60 Lawyer Quotes About Rights and Justice For All (2021)


These incredible lawyer quotes about justice will remind you that crime doesn’t pay.

Being a lawyer and working within the criminal justice system can be a difficult job. These inspirational quotes about practicing law will highlight the dedication it takes to fight crime. Whether you’re just starting law school or you run your own legal firm, you’ll be delighted by these motivational words.

Do you have a passion for law and justice?

Lawyers are educated, hard-working, righteous individuals with a passion for the judiciary system. Practicing law can often be a thankless, underappreciated job, but someone has to do it. These wonderful quotes will make you appreciate lawyers and see them in a new light.

The lawyer quotes listed below will make you think, laugh, and dream. Read these words of wisdom to shift your perspective on the legal system. Once you understand the complex nuances of practicing law, you’ll gain a new respect for your lawyer. If you or someone you know is interested in crime and justice, you’ll understand the passion and struggle these law quotes highlight. 

Also check out these insightful immigration quotes discussing the social issue.

Lawyer quotes about crime and justice

1. “The good lawyer is not the man who has an eye to every side and angle of contingency, and qualifies all his qualifications, but who throws himself on your part so heartily, that he can get you out of a scrape.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

2. “To me, a lawyer is basically the person that knows the rules of the country. We’re all throwing the dice, playing the game, moving our pieces around the board, but if there is a problem the lawyer is the only person who has read the inside of the top of the box.” – Jerry Seinfeld

3. “You cannot live without the lawyers, and certainly you cannot die without them.” – Joseph H. Choate

4. “Law students are trained in the case method, and to the lawyer everything in life looks like a case.” – Edward Packard, Jr.

5. “A lawyer is a person who writes a 10,000-word document and calls it a “brief.” – Franz Kafka

6. “I busted a mirror and got seven years bad luck, but my lawyer thinks he can get me five.” – Stephen Wright

7. “A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer.” – Robert Frost

8. “A Lawyer will do anything to win a case, sometimes he will even tell the truth.” – Patrick Murray

9. “Make crime pay. Become a lawyer.” – Will Rogers

10. “Whether you want to go into music, whether you want to be a lawyer, whether you want to be President of the United States, the bottom line for all of you is that you have got to get your education.” – Michelle Obama

Lawyer quotes about practicing law

11. “Lawyers are the only persons in whom ignorance of the law is not punished.” – Jeremy Bentham

12. “If there were no bad people there would be no good lawyers.” – Charles Dickens

13. “It is the lawyers who run our civilization for us — our governments, our business, our private lives. Most legislators are lawyers; they make our laws. Most presidents, governors, commissioners, along with their advisers and brain-trusters are lawyers; they administer our laws. All the judges are lawyers; they interpret and enforce our laws. There is no separation of powers where the lawyers are concerned. There is only a concentration of all government power — in the lawyers.” – Fred Rodell

14. “Don’t misinform your Doctor nor your Lawyer.” – Benjamin Franklin

15. “A lawyer without history or literature is a mechanic, a mere working mason; if he possesses some knowledge of these, he may venture to call himself an architect.” – Sir Walter Scott

16. “The lawyer’s truth is not Truth, but consistency or a consistent expediency.” – Henry David Thoreau

17. “A lawyer without books would be like a workman without tools.” – Thomas Jefferson

18. “How fortunate I was to be alive and a lawyer when, for the first time in United States history, it became possible to urge, successfully, before legislatures and courts, the equal-citizenship stature of women and men as a fundamental constitutional principle.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg

19. “Going to trial with a lawyer who considers your whole life-style a Crime in Progress is not a happy prospect.” – Hunter S. Thompson

20. “Compromise is the best and cheapest lawyer.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Don’t forget to also read these timeless Thurgood Marshall quotes on law, race, and more.

Lawyer quotes to elevate your perspective

21. “As the lawyer, I found most of it was a matter of research, which I was great at — that’s what I did to death — and then basically persuading people that you’re right, and they’re wrong… I found that the easiest of all the professions to impersonate.” – Frank Abagnale

22. “Lawyers are men who will swear black is white — if they are paid for it.” – Edward Counsel

23. “A lawyer’s dream of heaven: every man reclaimed his property at the resurrection, and each tried to recover it from all his forefathers.” – Samuel Butler

24. “He is no lawyer who cannot take two sides.” – Charles Lamb

25. “Running for office is similar to being a trial lawyer in a very long trial. It requires adrenaline and stamina; it requires being in shape mentally and emotionally. It’s a marathon.” – Kamala Harris

26. “Finding a good barber is like finding a good lawyer — you gotta go to the same guy.” – Ronny Chieng

27. “A good lawyer knows how to shut up when he’s won his case.” – Alan Dershowitz

28. “I’m a soulless lawyer. Give me any opinion and I can argue it.” – Megyn Kelly

29. “Credentials are critical if you want to do something professional. If you want to become a doctor or lawyer or teacher or professor, there is a credentialing process. But there are a lot of other things where it’s not clear they’re that important.” – Peter Thiel

