As you likely know, I love music in part because of the emotion and the story in the song. A few weeks ago I posted: Life Lessons I Learned from Harry Chapin. I rarely receive emails about posts, but I received 10 that day. I even received a telephone call from a lawyer who shares my passion for Harry Chapin’s music.

Long before I wrote that post, I wrote a letter to a young lawyer who was essentially burned out. In the letter I wanted to let him know that he was not the only lawyer who has experienced that feeling.

Knowing that each of you will have those times in your career, I wanted to paraphrase what I told my young lawyer friend.

Each of us will experience times in our career when the old Peggy Lee song “Is That All There Is” will apply to how we feel. You likely never heard the song. The lyrics I have in mind are these:

Is that all there is, is that all there is? If that’s all there is, my friends, then let’s keep dancing, Let’s break out the booze and have a ball, If that’s all there is.

I experienced those Peggy Lee moments and you will also. How can you break out of them?

I can’t tell you what will give you a “Rocky Mountain High,” but I can offer some ideas on how to discover it.

  1. Discover your purpose. At one point in time, law was a calling for you. Re-examine why that was the case.
  2. Focus on being a whole person, not just a lawyer. As Stephen Covey suggests, Plan your week around both your personal and professional positions or roles. You are a father/mother, a husband/wife, a son/daughter, a brother/sister. What is the most important thing you can do next week for each of those roles?
  3. Make time to do personal things you enjoy and value.
  4. Keep track of what you really love to do and the clients for whom you love to work. Once you are clear on the type of work and clients you love, work on a plan designed to getting more of those opportunities.
  5. Finally, make sure you are defining career success and enjoyment correctly and prioritize the things that matter most to you.

Here is a John Denver clip from 1974. Watching it picks me up and hopefully will do the same for you.

Colorado Rocky Mountain High. I’ve seen it rain a fire in the sky.

I was fortunate to see John Denver in concert three times. Each time I left with great feelings. Isn’t John Denver telling us to get out of our office, look around and seek out the beauty in the world?