Adversity


November 15, 2020

“There are two kinds of gratitude: The sudden kind we feel for what we receive, and the larger kind we feel for what we give.” – Edward Arlington Robinson

It would be a gross understatement to say that 2020 has been a challenging year and a huge disappointment for most of us. January 2020 started out with high hopes and then disaster struck just when we were getting started on manifesting our Big Goals.

Our personal challenges may be related to career, finances, politics, health, family relationships or the loss of a loved one. And then there is the once-in-a-century, ongoing challenge of trying to live inside of a world-wide pandemic that has upended all sense of “normal” during every season of this year. Nevertheless, there have also been many, many inspiring stories of people using their gifts, skills and resources to help friends and strangers cope in ways large and small.

Now, at last, the season of “gratitude,” “peace” and “goodwill” is upon us – the season when most people make an extra effort to be kind and generous toward their fellow humans.  Even though it won’t look like Holiday Seasons past, it can still be a time of rekindled hope, love and reconciliation that we all need so much. 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.” It has never been more needed than right now. So, 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 plan to purchase more gift cards this week and give them away randomly at Starbucks through the end of the year.  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.
  • Send 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, buying their groceries for them or running another errand.
  • Donate some lightly-used warm clothing, school supplies or blankets to an organization that serves the homeless or low-income families.
  • Donate money, 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 (socially distanced, of course) 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 for 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 a $20 supermarket gift card 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 giving to 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 2020 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 8, 2020

“Blessings can come in a number of ways.  The Lord doesn’t give you what you want; the Lord gives you what you need.” – Eric Davis

In addition to our ongoing worldwide pandemic, concern about the economy, a US election like no other and the passing of my only sibling, I have had one other life-changing challenge to deal with over the past two months or so.  I am only now catching my breath enough to share the story with you.

The reason I want to share my personal trial and transformation with you is that I believe, as with virtually all big life challenges, there are blessings and valuable lessons in them for us.  Whether you have faced my particular type of challenge or not, I am sure you will agree that the take-aways I got apply in your life, too.  And, hopefully, if we remember these lessons, we will grow and prosper from them.

At the beginning of October, my wonderful husband Rick went into the hospital for a back operation to correct spinal stenosis that had been pinching nerves to his legs and making it more and more painful for him to stand and walk.

Alas, due to COVID-19, the surgeon and hospital weren’t taking non-emergency patients for months before and by then he was in a lot of pain, so we were both happy he was going to finally get relief.  The surgeon and his staff told Rick that, while he couldn’t bend over or twist his torso or pick up anything heavy for at least three months, he could likely expect to be back to pretty normal activities like driving and walking within perhaps a couple of weeks.

The operation went smoothly with no complications or infections, for which we were very grateful.  But we were both shocked at how weak he was.  He could barely stand and walk a few steps with the help of the hospital’s physical and occupational therapists that worked with him several times a day for four days.  When he was ready for discharge, instead of taking him home, I had to admit him to a rehab center where he stayed for another 10 days, working to get strong enough to use a walker.

Finally, he was more than ready to come home with his walker and a plethora of gadgets to help him get around, pick up things and put on his socks and shoes without bending over. But  his legs were still pretty weak and I had to help him do just about everything, including personal hygiene and getting into and out of bed several times a night.

I was exhausted within a few days and my own daily routine was completely out the window.  I could barely keep up with the needs of my daily private coaching clients and all the members in an online course I am teaching, let alone reliably get in a daily shower or daily walk.

On top of that, not realizing how much of my time and attention Rick’s recovery was going to require, I had signed up for not one but TWO intensive and expensive online courses, and I was rapidly falling behind at watching the videos and doing the work that was supposed to help me deliver great courses and sign on more wonderful coaching clients.

Never having children nor being a hands-on caregiver for elderly parents, I had never before had to deal with anything like this.  I felt drained, like I was constantly behind, never doing enough for Rick or my clients or myself.  I am used to helping my clients learn to effectively balance their busy lives with family, work, side businesses and self-care and now I was feeling like a complete loser at it myself, letting myself and everyone down who was counting on me.

Fortunately, I have many years of mindset and personal development work under my belt, and a rock-solid faith in God’s daily guidance and help.  My morning practices of inspirational reading, gratitude journaling and then praying and reciting positive affirmations while taking my daily exercise walk provided a foundation of sanity and helped me to eventually recognize this challenge held many blessings, too.

Rick has come a long way in the past three weeks or so. By faithfully doing the strengthening exercises his home PT has given him and walking around the house as much as he can, he has become self-sufficient on his walker and taking care of most of his own self-care needs like dressing himself.  He is back to work at his home desk, serving his real estate clients, with the invaluable help of his colleagues who kindly take them on home tours for him.

I continue to expand my repertoire of skills daily, doing chores and errands that Rick has always done, like fixing three meals a day, grocery shopping, getting the car washed and filled up, and taking care of our two dogs by myself. These responsibilities require many extra hours in my week, but it is satisfying whenever I find a way to get them done “between the cracks” of my daily coaching schedule. I recently stepped WAY out of my comfort zone when I successfully installed grab bars in two bathrooms and put together a new office chair for Rick!

As I learned to release the negative emotions of overwhelm, fear, guilt, resentment and self-pity that have confronted me over these past weeks, I became much more aware of the GOOD things that have emerged from this experience. Here are the most important Life Lessons I have learned so far:

1) We must have empathy for others.  I know first-hand now what life must be like for my clients and friends who are struggling daily to do right by their children, day jobs, side-jobs, ill or elderly family members, etc. All of my judgment of others has evaporated. I can see it’s not always possible to “just do it,” even when you have good planning skills and a strong work ethic.

2) Accept your limits.  I really had to come to terms with the fact that there was no way I could get EVERYTHING done that I wanted to do. I learned to prioritize what was MOST important for Rick and me each day, even if work or other things had to be postponed or done to less than perfectionist standards.  We cannot do it ALL, but we can commit to do the BEST we can at the tasks we truly MUST do, within the time limits we have to work with, and be OK with it.

3) We are all stronger than we know. Before Rick’s operation side-lined him, I had not been grocery shopping or cooked a family dinner in YEARS, let alone assembled furniture! On days when I thought, “I just cannot do this,” I reminded myself that it was not MY strength alone that would carry me.  I leaned on my faith and somehow, whatever I had to do got done.

4) Don’t be too proud to ask for help. Many health care professionals, friends, clients and family members have graciously assisted Rick and me every step of the way.  They have been happy to do things I couldn’t or help in ways I wasn’t qualified to. All we had to do was ASK.

5) Take it one day, one hour at a time.  I have learned not to worry about next week, let alone next month.  I just focus on today and maybe what I will need to do tomorrow, and everything just falls into place, minute by minute, hour by hour.  Worrying about the future wastes precious time and energy that could be put to better use getting things done TODAY.  And I now take time to celebrate the small victories like cooking a good dinner or getting caught up on my studies or reviewing my clients’ assignments. Giving yourself regular pats on the back keeps you motivated!

