Do you enjoy your work? Can you get lost in the process of preparing for trial or analyzing a transaction? Are you energized by the interaction you experience with clients? Do you find it inspiring to discuss the law with colleagues? If the answer is YES… you my friend are very lucky. But sometimes the flip side is… guilt!
Do you have family, friends and colleagues that tell you that you work too much? Chances are you hear it, and when you do… you start to feel guilty and question yourself…"Maybe I DO work too much."
I was just working with a lawyer about this very issue. He was second-guessing himself. Does he work long hours? YES. Does he like his work? YES. Is he building a practice? YES. Does he take time to enjoy the sporting events he loves? YES. Does he pay attention to his family? YES.
I shared a story with him. Many years ago my father was lecturing me about working too much. My response to him was… "If I were a priest, you would praise me for being so devoted to my parishioners that I would be visiting them at ten o’clock at night. And if I were the baseball player, Cal Ripken you would be so proud that I had played in 2,632 consecutive games… I would be a super star in your eyes!" My father, to his credit responded with…"Point well taken!" And to this day has never chastised me again for working long hours because he knows that it is my CHOICE and I love my work.
If you are passionate about what you do… and you do not neglect your other obligations… then DO what makes YOU HAPPY! And don’t let other people’s judgment about it make you feel guilty. Stay true to whom you are and what you want to accomplish in life. After all, we only have one life to live!