December 8, 2019

“You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” – John Wooden

“Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.” – Charles M. Schulz

(First, I have to say “Happy Birthday” to my brother, Harbison Parker.  Big Bro, I hope this is a great one for you and your family!  — Love, Your Lil’ Sis)

In case you didn’t read the last two blogs, I started the Pay it Forward Challenge spontaneously several years ago around Thanksgiving because a gentleman in line ahead of me at Starbucks surprised me by paying for my drink. When I tried to thank him, he just smiled and said, “I trust you will pay it forward.”

My day had not been going too well up to that point, but this stranger’s thoughtful gesture turned my frown upside down and I wanted to pass along that warm feeling to others.  So, I bought a packet of $5.00 Starbucks gift cards and gave one to the barista at the counter whenever I stopped in throughout the Holidays, asking her to bestow it on whomever she wanted. This made me happier than any of the wonderful Christmas gifts I received!

Gratitude is thankfulness in ACTION, so I challenged my coaching clients and cherished readers to do some kind and generous act for someone else during the Holidays to show their sincere gratitude for all the many blessings in their lives. Year in and year out, they have come through in many creative ways.

Now, to finish off our “Pay it Forward Challenge 2019 results stories, I am happy to share more of their great ideas with you, in hopes they will inspire you to do a nice deed for someone else and keep our chain of “comfort and joy” going.

  • One reader recently baked 10 pies to share with the residents of the assisted living home where she regularly visits her dad.
  • Another reader emailed, “I live in a rural town. Many of my friends and I are giving $100 each to our local police department.  The plan is that the officers will randomly give $20 to folks they come across that need it.  It helps our police department, too, by giving them a positive influence in our community.”
  • A teacher spends about 20 minutes of class time on “Gratitude Fridays.” First, she shows her 6th graders a short video about some aspect of gratitude. (She says there are LOTS of these videos on YouTube and TED talks.) Then she gives them a different assignment each week designed to expand their understanding of the importance of being grateful. This past week, she had them list 10 things they were grateful for in their lives right now and say WHY they felt thankful for each thing. For example, “I am grateful for my Mom because she fixes me breakfast and makes sure I get to school on time every day.”
  • One reader told me her church has a tradition of asking each family in the congregation to purchase a warm sleeping bag on Amazon.com and have it shipped directly to the church, which then takes all the sleeping bags to the streets and distributes them to the homeless.
  • Local grassroots organizations give us great opportunities to pay our blessings forward in many ways. One reader in Colorado has her kids fill backpacks with books and school supplies and drop them off to Kinsey’s Kids, which serves underprivileged children.
  • Similarly, the local Rodan + Fields direct sales community supports Hope House of Colorado, whose mission is to provide local teen moms with encouragement, education and empowerment. This is the third year the community is coming together to do the Christmas Stocking and Stuffers Drive. The consultants can personally shop for toys or much-needed supplies for the moms and their precious kids, or simply make donations online that are then turned into purchases by other volunteers.

Here is a recent Pay It Forward story that I loved in the online good news feed:

Adrianna Edwards used to have to walk four and a half long hours in order to get to work every day at a Denny’s restaurant in Galveston, Texas. She had been scrimping and saving to buy herself a car so she would no longer have to make the 14-mile trek to and from her job.

An anonymous couple who Edwards had been serving at her restaurant learned about her grueling commute. Hours after they paid their bill, they returned to the restaurant with a 2011 Nissan Sentra and handed the keys to a dumbfounded Edwards. Their only condition for the gift was that Edwards simply pay the good deed forward.

Now that she is freed from having to buy a car, Edwards says that she will be able to put herself through college much sooner than she expected—and she is already planning on using her good fortune to help others.

“I still feel like I’m dreaming. Every two hours, I come look out my window to see if there’s still a car there,” Edwards said. “When I see somebody in need, I’ll probably be more likely to help them out (and) to do everything that I can to help them out.”