30. “The power of the lawyer is in the uncertainty of the law.” – Jeremy Bentham

Lawyer quotes to broaden your thoughts

31. “There is no better way of exercising the imagination than the study of law. No poet ever interpreted nature as freely as a lawyer interprets the truth.” – Jean Giraudoux

32. “Of course, some would say if you have a performing inclination, then you should become a lawyer. That’s a platform we use, or a priest. You know, anywhere you lecture and pontificate to people.” – Rowan Atkinson

33. “I’m trusting in the Lord and a good lawyer.” – Oliver North

34. “A lawyer wants to get his client off the hook. And even if he knows the client is guilty, he is going to find ways and means of getting him off the hook.” – Mahathir Mohamad

35. “If you can manipulate news, a judge can manipulate the law. A smart lawyer can keep a killer out of jail, a smart accountant can keep a thief from paying taxes, a smart reporter could ruin your reputation — unfairly.” – Mario Cuomo

36. “Lawyers are operators of toll bridges which anyone in search of justice must pass.” – Jane Bryant Quinn

37. “After years as a civil rights lawyer, I rarely find myself speechless.” – Michelle Alexander

38. “A lawyer is a gentleman that rescues your estate from your enemies and then keeps it to himself.” – Henry P. Brougham

39. “One of the things I was taught in law school is that I’d never be able to think the same again – that being a lawyer is something that’s part of who I am as an individual now.” – Anita Hill

40. “If lawyers were to undertake no causes till they were sure they were just, a man might be precluded altogether from a trial of his claim, though, were it judicially examined, it might be found a very just claim.” – Samuel Johnson

Insightful lawyer quotes

41. “After 25-plus years as a lawyer, prosecutor, and defense attorney, I have developed a deep appreciation for both the wisdom of the law and the role that jurists play in framing the rights and responsibilities that define our society.” – Eliot Spitzer

42. “How many lawyer jokes are there? One, the rest are true stories.” – Thomas F. Shubnell

43. “I’m a lawyer. I go for due process; I go for fairness and equity – these values mean a lot to me.” – Mohamed ElBaradei

44. “Most people ask questions because they want to know the answer; lawyers are trained never to ask questions unless they already know the answer.” – Lani Guinier

45. “A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns.” – Mario Puzo

46. “Lawyers have a way of seeing that sets them apart from the rest of us. In some way this special vision makes them invaluable, and in other ways, repulsive. Lawyers are much more focused on rational, logical, and objective criteria to the exclusion of the emotional, subjective, and sometimes irrational responses to the world. Moreover, lawyers like to show no emotion, and possess a particular disdain for the emotions that are found in others, which has the quality of making them seem inhuman.” – Thane Rosenbaum

47. “Where there’s a will, there’s a lawyer.” – Robert Elliott Gonzales

48. “Law is an imperfect profession in which success can rarely be achieved without some sacrifice of principle. Thus all practicing lawyers — and most others in the profession — will necessarily be imperfect, especially in the eyes of young idealists. There is no perfect justice, just as there is no absolute in ethics. But there is perfect injustice, and we know it when we see it.” – Alan Dershowitz

49. “Lawyers are like professional wrestlers. They pretend to get mad and fight, but then they socialize after a trial is over.” – Robert Whitlow

50. “In the courtroom, it’s where a lawyer really becomes an actor. There’s a very fine line between delivering a monologue in a play and delivering a monologue to a jury. I’ve always felt that way — I’ve been in a lot of courtrooms. The best lawyers are really theatrical.” – Woody Harrelson

More lawyer quotes

51. “Politicians were mostly people who’d had too little morals and ethics to stay lawyers.” – George R.R. Martin

52. “We are all honorable men here, we do not have to give each other assurances as if we were lawyers.” – Mario Puzo

53. “When cops are on the job they love lawyers like lions love hyenas, only minus the mutual respect.” – Reed Farrel Coleman

54. “Novelists write fiction. Lawyers speak fiction.” – Mike Hockney

55. “The lawyers know a dead man’s thoughts too well.” – Carl Sandburg

56. “When in court, the primary role of lawyers is not to prove or disprove innocence; unbeknown to almost all lawyers and their clients, it is to save the court time.” – Mokokoma Mokhonoana

57. “A very clever lawyer can create a lot of damage, we can only hope that lawyers never figure out how to manipulate physical law.” – R. A. Delmonico

58. “To be an effective criminal defense counsel, an attorney must be prepared to be demanding, outrageous, irreverent, blasphemous, a rogue, a renegade, and a hated, isolated, and lonely person – few love a spokesman for the despised and the damned.” – Clarence Darrow

59. “Some people don’t like lawyers, that is, until they need them.” – Kenneth Eade

60. “Nothing is easy, and, with respect to legal work, that was absolutely true.” – Kenneth Eade

Which of these lawyer quotes motivates you the most?

Being a lawyer is difficult work, and requires years of schooling and studying. If you have a passion for crime, law, and justice, all the effort will be worth it in the end. Read these sayings and proverbs to inspire yourself when you need motivation.

