April 2015

“Dedicate yourself to the good you deserve and desire for yourself. Give yourself peace of mind. You deserve to be happy. You deserve delight.” – Mark Victor Hansen

You may recall that one of my suggestions for “How to Beat Burnout(see blog #188 if you missed it) was to take at least one FULL DAY off each week and one ENTIRE WEEKEND off each month. You may also recall that I promised to now write just three blogs a month, allowing me to take the last weekend of each month for myself.

No, I have not forgotten that commitment! On May 5, my wonderful husband Rick and I will be celebrating our eighth wedding anniversary, and I didn’t want my cherished readers to spend two weekends in a row without a Prosperity blog, so I am doing a fourth one this month. Next Saturday through Tuesday, we will be enjoying a “Stay-cation” that includes a trip to nearby Laguna Beach, a visit to Disneyland and splurging on dinner with friends at a favorite gourmet restaurant.

If you find it challenging to imagine creating weekly “recharging” time for yourself, I understand. It’s challenging for me too. There always seems to be plenty of paperwork, errands and projects to tackle on the two days a week I don’t have coaching clients. But I am striving to walk my talk and take regular time off to rest and re-charge my mind, body and spirit so I can be a more effective Personal Success Coach for my clients, a more attentive and loving wife to my husband, and a happier, more fulfilled ME to myself.

No matter how diligently we try to keep up, the chores will always be there. Believe me, they can wait for few days a month and the world will keep spinning. Isn’t it more important to nurture yourself and your personal relationships than to have a spotless house or completely orderly office?

I’ve learned to prioritize and do the weekly “musts” like writing this blog first, and then if I also manage to knock off a couple of the “would be nice” chores each week, that’s a plus that makes me feel EVEN better. What really makes me feel happy and balanced is spending time each week reading, relaxing, enjoying leisurely meals with my husband, watching good television and spending a regular monthly “Big Kids’ Day” with Rick at Disneyland and a semi-weekly date night together for dinner and a movie.

Here are four specific suggestions that I know for certain will have a very positive effect on your personal relationships and your mental, emotional and physical well-being:

1) Be fully present. “Haste makes waste,” is accurate. If you focus 100% of your attention on what you are doing, you will do a better job in less time. You may think regular multi-tasking is a time-saver, but it actually makes you chronically half-present in your life. You half-understand what you hear and read, and are emotionally half-present with the people you are with.

If you aren’t giving your projects, conversations and reading your full attention, you will eventually miss something critical that will lead to misunderstanding and/or having to completely re-do a task.

One of my clients was dismayed when her five-year-old child recently asked her, “Mommy, why are you always in a hurry?” It’s not the amount of time you spend with them, but the quality of your undivided attention, that makes your loved ones feel you care.

2) Be mindful in your health habits. Obesity studies show that people who eat slowly and savor their food, instead of shoveling it in mindlessly while watching television or working at their desk, consistently consume fewer calories. Taking time to prepare dinner and eat it with your loved ones most evenings will benefit your family relationships, as well as your waistline. Similarly, in your exercise routine, if you do your running, Pilates, yoga poses or weight lifting repetitions mindfully with proper form, your muscles will respond faster and avoid injury.

3) Get enough sleep. The late evening hours when the kids are in bed may seem like the only time you have to get your own tasks done or just collapse on the couch in front of the TV or on social media. However the price of sleep deprivation is very high, including stubborn weight gain, emotional and mental stress and a compromised immune system. Falling asleep at the wheel or a tired driver’s slowed response time are now said to cause as many deadly accidents as drunk drivers.

If you discipline yourself to go to bed even 30 minutes earlier on weeknights, it will pay off in greater mental acuity, emotional control, and physical health. Back-lit screens like TV, computers and e-readers have been shown to interfere with your brain’s ability to wind down and let you fall asleep and stay asleep. Exercising too close to bedtime can keep you awake too. Make the last 30-60 minutes of your evening a quiet time to meditate, converse with your partner, listen to soothing music or read an enjoyable paper book.

4) Unplug from your devices as often as possible. 84% of smart phone owners use their device while watching TV. Many people seem to be tethered to electronics 24/7. “If you’re with your children and checking your phone all the time, the message to them is ‘Anyone in the world is more important than you,’” says Tanya Shevitz, a spokesperson for Reboot, a Jewish nonprofit dedicated to reinvigorating Jewish culture for a modern world.

