Embracing Possibility

By Abby Moore
November 24, 2011 • 0 comment(s)
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Every day I receive a handful of business-related newsletters in my email inbox.  Many of these I asked to receive because I want to keep up with new case filings, verdicts, and important legal and industry news.  I enjoy a little caffeine in the morning while I quickly read the articles.  They are always full of thought-provoking information that helps to get my mind in gear for the day.  It’s a bonus when they also contain cutting-edge material that directly relates to a current case or area of interest.  An article that takes less than five minutes to read (and costs my clients nothing) can help me formulate a fruitful new strategy or embark on a productive area of research. 

But my absolute favorite part about those newsletters is when they contain a real gem – a quote or piece of information that personally impacts me and sticks.  These are the Easter eggs – the hidden treats in the articles.

A few weeks ago, I read a quote that I had never before heard in one of the industry newsletters that I get: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do.”  The quote was attributed to Mark Twain.  In a sentence of less than 25 words, Mark Twain had reminded me to embrace possibility and continue to take risks – don’t look back in 20 years and regret what you did not try.  The quote was so impactful that I immediately ran an internet search.  Where had this quote come from?  I had to find out more.

While my quick internet search did not tell me where Mark Twain had first penned these words, the full quotation is eloquent and inspirational:   

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore.  Dream.  Discover.”

Wow.  The safety of the harbor seems a very poor substitute for the wind whipping through your hair while sailing through the balmy trade winds.  After all, who wants to be compared to a ship stuck in the harbor, forever tied to a dock and never free to do what it was built to do?  Not me.  I want to see how far I can go and then push myself to go further. 

I closed that newsletter with a renewed commitment to explore, dream, and discover – to push my limits and then keep going in my work life and in my personal life.  I applaud the editor that put that quotation in the newsletter that day.  The email both inspired and informed me.

Tomorrow morning when I open up my email newsletters, I may not find another Easter egg, but I will be moving through my day continuing to ponder ways that I can embrace possibility and sail away from my safe harbor to catch the trade winds.  Because in 20 years, I am hoping to have one amazing story to tell!  I hope that you do, too.

Abby Moore is a commercial litigator at Locke Lord LLP. Abby has practiced law for more than 9 years.  Her practice includes advising and representing clients in complex business disputes in many different types of industries. Abby lives in Dallas, Texas, with her husband and two children. 

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DaniAmma's picture

What a great quote! Thanks for sharing your perspective!