Episode 15: Psychologist Mike talks burnout, the gentle antidote to an extreme lawyerly personality, and tools for sustainable achievement
This episode is a bit different from others in that Mike is not himself a lawyer, but he treats lawyers in his practice as a clinical psychologist and basically wrote a book about us, so it counts. We discussed all or nothing personalities (of course), the antidote to the extreme versions of that personality, the consequences of letting your all or nothing nature rule your life, and what life looks and feels like when it's not quite so all or nothing.
Important note: no offence was intended to those listeners who practise yoga; yoga is hard and incredibly good for you. Our point was just that the options available to us lawyers are not limited to two (extreme health-threatening all or nothing legal practice and extreme life-affirming full time yoga practice); there are a vast many options and degrees inbetween. If anyone is quitting law to start a yoga practice, GOOD ON YOU.
Things mentioned in the episode:
- The book is All or Nothing - Bringing Balance to the Achievement-Oriented Personality by Mike McKinney.
- Mike sees private clients in Christchurch at PsycInsight.
- Other New Zealand clinical psychologists can be found via this tool. Equivalents outside New Zealand are easily googled.
- The book about money management is Your Money Or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez.
- Tim Harford's book is Messy: How to Be Creative and Resilient in a Tidy-Minded World, which is about all the ways that perfect order, goals, targets and the likes sometimes let us down.
- And, in furtherance of my goal that anyone who thinks they would benefit from some help, psychological or otherwise, but is mired in shame or fear or similar feelings that get in the way of them asking for it, here is Brene Brown's full quote:
"I used to think if I was vulnerable and told people my real story it would be the end of me. But I did it anyway, and what I've found is that whenever I'm courageous and let people see the real me - all of my messes, mistakes, errors and imperfections - I find beginnings bursting with empathy, not endings. I hear "me too" a lot more often too."
I'm with you, all or nothing lawyers.