34 thing I have learned on 34 years

 

  1. If you are winning, shut up.
  2. You have more leverage than you think.
  3. You never know what someone else has on their plate. Be kind.
  4. You can fire clients. Do it sparingly but when you do it, waive or return any fee and don’t look back. …. I have regretted taking cases but have never regretted rejecting a case.
  5. One of the most important, if not the most important, choice you make in your life is your significant other.
  6. Do the things you think you will do when you retire before you retire.
  7. Have the courage to work on your weaknesses.
  8. When you get a new computer, fix the settings in the beginning. Frustrating and time consuming but eventually you get there.
  9. Be your own friend. Enjoy and relish the time you get to spend alone.
  10. You are an extra in everyone else’s play. People aren’t paying attention to you as much as you think they are.
  11. When you buy a good or service, try and buy it from someone you know and like to keep the money in your circle.
  12. Raising children is 2% social media worthy and 98% hard work.
  13. If a couple is having trouble in their relationship and they buy a bigger house, they are likely to break up shortly after they buy the house.
  14. Train staff, teach them legal ethics, let them know exactly what their job is and your expectations, pay them fairly, bonus generously, be flexible on their hours and personal time, don’t make them punch a clock, give them all the tools they need to be successful, learn their life goals, and help them achieve them, be accessible, never use their mistakes as an excuse to a judge or client and let them do their job.
  15. Get to know your sleep rhythms but also be flexible as they often change.
  16. A good message therapist, nutritionist,and mental health professional are always worth the money and time.
  17. Get to know when your life is going to have a rough patch because of a heavy work period or personal issues, let those it may impact know it’s coming and mentally embrace the suck.
  18. Music is amazing. Learn what you love and enjoy it.
  19. Use losses to motivate and wins to instill confidence.
  20. In writing your brief, know your audience and exactly the relief you seek. Write directly to only that person and ask precisely for what you want and why you should get it.
  21. Your professional law work personality should match your real life personality. Don’t lose your personal identity through your work.
  22. If you have enough money to not work anymore, examine why you still are.
  23. If you want to sleep well, then get rid of bad debt, have staff you trust, exit toxic personal relationships and exercise.
  24. The day before a vacation and the day after a vacation are the hardest at work. Plan accordingly.
  25. Friendships evolve. It’s no one’s fault if you and a friend drift apart. It happens and they are still your friend.
  26. Family law is hard. You see people at the worst moments of their lives and most people end the relationship sad or mad.
  27. Learn what after hours activities drain you and which energize you. Plan accordingly.
  28. There is always someone smarter, faster, richer and better looking. Strive to improve yourself without being envious of others.
  29. Be happy when those around you who do the same type of work you do are successful. High tide raises all boats.
  30. Money is important until you have enough. Then time and health become important.
  31. Weigh yourself everyday. Pick a weight you don’t feel comfortable going over. If you go over that weight, immediately decrease calories and increase exercise until you get back below that weight.
  32. Law school success and lawyer success do not necessarily equate.
  33. Being purposefully overly busy and working yourself to the bone is not a badge of honor. It means you are doing something wrong or avoiding something in your life.
  34. In the end the only real issue is whether you made the most of the journey.
Jim M. Zadeh
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Attorney at Law
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