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!

 

September 22, 2019

This week’s blog is a lightly-edited re-post from two years ago.  I recognized the same theme coming up again among my clients, so I thought this would be a good time to remind ourselves that we each have our own Superpower — our MINDSET – that we can use to create success and joy that nobody and nothing can ever steal from us.

“When you see yourself as calm, positive, truthful and possessed of high character, you behave with greater strength.  Other people respect you more.  You feel in control of yourself and the situation.” – Brian Tracy

This week’s coaching brought a blog theme to the forefront of my mind, as several of my clients struggled to deal with negative people without letting it destroy their own positive mindset.

One client was unsure how to respond to a Leader in her network marketing organization who was spewing negative texts to her and other members of her Team about someone who had reached a milestone reward in the company.  She felt it was unfair that someone who had been in the business for a shorter time was receiving this recognition and reward ahead of her. The Leader tried to make someone else’s triumph mean that SHE was never going to get there herself.

Another client was very hurt by a dear friend who texted her after a social event they attended together that she wished my client would “dial it back” about discussing her business with others in a social setting.

And a third client was exhausted from caring for a sick relative who seemed unwilling to take personal responsibility for her own decisions and actions that were contributing to her health problems.

At some time, we all must deal with people whose energy is negative, selfish, uncaring or even purposely hurtful.  If we allow it, their negative thoughts and actions can throw us off course in pursuing our dreams by making us doubt our own positive expectations, values and beliefs.

It’s not in their power to steal your success and joy, but it is in YOUR power — if you choose to surrender to their negativity.  That’s because the Law of Attraction says that energy attracts like energy.”  Toxic people and negative circumstances will come into your life, but it isn’t these outside forces that can harm you.  It is solely your reaction to them that either empowers or disempowers you and determines who and what is attracted into your life next.

In the first client’s case, she handled the toxic texting beautifully with a positive response of her own that said essentially, “I know you are going to reach [that same prize] soon!  Keep up the great work.”  Responding with cheerful positivity is great way to respond to someone else’s negativity.  If you respond with positivity and don’t take the bait, they will eventually stop sending gossip and negative messages your way because it’s no “fun” when others won’t join in the trash talk.  Similarly, when someone comes at you with anger, if you respond calmly and don’t fight back, their angry energy will eventually deflate because it takes two to quarrel.

This is not to say that you should be a doormat or allow someone to mistreat you.  I absolutely believe in standing up for yourself and for what you believe is right.  It’s the emotional energy behind your response that will have a positive or negative impact on YOU.  If you take it personally and allow yourself to go negative, “the terrorists win” because you have given away your power to think and behave the way YOU choose to.

In the case of the friend’s “dial it back” text that hurt my client, I tried to help her see the situation from her friend’s point of view. It takes maturity and self-confidence to consider another’s point of view, especially when it is diametrically opposed to our own.  Judging or being self-righteous toward others’ opinions, beliefs or lifestyle is a form of negative energy.

I invited my client to consider that her friend probably felt awkward in a social setting, standing on the periphery of a two-party conversation for 10 or 15 minutes, as my client politely fielded a barrage of questions from a stranger who wanted details about a product she was interested in. The friend didn’t express herself as well as she could have, for sure.  But I don’t believe she was really being unsupportive of my client’s business; she likely just felt left out and overlooked and it hurt her feelings.

I had a lot of sympathy for the client with the difficult relative.  Anyone who has ever had the responsibility for caring for a sick loved one knows how emotionally and physically stressful it can be.  And when that person is a needy, stubborn, chronic complainer who creates problems that others have to clean up, it can be extra frustrating.

In truth, though, more than the actual caregiving, it was my client’s attitude toward her recuperating relative’s lifestyle that was wearing her out.  For example, she allowed herself to feel helpless and upset that the woman struggled out to the porch multiple times a day to smoke, even though she knew it was bad for her.  I suggested that my client allow the relative to be herself, make her own decisions, and live with the consequences.  She is not required to solve all her problems for her.  She must be compassionate and give her relative whatever support she feels she can, without feeling frustrated or guilty about whatever she can’t control.  Her relative is an adult, after all.  It’s HER life and her own life lessons that she must learn.

The irony is that the recuperating relative seemed to be getting along just fine, while my client was feeling exhausted and unfocused, which was taking a toll on her OWN health, productivity and family relationships.  You cannot control anyone else, and in trying to, you can lose control of who YOU are, thinking and behaving like someone you don’t want to be. The solution is to stop trying to save others from themselves, judging them or controlling them.  Just relax, be neutral and don’t volunteer to be sucked into their life drama.