This collection of quotes comes from the minds of legal experts, famous celebrities, and other legendary thinkers. Listen to their advice and life experiences to elevate your perspective. If you have the patience and dedication, you can succeed at being a lawyer. 

The best lawyers have charisma, knowledge, and a strong work ethic. If you or someone you know is a lawyer, inspire them with this collection of encouraging quotes. These words will remind you that practicing law is a noble, important profession. 

What are your favorite lawyer quotes and sayings about crime and justice? Let us know in the comment section below.



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56 Barbara Bush Quotes From the Former First Lady


Barbara Bush, former first lady and wife of George Bush has had some wise things to say throughout her life. These Barbara Bush quotes will show you her strong opinions, values, and life experiences.

Bush often talked about the value of other people, particularly family, but also had a lot to say about life as a whole, and often reflected on her life in government.

What can we learn from this former first lady?

While Barbara Bush talks quite a bit about the value of family and books, the true value lies in her words about life, and how to live it without regrets. These Barbara Bush quotes will open your eyes to this, so that you can start living the fulfilled life you’ve always dreamed of.

Also check out these George HW Bush quotes from the 41st president.

Barbara Bush Quotes About Friends and Family

1. “At the end of your life you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child or a parent.” – Barbara Bush

2. “Your success as a family… our success as a nation… depends not on what happens inside the White House, but on what happens inside your house.” – Barbara Bush

3. “I’m worried about parents who aren’t parenting.” – Barbara Bush

4. “One of the many things we have learned in all our travels is that it’s the people who count… most people everywhere are interesting, and if you can’t find a friend, then maybe there is something wrong with you.” – Barbara Bush

5. “To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there.” – Barbara Bush

6. “Fathers and mothers, if you have children, they must come first. You must read to your children, you must hug your children and you must love your children.” – Barbara Bush

7. “Value your friendships. Value your relationships.” – Barbara Bush

8. “You have to love your children unselfishly. That’s hard. But it’s the only way.” – Barbara Bush

9. “I think togetherness is a very important ingredient to family life.” – Barbara Bush

10. “It was the dumbest thing I had every seen, but it’s a family thing, and I guess it’s clean.” – Barbara Bush

11. “You know sit with your arm around a little kid and read. It not only teaches them to read but it keeps the family strong.” – Barbara Bush

12. “You get nothing done if you don’t listen to each other.” – Barbara Bush

13. “Family and friends and faith are the most important things in your life and you should be building friendships.” – Barbara Bush

Barbara Bush Quotes About Life in Government

14. “War is not nice.” – Barbara Bush

15. “Did you know that if a child never misses a day of school from first grade to twelfth grade, he or she would have spent only 9 percent of his or her life in the classroom? The other 91 percent is spent in the home or out in the community. We cannot expect teachers and the schools to solve all our children’s problems.” – Barbara Bush

16. “Somewhere out in this audience may even be someone who will one day follow my footsteps, and preside over the White House as the president’s spouse. I wish him well!” – Barbara Bush

17. “The personal things should be left out of, in my opinion, out of platforms and conventions.” – Barbara Bush

18. “Nobody likes, you know, the ugly part of politics.” – Barbara Bush

19. “I loved living in the White House, but I don’t miss it at all.” – Barbara Bush

20. “Everything I worry about would be better if more people could read, write, and comprehend.” – Barbara Bush

21. “The state dinner is almost a formula, but you try to make it interesting. You try not to overload it with too many political types. You try to get a cross section.” – Barbara Bush

22. “Suddenly women’s lib had made me feel my life had been wasted.” – Barbara Bush

23. “I’m not a one issue person.” – Barbara Bush

24. “Let’s judge a man on what he’s done.” – Barbara Bush

25. “I feel very strongly that the person who runs for office is the courageous one, and the one who everybody has to know.” – Barbara Bush

26. “You try to do something every single day that will help an American or maybe someone overseas.” – Barbara Bush

27. “I don’t think that’s healthy for the country when anyone thinks their morals are better than anyone else’s.” – Barbara Bush

You might also like our list of the best experience quotes for living a fulfilled life.

Barbara Bush Quotes About the Realities of Life

28. “Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success will be how you treat other people.” – Barbara Bush

29. “As important as your obligations as a doctor, lawyer or business leader will be, you are a human being first.” – Barbara Bush

30. “Believe in something larger than yourself.” – Barbara Bush

31. “Some people give time, some money, some their skills and connections, some literally give their life’s blood. But everyone has something to give.” – Barbara Bush

32. “You don’t just luck into things as much as you’d like to think you do. You build step by step, whether it’s friendships or opportunities.” – Barbara Bush

33. “Get involved in the big ideas of your time.” – Barbara Bush

34. “When you come to a roadblock, take a detour.” – Barbara Bush

35. “Bias has to be taught. If you hear your parents downgrading women or people of different backgrounds, why, you are going to do that.” – Barbara Bush

36. “If human beings are perceived as potentials rather than problems, as possessing strengths instead of weaknesses, as unlimited rather than dull and unresponsive, then they thrive and grow to their capabilities.” – Barbara Bush

