September 2016


“The miracle is this – the more we share, the more we have.” – Leonard Nimoy

This is the most challenging blog I have ever written.  It is very close to my heart and still very raw and emotional.  Mainly, it is a challenge because I don’t think I can ever do justice to the subject.

The subject is the passing of a dear friend of mine.  I met Jerry Tagami when I was 17 years old.  He was my teacher, my role model, my husband for 12 years, and ultimately, he was my dear friend.  He was one of the most extraordinary people I have ever known, in that he seemed to live every day just happy to be alive and able to contribute to someone else’s day.

Although he was too young to remember his first years of life, I am sure they were embedded in his soul in some way.  He was born on May 13, 1943 in the hot, bleak spot of Gila River, Arizona. Through absolutely no fault of their own, his American-born parents and relatives and many other hard-working US citizens of Japanese ancestry who lived on the West Coast were rounded up and sent to internment camps during WW II. This was due to the US government’s unjustified fear that they might want to aid the Japanese in conquering the only country they had ever known.  Jerry’s father, Kay Tagami, fought in Europe as part of the highly-decorated 442nd battalion and eventually his family was released from the camp to start life over in the Midwest.

But this isn’t the topic of my blog.  I just wanted to make it clear that Jerry began his life in the most difficult of circumstances.  When he was old enough to realize that, he could have felt justifiably bitter.  Instead, he emulated his parents, who forgave what was done to them and made the very best life they could for him and his sister in their new home of Chicago. When Ronald Reagan’s administration eventually gave him $20,000 in restitution, he did a very Jerry-like thing: He bought a big Harley Davidson motorcycle.  I guess he thought that living well really IS the best revenge!

Jerry loved English literature, and planned to get his PhD at the University of California, Irvine and then teach at the university level.  To sustain himself, he got a “temporary” job teaching English at Newport Harbor High School, beginning in my senior year.  Soon, however, he realized that he could have more fun and make a greater difference for young people at this impressionable age than he ever could in the university system. So, he quit the PhD program with an MBA and settled into the life he really loved.

After 34 years of teaching and just six months into his second, very happy, marriage to his soul-mate, Diane, the most unimaginable tragedy befell them – Jerry suffered a brain aneurysm, which nearly took his life.  Skillful doctors saved him, but he suffered profound short-term memory loss.  Thank God, he still knew who Diane, their family and most of his friends (including me), were. He could even recall with precise detail events that happened back in his early days at Newport Harbor High.  He loved to reminisce about his classes, fun travels and good times with Diane and his friends, who were mostly other teachers.  But Jerry could not be left alone while Diane was at work, or he would wander down the street and forget where he lived. So reluctantly, she had to entrust him to the daily care of loving nurses at a nearby home facility, where she and his old friends visited him regularly and took him on outings as much as his deteriorating body would allow.

On September 11, 2016 at age 73, after 13 years of being lovingly and loyally cared about and for by his amazing love, Diane, Jerry succumbed to a second unfair tragedy – lung cancer.  Two days ago, I attended his memorial celebration in Newport Beach, along with 100 or so old friends, nurses, former workmates and students who loved, admired and were grateful to have had him in their lives.

I have to admit, the tragic side of Jerry’s story is the one thing in life that has ever made me question my belief in an all-loving, all-powerful God.  Still, I have come to accept it as just one of those great mysteries of life – Why do bad things happen to good people? We won’t have the definitive answer until we are wherever Jerry is right now.  I’ll bet he wishes he could prepare an amusing and enlightening lecture on the topic, to save us the anguish we are all feeling at the loss of him.

Since I know that we always have a CHOICE of what to focus on, I choose to focus on what I DO know for sure: Jerry Tagami’s life, while far too short in duration, was filled with more joy, enthusiasm, impact and meaning than 10 lifetimes would be for most of us.

