Attitude


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.

October 25, 2020

This week has been one of those.  I have scrambled hourly to help my wonderful husband acclimate to being home after his back surgery three weeks ago, followed by 10 days in a skilled nursing facility to help him regain the strength to walk on his own.  He finally was strong enough to come home with a walker on Friday the 16th.

Since then, every day has been a whirlwind of activity for me, as now I am not only looking after his needs, but also doing all the chores he used to happily do, including grocery shopping and cooking. (Yes, lucky me, Rick has fixed every dinner I have had for the past 13 years of our married life!) I am doing OK at it, with my “kitchen coach” sitting a few feet away in the family room.  But it’s a task I am not used to, and therefore stressful.

I am pleased to report that Rick has made HUGE progress since coming home and faithfully doing the many exercises his physical therapist has given him.  He now scoots around the house with his walker, leaving me more time to get my own work done and serve my clients.

I will write about the very important life lessons I have gleaned from this experience in a future blog, but for now, I am busy catching up with a lot of accountabilities. So I want to share with you the following “fan favorite” blog I originally wrote in 2016 that holds an important reminder for all of us, especially in these contentious and stressful times.  I hope you enjoy it (again)!

July 31, 2016

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”Leo F. Buscaglia

One of my favorite free daily quote services is WalkTheTalk.com. I highly recommend subscribing to this F*R*E*E daily dose of good news and inspiration. Today’s post contained a link to a beautiful, inspiring short video about the power of acknowledgment, which I provided at the end of the blog.

A startling statistic is that 25% of good employees who voluntarily leave their jobs cite lack of appreciation as the reason they quit.  Can you imagine? What were their bosses thinking?!

I learned the secret a long time ago, which this video reinforces, that every human being craves appreciation. We all want to be seen, known and validated for who we are.  If you want to experience the great feeling of rapport, affinity and harmony with another human being – a Team member, boss, spouse, co-worker, in-law, etc. — give them a sincere acknowledgment, expressing appreciation for what they have done or simply who they are being.  You will make an instant friend.

Today, I got a lovely acknowledgment from someone who told me exactly how my coaching had made a difference for her and it touched me deeply.  I had done a complimentary coaching session with her over a year ago.  Now, even the greatest coach can’t turn someone’s life around in just one hour, but ALL of us can listen closely to someone, validate them, encourage them, and leave them loving themselves and believing in themselves just a little bit more.

During our long-ago hour together, I listened closely to what she shared about her difficult circumstances, and acknowledged her for her will to triumph in the face of the adversity she had been through – for never giving up. I also suggested she read The Power by Rhonda Byrne and check out professional therapy to help her begin to turn around a bad situation and create the life she deserved.  Lastly, I told her the door was always open to call me again anytime.

I didn’t hear from her for another year and a half.  Today, we had a follow-up session and to my absolute delight, I discovered that her life has completely transformed since we last spoke.  She is now ready to take her life to another level, and we are going to partner in coaching to do just that.

While I am thrilled to have her as a client, that wasn’t the best part of the call for me.  The best part was at the end, when she said, “I want to acknowledge YOU, Caroll.  My life has come so far since our session over a year ago.  What you recommended worked great for me.  My new career, my health, strength and my happy family all have come out of that!  Things are really falling into place for me and I know I’m on my way.  You are a blessing in my life!”

Do you think that made my day?  Heck it made my MONTH!  It was amazing to think that I had made such a big difference for another human being, simply by listening to her, acknowledging her, and telling her I believed in her. That’s what we coaches live for!  

And that’s why at the start of every coaching call, I always ask my clients to tell me what they are most proud of and want to be acknowledged for at that moment.  At first, it can be embarrassing, even painful, for some people to claim their worth out loud.  But, after a few more sessions, if we ever get too far into the call before I ask, even those who always squirm the most will interrupt me with, “Hey, aren’t you going to ask me what I want to be acknowledged for?”

