Enjoy Life

Are you a super-busy, stressed out parent?

If so, you may often forget to enjoy your life and your family.

It’s easy to get caught up in work, paying the bills, caring for the kids, caring for our spouse, the house AND working on building a better future for ourselves and our family.

Sometimes we lose sight of the blessings we have and get lost in the things we’re striving for.

But what’s the point of attaining the next goal, the next paycheck or a clean kitchen if we’re not enjoying our lives?

I challenge you, and myself, to enjoy every moment we can. Because one day, we’ll run out of moments. I for one want to look back with a smile on my face, not regret.

And remember, you are not alone …

Collective Bargaining for Dads

Over the past few weeks, teachers and parents across America have banded together to keep collective bargaining alive so that teachers have a voice in their own future.

But what about dads?

Did you know that in Wisconsin there was a bill called the Equal Placement Draft that was proposed during this same time period? The bill proposed that dads who were willing and able to take care of their children 50% of the time should be able to do so. Overshadowed by the the issue over teachers’ collective bargaining rights, also an important issue, the bill got lost in the shuffle and was not passed.

How did we arrive here? How is it that our government does NOT find it overwhelmingly just and fair that a dad who is WILLING AND ABLE to take care of his kids should be allowed to do so?

Yet thousands of dads are sitting home right now without their children. I can assure you that some of them are in tears over it. These dads work hard, and they deserve to be an equal parent to their kids – yet they are not allowed to do so.

Who wins? Not the kids. Not their dads. I’m sure that there are moms who are happy to have their kids around most of the time. That’s only natural. But is this arrangement benefiting the child when dad is a man of integrity that mom just doesn’t get along with anymore?

Our schools and our communities aren’t winners when they have to deal with children that have behavior problems because there is no male role model to guide them.

Taking a long term view, who wins?

It looks to me like the courts are the only winners, because it’s far more simple to give dads 4 days a month to see their kids (just over 10% visitation) and 100% of the child support than it is to give a couple who are disgruntled with each other a settlement that is fair to the CHILD. It’s a classic case of dad being treated like a second-class parent, and it is shameful.

When a marriage does not work out, that doesn’t mean that bitterness and negative feelings should overtake a parent’s responsibility to put their child’s welfare at the top of their list of important things. This is true whether the parent is a man or a woman. Yet the courts have conditioned the process to strip dads and children of their rights.

There was an amazing response by teachers and parents, alike, when it was proposed that collective bargaining be taken away. But here’s my question:

Where were the dads and dad advocates?

Why was downtown Madison, WI, devoid of people shouting for dads’ rights? Are divorced dads so defeated that they believe they don’t deserve to be heard?

And remember, you are not alone …

Appreciate Your Mate on Valentines Day

Remember to kiss your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day.

And don’t forget to take a minute to think about how different your life would be if he/she wasn’t there for you. This is a great way to appreciate them, which is not always easy to do when we get caught up in the daily routine of life and survival.

Beyond money, beyond possessions, stress and pain – there is something that truly does make life worth living. Love.

Our mate is the person who gives us the love and support we need to carry on. No matter how big a problem may seem, having my wife by my side to solve it is one of the greatest gifts I can ask for.

And remember, you are not alone …

Make a Date with Destiny: Schedule a Deadline for Your Goals

I used to think that setting a specific date on my goals was unrealistic. I felt that I’d accomplish what I set out to do when I was done, and that a definite completion date was forcing the issue, and would cause too much pressure.

Boy was I wrong.

For years I have set one-year and five-year goals for myself, but there was a time when the specifics of my “due date” were relegated to a statement like, “a year from now I will have accomplished my goal of (insert specifics here).”

One day it dawned on me that each time I stated my goal, along with the fact that I’d accomplish it one year from now, I was always the guy who would accomplish his goal ONE YEAR FROM NOW. I was never getting any closer to the due date because as each day passed, my deadline kept extending to exactly one year.

Placing an actual date on my goal moves me closer to the deadline each day. And as we all know, when a deadline we’ve committed to draws closer we get moving in an effort to accomplish our goal (or project). The pressure of an oncoming deadline creates the momentum necessary to accomplish it. Otherwise, it’s just too far away to take seriously.

Even if you’ve discovered what it is you want, defined it clearly and set attainable steps toward accomplishment – without a specific completion date, we’re far less likely to get where we want to go. Without that date, how do we set milestones or a timeline of when we need to have each step of the process done?

The pressure I was once so afraid of creating is actually a key ingredient to success.

What if a deadline arrives and we haven’t accomplished our goal?
Then we need to reassess and figure out why we weren’t able to accomplish our goal. At that point we can refocus our efforts on the goal, set a new plan and a new completion date.

Check out the following links for more details on goals:

A Fresh Look at Goals for Parents, Kids and the Family
The Magic If: Do you Know What Your Future Looks Like?
Life is Like a Cup of Coffee

And remember, you are not alone …

Great New Men’s Resource: Thirtymag.com

There’s a fantastic new online publication for men called Thirtymag.com.

According to the publisher, Christian Collard, the publication has one simple goal: “to provide content that will inform, inspire and engage with today’s guy.”

Simple? Maybe. Easy? Absolutely not – but Thirtymag.com delivers. I think the key to the publication’s success is Christian’s ability to bring together dads and men from all walks of life. Yes you, as long as you’re a man, can submit an article to Thirtymag.com.

“Our website is an outlet for men, husbands, and fathers to connect, share, and engage with an active community of similar lifestyles and personalities. We leave the door open to any writer or blogger with an idea to share, topic to cover, or even a event to promote. ThirtyMag.com covers topics such as health, adventure, travel, fitness, fatherhood, relationships, food, sports, cars, money, and fun. We publish regular content appropriate for all ages (stuff that won’t get you in trouble when viewed at home or the office).

ThirtyMag.com hopes to provide quality and engaging content from a wide range of viewpoints with the goal of informing and inspiring men of today. We are connected, we are learning, and we are sharing.”

I’d like to thank Christian for taking some time to tell us a little bit about his site. I also hope you enjoy Thirtymag.com as much as I do.

And remember, you are not alone …

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 …