But of ALL the many wonderful stories my cherished readers have submitted so far, one is my very favorite.  It proves that one simple act of kindness that “someone will never be able to repay” can create miracles for them – and YOU:

“I got into a minor car accident last spring and the young man at fault told me that his car had been broken into earlier that day and his license and wallet had been stolen. I could see the broken window, and I believed him.  Clearly, he was having a REALLY bad day. He asked me if he could pay for the damage himself, because he didn’t want his insurance rates to skyrocket. 

I agreed and took his information. My local garage gave me an estimate of $1400 for the body work. He didn’t have that much in a lump sum, but asked to send me what he could every month, and I agreed to hold the payments until $1400 had been accumulated.  He was faithful to his word, sending me a few hundred each month until it reached $1400.

By that time, the lease was up on my car, and I turned it in and got a new one, without ever fixing the damage.  Of course, I expected to hear from the dealer about charging me for the repairs, but weeks went by and I was amazed that they never contacted me.

I didn’t want to keep the young man’s $1400, since it was no longer needed for repairs, so I called him. He sounded groggy, like he had been asleep.  I reminded him who I was and said, ‘I have some good news for you!  I am going to Venmo you your $1400 back.’ 

He was completely flabbergasted!  He blurted out, ‘I lost my job and it’s been really tough.  I didn’t know how I was going to pay my rent this month.  You are an ANGEL!’ He even called me back to thank me a second time and make sure he hadn’t been dreaming!  I just told him to pay it forward and wished him a great Holiday.”

3 Steps to Becoming More Grateful from DailyHealthPost.com

“In times of hardship, or stress, it might seem difficult to be grateful.  But if you really think about it, we all have something to be grateful for. If you engage in only one prayer, let it simply be a heartfelt ‘thank you.’  Here are three easy ways to put yourself in the mindfulness of gratitude.

  • Keep a daily journal of things you are grateful for – list at least three. The best times for writing in your journal are in the morning before your day begins or at night before sleep.
  • Make it a point to tell people in your life what you appreciate about them on a daily basis.
  • When you look in the mirror, give yourself a moment to think about a quality you like about yourself or something you have recently accomplished.

Through the power of gratitude, you can wire your brain to be optimistic and compassionate, making you feel good.  The more you look, the more you can find to be grateful for.  This positivity can extend to those around you, creating a virtuous cycle.”

Let’s keep the gratitude goodness flowing through the rest of the Holidays!  If we all continue to do random small good deeds for others and ask them to Pay it Forward, this truly will be a Season of Comfort and Joy for the many lives that your kindness will touch.

PLEASE NOTE: Next week will be the final Cup of Caroll for 2019.  In it, I will share my own Gratitude Miracle with you and give you a preview of some exciting things I have planned for the New Year!

If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to https://practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

************ Give Yourself or Someone Else the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ****************

To schedule a no-obligation, F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.  You can offer this to a friend as well!

November 24, 2019

“The habit of giving only enhances the desire to give.” – Walt Whitman

This is one of my favorite blogs I get to write during the year!  I hope it will be just the first, as more and more of my cherished readers share what they have done to make others’ lives a little lighter and brighter during the Holidays.

If you didn’t read my last post (Show Your Gratitude – Blog 355), it kicked off the annual Pay It Forward Challenge that I began several years ago.  From Thanksgiving through the end of the year, I invite my wonderful readers to join me in spreading some “comfort and joy” wherever we are, as a way of putting our gratitude into ACTION by making an extra effort to be kind and generous toward our fellow human beings.

A new client recently sent me an article from DailyHealthPost.com titled “Gratitude Rewires Your Brain to be Happier.”  Psychologists from the University of California Davis and the University of Miami published a study in 2015 that looked at the physical outcomes of practicing gratitude.  Among the randomly-selected study subjects, one third kept a daily journal of things that happened during the week for which they were grateful.  Another third recorded daily irritations or events that had displeased them.  The last third of the study group wrote down daily situations and events that occurred, with no special emphasis on either positive or negative emotional reactions as to what had happened.

