My birthday is today. If you are a long time reader you may know I keep track of my age by the most famous football player to ever wear the jersey number reflecting my age. This year that player is John Hannah. You can read about him and see his jersey number with the link on his name.

Today, I begin by asking: Have you defined what success is for you? Why should you?

In my law career I mentored, coached and led as a practice group leader dozens of young lawyers. Over the years, I noticed that many unhappy young lawyers let others define success for them, or they compared how they were doing with how others were doing. Both approaches led to dissatisfaction.

Several years ago I listened and read the book: “The Highest Goal: The Secret That Sustains You in Every Moment.” I became interested in this book for a couple of reasons.

First, the book is based on experiences in the Personal Creativity in Business Class at Stanford University.

Second, I wanted to learn how I can best help young lawyers discover their own highest goal and find the fun and joy practicing law and helping clients that I experienced.

After listening and reading the book, I shared ideas that enabled young lawyers to focus on their highest goal. If you want to learn more about Professor Ray and his Stanford class take a quick look at a Fast Company article: The Most Creative Man in Silicon Valley.

Here is a short video clip discussion of The Highest Goal.

Professor Ray lets us know that it is challenging for us to figure out our highest goal and that is ok. Take a look at the Fast Company book review and I think it will give you some ideas on how to figure out your own highest goal.

Think back to when you were young and had a meaningful experience. What was it for you?

For me it was teaching and coaching young kids 8-10 years old to become better baseball players. I believe that is why I gave up my law practice after my best year to teach and coach young lawyers.

At the beginning of chapter 3, he asks a very thought provoking question:

What is the one recurring problem, issue or obstacle in your life that if you solved it, overcame it or dealt with it would lead to an immeasurable improvement in your life?

Professor Ray says that in decades of teaching creativity at Stanford and asking this question, he finds the source to be one of the following life challenges:

  1. Finding prosperity
  2. Dealing with time and stress
  3. Developing relationships that work
  4. Achieving balance
  5. Bringing creativity into the world

I think he has accurately identified the potential sources of many issues young lawyers face.

So, what is your highest goal and what are you doing to achieve it?

I want to recruit lawyers who have given those questions a great deal of thought. If  you want to send me and email and share your highest goal.