I urge you to make at least one other human being’s day EVERY day by acknowledging and appreciating them. It will make them – and you — feel wonderful! (For extra credit, try it on someone who is usually negative or grumpy and see what happens!)

I will leave you with this wonderful post from my favorite positive-thought preacher, Joel Osteen, who is known for encouraging people to believe that more GOOD is on its way to them and their BEST days are still ahead:

“When you see someone who is struggling, a coworker who is discouraged, a friend who is not up to par, how do you respond?  Our words can be what keep a person going; our compliments can put a spring back in their step.  Now more than ever, we need to automatically let the encouragement flow.  We need to tell others how much we love them, how we value them, and tell them that they are talented and creative.  Always remember, with your words you carry life-giving water.  You carry hope, healing, encouragement and new beginnings, and you can pour it out everywhere you go.  Today, choose to speak encouragement.  Choose to speak victory and faith into others’ lives.  Instead of telling people what they’re doing wrong, instead of pointing out all their faults, find what they are doing right.  Focus on the good.  There are already enough critical, judgmental people in the world.  Let’s be people who lift others up and restore them.”

P.S. Watch this four-minute video on the importance of acknowledging and appreciating others. Copy and paste it into your browser, turn the sound up and I hope it makes YOUR day, too: http://www.flickspire.com/m/WalkTheTalk/WhileYouCan

PLEASE NOTE: The blog will be taking next weekend off so I can catch up further!  Enjoy a Happy Halloween and look for your next fresh Cup of Caroll on Sunday, November 8, 2020.  

If you would like your own F*R*E*E* subscription to receive A Cup of Caroll three Sundays a month, just go to my website at www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.  Your name and email will be kept 100% confidential and will not be used by anyone else for any other purpose.

****************** Fulfill Your Dreams! ********************

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 to make them a reality, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.

September 27, 2020

This weekend, I am happily busy with doing homework assignments for an online course that I am taking about creating online courses, while at the same time teaching an online course of my own! So here is a lightly-edited post from two years ago that is just as relevant today.  I hope you enjoy it (again).

August 18, 2018

“What this power is, I cannot say.  All I know is that it exists….and it becomes available only when you are in that 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

Have you ever wanted something so badly you just ached for it — and then you let your fear stop you from getting it?

You hesitated just a few moments before taking the first step toward your Big Goal and then watched helplessly as the “magic moment” that could have catapulted you forward passed. You didn’t cross the room to ask that special someone to dance, you didn’t ask your boss for a raise, you didn’t apply for your dream job, you didn’t take your friend up on the opportunity to join her business, you didn’t sign up for the audition….You never did get your heart’s desire and you have regretted it ever since.

Of course you have done that!  I know because I have done that. Everybody who ever walked this planet has done it. That’s because whenever we have a strong urge to go after something, our Ego’s default mode is to hesitate. We pause before leaping into action just long enough to listen to the little Fear Voice in our head, which is determined to stop you from taking that action. This is the cause of what we call “self-sabotage.”  We KNOW we really, really want something and we KNOW exactly what we have to do to get it, but we just cannot seem to MAKE ourselves take that first step.

If you want to reach your Big Goals and stop this maddening cycle of self-sabotage, you couldn’t find a better instruction manual than motivational speaker and life coach Mel Robbins’ book “The 5 Second Rule.”  I have shared her TEDx talk about the 5 Second Rule with hundreds of people, and many of my coaching clients have read her book because Mel was one of the keynote speakers at their direct sales company’s convention.

The way she developed her simple but effective trademark tool for circumventing the hesitation urge that stops you from getting your dreams is a compelling story. Years ago, this former attorney’s financial world suddenly collapsed when her husband’s over-extended restaurant business started to fail and her own fledgling media career tanked at the same time. Rapidly, this successful power couple became heavily-in-debt “failures.” Blindsided, she felt numb and hopeless and no matter how hard she tried, she just couldn’t seem to motivate herself to get out of bed each morning to handle her many daunting life challenges.

