I sometimes feel that I live in a world of footnotes. I am a lawyer, and with a few signal exceptions, lawyers tend to revel in the detail, the marginal comment, and the last word in small type at the end of the page.

This blog, however, is not about the footnotes. It is about what I consider the main text — about finding meaning, achievement, and personal satisfaction.

It is not easy to live life richly. Most of our ancestors died young and poorly, and many of us now living will do the same. Many live life either without direction or according to the direction of others.

I don’t want to do that.

I don’t want my child to do that. I don’t want my friends or students to do that. To the extent I can make a difference in the lives of others, I don’t want any with whom I associate to do that, either.

I gain energy from those who are willing to inquire how how life should be lived and are willing to take chances based on the possible answers. I gain both pleasure and insight from asking whether a sense of purpose increases one’s contribution, and how one might seek to measure contribution. Whether goals work, whether values matter (and if so, how). Whether by reaching out to others to form connections, we tend on average to enhance our sense of well-being and gain other advantages too. Whether our brains work in predictable patterns (for better or worse or otherwise), and how those patterns might be understood so as to enhance our satisfaction and decrease misunderstanding and ignorance. These and other similar questions interest me because they deal with the stuff of human performance.

I like to explore and even explain the law, and many of my law students no doubt read these entries, but these posts are not about the law. Readers will not find discussion of my interest in dispute resolution here. Similarly, although I am deeply interested in politics and government, you will find that few of these entries address such topics — at least, not directly. I am intensely interested in how modern advances in our understanding of the brain have impacted (or failed to impact) the laws that we’ve enacted to regulate human conduct. You will not find that here, either. The point here is instead intensely practical. I am asking what works in life and what tools are available to make life work better.

I hope to provide interesting information and raise some useful questions. I intend not to be scholarly, but instead informative and inquisitive. The feedback I’ve received suggests I’m on the right track. In any event, I will be candid about my views, about what I have found to be helpful or not, and about the avenues I explore.