Tom Stilp JD, MBA/MM, LLM, MSC
“THE LIFE OF THE LAW HAS NOT BEEN LOGIC; IT HAS BEEN EXPERIENCE.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Over the years, we have been privileged to work with some really experienced people. We have compiled the following items as tips you might find useful for the new year. We have liberally borrowed from others, but where we recollect, we’ve given credit or some attribution.
Experience is random and inconsistent, as are our tips (and like life, the advice is in no particular order):
- A wise man learns from experience, but the wisest learns from the experience of others.
- Learn from the past, but don’t live there.
- Experience teaches with the test first, then the lesson.
- If you do what you’ve already done, you’ll always be where you’ve already been.
- When your plans get ruined, plan again.
- Professor Paynter said that we can’t let the difficulties of our situation determine the limits of our abilities. (Northwestern Professor of Bands, School of Music, John P. Paynter, wrote a letter of recommendation years ago for my college application.)
- Knowing what you know when you are 25 will look very different than what you know when you are 55.
- To paraphrase Mark Twain, be careful to get out of experience only what you are told and stop there, lest you be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove lid. The cat will never sit down on a hot lid again, but it will never sit down on a cold one either.
- If an idiot would do that thing, do not do that thing – don’t be an idiot. (Dwight Schrute a/k/a Rainn Wilson)
On Getting Things Done:
- There is no reason ever to have the same thought twice unless you like having that thought.
- Don’t procrastinate – the “you a year from now” will be the same you.
- Every day, there are urgent but unimportant things, and important but not urgent things. Find time for the important things.
- Only a few people think strategically. Everyone has “ideas” in the form of goals, mission statements and targets. Ideas are easy; implementing them is not. As corporate guru Michael Porter says, strategy is a race to “the ideal position.” Everyone hopes to do well in the race, but hope is not an effective strategy. (Rob Slee, Midas Managers, p. 34.)
- The product of your success today is the result of your thinking in the past. The product of your success in the future is the result of your thinking today.
- Thinking vs. Doing. The ultimate pleasure of procrastination. The more you think, the better you believe you are doing, but the truth is that nothing has actually changed.
Lawsuits involve real people with real issues to solve using lawyers with experience.
Happy New Year!