That posed a serious problem for her family because her children were not getting ready for school on time and were missing the bus day after day.  Her marriage was in jeopardy too. Her husband resented that he was working around the clock to try to save his business while she was sleeping in and avoiding looking for a job that could bring in some much-needed income.

Then one morning when her alarm rang, Mel spontaneously created a simple but very effective tool to push her brain past the paralyzing fear that was making her hit the snooze alarm again and again.  She counted down aloud like the rocket launch she had recently watched on television “Five. Four. Three. Two. One. GO!” When she got to “Go,” that word triggered her subconscious mind to automatically throw back the covers, and she stood up and started her day, which led her to starting a new life.

Her book explains in fascinating detail exactly WHY that little Fear Voice in your head stops you from pursuing your Big Goals. It is part of your normal, healthy Ego’s survival mechanism to try to keep you “safe” by keeping you on the couch instead of allowing you to make any changes in your life that could possibly turn out to be a physical or emotion “risk.”

Mel also explains exactly how you can use the 5 Second Rule countdown to leverage yourself into taking the critical first step toward creating a new career, stopping yourself from giving in to your negative urges like smoking, alcohol or overeating, finding your perfect mate, getting a raise, expressing yourself artistically – ANY Big Goal you have in life.

She says, “Are you waiting for someone to ask you, drag you, pick you or catapult you into the spotlight, or are you willing to find the courage to push yourself?  Are you waiting to feel ready?  Waiting for the right time. Waiting to gain confidence.  Waiting to feel like it.  Waiting to feel worthy.  Waiting until you have more experience.

“Sometimes there is no next time, no second chance, or no time out.  Stop waiting.  It’s now or never.  When you wait, you aren’t procrastinating.  You are doing something more dangerous.  You are deliberately convincing yourself ‘now is not the time.’  You are actively working against your dreams.”

Mel’s book is filled with messages from people who have used the 5 Second Rule to overcome their Ego’s self-sabotaging fears and JUST DO IT.  And their results have been phenomenal.

Mel says, The difference between people who make their dreams come true and those of us who don’t is just one thing: the courage to start and the discipline to keep going.  The Rule is a game-changer because it 5-4-3-2-1 forces you to get out of your head and start and it’ll 5-4-3-2-1 help you keep going…..When you 5-4-3-2-1 push yourself forward you’ll discover the magic in your life and open yourself up to the world, to opportunity, and to possibility.  You might not get the girl, the part, or the response you wanted but that’s not the point.  In the end, you’ll get something way cooler – you’ll discover the power inside of you.”

I invite you to watch (or re-watch) Mel Robbin’s 20-minute TEDx talk from several years ago.  Here’s the You Tube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lp7E973zozc

And I very much encourage you to read The 5 Second Rule and USE what it teaches you. The life of your dreams is waiting for you — and the start of it is just FIVE SECONDS away!

IMPORTANT NOTE: The blog is taking next weekend off and will return on Sunday October 11 with a fresh Cup of Caroll!

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 30, 2020

“It’s not enough to have lived.  We should be determined to live for something.  May I suggest that it be creating joy for others, sharing what we have for the betterment of person kind, bringing hope to the lost and love to the lonely.” – Leo Buscaglia

If you have read a few of my blogs, I am sure you are quite familiar with the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) and how it works in our lives. 

Your “energy vibration” that you constantly emanate, can be felt by everyone you come in contact with. Your energy is a product of your thoughts plus the emotions you feel as a result of your thoughts.  But it also results from your WORDS and your ACTIONS.  Those are also part of what attract to you the people, circumstances and resources that are a match for YOUR vibration.

I think it’s fair to say that most people (myself included) study how to harness the power of the Law of Attraction in order to create a better life for ourselves and our loved ones. We want to learn how to use this powerful magnetic universal force to attract the ideal clients, business partners, friends, romantic relationships, delightful material things, “lucky breaks” and financial prosperity we desire. And there is nothing wrong with that!

