Make This Your Last Time | Bar Exam Preparation
Happy belated Christmas, <<First Name>>.

Sometimes I’m a stupid mess. My law school GPA was 2.833.

Sometimes I make it through the sewer by crawling through shit. I got the job by proving myself first with my own client. I kept it by being the last one out the office 99% of the time for 5+ years.

Degrees and credentials are just participation trophies. If the world went to absolute shit, the only currency is “skill.” 

The amazing thing about skills is that they are learnable. All you need is the will. But that’s the hard part, isn’t it?

None of my skills came to me “naturally.” I fell out the window and crawled up the stairs again. And again.

1L year fucked me up even though I did my best. I failed the bar even though I did my best. I sent my first bar email to six people in 2014 (one of them being me).

But I got my first “A” as a 3L. I passed the bar the second time. I removed 500 subscribers to clean up my bloated mailing list.

It didn’t really matter that I started out as trash. You can recycle trash into treasure. I’m unfireable now. Tons more bar takers thank me privately than publicly.
I feel like my efforts are paying off.
The point is, you too can uncover your treasure. Don’t listen to the doom and gloom out there. I see many bar takers clear the hurdle, become the superstars they are, and go on to live their Free Life.
How does all this happen? A consistent will to act.
What is “will to act”?
  • It’s a will to learn.
  • It’s working hard and smart.
  • It’s building on your progress.
  • It’s taking it seriously. How you do anything is how you do everything.
  • It’s believing in your ability to steer your future even though it hasn’t happened (not visualizing yourself as an attorney before you are one—that’s complacency, as I personally discovered).

An overnight success takes months or years of consistency. I don’t have a surefire silver bullet that will magically put your name on the pass list. 

Bursts of motivation are helpful as a kickstarter, but they’re not reliable.

But what if you “don’t have motivation”... What if you “don’t have time”... No hunger or drive? What are you to do? How do you get sustainable and consistent motivation?

First, get rid of that negative self-talk from your vocabulary.

Then try this:


How to develop consistent motivation: Try adopting a “professional attitude”

You’ve probably seen advice to this effect: Walk X number of steps every day for good health. Or walk Y minutes every day.
Sounds good in theory...
Is the act of walking hard? No.
What about getting yourself to do it consistently? How long can you stick to stepping out the door and power walking around the neighboorhood in your tracksuit and measuring your steps?
Maybe the first few days, you’ll ride off a burst of inspiration and motivation. You see this a lot in January.
The key — and the hard part — is to keep going anyway even when it stops being interesting. To try different side experiments when you’re spinning your wheels.
When you simply don’t feel like sitting down to study, I encourage you to adopt a “professional attitude.” Here’s what I mean:
Professionals do the necessary things they’ve committed to regardless of the weather outside, regardless of whether they “don’t have time,” or whether they’re tired or not in the mood. They do their best regardless.

Steve Jobs was known for his attention to detail, the quality of things unseen, the love of the craft. He even cared about how the parts inside the devices looked.
It’s about doing the work for the sake of the work, even when no one can tell the difference.

A lawyer is a good example of a professional who has various duties to the profession and the people in it. That includes a duty to serve yourself. In Module 1 of Mental Engines, we talk about how you owe a duty of zealous advocacy to yourself.

Remember how the very first bar email I sent was to a list of six people. SIX! I still put in my best effort at the time. Over time, I got more subscribers and got better at writing emails (any correlation between the two? I’m not sure).
Whichever stage you are at (in bar prep, career, relationships, etc.), assume where you are is the bare minimum no matter how good you think you are. That is the attitude of a professional. You may feel like you’re ahead. Or it may feel hopeless. It doesn’t matter. Both are reasons to push yourself.
So when you just don’t feel like it, begin the study process anyway. You could do one MBE question, read an essay, or even plop on a couch to go over flashcards for 10 minutes. Once we get started, we’ll often forget that we’re tired, get in the zone, and let the words flow between you and the pages.
Momentum Loop
(Notice it’s the opposite of what people typically think. Don’t wait for motivation to strike. You GET motivated by starting.)

Let yourself develop that habit beyond those first few days. It’s easier said than done, but you can set it to cruise control once you’re over that hill, once you build up that momentum. Studying for the bar will become second nature (and you won’t know what to do when it’s over).
The gap between thinking about it and doing it is wide, but doing becomes natural once you cross it.
“Success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally. It comes from what you do consistently.”
And one day, it will click.

If you can change your mind, you can change anything.
It’s our heart that drives us. If you’ve ever been heartbroken, or at the mercy of waiting for that one person’s text back, you know how difficult it is to stay productive. I mentioned last week that the work that matters is internal work.
So I want to show you how to use mental attitudes that will help you stop feeling panicked, overwhelmed, or anxious.
“Professional attitude” is just a bonus email for Mental Engines students (yes, you get extra exclusive emails!). There are more mental shifts and techniques in this program that I made for bar takers, designed to help you organize the emotions that don’t serve you, and manage your mental state as you tackle bar prep.
It has your busy schedule in mind. Like putting on a new pair of glasses to see the world, these practical bite-sized audio and text lessons are easy to apply, and you can come back to them anytime you want to (lifetime access).
Don’t just take my word for it. To evaluate any learning material, don’t just look at the teacher… look at the students.

She passed btw
Check out what’s included in Mental Engines (and what other bar takers are saying)

(If you were a California bar taker who freaked out in July because the subjects leaked, here’s an email I sent out ONLY to Mental Engines students.)
This could be the best gift you could give yourself as you enter 2020: the gift of drive, focus, and optimism.
I’d love to see you inside the course.

Tap here to find out how to transform your stress into mental toughness for bar prep


PS. Holidays make it especially tough to stay consistently motivated. Let me show you how to approach the post-holiday overwhelm. Check out the Mental Engines course here.

Or use any of my other tools below that make it easy for you to do the work. Speaking of which...

Two things are happening December 28, 2019UBE subjects are (finally) being added to Magicsheets and Approsheets: Secured Trans, Conflict of Laws, Family Law. And prices are going up for all versions.

Legacy users will get an email on 12/28 with an option to add on UBE subjects at a special price. Just a fair notice to grab what you want before then.

Recommended Tools
Click here to see catalog
Magicsheets (condensed outlines)
Not retaining any information from your bar course? Not enough time? Stop getting overwhelmed. Focus on practice and memorization with these condensed rule outlines organized in logical groups and indentations.

Approsheets (essay approach checklists and flowcharts)
Go from blank page to finished essay/outline. Identify all the relevant issues with these attack sheets so you don't leave any points on the table.
Passer’s Playbook 2.0 (self-study tools)
Step-by-step blueprint, study schedules, cheat sheets, guides, and other tools designed to help you orient yourself and propel you toward improvement. Passing is inevitable if you continue to improve.

Mental Engines (mental management course)
Organize your emotions and deal with the mental barriers of bar preparation, to go from overwhelmed to focused, unmotivated to productive, and anxious to calm.
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Brian Hahn
Make This Your Last Time
10645 Calle Mar de Mariposa #6409
San Diego, CA 92130

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