Commitment


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

March 15, 2020

“Trust yourself.  Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life.  Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” – Golda Meir

It’s been a helluva few weeks, right?  Don’t worry, I am going to resist writing about viruses and empty store shelves.

What I am going to discuss is the other hot topic du jour — politics.  WAIT!  Before you run screaming from the room, rest assured it is really NOT about politics.  It’s about a person who just happens to be a politician and his recent experience that serves as proof of something we ALL need to believe in right now: That we can bounce back from ANY type of adversity.  Quickly.  Very quickly.

It’s true.  It can happen almost instantaneously.  But the catalyst must be there.  That’s what I want us all to recognize, because it applies to ALL of us.

I am talking about the Comeback Kid, Joe Biden.  Full disclosure: I happen to be a registered Democrat and Joe was not my first (or second or third) choice to be the Democratic nominee to challenge Donald Trump.  But whatever ultimately happens in the 2020 presidential election, according to political scholars, Joe Biden will go down in the history books as experiencing THE fastest, most unforeseen reversal of fortune of anyone running for president in US history.

When the race started eons ago, Biden came out of the gate as the instant front-runner.  But as the candidate field grew crowded and more and more of his debate performances seemed lackluster, his ratings began to slip, until he was way behind in polling among most of the Democratic candidates.  Soon, the other candidates seemed to dismiss him as a non-threat and focus their attacks on each other. You could see his bewilderment: What happened? What did I do wrong?

Haven’t we all felt blindsided and victimized by circumstances that seem out of our control? Why does my supervisor seem to have it in for me?  Why are my customers dropping off?  Why did the person I love betray me? What did I do to deserve this?!

By the time he had lost three state primaries in a row, in a distant fourth or fifth position, most of the pundits and press seemed to dismiss Joe, too.  It was said that South Carolina, the fourth primary on February 29, had to be his “firewall,” meaning it would keep him on life support for a little while longer until Unbeatable Bernie Sanders could establish an insurmountable lead over all the other Democratic candidates.

I remember one reporter asking Biden two days before the South Carolina primary, “What will you do if you lose?”  I think that question was the turning point….the moment where everything began to change for Biden.

Joe paused for a few beats, apparently taken aback by the condescending question that was on everyone’s mind but his.  Refusing to buy into the reporter’s proposed worst-case scenario, Joe declared, “I am going to win.” I didn’t think he sounded 100% confident, and I am sure the reporter thought, “Poor deluded guy,” but at least he said it.  He declared VICTORY in the face of seemingly certain defeat.  In the face of others’ doubt and derision, he claimed the prize he wanted.

Within hours, an influential leader of the African American community in South Carolina who had long respected Biden as a capable and supportive part of President Obama’s administration, endorsed him.  And on the Saturday election day, Joe won in a landslide.

Even though it was just one state, it was a pivotal victory. With incontrovertible proof of his overwhelming support from an essential segment of Democratic voters, the other moderate Democratic candidates quickly realized they could not individually stop Bernie Sanders. But if they all suspended their own campaigns and endorsed Biden, they could swing a lot of votes his way on Super Tuesday.

One by one, they quickly did just that and over a single weekend out of a whole year of campaigning, Joe went from being a Has-Been to “Joe-mentum.”  Since then, he’s romped to victory in more than a dozen contests nationwide, effectively wrapping up the nomination. Unlike Biden, Sanders has indicated that he accepts his numeric fate.  He just wants to hang in there long enough to have his say in the last two head-to-head debates, hoping to influence Biden’s positions.

What caused Joe’s miracle turnaround? I assert the catalyst was his BELIEF. Not losing faith when all outer evidence indicated his dream was hopeless. Believing in himself.  Believing in his dream. The Bible says that you don’t have to have HUGE faith to move mountains.  You just have to have faith the size of a tiny mustard seed.  Your Belief Energy is enough to start the ball rolling and then God/The Universe will take over and ANYTHING can happen.

Whatever challenging, frightening, negative situation you may find yourself in right now, no matter how hopeless it may seem, if you steadfastly refuse to give up on yourself and your dream and continue to believe, know that the situation CAN turn around quickly, in unforeseen ways.

