Law School
Personal Finance

A Whole New Mind:Meaning

Today we’ll be looking at A Whole New Mind’s last R-directed sense, meaning.

Meaning is to have a purpose beyond life’s trivialities. It’s what motivates people to do great things. Meaning brings peace in a chaotic world. Individuals who are happy have a sense of meaning in their lives. They look beyond themselves and desire to contribute to their family or society.

How does meaning apply to law? Depression is rampant in the field of law. Most attorneys who suffer depression describe the lack of meaning they have in their careers. Many went into law for the money, but they soon find out the hard truth that money doesn’t buy happiness. In order to avoid this pitfall, take a step back and really analyze why you’re doing law. If it’s just for the money, then you’re in it for the wrong reasons. Get out now.

Why am I choosing a career in law? I like the challenge of it. It fills my need to be both abstract and practical. I like the opportunity to help people solve their problems. It’s a career that I know I can support my family with.

How can we develop our sense of meaning? Let’s see what A Whole New Mind suggests.

  1. Say thanks. Be grateful for what you have. Being satisfied with life is not getting what you want, it’s being happy with the things you have. Give gratitude to your loved ones, co-workers, and whichever Higher Power you believe.
  2. Books to read
    1. Man’s Search For Meaning.This is one of my all time favorite books. Dr. Frankle was a holocaust survivor. While he was in a concentration camp, he developed a new form of mental and emotional therapy called logotherapy. Instead of blaming your dad or a rotten childhood for you problems, logotherapy begins with the presumption that the individual is responsible for they way they feel. In order to find happiness, one must look beyond themselves.
    2. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. I haven’t read this book before, but the idea of it is how individuals can attain the state of “flow” in their lives. The book describes flow as an experience that is at once demanding and rewarding. Knowing how to get into this state can come in handy during final exams.
    3. Mindfulness. This is another book I haven’t read, but it looks good. I’ve read about mindfulness on 43 Folders, so the idea isn’t new to me. Mindfulness basically means paying attention to everything you do- from the way you lift weights to the way you fill up the car with gas. It’s being in the here and now. By practicing mindfulness, one opens the door to new insights and intuitions
  3. Visit a labyrinth. Labyrinths are maze like designs that are etched into a ground so that people can walk to the center and back again. It allows people to meditate and focus themselves in the process. Visit the Labyrinth Society to find a labyrinth near you. If you don’t have a labyrinth near you or you would like to “center” yourself anytime of the day by using a labyrinth, download my hipster PDA finger labyrinth and add it to your stack of cards. Whenever you’re feeling stressed, just take out the labyrinth, and run you finger slowly along the maze. You’d be surprised how calming this is.