Getting into a  happy situation with your law job is easier said than done – deadlines, anxious clients, billing targets – and getting some undersanding of quite how that can be accomplished is no easy feat.

The Lawyer’s “systemic coach”, Zita Tulyahikayo and QC James Pereira run their ‘Loving Legal Life’ series who discussed a recent study about well being and happiness and quite how that can relate to lawyers’ lives.


Zita Tulyahikayo


The studey was concluded by The Harvard Study of Adult Development, which analyzed results from tracking over 7000 men.  The groups were split into two:  one group who were graduates of Harvard between 1939-1944, and the second group who were growing up in the poorest areas and among the poorest families of Boston in 1939.

The subjects were exposed to significant surveys, blood counts, medical record examination and even brain scans.

They also came from all walks of life,The study’s results are revealing. The key factor that determined people’s wellbeing was not status, money or fame; it was how satisfied they were with their relationships. According to Robert Waldinger, the current director of the study, good relationships make us happier and healthier.

from a US President (not sure if that’s the top or bottom group) to factory workers.

The results were revealing, according to  Robert Waldinger, the current director of the study, good relationships make us happier and healthier.

Waldinger emphasizes three key lessons from the 75-year project. First, the more socially connected we are, the healthier, happier and longer we live. Feelings of isolation and loneliness have the opposite effect.

Secondly, it is not the quantity of our relationships but their quality that is important. Good relationships support us in times of stress, so that our well-being is maintained even in difficult times. On the other hand, bad relationships magnify the impact of stressful times.

James Pereira QC

Thirdly, good relationships with people who could be relied upon in difficult times were found to delay the ageing of the brain: those in good relationships tended to stay sharper for longer, whereas brain ageing occurred quicker in those with poor relationships.

How Does This Affect Us on a Daily Basis?

First, we need to lift our gaze up from our books and away from our screens and acknowledge the value of social connections and interactions, not as a counterweight to the daily grind but as a necessary and critical part of a healthy and happy life.

Secondly, we need to make space and time to strengthen and deepen our bonds with those who are close to us, and be mindful of the need to address and heal points of conflict in our relationships with others.

Thirdly, we need to make a commitment to our relationships with friends, family and community on an on-going basis, so that they stand on firm foundations that will support us as we move through life.

So there are the lessons for a healthy daily life – in your ‘real’ life and in your law job, as well.

Source: The Lawyer

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