Finally, I would say my BIGGEST personal blessing and lesson that has come out of this difficult time is a deeper appreciation for my wonderful husband’s contributions to our life together.  I have always been grateful for what he does (especially his daily meal planning, shopping and gourmet cooking!)

But I now truly realize how MANY big and little things Rick does quietly behind the scenes every day to make life better for me and our four-footed “kids,” without ever demanding praise or gratitude.  Now that I truly understand how MUCH he does, it makes me want to do even more to show my love and gratitude to him. This experience has brought us closer than ever and made us both more grateful for all of God’s blessings in our lives, not the least of which are our supportive clients, friends and family.

If you would like your own F.R.E.E. 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 to enter your name and email.  Your information will never be shared with anyone.

****************** 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, email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.

September 20, 2020

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – Theodore Roosevelt

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt

I am so sorry to have had to skip the blog last week. My deepest thanks to you who took the time to extend your kind condolences and emotional support about the passing of my brother.

I had some serious topic options planned for my next blog, but at this moment, when the world of politics seems to be going a little extra crazy and we are all just trying to cope as best we can with our daily “new normal” routines, I decided to write instead about something fun, an escape from reality — but an escape with useful lessons and a purpose.  Let me explain.

This summer, without Disneyland or our favorite “dinner and a movie” date nights to entertain us, Rick and I enjoyed our own film and television festival at home.  My ultimate escape show is Survivor and all 40 seasons are available for streaming on CBS! Over the years, I’ve seen about half of the 13-episode seasons, but it was a whole NEW experience consuming a whole season every couple of weeks.

I enjoyed the mental and emotional escape of living (virtually) on a literal “desert island” with some of my fan favorite “Castaways,” (Boston Rob, Tyson, Rupert, John Cochran and Queen Sandra, to name but a few). But I was surprised to discover that by watching a whole season unfold quickly, and then watching some of the same players compete in multiple seasons, I could discern patterns in the game that taught me some valuable lessons about what makes someone a “Winner” in pursuing any Big Goal. (The goal of the show contestants, of course, is to be voted the Sole Survivor and awarded $1 million dollars at the end by those who had been their opponents, acknowledging that they were the BEST at “Outwitting, Outplaying and Outlasting” 19 other competitors.)

Here are five major Success Lessons I gleaned from watching Survivor. I think you, too, will find them useful to remember as you pursue any Big Goal in business, finance, relationship, health, sports – whatever you REALLY want to achieve — particularly if your goal seems daunting or far-fetched.

LESSON #1: Do You.

Be yourself.  Don’t play someone else’s game.  Use your own unique strengths and passions to excel.  The challenges that all 20 Survivors must compete in are purposely varied, so that nobody has an advantage in every one.  Some challenges call for physical strength, some call for persistence and physical endurance. Some require balance and dexterity. And some involve mental acuity (like solving puzzles – NOT my strength!) In some seasons, smaller, less coordinated and downright “geeky” players have triumphed, both through the challenges and through playing a great “Social Game.”  You don’t have to match someone else’s strengths to win; you just have to play to your own.

LESSON #2: Build Alliances

The game of Survivor mirrors real life in the sense that nobody wins the game all by themselves.  The only way to make it to the end is to team up with other players in “alliances,” supporting and protecting each other and banding together to vote other people off.  Survivor proves that multiple heads ARE better than one and someone needs to have your back if you want to reach the top.  Winners in the game and in life seek out people they trust and nurture those relationships built on mutual respect and reward. In Survivor “trust” is never absolute, but that also highlights the fact that you can’t get what you really want without taking some RISKS.  You have to go out on a limb and trust others and your own gut in order to succeed.

LESSON #3: Maintain Your Integrity

Even though some deception is required to win Survivor (like keeping your Hidden Immunity Idol to yourself), those players who regularly backstab and betray the trust of their alliances almost never win the game.  They may get to the “final three,” but the jury of their peers who became collateral damage along the way invariably award the $1 Million prize to a competitor who played smart, but with a decent amount of integrity and no personal vindictiveness.  Fans may find evil-doers entertaining, but they rarely win the game of Survivor or life. (Just ask Russell Hantz, one of the Survivor “Villains” who played three times, each time, lying, conniving and betraying others — and lost each time. He ended up angry, divorced and with a mess of personal problems later, too.)  Win-At-All-Costs is not a formula for success in life OR showbusiness.

LESSON #4: Be flexible

As you begin pursuing your Big Goal, you will rarely know the “How” that will eventually lead you to success. Life takes twists and turns along the way and you must be flexible and always ready to seize serendipitous opportunities when they appear.  Survivor winners are all great at pivoting. Sometimes they must switch alliances in mid-stream when their allies are voted off.  They don’t fight reality; they go with the flow and deal with what’s so, not what they WISH were true.  You can’t be attached to your Ego’s plan when God/The Universe suddenly presents you with a “Hidden Immunity Idol” or chance to make a “Big Move.”  You have to just grab a bat and swing for the fences.

LESSON #5: Believe in yourself and commit to your dream

I think this is far and away the MOST important attribute for anyone competing on Survivor or pursuing a Big Goal in life, especially if the odds seem stacked against them. After spending a grueling 39 days with little food, lots of physical challenges and exposure to the elements, you would expect everyone to be mentally, emotionally and physically depleted and ready to quit. But the winners NEVER give in to fatigue or give up when the odds seem stacked against them.

At that point, their competition realizes they are a threat and are looking for an opportunity to vote them out. The future winners know that, but they don’t let it rattle them.  They focus on the final Immunity Challenge like it is the ONLY thing that matters, and they usually win it. They dig down deep, believe in themselves and never, ever consider quitting.  When you have obstacles in your path and not a lot of support from the outside world, you have to decide if you are going to stay 100% committed to your Big Goal or are going to fold.  Winners play to the very end.

P.S. Don’t think that failure never happens to Survivor winners. It absolutely does…just like it does to all of us in real life.  Many of the Fan Favorites have to play the grueling game two or three different seasons, often years apart, before they ultimately win. But they learn something about themselves and how to play the game each time. Then they regroup and start fresh, applying that hard-won knowledge until they reach their ultimate goal of becoming the Sole Survivor.  And how super-sweet that triumph is!

If you or your friends would like your own F*R*E*E* 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 to enter your name and email.

*************** 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 you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com today.

