they most admire he helps them remove their own personal barriers to entry to an activity. Simply by asking yourself what they would do right now, rather than worrying what you would do in a situation as you, you can bravely follow the lead of your mentor.

It is not a simple task to rezoom your career. Finding new ways to gain insight into the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of rezooming your legal career can come from strange places and venues. Once we consider what we are doing with our lives now and what we would like to do differently going forward, finding a new method to facilitate that change in conduct is an important first step. Making these changes may include, among other things, following the example of your mentor.

I want to thank my son Drew for telling me about Col. Hadfield’s book and his new approach to achieving your heart’s desire. I am grateful he shared his insight on a book I probably would never have thought to read. Not only am I reading it but maybe some of you will read it now as well. Sometimes listening to our kids can change how we think about things.

Col. Hadfield’s rendition of ‘Space Oddity’ listed below went viral on YouTube. When asked how he came by the idea to sing the song and make the video he said his son told him to do it. His son Evan was also the editor of the Space Oddity video. We can learn so much from our kids if we take the time to listen. I am grateful I listened to Drew Hamilton today. I think all of you will be too.

Please consider reading An Astronauts Guide to Life on Earth* and choosing a mentor you want to emulate. Then start imagining your way into a new legal career. Wishing you continued rezooming success.

All opinions, advice, and experiences of guest bloggers/columnists are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, practices or experiences of Solo Practice University®.

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