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Every Choice Is a Chance

Cindy V. Tisdale | September 15, 2023

Cindy Tisdale smiling

Every Choice Is a Chance. These five simple words embody the profound impact that our decisions have on our lives and our practices, and this is my motto for this bar year. I am sure many people have uttered these words, but Ted Lasso did so best, in my opinion. For those of you who don’t know me, Ted Lasso is one of my favorite shows. His pearls of wisdom and insight can be used in all of our everyday lives. In the scene when Ted states these words, he is talking to his team about a choice he made not to be forthright with them. These choices cannot be taken back, nor can we have do-overs or mulligans. They are ours to own. The good news is that every choice is a chance to do the right thing.

As an attorney, every choice I make is the chance to do right by myself, my client, and others. Every choice is a chance to advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves. Every choice can bring about justice and shape the outcome of a case. Every choice to grant the request for an extension on discovery. Every choice to agree to a continuance when opposing counsel’s child is ill. Every choice to show grace to myself and to others. Every choice to be truthful with the court and opposing counsel. Every choice to be upfront with a client about possibilities. Every choice to just be silent and listen.  

As a single mom of two kids since they were 10 and 7, every choice I make is the chance to do right by myself and by my family. Every choice to make that sporting event. Every choice to just say no to that 5 o’clock phone call. Every choice to not go into the office on Saturday. Every choice to say yes to a client because I need to get paid. Every choice to let my children see what their mom does for a living. Every choice to be present and in the moment. Every choice to show grace to myself and others.  

We are all in this thing called life together. We are all attorneys doing our best to zealously represent our clients. We are the bar. We get to make choices every day to make this profession the best it can be.

Cindy V. Tisdale

We cannot control every circumstance that we face, but we do possess the power to control our choices. My favorite line in the Texas Lawyer’s Creed is “I can disagree without being disagreeable.” How true that statement is for attorneys. Please do not get me wrong. I zealously advocate for my clients, as we all should. There is a difference in zealously advocating and being disagreeable. If you haven’t read the Texas Lawyer’s Creed recently, I encourage you to do so.  

As Ted Lasso said, “It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” My hope is that if others think of me or talk about me, it is not of my abilities as an attorney or as a mom. Rather, I hope it is for the grace I have shown.

President, 2023-2024
State Bar of Texas

*Originally published in the September 2023 Issue of the Texas Bar Journal.

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