A “do everything you can and then some” mentality pervades the core values of many of the most effective people I admire. Famed trial lawyer and teacher Gerry Spence’s blog post “The Secret to Winning: So Who Are You?” states that the secrets to success lie in preparation motivated by true self respect and personal integrity.
Following are golden nuggets from Spence’s post:
The idea of losing comes, in part, from a lack of preparation, which is a failure of self respect. Think of it as if you were a boxer. You have not trained. You have two inches of belly fat hanging over your shorts. Your cheeks are baggy. You puff going up the stairs. You brag a lot because that is all you have. This is a fighter who will lose because he does not respect himself sufficiently to prepare.
…if one has a full sense of self, not a blown up conceit, but a person who makes mistakes, who is afraid, who can feel and care, who is as real as he can be, who is on the road to becoming a person—that person will be hard to beat in a courtroom or anywhere. He is not an intellectual muscle man or a phony sweet pea with the supercilious smile and a nose worn smooth from toadying the judge. He can be trusted and he speaks a language that jurors understand. How do you beat such a lawyer? Be more of a person than he. I let my opponent worry about losing. It will take him into strange and dangerous places.