The randomly-assigned group that wrote daily about things they were grateful for reported feeling more optimistic and positive about their lives than the other two groups.  In addition, the gratitude group was more physically active and reported fewer visits to a doctor than those who wrote only about their negative experiences.

The article concluded, “Through the power of gratitude, you can wire your brain to be optimistic and compassionate, making you feel good.  The more you look, the more you can find to be grateful for.  This positivity can extend to those around you, creating a virtuous cycle.”

I would add that not only does paying it forward to others demonstrate your sincere thankfulness for the blessing in your life, but it is also a proven way to put the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) to work bringing you even MORE good to be grateful for.

Spreading kindness doesn’t have to be a big gesture.  I got the idea for the PIF Challenge when someone ahead of me in line at Starbucks paid for my drink.  When I approached him to thank him, he just smiled and said, “I trust you will pay it forward.”  And I did just that for the rest of the Holiday Season by buying multiple packs of $5 Starbucks gift cards and giving one to a barista at the counter every time I visited the store, asking her to bestow it on any customer at random after I left.  (Anonymous gestures of kindness and generosity can be the MOST fun of all!) This always puts a surprised smile on the barista’s face, too!

At the end of the last blog, I asked you to email me your own Pay it Forward stories so I could share them with other readers, in hopes of inspiring even MORE random acts of kindness and generosity among us.  Here are some of my favorites so far:

  • One reader regularly slips a note with a $10 bill in it into a package of diapers at Walmart for a surprised new mom to find when she opens it. The note says, “I know being a new mom can be tough.  You are doing a great job!”
  • My reader was standing in line at a restaurant cash register when she overhead that the guest in front of her was $5 short to pay her bill. While the woman frantically ran out to her car to search for more money, my client anonymously paid the balance for her.
  • Another reader at a restaurant noticed a less-than-prosperous-looking elderly couple sitting nearby and anonymously paid their tab before he left.
  • Many said they purposely over-tip hardworking servers and leave a note with the bill that says, “Thank you for your service!” (I recently heard of a new tipping practice that is apparently catching on in which those who can afford it leave a tip for the server equal to the amount of the bill. I hope one day soon to be able to do that myself!)
  • For several winters in a row, one of my readers has put together comfort bundles that include a couple of pairs of new warm sox, protein bars, Cutie tangerines and bottled water. She carries them in her car and hands them out to any homeless folks she sees. Once, when she went to the “skid row” section of her city to hand them out, a number of people ran up to her excitedly, having heard about her comfort bundles.
  • Similarly, a reader’s church has an annual drive to collect travel-size personal hygiene items like shampoo, shaving cream, soap, toothpaste, etc. to bundle together and distribute to the homeless throughout the year.
  • Several selfless readers say they plan to volunteer serving meals to the less fortunate on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • One reader decided to play even BIGGER and get her whole network marketing Team involved in the PIF Challenge. She had them read my blog, and then told them that anyone who posts on the Team’s Facebook page about an act of kindness or generosity they did will get one chance in her raffle for a fun gift. The more acts of kindness they post about, the more chances they earn in the drawing.
  • One of my clients who teaches 6th grade gave her class the assignment to think about the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and write a page about all the things they can feel grateful for IN ADVANCE about it, such as spending fun times with friends and family they don’t often see. She asked them to really think deeply, visualize what they want and be specific. They already knew how to journal about things they are grateful for in their lives right NOW, but this assignment taught to be forward thinking by feeling grateful IN ADVANCE for what they WANT to have happen – which is a tried and true technique for triggering the Law of Attraction to MAKE it happen!
  • Rick and I helped “Gracie,” a sweet big dog who needed a ride from the vet to a temporary boarding facility, while our favorite local grassroots non-profit, The Little Red Dog, went about finding her a good new Forever Home for the Holidays. The round trip took two hours on busy freeways, but it was totally worth it.