I love Brian Tracy’s powerful quote.  Let it be your guiding star in determining your own life course. You can ask yourself daily: Am I feeling calm, positive, truthful and possessed of high character”?  Am I acting “strong and in control”? If not, adjust your thoughts and actions until you can answer “Yes.”  Then you will be your own Superhero!

PLEASE NOTE: The blog is taking next week off and will return on Sunday, October 6.

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!

September 15, 2019

“Think of one person in your world you’ve been meaning to connect with: to get to know better or to actually make time for.  Surprise them: write them a note, find time to talk, or tell them about something that made you think of them.  Ask them about something they enjoy, and find out why they like it….” – From the book The Happiness Hack

Honest, thoughtful, clear communication creates the foundation for fulfilling, lasting personal and business relationships.  Those bonds, in turn, become the foundation for our success in life. And whether you realize it or not, people really DO notice how you behave when you communicate (or don’t) and judge you by your words AND actions.

Over my fifteen years of coaching, I have witnessed a number of less-than-optimal communication “manners” among my clients that I know can limit their success. So want to share with you, too, a few practical tips for making your own communication habits more effective, successful and enjoyable:

  • Give them your undivided attention. When I coach, I sit at my desk, listening intently and taking notes about what my clients are saying, occasionally taking a sip of water (as quietly as possible) when my throat gets dry. Most of them give me their undivided attention, too.  But over the years, I have heard some clients banging pots and pans, running water, dragging furniture, chewing gum (or food) and slurping beverages. I often wonder if they do the same things while talking to their customers, colleagues and loved ones. The message this sends to your conversation partner is that “You are not important enough to me to give you my undivided attention.”  So please don’t multi-task while you are on the phone. (And PLEASE don’t be looking at or on your phone in the presence of someone you are supposed to be paying attention to – including your kids!)
  • Don’t avoid a conversation. Many of my clients are used to texting or messaging their friends, customers and prospects. Rarely do they pick up the phone, even if the conversation is likely to have extended back and forth questions and answers. If you want to speak to someone, CALL them and leave a voice mail if they don’t pick up.  In this text-happy world, leaving a voice message conveys to your listener that they matter SO much to you that you actually wanted to have a real conversation them! One of my clients who took my advice to CALL her prospects reported that the ratio of replies she got was triple what her texts had always garnered.  REMINDER: texting is to be avoided at all costs when you have a complicated or difficult situation to work through with someone.  One of my clients had a minor issue blow up into a huge dramatic to-do because she tried to handle it via text instead of talking it out with the other party.  Your positive energy rubs off on others when you use your VOICE, not typed words on a screen.
  • Answer messages promptly. Do unto others what you would have them do unto you. If you want your teammates, customers, prospects and loved ones to return YOUR messages, ask yourself how promptly YOU respond to emails, texts and voice mails. Many of my clients complain about lack of response from others, but when I send them an urgent or critical email, I have learned to put PLEASE RESPOND in capital letters in the subject line – and some of them still never answer. Causing other people to wonder and worry about whether you got their message or something is wrong between you will not make them enjoy communicating with you.  Is your voice mailbox full?  Do you have a week’s worth of emails or 20 texts you haven’t looked at?  If you don’t respond to others in a timely manner, the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) dictates that others will not respond to YOU.
  • Keep your word. This is the #1 MUST for effective communication.  If you made an appointment to meet someone at Starbucks and then just didn’t show up, you can imagine how they will react!  Is it any less of an affront if you stand them up for a phone appointment they planned on and made time for?  As soon as you realize that you are running late or can’t make it, CALL or at least text them.  They will forgive you if you apologize and give a BRIEF explanation (not a rambling, self-serving excuse). But if they call and you are just not there, they will get the message loud and clear that they don’t matter much to you.
  • Be clear and concise. Don’t beat around the bush with a long preamble or let yourself wander off on tangents containing lots of details that are not important to your central message.  Trying to follow your meandering thoughts, waiting for you to get to the point, wears out your listener and assures they will tune you out and just pretend to be listening.  A tell-tale sign that you are inserting too many inconsequential details into your speaking is if you regularly interrupt yourself with “Well, anyway….” Or “Long story short….”  My favorite reminder to stick to the point comes from my friend and mentor Leslie Zann, a talented speaker and ace trainer for the network marketing/direct sales industry.  Leslie always teaches, “If it’s not necessary to say, it’s necessary NOT to say it.”

I hope these communication tips will help you to create relationships built on mutual trust, honesty and respect. Those are bonds that last and will bring you rich rewards!

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

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