Orthodox Jews refrain from business transactions, writing, driving, gardening, shopping, laundry and other tasks from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday, spending 24 hours focused only on their relationship with God and their loved ones. But you don’t have to unplug from the internet and your phone just for religious reasons. “Embracing the sensual pleasures of life – having a special meal, lighting candles, having conversations where we really listen to others and listen to what our souls are trying to say to us…is rejuvenating when we give ourselves a day of rest once a week,” Shevitz suggests.

You will recall that last week’s blog urged you to ask God/The Universe or your own subconscious mind’s deeper wisdom “What must I change about myself in order to have what I want?” Well, you can ask that same question about how to find a way to re-charge yourself regularly. You may think it’s impossible to get off the hamster wheel of constantly running and doing, but if you take that question into prayer or quiet meditation, I promise you will receive guidance to help you begin.

You likely will not be able to perform ALL of the four suggestions for re-charging yourself to their maximum potential immediately. Nevertheless, if you make even one small change in any of these areas and stick with it, you will begin to create a more balanced, healthy, happy and fulfilling life for yourself and those you love.

And don’t you deserve that delight?

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching! It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached! And if YOU haven’t coached with me in awhile and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift! 

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or call toll-free 888-503-8145.



“Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward.” – Henry Ford

The human Ego is pre-programmed to keep our thinking and behavior as status-quo as possible. It thinks this is what will keep us alive and relatively comfortable. That’s why Life has no choice but to occasionally push us out of our comfortable nest via “setbacks and grieves” because without those external challenges, we would never hone our values and character or grow into our full purpose and potential.

We all know the saying Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Unfortunately, I think the human tendency to repeat mistakes is more common than this humorous definition suggests. We’re all somewhat prone to repeating painful patterns of beliefs and behaviors, although some of us seem willing to learn our lessons a bit faster than others.

Just part of growing up

It’s all part of the youthful Ego’s normal maturing process to stubbornly ignore elders’ “been there, done that” advice, only to endure the painful consequences of their naive mistakes in judgment. Sometimes they have to repeat those mistakes before finally grasping a Big Life Lesson.

Still, it can be hard for parents, relatives, teachers and mentors to stand by patiently and watch their young loved ones make the mistakes we know they could have avoided had they just listened to us. But we have to recognize that the “setbacks and grieves” they are facing WILL work out for their highest good and move them forward on their individual life path.

A Cautionary Tale

One of my coaching clients, “Willy,” is a 30-year-old who is developing his character by following the “learn from painful repetition” method. He is an intelligent high school graduate with the character and values of a Leader who wants to make a difference in the world. For the past several years, I’ve been trying to help him escape the tiny “box” that his inner city upbringing would have kept him in, so he can live his Purpose and fulfill his innate potential.

Willy’s work ethic is strong and he has made great progress, rising from being jobless for several years to holding down a full-time steady job as a dishwasher, then a fry cook, and eventually being in training for a supervisor position at the restaurant where he has worked for the past year. He has worked hard to adopt a positive mindset and learn to control his temper. He conquered a long-term smoking habit and lost a great deal of weight during our coaching time, as well.

His two young sons, whom he wants to be a great role model for, are his main motivation to succeed. He now shares amicable custody of them with his Ex-partner and her new partner.

With all this hard work and positive mindset training, Willy should be well on the path to success, right?   Yes, except for one big recurring Life Lesson he is still struggling to learn: To take his time getting to know the other person’s true character before leaping heart-first into a new romantic relationship.

The first time he made this mistake, he fled an unhappy relationship with the mother of his sons and ran into the arms of “Britta,” the single mother of two toddler daughters, whom he had met online. She lived in a different part of the state from where all his family and friends are, but he didn’t hesitate to move in with her in the fall of 2013. Then he could not find a job in the new area for months. Meanwhile, she lost her own job and he and his new family ended up living in a homeless shelter all winter.   That’s when he made his REALLY big mistake: Because they seemed to be compatible living in difficult “survival mode,” he decided they should get married! They finally both found work and were just barely able to rent an apartment and pay the bills.

Soon, according to Willy, Britta showed her “true colors” – becoming unreasonable, stubborn and argumentative. They began to fight constantly. Coupled with the stress of their precarious financial situation, during a fight one day he lost control of his temper and “head butted” her. She ran home to her sister, who called child protective services, which took the girls away. Once they came to their senses, Willy and Britta were both extremely remorseful. They went to court to petition to get the girls back, and began going to marriage counseling and attending church regularly. They claimed they still loved each other and vowed to strengthen their relationship.

Through all of this, I continued to coach Willy, and was even prepared to testify to the court about the growth and positive changes I had seen in his maturity, ability to deal with conflict without anger, and the positive things that were happening for him at work, as he was poised to be promoted into a leadership position.