I hope these Pay it Forward Challenge stories will give you some new ideas for creative ways to put your own gratitude into ACTION to help others. Once you start, I predict it will become a 365-day happy habit for you! Please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com and share your own stories so we can all enjoy another round of inspiring Pay It Forward outcomes this Holiday Season!

PLEASE NOTE: The blog is taking the holiday weekend off. Look for your next Cup of Caroll to arrive on Sunday December 8.  In the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to https://practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

*************** Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ******************

To schedule a no-obligation, F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.

November 17, 2019

“Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude.  Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness.  Thankfulness may consist of merely words.  Gratitude is shown in acts.” – Henri Fredric Amiel

For many of my clients and me, 2019 has been a challenging year. Our personal challenges may be related to career, finances, politics, health, family relationships, the loss of a loved one, or just coping with the helpless feeling from almost-daily news of yet another violent, senseless slaughter of innocents or lives upended by natural disasters.

Fortunately, the season of “gratitude,” “peace” and “goodwill” is now upon us, when most people make an extra effort to be kind and generous toward their fellow humans.  Maybe one day, this season of goodwill will last all year long, but for now, we will take what we can get!

For the past several years, from Thanksgiving through the end of the year, I have used this blog to invite my wonderful readers to make life a little brighter, happier and easier for others with a “Pay-It-Forward Challenge.” I hope that YOU will participate this year, too!  I love hearing about the many creative ways my readers find to help someone else, show them that they matter to you, or simply brighten their day and put a smile on their face.

I got the idea for this annual Pay It Forward Challenge when I was at Starbucks during Thanksgiving week several years ago. A stranger ahead of me paid $5.00 toward my purchase, which turned my frazzled, grumpy day around and put a smile on my face that never went away through the rest of the year.  That simple act of generous kindness inspired me to buy a bunch of $5.00 gift cards and begin giving them out every few days to the baristas at the register to bestow on random people in the line behind me.

I unexpectedly got to repeat that joyful practice again last week.  I noticed a young man sitting across from us, plugging his cell phone charger into the wall socket.  He had a pile of things covered by his jacket on the seat next to him.  His clothes weren’t dirty, but his hair looked like it hadn’t been washed in some time.  Despite his own troubles, when a small child was acting out in a way that undoubtedly annoyed some patrons, he just grinned at her, revealing a number of missing teeth.  I admired his kind understanding toward a young girl having a meltdown over something she wanted her mom to buy her.

When he stepped outside for a smoke, I quickly went to the register and bought my first pack of $5 Starbucks gift cards to kick off my own annual Pay it Forward Challenge. I was able to prop one against his cup and quickly exit before he saw me.  It made me smile to imagine his surprise that a stranger would give him a little day-brightening gift. I felt great for the rest of the day.

I plan to purchase more gift cards and give them away randomly at Starbucks through the end of the year, and I trust that most of those surprised strangers will also pay it forward to make someone else feel special and cared about. Last year, the baristas told me that there were a number of customers doing the same thing, creating a big old warm chain of goodwill and gratitude, one cup at a time!

You can experience the joy of spreading around some “Holiday Spirit” in your own creative ways.  Your kindness and thoughtfulness don’t have to cost anything.  Here are few examples my readers came up with in years past:

  • Let someone who appears to be in a hurry go ahead of you in the checkout line. I promise they will beam at you!
  • Help a harried friend or colleague run an errand, or babysit their kids while they do.
  • Surprise your friends, family and clients with a snail-mailed or emailed Thanksgiving card this year! Few people think to send them, but this gesture says, “I am so grateful for you!” to friends and customers like nothing else can.
  • Or pick a morning as soon as you arrive at work, to send out an individual email to one or more of your closest colleagues that says what you appreciate about them and why you are grateful to have them on your team. This will make their day.
  • Use your musical, baking or crafting talents to spread cheer and delight to children, neighbors, elderly folks and the sick.
  • Help an older person or someone who is under the weather put up their holiday decorations or haul home their Christmas tree, or offer to do some service to lighten their load, such as mowing their lawn, bringing them dinner or running an errand.
  • Donate some lightly-used warm clothing or blankets to an organization that serves the homeless or low-income families.
  • Donate food, towels, blankets or pet supplies to an organization that helps loving pets that are patiently waiting for their forever homes.
  • Surprise someone who lives alone with a tin of tea and a plate of homemade holiday treats. Better yet, sit down and listen to them while you enjoy the goodies together.
  • Donate blood! One of my clients recently showed up to donate and the nurse asked if she would stay an extra 2 hours to give plasma, which was desperately needed by three children waiting for it.  It interfered with the plans she had for her day, but it also made her day.

