From The President, 0821 WYBJ, Vol. 44 No. 4. 8
|Vol. 44 4 Pg. 8
The Importance of Well-Being
Billie LM Addleman Hirst Applegate, LLP Cheyenne, Wyoming
have been reading my columns, then you probably know by now
that I love a good quotation. As I think about my final
column, a quotation that resonates with me is by the explorer
and humanitarian Fridtjof Nansen, “Te difficult is what
takes a little time; the impossible is what takes a little
Several years ago, I came across the book Te Happiness Advantage: How a Positive Brain Fuels Success in Work and Life by Shawn Achor. It changed my life. It was the most impactful book I have ever read, and I have given away more than 50 copies of the book with the simple ask – “Please read the first 30 pages. If you are not hooked by then, give it away.” It certainly helped my approach to the practice of law and well-being. Notably for this column, the author discusses the challenges for individuals who deal with conflict on a daily basis, in particular observations of lawyers and law school.
Why was it so impactful?
Te author, a psychologist, states what should be obvious. Happy people (or more positive people) are genuinely more successful. Interestingly, it debunks the myth that the successful people are happy. Most importantly, Te Happiness Advantage provides the tools to create a more positive attitude in approaching work and life, in general. For example, the book provides five simple exercises that can help you start your day in a more positive manner. (Frankly, I do three of the exercises. I have tried meditation, but it does not work for me). It also explained the boomerang effect of gratitude, something that I certainly needed to show more.
Achor’s book also led to a light-bulb moment. If our firm’s associates and staff are not happy, they are going to leave. I know that goes against many lawyers’ long-standing beliefs, including loyalty, and an earlier mindset where you grinded out your job, regardless of how miserable you were. Not to be blasphemous, but the days of getting the 30-year mortgage and 30-year job are long gone. Our attorneys, like many other professionals, are more mobile than ever. If people do not enjoy their work and who they are working with, they will leave.
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