Eventually, though, it became apparent that Britta is too immature and too scarred from her upbringing to be able to use the marriage counseling tools that were helping Willy learn to master his emotions and be a better husband. One month before they were due to get the girls back, things imploded. They began to argue again, and separated before the Holidays. As soon as they filed for divorce, the court returned the girls to her.

Lesson Learned?

As his coach, I hoped that once Willy escaped the highly dysfunctional relationship that he had naively and impetuously jumped into, he would come back to himself and continue the great progress he had been making with his life.

I took pains to spell out explicitly for him the Life Lesson he claimed to have learned: Look carefully before I leap into another relationship. I urged, “It’s time to re-focus on YOUR goals. Stay home, clean your apartment and spend the weekends with your sons. The right woman will come along when YOU are 100% ready for her. Under no circumstances should you jump back into a relationship while you are still emotionally vulnerable!

Willy wholeheartedly agreed. But very soon, he was out with friends and bumped into the attractive manager of a nearby restaurant…And they immediately started dating. He began posting endless pictures on social media of “The Happy Couple,” complete with gloating updates like “We’ve been together one month and not ONE fight!” He met her parents and she met his sons and everyone got along great.

Faulty Conclusion

Willy must have concluded his real Life Lesson was that his two previous relationship implosions were the “fault” of the women, not him, because his new girlfriend was obviously the perfect mate he so richly deserved.

But just weeks later, Willy went from nirvana to texting me, “I am broke and homeless. I moved in with her last week. Yesterday, we had our first fight and she kicked me out. I have no place to go.”

Oh boy. Not only did he decide to give up his apartment and move in with New Girlfriend without mentioning it to me, he also gave notice at his job, confident that he would easily land a better one where he would be more “appreciated”. Unfortunately, Willy is now down to his last few dollars before his upcoming second interview at a new restaurant.

In his text, he implored me that he has “everything all lined up” and just needs “a little gas money” to get to that second interview on Monday. I knew that sending him money would simply enable him to postpone a MAJOR Life Lesson he desperately needs to absorb in order to avoid perhaps much more dire consequences in the future.

So instead of offering to bail him out, I texted back,“Remember, you have successfully used [the self-coaching affirmation] “The Best” and ALL the other prosperity manifesting tools I have given you MANY times. If you stop blaming others and instead take 100% responsibility for you own mistakes, I know God will help you manifest everything you need to succeed!”

That seemed to bring him back to his true self. He replied that he is determined to rock that interview, which I know he is fully capable of.

Manifestation 101

One of my favorite Master Manifesters is Edwene Gaines. In her books and talks, she coaches us to write down the specific, measurable Big Goals we want to reach in every area of life. And she warns us to not to waste time worrying about the “How” because the amazingly perfect means that God/The Universe will employ to deliver our Dreams are far beyond anything we could ever think up ourselves.

However, she reminds us that one BIG caveat goes along with this effective manifestation technique: For each Big Goal you list, you must ASK: “What must I change about MYSELF in order to have that?” If your heart and mind are open to receive the answer, it will come. Once you receive it, then you must make those changes in yourself — IF you truly want to have what you say you do.

And wouldn’t it be much easier and more comfortable to embrace those necessary inner changes consciously and willingly, rather than via the method my client was using: Ask. Receive. Throw away. Suffer. Repeat?

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching! It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached! And if YOU haven’t coached with me in awhile and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift!

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or call toll-free 888-503-8145.







“One of the best ways to demonstrate God’s love is to listen to people.” – Bruce Larsen

My first step in choosing a topic for the Sunday blog is usually to review the past week to discover if there is a “theme” that has come up with multiple clients and/or myself. This week’s theme was definitely the importance of listening.

As a professional Coach, I have been trained to listen. To coach effectively, I should spend at least 75% of the time listening to my client and 25% (maximum) asking thought-provoking questions and suggesting tools and resources they can apply to a specific situation they are facing.   I strive to remember the credo, “You were given TWO ears and ONE mouth for a reason!”

Practicing non-judgmental, intuitive listening is vitally important in just about every role people play on a daily basis: parent, spouse, partner, sibling, friend, boss, colleague, salesperson, teacher – you name it. If we are going to be effective and successful in any area of life, we must master the art of listening deeply to others. This past week, a number of my clients shared stories of tears and triumph that demonstrated the power of listening in their lives.