If you are able, pay your own financial blessings forward by spreading the prosperity around a bit.  Here are just a few ideas:

  • Surprise a friend on a tight budget with a supermarket gift card that will make their Holiday feast much brighter.
  • At the gas station, if you notice someone in an old car with kids in the back, surprise her by paying for a full tank of gas.
  • Astonish a homeless person by handing them $5 or $10 instead of spare change.
  • Contribute a little extra to your favorite charity or cause. I like to support grassroots animal rescue organizations that are operating on a shoestring. $25 means far more to them than it does to the big animal welfare organizations, although I try to donate as much as I can to those, too.
  • Take the opportunity to donate to the Red Cross, Salvation Army and other relief organizations that are struggling to fill the needs of millions whose lives have been upended by natural disasters or homelessness.

It’s easy to fall into despair and think “What difference can I make in the face of all that seems so wrong and tragic in the world?”  But as this week’s quote reminds us, we can demonstrate sincere gratitude for our many blessings through small acts of kindness toward others.  And if each of us makes it our mission to touch just ONE life in this way, we can start a tidal way of Gratitude, Kindness and Giving that just might spread a little joyous Holiday Spirit far beyond the end of this year.

Please email me your own Pay It Forward Challenge story to caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com!  I will collect them and share them in a future blog to inspire others to do more of the same. 

If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to https://practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top. 

*************** Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ******************

To schedule a no-obligation, F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.

 

November 10, 2019

“There are generations yet unborn whose very lives will be shifted and shaped by the moves you make and the actions you take today.  And tomorrow.  And the next day.  And the next. Your life and what you do with it matters forever.” –from The Butterfly Effect by Andy Andrews

This quote struck me as very appropriate for Veterans Day Weekend, because those who serve our country and the sacrifices that they and their loved ones voluntarily make surely have a huge impact on generations to come.  We can never adequately thank them nor repay the debt we owe them, but we must try.

And for the rest of us, this quote also applies.  Maybe you don’t think of the things you do in your daily life as having an impact on generations yet unborn, but each and every one of us makes a difference in the days we spend on this earth.

I recently read two different short excerpts about integrity from Eric Harvey’s “The Leadership Solution” published by WalkTheTalk.com, a great free daily blog you may want to subscribe to if you are interested in leadership and building a cohesive, successful team or organization.

I wanted to share them with you because they remind me of the honor, courage and commitment exemplified by the men and women who serve in uniform.

 “Here is an ETHICAL ACTION TEST for you to use from the bestseller Ethics 4 Everyone: The Handbook for Integrity-Based Business Practices by Eric Harvey and Scott Airitam

  1. Is it legal?
  2. Does it comply with our rules and guidelines?
  3. Is it in-sync with our organizational values?
  4. Will I be comfortable and guilt free if I do it?
  5. Does it match our stated commitments and guarantees?
  6. Would I do it to my family and friends?
  7. Would I be perfectly OK with someone doing it to me?
  8. Would the most ethical person I know do it?

Answering “NO” to one or more of these would suggest the need to develop an alternative strategy or seek counsel and advice from appropriate sources.  Lead well.  Lead right.”

The second excerpt is from the new Start Right…Stay Right employee handbook that you can use to remind your Team members (and yourself) of the importance of keeping their commitments:

“Trustworthy, dependable, reliable.  What do these words describe to you?  Would others say that your word is your bond?  Successful people in life and at work place a premium on keeping their promises and commitments.  If they say they’ll do something, they DO it! They count on the fact that people can count on them.  And, they understand that statements like ‘I was gonna, or I mean to, or I haven’t forgotten’ all translate the same way: I JUST DIDN’T DO IT!  Those are just lame excuses, so they are close to meaningless.

