As I discussed in previous blogs, we had our semi-annual Academy Summit event last week in San Diego. Our Academy events tackle many legal technical issues, such as the Core I presentation I discussed in my blog last week. But, the events also discuss marketing and other issues of interest to estate planning attorneys, such as motivation and even health.
A great example of this was the keynote speaker, Dr. Sean Stephenson, the author of “Get Off Your But: How to End Self-Sabotage and Stand Up for Yourself.” Sean is a great motivational speaker. For a clip which demonstrates Sean’s infectious enthusiasm, click here. Sean recounted some amusing stories from his past. He has risen above some incredible adversities. For more information about Sean and his background, click here. Yet he has maintained a phenomenally positive outlook on life. Sean summed up his wisdom in a brief, but true, statement. “You only have control over two things in your life, your perspective and your reaction.” For example, if someone cuts you off in traffic, you could assume they are a jerk or you could assume they are having an awful day or are rushing to the hospital. Similarly, your reaction is within your control.
The Academy brings wonderful speakers like Sean because it recognizes that attorneys and their staffs have health issues, just like anyone else. So, we’ve brought speakers concerning the importance of physical health and mental health. Sean is a therapist and was speaking about motivation and mental health issues. Mental health issues can take their toll on people in any profession, though they are often swept under the carpet. Unfortunately, depression is even more prevalent in the legal community. In fact, one-fourth of lawyers suffer from stress, law ranks highest in incidence of depression, and lawyers commit suicide at a rate higher than society at large. For these reasons, the Academy encourages its members and their staff to care for their physical and mental health so they can be their best selves. At its core, that sums up the Academy: It encourages each estate planning attorney and each member of that attorney’s staff to be the best version of himself or herself. Isn’t that what each of us should do: help one another be the best version of ourselves?
Stephen C. Hartnett, J.D., LL.M.
Associate Director of Education
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555