Berlin Law Firm - November 2019

LEX CANIS THE Lee Berlin Kyle Killam

Happy Days The Problem With ‘TGIF’

Well, Thanksgiving is here again, when friends and families come together to count their blessings. I certainly have a lot to be grateful for. I have my health, my family, my wonderful team members at the firm — and of course, our favorite weenie dog, Junior Oscar Meyer Tank Berlin! However, there’s one thing I stopped being grateful for last year, and I don’t plan on picking it back up any time soon: Fridays. Hear me out. The “Thank God It’s Friday/Living for the Weekend” attitude may be one of the most harmful belief systems a person can have. After all, this way of life isn’t about a particular reverence for the last three days of the week; it’s about loathing the first four. Friday worship comes from the attitude that to work is to suffer, meaning people can only find happiness in those brief moments when they’re “off the clock.” It’s a depressing outlook when you think about it. Obviously, people are going to love their weekends. That’s when we get a chance to spend time with the folks we don’t see at work and go out and do the fun stuff that is too time-consuming or unavailable to enjoy during the week. But talk to any self- described working stiff in America, and you’ll know that they see their weekends as the only time to “have a life” before they return to another soul-sucking Monday.

So what’s the alternative? Just buck up, force a smile, and learn to love your job? Hell no! The answer is to stop accepting the weekend as your savior and start looking for a living that allows you to be happy for most, if not all, the days of the week. I’m not saying that everyone can quit their jobs and become rock stars, but finding work you love is possible. Again, this isn’t a call for you to just make your hobby your full-time job. Often that’s unrealistic, and even when it’s not, it’s a great recipe to make your hobby feel less like fun and more like, well, work. Sometimes, even staying in the same field you are in now is fine; you just need to find a better employer with more opportunities or sharpen your skill set to delve more deeply into the work you actually enjoy. I know it’s possible because I did this myself. As I mentioned at the top, I gave up thanking God for Fridays around this time last year. Our firm has enjoyed some incredible growth. Everything was going well numbers-wise, but that’s not the way we humans felt. I’ll admit it. I was making bad decisions for my health, well-being, and the well-being of my team members because I was chasing a buck. I wasn’t enjoying my work, and I don’t think many other members of the firm were enjoying theirs, either. As I started to reflect

1 Berlin Law Firm • So, as we approach a particularly special Thursday, I urge you to examine the ways you approach your work life and look for ways you could make many, many more happy days to come. – Lee Berlin Many of our initiatives this year, and certainly the ones planned for 2020, represent fundamental shifts in how I run my practice. We have put so much more focus on the people who work here and what they get out of it. The difference has been night and day. I no longer find myself longing for the weekend. In fact, there are days I can’t wait to get to the office. Were these changes easy? No. But they’ve been more than worth it. Think about the weekend-worshiping alternative: Spend 71% of your waking life miserable and suffering while you wait for the other 29% to enjoy. When did that become acceptable? I’m not saying we have to love 100% of every week, but we can sure as hell try and do better than 29% on gratitude and what I was thankful for, I realized how little of it had to do with my job besides “putting food on the table.” That’s when I started to shake loose many of my old ideas and make changes.

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