Posts Tagged ‘competence’

thumbI participated on a panel last year with an expert on “happiness studies” and naturally, as someone who works with lawyers, I found myself inverting the customary nomenclature. While the relevance of “happiness studies” to the legal profession might fairly be questioned, it would be foolhardy to minimize the implications of “unhappiness studies” with regard to lawyers’ lives. I would venture a step further, to aver that law, as a profession, holds immense promise for future “unhappiness studies” research.

Until that time, we’ll have to make do with insights provided by the “happiness studies” folks, and simply invert it all so things makes sense in legal terms. It might sound like some kind of “Mister Mxyztplk” version of happiness studies…but for our purposes, it’ll do the trick.

Here, then, Mr. or Ms. Lawyer, is the official explanation (at least, according to some of the happiness experts I’ve read or listened to) for why you’re so unhappy: There are three things missing from your life – three elements critical to happiness (think of them as vitamins, and yourself as having a deficiency.) Studies show that you need these three elements, or your life will suck. Well, that’s not exactly what studies show, but in all honesty, I haven’t bothered to read any of those studies because it seems like that would be a difficult and boring thing to do and in any case this stuff is pretty intuitive (intuitive being the polite word for obvious) and who knows with these psychology studies – half the time they aren’t reproducible and most were likely done by a psych professor milking his tenure track gig while he moonlights supervising waterboardings.

But I regress. Or digress. Or whatever.

Here then, is an explanation of the vitamins, in entirely random order:


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