Recently I wrote: What does it take to make rain? I feel incredibly fortunate. I never really set out to be a rainmaker. I simply was passionate about my work and my clients. Hopefully it showed.

I know my passion contributed greatly to my success practicing law. Late in my career, I finally figured out that I was one of small percentage of lawyers who are so fortunate. Are you also? Are you pursuing a great career based on things you are passionate about?

Recently I read Carmine Gallo’s Forbes blog: Why You Will Fail to Have a Great Career [The Interview] and I watched the the 15 minute Larry SmithTed Video. If you have 15 minutes, I urge you to watch it and decide whether you have what it takes to have a great career. As you watch, type the list of excuses people use on why they fail to follow their passion. I think you will have either used some of them yourself or certainly heard other lawyers use them.

In the interview, Carmine Gallo writes:

No matter how many people tell you that if you want a great career, pursue your passion, pursue your dreams…you will decide not to do it.” Excuses, he says, are holding people back.

What do you suppose is the number one excuse people use to not following their passion and having a great career? In this CNN Opinion Piece: Want a great career? Find your passion, Smith shares what he said in the TED Talk:

The most common excuse is to use the importance of family and personal relationships as the reason to avoid the demands of a great career.

Smith adds:

But how can you be a great spouse, parent or friend by denying your true identity?

Without passion, no one can fully express their talent or define who they are.

That really resonated with me. I remember people telling me that my very first mentor was a “workaholic.” I watched him and took note that he spent most of his time away from work with his family. When we discussed what people had said about him, he made the very same point to me. Put simply, he felt he was a better husband and a better parent because he modeled how a person who is passionate about his career lives.

He was right. He never focused on finding balance. Instead he focused on his two top priorities in his life-his family and his clients in that order.

Are you pursuing a great career practicing law? If not, what excuses are holding you back?