One client told me she was proud of keeping her cool when an angry parent unleashed her frustration during a kids’ sports event that she was coaching. The angry mother approached her on the field and yelled at her in front of the team and other parents for not giving her child enough playing time.

My client brilliantly controlled her first impulse to defensively set her straight, choosing instead to use the tools she’d learned to maintain her own positive energy and be able to listen calmly as the mother ranted at her. “I knew she would not be able to hear what I had to say, so I just let her vent and get it out of her system, while I listened. In a few minutes, she calmed down and moved on.” After the game, several parents complimented the coach on keeping her cool.   Because of her calm listening, she became more respected and professional in the eyes of the parents, while providing the kids with a very positive role model.

Another client had been dealing with a negative experience involving lack of listening skills. There was a feeling of tension and frustration permeating her home, due to her mother clashing with her grandmother, who lives far away. The elderly grandmother has been forgetful in taking her medications, which could seriously endanger her health. But Grandma “won’t listen” to her children, who are trying to persuade her to allow them to hire household help to prepare meals and do housework. Grandma stubbornly insists she doesn’t need any help and doesn’t want a “stranger” in her house. My client said her mother “has to yell at Grandma when they talk on the phone in order to get her to listen.”

I had a very similar experience over a decade ago with my late mother after she fell and hit her head, causing profound short-term memory loss. Before that, she had been very physically fit and independent, and when she came out of the hospital after lifesaving surgery, she insisted she could still live on her own, which would have been dangerous to herself and others. We argued for weeks before she reluctantly allowed herself to enter a wonderful assisted living facility with a caring staff she came to love over the four years she lived there.

I learned from my mother’s experience that aging creates unsettling changes that are as challenging as puberty, divorce, job loss, the death of a family member or any other profound life change. Elders who were once the strong, wise matriarch or patriarch suddenly realize they have become dependent on the loved ones who used to come to THEM for help and advice. This is both scary and humiliating for many people.

My suggestion to my client was that she and her mother could try listening to grandma with compassion, instead of arguing with her. Of course, they must ultimately do what they believe is in her best interest. Yelling over her attempts to express her fears and frustration will not empower her to embrace change. But if grandma is allowed to fully express her point of view and feels that she has been heard, she will likely have an easier time making this difficult transition.

One of our deepest desires as human beings is to be heard, understood and accepted for who we are. We need to feel free to express our true feelings without being judged by those we care about. The best way to persuade someone else of your point of view is to first listen carefully them and then to confirm that you accurately understand theirs. Children need to feel listened to by their parents, spouses need to feel understood by their partners, employees need to know their suggestions have been heard by the boss, and customers need to believe the company representative understands their needs.

Listening is THE most powerful tool we have for bridging the divides between cultures, generations and individuals. It is a priceless skill that can only be mastered by practicing it every day with everyone you encounter. You will not believe how popular and successful you will become if you do!

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching! It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached! And if YOU haven’t coached with me in awhile and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift! 

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or call toll-free 888-503-8145.


“In between goals is a thing called life that has to be lived and enjoyed.” – Sid Ceasar

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a past client who had reached a Big Goal in just 30 days because she applied three specific success principles:

 1) Use all the tools available to you to their full advantage.

2) Be strategic (work smart, not hard.)

3) Use every available minute.

Because she had a very big “Why” for reaching her goal and because 30 days was the specific amount of time she had to reach it, she committed to focusing and giving it everything she had for that short amount of time, even though she also had to maintain a demanding day job. Her reward at the end of that intense effort was promoting to Director Level in her direct sales company, which enabled her to quit her 50-60 hour a week job and work her business on HER terms, so she could spend more time with her new husband and have the lifestyle freedom she had always dreamed of. For her, that was a Big Goal worth pursuing with all her might.

Risking Burnout

Now, I want to examine the flip side of this: What happens if you get TOO consumed with single-focus on a Big Goal that has a longer time frame than just a few months? You are risking Burnout — depleting your emotional, mental and physical resources to the point of trying to drive to the finish line on an inner fuel tank that has run dry.

Burnout can bring some dire consequences: The constant stress of pushing yourself hard and worrying about where you are in relation to a long-term Big Goal can lead to physical illness and/or emotional breakdown. It can also alienate loved ones who feel you have abandoned them or that they are less important to you than your Big Goal. Ironically, Burnout can lead you to abandon your Big Goal altogether, so that in the end, you have nothing to show for all the time and effort you put toward it.

