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SSLS 2016: Success & Happiness (Jim Chester)


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How to be successful and happy - both personally and professionally.

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SSLS 2016: Success & Happiness (Jim Chester)

  1. 1. Success & Happiness Jim Chester TILA Sane & Successful Lawyer Summit – July 8, 2016
  2. 2. Success Defined
  3. 3. S&H Link: Life and Work • You can’t “turn off” a negative career and have a happy personal life (and vice-versa) • But, professional success doesn’t necessarily lead to personal success & happiness • Must define professional success by first defining personal success • In other words, the professional goals must help fulfill the personal goals
  4. 4. S&H Link: Lawyers Struggle • Studies show that lawyers are  three times more likely to suffer from depression than other professionals  the suicide rate for lawyers is nearly six times higher than for the general population.  The American Bar Association estimated that up to 20% of U.S. lawyers suffer from substance abuse.
  5. 5. Success Defined • The internet, TV, and media have lots of definitions and ideas about success • What is a successful person? • What is a successful lawyer?
  6. 6. Success Defined Success is the progressive realization of worthwhile goals & dreams “Don't just make a living, make a life worth living”
  7. 7. • What Success Isn’t:  The absence of failure  A final destination  Achievement  A public decision Success Defined
  8. 8. Opinion vs. Fact Opinion 1. a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty. 2. a personal view, attitude, or appraisal. A Fact is a statement that is true and can be verified objectively, or proven. Success is an Opinion.
  9. 9. Objective vs. Subjective success • Objective success is externally defined  It is what we think others will perceive as success  Or, what others define as success and we adopt as our own belief  Is RELATIVE
  10. 10. Objective vs. Subjective success • Subjective success is internally defined  It focuses on accomplishing what is important to us, not to others  Is FIXED
  11. 11. Pitfalls: “Objective Success Mindset” • How do we get caught up chasing other people’s definitions of success? • Marketing/Culture drive “consumption” and “acquisition” • The problem with lawyers feeling successful:  Most humans are somewhat “goal oriented”  Lawyers are typically very goal oriented and high-achievers  Law school is based on competition
  12. 12. Pitfalls: The Achievement Illusion • Goal setting is essential for success • Need to figure out what we want to do  (e.g., the “why” of marketing ) • Most independents ran “from” not “to” something  Problem: no success without a goal Achievement isn’t success unless it gets you closer to your goals
  13. 13. Goal setting • Achievements  Where most people start • Goals  If any, are objective or relative (e.g., “more,” “better,” etc.) • Fundamental Goals (i.e., “purpose”) Start with Fundamental Goals & then set Goals to accomplish them
  14. 14. Goal setting • Set Personal FGs First. • What is really important to you?  Family relationships?  Community service?  Other hobbies/pursuits ?  Health?  Financial security
  15. 15. Goal setting • ACTIVITY: • List 4 Material Items/Things most important. • List 4 people most important to you • List 4 past events/memories that are important to you (made you who you are) • List 4 goal for the future
  16. 16. Goal setting HOMEWORK:  Draft your eulogy - what five things do you want to be remembered for?  What five things, if taken from you, would be the hardest to live without?  If you won $25 million in the lottery, what would you do? Change careers? Relocate?
  17. 17. Goal setting
  18. 18. Goal setting • Set Professional Goals based on personal FGs • Set goals, both short and long term • Goals should be at the limit of what you really think is attainable (goals are limits) Don’t be afraid of failure
  19. 19. Pursue your Goals Once FG’s and Goals are Set – develop specific PLANS to accomplish them. Break goal into steps, working backwards from where you want to be to where you are now. - Revisit the Productivity Presentation
  20. 20. Pursue your Goals Stay focused on YOUR FGs – - Don’t get side-tracked by Objective Success Mindset - Nor by struggles/failures
  21. 21. Check your Progress Remember: Success is a journey – not a destination. Periodically check status - Acknowledge achievements and failures - People often focus on failures - (forgetting the successes on the way) - Avoid OSM comparison - Re-evaluate goals Still relevant? Still important? Need new ones?
  22. 22. Successful Traits
  23. 23. Additional Suggestions • Surround yourself with “successful” people • Enjoy the moment  “Retire” a few hours a week • Want to feel valuable – help others • Practice gratitude “I’m not who I am because I’m a lawyer. I’m a lawyer because of who I am.”