But I wonder how often we realize that doing something kind or generous for someone else from a purely unselfish motive also plays a big role in the Law of Attraction.  What you DO and SAY to others without thought for your own reward inevitably ends up rewarding you in big and small ways you could not have foreseen.

In The Power, which is my all-time favorite book about how to put the Law of Attraction to work for you in your daily life, Rhonda Byrne says simply, “Remember that the law of attraction says whatever you give, you receive.”

In his new book The Abundance Mind-Set, positive-thought pastor Joel Osteen says, “We don’t realize what we carry.  We have the most powerful force in the universe inside us. What may seem ordinary to us, no big deal, …. can be life-giving.  A simple act of kindness.  A simple hug. Words of encouragement.  Letting someone know that you care.  That can be the spark that brings them back to life….It’s great to receive a miracle, but there’s no greater feeling than to become a miracle.  Who are you carrying?  Who are you lifting up?  Who are you helping across the finish line?  Your destiny is connected to helping others.”

I have seen this in my own life more times than I can possibly count or remember.  Whenever I have gone out of my way to lend a helping hand, or just give another person some verbal encouragement, someone else has always been there to do the same for me, just when I needed it most.

I wrote in a recent blog about how one of my friends and former clients sent me a gift of $1,000 out of the blue. When I had to pay my taxes a couple of weeks later, the bill came to exactly $1,000.  Amazing, but then, I have seen such perfect serendipity happen time and again.

It doesn’t work if you are trying to get something in return, but if you do a good deed for unselfish reasons, your pure vibration is going to attract to you some form of self-less gift – often, when you have a pressing need and no idea HOW it is going to be met.

What I didn’t explain in detail in that blog was that years before, I had loaned my friend several thousand dollars.  She was a single mom of four, who was struggling financially, trying to stand on her own two feet after a painful divorce.  Despite having a fulfilling and important job, she was constantly “running behind the bus,” trying to cover bills and debts her husband had created. Her only option was to take out payday loans at high interest rates, which inevitably caused her to take out another loan to make it to the next payday, keeping her trapped in a vicious debt cycle, through no fault of her own.

Having recently emerged from the Great Recession, my husband and I were flush from a hot real estate market and a full coaching practice, so we offered to lend her the money to catch up on all her bills and give her a fresh start.  She reluctantly agreed and was very conscientious about paying us back each month over a couple of years.

For her family’s birthday and holidays, I voluntarily waived the monthly payments, knowing that the extra cash would make her family’s celebrations brighter.  Her happiness and gratitude made me far happier than any amount of money could have.

When she made the final payment, I considered us square and felt so fulfilled, knowing that we had played a role in helping her and her family to thrive. Then I forgot all about it… until the day years later, when I went to get the mail and found her surprise $1,000 check.

I had been praying for some direction about how God intended for us to pay our remaining taxes, given the recent downturn in our businesses due to COVID. And there was the answer in my mailbox!

Even BETTER, there was a heartfelt note enclosed, explaining that she had always intended to pay us back the “forgiven” payments as soon as she could.  When she got a BIG windfall bonus from her work (which had come at a perfect time for her needs, too) she knew she had to give part of it to us.

She and I firmly believe that these perfect solutions for BOTH of us all started with me noticing she could use some help, having the resources, and deciding to do it just because it was the right thing to do. She paid it forward again by doing the same.

Not all forms of help we can offer people are monetary, of course.  We can give someone who needs it a real or virtual hug, lend an ear, speak an encouraging word, offer to run an errand, do a chore, babysit their kids, cook them a meal, etc. There are an infinite number of gifts that don’t cost much money or take much effort on our part, yet certainly can make a world of difference to someone else.

In his book, Joel Osteen relates how, years ago, he was leaving a local cafe with his toddler son, when he noticed a man dressed in a business suit, sitting in a booth by himself.  The gentleman didn’t look down and out by any means, but Joel just had a strong feeling, “I knew I was supposed to encourage him in some way.”

