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5 Ways to Play the What if Game... and be serious about it

Yvonne-headby Yvonne DiVita

"I'm just funning ya," the kid in the commercial says, to a famous football star. This after challenging him with ways he, the kid, is going to become even more famous and also become the football star's mother's favorite... 

"I'm just funning ya," the kid finally says with a lopsided grin. The football star smiles and nods, cause it's all in fun, don't you know? 

"Or am I?' the little kid ends. 

Or am I? The question isn't meant to be answered. The answer is... maybe, maybe not. The kid is yanking the football player's shorts, no doubt, but inherent in the teasing is the question of... what if? What if this scrawny kid is right? What then?

Is there a big What if? in your life? 

"Someday I'm going to take over this company," the lowly secretary tells the other women in her office. "I am. I'm going to be CEO."

If she turns on her heels, grabs her purse and rushes out to the parking lot to make sure she's not late for class...at the local college, she might be serious. 

If she returns to her desk and knocks over her tea, then spends the next half hour cleaning it up, she's probably not serious.

Here are 5 Ways to Play this game, and BE serious about it... because it involves not only dreaming of success, but planning for success... what if you did that?

1. Choose a purpose to 'what if'... maybe it's completion of your next proposal... "What if I finish this today and send it early and Mr. XYZ loves it so much he approves it tomorrow and the boss is so impressed I get a bonus!"

>>> What if, indeed. What if you just finish it, deliver it early, and congratulate yourself for a job well done. The rest of it will take care of itself.

2. Involve another person in your 'what if'... collaboration is a powerful tool to get things done. Often, the collaboration of two people accomplishes more than twice as much, it can accomplish 10x as much... if you're serious. The element of idea exchange in collaboration is only second to the purpose you have in accomplishing this goal together.

>>>"What if we do this... or that... or, wait, what if we DO THIS..." Can you hear the hope and excitement? I can.

3. Be realistic in your 'what if'... reality is flexible however. It is what you make it. Just don't begin imagining your Oscar acceptance speech if this is your first go-round at acting or performing.

>>>Instead, imagine the applause and the satisfaction of completing your performance. Save the dreams of an Oscar for next time...for when you're better prepared. 

4. Think big when you 'what if'... in a complete turnaround of #3, do imagine that Oscar speech. Just don't wrap your whole world up in it. Embrace the hard work you need to do to make it happen and say, 

>>>"What if I blow this role open and a critic writes about my acting and I get a role in Tom Hank's new movie..." And be humble enough to know that isn't likely to happen, but... hey, it could.

5. Stop the 'what if's' and move on... understand that your 'what if' game is just that, a diversion to whatever it is you should be doing, a game you play to pass time, a way to avoid what you should be doing...and move on.

>>>Shake off the what ifs for a bit and move forward in your life, letting a little bit of the hope an dream of your what if world settle on your mind. It can help inspire you, if you let it. But, it can overwhelm you, also, if you let it.

What if you decided to build success one moment at a time, weaving in some shining moments of accomplishment and joy, understanding that the threads of gold from those shining moments are important in showcasing your life's tapestry...but that the tapestry is really built on performance and dedication.

What if, like the folks in the video below, you made a commitment... to perform, regardless of anything else? 

 

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Jobi and Fisher

Great article, Yvonne. It isn't always easy, but I keep at it. One thing I do now is rather than make a daily list of what have to do each day, I write down what I did as I do it. I found it to be less stressful and more meaningful.

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