Even one ounce of anger or tension can miss the winning opportunity
Fairfax criminal/DWI attorney on the necessity of focusing on winning at every turn. Highly-rated lawyer, pursuing the best defense since 1991
Yes, the world is filled with too many people too often acting like heartlessly dangerous people. Part of my job is to defuse, shrink, disintegrate, disinfect, and deflect the unseemly and dangerous actions of others, and to extract the gold that can even be found in the foulest poop or the most challenging firestorms.
Ideally, nobody should be able to shake me, not my opponents, not my seeming allies when they seem to neglect me, and not my clients who make poor choices to their potentially serious detriment during my time representing them.
When I walk into the courtroom, I see opportunities, no matter how possibly tough the case, the judge, or anything else about the case. Nothing is stagnant; the judge who is angry at one moment might be a good ally of mine the next moment. I see the opportunities and possibilities not as a pollyanna with rose-colored glasses, but because again and again I have seen and fully experienced exceeding my expectations and estimations, sometimes to the point of nearly downright magical.
The key then is to enter the courtroom and any other battlefield fully unblocked of obstacles, and to remove myself as any obstacle. In fact, without my ego and fears, I have no obstacles.
In real life, one of the greatest examples of this approach is the late great taijiquan teacher Cheng Man Ch’ing, who approached all challenges as opportunities to harmonize the situation (see here), and who delighted in the opportunity to do so.
From fiction, inspiring characters on this same path are Maximus in the Gladiator, Kwai Cheng Caine in Kung Fu, and Shin-san in Abarenbo Shogun. Although they are fictitious characters, their equanimity, ability, courage, and strength in addressing obstacles is well rooted in reality.