So, on his way out, Joel made a point of walking by his booth, smiling at the stranger and offering him a friendly, “Hello.  How’s it going?” The man kind of laughed and answered, “Not very well. Things are kind of rough.”

“I didn’t think much about it,” Joel says. “I just smiled and said, ‘Well, I know this. It’s going to get better.’  He thanked me and I left.”

“A few months later, I received a letter…He told me how he was at the lowest point in his life at that time.  He was going through a divorce, and his whole world had fallen apart. For months, he had been in depression. But he said, ‘When you made that statement that it’s going to get better, it was like something reignited on the inside.’ That day was a turning point in his life.  He came out of the depression.  He got his fire back. Today, he is moving forward.”

You can be sure that whenever you take time to do or say something kind, generous or encouraging for someone, it absolutely WILL come back to bless you. The one you help may not be the one to repay you directly, like my friend did. But thanks to The Law of Attraction, you can be confident that God/The Universe has created the perfect mechanism for making sure that “whatever you give, you receive.” And life doesn’t get much richer than that!

PLEASE NOTE: The blog is taking Labor Day Weekend off.  I hope you enjoy yours!  Look for your next fresh Cup of Caroll on Sunday September 13.

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.

July 26, 2020

I am deep into managing the many details of launching the New Success Coaching Membership next month, so this is an edited re-posting of a fan-favorite blog from a year ago. It’s right on topic for what the new coaching membership is all about.  I hope you enjoy it (again)!

“Most of your emotions, positive or negative, are determined by how you talk to yourself on a minute-by-minute basis.  It’s not what happens to you, but the way that you interpret the things that are happening to you that determines how you feel.” – from Eat That Frog: 21 Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time

The New Success Coaching Membership is off to a great start!  All the Founding Members are fired up to begin creating a Big Intention (a BIG Goal they are 100% committed to reaching in four months or less).  The focus of the membership’s foundational course is to teach them how to use the Law of Attraction to help them reach those Big Intentions, even though they don’t yet know HOW they will do it.

Some of the tools we will use involve work smarter not harder strategies, but most are about learning to control their own mindset.

The dictionary definition of MINDSET is “an attitude, disposition or mood.”  Synonyms for it include “mental make-up, mental processes, way of thinking, where your head is at.”

If you want to be happy AND successful, you must learn to control your mindset because your mindset conjures up positive or negative emotions that, in turn, trigger the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) to attract people, resources and circumstances that will either HELP or HINDER you in creating what you want.

You may think that whatever happens to you makes you spontaneously FEEL a certain way and there’s nothing you can do about it. Fortunately, that is far from the case! Outer circumstances do not have the power to make us FEEL any particular way.  You have the power to consciously CHOOSE how you “feel” and how you will respond to what happens to you.

It all starts with how you choose to interpret what happens to you and the MEANING you choose to give it.  That is your mindset in daily action.

Here are four main areas in which your mindset can greatly affect your EMOTIONS, which in turn, will set the Law of Attraction in motion to either move you forward or hold you back from reaching your goals:

  • Negative Interpretations of what others’ words and actions mean about you

A friend told me that she has been waking up every morning in a foul mood lately.  She didn’t seem to know exactly why, so I asked her to consider what thoughts she was having that could be triggering her negative emotions.  She answered candidly that, as a teacher, she was disheartened that, as the final weeks of school wound down, most of her class seemed bored and mentally checked out.  She interpreted her students’ mood and behavior as a reflection of HER teaching skills.  She was telling herself, “If I were a better teacher, they would be more engaged and eager to learn.”

As soon as she said it, she recognized the fallacy of her chosen interpretation!  She admitted that she and her students are ALL tired after a long semester, and that the subject she teaches is not one that most students would choose to study unless they needed it to graduate. In fact, when she was in school, it probably never crossed her mind that she herself would end up in that field!