When you radiate Belief Energy, the Law of Attraction, which says that “energy attracts like energy,” will work in your favor.  You will attract like-minded people who believe in you and will go to bat for you.  You will attract the right resources you need to prevail. (In Joe’s case, a huge amount of new donor funding quickly poured in and Mike Bloomberg even offered the use of his offices and staff that had been running his own campaign).

Never forget this lesson: Just one touch of favor can change your outcome. One endorsement can change your future.

Many of my coaching clients and I are facing some financial challenges at the moment.  And the whole world is facing one big hairy survival challenge together right now.  What can we do?

Of course, we have to take ACTION ourselves and do all that we know how to do.  But even more than the actions we take, we must BELIEVE in ourselves and in our access to  supernatural assistance.  Whether you call it God, the Universe or something else, we must believe that there is a powerful, positive, unlimited Force in charge of everything that has our backs and wants us to succeed.

But we are the catalyst: We have to believe, trust and dare to DECLARE that we WILL triumph.  So much can change so FAST if we do!

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! ******************

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.

February 23, 2020

“Believe in yourself!  Have faith in your abilities!  Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers, you cannot be successful or happy.” – Norman Vincent Peale

Today’s blog is a repost of a blog from two years ago, and I think it’s a good companion piece to last week’s blog (Be Your Own True Love – Blog 363). It takes that message of loving yourself to the next level.

This is a simple, straightforward message that my clients need to hear, I need to hear, and I’m sure every one of my readers needs to hear at some point in their lives: Quit worrying about what others think of you and your Big Goal and just go after it.

Only two opinions matter – Yours and God’s.  One of those beings created you and put those desires in your heart. (The word “desire” actually means “of the Father” in Latin).  The other one is YOU, the only being who has complete free will to pursue those desires or let them die.

If you want your desires to become your reality, your only option is to “Just Do It” with everything you’ve got.  You must shut out your well-meaning friends’ and family’s opinions about how you should live your life.  They don’t have to live with the consequences of you dying with your dreams unborn….YOU do. They don’t have to take the risks….YOU do.  They won’t reap the sweet rewards of your success…. YOU will!

Here’s another great perspective from my favorite tele-minister, Joel Osteen. The remarkable success of the mega church he and his wife Victoria lead in Houston has been the focus of some armchair critics who probably have never built anything in their lives.  Yet, thousands and thousands of people flock there every week and millions more watch on television to hear his messages of faith, hope and positivity, urging them to pursue their biggest dreams.

“Beyond Critical Voices

Anytime you set out to do something great in life, there will be critics.  If you’re going to be a great business person, coach, student, leader or employee, there will be opposition.  The more success you have, the more opportunities there will be for distractions. The higher you go, the more haters will come out.  When you start stretching to a new level and pursuing what God has placed in your heart, the jealous people, the critical people, and the small-minded people come out of the woodwork and start making negative comments but you don’t have to let that distract you.

If you are under pressure today, if the critical voices are coming against you, know that it’s because you are making a difference.  Don’t let them throw you off course.  Instead, dig your heels in, set your face like a flint and say, ‘I will not get distracted.  I will not get drawn into battles that don’t matter.  It doesn’t matter what others think; it matters what God thinks!’

Today, look beyond the critics.  Stand strong in adversity.  Press forward to what lies ahead and win the prize of life that He has prepared for you!”

Scale that wall… Just. Do. It.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The blog is taking the next two Sundays off so I can focus on preparing my webinar on the New Success Formula 2020 (and, of course, taxes). Look for the next brand-new edition of A Cup of Caroll on Sunday March 15.

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

“Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.” – William Feather

I hope your New Year is kicking into high gear….Or have you already started to lose some enthusiasm and consistency in pursuing your Big Goals or “New Year’s Resolutions”?

