Here is what I think makes a happy person:
1. Living in the moment. This means not worrying about the past, not second-guessing decisions, not worrying if you can get that brief done or will get paid on that case, nor worrying about what illness or event will end your life. Living in the moment means listening fully and completely to what others are saying. Forgetting about yourself (more on that later). Living in the moment means being aware of the beauty of your surroundings and melodies in your life.
2. Forgetting about yourself. The times I have been depressed, insecure or stressed, I become very self-involved. I am never happy when I am self-involved. I am never happy when I am insecure. To forget about yourself, you must be able to love yourself and give yourself a break. Every time you do something for someone else with no regard to receiving anything in return, you forget about your self. Every time you ignore a nasty comment or dirty look, all the while knowing that it reflects on the person giving the look or making the comment and not on you, you can be happy.
3, Listening to and understanding others from the other person's point of view. Of course, to truly listen to others is to live in the moment and to forget about yourself. When you listen to someone from his or her point of view, you gain a deeper understanding of that person and of the human condition. When you let yourself get into the hide of others, the world becomes a kinder, gentler place. You become less judgmental and more forgiving and loving.
These are three principles that make a person happier, but these characteristics also make lawyers better lawyers, and humans more effective. I have to keep reminding myself of this, since it sure is easy for me to become insecure, self-centered and selfish. But, for now, I will just enjoy the view from my window overlooking the Power and Light District and be thankful for this day.