Home Concepts Strategy Coaching in Legal Institutions Happiness is an Option for Lawyers: Creating Success and Fulfillment in Work and Life

Happiness is an Option for Lawyers: Creating Success and Fulfillment in Work and Life

27 min read

“One of my favorite musical groups once wrote a song called “Happiness is an Option”. Maynard Brusman can show even the most jaded lawyers out there that ‘happiness is an option’ for them in a way that they might never have noticed or seen before. Believe it or not, attorneys can be happy in both their personal and professional lives. It takes time and effort, but Dr. Brusman can show you how.”

John Faricy, Senior Partner
Faricy, PA


In the increasingly demanding world lawyers face; many lawyers desire to achieve professional success, a fulfilling life, and true happiness. However, achieving both their personal and professional goals sometimes proves to be very difficult. Many lawyers report being unhappy with the choices they have made and desire a different future.

Most lawyers live hectic and stress-filled lives. They experience a great deal of pressure from the billable hour requirement and client/firm demands. Finding a balance between work and life without sacrificing professional success, deciding on the best  practice area or work setting, and making possible career transitions can be challenging tasks, even for the most talented and effective lawyer.

A number of lawyers choose to develop their own practice or seek alternative careers. Lawyers frequently find marketing their practice or creating a career that is more aligned with their values and evolving interests a significant challenge.

You have made a major investment in your legal career and developed some very valuable competencies. You’ve earned the right to both career success and a happy personal life. To be happy, requires knowledge about how to achieve happiness (wisdom and hard work) and taking small action steps.There are a number of transformational strategies that can help you achieve your goals.


Martin E.P. Seligman introduces the foundation for a theory of Positive Psychology in his book, Authentic Happiness (Free Press, 2002). Scientifically based, it is a contrast to other theories of psychology. For example, Freud put forth that our feelings arise from unconscious conflicts experienced in early infancy and therefore our personalities are determined by such experiences. Seligman posits that we have more choice and control over how we feel and behave, and our capacity to experience positive emotions can be developed. He teaches that happiness can be cultivated by identifying and using many of the strengths and traits that one already possesses – including kindness, originality, humor, optimism, and generosity. By frequently calling upon one’s signature strengths in all crucial realms of life, people not only develop natural buffers against misfortune and the experience of negative emotion, they move their lives up to a new more positive plane.

Seligman provides the Signature Strengths Survey on his web site, along with a variety of brief tests on such things as happiness, gratitude, work-life satisfaction, close relationships, emotions, and motivations, at www.authentichappiness.org, so that people can measure how much positive emotion they experience. The lesson in his book and on the website, is that by identifying the very best in ourselves, we can improve the world around us and achieve new and sustainable levels of authentic contentment, gratification and meaning.

So what is needed to create life satisfaction?

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