7 Success Strategies: Part 4: You Are What You Eat (In Every Way)

"The mind grows by what it feeds on." J. G. Holland

This article is the fourth in a series called “7 Strategies of Successful Women Lawyers.” While there are many things that successful women lawyers (and successful people in general) do that helps propel them forward, these are the top seven strategies that I see work time and time again.

This success strategy is “You Are What You Eat.” Better said, “you are what you consume”—in every way. Certainly we all know the “you are what you eat” adage as applied to our bodies. And it’s true—your body truly is made up of what you put into it. While I highly encourage clean eating and living (meaning eating as organically and naturally as possible) that’s not the main point of this article. There are other ways you take things in that affect you either positively or negatively, every day.

In a larger sense, we are what we consume. Let me explain:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/myvector/2372487324/1. Our minds become the sum of the thoughts we think. When we focus on the things that bring joy, beauty, love and happiness into our lives, our lives and our outlook become more positive and pleasant. When we focus on disasters, illness, sadness and all of the other negative things we could spend our precious mental energy on, our perspective, and, consequently, our lives, take on a more pessimistic and negative reality.

Be very mindful of the “food” you feed your mind. Guard the doorway of your mind carefully, and turn off anything that is making you focus on anything other than what you want to think about and create more of in your life. This includes turning off the news, gently removing yourself from negative conversations, and avoiding needless worry and hand-wringing over that which you have no control whatsoever. 

2. Our spirits are nurtured (or not) by the spiritual “food” we consume. Like our minds, our spirit needs time and sustenance in order to thrive. Make time to read books and think about ideas that move your spirit, that elevate you to that part of yourself that is connected to something larger. Pray, meditate, walk quietly in the woods to connect with nature—whatever stills your soul and “feeds” your spirit. Be careful not to starve that most central part of who you truly are.

3. Our hearts are sustained by the relationships and people with whom we surround ourselves.There is a reason Jim Rohn, the business philosopher, once stated, “You are the average of the five people with whom you spend the most time.” Choose wisely the people with whom you associate. Do you spend time around “downers” who focus on all of the terrible things in life, making you feel drained and wilted after being around them? Or do you spend the most time with people who believe in you, lift you, and help you become the person you most desire to be? Find and create relationships that “feed” you, and be sure to “feed” others as well.

Thinking about what you “eat” or “consume” when it comes to your body, your mind, your spirit, and your heart (or relationship) can help you intentionally create the law practice and life you desire. Be vigilant. It takes time to become masterfulat this. But when you remember that “you are what you eat,” you’ll be much more careful about what you are putting into your life—in every way.

TODAY: Where in your life and your law practice are you “eating” things that are not healthy for you? Are you maintaining relationships that are toxic to you? Are you starving your mind and your spirit? Are you feeding your body things that make you unhealthy rather than giving you energy and strength? Go on a “diet”—only consuming those foods, thoughts, practices, and relationships that truly serve you and the person you are becoming. It’s challenging, but the end result is worth it!

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