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Pile on the bandwagon

Some bandwagons demand to be jumped on.

Just about everyone knows by now about the new group blog de novo; I'm just as excited about it as everyone else. To prove it, I'll link to Dahlia Lithwick's piece, and highlight what she says about happiness:

The huge irony is that if I had known back in law school how happy I would be 8 years later, I'd have had the time of my life! I would have loved my classes, taken more interesting ones, never gone to an event I hated, done even more clinical work, learned to salsa dance, and made better friends. It would have been like undergrad, but in better shoes. The reason I got stuck was because I let myself feel stuck, thinking that unless I treated law school the way everyone else treated it -- as a dark tunnel to the world of corporate law -- I was doomed.

Beautifully said. So much of our enjoyment of the present is tied to our thoughts about the future. A pessimistic view of the future makes it easier to be morose now; an optimistic view makes it easier to be carefree and happy.

An analogy that works for me is mountain biking on rough trails. If you stare at the scary and dangerous roots, holes, rocks, and dropoffs ahead of you (pessimism), you're more likely to crash. If you focus only on the smooth line you could conceivably take through the obstacles (optimism), you're more likely to make it through alive. Or at least, free of lacerations and without forest bark ground into your face.

Comments

I like your title. I love piling on the band-wagon. Didn't take up golf 'til Tiger Woods. Didn't think twice about Pepsi 'til they put out Clear Pepsi (wish they still had it). Boycotted Borders just because everyone else was doing it. Wait, no, I didn't. ;-) Good post, Doctor. PS My sis got her residency at Duke.

What I find interesting though, is that Ms. Lithwick's happiness derives from using her law degree to avoid the practice of law. I'll betcha John Grisham is just as happy. As I am, though I'd have been much, much happier if I hadn't wasted 13 years of my life (three law school, ten in practice) in the profession.

Well, a degree usually isn't a death sentence.

Don't worry ... there's still plenty of room on the De Novo bandwagon!