Many lawyers have said to me… “I hate practicing law! I’m not sure how I got here? I’m not cut out for this. I’m miserable, stressed and can’t take it anymore.” Maybe they went to law school because it sounded good at the time or maybe a family member pressured them… but no matter what the reason was then, it’s not making them happy now. If this sounds like you… what are you going to do about it?
A friend of mine, Laura Berger and her husband, Glen Tibaldeo wrote a book… Radical Sabbatical, and in their article for Psychology Today they tell their story of “dropping out.”
It started when Glen was told he had a heart condition… but that wasn’t enough to get them moving…
Five years after my cardiologist visit, I had a restless heart of a different kind. Laura and I took a radical sabbatical to live in the remote jungles of Costa Rica’s South Pacific Ballena Coast, where the nearest traffic light was over an hour away by car. Our jobs and daily routine back home had become poisonous, and something almost inexplicable to this day was drawing us there. So we decided to take the leap with no jobs or acquaintances in Costa Rica.
We felt so much guilt for what we were leaving behind to start our lives over. Nothing made sense except our guts—we were on this autopilot mission devoid of all logic—until now, six years later, when we realize how that experience molded us into people who wake up every morning thinking, “How can I explore, discover, and fill my day with excitement?” Now we’ve forged a location-independent lifestyle on our own terms and are inspirational authors and speakers on taking Life Leaps.
Every day, we talk to people in the same “rutty” and guilt-filled situation we were in before leaving for Costa Rica. Like us, they compare themselves to those less fortunate, beating themselves up for the criminality of thanklessness. Make no mistake. Being categorically thankless is indeed criminal and unhealthy, but living a passive life with a savagely restless heart is equally or more damaging. Those of us going to bed every night vowing that things will change only to play the same movie again the next day have an enchanting gift—intuition….
Just like all of us have learned not to put our hands on glowing stoves or drink solutions with a foul smell, we all have gone through a learning process vis-à-vis our life circumstances, teaching us what we should avoid. Many of us mislabel it as ingratitude or blind grumbling because the implications of not following intuition are less evident than the burn of a glowing stove coil.
Maybe Costa Rica isn’t calling you, but could your calling be a solo practice where you can do things YOUR way? Or is it an entrepreneurial calling where you could leverage your legal mind? Whatever it is… listen to what is calling you. And start planning for the day you take the leap… what needs to be in place for that to happen? Is it… money, a book of business, more education or more experience? Move in that direction step by step and as you get closer and closer that voice in your head may just get louder and louder! LISTEN!
Black Pearl: Read Radical Sabbatical – A Hilarious Journey From Stifling Rut to A Life without Boundaries. Sometimes the impossible IS possible… if you have the guts to take the leap. And the rewards may be unimaginable!