Passion Forward: Throw Out a Line to the Future

Editor's Note: Ms. JD friend and supporter Victoria Pynchon is sharing what being Passion Forward means to her.  You can get in on the action too!  Tell us what Passion Forward means to you by posting to the blog. And, if you haven’t done so already, mark your calendars! Ms. JD’s 2014 Conference, Passion Forward, will be hosted February 21-22, 2014 in Austin, Texas at the University of Texas School of Law!

Achieving our passion is a life-time pursuit that is commenced with the most fear at its inception. More than thirty years ago, I decided to go to law school even though I couldn't imagine I'd ever have the guts to stand up in a court of law and advocate for a client. All I could imagine myself doing was fainting dead away. My boldness felt like foolishness and I was all but certain I'd fail.

What I didn't know, and what took me years to learn, is that every success begins with failure. Every lawyer takes her first deposition, makes her first court appearance or counsels her first Fortune 50 client or desperate criminal defendant alone. We're uncertain, unskilled, and many of us untrained. We stumble, we're humbled and we soldier on.

Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers tells us that it takes 10,000 hours to master any skill from getting the hockey puck past the goalie to conducting a devastating cross-examination. If we're billing 2,000 hours a year, that's five years of practice.

So the best we can do is to throw a line out into the future. Make a commitment to something or someone to use your natural talents and hard-won education for something that moves you, something that makes you proud, something you most certainly are not yet good at.

Just follow the line, step-by-step and day-by-day. If you don't give up, It will eventually take you to your dreams.

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