Photo Reference Credits:
Reproductions Available at FineArt America.
In addition to The No-Plan Plan Ebook, Kevin Houchin offers the following services:
Contact Kevin via email at email@example.com for engagement details.
Need a Few Last-Minute Ethics Credits?
I’ll be doing two full 4-hour versions of my Fuel The Spark: 5 Guiding Values for Success in Law & Life CLE Ethics Programs in the next few weeks.
“A Massage for Your Career.”
– ABA Annual Meeting Program Participant.
“The Best CLE Program I’ve Attended in 27 Years.”
– Program Attendee, Reno NV
If you’re in Northern Colorado, attend:
Friday, December 17th, 2010
General Credits: 4.0
Ethics Credits: 3.5
Jury Assembly Room, Larimer County Court House
$60 in Advance. $75 at the Door. All proceeds go to the Larimer County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division.
(Compare to $199 CoBar Home Study CLE Program)
Young Lawyers Division, Larimer County Bar Association
c/o Josh Dart, Esq.
19 Old Town Square, Ste. 238
Fort Collins, CO 80524
For more info:
phone: (970) 407-0090
NOTE: The Jury Assembly Room only has space for 50 people, so you’ll want to reserve your seat early. Tickets will go fast.
Dates: December 8th & 9th @ 3:00-4:30PM EASTERN
Credits: (3-4 General & Ethics – will have final details soon)
Registration Information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sometimes we all need to look at things from a different perspective. This applies to both our personal and professional lives and how they blend into a successful and fulfilling legal career. Join Kevin Houchin for this nationally recognized Ethics program devoted to finding a more balanced perspective on the rules of professional responsibility and how we can put the rules into an easy system for finding more success in our practice and our lives. This intensive interactive workshop could be the best 3 hours you’ll invest in yourself this year.
The most profound choice any of us make is either to accept things the way they exist, or to accept our personal responsibility to change them.
1.2: Scope of Representation
1.7 & 1.8: Conflict of Interest
1.13 Organization as Client
1.18 Duties to Prospective Client
Many successful people have found the simplest rule to success in anything is to “show up.” However, deciding where to show up and how to manage yourself when you get there can be a challenge.
7.1: Communication Concerning a Lawyer’s Services
7.3: Direct Contact with Prospective Clients
7.4: Communication of Fields of Practice
One of the hardest things to do in legal practice and in life is to truly pay attention. We get pulled in so many directions, so how can be do a better job of staying in the moment and how does that help our clients and colleagues?
It’s easy to get bored and it happens to us all, so how can we avoid boredom and stay sharp? The answer is to keep multiple irons in the fire at once, paying attention to each in turn.
True fulfillment in legal practice and in life comes when you take the time to give back. Stewardship is the combination of giving ones time, talent, or treasure. This portion of the program helps define how you’ll make your greatest contribution.
6.1: Voluntary Pro Bono Publico Service
6.2: Accepting Appointments
Kevin E. Houchin is a different kind of lawyer. First, he has a fine art degree in graphic design and a dozen years of brand development and small business consulting before going back to law school. He uses both his marketing and legal skills every day in his efforts to help creative people reach their potential.
Kevin counsels creative people about how to maximize their creativity, build their businesses, and protect their intellectual property. Discussions tend to turn toward relationships and creative collaboration often, so sometimes Kevin plays the role of business and life coach in addition to attorney and marketing consultant. He truly enjoys the role of trusted advisor to his clients.
Kevin is the author of the book Fuel the Spark: 5 Guiding Values for Success in Law School and Beyond (March 2009). He is also the author of the forthcoming book The Secrets of Creative Business. He contributed a chapter on the legal issues of social media in the best-selling book Twitter Power, and is featured in KaChing, both by Joel Comm, published by Wiley Brothers Publishing.
Kevin is expert at helping people reach their creative potential, whether as an entrepreneur or as an attorney. He is the Founder of The Space Between Center for Creative Spirit in Business – an organization to helping entrepreneurs including attorneys align who they are with what they do. In addition to working with clients, Kevin writes a regular column for the leading business journal in Northern Colorado, blogs regularly at his several sites, and enjoys one of the top legal followings on Twitter.com. He speaks regularly for creative entrepreneurial business, continuing legal education, and law school audiences throughout the United States.