 

August 23, 2020

“Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.” – Dennis Kimbro

“A young man told me: ‘I don’t want to expect too much.  That way if it doesn’t happen, I won’t go to bed all disappointed.’ That’s no way to live.  If you’re not expecting increase, promotion or good breaks, you’re not releasing your faith….If you expect a break and it doesn’t happen, don’t go to bed disappointed.  Go to bed knowing you’re one day closer to seeing it come to pass. Get up the next morning and do it again.” – Joel Osteen

We all face challenges every single day.  Right now, we’re facing more personal and societal challenges all at once than most of us have seen in a whole lifetime.  All our normal routines and plans have been upended.

Reading the newspaper each morning, I can feel pretty overwhelmed and disheartened about the state of the world. That’s why I always balance my “getting informed” time with spending 30 to 60 minutes reading inspiring books, praying and gratitude journaling. I make sure all my coaching clients do this morning practice, too. It helps us re-focus on our GOALS, not our FEARS, and set our expectations to POSITIVE.

I have come to believe that the number one trait of successful people is FAITH and the number two trait is PERSISTENCE. You can’t really have one without the other.  You can’t persevere in the face of seemingly hopeless adversity unless you have faith that a Higher Power is on your side and working on leading you to a good outcome. And you can’t give up when things look hopeless if you truly have faith in a Higher Power who wants you to succeed.

Since COVID-19 took hold in March, my husband and I have faced our share of financial challenges.  We have been fortunate that I still have a fair income from coaching (although not at the level I was used to), and he was able to get enhanced unemployment benefits for a few months when real estate temporarily ground to a halt.  Each day, we had to get up and persevere, without having a clue what lay ahead.

I know that God/The Universe has been our ally before and will be now.  I had a chance to prove it to myself in a big way recently, which showed me that if one door slams in my face, I can follow my Divine guidance to the open one that will get me where I need to go.

If you have been reading this blog for awhile, you will remember that I had to have a LOT of patience and determination in dealing with Experian, one of the big three credit reporting agencies.

As I wrote in “Stand Still – Blog 374,” for several days in June, I spent hours patiently and persistently navigating a maze of recorded phone messages and “call this other person” hand-offs. I was referred by a collections agency to a childcare provider, who then referred me to Experian (where I had originally started my dispute), in order to convince them that an $800 unpaid childcare bill “derogatory” that popped up on my otherwise pristine credit report wasn’t really MINE. I am well past childcare age, and I don’t live in Minnesota, where the collection originated, but as I learned, facts and logic mean nothing in the world of credit reporting.

At the time, I knew I needed a clean credit report because we had applied for a Small Business Administration loan that could greatly help us with our business expenses during the months to come, especially knowing the enhanced unemployment benefits Rick was receiving would soon run out.

It took a LOT of faith, persistence and positive expectation on my part to unwind that tangle.  I cannot tell you how sweet the moment was when I FINALLY reached a real, live person at Experian who said to me, “I am looking at your report right now and the name on this collection isn’t YOURS.  I am going to make sure this gets deleted from your credit report immediately!” The next day, my Experian credit score had increased by 25 points!

But once the report was clear, that was just the start of my long, winding journey into an even greater tangle of bureaucracy at the SBA.  After not hearing a peep from them for two full months after we applied, I got a “first step” email out of the blue, asking for a few more details from us.  Two hours after I typed my answers into the online template, I got a great big “APPLICATION DENIED” message back from the SBA, with no explanation.  It said I could submit an online request to be reconsidered, but without knowing why I was denied, that wasn’t a viable option.

I have to be honest, that was my lowest point emotionally.  I was running out of patience and emotional stamina and my faith was getting a little shaky too.

The next morning, I had a heart-to-heart Gratitude Formula Journaling session with God, asking Him to PLEASE make it crystal clear if I was supposed to pursue the SBA loan or if I was being directed to some better option — because this particular door seemed to be nailed shut.

I didn’t get any immediate clear urges, intuition or other “signs” as May McCarthy calls them in her wonderful Gratitude Formula book.  But I am proud to say that I didn’t panic or throw in the towel.  I just “got up the next morning and did it again,” just as Joel Osteen advises.

About a week later, my accountant emailed to ask if I had heard any more on the SBA loan denial because the final deadline for applications was fast approaching.  For some reason, her question lit a fire down in me that rekindled my persistence and determination!

I had a phone number for the SBA and right then, I picked up the phone and called it.  I was only on hold for about 15 minutes when a real, live agent answered.  While I was waiting, I had been visualizing who I wanted to answer:  Someone understanding, smart, knowledgeable, on my side, who could tell me exactly what to do to get the ball rolling again.

And that’s exactly who I got! She said there must have been a glitch in the system because there was no reason for denial at that stage.  She was going to send my application back into the system and promised that I should be hearing from someone soon.

Two days later, I got a personal email from a very nice loan processing subcontractor who was going to personally handle our application. It was so easy from there!

In four days, we were funded for FAR more than the amount I planned to ask for. (The SBA never asked how much we wanted; they just approved us for an amazingly large sum.)  We received the money at the absolute perfect time to meet our needs. All our business taxes and bills have been covered, and we still have most of the money sitting in the bank, in case we need it.  We have six months to decide whether to use more of it or send back the unused portion.  Whatever we do use, we can repay at 3% interest for up to 30 years!

Lately, we have seen a stream of wonderful new clients coming to both Rick and me, and we no longer have any stress or worry about how we will survive this challenging time.  I give ALL credit to God’s unfailing guidance and to myself for having faith AND for persisting, no matter what.

It is said that “dreams delayed are not dreams denied.”  I know this to be true. We just have to get up tomorrow morning and pursue them for one more day, and have faith that they will be fulfilled when the time is right.

If you or your friends would like your own F*R*E*E* 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 to enter your name and email.

*************** 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 you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com today.

June 7, 2020

“The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be still.” – Exodus 14:14 RSV

A daily inspirational post I was reading last week added this perspective to the above Bible quote: “Relax. Stand firm, knowing that with God in charge, all will work out for the highest and best good of all concerned.”

Contemplating this, I had a sudden flash of insight about how to solve a frustrating situation I had been grappling with for over a month. I had tried to solve it by my own brainpower, to no avail.

Thanks to these wise words, I remembered to take a breath, focus my energy on being open and receptive and then take the problem to a much Bigger Mind for the answer.  The process for doing that is something I have written about before in this blog and a tool that I use on a daily basis.  In fact, I am so thrilled with the results my clients and I have gotten by using it, I will be sharing it with all my New Success Membership subscribers beginning this summer.

This simple, fool-proof tool is called The Gratitude Formula, and is described by May McCarthy in her wonderful book of the same name.  I wanted to share with you my recent clear example of how well it works on ALL problems and with ALL personal and business goals, big or small. Here’s how it worked for me:

A little over a month ago, I got a notification that a “derogatory” item had been posted on my credit report by Experian, one of the three major credit reporting agencies.  It claimed that I owed a childcare provider in Minnesota over $800. The debt had been turned over to a collections agency because it was two months past due. That would be a pretty strange debt for me, since I am well past child-rearing age and I live in California!

