Denver Bar Association
February 2009
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Transitions: 7 Suggested Rules When Transforming Your Life

by Professor Heidi Boerstler

Professor Heidi Boerstler uses her high energy and spunk to engage her students while still maintaining a professional atmosphere.
If the professionals who enroll in my classes are any indication, a small, yet noticeable percentage of lawyers seem to be seeking new careers and life directions. I teach classes on transformational leadership and health law and ethics at the Business School at the University of Colorado in Denver.

I work with students who are lawyers, business executives, physicians and other professionals. Many are transitioning from one career to another. Although my lawyer students who have returned to business school still have the drive to go out and get the best results for their clients, over time the practice of law can become a challenge of purpose.

Here are some Rules for Transformation, which I share with my students, as they commit to transform their lives in an effort to gain greater meaning.

Rule 1: Grow. Each year you should see new talents and abilities unfold. If you are the same this year as last, you have lost a year. Accept greater responsibility for your being. Shape your environment rather than let others shape you. You’ll become more efficient when you make conscious investments of energy. When your consciousness expands and you celebrate life, you become self-actualized.

Rule 2: Become a beacon of positive energy. Like individual energy power stations, we constantly attract and radiate energy. We choose whether to attract or radiate positive or negative energies. Because like attracts like, we attract energies that mirror who we are at the moment. You are accountable for your awareness; you must learn not to engage in negativity that will attract even more negativity. Choose to be a light that shines in the darkness.

Rule 3: Prioritize — then don’t get distracted. If you are exhausted at the end of the day, and you seldom have a moment for yourself, then take heed. You may be paying too much for too little. Ask yourself some simple questions: What is most important in your life? Where do you spend most of your time and effort? What do you need to set aside in order to gain momentum on your journey? Evaluate what in your life no longer serves you well, yet consumes an enormous amount of life force and psychic energy. Expend your life force on admirable things in this world, and become a great success. When your soul sits in judgment of your life, there’s no room for excuses. The hardest part is remembering what is most important to you — what you should be doing that day. Distraction from your core purpose is your greatest enemy.

Rule 4: Make peace with your past. Whatever happened in the past — good or bad — forget it. That was then, this is now. It’s stunning how many people live in bondage of their past. They can never forget it, never forgive it, never get over it and never get beyond it. Life for them is a constant re-run of what happened long ago. As a result, they have no present or future. As a student of transformation, practice total forgiveness and acceptance. Forgiveness does not clear the record for the person who harmed you. You are not the judge and jury of the universe. Forgiveness simply allows you to move on with your life. You are no longer in bondage to your memories or the people or situations that created them. Go back in the past and try to give a positive spin to what you usually give a negative spin — notice how your consciousness changes.

Rule 5: Become a person of new beginnings. Don’t get stuck in a cycle that is taking you nowhere. To live a life of new beginnings, you are no longer bound to a fixed past that follows you through life and determines your life course. Decide what you want to end, and begin something new and more challenging. Around the corner, there is always something new and exciting. It can only happen when you stop clinging to the old.

Rule 6: Don’t try too hard. When you try too hard, you set up antagonistic forces that block your way. In other words, our environment often reacts to any aggressive movement forward. What moves us forward most rapidly on the pathway to transformation is maintaining clarity of our life intention, and doing activities that keep us moving in that direction. When you are headed in the right direction, you will find that you are not alone — things come together naturally. But you must care enough to do your very best. Doing your very best is a matter of will — not the magnitude of your physical effort or activities. Your dedication is the key, not your muscle.

Rule 7: The easiest way to change anything is to change the way you think about it. Many people wear themselves out by trying to change the world to better fit their predilections. Others achieve far better results with much less effort by simply changing the way they think about the world. It is easier to change your mind than change the world. Because the meaning behind an event is actually in the observer, not the event, you are in control of the meanings that you assign to events. You will find that when you change your assigned meaning, the world appears to change with you. Ask yourself, "What is the very best meaning I could assign here?"

Experience the full range of the human experience — the good and the bad. If you seek to experience only one side of the equation, you rob yourself of the opportunity to attain rich insights and understanding you can use in your work with others. You are what you have experienced; no more and no less. Greet each experience with celebration. You are not coming this way again.


The author wishes to thank Dr. Leland Kaiser of Kaiser and Associates for teaching her these rules and so many others. We did ask her if she was from Boulder and she said she wasn’t. Contact Prof. Boerstler at or (303) 556-5856.



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