Condition Precedent

 In Trust, Faith and The Law

It’s amazing all the bits and pieces of information I remember from the different classes in law school. Venue from Civil Procedure, the Content Neutral Test from Constitutional Law and The Rule Against Perpetuities in Property class. Most of what I learned in law school I rarely use, but it is still invaluable information because it helps me identify issues and problems.

The most intimidating class for me was first year contracts. It was my largest class and met everyday. There was so much reading. This class is where I learned the Socratic method of being called on in class. My professor, I swear he was a sadist. If you were called on and did not know the right answers, well lets just say, it felt like you were publicly stripped and flogged.

Condition precedent is one of those terms I learned in contracts that as a lawyer who practices tort law, I don’t think I have ever used. Yet, I find it runs through both my professional and personal life.

Condition precedent is where one party of a contract does not have to perform until the other party does what they are contracted to do. This is very useful for a contract, but not for life. It has the net effect of putting my life on hold. If I follow it, I’m not going to change, think or do something different until this person or these circumstances are different.

The more active condition precedent is in my life, the more I am giving up my power to create the life that I want. It’s as if I have frozen a part of me until someone else does something different. I’m voluntarily not advocating for my own life until things change. I’m really a prisoner to myself.

By it’s very nature, advancing who I am at an internal level is complementary not competitive. It’s not “I win, you loose”. Becoming who I am meant to be actually helps those around me. Others see that what is good for me, is not just ok for them, but is in their best interest. My taking a deeper breath of air does not deprive them of the oxygen they need to live. When I am influencing an environment that fosters the betterment of each person I am doing right by everyone.

It’s so easy for me to be afraid of what someone else might think. They may not care. They may not let me have, be or do what I want. They may think I’m stupid, weak or silly. I can spend so much time focusing on all the reasons why it won’t work out, that I forget about the most important reason why I should do it- because it’s right for me. Otherwise, it’s as if it is  a basketball game and the side with the most points wins.

Life is about becoming the truths that live in me. I don’t want to live a life where I am making decisions about being who I am based on which side has the most reasons why I should or should not do something. I want to live a life weighing out why I should be who I am based on the scales of justice. The right thing for me always out weights the mountain of reasons I stack up as to why it can’t happen.

How can I live the life of who I am meant to be if I am always waiting for the right person, co-worker, boss, job, or the million other reasons I come up with, to change? I am the condition precedent to living the life of who I am and who I am meant to be.

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