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Love what you do. Do what you love

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"The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play." Arnold Toynbee.

Trial lawyers and everyone else are more persuasive when they are in the moment, honest with themselves and everyone else, caring, and enjoying the present moment. The foregoing approaches to life are more powerful and beneficial when applied for themselves alone, and not for any financial gain.

Various people give me sparks of inspiration on the foregoing path, and in blurring the lines of work and play. They include Doug, an amateur magician at the Trader Joe’s in Annapolis who delights his customers and himself with gags and magic as he does his work. A year after I bumped into Doug at his checkout line, I saw him again, and told Doug about my foregoing blog entry about him, to which he commented online:

"I wish to express my sincere appreciation for the heartwarming observations that you made about me in your blog. I have not read The Art of Happiness at Work and wonder if I really need to. I truly enjoy people and in whatever encounter I have with others I try to draw a smile, laugh, or a dropped jaw. This simply adds to my enjoyment. My approach to life, which definitely includes magic, has awarded me with many accolades which cause me to be inspired and have a feeling of self worth. Your blog is another great trophy for me. Thank you, Doug."

The late Randy Pausch delighted in a life always full of happiness, even when he knew he had less than a year to live, and shared that delight with the world.

How does one delight in life when faced with constant huge hurdles, which is the constant lot of criminal defense lawyers? I have blogged about that many times when writing about finding calm in the eye of the storm, including with taijiquan. On the non-law-world level, an example of someone delighting in life to the hilt in the face of sizeable obstacles is the late J.B. Hutto, a masterful blues slide guitarist whom I had the privilege of experiencing — and interviewing for my college ethnomusicology repot — at my campus pub in 1981 and again at a non-descript bar in Bridgeport, Connecticut, a few months later.

J.B. Hutto had a deep love for creating excellence in music, and apparently never compromed on its quality for commercial purposes. The story goes that he gave up full-time music performing for eleven years after a woman grabbed his guitar at a nightclub where he was performing, and smashed it over a man’s head. He became a janitor at a funeral home, continued playing music on the side, and, in 1963, after one of his musical mentors died, returned to playing. Videos of Hutto are here and here.

Deeply thanking J.B. Hutto; Doug; my taijiquan teachers Julian Chu, Ellen Kennedy Len Kennedy, and David Walls-Kaufman; and everyone else who inspires me to love what I do and do what I love.