Go Your Own Way

When should we stop listening to others and start listening to our inner GPS?

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A British man on a pilgrimage to Rome ended up in the tiny village of ROM after blindly following his GPS The man had made the journey several times before, but this time decided to blindly follow his GPS. After arriving in Rom- about 1000 miles from Rome- he was surprised by the absence of familiar landmarks and walked out to a nearby hill to look around, but unfortunately he forgot to set his parking brake. His car ended up backsliding, knocking down the both the “Rom” sign and the man himself: the man was dazed but not badly hurt.

The whole man knocking down a city sign story had me laughing, but it also had me thinking: is he really so different from any of us who are in the legal profession, either as students or practicing lawyers?

We like when someone or something tells us what to do: it takes the arduous task of decision making out of our hands. I do it all the time. A lot of us do.  Group think and popular mindsets are easy to follow: they’re good because following a crowd (or a GPS) allows us to function more easily in a complicated environment. If everyone is taking a class, we’ll take it. If everyone is prepping for on campus interviewing, we do it. The reasoning seems to be that if everyone is doing it, it must be worth our time and effort.

Often,  this logic makes sense. If you are an individual joining a group, copying the behavior of a group would likely be a sensible move. But it’s not the right move for all of us all of the time. Sometimes, it’s ok to skip the on campus interviewing. Sometimes, it’s ok to follow your own instincts and not the “GPS” of law schools. As Fleetwood Mac says it best: Sometimes, it’s ok to go your own way.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


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