Most of the time, we DO intend to keep ‘our word’ and promises, but good intentions only take you so far. You get no ‘points’ for developing the expectation; you only get ‘points’ when you deliver.

So don’t make promises lightly.  When you do make commitments to your manager, your co-worker, or your customer [or Team members], do what it takes to make good on them. Those people are depending on you. Those people are expecting you to keep your word.  Your reputation is at stake, and your success at work and in life is on the line.” – Eric Harvey

I would add that keeping your word to your family and friends is just as critical as it is in your job or business.  You can’t create lasting success and prosperity in ANY area of life if you do not live with integrity in EVERY area of life – especially with yourself.  If you break your word to yourself (e.g. not going to the gym, breaking your diet, blowing off those prospecting calls), you will soon learn that you cannot trust yourself.  And that is the beginning of the end of your self-esteem and self-confidence.

But if we hold ourselves to living by these clear, simple integrity guidelines, we, too, can aspire to make a positive impact on the world, each of us in our own unique and priceless way.

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website at https://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

To schedule a no-obligation F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com TODAY!

October 27, 2019

“The Law of Forced Efficiency says, ‘There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing.’” – Brian Tracy

This quote really rings true for me today.  It seems like my To-Do list gets longer each weekend, just when I long for some rejuvenating down time. (I did take a little of that last week, as you will recall from the “Fun Creates Success” blog, and it was glorious!)

I always have chores to do and errands to run on the weekends, and I usually spend at least a couple of hours on writing, editing and publishing the blog. There is always a good amount of paperwork and tasks to do for my coaching practice.  And today, on top of all that, I spent my morning attending a volunteer orientation to prepare for next Saturday’s big fundraiser for my favorite grassroots rescue organization, The Little Red Dog (www.thelittlereddog.com), where we have adopted two beloved four-footed family members.

I am sure you have your own very long To-Do list and can relate! The question we must ask ourselves is: “Where do I begin?”  How should you prioritize your To-Dos to make the best use of your time?

Brian Tracy is being a realist when he says that there is never enough time to do EVERYTHING you would like to accomplish. But as long as you focus on completing the MOST IMPORTANT tasks first – the ones that will make a real difference and get you closer to your own Big Goals – you will invariably go to bed each night feeling satisfied that you made the BEST possible use of your time and energy.

But HOW do you simplify your long To-Do list and choose the right things to focus on first? Here’s a helpful, simple approach that I found in a Walk The Talk daily email. I highly recommend signing up to receive your own free subscription at www.walkthetalk.com.

“The key to uncomplicating things in your life lies in increasing your ability to simplify and focus.  A first step toward simplifying and getting focused is to make a ‘let it go’ list.  Here are a few things to add to your list.  Let go of….

  • Waiting for someone else to fix it
  • Worrying about things over which you have no control
  • Trying to make something work that’s never going to
  • Wasting time with negative people
  • Hoping that the person causing a problem will miraculously change
  • Putting off the decision you know you should make right now
  • Dwelling on what’s wrong, rather than making it right.

So, what do YOU need to let go of?  Make a list, take action, and clear a space for you to get focused on what is truly important in your life.”

Amen!  This list is a great reminder that it’s not always what we DO, but sometimes what we consciously DON’T do, that can quickly bring us more ease, productivity, satisfaction and success!

PLEASE NOTE: The Blog is taking next weekend off so Rick and I can volunteer at The Little Red Dog’s Gala fundraiser to help them save more four-footed heroes who deserve a forever home.  Look for your next Cup of Caroll on Sunday, November 10.

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website at https://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

To schedule a no-obligation F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com TODAY!

