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Articles Posted in Work Life Balance for Lawyers

Awaking the Giant Within is one of the best books on life and motivation.  This is a great book for a number of reasons.  This type of book would be in the category of self help or motivational and what it does it really allows you to see how your thoughts, word choice and experiences which he calls references points shape your life. And he applies this advice to help you control both your emotional, physical well being, relationships and financial goals.  

So much of success in life is dependent on being mentally sharp.  He states that:   

3 decisions that control your destiny are:

As a Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer, I have spoke to and helped countless people facing a criminal charge.  One of the more difficult things to deal with is the stress and anxiety during the case.  Criminal cases take time so it is important to be in a good mental framework, to move forward with your life, family and career even while the charge is working its way through the Court Process.

For years, we have sent clients the book called the Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. This is a great book and worth reading as well.  Recently, I have started sending a different book.  Change your Thinking Change your Life by Brian Tracy.  This book is incredible and has a very positive message.

Your thoughts Control your realty

I read an amazing book this past weekend called Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl. Many have already read this book, but if you read it in high school or a long time ago, it is worth a second read.  I want to share with you my thoughts about the book.

Who was Victor Frankl?  

Victor Frankl was a doctor, psychologist and neurologist who survived the Concentration Camps during the Second World War.  He wrote Man’s Search for Meaning to explain what he went though and detail what he learned about people during that experience and the meaning of life.  Man’s Search for Meaning is a book about his thoughts on the Meaning of Life and the development of his concept of Logotherapy where physical and mental health are determined by whether there is a purpose in our life.

I read self improvement and motivational books all of the time. I think it is easy to say that these books are all essentially the same. However, many times the author will remind you in a new way of helpful things to improve your life or work or have you think differently about your day and goals. That is what Jeff Sanders does in his book The 5 AM Miracle, Dominate your day Before Breakfast.

While he suggests the benefits of waking up at 5 AM, the point of the book is not about the time you wake up, but that once you are up you have a plan and immediately being to take charge of your most important goals.

Sanders suggests, having an plan for your entire day to get the most out of it. He suggests having a list of morning habits to start your day.


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For the last three days, I have been attending a great conference called the Lawyer Forward hosted by Michael Whelan in Austin, Texas. The seminar focused on improving legal services, raising fees and creating a better life for your law practice if you are a solo attorney.  Mike hosts a podcast called lunch with lawyers.    Mike had an excellent point that as lawyers we need to view our role as a teacher to change how the public views us as a profession.

One feature I liked about the seminar was the number of speakers and the short time provided to each speaker. I found this maximized the content by requiring the speaker to be precise and to the point.

Christina Hollwarth a Divorce Lawyer from Texas delivered a great speech about compassion for clients.  She stressed that when we have compassion for clients it lowers our stress level and increases the reward we get from the profession.  The point that struck me was that she started her talk with a quote from TS Elliot about the world ending not with a bang but a whimper. For our clients, the clang of the handcuffs can make it seem like their world is ending.  Christina did a great job helping me to think of the emotion of the clients problem in a new light.

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The legal profession is known to have a high rate of alcoholism, depression and suicide.  While I consider myself luck to have found happiness in my career path, many have had a difficult time with the practice of law as indicated by news reports stating lawyers tend to be unhappy in their profession.  One author I enjoy listening to is Shawn Anchor who I discovered through reading Success Magazine.  I thought this would be a great Blog post for the Start of the new year and wishing those in my profession a great year.

Shawn Achor is a researcher and speaker of positive psychology and happiness. In his Happiness Advantage CD set, he gives rewarding advice on how to increase happiness in the work life, family life, health, and more. Specifically, he explains how increasing your happiness and positivity will benefit you in your work life and allow you to be more successful.

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