Signs of Burnout

Another client had pursued a business goal for several years with only modest success. Every day, she beat herself up emotionally for not being where she thought she should be. She felt like a failure, despite recognizing that she hadn’t been given the proper training, support and resources during her first several years in the business. She had to figure it out by herself and actually did a pretty good job, yet, she could not stop negatively comparing herself to colleagues who surpassed her results during that time.

She also beat herself up for the toll she felt her pursuit of success took on her family. She has two wonderful school-aged children and a loving and financially successful husband, yet she believes they must feel resentful because she doesn’t spend all her time with them. She also admits to neglecting herself, allowing almost no Me time.

While she now has the right mentoring and training, which will very likely lead to success if she just sticks with her business plan, in her heart, she still feels hopeless about reaching her Big Goal in a reasonable time. I coached her to treat her home-based business like a real “business” and set her office hours. That way, she can focus on her business for a few hours during the day when her kids are at school and perhaps three nights a week she can spend an hour on it as well. The rest of the time, she should be taking care of her own well-being — including exercise, rest and relaxation, personal and spiritual development time– and spending precious time with her family every day.

Despite promising that she would work to find balance and act like she truly is her own boss, she came to our calls crying almost every week. She just couldn’t let up on herself. When she was with her family or doing something for herself, she kept thinking she should be working her business. And when she was working her business, she felt guilty that she wasn’t taking care of herself and her family.

Since my job as a Personal Success Coach is to help my clients reach their Big Goals as quickly, easily and joyfully as possible, I realized after several months that we were not making progress, and so did she. I recognized that she was showing signs of Burnout, and was unable to put into practice the simple strategies and support I tried to give her. Finally, I warned her that if she stayed on her self-constructed “hamster wheel” of stress, she would inevitably have to quit her business altogether for the sake of her well-being.

I recommended she seek professional help to regain a balanced view of herself and her life and that is what I believe she is now doing.

How to Beat Burnout

When you are pursuing a long-term Big Goal, the same three principles apply that were followed by my client who reached her Big Goal in just 30 days. The key is the definition of using “every available minute.” That does not mean “EVERY minute of your life”! If you follow a daily schedule that balances work, play, spiritual and personal development, physical well-being, family time and Me time, you can use your available WORK time strategically by working smart, not hard.

And, of course, I recommend that you learn to harness the power of the Law of Attraction to reach your Big Goals with greater speed and ease by channeling your own positive energy toward your Big Goal, which attracts the perfect people, resources and serendipitous breaks to you.

Here are the four Success Principles I believe will help you reach your long-term Big Goal with balance and fulfillment, instead of Burnout and tears:

Four Principles of Long-term Success

1) Treat your Big Goal like a Big Game, instead of a life-or-death struggle for survival.   Nobody, including you, is going to die if you don’t reach your goal by when you thought you would. Remember you are PLAYING to win and you will win your Big Game by getting to the finish line feeling happy, healthy and fulfilled. Maintaining a centered, enthusiastic and positive energy each day will make others want to join you and help you win your Big Game.

2) Pace yourself to play the Long Game. Realize this is a marathon, not a sprint. Focus on reaching a series of short-term goals within your Long Game and take time to celebrate those victories as milestones on the path to the finish line. If you don’t, the finish line can seem mighty far away.   Regularly acknowledge yourself and allow others to acknowledge you for the ground you have taken, instead of focusing on how far you have left to go.

3) Treat yourself as valuable and others will too. Make and follow a DAILY plan to give yourself whatever you need to fulfill your mental, spiritual, emotional and physical needs. Don’t try to play Superman or Superwoman and go it alone. Make clear, specific requests for whatever help you need. Those who care for you will be happy to step up, if you simply ask.

4) Stay committed and maintain perspective. Don’t let the petty disappointments of today make you doubt that you WILL win your Long Game if you just keep on keeping on. Realize that the last “No” just brought you that much closer to the next “Yes.” If you truly want to beat Burnout, you must view your Big Goal as just one part of your life, not the all-consuming focus of your life.

Here’s my final suggestion for beating Burnout: Take at least one FULL DAY off each week and once a month, take the ENTIRE WEEKEND off to refresh, relax and rejuvenate your body and soul. Plan fun activities and get-away trips with friends or family, instead of using the whole weekend to catch up on paperwork, run errands or tackle honey-do lists. You will return to the pursuit of your Big Game with renewed enthusiasm, greater productivity and enhanced creativity.

By the way, that’s the reason I am now writing just THREE blogs a month: I am endeavoring to walk my talk, and this is a great way for me to beat writer’s Burnout!

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching! It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached! And if YOU haven’t coached with me in awhile and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift!

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or call toll-free 888-503-8145.