Sometimes as I watch the evening news, I feel helpless about the huge problems that appear to beset just about every part of the world.  I wonder, “What can I do… What the heck can one ordinary person do about all of this?” But as I sat there during Jerry’s life celebration, listening to his friends and family members speak about his legacy – the enormous influence he had on their lives — I realized that there is a LOT each of us can do to make a difference for our fellow human beings.

For me, the most impactful memories were shared by Diane Tagami.  She read an email that was sent to her recently by one of Jerry’s former students.  The writer said she felt isolated and alienated during her high school years and her English teacher seemed to sense this intuitively. On the last day of class before Winter Break, Mr. Tagami took her aside and gave her a little book of poems by Edna St. Vincent Milay.  He told her those poems had helped him get through some tough times and he hoped she would like them, too.

The woman confessed in her email that she had been planning to commit suicide over the vacation, but when Jerry said to her firmly, “And I look forward to seeing YOU after the break,” she changed her mind. If Mr. Tagami cared about seeing her again in his classroom, that was proof that she was worth something.

We rarely appreciate the profound impact our small daily kindnesses – a word of encouragement, a smile, a listening ear, spare change — can have on someone else.  The thousands of students Jerry taught and  the friends and family he will always have were forever changed for the better by his gentle, wry wit, wise insight, unflagging encouragement, enthusiasm, love and quiet compassion.  I know that these little “pebbles” he dropped into our lives created ripples that will continue to expand outward to bless many, many others through us.

Thus, the impact of Jerry Tagami’s life far transcends his death, just as the unique gifts that YOU bestow on others will live on long after you depart the planet.  I leave you with this little poem. Shine, on, Jerry.  Shine on!

“Use God’s Gifts”  by Hilda Lachney Sanderson

“If you’re blessed with a loving heart,

If you’re caring, good and kind,

With many strengths and talents,

And a smart, clear-thinking mind,

Consider these as gifts from God

For you to use each day;

Rely on them as you begin

The chase of fortune’s way.

Do not forget to use God’s gifts

In what you choose to be,

Mix success with peace and love and generosity.

Acknowledge that strong voice within

That tells you right from wrong;

Console, encourage, lift others up,

And keep a faith that’s strong,

Use wisely all God’s gifts to you;

Stay true to what you are,

And you will prosper in this life

As God’s own shining star.”

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

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

I invite you to give a friend, colleague or loved one a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching.  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no obligation and no strings attached!  You can give this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish.  (If you haven’t been in coaching with me for a while, feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!) 

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com to schedule their session.

“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.” – Princess Diana

My apologies. I overextended myself this week with a full schedule of coaching and a lot of paperwork to finish up today.  Soon, Rick and I will depart for a few days’ escape to the picturesque little mid-California coastal town of Cambria.  We will explore the tide pools, tour nearby San Simeon (aka Hearst Castle), which I haven’t been to in years, and visit Paso Robles, another quaint town that has become renowned for great California wines. We look forward to leisurely sightseeing, sipping and relaxing!

I imagined that I would have time to create a new blog, but as I sit at my desk this afternoon, I still have a mountain of paperwork to finish before we can hit the road bright and early tomorrow. Also, events of the past week have thrown me for a loop.  I don’t feel ready to write about it yet, but plan to share my thoughts with you next weekend.

Luckily, I took a tour through my stuffed email in-basket and discovered a gem of a short inspirational video to share with you instead of a blog.  The message is so simple, yet so profound.  THIS is the secret to a happy, successful, fulfilling life.  It is gratitude in action.  The Law of Attraction says that “energy attracts like energy.” Thus, if we regularly express gratitude for all the GOOD in our lives through spontaneous acts of kindness, compassion and generosity, we can be assured that our giving to others will come back to bless us.

I hope you will take just three short minutes to enjoy this video and remind yourself that as you do unto others, it will surely be done unto YOU!

