For at least a decade, no actually my whole life, … “I’ve been searching for a heart of gold.”

I’m married. I have two wonderful kids. I live in a nice house, in a great neighborhood, in the spectacular city – Seattle.

What could possibly be the matter?

The answer is found only by way of engaging in the elusive quest to “know thyself.”

I have been searching for my own heart of gold. What is it that makes me happy?

I enjoy both the process and results of unlocking the positive power of relationship.

Yet to become good at unlocking the positive power of relationship, I quite literally had to … “go to ground.”

For those who aren’t familiar with this phrase, “go to ground” is used in the military to mean “to hide or become inaccessible, especially for a long time.”

I am not completely using the term as a pun to mean that I have been working as people’s real property change agent.

I had come back from China in December 2007 needing a complete redirect after working for a real property developer there.

As the only non-Chinese member of his organization in the second tier city, I was much further afield than comfortable.

Yes, there were some other expats in my community.

Some of those expats were pretty low to the ground operating as English Teachers.

A few others were operating as the head of the manufacturing base and thus remained connected to their organizations back home.

There were even some who had gone native and were able to secure business/government protection relationships so that they could operate.

But, I was unconnected and completely adrift. In all honesty, it affected my mental health. I returned to Seattle and had a very difficult time figuring out what I could do.

Yes, I had a this fantastic degree of law, but I hadn’t put it to use, and law is not something like riding a bike. No, instead law is akin to a foreign language … if you don’t use it, you lose it.

So, what did I finally decide to do? Pick up my shovel and start digging in to my solo practice area of boundary dispute law.

The reason was simply, because it was an area of law which I thought I could represent three-dimensionally … a challenge I had taken up first in an independent study which allowed me to graduate from law school a 1/2 year early.

I read all the cases. I scored them as to their facts and strength of their holdings. I figured out a way to depict them for research purposes. I then started taking on clients.

Now, the thing about working in this area of law which is important to understand … someone is going to feel the squeeze. That someone was me!

I would work to help clients identify whether or not pursuing the case was even worth it or not. It’s interesting that some people recognize that there is tremendous value in finding guidance early enough so that they don’t go down the wrong path.

Others felt that I hadn’t done anything for them. Perhaps this was because their destiny included a date with hell and I had obstructed their path. Here, you might think about how mad Lt. Dan was at Forrest Gump when Forrest saved his life.

I stayed on mission though because I have a purposeful vision of helping neighbors to be reconciled and resolve their interpersonal conflict and then sweep away with ease their property dispute.

I kept augering in and really have become an expert at this delicate art of managing emotions. The fact that it requires working to communicate to the neighbor through their advocate made the process that much more of a challenge. But I did it.

Think of it this way. People who want to change themselves, go to a psychologist or perhaps a psychiatrist. People who want to change someone else go to an attorney.

I recognized the situation that in each situation much more value would not be squandered by both sides if I could assist to manage a truce.

It takes real leadership to step into the messy middle of conflict, I have done that repeatedly. But, no more!

Now, I am going to extract this expertise. A soft skill which I have developed over a full decade of pressure as the diamond that it is … and get it cut.

Yes, I have found my heart of gold and with it I have been able to create the crystalline thought of a diamond.

Heart and mind now intact I am turning my back on my solo practice of boundary dispute law and am on a new road to get off the ground and back into the stratosphere doing the thing I love and am skilled at … connecting people and ideas – positively.

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