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An Open Letter to Shermikia Lemon on Success: Magic of Reinvention

I look at success as achievement of goals at three points in time. Time is the magic gift that we all have, and we must use time wisely.  There is success at the current moment and being in the now. There is success for intermediate goals, perhaps those to be accomplished this year. Then there are those long-term goals of continuing to reinvent me and adapt to the changing world.

Success in the current moment is an objective or agenda to be accomplished today, this week, and this month.   For example, if I need to lose five pounds, then I need to plan today what I am going to eat and how I am going to exercise to accomplish losing that five pounds. If I have a trial in court next week, I have to plan time for strategy, witnesses, and exhibits. Short term goals require flexibility. Things come up, so don’t get stressed out or compulsive about the daily goal. When you are knocked off track on a daily goal, get back on that objective as soon as feasible.

Immediate goals take planning and then reflection to see if the goal was accomplished. Success with intermediate goals might be those “New Year’s resolutions”—things to be accomplished this year. I have a retreat with myself once a year for establishing the goals for the year.  One such goal might be writing a book, launching a new business or website, or learning to fly an airplane. These bigger goals frequently have to be broken down into smaller bite size pieces. For example, I am working on my instrument rating as a private pilot. One has to plan for both ground school training and the FAA test, plus the flight training, long cross country, the oral and the check ride. Moving toward the goal is perhaps not a daily activity, but has to be given weekly and monthly attention over time.

The third phase of success is the continuing reinvention of myself. My divorce in 2000 slapped me in the face and created a need for a total shift in thinking. I had to rebuild and reinvent myself. I learned a lesson, so reinvention is now part of my game of life. Reinvention isn’t necessarily a daily concept, but rather it is the process of avoiding stagnation.  It is that big makeover or the big airplane engine overall. It also might be a seismic shift in your approach, your attitude, or your look. The world changes, and so must you. Ask yourself: “what skills do I have that I didn’t have five years ago?” Do I have new friends I didn’t have five years ago?” Diagnose a rut and deal with it. Madonna is my idol of someone who always seems to have a new “game face”. I suspect we can see this same approach from Taylor Swift.

Finally, my career as a family lawyer has seen vast change over the more than twenty years I have practiced family and divorce law in Greensboro. Keeping current is a priority. Determining what I should do for clients today and this year is my priority. Figuring out how to serve the Piedmont Triad in family law matters in the next decade requires constant imagination and reinvention. This reinvention is necessary to bring cutting edge services to our clients at Woodruff Family Law Group, 420 West Market Street, Greensboro, North Carolina.