Just shifting her interpretation of how and why other people were behaving a certain way elevated her mood, and she decided to focus her attention on the students who WERE engaged and DID appreciate her efforts to make the class interesting and helpful.

As my friend and mentor Leslie Zann often says, “You are making it all up anyway, so why not make up something GOOD?” 

  • Comparing yourself to others’ achievements

We all know better, but our Egos seem to be hard-wired to do this. You must consciously stop yourself from doing it because it has a demoralizing impact on your energy and prevents the Law of Attraction from attracting what you WANT.

Moreover, your self-comparison is likely not valid anyway, because you are comparing apples to oranges.  Anyone who seems to be doing better or going faster than you does not have the identical circumstances or background you have: They grew up with a different family dynamic, have a different education, training and/or experience, different friends and connections, and a different personality and perhaps a different mindset! You have nothing in common with them, except perhaps the length of time you have been after a similar goal.  So forget about competing and concentrate on running your OWN race and making the most of YOUR unique skills, abilities, qualities and mindset.

  • Berating yourself (or others) for past mistakes

The most useless human emotion is guilt.  To be human is to make mistakes and have regrets. But you cannot change the past, no matter how much you wish you could. All you can do is to be honest and take full responsibility for your own mess-ups, especially those that affect others.  Sincerely and humbly apologize to anyone you have harmed by your words, actions or inactions.  Make amends if you possibly can. But even if they don’t forgive you, you must forgive yourself and move on.

Staying stuck in the past inside your own head prevents you from taking the positive actions that can help yourself and others today and tomorrow. Learn from your mistakes and leave the negative emotions behind.

The second most useless emotion is resentment. If you want to be forgiven, you must be able to forgive others.  That doesn’t mean you condone their actions, but you have to forgive them for your own sake. If you harbor resentment, anger or thirst for revenge, those negative feelings are only going to hurt YOU, because the Law of Attraction must inevitably attract to you even more circumstances to resent.

  • Worrying about the future

Worry is another unhelpful and destructive mindset.  Any time your mind spends focused on the “worst case scenario” that your Ego fears might happen is wasted time that could have been used to create the outcome you DO want.  You can’t hold two separate thoughts in your mind at the same time.  When you find yourself worrying about a possible negative outcome (which let’s face it, 99 percent of the time never happens anyway), simply turn your thoughts to focusing on what you DO want, and you will be sending your powerful energy in the RIGHT direction for the Law of Attraction to help you get it.

As positive-thought pastor Joel Osteen says, Pay attention to what is playing in your mind. When you dwell on negative thoughts, you’re not going to have peace.  You have to change what you’re dwelling on.  So when the opportunity to worry comes, use it as a reminder to …. thank [God/The Universe] for His good!”

If you want to FEEL consistently great and create all the SUCCESS you dream of, you must start right now to monitor your mindset closely. You have the power to think thoughts that are going to create positive emotions in you, which will then cause the Law of Attraction to help you reach your Big Goals in record time!

PLEASE NOTE: To give me time to launch the new membership course, the blog will be taking the next two weeks off.  Look for your next fresh Cup of Caroll on Sunday August 16. 

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 14, 2020

 I am publishing this Father’s Day tribute a week early because I will be taking next Sunday off.  

 I hope you have plans to spend your Father’s Day with a wonderful father – yours, your children’s, your spouse’s or just a man you admire.  I gratefully acknowledge everyone who is a father or who acts as a role model/mentor for someone else. The influence of a strong, positive role model on a young child is one of life’s most precious gifts, and these heroes don’t get all the credit they deserve for fulfilling this challenging role.

 My longtime readers will recognize this post because I have published it before.  I wanted to do so again for one of my dear clients, who recently lost her beloved father after a valiant fight with cancer.  Kerri, your father was your best friend, just like my father was for me. This is in honor of both our Dads.

