I wanted to be a lawyer even when I was a little kid, and I was right. I loved the practice. Absolutely loved it. Hell, I loved law school, which is weird. But after 25 years, mostly as a litigation partner at Davis Polk in New York, I quit. Because I wanted to live more than one life. Not a bad idea and it worked. I’ve written a couple of surprisingly successful books (Younger Next Year has sold a million and a half copies in 20 languages, and still sells like hot cakes), and given speeches about ’em all over the world. A neat new life at 78; good for me. But I’m still deeply proud to be a lawyer and enjoy the company of lawyers more than any other group. Which is good in a way, because lawyers seem to need the message more than most.
Lawyers Just Think They’re Too Busy to Be Healthy
My core message is simple: Do some hard but important stuff and you can reduce normal American aging by 70 percent, right up to the waterfall. And you can completely eliminate 50 percent of all serious illness and accidents forever, along with all the pain, misery and expense they entail. Amazing news and absolutely true. The trouble is, you have to do stuff to get those results:
- You have to work out—yes, exercise—pretty hard, six days a week till the day you die. Ugh.
- And quit eating crap.
- And care about and connect with others.
There is zero question that it works and zero question that it is utterly worth it. A good many thousands of success stories prove it. The trouble, for so many lawyers, is that they don’t have time. Or so they think.
That’s complete nonsense for a couple of reasons. First, some of the most effective and successful people in the country find time to do this stuff … see the picture of President Obama on my website, carrying his copy of Younger Next Year. He works out hard, every day. And think of the thousands of CEOs I talk to on the road who swear by it. The ablest and most successful people in the country do it. The fact is that taking the time to exercise for an hour a day gives you more time … and better time. It gives you more energy, more optimism, more effectiveness.
If the inanity of billing by the hour (a dreadful system, in my view) keeps you from working out, it is a major cheat of both you and your clients. Take an hour a day for you and your precious body—which only works if you use it, for God’s sake—and it will be a huge blessing to you, your clients and everyone else in your life. Read the damn books. One way or another find out what this is all about. Then do it and change your life. This stuff works. And it’s not magic, it’s just gutting it out, with sense, energy and steadiness … all the good, lawyerly traits. Give it a shot.
Last Big Reason: You Can Do Some Major Good for Others
My great motivation at this point in my life is to promote a desperately needed revolution in behavior. A revolution in aging. The way we live in this country today—the absurd way we eat, our crippling idleness and, yes, our selfishness—is absolutely crazy. It’s making us all sick, and it’s ruining the economy and wrecking our lives. We have to change. Lawyers, bless you all, are natural revolutionaries. Have been since 1776 and ever after. I urgently want to recruit lawyers to help lead this here revolution, which the country—and you as individuals—need so much. It is THE revolution of our time. And lawyers should be leading the way. There you go. Save yourself and help save the country. Not bad.
Chris Crowley is a motivational speaker and the coauthor of the New York Times best-sellers Younger Next Year and Younger Next Year for Women. His third book, Thinner This Year, is soon to be released. Chris spends a great deal of time traveling the country, lecturing on the revolution in aging, which has been his great passion for the past 10 years. Read more about Chris and his books at www.youngernextyear.com, or go really nuts and ask him to come talk to your firm.