 

 

 

“Recreation is a valuable tool to provide positive energy and balance…that will help you achieve your goals.” – May McCarthy

I was planning to stay home today and write on a different blog topic.  I woke up this morning wrestling with myself about whether to do something fun Rick and I had planned or put my nose to the grindstone and do a fresh blog and some other paperwork.  I was leaning toward the grindstone. But it was a beautiful day and I longed to be outside for at least part of it.

My husband and I had registered weeks ago to attend a special free event in our area – a celebration in honor of the 179th anniversary of the birth of Madame Helen Modjeska, a Polish actress who came to Orange County in the late 1800s to leave the repression of her homeland for the freedom of a life of farming on the California frontier.

Once a year the Parks Department opens the Modjeska house and gardens to a free tour and special Shakespeare presentation by local talent, in honor of Madame Modjeska.  In her day, which was the late 1800s to the early 1900s, she was the Meryl Streep of live theater, and was especially famous for her Shakespeare roles.  She toured all over the USA, and was such a sensation for decades that many consumer products were named after her, from perfumes to candy.

Her beautiful home, which she called “Arden” after the forest in one of Shakespeare’s plays, is one of two National Historical Monuments in Orange County (the other being the birthplace of President Nixon.) Arden is just 20 minutes from our house, but once you are out in canyon country, among the towering live oaks and horse ranches, it feels like a world away and a different time.  The house, designed by famed architect Leland Stanford, is country chic stunning.

We really wanted to go to this event, but I was torn by guilt, knowing it would take up most of my Saturday, which is usually dedicated to writing the blog, doing a little housework, and catching up on paperwork that I don’t have time for during my coaching week.

But the first thing this morning, I opened a book I have been studying for the past month (and planning to teach a course on next spring) called The Gratitude Formula by May McCarthy, who is a highly successful entrepreneur. The book uses a special type of daily gratitude journaling to help you tap into divine guidance by using your innate intuition to co-create anything you want for your life –business success, wonderful relationships, financial abundance, a fit body, first-class travel experiences, a new dream home – literally ANYTHING you want.

The chapter I read this morning to prepare for my daily gratitude journaling exercise was about (of all things) “Recreation and Fun.”  I had never really thought about the possibility of creating more of THAT in my life, although I knew I needed it.  I had been focusing my journaling on more “practical” goals like business success and financial abundance.

Here’s what really struck me from this chapter of May’s book:

“What do you absolutely love to do?  Where can you lose hours having fun?  The answers to these questions could give you a clue to discovering your ideal recreation.  I looked up the definition of recreation: ‘The refreshment of one’s mind or body after work through activity that amuses or stimulates play; an activity that provides such refreshment.’

What do you think of and how do you feel when you hear the words ‘refreshment,’ ‘play,’ ‘amuse,’ and ‘stimulate’?  I can’t help but smile, feel happy and think of fun.

Recreation is a valuable tool to provide positive energy and balance.  According to researchers who have studied successful aging, participating in activities that reduce stress provides tremendous health benefits. These benefits include better immune function, less illnesses and physical complaints, more energy, feeling more relaxed, sleeping better, better digestion, a calmer mood, more focus, and more positivity.  Doesn’t that sound like a perfect state to be in to notice more intuitive and subconscious messaging that will help you achieve your goals?”

Well, that made perfect sense to me!  I knew that being in a positive state of energy made it much easier to attract positive people and outcomes to you via the Law of Attraction, since “energy attracts like energy, after all!

Then this next paragraph REALLY grabbed me:

“I’ve found it interesting over the past 30 years speaking to people who are much older than I am and asking if there was anything in life that they would do differently.  Most of the time, the answers are that they’d have more fun and not put so much pressure on themselves to be perfect.  They wouldn’t spend as much time at work, and they’d live a balanced life, so that they didn’t neglect their family and friends.”

WOW.  This was exactly what I needed to hear to help me choose whether to stay home and work or go to see Madame Modjeska’s home and enjoy Shakespeare under the towering oaks outside on a gorgeous fall day in Southern California.  I had my good reason to go have FUN.

