The Magic If – Do You Know What Your Future Looks Like?

When I speak about goals to students and families, one of the things I do is help people create a 5-Year Vision – a very specific picture of what they want their lives to look like and who they want to be five years down the road. It’s something I learned about from Brian Tracy.

What I’ve found is that many people say they have no idea what it is they want to be doing, or who they want to be in five years. But when I ask a very simple question, almost 100% of the time their “not knowing” melts away and a clear answer begins to manifest.

So what’s the question?

What if? What if you did know? Who would you be? What would your life look like?

This question comes from the famed director and teacher, Constantine Stanislavski, one of the greatest contributors to modern theater and film acting.

Stanislavski had a theory called the “magic if,” and he instructed his actors to ask questions like: “what if I were this character? What if this were my role? How would I act? How would I react? How would I feel? If this were my life, what would I do? Who would I be?

You might be wondering what this has to do with your life. An actor playing a role and a real person are totally different – right? Not as much as you might think.

When you’re an actor, you audition for a role and you either get offered the role or you don’t. If you’re offered the role, it’s your choice whether or not you accept it. It’s completely up to you.

Life is the same way. Whether you know it or not, we’re all actors. At least to the degree that we ALL accept the role being offered to us or we don’t.

As an example, let’s say you’re a sales associate. What’s being put upon you is the role of sales associate. That’s what’s you think you should be doing, that’s what you’re being told you should be doing. And so you go into work every day, and you love it. You love working with your boss, you enjoy being a sales associate – helping people find what they need, merchandising the store, etc. It’s a good company and you’re satisfied – great!

You’re accepting that role, and you’re happy about it. It’s the role you want.

Now let’s alter the situation. You’re still a sales associate, but now you hate it. You despise it. You can’t stand your boss, you loath your calling in life – or more specifically what you think your calling in life is. And even though you hate coming into work every day, you still do.

You’re accepting that role of sales associate. It’s your choice whether or not you change it. Just like the actor, you decide.

In order to make a change, or more specifically a change that’s going to give you a more fulfilling life, you’ll need to discover, clarify and set a new goal. Then you can make a plan to help you move toward accomplishment of that goal. For more details on what I call smart goal setting, click on the links at the end of the article.

One Final Note
Sometimes when you’re thinking about change, fear rears its ugly head. You may start thinking things like, “this looks too hard. I’m scared. What if I fail?” There will be a temptation to not try at all, to remain in the same exact spot that you’re in. But remember, failure is sometimes part of the process. It’s what we do with what appears to be failure that defines our future.

It took Thomas Edison over 10,000 “failures” before he invented a working light bulb. It took Colonel Sanders (Kentucky Fried Chicken) 1,009 “failures” before he received his first yes from a restaurant to sell chicken with his secret recipe.

As Brian Tracy says, “the five years are going to pass anyway.” When you arrive at that future time, will you be happy if you’re in the same place you’re in today? As hard as it may seem to make changes, it’s just as hard – and as painful – to stay where you are.

Don’t let the deceitful feeling of “comfort” with where you are stop you from having a truly fulfilling life. You have the right to accomplish your objectives and goals.

And remember, you are not alone …

Related Links:
A Fresh Look at Goals for Parents, Kids and the Family
A Fresh Look at Goals for Parents, Kids and the Family – Part 2
Goals and Emotions
Life is Like a Cup of Coffee
Smart Goals


Jedi Joss Shows off His Moves

The force is strong in this one. He doesn’t even need an actual light saber. One of daddy’s combs will do just fine …

May the force be with you.

And remember, you are not alone …

A Quote from Buddha on Taking Action in Life

“I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act; but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they act.”

Many of my long-time readers may know that back in January of 2008, I posed the question: Was Buddha a Schmuck for leaving his family to find enlightenment? Aside from what I believe to be a poor parenting decision, Buddha’s contribution to our spiritual lives has been immense.

Here, he’s asking if we’re taking the actions we need to in order to create the life we really want. Are we teahing our kids to do the same? Or are we playing it safe, waiting until “tomorrow,” to take action where it’s needed?

Our future is contingent on the actions we take today. Whether we realize it or not, our children are watching us closely. What are they learning?

And remember, you are not alone …

Click here for more famous quotes.

Remembering 9/11

Today is September 11th, 2010.

It’s a day to remember all of those who lost their lives nine years ago in the Twin Towers. And to pray for the families and friends that have survived, who struggle.

No matter what you’re stressed about, or what’s wrong in your life – you are alive and you can change it.

The best way we can honor those who have passed, as well as the people closest to us, is to fulfill our potential.

Start now.

Peace to all.

And remember, you are not alone …


Related posts:
9/11 Remembered (2008)

Life is Like a Cup of Coffee …

Have you ever thought about the similarities between life and coffee?

Some people have good cups, some great – while others have a cup that’s bitter, full of yucky grains, or has simply gotten cold.

You could say the same about our lives.

In my experience as a dad and a man, I’ve found that many people think that they’re stuck with whatever cup they’ve been poured. Not true.

We all have the ability to empty out our cup, clean it, and start fresh with a better blend.

Stepping away from the metaphorical and toward the practical, what I’m really talking about is rebuilding our lives. Whether it’s changing jobs, going back to school, improving our health – whatever – there are steps we can take to go from bitter to better.

What about when others try to throw stuff in our coffee?

Sometimes it’s people we can easily avoid, like coworkers or acquaintances that are negative. But sometimes its family, and that’s a situation which becomes much harder to solve.

My youngest son has been throwing stuff in my coffee by waking up every night crying. This has been going on for longer than I can remember.

He’s obviously not trying to throw junk in my coffee – yet in it goes. Since I love him with all my heart, I want to help him, but this is making my waking hours incredibly difficult. From work, to exercise, to growing my speaking career – it’s simply much harder to move forward toward my goals because I’m exhausted.