On top of the inconvenience, this mistake could have serious financial consequences, as I was in the process of applying for a small business loan, and this one item on my otherwise pristine record was the worst possible type of derogatory report for a lender to see: non-payment of a debt.

My Ego’s first reaction was righteous anger and “Why ME, why NOW?” Fortunately, my coaching training got me down off that ledge pretty quickly.  As I teach my clients, the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) can work FOR or AGAINST you. If you respond to adversity with negative thoughts and emotions, your negative energy is only going to attract to you MORE negative outcomes.

I quickly released ALL negative thoughts and feelings and declared (and truly felt) that I forgave whichever overworked employee at the collections agency had made this unintentional error.  I soon shifted into feeling poised and confident that all would be straightened out before the lender pulled my credit report.

Since it was so patently illogical, I thought it would be pretty easy to prove that this was somebody else’s debt that had been placed on my report, perhaps due to our names or our social security numbers being similar.  I was confident that I could take care of this myself and filed a dispute online with Experian.

Off to a good start, Experian emailed a quick response, saying my dispute had been opened and giving me the case number and a few details, including the name and contact number for the collection agency, also in Minnesota, that was trying to collect the debt on behalf of its client, KinderCare. But while I waited for Experian to officially clear things up, I decided to try to speed things along by contacting the collection agency myself.

The collection agency employee looked up my name (every spelling we could think of), past names and my social security number.  None of my information was in their system.  I pointed out that if I was not in there, this could not possibly be MY debt.  I thought I was home free! Alas, it wasn’t that simple. The collection agency said there was nothing they could do, aside from letting Experian go through the proper channels to remove it from my report.

OK, it looked like all I could do was be patient.  I worked hard on having a positive expectation that all would be well and have no negative effect on me financially.

Finally, after several weeks, I got the long-awaited email from Experian stating that my dispute had been investigated and a resolution had been reached.  When I read the rest of the email, my heart sank: Experian had “checked” with the collections agency and the information on me had been “verified” so they were leaving the negative item on my report! I was in shock but I wasn’t going to give up without a fight!

The next morning during my personal growth reading time, I came across the “stand still and let God fight your battles” thought. It was exactly what I needed to hear!

I realized that, while I had been thinking positive thoughts that MY way of handling this problem was going to take care of everything, that wasn’t the same as turning it over to a Higher Wisdom to guide me to the ideal solution. I firmly believe that, even when we can’t see any possible solution from our limited human perspective, God/The Universe always has one.  I had just forgotten to ASK!

So, I got out my Gratitude Formula Journal and I wrote to God for guidance on how to proceed. (May McCarthy makes it clear that in using this system, we each work with our own personal belief about who our ultimate advisor is. Mine is God, but yours might be something or someone else you believe in. You do not have to be religious to use it.)

I began by listing and expressing heartfelt thanks for the many, many GOOD things in my life. It is so easy to fall into negative energy when we are focusing on our few troubles, and ignoring all the many blessings our life is awash in. That’s why you start your daily letter by thanking your Ultimate Advisor for what and who you ALREADY have in your life that you love.

Next, the Gratitude Formula tells us to express gratitude IN ADVANCE for the guidance we are going to get to create what we want but don’t yet have.  I wrote, “Dear God, I am so grateful that You are now leading me to exactly the right people who will quickly and easily help me to straighten out this mix up and restore my credit to its rightful state. Thank You!”

According to the Gratitude Formula, after you ask for what you want and express gratitude in advance, you just have to “stand still” and stay open to receive the answer in whatever way and timing it comes, often as an inspired idea that bubbles up from your own subconscious mind.  After signing my letter to God, I felt a peace and belief at a much deeper level that the perfect solution would soon appear and all would be well.

The idea suddenly came to me a short time later to call the collections agency again, but this time to give them ALL the information I had, including the partial account number for the person who owed the debt to KinderCare.  That partial account number turned into the magic key that began opening the solutions box!  The collections agency couldn’t help further, but gave me the phone number for KinderCare’s internal collections department, which I had no way of getting before, to see if they could figure it out.

Without the complete account number, a nice KinderCare employee could not find any clues as to the identity of the debtor, but she also gave me a special secret number for the collections agency’s internal Department of Consumer Affairs.  Back to collections, but NOW, I was actually getting somewhere!

The woman at collections was also helpful, but could not find the full account number in her system.  She suggested I call Experian and see if they would give me the FULL account number of the KinderCare client. Then she gave me another special secret number where I could actually talk to a LIVE employee in the Experian Dispute Department!

A very nice employee at Experian pulled up my credit report and asked me to again verify my name and social and some other identifying information.  In two minutes, she said, “Well, I am looking at the name of the person who owes this collections debt and it’s NOT you — Not even close to your name or social!  It clearly got put on your report by mistake. I am fixing this right now and a copy of your corrected credit report should show up in your inbox soon.”

In less than ONE hour, Experian emailed me my corrected report and my credit score had risen 25 points. Hallelujah!

I am forever grateful that the Divine HOW is always presented to us exactly when we need it, to help us solve any problem or reach any desired goal.  We just need to know how to ASK, BELIEVE and be open to RECEIVE it when it comes!

P.S. Please keep an eye on YOUR inbox for a special message in the coming days about the New Success Membership program that will be launching this summer to teach you EVERYTHING you need to know in order to master the Law of Attraction, The Gratitude Formula and some other great tools for reliably connecting to your own Divine Guidance that can lead YOU to easier, faster and greater success in your career, business, finances, health and relationships. We will be welcoming Founding Members at a VERY SPECIAL PRICE when registration opens for a limited in just a few weeks!

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

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

I want to be of service to YOU and your friends, colleagues and loved ones, especially now! To schedule a NO-obligation, F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me while I still have openings at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com

May 10, 2020

“What this power is I cannot say.  All I know is that it exists…and it becomes available only when you are in a state of mind in which you know exactly what you want…and are fully determined not to quit until you get it.” – Alexander Graham Bell

“You can’t lead anyone else further than you have gone yourself.” – Gene Mauch

First, a great big Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers, and Fur Baby mothers!  None of us would have made it without your unconditional love and nurturing…. And now, homeschooling! You do it all with style, grace and love and we are all SO grateful!

If you haven’t yet read last week’s blog (Pushed on Purpose – Blog 371), I hope you will.  Briefly, I told the story of how one of my clients and I both experienced the unfolding of a long-held Big Dream by never giving up on it, and by creating a daily connection to our Higher Power that gave us the step-by-step guidance we needed to succeed.

In my case, I did my daily morning journaling/connecting with God (my Higher Power), using May McCarthy’s wonderful Gratitude Formula. Specifically, I asked God to help me discover a way to help MORE people reach their Big Goals by harnessing the power of the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”), which I have been teaching to my private coaching clients for many years.  