Rick and I had a great time. During the three hours we were there, I felt my heartrate slow and my lungs fill with clean country air. I basked in the golden fall sunshine and laughed with the players who made Shakespeare FUN for everyone, even the kids who were there.

And guess what? Just as May McCarthy promised, enjoying recreation and fun did make me more productive. In my case, it gave me the content for this blog, which can take sometimes 2 or 3 hours for me to write, huddled in front of my computer screen, missing out on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.  This one took me just one hour to write after I returned from the Modjeska event, so I got to have my birthday cake and eat it too!

I hope you will focus on doing your BEST at your job or business when it’s the right time to WORK.  This message isn’t an excuse for you to slack off or not be accountable.

But if like me, you are prone to work TOO much and not give yourself grace to unplug and take some regular “Me Time” each week, consider that doing so could actually be the key to unlocking MORE success in all areas of your life.

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website at https://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

To schedule a no-obligation F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com TODAY!

October 6, 2019

“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain, but it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.” – Dale Carnegie

I got a huge reader response to the last blog (Use Your Superpower – Blog 350) about ways you can control your own MINDSET in dealing with negative people and situations that we all face from time to time.

The message essentially was: When you maintain a positive energy and do the right thing, the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) will work on your behalf to produce a positive outcome for you and everyone involved, no matter how difficult a situation may appear to be.  Even people who seem permanently locked into negative patterns can change their thoughts and behavior when YOU change your thinking and expectations about them.

This past week, two coaching clients shared their personal examples of this phenomenon, which I now pass along to you, in hopes their experiences will inspire you to use YOUR Superpower too.

The first client has an ailing mother who has required a lot of care from my client and her siblings.  The sister who lives farthest away has not helped share the burden of Mom’s care, either physically, emotionally or financially, and my client was feeling resigned and resentful that there seemed to be nothing she could do about it.

But when she decided to work on her OWN attitude toward her sister, things “miraculously” changed.  My client consciously held positive thoughts towards and expressed gratitude for her sister, wishing her only the BEST.  Soon, her sister surprised the family with a visit and spent a lot of time with their mother, which delighted Mom. She also pitched in with her care, so her siblings could take a much-needed break. What amazed my client most was that there was only positive energy among all the siblings while they were under the same roof.  “They usually butt heads, but there was no conflict, only harmony, while she was here.  I was amazed,” said my client. “I put on a positive mindset and it made a difference.” 

The second client posted a picture on social media of herself with friends at a joyful gathering, which garnered many positive comments. But she was blindsided by a harshly critical message from her own mother about her choice of wardrobe.  This was typical of how her mother has criticized her since childhood about any detail of her life that wasn’t in alignment with her mother’s rigid opinions of “right” and “wrong.”

My client took some time to think before she replied.  She resisted her Ego’s first inclination to lash out after feeling attacked.  Instead of choosing to feel hurt, offended and defensive, she worked on trying to understand her mother’s motivation. Regardless of how bluntly her mother delivered her criticisms, she knew deep down that her mother only intended to help her be successful and well-regarded by society.

When she replied, my client simply thanked her mother for caring about her and always wanting what is best for her.

Then it was her mother’s turn to be caught off guard!  She wrote back that she was surprised and very pleased at how “maturely” and “graciously” her daughter had received the “feedback.” This is the hidden blessing that my client discovered wrapped inside of this negative incident: She knows that her mother may never change, but she will never again allow herself to feel “less than” when her mother shares her personal opinions with her.

As my clients so wonderfully demonstrated, your mindset and energy (your thoughts plus the emotions those thoughts conjure up) constitute a very powerful force – a SUPERPOWER, in fact!  We are all born with it….We just have to consciously choose to use it for our benefit and the benefit of everyone whose paths we cross.

PLEASE NOTE: The blog is taking next week off for some Fall fun in Apple Country!  A Cup of Caroll will re-appear in your inbox on Sunday October 20. 

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website at https://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

To schedule a no-obligation F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com TODAY!