In my previous blog, I gave you a very short history of how I was experiencing a lot of negative emotional states on a daily basis when I was in my 20's, and how those feelings impacted upon my life. I wrote that blog to let my readers know that I just might have a pretty good idea of how they are feeling if they are experiencing all kinds of fears, anxiety, worry, and stress. Financial challenges certainly aren't any fun, and while my major purpose in writing my blogs is to help people conquer and overcome their financial challenges, I realize that most people facing financial challenges must also be facing many emotional challenges and all sorts of negative emotional feelings, and if there is some way I can help them overcome those challenges as well, I could really have a major impact in helping them live a better present and future life.
When I passed the bar exam in November, 1973, my friend Brian convinced me that I should celebrate and go with him to Puerto Rico during Christmas vacation. He had been going there for the last couple of years, and he told me this was one of the best places to meet hot single women, and that if I went there with him, we would have an unbelievably fantastic time. I of course said yes, and while I defintely had a great time in Puerto Rico, it turned out that the most significant person that I met during that trip was a 25 year old single Jewish guy from Long Island named Harold. I've always been an only child, and I had never really shared my negative emotional feelings with anyone, because I thought that having those negative feelings and thoughts meant that there was something wrong with me. The rest of the world seemed pretty happy to me, and it was like I was the only one who was feeling really bad about my life. I quickly got friendly with Harold, and he was very open with me. He told me how unhappy he was with his life, and I quickly realized that we had a whole lot of things in common. Wow, I began to realize that I was not the only stressed and unhappy person in this world. There were at least two of us.
Harold also told me that he was getting a lot of help and support by seeing a psychotherapist in Long Island, and he suggested that I should come with him one day because his therapist could also undoubtedly help me. I told him thanks but not thanks, I really didn't think I was that bad that I needed to see a shrink. But when I got fired a few months later, I was at a very low point in my life, and I gave Harold a call and told him that maybe it was time that I got some professional help, and that I was willing to go meet with his shrink, whose name was Leemar. When I met Leemar and started telling him all about how bad my life was, I started feeling a whole lot better getting all of this stuff off my chest, and I decided I would take shot. Let's see if Leemar could cure me and lead me on the road to a happy life. His office was 150 miles from Vineland, and I drove three hours each way to meet with him for one hour on every Saturday. Meeting Harold and Leemar definitely changed my life.
In addition to being a great psychotherapist, Leemar was also a very strong Christian, and he was not shy about sharing his religious beliefs with me. Having been raised in a pretty traditional Jewish home, I sort of believed in God, but I really didn't think much about God on a daily basis, and I guess I thought that God was more into punishing people who were doing things wrong, than rewarding people who were doing things right. I definitely started feeling a lot better seeing Leemar every week. I don't know how he did it, but I guess finally sharing all of my unhappiness, my fears and anxieties, and my negative thinking with Leemar just made me feel better. I started feeling more confident and positive about my life.
After I got fired from my first job, I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. A couple of months later I got a call out of the blue from an experienced attorney named Tom, and he offered me the opportunty to share office space with him. Tom agreed to let me open up my own office in his office, with no charge to me, if I would help him out with some of his legal cases for about ten to fifteen hours a week. He even agreed to pay me $100 a week for what I would be doing for him, and I could also use his secretary to help me with the legal work that I would need to do for any clients that I would hopefully be getting. It sounded like a good deal to me. It wouldn't cost me anything, and I could use his office to meet with clients and try to build up my own law practice. I jumped at the opportunity, and I quickly got a lot of experience learning how to represent people that were injured in car accidents, because Tom was representing Nationwide Insurance when people who were injured sued to try to get money for their injuries.
I also applied to help the Public Defender's Office with some criminal cases. Back then they paid lawyers between $15 to $25 an hour, and although the money obviously wasn't the greatest, I got a tremendous amount of experience appearing in court and defending people who had been accused of commiting some pretty serious crimes. Within a short period of time, I defended people in six or seven jury trials, and I was very surprised that I really enjoyed trying cases. I had always considered myself as being pretty shy in public, but I discovered that I became like a different person in the courtroom, and i was suddenly very outgoing and assertive, fighting the best that I could to help protect the rights of my clients. I won my first jury trial, and I got a pretty good winning streak going. Not guilty, not guilty, not guilty. I started to like hearing those words when the juries came back with a verdict. I was starting to think of myself as a mini version of Perry Mason.
I had pretty much opened my own office with Tom out of desperation. I really didn't know what I wanted to do with my life, but I didn't want all that money that my parents had spent on my education go to waste, so I figured that I'd give it a try. I'd find out if I was really cut out to be a lawyer, and if that didn't work, I figured I'd be able to get a job as a DJ on the local top 40 radio station. I always loved music, and I constantly listened to all of the hit radio stations. I loved the way the DJs talked, and I fantasized what it would be like if I was a DJ, In fact, during my last 3 years at college, I was a DJ on the school radio station, and I used the name Paul Seymour. I really loved it.
Seeing Leemar every Saturday definitely was a big help for me. As time went on, I felt a lot less stress and a lot more confidence and self esteem. I started to think that maybe I could be a really good lawyer and help lots of people, especially people that were in trouble. I thought that I just might become a great criminal lawyer. So seeing a psychotherapist worked for me, and I continued to see Leemar on and off for maybe 15 years or so. I sure put on a lot of miles driving back and forth 300 miles each Saturday.
Psychotherapy was a very long process for me, and I guess it is a very long process for anyone. But I recently discoverd that people can have the ability to change their lives through processes that don't take 15 years. So in upcoming blogs, I'm going to share what I recently learned about how people can change their emotional states pretty quickly.
Don't let the stress stress you out. Instead of feeling stressed, maybe you can feel blessed. For my clients who are facing unbelievable stress and anxiety due to the financial challenges they are facing, well I think it would be great if I can get them debt relief. But wouldn't it be even greater if I could also get them stress relief? Debt relief and stress relief - that sounds like a pretty good deal to me, and in upcoming blogs, I'm going to focus not just on how I get clients debt relief. I'm also going to share what I recently learned about our ability to get pretty quick relief from stress without having to see a shrink for about 15 years like I did.
So my goal is to be more than an just an attorney who is thought of as helping people get legally out of debt. I want to be known as the attorney that not only gets his clients relief from debt, but I also want to be known as the attorney who fights for the underdogs. I want to be known as the Underdog Advocate, and I want to help turn people's lives around. Not just get them out of debt, but get them to have more confidence and self esteem, and less fear, stress, tension, and anxiety. I want my clients to believe that they have a much brighter future ahead, and that the rest of their life will be the best of their life. I want to see my clients transform their thinking and change their beliefs about themselves and their lives. I want them to envision a great compelling future for themselves and their families beause that is what theyreally deserve. And I want them to believe that if they believe it, they will receive it.