This is a timely reprint of a great blog written almost 2 years ago by my wonderful former personal trainer, Rose Zahnn, who owns a great fitness studio in downtown Sacramento, CA called Healthy Habits (www.HealthyHabitsStudio.com).  If you are faltering in your determination to succeed – or want to avoid doing so – she has identified a formula for success that is SO simple, SO true and SO helpful, I just had to share it with you!

Although her coaching specialty is helping her clients get fit and healthy, I am sure you can see that the success secret shared in this blog applies to ANY Big Goal you are pursuing in your life – business, relationship, career, financial, you name it.

The one thing you’re missing . . .

By Rose Zahnn

“There is one reason why most people haven’t yet reached their goals, and it’s a simple one. It’s something that I’ve struggled with in the past, and it just may be the one thing that’s holding you back from your big breakthrough.

That one thing is consistency.

Think about it. The difference that separates a fitness lifestyle person from a couch potato is the consistency with which the former applies to their diet and exercise routine. That’s it!

Look, I know you can exercise and eat right. You’ve done it before! But a fitness plan only works when you consistently stay with it. You start, stop, start again, take a few days off, then get back on track. This haphazard effort will never lead to a dramatic body transformation!

What if I told you that you’re 5 feet from gold? That if you simply dug in a little deeper, and stuck with the program with consistency, you’d finally achieve the big results that you’ve been hoping for all along.

You are 5 feet from gold; don’t stop now!

The fact is that anyone can stick with a fitness and diet plan for a little while. Anyone can complete a challenge. Anyone can finish a 30-day program. Anyone can put in 2 weeks of solid effort.

It’s those who click into consistency that see the big changes and experience the joy and triumph of real accomplishment.

I want this for you.

I know that you see how valuable consistency is, and you want to do it, BUT you get off track time and time again. How do you tap into the consistency you need to make a real improvement in your life?

Use these three steps…

See it: Define exactly what it is you want to be consistent on. For example instead of saying that “I’ll start exercising,” say, “I’ll do the 7am session on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.” And instead of, “I’ll start eating healthy,” say, “I’ll eat XX number of calories per day divided into 5 small meals.” The more specific the better!

Keep in mind that you are defining your actions – not your outcome. Don’t use this step to determine what size jeans you want to fit into. That outcome is a byproduct of you consistently doing the actions. Just clearly define the actions that you need to be consistent on.

Feel it: Now that you’ve determined the actions needed, let’s think about that outcome and clearly define it. Be specific! What will you look like? What will that new body feel like? How will your friends and family respond to the new you?

It’s time to get your emotions all tied up in your quest. Daydream about getting to that outcome, feel it, emotionally take ownership of the idea of owning it. FEEL the happy, excited, proud emotions as if it’s already happened!

Do it: You’re clear about what you want. You feel invested in getting the results. Now go about the business of taking consistent action toward your goals.

Yes, this sounds simple, and it is simple.

Be consistent and you’ll soon strike gold.”

Yep. Rose nailed it. The three steps to setting yourself up to reach your Big Goals: See it, feel it and DO it.  Get clear on what you must do, visualize and FEEL what it will be like when you reach your Big Goal and have exactly what you have dreamed about.  Don’t let yourself be distracted by how close or far you are from your goal.  Just keep on executing your daily plan of action with clockwork consistency — and know in your heart that you are just 5 feet from striking gold!

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! ******************

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 17, 2019

“Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude.  Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness.  Thankfulness may consist of merely words.  Gratitude is shown in acts.” – Henri Fredric Amiel

For many of my clients and me, 2019 has been a challenging year. Our personal challenges may be related to career, finances, politics, health, family relationships, the loss of a loved one, or just coping with the helpless feeling from almost-daily news of yet another violent, senseless slaughter of innocents or lives upended by natural disasters.

Fortunately, the season of “gratitude,” “peace” and “goodwill” is now upon us, when most people make an extra effort to be kind and generous toward their fellow humans.  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.” 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 unexpectedly got to repeat that joyful practice again last week.  I noticed a young man sitting across from us, plugging his cell phone charger into the wall socket.  He had a pile of things covered by his jacket on the seat next to him.  His clothes weren’t dirty, but his hair looked like it hadn’t been washed in some time.  Despite his own troubles, when a small child was acting out in a way that undoubtedly annoyed some patrons, he just grinned at her, revealing a number of missing teeth.  I admired his kind understanding toward a young girl having a meltdown over something she wanted her mom to buy her.

