Stress can be a killer

Dr. Oz, the popular television medic, recently said that high blood pressure is the "silent killer." Stress, he said, is one of the major causes of high blood pressure.

Lawyers I talk with almost universally tell me about the stress under which they labor. Because of this, I am on the lookout for ways that my advice about improving the lawyer’s operations may also have the impact of reducing his/her stress level. Thus, I am always viewing the practice from a holistic perspective, addressing revenue improvement, operations changes that impact profit, and stress reduction that improves both the professional and personal life of the lawyer. Just knowing that you now have an accountability partner (me as the coach) goes a long way to reduce the stress. For the first time, you really have someone to talk with who can be objective and with whom you can show vulnerability.

In the February 13th edition of the L.A. Times, an article featured a lawyer who clearly is a workaholic. But, she has a marvelous and somewhat unusual perspective of her workload. As the headline says, "stress can hinge on attitudes about work." In other words, if you love what you’re doing, it’s not work; if it’s not work, you may be exhausted at the end of the day, but you won’t be stressed out and unable to cope with your environment. Clearly, this lawyer enjoys what she does. Of course, the feature article didn’t hurt her publicity efforts either.

With this article, came a new word or label, at least for me:  "engaged workaholic."  Said differently, if you are engaged with what you’re doing, if you love what you do, then it’s not "work." It’s play … and how can you get too stressed when you’re playing.

Or, as my father used to say about his work, "… This is my hobby. This is what I love to do."

My hope for you (and therefore your clients) is that you love what you do … and enthusiastically show your clients how to successfully address the challenges they bring to you.

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