Clarissa Rayward’s article “5 Habits of a Happy Lawyer in Law and in Life”, addresses the five attributes that happy lawyers possess. She has turned these habits into a HAPPY acronym which can be found below.
‘H’ is for Health
When it comes to happy lawyers, they are healthy. They may not be able to run a marathon…but they are healthy and looking after their health is one of their top priorities. Without our health it is so hard to find happiness. Many of us take our health for granted, but as the years go on we discover quickly that in order to do much in life well, we need our bodies to be functioning in the best possible way.
‘A’ is for Attitude
A happy lawyer has a positive, mindful and ‘glass half full’ attitude… They have the capacity to see the good in more situations, are grateful for the opportunities their career has given them and are mindful –living in the moment and enjoying life for what it is. Even in the difficult times, they see the good in the bad, practice kindness, empathy and gratitude, all of which neuroscience has shown has a significant and positive impact on our happiness.
‘P’ is for Passion
The 3rd ‘habit’ of those Happy Lawyers is passion! Most are passionate about law or their legal career in some way, shape, or form but perhaps more importantly they have passions, daily! Whether it is running, swimming, music, art, reading, walking or just being in nature, all of the happy lawyers I know have passions that they pursue every single day, whether it be inside or outside of their law career.
‘P’ is for Purpose
A happy lawyer is clear on their purpose. Many of the lawyers I have heard from find their purpose in the ability to make a difference or to have a positive impact on the lives of those around them. Their purpose is bigger than the mere practice of law. Chances are those happy lawyers could have pursued many different career paths but law is the tool that they have chosen to use to pursue their purpose. …They keep things in perspective and are able to recognize the difference they are making, even when it seems to be buried under a 20 volume brief.
‘Y’ is for ‘You’
I have come to conclude the happy lawyers around me have found a way to be authentically themselves in their practice of law. Whether it is a love of sequin-covered shoes, music, family, kindness, empathy, mindfulness or deep intellectual challenge –those happy lawyers bring the whole of themselves to all that they do in life and in law. They are one whole person whether they are at work, at home, with their family or colleagues—they are just tapping into different parts of themselves in different amounts depending on their day.
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