When he stepped outside for a smoke, I quickly went to the register and bought my first pack of $5 Starbucks gift cards to kick off my own annual Pay it Forward Challenge. I was able to prop one against his cup and quickly exit before he saw me.  It made me smile to imagine his surprise that a stranger would give him a little day-brightening gift. I felt great for the rest of the day.

I plan to purchase more gift cards and give them away randomly at Starbucks through the end of the year, and 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.
  • Or pick a morning as soon as you arrive at work, to send out 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, bringing them dinner or running an errand.
  • Donate some lightly-used warm clothing or blankets to an organization that serves the homeless or low-income families.
  • Donate 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 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 by 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 $5 or $10 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 kindness toward 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 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 10, 2019

“There are generations yet unborn whose very lives will be shifted and shaped by the moves you make and the actions you take today.  And tomorrow.  And the next day.  And the next. Your life and what you do with it matters forever.” –from The Butterfly Effect by Andy Andrews

This quote struck me as very appropriate for Veterans Day Weekend, because those who serve our country and the sacrifices that they and their loved ones voluntarily make surely have a huge impact on generations to come.  We can never adequately thank them nor repay the debt we owe them, but we must try.

And for the rest of us, this quote also applies.  Maybe you don’t think of the things you do in your daily life as having an impact on generations yet unborn, but each and every one of us makes a difference in the days we spend on this earth.

I recently read two different short excerpts about integrity from Eric Harvey’s “The Leadership Solution” published by WalkTheTalk.com, a great free daily blog you may want to subscribe to if you are interested in leadership and building a cohesive, successful team or organization.

I wanted to share them with you because they remind me of the honor, courage and commitment exemplified by the men and women who serve in uniform.

 “Here is an ETHICAL ACTION TEST for you to use from the bestseller Ethics 4 Everyone: The Handbook for Integrity-Based Business Practices by Eric Harvey and Scott Airitam

  1. Is it legal?
  2. Does it comply with our rules and guidelines?
  3. Is it in-sync with our organizational values?
  4. Will I be comfortable and guilt free if I do it?
  5. Does it match our stated commitments and guarantees?
  6. Would I do it to my family and friends?
  7. Would I be perfectly OK with someone doing it to me?
  8. Would the most ethical person I know do it?

Answering “NO” to one or more of these would suggest the need to develop an alternative strategy or seek counsel and advice from appropriate sources.  Lead well.  Lead right.”

The second excerpt is from the new Start Right…Stay Right employee handbook that you can use to remind your Team members (and yourself) of the importance of keeping their commitments:

“Trustworthy, dependable, reliable.  What do these words describe to you?  Would others say that your word is your bond?  Successful people in life and at work place a premium on keeping their promises and commitments.  If they say they’ll do something, they DO it! They count on the fact that people can count on them.  And, they understand that statements like ‘I was gonna, or I mean to, or I haven’t forgotten’ all translate the same way: I JUST DIDN’T DO IT!  Those are just lame excuses, so they are close to meaningless.

Most of the time, we DO intend to keep ‘our word’ and promises, but good intentions only take you so far. You get no ‘points’ for developing the expectation; you only get ‘points’ when you deliver.

So don’t make promises lightly.  When you do make commitments to your manager, your co-worker, or your customer [or Team members], do what it takes to make good on them. Those people are depending on you. Those people are expecting you to keep your word.  Your reputation is at stake, and your success at work and in life is on the line.” – Eric Harvey

I would add that keeping your word to your family and friends is just as critical as it is in your job or business.  You can’t create lasting success and prosperity in ANY area of life if you do not live with integrity in EVERY area of life – especially with yourself.  If you break your word to yourself (e.g. not going to the gym, breaking your diet, blowing off those prospecting calls), you will soon learn that you cannot trust yourself.  And that is the beginning of the end of your self-esteem and self-confidence.

