“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” ~ Aristotle
High achievers. Performers. Competitive. Like to win.
It’s safe to say that most attorneys want to be excellent. However striving for excellence and actually achieving it are two different things. Make no mistake, there are plenty of talented, intelligent and capable people out there that seek excellence, yet fall short.
But, why? I believe that it all comes down to the power of habit.
Habits, when practiced successfully, seem like insignificant details in our day. We brush our teeth, wash our hair, check our email, workout, read the news. No big deal. However, small habits and behaviors add up to meaningful results over time. That’s the true power of the habit.
However, turning a behavior into a habit is the challenge. After all, consider the droves of people that purchase gym memberships in an effort to fulfill a New Year’s resolution to lose weight. January’s crowded fitness centers are ghost towns by February.
Attorney habits are no different. There are a range of habits that surround attorney timekeeping, for example. Shifting from “leave it til later” reconstructive time entry to contemporaneous, can pose a challenge at the beginning. But attorneys make this shift in order to maximize efficiency and accuracy.
The point here, is that good habits are challenging to adopt. Difficult, yes, but possible with a concerted effort. And it’s that effort that leads to habit, the habit that defines excellence.
Excellence comes by doing. It doesn’t happen any other way.