Stillness is putting a muzzle on that monkey chattering in your mind long enough to hear the great ideas that come from somewhere else. We can call that somewhere else “God.” We can call it “the Universe.” For the sake of argument, I’ll call it “the Source.” Telling the voice in your head to shut up is one thing. Making it shut up or ignoring it until it shuts up out of frustration requires practice. That practice is the basis of meditation. Another way to think of this is what I call “The Space Between.”
The wonderful ideas coming from that space are limitless. Picture a ruler or a number line from your days in grade school. On that ruler or number line, “1” is followed next by “2” then “3” and so on in both directions into infinity. Later, you learn about fractions like ¼, 1/3, ½, 2/3, ¾ and so on. Think about that. When you understand that the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and on are simply labels for concepts, and the same is true for each labeled fraction, then you understand that there is an infinity in the space between each number or fraction. More importantly, there is an infinity between each label we choose to put on numbers.
The infinity in the space between doesn’t apply just to numbers; it applies to anything you can label. Logically then, the space between is infinitely more abundant than anything we have or can label. This is why examining two words, phrases, or concepts that generally do not work together is such a great creative tool – examining the space between things that we don’t even associate with one another creates something I like to think of as a “bigger infinity” in the space between. You could also think of it as a “richer” infinity for great ideas, because like a riverbed that has never been explored, a virgin piece of farmland, or an isolated lake in Canada, it’s resources have not been mined by other folks for their own purposes.
When you understand the concept of “The Space Between” then you will never again think there is a scarcity of ideas, time, money or anything our minds can conceive. If there is an infinity around everything, how can there be a limitation of anything?
If you’re stumped, you just haven’t mined enough of the infinite number of spaces between thoughts, words, actions, feelings, senses, or labels.
The space between is not empty. In the space between, the first occupants one generally encounters are the archetypes programmed into every human from the beginning of time. Those archetypes are described in different ways. Joseph Campbell talked of them in his famous works including The Hero’s Journey and The Power of Myth. The Hero’s Journey inspired George Lucas’s storyline for Star Wars. The hero’s journey is the outline of the human spiritual journey toward enlightenment and is found in practically every culture in our world, across time and space, in a virtually identical pattern. The hero hears a call to adventure, denies that call, experiences an event that requires him to engage in the journey anyway, finds a mentor, faces the challenge, gains possession of the goal of the journey, then fights his way back home where his knowledge and experience are eventually embraced for the benefit of the group. The trump cards of a tarot deck (called “major arcana”) also depict the hero’s journey through the archetypes of human existence in the space between where we were before we were born and the place to which we are all eventually bound.
Some people find the quiet in the space between to be a wonderful place to “receive” guidance. Many successful songwriters, novelists, journalists, visual artists, and speakers describe this experience as something close to “channeling” the message or other content from a larger collective creative source. To tap in, they just had to get their egos out of the way and listen to receive the creative flow. This type of receiving takes many names, from “inspiration,” which is how the church attributes divine authorship to the books of the Bible, to the “Spirit Guides” of tribal cultures, to the “Holy Guardian Angel” of new age spirituality, and the angelic visitations as described in the Old and New Testament and Islam. Many people all over the world claim these angelic visitations happen every day, and we can’t disprove those claims.
We’ve all had incredibly realistic dreams that seemed to be giving us messages. We’ve all had wonderfully creative ideas “come to us” as we are in the space between waking up and sleeping either at night or in the morning. We’ve all had moments of déjà vu. These are all experiences of finding the stillness in the space between thoughts. It doesn’t matter what label you place on the experience, or to what source you attribute the inspiration. The one thing that matters in the creative process is that you allow yourself to step out of controlling the process and allow yourself to surrender to receiving the inspirations that originate in the spaces between.
This concept is not just a Western thought. Verse 11 of the Tao Te Ching states:
We join spokes together in a wheel,
but it’s the center hole
that makes the wagon move.