Click here or copy and paste it into your browser:

http://www.viewbix.com/v/The-Secret-to-Living-is-Giving/09e58a2e-22b3-486b-8b4d-b940a7738fd6

P.S. If you want to do yourself a BIG favor, subscribe to the free “Go for the Gold” daily motivational email put out by WalktheTalk.com.  It is the source of many great quotes that inspire me to write this weekly blog and will make you aware of some wonderful books and other tools that can help you to create more success, happiness and prosperity in your life.

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

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

I invite you to give a friend, colleague or loved one a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching.  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no obligation and no strings attached!  You can give this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish.  (If you haven’t been in coaching with me for a while, feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!) 

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com to schedule their session.

 

“You alone are enough…you have nothing to prove to anybody.” – Maya Angelou

Recently, I witnessed anew the power of a mindset shift that I shared with you in Blog #155.  (You can find it on my website in the blog archives if you missed it.)

In that blog, I detailed how the wisdom found in the I Ching helped me settle a potentially disastrous conflict with the IRS. It was the single most terrifying obstacle my husband and I faced in five years of struggling to overcome the devastating financial effects the Great Recession had on his and my businesses.

After losing two homes, a car and filing for bankruptcy, we still owed federal taxes that had grown, with penalties, to the mid-five figures.  With the help of our positivity-thinking accountant, we submitted an Offer in Compromise that laid out in painstaking detail just how little income we had to pay off the debt and still keep food on the table and a roof over our heads.

Having done everything we knew to be right — being thrifty, truthful and focused on the outcome we wanted instead of an outcome we feared — I had complete faith that God/The Universe was on our side, the side of Truth. So when I got the IRS rejection letter, I felt like everything I had coached hundreds of clients to believe about the Law of Attraction might just be bunk after all. It made me really angry and I sputtered for days about how unfair and wrong the IRS and its “stupid” agents were.

Thankfully, God/The Universe didn’t give up on us. I was guided in a seemingly-random way to a daily reading in a little book of ancient Chinese wisdom called the I Ching that taught me the BEST approach to resolving a serious conflict:

“The I Ching teaches a simple but effective method of influencing difficult people and arduous situations.  It advises us first to lay aside our prejudices – our feelings of being wounded, angry or in the right – and second to seek to understand the positions of others and the lesson that the Sage is teaching us with the situation.  Even when another is truly out of line, it is only by accepting this and remaining balanced that you make it possible for positive change to occur.  Gentleness and understanding create in others an unconscious willingness to be led.” 

That was a life-changing Ah-Ha Moment for me — realizing that being angry and self-righteous toward an entity that had complete power to either free us or seal our doom was NOT a good approach. So we regrouped, submitted an appeal and the independent arbitrator who reviewed our case was helpful, even-handed and ultimately ruled in OUR favor over the IRS!  We settled our tax debt for 25 cents on the dollar and got a fresh start to create the debt-free financial freedom we are so grateful to enjoy today. 

For me, what this really boils down to is that in order to receive the support or collaboration we ultimately want from another person, we must give up the right to self-righteously prove to them that their position is “wrong.”  Just pause a moment and reflect on a time when someone went out of their way to prove YOU wrong. Did you feel grateful to them for showing you the error of your ways?

“I told you so” is NOT an effective approach to getting another to understand your position. Yet, when faced with a conflicting point of view, the human Ego seems hard-wired to become defensive and try to prove itself “right” at all costs.

Despite knowing the effectiveness of remaining positive, emotionally balanced and non-defensive while seeking to understand the other person’s point of view, at one time or another, we all succumb to an overwhelming urge to prove ourselves “right,” with results that are usually self-destructive.

I recently coached a young friend about what I learned from my experience with the IRS and urged him to apply it to an equally critical issue he was having with an authority figure who has complete control over his life.

Some longtime readers will remember my blogs about “Mitch,” who made a very bad choice in his early 20s. Mitch is sensitive, funny and intelligent. He is a techno-whiz who used to help me with my computer issues. He graduated from college and planned to be a teacher. I know Mitch well and truly believe him to be a good person who would never intentionally hurt another human being.