Now, more than ever, there is a huge need for people to learn to create success and prosperity, despite a fractured economy, huge unemployment and the pervasive fear mentality that surrounds us every day.  The group I most want to help is small business owners, direct sellers and entrepreneurs. They have hustle and heart and are out there every day, working toward their Big Goals with belief and perseverance.  I want them to achieve the greatest success they can possibly imagine.

This need is also personal for me.  With the COVID-19 pandemic, my own family’s income has been drastically cut, too. My husband’s real estate business has slowed considerably, and in my private coaching practice, many eager potential clients who were poised to come into coaching in March abruptly pulled back to wait and see what happens.

This could appear to be a personal disaster, but as I said in the last blog, sometimes God/The Universe uses outer circumstances to push us out of our comfy habitual “nest” so we can grow in more purposeful ways that always lead to our Highest Good.  I have rock solid faith in that.

In my 16 years as a Personal Success Coach, I have helped over 750 private clients reach their Big Goals. But for the past few years, I have felt a strong pull to find a way to teach many MORE people the Law of Attraction tools that have always helped me succeed.

I have delivered online courses for up to 70 participants at a time, and all were well-received. But closed-ended courses have several inherent limitations. The biggest is that, like students in school, participants must move through the material at roughly the same pace.  Some participants couldn’t make it to the live Zoom calls, and if they didn’t keep up with the video replays and homework, they became overwhelmed by a backlog of work and eventually dropped out.

The other main drawback was that some who wanted the course could not afford even the modest up-front fee that I charged for an eight-week course.  I wanted to include the people who needed the information the most, while still making it profitable for me.

Finally, the main drawback for me is that it is very time-consuming to design, market and deliver a live course for two months at a time, while still serving my private coaching clients.

Seeking the ultimate solution, I began writing in my Gratitude Formula Journal each morning, expressing gratitude in advance to God that I knew there was a Win-Win solution for all the people I wanted to help AND for me — and that I was confident that God would guide me to it. The Divine Guidance we request often comes, not through our reasoning mind, but via an intuitive “hunch” or strong urge – a “lead,” as May McCarthy calls it.

That’s how the solution came to me, like a mini-miracle!  A couple of weeks ago, I was scrolling through SPAM to make sure nothing important had landed there, when an email caught my eye.  It was from a Law of Attraction coach with an enormous following whose blogs I used to read.  I almost deleted it, since I hadn’t received anything from him in many months, but an intuitive inner “urge” made me stop and read it.

The LOA coach’s email was promoting someone I had never heard of, Stu McLaren, a Canadian marketing guru who apparently is masterful at helping coaches, artists, instructors and all kinds of small business owners share their expertise with a wide audience through a membership site.  I had never really thought about membership sites before that moment.

But as Stu pointed out, we ALL subscribe to many membership sites these days – they really are our major modern delivery system for goods and services of all kinds.  If you have an Amazon or Costco membership, subscribe to YouTube or Netflix or a home school teacher site, book of the month club, use WordPress or Go Daddy, get monthly shipments of products from organic vegetables to skin care – you already are an active membership user.  You use these memberships because they have a low monthly cost and they are convenient, delivering exactly what you want exactly when you want it.

The email was promoting several free online classes with Stu McLaren, promising to show us how we could provide regular ongoing content, support and community engagement to our subscription members.  I felt another inner “urge” and signed up for his four free classes.  At the end of the free series, I was absolutely blown away — this is EXACTLY the answer I have been asking God for and it came out of nowhere, when I least expected it!

NOW, I have a way to teach an unlimited number of entrepreneurs, small business owners and direct sellers how to use The Law of Attraction to connect to exactly the right resources, customers and business partners that can lead to greater success and prosperity with greater speed and ease.  Most importantly, now they will receive the ONGOING support they need to successfully implement what they learn, which was not possible with short-term courses.

NOW members will be able to learn what to do at their OWN pace, so they will never again have that “fall behind” content overwhelm.  And they will still have the benefit of LIVE coaching with me as part of the membership, as well as being part of a growing, on-going mastermind/support community of peers who are on the same path (along with purposeful personal direction from their Higher Power, of course). In the near future, I also intend to invite other master trainers and speakers to share their own special ideas and techniques for manifesting greater prosperity and success in our businesses and lives.  (I have been studying The Law of Attraction for over 25 years, and I am still constantly learning myself!)

The best part is, ALL this can be done for a very low monthly fee for each member, so EVERYONE can participate who wants to, for as long as they want to. It’s month-to-month, with no contract.  People will stay as long as they are getting good value for their time and money.

I am now enrolled in Stu’s two-month course that begins next week, to learn to set up an effective membership site right from the get-go, so members can have the best possible experience. I will be opening it up to new enrollments in June, and launching the membership site content in early July.

But I need YOUR help NOW!

In the next week or so, I will announce a special PRE-launch, offering a limited number of Founding Member subscriptions to the New Success Community. Founding Memberships will be at the LOWEST price I will EVER offer and are guaranteed to never increase, as long as their monthly membership is maintained.

Founding Members will not only get a screaming deal on their monthly membership, but I am going to call on them for their input on the membership site content and community structure. I want them to share their valuable ideas to make this the effective, valuable and enjoyable learning and personal growth experience we all want it to be.  Together, we can transform lives!

So, you see, the tools I give my clients to master The Law of Attraction and create more success with greater speed and ease also apply to ME.  I used the Gratitude Formula to get the “hunch” that led me to the ultimate answer I have been seeking.  I love coaching because it makes me walk my talk, and that leads ME to greater success, too!

IMPORTANT: Pre-launch ends in May, whenever the limited number of Founding Memberships are gone. For information on the cost and details of becoming a Founding Member and helping shape our New Success Community, please contact me ASAP at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com with your full name and email address. I can’t wait to hear from you!

If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to https://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.  The archive of all past blogs is also on my website.

 

 

 

 

May 3, 2020

“Not every closed door is a bad thing.  If God had not shut that door, we would have been satisfied to stay where we were….God knows we won’t move forward without a push.  You have too much potential, too much talent, too much in you to get stuck where you are.  He’ll put you in situations that make you stretch, make you grow.” – Joel Osteen

As you know, I was planning to take a break from writing the blog this week.  But several events conspired to create a message I just HAD to deliver to you because maybe, like me, you find yourself in a difficult, uncomfortable situation right now.  Things were going fine, and now it feels like the rug has been pulled out from under your life plans and you don’t know what to do.

If that is the case, I encourage you to try to see your current challenge from a different perspective, as I have had to do.  Maybe getting shoved out of the comfort zone you were stuck in will turn into the greatest blessing you could ask for.  Maybe you are exactly where you need to be to step up to a whole new level of success, purpose and fulfillment.