We shape clay into a pot,
but it is the emptiness inside
that holds whatever we want.
We hammer wood for a house,
but it is the inner space
that makes it livable.
We work with being,
but non-being is what we use.
The space between is not only infinite, it’s useful.
These are the core reasons I founded The Space Between Center for Creative Spirit in Business. We all have ideas. We can reach our potential through creative business. To connect those two potentials, one must pass through The Space Between.
But, for those of you who want an easier and more modern answer, take a listen to The Space Between by The Dave Matthews Band. Here are some of the lyrics:
The Space Between
The tears we cry
Is the laughter keeps us coming back for more…
The Space Between
Where you’re smiling high
Is where you’ll find me if I get to go…
Take my hand
‘Cause we’re walking out of here
Oh, right out of here
Love is all we need here…
A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of doing a Continuing Legal Education workshop based on my Fuel the Spark: 5 Guiding Values for Success in Law and Life book. (do you have your copy yet?…)
One of the evaluations had the following quote:
Best Seminar I’ve taken in 29 Years.
That makes me feel good. If you would like to have me give this presentation to your group, or at your law school just email me.
By Kevin E. Houchin
You’re full of it! You really are. There’s no way that I’m the first person to tell you. You can’t deny it. You’re full of it up to your eyebrows.
Full of creativity. You were born with it. You are made of wonderful, delicious, colorful, smelly, heaping globs of creativity!
As a child, your humanity burned with the divine spirit of creativity. You imagined games. You imagined friends. And, you even created vivid experiences that existed only in your mind but existed nonetheless.
Then, you went to school.
You learned to live by other peoples’ rules and their ideas of how and what you “should” be. Walls grew that blocked your view of those wonderful places in your imagination. Those walls grew until finally the creativity of your heart, spirit, and right brain were all but abandoned in favor of subjects that could be objectively tested with multiple-choice exams and computer-graded bubble sheets.
Then, you went to law school.
Your walls were adorned with thorns and you were not even allowed to have ideas of your own. Any creativity you were allowed to display was carefully disguised as nuanced synthesis of precedent (other people’s ideas—the older and less original the better).
It felt like you had suddenly become unworthy of being the source of an idea or thought. You felt like a slave to a footnote or maybe like a footnote yourself.
But, you’re not in law school anymore. Now, you’re the only “source” that really matters. Your senior partner may determine your job status and salary, but you get to decide how much credibility to give those things.
If you’re feeling trapped in a job that doesn’t allow you to express your creativity, you have the power to change that. You don’t have to leave your job to feel more fulfilled. Rather, start chopping through the thorns and breaking down the walls that decades of education have placed around your creative spirit. Trust me, you can do this and still be an effective lawyer. It may even be the secret prerequisite to a happy and satisfied life in the law.
There’s no simple seven-step process to recovering your creative spirit. The journey is different for each of us. A simple start is to look for creative opportunities that already surround you. You happen to be holding one of them in your hand. This issue of The Young Lawyer is dedicated to helping lawyers recognize opportunities for expressing creativity in their lives and work. Use it to jumpstart ideas for creative outlets that you would enjoy. Paint, play music, sail, climb, write, spend time with family, do community service, sing—do something other than work.
I received this note as feedback from the article I wrote to introduce the November issue of the ABA Young Lawyer Magazine which is dedicated to Creativity. The article is titled “You’re Full of It!” As soon as the ABA puts the issue online, I’ll post the article. Until then, they have exclusive first publication rights. 🙂
I just wanted to thank you for writing such a necessary article in the YLD Newsletter. What you wrote resonated with me on a host of levels, and it arrived in my office at EXACTLY the moment I needed to hear someone outside of my own mind remind me of all the creativity that I have been trying to find time to cultivate and enjoy. The practice of law can feel all consuming. Conflict is a daily part of the practice. Nonetheless, the antidote is exactly the cultivation of the creative.
Just a note to say, your words were very necessary and came at exactly that right moment.
Tanisha M. Bailey-Roka, Esq.
Thanks Tanisha. 🙂