Up front warning – this post is unlike any other blog post I’ve ever written. This post is more about questioning who you are and what you are doing here (here being “on Earth”) than providing “7 tips to get your clients to pay their bill”. Now you know, so read on…
I’ve posted previously about the business books I’m currently reading. Right now I’m just about done with Tribes, by Seth Godin. It’s a short book and quick read – if you were a faster reader than me you could probably finish it in a couple of hours.
Tribes is a series of short “blurbs” about the value of creating and leading a community that cares about your business. Seth Godin calls these communities “Tribes”. (duh)
Last night I read a short section entitled “How Was Your Day?” Unlike many of the other sections in the book, this section caused me to stop, think about the section before going on, and then re-read it.
Seth starts this section talking about how he is in Jamaica, it is 4 am, and he can’t sleep. So he goes down to the lobby of the hotel he is staying at to check email.
A couple walks by that was on their way to bed. The woman “whispers” to her friend that, “Isn’t that sad? That guy comes here on vacation and he’s stuck checking his e-mail. He can’t even enjoy his two weeks off.”
Seth aptly points out that the question we should be asking instead is “Isn’t it sad that we have a job where we spend two weeks avoiding the stuff we have to do fifty weeks a year?”
You see, Seth enjoys his job so much that, short of sleeping, he would rather be checking email at that place and that time than anything else. He loves his job. On a daily basis he gets to “make change happen” by leading a tribe of people to where they want to go.
We should all be so lucky.
Seth goes on to say:
“You don’t have enough time to be both unhappy and mediocre. It’s not just pointless, it’s painful. Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you ought to set up a life you don’t need to escape from.”
Thank you Seth – that quote is beautiful.
My wife and I are taking the kids on a vacation to Florida next month (God help us). We will be revisiting the place where we were married on Captiva Island. I told my wife that one of my conditions of taking this trip was that I needed to have at least a couple of hours, everyday, to do some work. I don’t plan on working because I have to, or because I’m under some deadline to get something done. I want to do it because I love what I do. I love serving my clients and I need that time to myself.
What about you?
Do you love being a lawyer? Do you love your job? Are you looking to escape what you do or have you already set up the life of your dreams?
Having been a lawyer now for almost ten years, I feel comfortable in saying that most of us lawyers hate our “jobs”. Maybe you love being a lawyer, just not the client’s or firm you work for. Perhaps you are working so much that you don’t have enough time for your family. Maybe you can’t remember the last time you got to tuck your kids into bed. Maybe weekends are nothing more than extensions of the week for you.
Does any of this sound familiar? Do you want something more out of life?
I recognize I’m writing a lot of questions in this post. The purpose of this post is to try to get you thinking about who you are and what you want out of life. “Life is too short” is mostly an overused cliche’, but in the context of your life’s work it is imperative that you start thinking about these things and answering some of these questions.
Here I am quickly approaching 40. I can’t believe that I just wrote that. We don’t live forever folks, and we should all start thinking about where we are in our lives and what we want from the rest of the fleeting time we get to spend on this planet.
Have you created a life that you don’t need to escape from?