37. “The winner of the hoop race will be the first to realize her dream, not society’s dream, her own personal dream.” – Barbara Bush

38. “Life has changed enormously, and I hope—I hope more people read good things.” – Barbara Bush

39. “People who worry about their hair all the time, frankly, are boring.” – Barbara Bush

 40. “My worst expectations never happened.” – Barbara Bush

41. “Never ask anyone over 70 how they feel. They’ll tell you.” – Barbara Bush

42. “You have two choices in life: you can like what you do, or you can dislike it. I have chosen to like it.” – Barbara Bush

Barbara Bush Quotes About Her Own Life

 43. “I want to still be able to garden while I can bend over.” – Barbara Bush

44. “I do have the most marvelous husband, children, and grandchildren.” – Barbara Bush

45. “One thing I can say about George… he may not be able to keep a job, but he’s not boring.” – Barbara Bush

46. “One of the reasons I made the most important decision of my life… to marry George Bush… is because he made me laugh. It’s true, sometimes we’ve laughed through our tears… but that shared laughter has been one of our strongest bonds.” – Barbara Bush

47. “I married the first man I ever kissed. When I tell my children that, they just about throw up.” – Barbara Bush

48. “Once, when George and I were visiting after we were married, Mother asked him not to go to the bathroom at night because he woke her up when he flushed the toilet. George, already inventive at 21 years of age, went out the window!” – Barbara Bush

49. “The pearls are to cover the wrinkles, which they no longer do. You can’t wear pearls all over your face.” – Barbara Bush

50. “Why be afraid of what people will say? Those who care about you will say ‘Good luck!’ and those who care only about themselves will never say anything worth listening to anyway.” – Barbara Bush

You might also like these Abigail Adams quotes about education, peace, and women’s rights.

More Barbara Bush quotes

51. “You may think the president is all-powerful, but he is not. He needs a lot of guidance from the Lord.” – Barbara Bush

52. “Your success as a family our success as a nation, depends not on what happens inside the White House, but on what happens inside your house.” – Barbara Bush

53. “At the end of your life, you will never regret winning one more verdict or earning one more paycheck. You WILL regret time not spent with a spouse, a friend or a loved one.” – Barbara Bush

54. “I may be the only mother in America who knows exactly what their child is up to all the time.” – Barbara Bush

55. “Cherish your human connections – your relationships with friends and family.” – Barbara Bush

56. “I hate the fact that people think ‘compromise’ is a dirty word.” – Barbara Bush

What did you learn from these Barbara Bush quotes?

Former first lady Barbara Bush is a wise person, bringing insight to many aspects of life throughout her own. These Barbara Bush quotes show her life’s philosophies, as they brought her into old age, through raising a family, and through helping to run a country.

So, what is the most valuable takeaway from Bush’s wisdom? The thing she talks about the most are people, and the importance of them in your life. So make sure you appreciate those around you, laugh with them, and love them unconditionally. Doing so will help you to feel like your life is fulfilled, no matter how intense your responsibilities may seem.

What’s your biggest takeaway from these wise Barbara Bush quotes? Do you have any other favorite quotes to add? Let us know in the comment section below.



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Conscious Escapism: The Benefits of a Spiritual Cheat Day


“The road to excess leads to the palace of wisdom… You never know what is enough until you know what is more than enough.” ~William Blake

Many people discover spirituality through suffering. I found the path due to years of depression, anxiety, and psychosis. Part of the awakening process is identifying behaviors, traits, habits, or thoughts that don’t serve you. As your behavior changes, so does your diet. Not just what you eat, but everything you consume, including what you listen to, watch, read, and pay attention to.

Orthorexia is the term given to an unhealthy focus on eating in a healthy way. This sounds like a paradox, as a healthy diet improves overall health. However, there’s a tipping point—eating well can become an obsession. You might develop anxiety around eating junk food, and your desire to eat well influences your social life, or you feel guilty for the times you indulge.

Your spiritual diet isn’t free from its own form of orthorexia. A healthy spiritual diet—such as a practice of meditation, reading spiritual texts, spending time in nature, serving others—boosts your spiritual health. But there is a tipping point.

What if you guilt yourself for wanting to spend an evening watching Netflix? Or eating without being mindful? Or being distracted and unfocused? Or not having the energy to serve? Or not catching yourself before reacting in anger?

What if when you feel anxiety, you don’t want to journal or meditate or unpick and dissect its root cause? What if you don’t want to spend the energy to “raise your vibration” or reframe your thoughts? What if all you want is to eat ice cream or go out with friends or have a glass of wine or watch the Champions League?

The time will come where you no longer crave junk food, for the nourishment of the path itself satiates you more than anything. Until this point, rather than trying too hard to resist, it’s much more beneficial to allow yourself to indulge, and give yourself the occasional treat, without guilt or shame.

Unconscious Escapism vs. Conscious Escapism

In psychology, escapism is defined as a behavior or desire to avoid confronting reality. I place escapism into two categories: unconscious and conscious. This is an important distinction, because most people who practice meditation and mindfulness are, to some degree, aware of when they are engaging in unhelpful behavior.