 “Love life, engage in it, give it all you’ve got.  Love it with a passion, because life truly does give back, many times over, what you put into it.” – Maya Angelou

This quote from the late, great Maya Angelou perfectly describes the way my Dad, Professor Harbison Parker, lived his life.  Although his years on earth were far too short, he lived each of them with maximum gusto and I am quite sure he had no regrets when he died suddenly at age 57, right at the beginning of my senior year of high school.

My mother was my source of unconditional love, whatever minor discipline I needed, and the usual “always wear clean underwear for the ambulance” practical advice.

My father was my Playmate, Teacher, walking thesaurus/dictionary/encyclopedia, and my #1 Role Model.  I don’t remember him talking to me directly about values to live by. Instead, he just lived his life on his own terms, and I learned how I wanted to live mine by observing how he did it.

Here are the key Rules for Abundant Living that I got from observing the happiness and fulfillment my Dad derived from living by them himself:

  • Be happy – Other than the day President Kennedy was assassinated, when I saw him cry for the first time, my Dad was invariably optimistic, cheerful and humorous. He loved to laugh at and tell jokes (especially bad puns), watched all the 60s comedy TV shows with me, and could find the hidden humor or irony in any problem. From him, I decided that hanging out with happy, positive people is the only way to go!  While I got my inclination to worry from my mother, I got my sense of humor from my father.  Guess which trait has helped me more in life?
  • Be curious – My Dad was the most insatiable life-long learner I’ve ever known. He never passed a used bookstore without buying something.  He left behind boxes of notebooks and reading materials on everything from Elizabethan poetry to paranormal science.  It’s too bad he didn’t live into the Internet Age because he would have spent hours Googling everything.  He taught me how great it could be to know a little bit about a lot of things (which led a high school English teacher to dub me a “Renaissance Woman”). Dad never pontificated about his own views, but sought to learn from others’ opinions. His attitude set me up for career success because coaching requires more listening than talking, being curious instead of judgmental, and having a wide variety of resources at my fingertips to support my clients’ needs.
  • Be creative – My Dad was one of the most creative problem-solvers I’ve ever known. He was an amateur inventor who came up with what he believed was a breakthrough system for teaching reading that was better than phonics. Unfortunately, he died before he got to finish it. My Dad taught me to stretch my imagination and ingenuity with his homemade inventions, like a teeter-totter I could play on all by myself, consisting of a long board balanced on an old oil drum and weighted on the other side with bricks that were equal to my weight. (This was in the days before “helicopter parenting” and Cal OSHA, you understand.)
  • Be of service – By Dad’s example, I learned that while life can be enjoyable when we meet our own needs, it can be truly fulfilling only when we help others meet their needs. He voluntarily gave up a lucrative professorship at the University of California to teach at a community college where he felt he could make a bigger difference teaching remedial English to working adults striving to improve their lives.

Dad took a personal interest in Mrs. Edwards, an elderly widow in his night school class who wanted to improve her English. One day he hitched a trailer to our station wagon and filled it with boxes of hand-me-down clothes and a used refrigerator. Then my parents, Mrs. Edwards and I drove from Southern California to Tecate, Mexico to give her extended family these precious gifts.  I was just eight, but I still remember what the dirt-floored, one-room adobe shack smelled like, with all the flies buzzing about. I am certain those strangers never forgot my Dad’s generosity.

Looking back, our relationship reminds me a lot of the one between Atticus Finch and his young daughter, Scout, in To Kill a Mockingbird.  Like Atticus, my Dad was older when I was born, so we didn’t do much physical play together; our father-daughter bond was more spiritual and mental. And luckily for me, like Atticus, my father demonstrated by his daily life exactly how to be self-confident and stand up for one’s principles, while remaining respectful of the different abilities, values and opinions of others.

In short, Prof. Harbison Parker was my #1 Role Model for how to “love life, engage in it and give it all you’ve got.” And I feel blessed to be his daughter.

PLEASE NOTE: The blog is taking next Sunday off.  (It’s the start of my birthday week.)  A Cup of Caroll will return with a new blog on Sunday June 28.

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

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.)

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