Stresslines – Thoughts on the holidays, balance & porfessionalism

first_img Stresslines – Thoughts on the holidays, balance & professionalism Stresslines – Thoughts on the holidays, balance & porfessionalism “ Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least,” — Goethe “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience,” — Teilhard de Chardin“ He that is good with a hammer tends to think everything is a nail,” — Abraham Maslow Robert FioreOnce again, we find ourselves at that time of year, which means many things to many people. Some of us are happy; some not so happy; and some are just indifferent.We all work in a profession that at times is associated with stress, discomfort, and lots of worrying. Indeed, our profession may at times consume us to the point where little else matters.However, let us stop and think for a moment and ask ourselves the following question — Is our job really what matters most in our lives? I feel fairly certain that the vast majority of us would answer that question with a resounding, “No.”If that is true, then the next question must be, “Why do many of us live day to day as if the answer to the first question — is our job really what matters most in our lives — is, “Yes?” I feel fairly certain that the vast majority of us would answer that question with a resounding, “I don’t have any idea.”That said, we may want to take this time of year to reflect on the following: Is now the time to invest the time and energy in finding balance in my life?Let’s not kid ourselves; finding balance in life is perhaps one of the single greatest challenges we as lawyers, judges, and staff face on a daily basis. There is simply no “quick-fix” solution to this dilemma.What matters most in our lives? Is it our parents, children, brothers, and sisters? Is it our friends? Is it our spirituality? Or, is it something else?The point is simply this: many of us who have achieved success in our profession and are well intentioned have not invested the time and energy necessary to begin answering these basic questions. And, without those answers, we have not even begun the process of solving the “balance dilemma.”As the quote above from Goethe teaches, once we figure out the things that matter most in life, the journey begins to ensure that these same things are never at the mercy of the things that matter least.What does finding balance in life have to do with professionalism? Perhaps nothing, depending on our perspective. But, I suggest that “balance” and “professionalism” have a deep-rooted, synergistic relationship. In other words, those of us who have found balance in life — or at the very least have begun searching for it — are more likely to value professionalism that has at its core living by a higher set of principles, and not just the minimum requirements set forth in the ethical rules.There are few times during the year that provide a better opportunity to reflect on life than during the holidays. Maybe now is the time to start the journey. Robert J. Fiore of Miami serves as the president of the Dade County Bar Association and chair of The Florida Bar’s Standing Committee on Professionalism. This column is published under the sponsorship of the Quality of Life and Career Committee. The committee’s Web site is at www.fla-lap.org/qlsm.center_img January 1, 2005 Regular Newslast_img

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