accomplishment, achievement, advance, advice, article, attorney, best, better, blog, further, goal setting, goals, improve, improvement, inspiration, jamie collins, motivation, paralegal, skills, special, the paralegal society, tips, top
By: Jamie Collins
Happy High Heel Friday, TPS readers! In honor of today’s extra special holiday, otherwise known as “Friday,” we’re going to talk about a very important topic. We’re going to talk about your “one” thing. I’m guessing you probably have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, right? Let me explain…
About a month or so ago, I found myself sitting in church. It was not my favorite Sunday service by any stretch, but there I sat, in a normal state of “being.” I was in the room, paying attention and listening…or so I thought. It’s funny how sometimes you think you’re fully present and then one simple, singular, beautiful moment transpires and instantaneously transports you from that general state of “being” (you know, like here I sit, I’m in the room, kind of being) into a state of complete fixation, admiration, and total captivation. This was one of those times. On the stage (yes, stage, it’s a big church) there was a lady seated with a large harp.
Now, I’ve certainly heard a harp played in a symphony piece here or there. After all, I did take Music Appreciation in college. My “appreciation” in that class went a little something like this: “Oh crap, it’s Wednesday, I need to be able to recognize these pieces of music in class tonight.” I would enter the batmobile (the little black, hatchback Mitsubishi Eclipse I drove at the time) and would insert that classical CD into my 5 disc player. The ride to school went a little something like this: “Okay…Track 1…Vivaldi, Vivaldi, Vivalid, onto the next track…that one’s Mozart, Mozart, Mozart,” as I tried to cram the composers and songs into my short term memory. (Yes, this worked). My point is, I’m not that into classical music. I can certainly appreciate it, but rarely listen to it. I would’ve probably stated that harpists were overrated, except for perhaps at weddings, before that particular day. Yet, as this lady ever so carefully and deliberately plucked the thin strings on that large, light brown, wooden harp, with passion and intent, I was completely mesmerized. She was good…and I mean really good. Take notice type of good.
I thought I was fully present and listening before she began to play, but once she began to expel that powerful and melodic composition, I felt my soul open up. I was captivated by each beautiful and passionate note that she played. She had me. I was captivated.
It was in that moment that it dawned on me that you can always tell when you are in a room with greatness. We’ll call it the “it” factor. It’s present and everyone knows it. It’s easily recognizable. Greatness makes an appearance and we all take notice. We become transfixed. We can’t help but take notice. It is a moment when we watch someone else’s soul soar. Those kind of moments. Moments of greatness.
I want you to think of a moment when you knew you were in a room with greatness. Really. There has to be at least one or two. Perhaps you’ve seen this level of “greatness” I’m speaking of when an attorney at your firm (perhaps a trial legend) confidently strode to the front and center of the courtroom during a closing argument, in a big case, on behalf of a special and deserving client. He didn’t just give a closing statement, he captivated a room. I’m not talking about a “pat on the back, good job, you covered all the bases” type of closing argument, but the type that causes the hairs down both of your arms to stand on end, you feel your eyes begin to well up with tears, and your soul merging into that moment – that kind of closing argument. A moment of greatness. The kind you never forget.
Maybe you heard someone sing beautifully. And I’m not talking about “she has a great voice, she’s a good singer” type of singing, but Alicia Keys seated at the keyboard or Mary J. Blige backed by a full harmonic choir, throwing it down from the absolute depths of their hearts and souls on a Grammy stage performance, kind of greatness. True greatness – the kind that makes your soul stand up and take notice. That’s exactly what we’re speaking of here…the “it.” The “wow.” A moment where you watch another person’s soul soar and it begins to bring yours along with it.
This concept is not one that is lost on children either. When my son, Gavin, (who was 5 at the time), started his first year of little league baseball, on a team with ages ranging from 4 to 7, people quickly took notice of his batting skills. I don’t mean “He’s 5 years old and he’s pretty good at baseball for his age,” kind of notice. I mean from day one his coaches exclaimed “Wow, he is really something special. He’s really got it.” Followed by “Hey team, watch Gavin bat, and when you’re up to bat, I want you to do everything just like he does, it’s perfect” kind of good. The kind that send balls whizzing by the coach, as he stands nervously at the mound before pitching, worried that he is about to get drilled by that ball that Gavin is so intent on hitting, with a fire in his eyes, even though he’s only 5-years-old, kind of good.
The thing is, each of us has “one” thing. A thing that could (or will) compel you into the realm of true greatness. It’s that “one” thing that makes you stand out from the crowd and allows you to completely captivate the attention of those around you (or at least it could if you did it). Some write, others dance, maybe you speak eloquently, you dominate e-Discovery, you can memorize mountains of information, can decorate birthday cakes like you’re the Ace of Cakes, you’re an elite member of Paralegal Seal Team Six, an academic scholar, a poet, the world’s best organizer or you can paint like there’s no tomorrow, but each of us has some natural talent; one that is inborn, innate, and it’s yours…all yours…and it’s a gift…your gift…your “one” thing.
So my question to you is this: What is your “one” thing, TPS readers? What is your “it” factor? What one thing makes your soul soar? Or what “one” thing would if you actually gave it some intent and had the gumption to do it? Perhaps it’s something you forgot somewhere along the way. Maybe it’s something you haven’t found yet. It may be that “what if I ___” thought swirling around in the back of your mind. It’s the thing you know I’m talking about right now even though I have no idea what it is.
What one thing elevates you (or could elevate you) into a state of greatness? I’m not talking about something “you’re good at.” We’re all good at things. I’m taking about your “one” thing. Really. What is that “one” transcendent, special, “it” factor thing that moves your soul and drags others along for the ride – the thing that puts those around you in a room with greatness – the thing that sets you apart from others and captivates the rest of us? Whether it’s law related or a personal interest makes no difference. Whatever it is, you need to grab hold of it and use it in every imaginable way possible.
The point is, you have “one” thing.
What is it?
Are you doing all you can with that “one” thing right now?
Each moment that ticks by is another moment you failed to recognize it, own it, and hone it…whatever “it” is. So, my question to you is this: “What is your ‘one’ thing, TPS readers? And what are you going to do to share it with the rest of us?” Find your “one” thing and use it in every way imaginable. Be the transcendent moment of greatness that captivates the rest of us.
There comes that mysterious meeting in life when someone acknowledges who we are and what we can be; igniting the circuits of our highest potential.
– Rusty Berkus
We are hoarding potential so great that they are just about unimaginable.
– Jack Schwartz
If you want to make your dreams come true, the first thing you have to do is wake up.
– J.M. Power