I am not minimizing the devastating impact the current world-wide pandemic has had on innocent people.  Millions of lives have been disrupted in very severe ways – financially, socially and physically. Many doors have closed, but other doors have opened because of our disrupted familiar “normal.”  Sadly, many businesses have closed, but others have pivoted to entirely new ways of working and are thriving.

I coached one of my longtime clients this week, and marveled at her story of how her own long-term plans for her future were completely upended, yet she and her family are now unexpectedly thriving more than ever before.

A few years ago, she was methodically working her plan to gradually work her way out of her day job by building her side business in network marketing.  When we first started coaching, she was close to being able to quit and do her side business full-time.  Her Team was growing and she was eager to give her business her full attention.

Then the totally unexpected happened: She became a single parent and the sole support of her children.  Luckily, she got a great job offer that covered their financial needs, but she had to uproot her kids and move to a different state. Between the long hours she spent at her very demanding new job and helping her children adjust to their new life, she had little time or energy left to grow her business.

For a time, she valiantly tried to keep up our coaching, but it became more and more sporadic, as her boss often called impromptu meetings during our scheduled calls and traffic made her late getting home. Finally, her day job involved too much long-distance travel, and she had to put our coaching on hold for several months.

Still, she never gave up on her Big Goal.  She did what she could to support her Team, even though it was tiring and uncomfortable, but without her steady, energetic leadership, malaise set into the Team and growth slowed.

With her crazy schedule, it really surprised me when she enrolled in my spring webinar, the New Success Formula 2020, which ended just as the stay-at-home lockdown hit. She sometimes missed the live Zooms, but she always watched the replays and worked her way through the homework at her own pace.  After the course, she took me up on my offer for a free one-hour private session and told me she wanted to get back into coaching again.

I thought when COVID-19 reared its ugly head, things might get worse for her, but amazingly, they got a whole lot better.  On our most recent call, she told me she, her family and her network marketing business are all thriving.  Working from home, she can’t travel now, and her boss doesn’t make her late for our calls.  She is more productive, yet able to spend more time with her happy children and child care is no longer an issue. She has much more time to devote to the growth of her business, too.

Best of all, in a surprise move, her boss decided to let the staff work from home permanently. He ended a high-five-figure monthly lease and moved headquarters to a smaller office where the staff can gather once a week and hold client meetings whenever they need to.  The company is saving millions and staff morale and productivity are through the roof. Everyone is happy!

Now, her business Team is again growing by leaps and bounds, despite the pandemic.  Their products are as desirable as ever and they are more enthusiastic than ever about giving others the option to work from home while earning good incomes, too.

When my client told me, I don’t think any of this would have happened for me if I hadn’t taken your course, I was shocked. She explained that the course had gotten her to step off the hamster wheel she was stuck on and carve out some essential time for herself.  She began getting up before the kids each morning to do her Gratitude Formula journaling, which opened up a channel for direct, intuitive guidance from her Higher Power. That, in turn, built her confidence that the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) would soon lead her to the life of prosperity, purpose and joy that she has been seeking these past several years.

Every one of us can count on God/The Universe to guide us to our purposeful dreams, but we have to be willing to listen and then ACT on what we are guided to do, even if it is uncomfortable and takes us on a very different route than we had imagined.

I, too, am about to embark on a whole new career path than I had always envisioned.  In my 16 years as a Personal Success Coach, I have always preferred private coaching, feeling I can best serve my clients by getting to know them well and working closely with them individually for a few months.  But now, I am seeing the limitations of this model, as no new clients have come on board since the country went into lock down, and my income has been drastically affected.

My client’s impromptu testimonial really opened my eyes to the great impact my group coaching courses can have on individuals by teaching them to use simple, proven Law of Attraction tools to reach any Big Goal with speed and ease.

While I can make a bigger difference by teaching MORE people with online courses,  there are drawbacks. Webinars are low-cost, but some people cannot afford even the modest up-front fee I charge.  The live Zoom calls can’t be at a time that works for everyone, and the weekly lesson pace can be too fast for some.  If they fall behind, they tend to never finish the replays and homework that will get them to their Big Goals. 

I put in a LOT of time into designing each course and marketing it, on top of keeping up with my private coaching clients’ needs.  I make the extra effort because I want to teach MORE people the same invaluable Law of Attraction tools that helped this client, but if they don’t finish, they won’t succeed, and that is not the result I want for them!

So, for the past several months, I have been using my daily morning Gratitude Formula journaling to ask God to guide me to better way to reach MORE people, make it MORE affordable, and give them ONGOING support to implement what they learn like I am able to give my private coaching clients – but without imposing a heavier workload on myself.

Two weeks ago, out of the blue, I discovered a way to help many MORE people reach their Big Goals without sacrificing the swift progress of private coaching.  I believe it is the PERFECT Win-Win solution that is low cost, self-paced, interactive, open-ended and delivers exactly the information and support my clients need to get fast results, yet puts minimal burdens on my time, all while giving me much more stable income potential.  I would never have sought or found this solution if I had been able to stay in my familiar private coaching comfort zone.

In my next blog, I will tell you the story of how this surprising answer was delivered to me and I think you will agree it was a perfect little miracle!  (You just may want to jump on board with it yourself, or tell your Team and loved ones about it so they can take advantage.)  I can hardly wait!

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

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

I want to be of service to YOU and your friends, colleagues and loved ones, especially now! To schedule a NO-obligation, F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me while I still have openings at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com

April 26, 2020

“Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.” – Peter Marshall

The message that came to me over and over again this week is one that most of us need to be constantly reminded of: Stay present and live each moment of life as it comes.

As I thought about the word “present,” it dawned on me that this one word has at least three main meanings which, while different, are all related.  First, as a noun, it means “gift,” like a Christmas present. It also means “now,” as in this present moment in time.  As a verb, “present” also means “to offer something” (as one might offer a gift).

In all these interconnected meanings, being present IS a gift because it enables us to fully experience and appreciate every precious moment of life.  Now, more than ever, the whole world is keenly aware of the precious fragility of life — that we could be here today and gone tomorrow.

Friday’s daily thought from Joel Osteen also reminded me of what a special gift each moment of life is, especially all the “simple” things we often overlook or take for granted. This is especially true now, during this pandemic, which has forced us to slow down and re-arrange our usual daily routines:

Enjoy the Simple Thingsby Joel Osteen

“Don’t miss a great season in your life wishing you had more, complaining about what you don’t have.  The real joy in life is in the simple things – making memories with your family, riding your bikes together, watching the sunset with your spouse, or staring up at the stars at night.  You don’t have to have big vacations or lots of money to have fun.  Learn to enjoy the simple things in life.

Could it be that you’re at the right place for the season that you’re in, but you’re not enjoying it?  Maybe if you would step back and see it from a new perspective, you would realize that God has you in the palms of His hands.  He knows where you are, what you like, and what you don’t like.  Instead of living discontented, frustrated, always wishing you were somewhere else, embrace the place where you are.  See the good. Be grateful for what you have.”