Unconscious escapism lacks self-awareness. It is a default, auto-pilot reaction to certain uncomfortable feelings. It’s not wrong, or bad, it’s just a way we learn how to cope. But in the context of spiritual growth and healing, unconscious escapism perpetuates suffering. It distracts us from discomfort and ultimately distracts us from ourselves.

However, conscious escapism explores and acknowledges underlying emotions with compassion, before choosing to indulge. Maybe you’re just tired or require a feeling of comfort, or simply want to enjoy a movie. All of these options are okay, and don’t make you any less “spiritual.” Quite the opposite: choosing to do a mindless activity can be a great act of self-compassion.

Conscious Escapism Is the Cheat Meal

Conscious escapism is choosing conventional distractions, knowing the occasional cheat meal doesn’t reflect your overall diet. It’s acknowledging where you’re at and allowing yourself to lean on mechanisms behaviors that provide temporary solace, fully aware this isn’t the ideal solution.

To get physically fit, a manageable and balanced routine and diet are better than an extreme, high-intensity routine and crash diet. Start off with high intensity, you’ll likely burn out and return to old habits. Instead, as you progress and form new habits, you might increase the intensity, or find that eating well becomes easier.

There’s no reason the spiritual path has to be any different. Over the years, I’ve experienced the extremes of depriving myself due to the belief around a spiritual person wouldn’t… (get angry, eat nachos or other unhealthy food, binge watch Netflix when feeling down, argue with their partner, enjoy buying new clothes, curse, procrastinate on tackling their finances…)

It’s only when I allowed conscious escapism that I’ve discovered what really benefits me.

Mostly, I was encouraged to try this route by supportive friends and family who could tell I needed time off. I’ve always pushed myself, I’ve always placed high standards on myself, and these traits of perfectionism were absorbed into my spiritual practice.

Over time my need for conventional escape has reduced. But that doesn’t mean I won’t skip a meditation session or watch a few episodes of Community to lighten my mood if it feels right to do so. Going too far in the other direction creates a feeling of stress or even resentment towards my practice, a result of spiritual orthorexia.

The Spiritual Diet and Discernment

A word of warning: Conscious escapism isn’t an excuse to choose the path of least resistance. The ego can hijack this concept, too, weaving a narrative of deceit that finds excuses and reasons as to why you deserve to not meditate, or why your unique spiritual path is finding enlightenment through Game of Thrones.

Be cautious of this and apply the principle of a standard diet. Understand which foods are good and which aren’t. I know that a healthy diet requires me to eat well most of the time. I know that if I always indulge in high-fat, high-sugar junk food, it’ll lead to reduced health. But I know the occasional treat is fine.

Knowing when to indulge and when to do the work is a matter of trial and error. It takes time, practice, and self-honesty. It requires self-compassion for the moments you over-indulge, knowing sometimes the road to excess leads to the palace of wisdom.

When you find momentum with your practice, you might experience a tendency to go all-in. The joy and inspiration that comes from meditation, or spiritual discussions, or insights, or noticing areas of growth or healing, create a sense of wanting more. You might feel the spiritual path is your life’s calling, and you’ll do all you can to honor it.

This is beautiful, and it’s worth appreciating the innocence of this intrinsic motivation. However, I’m here to tell you—you can take the day off. You can breathe, pause, and take time away from growth or development.

You can, unashamedly, give yourself permission to indulge in conscious escapism.





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The Joy and Power of Realizing I Am More Than My Job


“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” ~Brene Brown

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

“It’s so nice to meet you. What do you do?”

These are the questions we are asked our entire life. When we’re children, everyone always asks about the future. They excitedly ask, “What will you do?” The subtext of this questions is:

“How will you be productive in society? How will you contribute?”

Being asked those questions all the time as children turned us into the adults that ask them. We are in the same cycle and do not seem to know to ask instead, “Who are you?”

For a long time, my focus and self-identity was tied up in what I did. I would tell people, “I am a filmmaker.” When I was young, I knew I wanted to make films. I loved to tell stories. “I want to be a movie director!”

When I grew up and actually got jobs in Hollywood, I realized that most people are not movie directors. Most people are not even filmmakers. They work in film. It takes many people to make one, but only a handful of people get any recognition or able to consider themselves filmmakers.

“What do you do?” people would ask. I would struggle to figure out how to explain that I was a production assistant who worked on films. I was basically a glorified secretary, a personal assistant. But I was not a filmmaker.

I worked on other filmmaker’s films. I personally had not made any art or films for over six years. I was so busy and tired of trying to work in the industry I wanted to work in that I forgot about myself.

When I could no longer define myself as a filmmaker, I became disillusioned. If I wasn’t one, then what was I? People always got excited when I said I worked on movies. Their eyes would light up, and they would pester me with questions about the famous people I knew or inside secrets.

They never wanted to know how much sleep I missed or how many friends and family events I sacrificed for the bragging rights of Hollywood. They didn’t want to know what excited me about life or who I was. They only wanted to know “what I did.”