But if we hold ourselves to living by these clear, simple integrity guidelines, we, too, can aspire to make a positive impact on the world, each of us in our own unique and priceless way.

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website at https://www.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 TODAY!

July 7, 2019

“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.” – Dalai Lama

It’s inevitable that we will be disappointed from time to time.  It’s easy to view it as a failure when goals we wanted to attain don’t happen how or when we planned.  But when your heartfelt desire is delayed, if you will look for the blessing in the situation, you can see that not getting what you wanted was actually the best thing for you.

Like disappointment, nobody easily embraces change. When things seem to be going along smoothly and we are feeling comfortable, most of us fight against having to learn or adjust to something new.

I have always felt this way about technology. I remember feeling nervous about learning to use email… Then a smart phone… Then social media….Then video conferencing.  I just wanted things to stay the way they were.  Wasn’t FAXing fast enough?  Didn’t a flip phone with texting answer every communication need?  Did we really need to know everything going on in our friends’ lives every minute? What if there was a technical glitch during a Zoom training for a big group — Wouldn’t they think I’m an idiot?

I can now laugh that adjusting to these relatively simple, very helpful tech wonders seemed so daunting once upon a time, but that was just my normal human reaction to change.  Yet, life is made up of constant change.  And therein lies a precious gift, because when one thing is taken away, something better often comes along to take its place.

The same is true of pursuing your Big Goals.  Your Ego can’t help but have its own preconceived ideas about how you will achieve them. It anticipates the who, the when and the how based entirely upon its past experience.  When you hit a roadblock and your goal doesn’t seem to be manifesting or manifesting quickly enough, your Ego gets frustrated, disappointed and sees it as a failure, when really, something better could be just around the corner.

If you can stay centered, set aside your preconceived notions, and look at the situation with a fresh eye, you may discover that you are being guided by a much BIGGER Mind than your own limited Ego to something EVEN better – a better outcome, or at least a better HOW for achieving it.

My favorite positive thought preacher, Joel Osteen, writes this about the need for human beings to be constantly challenged to improve and grow, as part of our journey to fulfilling our individual life purpose:

“When the people of Israel were in the desert on the way to the Promised Land, God gave them manna to eat.  That was good.  It sustained them for a while, but it wasn’t permanent provision. Eventually, the manna stopped coming.  The people had to move forward and then God gave them quail.  They were so excited. That fed them for a while, but it was also temporary…. The fact that God had something much greater in store for their future is what kept them moving forward…Don’t get stuck in a rut and think that one way is going to last forever.  Instead, stay open and be willing to change, make adjustments, make corrections or try something new.  If the ‘manna’ stops coming, don’t get upset.  Just keep moving forward and be on the lookout for the new provision God has in store for you!”

I had my own recent experience with the disappointment of one door closing, followed by the revelation of a better door opening.  In my fifteen years as a Personal Success Coach, I have experienced the same phenomenon every year: Many of my female clients want to take the summer off from coaching in order to spend more time with their children, who are out of school. While I completely understand their desire to spend precious time with their families, I still need to earn my income during those summer months.

In early May three years ago, on a long flight home from spending our 10th anniversary in Hawaii, I started reading a book that many of my network marketing clients had recommended called You Are a Badass at Making Money, by Jen Sincero. With each page I read, I got more and more excited!  This book explains how to put the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) to work in practical ways to help you achieve your Big Goals better than any book I had ever read…and I have been studying the Law of Attraction for the past 25 years!

I was so excited that all I could think about was how to get EVERYONE I knew to read this book. That’s when it dawned on me that I could create a course to teach the main points of the book to my clients over the summer months, in a way that would be more fun, less expensive and less time-consuming than private coaching.  That was truly my ONLY motivation.

The next thing I knew, I was announcing the first Prosperity Summer Camp webinar, and 40 people quickly signed up!  I had to work FAST to learn how to use Zoom technology to create my first videoconference training and design seven one-hour lesson plans on the fly, writing each one just days before the next week’s class.