My job is to help my coaching clients get what they want.  Each has a Big Goal, and I help them with the mindset tools, strategy and accountability that will enable them to reach that Big Goal, even if it seems far-fetched to someone else.

In my 16 years as a Personal Success Coach ™, I have learned that there are TWO fundamental keys to reaching any Big Goal:

1) Focus on what you WANT (not on what you don’t want). Keep your eyes on the prize and use mindset tools daily to strengthen your belief that you will get it.

2) Take ONE step at a time toward that outcome you want. Don’t try to figure out the whole HOW for getting there.  You can count on God/The Universe to help you with that, rolling the plan out for you one step at a time.  YOUR job is to take the step that is in front of you right NOW.  Looking too far ahead will only distract you from taking the right action today and make you doubt that it is possible to reach your Big Goal.  If you just stay in the NOW, focusing on carrying out today’s action step, the next step will come to you when the time is right.

A Case in Point

A week ago, on a coaching call, one of my clients seemed close to having a panic attack.  She was feeling totally overwhelmed by all the tasks she felt must be done simultaneously – caring for her family, staying mostly inside when she wanted to be outside, trying to come up with an entirely new distance learning curriculum for her students, while trying to consistently work her network marketing side business.  I understood why she wanted to stay in bed with the covers pulled over her head rather than try to organize ALL the many steps she needed to take!

During our call, we took a calm look at things and focused on what steps she could take NOW to begin to make progress on her tasks.  As we talked, she thought of some specific resources available to her that she hadn’t been utilizing, and she promised to take just ONE action as soon as we hung up: call her mentor teacher for lessons plan suggestions and emotional support.

She also came up with a brilliant plan for shaking off her paralyzing sense of overwhelm: She vowed to complete just ONE to THREE action items per day — no more, no less.  That number was mentally manageable to her, and she knew that she could prioritize that many items per day and get them done.  Completing them each day would give her a sense of control and accomplishment, which in turn would restore her self-confidence and expectation of success.

When we talked a week later, she sounded like her old can-do self again. She had been carrying out her daily “three things” action plan, and was feeling much better. She was getting up early and enjoying her daily walks with her dog again, and grateful to be able to spend more precious time with her family because she wasn’t away all day in the classroom.  She is embracing where she is” and being grateful for what she has in the PRESENT moment, just as Joel suggests.

We can all emulate my client’s simple approach to creating greater productivity and happiness:  Accept what is going on right NOW, do what we can right NOW, and let tomorrow’s steps unfold in God’s perfect time and way.  When we allow ourselves to be fully present in each moment, we will find joy in recognizing the many precious gifts that surround us right NOW.

PLEASE NOTE: The blog will be taking the next weekend off.  Your next Cup of Caroll will arrive on Sunday May 10. 

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

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

I want to be of service to YOU, your friends, colleagues and loved ones, especially in this challenging time!  To schedule a NO-obligation F.R.E.E. HOUR of phone coaching that will help you clarify your goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me while I still have openings at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.

 

 

April 19, 2020

“You will be as much value to others as you have been to yourself.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

In the last blog (Be Kind to Be Happy – Blog 368), we read about an example of kindness to others in this very challenging time for all of us.  Acting on an inspired inner urge, a man spontaneously stepped outside of his usual role of “newspaper deliverer” to deliver vital supplies to seniors and others on his route who were unable to shop for themselves while on “home stay.”

Each of us has gifts and abilities and resources we can offer when needed, IF we are willing to be bold and step outside the comfort zone of the usual “role” that we are comfortable playing.

Today, my wonderful husband Rick and I did a small kindness that will, hopefully, make a life-changing difference for one deserving dog and one generous family.  We are among the many volunteers for The Little Red Dog, our hometown grassroots dog rescue organization that finds homes for abused, neglected and surrendered dogs of all breeds, ages and conditions.

We picked up “Akua,” a sweet former Hearing Service Dog who was surrendered at the vet by an elderly couple who brought him in for surgery. The vet said it looked like he had not had much medical attention in his life. The Little Red Dog lined up a potential new home for Akua and needed transportation to pick him up and deliver him to a “meet and greet” with his potential new owners.

It was early Saturday and raining to boot, but we stepped up and drove the 30-mile round trip to shuttle Akua from the vet to his (hopefully) new forever home. As soon as he was in the backseat, lying calm and docile beside me, I forgot about how early it was and how I hadn’t had my Starbucks yet.  When we delivered an eager Akua to the nice young man and a skilled dog trainer from TLRD who met them at the home to oversee their matchmaking, I knew we had done something far more valuable than spending the morning comfortably lounging on the couch with a newspaper and coffee.

I hope you have been finding ways to help your friends and neighbors (and perhaps a stranger or two) get through this very tough time with a little more lightness and ease.  You bring massive VALUE to others, just by being a listening ear or running a small errand for them, as Rick did recently. He called one of his real estate clients, a single woman who lives alone and has a serious underlying condition, to ask if she needed anything.  She told him she was buying her groceries online and having them delivered, but with the last three orders, the shopping service could not secure toilet paper, paper towels or tissues.  Not a voluntary “morning person,” Rick got up early the next day to go to the grocery store during “Senior Hours” before the crowds, found the elusive supplies she needed, and then delivered them to her house in another town.  I was so proud of him for thinking of her and making that extra effort.

The Law of Attraction says that “energy attracts like energy.” Thus, the thoughts and beliefs you hold and the actions you take will inevitably draw to you the people, circumstances, resources and “good breaks” that are a match for your own optimistic, positive and selfless energy. Or, as The Bible puts it, “As you sow, so shall you reap.” By being good to others and bringing your unique VALUE to the world, you will receive everything you need, as well.

I, of course, have daily opportunities to help others with my coaching skills.  I spent time this week on several free session calls and thoroughly enjoyed being of service to those who needed some clarity, motivation or just a reminder of their own intrinsic worth.  My regular clients not only pay me with money (which is especially appreciated right now!), but also reward me emotionally by taking time to validate how the mindset tools I teach them are working to help them gain abundance and success.

One client is successful in her day job, but dreams of becoming the paid, published author she knows is her true calling. We have been working together for just a couple of months, so I was delighted when I got a surprise email from her, stating that she submitted a blog to a self-help/resources website that pays for content.

She wrote, “All weekend, I kept getting the thought to submit my piece to them.  I finally listened to my intuition (and not my head) and I kept seeing the email in my head that it got accepted.  [A little more than 24 hours beyond the deadline they had given for acceptance], they emailed me and said they were accepting it for publication and I would be paid.… I wanted to share with you what happened, as validation of the entire process.  I know that YOU know it works, but feel free to share my little success story with prospects or clients…. This is definite confirmation I’m on the right track.”