This discontentment grew. I became angrier and angrier at the film industry as a whole. I felt used. Worthless. The world was nothing but egos and money. I would never be them unless I sold myself and played their game.

I wasn’t willing to play the game, find the back doors, penny pinch, or be downright cruel. I was beginning to see that the industry was soulless. The art and stories were being dictated by companies that wanted to earn as much as possible.

The stories were not chosen for their value and need in the world, but by which would make the most money. They profited on these stories and off the handwork and sacrifices of the below-the-line workers that were seen as disposable.

Celebrities made millions, and I made minimum wage, but I didn’t have the luxury of a free jet ride back home and an apartment for my girlfriend. I was reprimanded for refusing to work on a Saturday after only five hours off.

Slowly, I began to question if this was who I was. If this “works in the film industry” was really. me. And I felt guilty! I felt like I was being ungrateful. I was working on big movies! How could I not be happy? I had “made it.”

I could only go up from here. I could get to be the next Stephen Spielberg, the next Tarantino, the next Lucas? Then I worked for one of these types of famous guys. He was just a human. He wasn’t the god I held him up to be. He was flawed.

Sure, he got the adrenaline rush of making art, but at my expense. I was lucky to have my name in the credits. I wasn’t part of the golden ones, the actors and producers who were the “real” movie.

If I didn’t want to play the “Hollywood” game I could go independent. But I felt guilty that I called myself a filmmaker when I hadn’t made a film in years! I didn’t even have any desire to even come up with one.

I had friends who were making films on the weekends. They dedicated every free second to it. All I did was sleep. Then drag myself for dinner or a date and pretend I had a social life before I had to be back at work. I felt guilty and afraid that if left the industry I would be seen as a failure.

I was afraid that I would be seen as weak or people would think that I couldn’t hack it. The more angst I felt, the more I turned to my unhelpful habit of Googling advice.  There is nothing helpful about hours of reddit and self-help blogs. They are all contradictory.

This Googling, however, led to some articles with actual facts. This is when I started to read about Americans’ tendency to identify with our jobs. Our self-worth and identity are wrapped up in what we do.

We say things like, “I am a lawyer.” “I am a physicist.” “I am a teacher.” We don’t say, “I practice law.” “I study physics. “I teach.” We put the emphasis on the job and not the I.

I started the long, tedious process of separating myself, the me, from the filmmaker and the woman who worked in film. I realized that I was uncomfortable calling myself a filmmaker because I wasn’t one.

I struggled to define my title to other because I didn’t really believe that it was who I was. I am a woman who enjoys movies and stories. More importantly, I am energized by stories.

Filmmaking was just a job. The intense zealotry aspect of the film industry had always sat wrong with me. Now I know why. I am not a job. I am more than the work I do.

Through this process I came to slowly accept that I wasn’t happy with the work I was doing. There was a disconnect between it and the way I saw myself in life. I needed to walk away for a bit and allow myself to heal from the harm I and the toxic industry had infected upon my soul.

It is not just the film industry that is toxic. American work culture is. We have created an environment where work has to be our passion. Confucius said, “Choose a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” I disagree. Work is work.

You might enjoy it, but as long as you are giving your time for money you are participating in a business transaction, and it is work. Just accept it as work and accept that you can be a whole person outside of your job. Your job is only a small sliver of the much larger person.

Our work culture throws around the phrase “We are like a family.” It is encouraged and suggested that your team members and colleagues are family. They aren’t.

You can get along with them, be friends with them, but by labeling them as family there is a pressure to feel loyal and not let them down. Our alliances are manipulated to be given first and foremost to work. Any time spend doing something for yourself or your actual family is seen as selfish.

A year after my last film job I still struggle to see myself outside these identities. I am now enrolled in grad school and I want to label myself as a student. But I am not. I am Dia. I study mythology.

Sometimes I am a storyteller, but that title does not and cannot encompass the whole and vastness that I am as a person.

Identifying ourselves by our work is like trying to fill a mug with the ocean. At some point the ocean will overpower the mug, and we will be left wet and feeling bad about ourselves.

The next time you are at a party, after the pandemic, and you meet someone new, maybe don’t ask, “What do you do?” Instead ask, “Who are you?” Create the space to meet the real, whole person; the person who is vast, deep, and full of wonder for the world.





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12 Habits that Turn Dreams into Reality


“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.”
Napoleon Hill

What makes dreams into reality?

I believe that perhaps the most important – and an often ignored – thing is simply taking action.

I used to be really bad at it when I was younger.

Back then I usually got stuck.

I got stuck in my dreams about what I wanted to do.

I got stuck in analysis paralysis due to my habit of overthinking things. I got stuck in procrastination and in pessimism.

Things have changed a lot since then though. I have added many new habits that help me to take much more action than I used to.

I hope this week’s article will help you to do the same.

1. Get your day off to a great start by doing the most important thing.

I first learned about this about 19 years ago when I used to sell computers.

The boss told us that if we took care of the most important task of the day – often one of the more difficult ones too – right away in the morning the rest of the day would be a lot easier and lighter.

