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Grateful for Pneumonia

Posted by Daniel Roberts | Jan 26, 2021 | 0 Comments

How did your law practice do in 2020? Did you reach all of your goals? What worked for you in this Covid 19 era and to what extent?

My take is that some law firms did OK. Bankruptcy, Estate Planning, and Family Law did better than expected. But, by and large, it wasn't a great year for law practices. It is important to look at 2020 outcomes in setting your goals for 2021.

I want to tell you a story. Last October my wife started feeling fatigued, had severe muscle aches and a fever. When she didn't improve we rushed to the emergency room of our closest hospital. She was checked in and ushered to a private exam room, I was sent home. Imagine how fearful we were. When I picked her up several hours later she related what the doctor had told her; "Well, the good news is that you do not have Covid 19. The bad news is that you have Pneumonia." Pneumonia. Something to be rightly concerned about but, compared to a diagnosis of Covid 19, it was like we dodged the bullet. With two weeks of bed rest, drugs, and the excellent nursing of yours truly, she fully recovered.

Since then I have been thinking about how we were actually grateful for the diagnosis to be pneumonia. The lesson learned is that even outcomes that are less than optimal may deserve our gratitude. Allow yourself to consider that achieving a goal does not necessarily have to be an all or nothing situation, win or lose, black or white. There can be gradations.

It is important, especially in these challenging times, to look at a goal not completely achieved, the glass partially full, as something to be grateful for. If your gross income goal for your law practice in 2020 was $750,000 and you only brought in $600,000, technically you did not achieve your goal, you missed it by 20%. But you achieved 80% of your goal. Is that not something to be grateful for? Of course it is.

Don't get me wrong, as a coach, I work hard to help my clients achieve their goals. But I believe there is an easily overlooked value in appreciating what one does achieve and being grateful for that result. What "grateful for pneumonia" situations have you experienced recently in your law practice?

Have a Great Practice!

Daniel Roberts

Professional Lawyer Coach

About the Author

Daniel Roberts

 Law Background I graduated from the University of Houston, Bates College of Law in 1972 and practiced law in Houston from 1973 through 1997. I have experienced the practice of law as an associate, solo practitioner and law firm partner. Initially I was a generalist and handled whatever cases ...


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