October 2017


October 15, 2017

“Leap, and the net will appear.” – John Burroughs

I saw a very good movie last night that demonstrates how a courageous individual’s strong belief in herself and her values, coupled with an unshakable commitment to a Big Goal enabled her to triumph over seemingly daunting odds.

“Battle of the Sexes” is the very entertaining and dramatic story of what went on behind the scenes in the lives of the principal players in the legendary 1973 tennis match between the reigning women’s champ, Billie Jean King, and retired hall of famer, compulsive gambler and showman, Bobby Riggs.

I was in college at the time, and all I was aware of then were the circus sideshow aspects of the match up, which was billed as “Libbers versus Lobbers” because the Women’s Liberation movement was just beginning to take hold. Women were speaking up for themselves and demanding equal rights and equal pay in every area of life, while the men in power at the time didn’t seem to get what all the fuss was about, believing the “fairer sex” should be content to tend to their family duties and “hobbies,” and let men continue to be the breadwinners and sports heroes.

Billie Jean was not known as a boat-rocker at the time.  She was liked and respected by other players and single-focused on improving her own game. So, when Bobby Riggs first approached her with the idea of putting on a purely money-making stunt match to determine whether a 55-year-old has-been male athlete could beat a 28-year-old woman the peak of her powers, Billie Jean initially turned him down because she didn’t want to demean the game she loved and had devoted her life to.

But she reached her breaking point when she protested the gross inequality of the women’s and men’s tournament prizes to former tennis great Jack Kramer, head of the “Old Boy’s Club” of rich white men who ran US tennis, and he responded that no woman was as good a player or as much of a draw as a male player, despite the fact that just as many tickets were sold for women’s matches as men’s. Then he proclaimed with a condescending smirk that the women should be satisfied with money that was one-eighth of the men’s purse because “men have families to support.”  She calmly answered, “I’m the breadwinner in my family” and took all the women players with her to start their own tour, underwritten by Virginia Slims cigarettes.

When Riggs finally cajoled Australian powerhouse Margaret Court into a smaller “battle of the sexes” match and won by mentally rattling her, Billie Jean realized it was up to her alone to take him on and she agreed to an epic match.

Most men in the tennis world and male celebrities of the time supported Riggs, and smugly predicted he would win.  Overconfident after beating Court, Riggs didn’t do much practicing, but devoted himself to relentlessly promoting the spectacle and stoking the flames of “war” between men and women.

What had started out as a little sexist joke bet quickly grew into a high-stakes contest that played out before a sell-out crowd of over 30,000 in the Houston Astrodome and millions of viewers in 36 countries around the world.   As the movie beautifully portrays, the match created a sense of tremendous personal responsibility for Billie Jean to “prove” that women are equally talented, competitive, entertaining and worthy of being society’s role models and heroes.

So what did Billie Jean do in the face of this immense pressure?  According to the movie, she took nothing for granted, stayed single-focused on her Big Goal and worked harder than ever at honing her game and strengthening her stamina.  She developed a strategy of not trying to match his male muscle power, but instead, keeping him running all over the court and gradually wearing him down. Most importantly, she believed in herself and never doubted for a single minute that right was on her side.

Her strategy and belief worked, and Bobby Riggs lost the epic Battle of the Sexes he had created in three straight sets. Today, Billie Jean King’s accomplishment still stands as a major milestone in the ongoing fight for women’s equality and empowerment.

But the even bigger personal lesson I see in this story for ALL human beings is summed up in a recent daily inspirational passage from my favorite positive-thought minister, Joel Osteen:

“God has equipped you with everything you need to fulfill your destiny….That means you are well able to do what He has called you to do. You can accomplish your goals.  You can fulfill your dreams!  You have the ideas, the creativity and talent to be successful. You can overcome any obstacle. You have been armed with strength for every battle.

Not only has God equipped you, but He is also working on your behalf.  He has already gone before you and lined up the right people and the right opportunities.  You have everything you need to live a victorious life – you were created to excel!

You may not have seen it in the past, but if you’ll stay in faith, it’s just a matter of time; victory is on its way.”

So remember, no matter what the outer circumstances or odds you may face, no matter what the pundits’ opinions or predictions, no matter how much or how little you know about the HOW, your own Big Goals truly ARE attainable… IF you believe in yourself…. IF you believe that what you are doing is right and good…. IF you believe that God is on your side…. And IF you never, ever give up!

PLEASE NOTE: The blog is taking next weekend off.  A Cup of Caroll will return on Sunday October 29.

If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to http://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.

 

October 8, 2017

“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

When I wrote the last blog on September 24 (See Let Go of Guilt Blog #282), little did I know what was coming.

