Is Your Life Fulfilling?

Debra L. Bruce, JD, PCC.

Want a happier and more fulfilling life? Then perhaps you should look at what really peeves you. Are you driven nuts by drivers who weave in and out of the freeway lanes? Do you find yourself screeching at family members who leave dirty dishes on the sink instead of putting them in the dishwasher? Does your blood pressure rise in the doctor’s waiting room as the clock strikes half an hour past your 11 a.m. appointment?

When you identify what annoys or angers you, you find a clue to one of your values. By “values” I don’t mean virtues or morals, but rather, what is important to you. Your annoyance is a signal that one of your values is being stepped on. The weaving driver may violate your value for safety or predictability. The family member leaving a trail of dirty dishes may violate your value of orderliness or personal responsibility. The doctor with the overloaded appointment book may violate your value for punctuality or reliability or respect.

If the situation doesn’t just annoy you, but rather, it makes you want to explode, then that same value is probably being stepped on elsewhere in your life. What changes can you make in your circumstances, your attitude or your actions that will bring your life more in alignment with your values? Wherever we are not honoring our own values, we create stress and imbalance in our life. Often, that is just when we tend to blame someone else for our unhappiness.

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ABA Says Collaborative Law Is Ethical

Debra L. Bruce, JD, PCC.

Some lawyers question whether a lawyer can fulfill her ethical duty to zealously represent her client in a collaborative process where the parties agree to open communication and information sharing. The challenge mainly arises out of the requirement that the lawyer must withdraw from the representation if the collaborative process breaks down, and the parties pursue litigation. In August 2007 the ABA published its Formal Opinion 07-447 about Ethical Considerations in Collaborative Law Practice, and opined that the Collaborative Law process is ethical.

This is an important stride for the Collaborative Law process, and for clients. Today many clients want lawyers to help them resolve disputes without getting so caught up in “winning” that they lose sight of the real interests of the client. Clients know that all-out warfare is often deadly to their health and well-being, as well as to their bank accounts.

The Christian Science Monitor recently published a succinct and informative piece on Collaborative Law and the recent ABA Opinion. If you want more information about Collaborative Law, check out the website of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. You can also read an article I wrote a few years ago about the spread of Collaborative Law from family law disputes to business disputes.