A second client texted me: “I just wanted to let you know about my Law of Attraction experience this week.  I made contributions to my son’s college fund, contributed to an F & B support fund, bought dinner for a colleague with a fiance in the medical industry and bought [Rodan and Fields] Soothe products to give away to medical staff.  The total was just over $1400.  Yesterday, I received a final check from a relative’s estate for just over $1330.  Normally, I would not have made the connection, but thankfully now I can recognize it.”

Just for fun, to close out the subject of value, here is a little story that reminds us that we ALL deserve to have a healthy (but humble) sense of self-worth.  After all, it was God who created each of us with our own unique gifts and attributes, and God doesn’t make mistakes! It’s up to US to use our gifts to bring VALUE to others, and then we naturally will be blessed in return.

The difference between dogs and cats

A German Shepherd, a Doberman Pinscher and a cat died.

In Heaven, all three faced God, who wanted to know what they believed in.

The German Shepherd said, “I believe in discipline, training, and loyalty to my master.”

“Good!” said God.  “Sit at my right side.”

“Doberman, what do you believe in?” asked God.

The Doberman answered, “I believe in the love, care and protection of my master.”

“Aha!” said God.  “You may sit to my left.”

Then God looked at the cat and asked, “And what do you believe in?”

The cat replied, “I believe you are sitting in my seat.”

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

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

I want to be of service to you, your friends, colleagues and loved ones, especially now! To schedule a NO-obligation, F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me while I still have openings at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com

April 12, 2020

“Extend to each person, no matter how trivial the contact, all the care and kindness and understanding and love that you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward.  Your life will never be the same again.” – Og Mandino

“A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.” – Maxim Gorky

I think this is an appropriate topic for the strangest Easter and Passover most of us have ever experienced:  It seems that many people have jumped on the Ellen DeGeneres “Be Kind” bandwagon since we all began hunkering down weeks ago to ride out this damn global pandemic.  And I think that is a great thing.

Every one of us is suffering from some form of DTSS (During Trauma Stress Syndrome), whether it is worrying about running out of toilet paper and eggs, struggling to be a live-in tutor to your antsy kids, striving to work effectively from home in order to keep your job or business afloat, or waiting anxiously for some financial assistance from the government.

For every story of people acting selfishly or tragic loss of life or livelihood, it seems there are even MORE stories of regular people going out of their way to help their neighbors or even strangers. These stories of thoughtfulness, kindness and generosity brighten our days and give us the stamina to carry on yet another day under trying circumstances.

The evening news recently featured the inspiring example of a middle-aged newspaper carrier who got a message from one of the homes on his route, asking him to please put the paper closer to the house.  That got him wondering, “If the lady who lives there can’t make it to the end of her driveway to get the paper, what else might she be struggling with?”  He checked on her and found she was elderly, lived alone and was worried about how she was going to get groceries when she wasn’t supposed to leave the house.

The newspaper carrier asked for her shopping list and went to the store for her, dropping the sealed bag of groceries on her porch.  She was, of course, overcome at his kindness and generosity.

That alone would have made him a hero, but he took it further, leaving notes inside ALL of his route’s newspapers asking if anyone else needed help shopping.  Now he has a regular route of people whose age or mobility issues make him a lifesaver.  He does this on top of his other job and doesn’t charge anything for the service.  He just saw a need and said it makes him feel good to help out his fellow human beings.

Even though he has sought no reward or publicity, I predict that man will be MAJORLY blessed in return. The Law of Attraction says, “energy attracts like energy,” and the Bible says, “As you sow, so shall you reap.”  Thus, I am confident that he will receive whatever assistance HE needs in any area of life.

I recently read a daily inspiration by minister Joel Osteen that reminds us that each of us can use our own gifts, abilities and resources to be the miracle someone is looking for right now:

“Many people are praying for a miracle.  ‘God, please send me a friend.  God, I need help with my children.  I need training. God, I need a good break.’ We have to realize that we can become the miracle they need.  God uses our lives to touch and encourage and bless others.  God will bring people across our path so that we can be the answer to their prayers.

Take time to become the miracle.  You can’t help everyone, but you can help someone.  Be aware of who is in your life.  Listen to what they are saying.  Is there any way that you can help? Those are opportunities to become their miracle. God put them there on purpose. It’s because you are full of miracles in you….There’s friendship, there are new beginnings. You can lift the fallen.  You can restore the broken.  You can be kind to a stranger.  You can become someone’s miracle.”

Last week, I sat thinking of how I have time on my hands right now, since my coaching roster is uncharacteristically thin.  People who had been planning to come into coaching have put it off until the dust settles, and I understand that.  Even so, I know that I have valuable skills, insight and experience to offer people who need it right now.  What can I do about that, I wondered?

Then the idea came to me: Offer a free one-hour phone coaching session to ANYONE who wants it! I have almost 16 years of experience as a Certified Life and Business Coach.  In the past six years, I have been kept very busy with mindset and business coaching for my network marketing clients, but I have the ability to help anyone with clarifying their options, strategizing for a particular goal, adjusting their attitude or just providing them with safe space for compassionate, non-judgmental listening.

So if you or someone you know could use some help with clarity, strategy, resources or just  good listening, I am offering one hour of phone coaching free of charge, with no strings attached.  (Just be clear that I am NOT a licensed therapist, medical professional or financial advisor.  If you need those types of professional support, please reach out to a qualified professional ASAP!)

Several people have already responded, but I still have a number of openings left in April, so I invite you or someone you will kindly forward this invitation to, to contact me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com ASAP and I will respond with my calendar of openings around my current clients’ reserved times, of course.

I look forward to connecting with new and old friends and maybe being a small “miracle” in someone’s life right now, as many people have already been in mine! (My special heartfelt thanks go out to my hairdresser Peggy, landlord Randy, dog groomer Janet, ace tax professional Charity, dear friend and mentor Leslie Zann, loyal clients and many other friends and supporters too numerous to mention!)

I hope YOU will use your own unique gifts, skills, listening ability, connections, resources or simple pay-for-the-car-behind-you-in-the-drive-through powers to be a miracle for someone, too.  Together, we can heal the world, one kind gesture at a time. And I know that we will reap much happiness in return!

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

Also, if you haven’t yet checked out Leslie Zann’s NEW coaching series on Facebook Live, you really MUST!  She gives her wonderful input to help all of us design our new lives in “home stay” mode.  It will lift your spirits and give you great ideas for prospering during this challenging time. Her 15-30 minute daily live presentations on mindset, skill set, viewpoint, courage and Open Mic are all at 7:00 am Monday-Friday for the next few weeks at http://www.facebool.com/lesliezannconsulting. (Of course, if you are not an early riser, you can watch the recordings later, as well.)

Next Page »