Even in this case, there is a choice. If I let the circumstances dictate who I am, then I’m simply reacting to my environment and I am lost. If I remain true to who I am as best I can – as a dad, a husband, a writer and a speaker – then at least I’m not throwing more junk in my own coffee. It may not be perfect (yet), but this choice is certainly the better blend.

And remember, you are not alone …

Work is Not a Four-Letter Word

Well actually it is, but not in the way you think.

Until recently, when I thought of work it had a negative connotation.

I think many people perceive work as unpleasant, dreadful or boring – not to mention life-draining. But work is not a negative or an expletive. Nor is it innately bad.

It’s the ruts and the patterns we allow ourselves to fall into that are negative.

I started to become aware of my own negative perception of the word when I began working from home back in January. As I build my speaking career and freelance writing business, I block off certain times of the day to “work.” I soon noticed that I had a problem with the word. All sorts of negative connotations were attached to it – most of them including feelings of pain, suffering and misery.

I tried to re-name work, to help create a more positive perception in my mind. The best I could come up with was “Personal Achievement,” which only reminded me that I was trying to avoid the word work. In other words, re-naming work didn’t work.

Point being, if we find our work pleasant, fulfilling and it helps us move toward goal achievement (other than just making money), it’s certainly going to feel and be positive. If our work does not provide us with these things, we need to take a fresh look at our goals, and do our best to get back on track to the life we want.

In my “four letter word” series, my goal is to change the perception some of us may have about certain words. In doing so, I hope that we can create a shift in perception that leads to a shift toward a more happy, fulfilling life.

Words have power because of the meaning we imbed within them.

And remember, you are not alone …

Daddy Brain Speaks

When I began blogging in 2007, I had no idea that it would affect my life in so many positive ways. It is an honor to have had the opportunity to speak about modern-day dad issues on the radio, at conferences and in print. The greatest honor of all has been helping dads.

Somewhere along the way, I discovered my goal of becoming a speaker. I am happy to say that this dream has come true.

Through research, ongoing studies, personal experience and partnering with experts, I have developed workshops and seminars that help dads, students and professionals lead happier, more fulfilling lives.

If you’d like learn more about what I do, please visit Joey Guido Speaks, or give me a call @ 608-216-6760.

And remember, you are not alone …


Businessmen with Integrity, Part 1: The Asphalt Man

In this series, I’ll be sharing stories about local business men and business women who possess rich amounts of integrity.

It’s a trait I like to cultivate in my children and myself. I also look for it in the businesses I work with and make purchases from.

Problem is, quite often the businesses I have frequented or hired for services have fallen short of my expectations. So when a company or professional exceeds them, I like to tell everybody I know about them.

This summer we decided to have our driveway repaved. After four years of Wisconsin winters it was overdue.

I hired a man named Steve Smith of Badger Asphalt to do the work. He gave me a fair price, did an excellent job, and took some time to educate me about asphalt (this was actually more interesting than it sounds).

When a couple of the cracks Steve filled re-cracked, I gave him a call. He came back to my home with a smile on his face and retouched them all. When I called him back two weeks later to tell him the retouch wasn’t matching the rest of the driveway, he arrived at my home within the hour and fixed the problem. (Note: traditionally the crack filler goes on first because it’s shiny. Then the flat black liquid asphalt goes on top).

Again, Steve had a smile on his face, and was glad to do the work. He never complained, or asked me for more money. Steve did his job well, and he did it with integrity. I admire him for that.

If you happen to live in or around Madison, WI, and need your driveway repaved, I think you’ll be happy with Steve Smith of Badger Asphalt. Tell him Daddy Brain recommended you.

You can reach him at: 608-242-4089.

And remember, you are not alone …

Star Wars Episode 7: Dads are not Droids

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away …
… Daddy Brain’s children thought he was a droid.

At least that what it seems like sometimes. Like most kids, mine are constantly demanding my attention – either to play, eat, bathe, or break up an argument about something that nobody will remember 20 minutes from now.

All in all, I love my role as a Work At Home Dad. But alas, I am not a droid. I can not recharge my battery in one hour like my iPhone. And I struggle with processing all the input that streams into my brain all day long. Working on growing my speaking career, caring for my boys, my wife and myself – not to mention actually mowing the lawn every once in a while is a constant struggle. And it’s exhausting.

I was speaking with a friend the other day and he told me that my quest for “balance” was impossible – especially if I’m constantly trying to have a balance between work, family and self on a daily basis. I think he’s right. Quite frankly, everything is cyclical – whether I want it to be or not. Sometimes the focus needs to be on work. Other times on play.

Above all, I need to recognize when my wife or kids need me. Although this is paramount over the former two things, it’s sometimes difficult because it involves being flexible. And being flexible means occasionally letting go of what I have planned. Finally, I need to make sure I take good care of myself so I can do all of these things well, and have a clear head to know where to direct my attention first.

Like my good friend, R2D2 the astromech droid, all I can do is my best.

May the force be with you.

And remember, you are not alone …

Acting with Kindness & Patience isn’t Always Easy …

The other day I got to thinking about how I’d like to treat my family vs. how I actually treat them. I found a disparity between the two, and realized I have some work to do if I want to give my wife and boys more of the following:

– Respect
– Love
– Understanding
– Wisdom
– Knowledge
– Belief in themselves
– Nurturing
– A feeling of being protected
– A feeling of being cared for
– Financial comfort

I share these thoughts with you because in the face of exhaustion and stress, it’s sometimes easy to lose sight of what’s most important in our lives. Taking a moment to be mindful about how we treat our family can help us refocus.

The result? A happier, healthier personal (not to mention professional) life.

And remember, you are not alone …