Page 6 - CCCA Magazine Winter 2017
P. 6

{ leGal perForMaNCe }

WHAt stAnds in tHe WAY BeComes tHe WAY:

spotting tomorroW’s trends – tHe ConClusion to tHe
100-Book experiment

By Jonathan Cullen, CIC.C

over the course of 2017, i’ve shared with you my learnings from shape future advice or strategy. Use post-
mortems, pre-mortems or parking lots.
my attempt to read 100 books last year. for this, my last of four Those who master on-the-fy refection
pieces on the subject, i commend to you but one work to refect rule the future.
on: Marcus aurelius’ Meditations. 3. “Time is a sort of river of passing events,
and strong is its current; no sooner is a
thing brought to sight than it is swept by
ou may wonder what 2000-year- to set aside space and time to quiet the and another takes its place, and this too
old wisdom can add to our quest to mind and reflect deeply. Aurelius teaches will be swept away.”
Ygauge the future for our clients. In us that “it is in your power to retire into When pondering future states, don’t
my view, any attempt to look to the future yourself, whenever you choose.” We do become too attached to any one concept.
requires refection, and the abilities to not do this enough. The future is highly likely to be nothing
observe truth in the world and turn ob- Practical application: Emulate Rome’s like what we think. “Observe always that
stacles into advantages. Meditations offers greatest thinker and write down your ob- everything is the result of change, and
pathways to all of these. servations and thoughts. Take a few notes get used to thinking that there is nothing
Marcus Aurelius ruled as Roman Em- at the end of the day, empty your work- Nature loves so well as to change existing
peror from 161 to 180 AD. He was a prac- ing memory and go home to enjoy your forms and make new ones like them.”
titioner of Stoicism, a philosophy of per- personal time. Look at your notes when Practical application: Given the level
sonal ethics rooted in logic that espouses you come into the offce the next day and of uncertainty that the future brings, you
accepting this moment as it presents itself, you’ll start to see that the overnight mari- must spend a disproportionate amount of
using our minds to understand the world nation of ideas in the brine of life will el- time observing and trying to understand
around us, and treating others fairly and evate and connect your insights. the present. Ask provocative child-like (not
justly. Meditations is a series of notes by childish) questions. Listen. You have two
Aurelius on this philosophy for his own 2. “Never let the future disturb you.You ears and one mouth; use them accordingly.
guidance and self-improvement. (That will meet it, if you have to, with the same
practice alone deserves examination!) It weapons of reason which today arm you 4. “Look back over the past, with its chang-
is one of the most signifcant works of against the present.” ing empires that rose and fell, and you can
thought ever produced. More important- You don’t need a bean bag chair or an foresee the future, too.”
ly, it is unusually accessible and readable. offce slide to ponder the future. We are In-house counsel are often stewards of in-
Here are fve of Aurelius’ thoughts that already equipped with the “weapons of stitutional memory with enterprise-wide
should guide us in our roles of spotting reason” we have honed over years of logi- vantage points. The business will value
tomorrow’s risk and opportunities. cal training. Now the challenge is to break this powerful perspective if you bring it to
down mental constructs and build afresh the table, but do so in a constructive way.
1. “The soul becomes dyed with the colour in our minds what could be. Practical application: Saying “we tried
of its thoughts.” Practical application: Strive to take that years ago and it didn’t work, so forget
You’re not going to spot anything if you solutions to today’s problems and use it” is different than “we tried that years ago
don’t set aside time to think. I would them as a seed for future innovation. In but in a different environment, so maybe
suggest that the greatest challenge facing solving an immediate crisis, you should it would work today.” Trends are not one-
today’s in-house counsel is the failure simultaneously track learnings that could time events. They start somewhere. Raise

6 CCCa MaGazine | WinTer 2017 hiVer
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