He was right about that.

When that first and most important task is done you don’t have to worry about it. It won’t weigh down on your day. You feel good about yourself.

And you’ll have less inner resistance to taking action for the rest of the day.

2. Just take responsibility for your actions and the process.

I love this quote from the ancient Sanskrit Hindu scripture Bhagavad Gita:

“To action alone hast thou a right and never at all to its fruits; let not the fruits of action be thy motive; neither let there be in thee any attachment to inaction.”

Why?

Because every time I look at it or remind myself of it I feel a sort of freedom and relief.

This quote reminds me to understand that I cannot control the results of my action. I can’t control how someone reacts to what I say or what I do.

It reminds me that it usually works better for me to stay motivated to keep doing what I do if I do something I really like doing.

Basically, I do what I think is right and that is my responsibility. And then the rest (the possible results), well, that is not up to me to decide about or try to control.

I let it go.

Taking action becomes a so much lighter activity when you only have to take responsibility for doing what you think is right.

3. Don’t feel like doing it? Start small.

Getting the most important thing done first thing in your day and setting yourself up for an action-packed day sounds great in theory.

But in reality you will have unmotivated days.

Days when you feel emotionally low or when you are confronted with having to do something you don’t want to do.

That’s life. But no reason to let that sink your day into inaction and feeling sorry for yourself.

I have found that the best thing for these situations is to start very small. To just…

  • Write for 1-2 minutes.
  • Lift free weights for just a few repetitions.
  • Spend 1 minute with getting started on something that scares me.

After that I have the choice to go do something else.

But I seldom do.

I just need an easy way to get started and then, when I am in motion, I usually continue taking action for a while longer.

4. Don’t hurt yourself.

This is a powerful motivator for me to grow and to become a better person.

If I don’t do what I deep down think is the right thing to do then I hurt myself and my self-esteem. What I do – or do not do – during my day sends powerful signals back to me about what kind of person I am.

There is no escaping yourself. And there is always a price to pay when you don’t do what you think is the right thing.

5. A reminder for focus.

If you don’t remind yourself often about what you need to focus on and why you are doing it then it is easy to let days slip away or to spend too much time on less important things.

So create a a simple reminder on a piece of paper. On it you can for example write down:

  • Your top 3 priorities in life right now.
  • Your most important goal or new habit for the next 30 days.
  • A motto or quote you want to stay focused on and live by at this time in your life.

6. Stay accountable to the people in your life.

An accountability buddy can help you to stay on track and to keep taking action towards your goal or dream even when the initial enthusiasm has dissipated.

For example, many of you as readers help me to stay accountable to provide helpful content. I get feedback all the time about if I do things in a helpful or less helpful way. I get a ton of encouragement.

People closer to me in my life help me to stay accountable to for instance not eating too much unhealthy stuff, to working out and to not working too much.

Find someone in real life or online who wants to get in better shape too. Or start a business online. Motivate each other.

Keep each other accountable so you take action and take steps forward each week.

7. Cycle fully focused work and fully relaxing rest.

Get your kitchen timer or access the stop-watch function on your cellphone.

Set the timer for 45 minutes. During those minutes just work on your most important task/small step forward. Nothing else. No distractions.

After those 45 minutes are up, take a relaxing break.

Distract yourself on Facebook if you like. Or step away from your work space and take a short walk, stretch or go for an apple for the next 15 minutes.

By working these fully focused periods of time you’ll:

  • Get more done and do work of higher quality.
  • Be able to concentrate for a longer time in your day and week and get less tired.
  • Train yourself to focus on one thing at time, instead of getting stuck in your mind between work and relaxation and building up friction and stress within.
  • Be able to enjoy your rest periods without a guilty conscience.

45 minutes of work too much?

Try 25 minutes instead.

Procrastinating half-way into your 25 minute period?

Set the timer for 10 or 5 minutes and build up the time that you can fully focus on the work over the next few weeks and months.

8. Focus more on the how to and less on the what-ifs.

If your thoughts starts spinning as you are thinking about taking action then in your mind shout: STOP!

Don’t allow yourself to get stuck in the negative spiral of analysis paralysis.

Sure, it is smart to think before you act in many cases but overthinking things tends to become a way to try to control things you cannot control or to simply stay away from action because you are scared in some way.

After you have said stop to that train of thought open up your mind to what you CAN DO instead of all the things that could go wrong in the worst case scenario.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • What is one small step I can take today to move forward towards my goal or out of this situation?
  • What is one thing I can learn from this situation?

Write down the answers you come up with and take action on them.

9. People don’t care that much about what you do so don’t let that hold you back.

When I was younger I almost always let what people may have thought or said if I did something hold me back and I got stuck in inaction.

It was more of a self-centered than accurate belief.

In reality people have their own things going on in busy lives.

They think about the job, kids, a partner, the cat, a vacation, what to have for dinner and they worry about what you and other people may think about them.

You are probably not the main character in other people’s lives. Even if you are that in your own life.

A realization that can be a bit disappointing but something that can also can set you free from self-imposed bonds.