None of this was the way that I had imagined a new income stream for the summer months would come to me, but it turned out to be the perfect HOW.  If I could have foreseen the future on that plane ride — how much work would be involved, how much new technology I was going to have to master, and how nervous I would be about pulling it off — I doubt that I would have even started.

But this WAS my “manna”!  The next summer, I did it again, and word of mouth brought in twice as many Prosperity Campers as the year before.  Year two was my “quail,” and I was so grateful and happy that I had found a seemingly-permanent solution to my need for summer income!  Now, I could just settle back and keep the ball rolling summer after summer, right?

Nope.  This June, suddenly, there were a number of competing summer training courses being offered to my potential network marketing participants.  Each one valuable in its own way, but competition nonetheless.

So, this year, my campers are a much smaller but equally wonderful group.  And I am truly seeing the blessings in this!  While my income from the third annual Prosperity Summer Camp is much less than the last two, my satisfaction is much greater.  I am getting to spend more time with each participant’s homework and give them more direct help and feedback.  I am getting closer to them, being more vulnerable, and letting them see my own struggles and triumphs, right alongside them.

And along the way, I got the BIGGEST blessing of all: being excited and open to what is next!  I know that I will continue to offer my Prosperity Camp course each year, because I love doing it and it transforms lives, but now I am open to offering it during other parts of the year, too.  And I have already begun to make new contacts that will promote me to NEW groups – besides those who have supported and promoted me all along.

Most importantly, I am overcoming my own long-held Limiting Belief that I must inevitably lose income in the summer.  That’s NOT the truth, but simply a self-fulfilling belief that my Ego has been holding over me for far too long.  I confidently put the word out that I am welcoming new clients and have already begun getting lots of referrals and several new clients for private summer coaching, too.

I hope that you will join me in releasing YOUR Ego’s disappointment and fear of change  — of losing the “manna” and “quail” that God has already provided to you.  Together, we can allow ourselves to be guided to NEW opportunities for creating even greater fun, fulfillment and prosperity.

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 http://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******************

SUMMER SPECIAL!  New clients who begin coaching in either July or August will receive 50% OFF your first month’s fee!  This offer won’t be repeated, so HURRY! If you have a Big Goal you want to pursue – either business or personal — I urge you to schedule a no-obligation, F*R*E*E hour of phone coaching with me that will help you clarify your Big Goals and explore how we can get you into action to make them a reality: Email caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com TODAY! 

June 2, 2019

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer.  Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” – Harriet Tubman

The third annual Prosperity Summer Camp begins soon, and I am immersed in registering the last “campers” (there is still room if you want to join us!) and preparing to launch the webinar on Tuesday.  I hope you will forgive me for re-publishing this lightly-edited blog, but I believe the question “Why am I doing this?” is always relevant and worth reviewing for all of us. It’s also a great motivational antidote to the topic of the last blog (I Don’t Wanna! – Blog 338).

June 10, 2018

“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” – Oprah Winfrey

I am sure you have a number of important Big Goals you want to achieve in many areas of your life.  Some will take a matter of weeks or months to fulfill (like planning a great summer vacation), while others can take years or maybe even a lifetime.  How do you sustain the necessary daily focus and enthusiasm it takes to reach a goal that seems pretty far down the road… When it’s just an average Wednesday?

I believe the first thing you have to do is get crystal clear on your WHY.  What is the compelling reason you are making the effort to pursue your Big Goal in the first place?  What will it mean to you when you when you have attained it?

Without a compelling Why, every day can feel like just another Wednesday full of To-Dos, errands and actions you promised to take but are looking for an excuse not to do, even though you recognize that they are the very stepping stones that will carry you to your Big Goal.

The good news is that you CAN motivate yourself on a daily basis to do that stuff that nobody WANTS to do to build your business, get your degree, work your way up the corporate ladder, write your novel, learn a skill that will change your life, etc.

