I know a few very specialized lawyers. My daughter worked for one like your senior partners, in NYC. I know ones in smaller cities who are very specialized in trusts and estates, who moved there from Los Angeles or NYC, where they were the very best. There is so much business in America that no matter how specialized you are in anything, there is more than you can do, and some left over for 10 competitors.

I have known people who forgot where they came from, who divorced their husbands when their incomes fell from $500,000 to $50,000 for a year. A lot of top engineers, managers, Wall Street lawyers, and even doctors, are making half or less than a few year ago, some only 20% or 25%. Some feel like total failures, and some are debt-free, just riding it out, living better than they did when they made that same money on the way up.

Two men, two wives, or two couples, could have the same incomes doing the same jobs, and one be happy, while the other feels like a failure. Success, like sex, is 90% between the ears.

This recession isn't helping. It's like a hurricane. It may take down some of the biggest strongest trees, but it is going to clean out all the dead wood. You've never ridden out a hurricane. When you walk outside the first sunny day, everything is so green, because everything that was weak and brown and not well-rooted is just gone.