I had been talking to a number of my coaching clients who felt paralyzed in their business pursuits by the seemingly-endless stream of hurricanes, fires and earthquakes that have occurred over the past several months. I wrote then about their feelings of “Striver’s Guilt,” which is much like the Survivor’s Guilt that paralyzes some people who have survived a horrific event where others perished.

Some of my clients felt so depressed over watching the 24/7 news stories about thousands of strangers who had suffered unimaginable losses of homes and even loved ones, they couldn’t muster the positive energy for daily outreach to grow their network marketing businesses. A few who know individuals directly affected by these natural disasters even felt it was disrespectful of their friends’ losses to pursue their own personal success.

Then this past weekend, the news focused on all the gruesome details of something even more horrific – the mass murder and wounding of hundreds of innocent people whose only crime was to enjoy themselves at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas that was within range of a madman with an automatic weapon perched on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel.

Several of my clients also had some harrowing personal experiences with this awful event:  One was extremely grateful because she was supposed to go to that concert, but her babysitter cancelled at the last minute. Another said her BFF was at the concert and was in terrible emotional shape because, although unharmed herself, she had witnessed someone being shot a few feet from her. Still another told me her young relative’s best friend was one of the people who were murdered.

Incredibly, most of my coaching clients, who are all independent consultants with the same network marketing company, were preparing to depart for their company’s annual convention in Las Vegas this week.  Wow.  How do you process something that awful happening so close by when you are supposed to be celebrating your business success?

It is well above my “pay grade” to make sense of such a tragedy.  For me personally, life’s number one question that I hope God will be kind enough to answer when I make my transition is “Why do bad things happen to good people?” How we each continue to live our daily lives with faith, hope and optimism after such events is up to each of us to figure out, according to our own personal beliefs.

I am sure of one thing, however: Our succumbing to paralyzing Survivor’s Guilt or Striver’s Guilt and despair will NOT help those affected by tragedies and disasters in any way. As the wise old saying goes, you can “light a candle or curse the darkness.” The choice is yours.

If you choose to light a candle, you will honor the memory of those who didn’t survive accidents, illness, natural disaster or unfathomably evil human deeds by providing a beacon of hope and comfort to those who most need your support, even as you help yourself.

What we must focus on in all of these disasters and tragedies are the numerous acts of selfless kindness, generosity and heroism performed by strangers in service to their fellow human beings.  First Responders and ordinary citizens alike put their own lives in danger to save others, while medical professionals acted with calm heads and skilled hands to save many lives that otherwise would have been lost.

If you want to strengthen the much greater force of Good in the world, instead of just cursing the darkness of human evil and natural disasters, ask yourself: What can I do today, with the resources I have, to light my own candle?  Here are a few ideas:

  • Donate as much financial help as you can to relief providers. Human and animal relief organizations like the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Humane Society, SPCA International and many others have the know-how and resources to get the right kinds of aid to victims as quickly as possible. They just need the funds.
  • If you can, donate blood. Even if it stays in your community, your blood will help someone you don’t know who is in trouble right where you are. Sign up to be an organ donor when you renew your driver’s license, too!
  • If you can spare a few hours, volunteer in your community. Food banks, literacy programs, Meals on Wheels, addiction and at-risk youth programs and animal welfare organizations, to name a few, all rely on hometown heroes to help them do their good work.
  • Lend an ear or a hand to someone who needs it. People all around you are suffering quietly in big and small ways right now. Visit an elderly, single or ill neighbor with tea and cookies. Just be good company for them or offer to help with chores and errands once in awhile.
  • If you don’t like how things are going in local, state or national politics, don’t just complain — DO something about it! At the very least, VOTE.  Attend town hall meetings or write your representatives. And if you can, donate or volunteer to help candidates you believe in get elected.  If, like the majority of Americans, you think our gun safety laws need some common-sense improvement, political change is the most effective way to make tragedies like Newtown, San Bernardino and Las Vegas become far less frequent.

And for goodness sakes, put your own oxygen mask on first!  You can’t help anyone else if you are glued to your television, laptop or smart phone, watching the news and feeling paralyzed and hopeless. My BFF Lisa says she is “on a news fast,” listening to audio books instead of watching troubling news reports and social media, and she feels much lighter for it.

It is critical that you get up each morning and put on your mental armor by spending just 15 to 30 minutes on your own personal and spiritual development in order to direct your mindset and your energy in a positive, can-do direction.  Then go out and get after your own Big Dreams, just as you support many others in pursuing theirs.

Creating your OWN financial and personal success will make your candle burn even brighter for those who are searching the darkness for a ray of light to help them find their own Path.

If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to http://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.