But Mitch was also very naïve and immature, and with little thought, he committed a crime over the internet. When caught, he took full responsibility, resulting in a felony conviction and several years’ incarceration in a federal prison.

Surrounded by serious criminals and gang members, he stayed laser-focused on being a model prisoner, not getting hurt, becoming a good father and role model for his young son, and returning to the “outside” to rebuild his life as best he could. For a couple of years, we did coaching by mail, which helped him to stay positive and to support some other prisoners to do the same.

Since being released to parole in 2012, Mitch has been a hardworking, productive member of society who meticulously follows all the rules of his parole – reporting regularly to his Parole Officer, steering away from bad influences and staying clean and sober. He currently holds two jobs, commuting over an hour each way every day from his very modest apartment in another county, where he eventually found one of the few landlords willing to rent to a convicted felon.

He was recently re-assigned to a new Parole Officer — a no-nonsense, by-the-book type of official. Despite Mitch’s impeccable parole record, she has treated him with suspicion and tested his trustworthiness over and over in various ways. She ordered frequent drug testing (despite him not being a drug user or drinker before or after his incarceration), polygraphs and spot-searches of his home while he is at work. Admitting she is within her rights to do all these things, Mitch was still incensed that she seems to have it in for him and appears to want to trip him up in some way.

The last straw was when she insisted that he reveal his prison record, not just to potential employers, but to everyone he regularly associates with. Feeling defensive and angry that one of his very few remaining rights to privacy was being violated, Mitch called me for coaching one night.  He had retained a lawyer and said he was prepared to fight his Parole Officer in court.

At the same time, there was something he desperately wanted – to move to the county in which he works and where his family lives. This would greatly improve his quality of  life and one of his relatives had generously agreed to have him live with her family. The catch is that moving to another county under the supervision of a different Parole Officer required the permission of his current Parole Officer.

I saw where this was going, so I asked him if he remembered my earlier blog about the I Ching teaching on how to deal effectively with adversaries and how it had helped me to triumph in my conflict with the IRS. He did.

I reminded him that when someone is in a position to materially affect your well-being – be they a client, boss, partner, landlord, or the IRS —  attempting to prove them “wrong” and yourself “right” is a surefire way to win the battle and lose the war.  He got it. I sent him another copy of the I Ching reading and he promised to read it daily and think carefully before he decided his next steps.

A week or two later, I got another phone call from him.  He was pleased to report that he had re-read the I Ching and decided to request a personal meeting with his Parole Officer, instead of having his attorney contact her. They talked calmly for three hours. He conceded to taking certain steps she wanted him to take to prove his honesty to her. And she agreed that if he did so, she would sign the release for him to move to the other county.  He is happily making plans to do so right now.

As the old saying goes, “You can be right or you can be happy.”  I believe you can be both, as long as you realize that you don’t need public approval to validate you. As long as you know you are doing the right thing, you can be sure of the approval of your Highest Self and God/The Universe. And that should be more than enough to make you happy.

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

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

I invite you to give a friend, colleague or loved one a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching.  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no obligation and no strings attached!  You can give this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish.  (If you haven’t been in coaching with me for a while, feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!) 

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com to schedule their session.

 

 

“A great attitude does much more than turn on the lights in our worlds; it seems to magically connect us to all sorts of serendipitous opportunities that were somehow absent before the change.” – Earl Nightingale

[Happy Labor Day weekend in the USA!  As my final “Best of A Cup of Caroll” edition for the summer, here is an edited blog that first ran in early 2014.  It reminds us that if we consistently stay positive, nurture our belief in our dreams and let go of trying to control how they will manifest, we are often guided to success by means and methods we never would have predicted.] 

One of the most rewarding parts of helping my clients to reach their Big Goals is that I get to witness their dreams manifesting in some truly amazing ways.

