Secrets to a Happy Successful Legal Career

Last week I had the good fortune to provide three hours of wellness training to The Florida Bar at their mid-year meeting.

Cultivating a more positive and tranquil outlook is something I’ve been pursuing ever since I listened to an episode of Science Friday. A happiness researcher, Daniel Nettle, got my attention with the following lightning bolt:

“The best predictor of how happy you’ll be in 20 years’ time is simply how happy you are now, which is a sobering thought because we all believe that we’re going to have some incredible transformation in the next couple of years that will change everything.”

Mind. Blown.

To me, this meant that I had to actively pursue a happy lifestyle or else twenty years would go by and I would never be the person I wanted to be. Was this one of the reasons I quit my job and started Rocket Matter? Maybe. It certainly got me moving in a positive direction.

The question is, however, is it possible with what we know from research to turn from grumpy to happy, or at least non-grumpy?

The answer is 100% yes. To find out more, please check out my slide deck from the presentation. Here are some of the highlights and most important takeaways: 

  1. In my talk, I referred to writing my schedule down on this sheet (click here to download it) every morning. In addition to blocking off my appointments, I write three things that I accomplished the day before and three things I’m grateful for. For instance today, I was grateful for 1) my kids 2) my wife and 3) not having the nasty flu that’s going around. My accomplishments for the previous 24 hours: 1) finished a press release on a new feature 2) survived a very intense Orangetheory workout and 3) finalized my Q1 planning.
  2. My favorite meditation app is Meditation by Fitness22. It is available for iPhone and Android. I find it to be as useful as any of the techniques or disciplines I’ve spent thousands of dollars on over the years.
  3. My favorite nutrition tracking software is called LoseIt.
  4. I was asked about email management—twice. I recommended SaneBox for filtering out the unimportant, Zero Inbox as a processing technique, and Slack or my own product’s Communicator to reduce intra-firm email.
  5. I would also like to showcase a remarkable TED talk by Sean Achor, “The Happy Secret to Better Work.

A big shout out to the Florida Bar for their focus on the importance of wellness under the leadership of current bar president, Michael Higer.