In Get Over your Damn Self, Romi Neustadt, a very successful Leader in the network marketing industry, suggests four simple questions you can journal the answers to that will help you dig down to find your fundamental REASON for reaching a Big Goal and why it is worth making the daily effort to reach it:

  • What is your WHY? (Peel back the onion to get to your real WHY).
  • Why is this so important to you? Get really specific here. How do you see this changing your life, affecting your family, helping you get where you want to be long-term?
  • If you don’t achieve your WHY, what’s the pain you’ll experience? In other words, what’s the cost you’ll pay in your life by not taking action [to reach your Big Goal]? Really flesh out this part. What will you and your family miss out on in life? How will this affect your confidence and your self-esteem?
  • Look ahead into the future. If you don’t achieve your WHY, where will you be and what will you have given up, all because you didn’t follow through and take action on what was important?

After you have answered these honestly, she says, “Read this every day for three weeks.  I found it very helpful to read it first thing in the morning, even before my feet hit the floor, to help set my intention for the day.  You may decide to do it before you go to sleep.  It doesn’t matter when you do it, as long as you do it.  Every day for 21 days.”

Another tip to help you get motivated to carry out the actions/activities that aren’t so fun and glamorous on an “average Wednesday” is to create an empowering context for what you are REALLY up to.  If you can’t see a direct connection between what you are currently doing and an inspiring, worthwhile OUTCOME (AKA “payoff”) that all your hard work will eventually lead to, you won’t be willing to do the work.

I recently had a context-shifting conversation with one of my coaching clients that helped her uncover a new, much more compelling Why to inspire her to work daily on building her network marketing business with focus and enthusiasm.

She confessed that she just wasn’t feeling motivated to do the work to achieve the next rung on the Leadership ladder.  Titles didn’t mean anything to her.  Her Why wasn’t financial, because her family is already pretty comfortable.  She liked the idea of being able to provide some nice “extras” for them, but they didn’t really NEED her business income in order to have a good life.  She was trying, but she just couldn’t find a motivating reason to get up every day and go after this goal like it mattered to her.

But when I asked her about the other people she could bring into the business if she would just pick up the phone and reach out to them, she started to perk up.  She is a natural giver and what really motivates her is helping others.  As we talked, she began to see that by not reaching out to these people, she could be depriving them of the opportunity to change their lives in ways that might be really important to THEM.

Suddenly, her energy shifted and her new, empowering context for “building a Team” was no longer what recognition or material rewards SHE could attain from doing the work. Her new Why for succeeding in her business became helping as many others as possible to achieve THEIR WHYs.  For the first time, she truly recognized that other people might never have a chance to achieve their Big Goals, unless she makes a consistent effort to reach out to them with passion and enthusiasm!

A week later, she reported making a LOT more calls to prospective business partners.  Even her husband had noticed a marked change in her and asked her what was different about her business these days.  She told him about her new Why and he marveled that he had not seen her so passionate about her business since she first started it.

“I’ve never felt as positive or comfortable with my business as I do now,” she said. “My husband was really impressed.  He could tell.  He said I sounded like a completely different person.  I FEEL better than I have in a long time!”

Building a large, thriving team of successful business partners is going to be a years-long endeavor for her.  But with this new, empowering context, she can turn each “ordinary” day into an extraordinary opportunity to change someone else’s life.

And that’s worth getting out of bed for!

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 http://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.

May 19, 2019

Hard to believe, but Memorial Day is just one week away and Summer is almost here! I am very busy preparing for the third annual Prosperity Summer Camp webinar, so I am re-publishing a lightly-edited fan favorite post from two years ago that is as relevant today as it was then. I hope it inspires you to get moving on your Action Plans so that you can have the success you deserve!

April 9, 2017

 “If you only did the things you don’t want to do, you’d have everything you want.” – Mel Robbins

What critical tasks are you dragging your feet about doing right now because you just don’t “feel” like it?

I have to be honest, for me today, it’s writing this blog.  I love to write, but I have a lot of things I’d rather doing on a beautiful Spring day besides sitting in front of my computer, trying to come up with words that might inspire my readers to be more efficient, successful and fulfilled in their lives.

No matter how much you value keeping your word to yourself and others, I am sure you, too, know exactly what it’s like to want to avoid doing something that you know will benefit you or someone else.