Along the way, I get to hold their hand and dry their tears (figuratively and sometimes literally), and remind them to just be patient, focus on doing their BEST and continue to  believe, even when there is no outer evidence that anything is happening with their dream.

I get to do that for myself too, of course.  Often, my own dreams manifest by amazing means and always in the perfect timing of God/the Universe — which is not always the timetable I would prefer.  Just like my clients, NOW is what I prefer.  But immediate gratification is not always in our best interest.

What IS the perfect time for our dreams to manifest is just as soon as we have learned the spiritual lessons and gone through the essential inner growth to make us truly ready to receive them. But the blessing is that those valuable lessons have strengthened my ability to focus solely on my OWN integrity and actions and helped me “Let go and let God” handle the rest. As soon as I stop asking “When?” and “How?” my Big Goals will manifest, they often manifest with amazing ease when I least suspect it.

Where I find myself today represents a long-term, very intricate weaving together of seemingly “unconnected” events and people in my life.  In connecting them, God/ the Universe answered one of my biggest long-term goals with ease and grace.

The saga began when I joined a wonderful network marketing company back in 1993. I fell in love with the business, especially the freedom it gave me to be my own boss and the world of personal development that it introduced me to.  This is where I first learned about the Law of Attraction from Master Manifesters such as Wayne Dyer, Jack Canfield, Rhonda Byrne and Deepak Chopra who taught how to make quantum leaps in manifesting Big Goals.

What I didn’t know then is that through my network marketing business, I was also being connected to people who would have a direct impact on my coaching career 20 years later.

First, I met “America’s Dream Coach,” Marcia Wieder, who came to speak at one of our conventions.  I ended up chatting with her on the plane home and she invited me to her first Maui Dream Circle.  But first, I had to manifest $3,000.  With a pit in my stomach, I put my belief on the line by declaring to her, “I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but I WILL be there.”  The money showed up in my mailbox the next day. Thus began my quest to master The Law of Attraction and share it with others.

Also through network marketing, I met my sponsor, Leslie Zann.  Strangers when we met, we soon bonded personally and she became my mentor and a major force in my personal development journey. After seven years, I left network marketing to pursue coaching and Leslie and I connected only sporadically after that because we were both busy with our careers.

Having coached 600 + clients over the past 12 years, I still love it. Yet, during much of that time, my level of financial success did not reflect the true value I knew my coaching provides to others. Over the years, I randomly connected to a few network marketers as clients, and all succeeded in reaching their business goals.  They referred a few others to me, but that was as far as it went. Still, I never stopped believing that I would eventually find a path into this natural coaching niche for me, where I could combine my coaching skill and tools AND my industry experience to help my clients succeed BIG. I never doubted that once I found a way into the industry, I could rock it.

Leslie and I eventually reconnected, and I was blessed to help her as she embarked on her own successful career as an expert trainer and speaker for the direct sales/network marketing industry. She deserves her great success and I couldn’t be happier for her.

Then one day, much to our mutual surprise, Leslie once again became a key player in my own career success. As a follow-on benefit to one of her workshops, she offered six wonderful network marketers a one-hour session of Personal Success Coaching with me. Most of them signed on as regular clients and at the time, I was just thrilled to have six new people to coach and the modest amount of income that provided.

Little did I know, those six clients started an avalanche of referrals that has brought me over 150 new clients to date.  When I least expected it, one phone call from Leslie became the “How” for fulfilling my decade – long dream of coaching network marketers and my practice has remained effortlessly full for the past three years.

By waiting (mostly) patiently, trusting God/the Universe to show me the How, and planting the seeds of giving my BEST to ALL my clients, I am now reaping a bountiful harvest of the BEST in return.

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

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

I invite you to give a friend, colleague or loved one a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching.  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no obligation and no strings attached!  You can give this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish.  (If you haven’t been in coaching with me for a while, feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!) 

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com to schedule their session.