If you want to win life’s trials–try devotion, not passion. I know passion is sexy and fun and a great distraction. We can spend all of our time looking for our passion instead of doing the work. But much of what I know I learned at trial, and devotion has been my greatest teacher.

When I step into the courtroom to advocate for my client, there’s not much I know for sure. I don’t know who will win and I don’t know exactly what each witness will say. But I do know that I’ve looked at every document in that file.  I’m devoted to it. I’ve vowed to read every medical record and review every pleading. Many times I’m looking at hundreds of thousands of pages and every minute is worth it.  Often, it leads to wins.  The key to my success is devotion.

When people ask how I found time to write The Elegant Warrior and start The Elegant Warrior podcast, they sometimes assume it’s all about passion. But for me, passion isn’t the answer. Devotion led to reaching these goals. And I’ll choose devotion over passion. The root of the word “passion” is “to suffer”. I don’t want to suffer my way through my achievements. The root of the word devotion, on the other hand, is “to vow”. I’ll vow my way through my achievements, and through my trials. First I vow to get to know my client, with compassion, curiosity and connection, and to approach the jury the same way. Then I vow to build my credibility by knowing the records and the case. Next, I vow to be creative in the way I present my case. I’m devoted to being a good advocate.

See what happens when you pursue devotion, not passion. I’m always passionate about my cases. (And yes, that often leads to suffering). But I believe that it is devotion, not passion, that wins trials. And devotion will lead to your success as well. Take a vow, be devoted, and you will find that victory follows. Why suffer your way to a win when you can get there one vow at a time?

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