10. Tap into enthusiasm.

When you dream and when you get started with something new in life then the enthusiasm flows like a fountain.

A few weeks later it may have decreased quite a bit. Don’t let that lead you to quitting if you think this is something you want to continue doing.

Tap into enthusiasm in your surroundings instead.

  • Let the enthusiasm of your accountability buddy flow of over to you and create a flow back to him or her by being enthusiastic about his or her goals and dreams.
  • Listen to podcasts or audiobooks by inspiring people.
  • Read blogs, websites and take courses that help you to get a dose of enthusiasm every week.
  • Let the enthusiasm from friends, children or pets flow over to you.
  • Listen to music and watch movies or Youtube-videos that increase your joy for life.

Bring the enthusiasm of the rest of the world into your life.

11. Add the fun.

Some tasks simply are boring or not much fun at all.

Then try this while you are doing them to add a bit of fun:

  • Add some music that gives you energy and inspires you.
  • Make it into a game where you compete with friend about who can finish something first or do the most amount of something in 10 or 30 minutes.

Change your perspective on what you are doing, lighten things up a bit and it tends to become quite a bit easier to take a lot of action on what you may have procrastinated on for some time.

12. Celebrate what you did today.

Take 2 minutes at the end of your day to think about, appreciate and celebrate what you have taken action on today. No matter how small the action may have been.

It will:

 



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Why Curiosity Is My Love Language and How It Makes Me Feel Seen


“Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable.” ~David W. Augsburger

The five love languages—a framework for how we give and receive affection created by psychologist Gary Chapman in 1992⁠—include quality time, gifts, acts of service, words of affirmation, and physical touch.

As much as I love receiving all five demonstrations of care, I’ve always felt that my truest love language was missing from this list.

My love language is curiosity. I show others I care for them by asking questions, learning their experiences, and being hungry for the essence of them beneath the small talk and the pleasantries. I want to see them for who they are and know what makes them tick. And I, too, want to be loved this way.

Like many recovering people-pleasers, I spent most of my life over-attuned to others’ moods and needs, accustomed to relationships in which I did all of the seeing but rarely felt seen.

While I know that people-pleasing is usually an outdated coping mechanism from childhood, I also know that my ability to get curious about others is my superpower. Regardless of its origin, it is just as much a part of me as my eye color or my heritage.

This desire to deeply understand others is a quality about myself that I love, something that I do just as much in service to myself as in service to others.

For years, my curiosity often led me to play the role of confidante and cheerleader in my relationships. Friends, partners, and acquaintances said I was an “exceptional listener.” And while I appreciated their praise, I often felt that folks cherished my companionship the way they would cherish a finely polished mirror—a smooth surface in which they could admire their own reflection.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve determined that I’m no longer willing to be a part of one-sided relationships in which I know others inside and out, but they regard me as a foreign language. I want a person who can put their ego aside and get curious. I want someone who maps my terrain eagerly, who crests the peaks and sprints into the jagged valleys of my tales, who overturns stones for what lies hidden beneath.

As someone who spent much of her life feeling unseen, I notice when someone really makes an effort to see me.

I notice when people look directly into my eyes and ask, “But really⁠—how are you feeling today?”

I notice when people share a story and then pause to ask, “Have you ever experienced anything like that before?”

I notice when others seem just as comfortable holding space as they do taking up space.

I notice when folks treat conversations like opportunities for co-creation instead of pedestals from which to preach.

I also notice when people ask perfunctory questions and, moments later, check their phones or stare off into space.

I notice when others use my stories as springboards to leap into their own experiences.

I notice when I’m interrupted repeatedly by someone who is so eager to speak that they can’t fathom making room for anyone else.

I notice when people use me as a sounding board or a therapist with no reciprocity in sight.

With time, I have learned to leave these relationships behind. They drain me energetically and, by participating in them, I teach myself that I am not worthy of more.

I distinctly remember a friendship where, after every afternoon spent together, my body craved a two-hour nap. I remember other connections that left me feeling hallowed out and sunken, like a withered plant that hadn’t seen a glimpse of sun in weeks.

Ultimately, it was my responsibility to shift this pattern and make space in my life for healthier connections. I could continue to feel victimized by one-sided relationships, or I could leave them behind and trust that I deserved better⁠—and that better existed.

We co-create these healthier, reciprocal connections by communicating, clearly, what we need in order to feel seen. The love language framework is so valuable because it gives us a simple, casual way to do so. After all, we can’t expect others to read our minds and know automatically what’s best for us.

This is why I’ve learned to say to friends and prospective partners early on, “My love language is curiosity. I feel most loved when others ask questions and want to understand me.” By offering this simple truth, we give others the information they need to love us well. Whether they choose to act on that information is up to them.

If we find ourselves in relationships that are one-sided, we need to be willing to let them go, and embrace the initial loneliness that comes from leaving the old while awaiting the new. We need to learn to trust that we are interesting, that our experiences are valuable, and that our words are just as worthy of space as anyone else’s.

With every new relationship that makes space for the essence of us, the more believable these truths become.





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