The human Ego much prefers that you sit on the couch, safe and comfy, not doing anything that will challenge the status quo in your life.  Pursuing your Big Goals usually requires sustained effort, self-discipline, risk and emotional or physical discomfort.

Of course, Life Coach Mel Robbins is 100% right. Instead of keeping “busy” sharpening pencils, cleaning out the junk drawer, procrastisnacking, re-arranging your lists, perusing (and envying) others’ Facebook posts and binge-watching just ONE more episode of your favorite show –  consider where you could be if you had just plunged in and finished the very tasks you DON’T want to do: Make the calls, go to the gym, update your resume and go for the job you really want, apply for a business loan, join an online dating service, call your friend and apologize for the fight you had? What would your life would look like right now?

One of my clients recently made me laugh when she blurted out, “I didn’t read your blog this week.  I HATE reading blogs.”

Really?  You hate getting tips that can help you succeed?  You hate being challenged and inspired?  You hate developing yourself as a person?  You hate learning how others have overcome the same challenges you are facing? You hate stretching your belief about what is possible for you?

I was tempted to shoot back, “Well, sometimes I hate WRITING the blog!”  But that’s not true.  I actually love writing – or I would not have put in the thousands of hours of effort over my lifetime to develop that skill.

But do I love being 100% accountable for producing a blog that consumes half of my Saturday three times a month?  Heck NO! I would much prefer to be in my backyard right now, stretched out on the chaise lounge with an iced tea and a good book.  That would be nice for ME, but what about my readers, who read it and write comments such as, “This is exactly what I needed to hear today.”  Or “I felt so relieved to read that – Now I know I’m not alone.” THAT is what keeps me accountable.

Not everything we do is for someone else, of course.  Most of the tasks we avoid doing are uncomfortable things we don’t want to do that will bring us what we say WE want.

In her wonderful, tell-it-like-it-is book, Get Over Your Damn Self, direct sales superstar Romi Neustadt admits that even SHE doesn’t want to be accountable for doing the daily activities that have made her a multi-millionaire in a few short years.

According to Romi, “You’ve got to figure out what it is you really want that you don’t already have.  Whatever it is, it’s got to be important enough to get you to do something with commitment and consistency.  It’s got to be important enough to get you up, to make one more phone call, to reach out to one more person….even when you are bone-ass weary.  Because if we want something bad enough in this life, we make it happen.  It’s just that simple.”

Here’s Romi’s great method for overcoming the Ego’s preference for avoiding all uncomfortable tasks: At the beginning of her business, she wrote down her WHY for pursuing it in vivid detail, including both the carrot and the stick. She listed all the great things a successful business could produce for her and her family AND all the tragic disappointments that would occur if she DIDN’T succeed.

She kept that piece of paper by her bed and read it first thing every single morning before her feet ever hit the floor. She used it as leverage to make herself get up and do the tasks she didn’t want to do, but knew she MUST do, in order to fulfill her WHY.

Mel Robbins has her own simple, powerful method to counteract the Ego’s preference for safe inertia. She calls it “The 5 Second Rule.”  Most of my coaching clients have watched Mel’s short presentation about this.

I share the link to her TEDx talk with you below and urge you to spend 20 important minutes being entertained and confronted with the reality that you have just five seconds to do what you promised yourself to do when the time comes to do it.  If you stall longer than five seconds, like a skilled legal litigator, your wily Ego will make a compelling argument for why it would be better to “wait until tomorrow” to carry out your task.  Guess what the outcome will be if you listen to that compelling little voice inside your head instead of getting into action right NOW?

That’s right, you will never get your WHY. Instead, you will earn a comfortable seat on the sidelines, watching as others get their WHYs.

So what’s it going to be for YOU?  You have five seconds to decide.

Here’s Mel Robbins TEDx talk “Stop Screwing Yourself Over” about the Five Second Rule: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lp7E973zozc

PLEASE NOTE: Next Sunday the blog will be taking the day off for Memorial Day Weekend.  A Cup of Caroll will return on Sunday, June 2.

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

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

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

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

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