Dreams


April 18, 2021

“All distractions are equal.” – Leslie Zann

In the last blog, we discussed the revolutionary approach to reaching your Big Goals presented by Gary Keller and Jay Papsan in their amazing book The One Thing.  (Keller is the co-founder of Keller-Williams Real Estate, the largest real estate company in the world.)

The authors say you must make your Big Goal the ONE priority in your professional life and then focus daily on the ONE Thing you must do to reach it.  First, determine what specific actions you must take each day, each week and each month and then block the time in your appointment planner to allow yourself to focus on carrying out those actions without interruption.

Bottom line: Productivity is the KEY to success and TIME BLOCKING is the key to productivity. 

But, as we all know, focusing on anything during your workday without interruption is a challenge.  Just ask any parent of school age children who is working from home during the pandemic.  But even if you are lucky enough to be working in an office, there are plenty of distractions from colleagues who try to hang out at your cubicle or a boss who has an urgent question or just the usual lineup of office meetings that are 20% useful and 80% wasted time.

What, then, can you do to consistently follow your One Thing plan to be productive in pursuing your Big Goal? The key is to develop a STRATEGY and adopt the right MINDSET. Here’s how:

Protect Your Time Block

First and foremost, you must commit to protecting your Time Block.  The authors say, “The world doesn’t know your purpose or priorities and isn’t responsible for them – you are.  So it’s your job to protect your time blocks from all those who don’t know what matters to you, and from yourself when you forget…The best way to protect your time blocks is to adopt the mindset that they can’t be moved.  So, when someone tries to double-book you, just say, ‘I’m sorry, I already have an appointment at that time’ and offer other options.”

But we know that’s tough when the requester is a high-level person in your life: “How do you say no to anyone important – your boss, a key client, your mom – who asks you to do something with a high sense of urgency?  One way is to say YES and then ask, ‘If I have that done by [a specific time in the future], would that work?’ Most often these requests are more about an immediate need to hand a task off than about a need for it to be done immediately, so the requester usually just wants to know it will get done.”

But what if the request really IS urgent and it comes at the time you have blocked to be productively working on your ONE Thing that day? “In this situation, follow the rule ‘If you erase, you must replace’ and immediately reschedule your time block.”

I agree!  I have always recommended to my coaching clients that they leave at least one hour of unscheduled “white space” in their planner each day.  Then if something comes along that truly MUST be handled during their Time Block, they can use their free hour to make up that ONE Thing productivity time.  If nothing gets in the way, they can reward themselves for their productivity with an hour of “Me Time” to do whatever they want!

Finally, you must overcome your own Ego’s constant preference for keeping you “safe” by keeping you from carrying out your One Thing plan for the day.

“The key” the authors assert, “is to fully internalize the domino fall that will happen when your ONE Thing gets done, and remember that everything else you might do or have to do will be easier or unnecessary.”  The authors even helpfully include a colorful little sign you can pull out of the book and hang on your office door handle that says “In case I can’t say NO, this sign will have to do it for me.”

The Four Thieves of Productivity

Keller and Papasan warn that there are “four thieves of productivity” that can stop you from accomplishing your Big Goals and they tell you exactly how to avoid each of them:

1) The first thief is an inability to say “NO” – This comes as no surprise to us recovering People Pleasers! “Peers will ask for your advice and help. Co-workers will want you on their team. Friends will request your assistance. Strangers will seek you out.  Invitations and interruptions will come at you from everywhere imaginable. How you handle all of this determines the time you’re able to devote to your ONE Thing and the results you’re ultimately able to produce.” The solution is to respectfully say NO promptly, and (if you can) give them a lead to someone who might help them. Bottom line: “If you can’t say no a lot, you’ll never truly be able to say yes to achieving your ONE Thing. Literally, it’s one or the other – and you get to decide.”

2) The second Thief of productivity is the Fear of Chaos. “Focusing on ONE Thing has a guaranteed consequence: other things don’t get done…Other areas of your life may experience chaos in direct proportion to the time you put in on your ONE Thing.  It’s important for you to accept it instead of fighting it.”

During a very busy fourth quarter of 2020, my home office looked like a war zone.  It was hard to go in there each day, stepping over piles of binders and folders and seeing the dust bunnies in the corners. But I put blinders on and did my One Thing each day because I knew a pristine office wasn’t going to make me successful.  Eventually, we always get a chance to catch up on the truly critical things.  When things quieted down during the Holidays, I was able to devote a half day to cleaning and organizing my office. That felt great, but not as great as what I had accomplished toward my Big Goal.

3) The third Thief is Poor Health Habits. This is the opposite of their advice about putting up with chaos for a while in order to do your One Thing.  You can never put your health on hold  while you pursue your dreams. “Personal energy mismanagement is a silent thief of productivity.  When we keep borrowing against our future by poorly protecting our energy, there is a predictable outcome of either slowly running out of gas or prematurely crashing and burning.”  Instead, here is the authors’ Highly Productive Person’s Daily Energy Plan:

  • Meditate and pray for spiritual energy.
  • Eat right, exercise and sleep sufficiently for physical energy.
  • Hug, kiss and laugh with loved ones for emotional energy.
  • Set goals, plan and calendar for mental energy.
  • Time block your ONE Thing for business energy.

4) The fourth Thief is an Environment that Doesn’t Support Your Goals. Our physical surroundings and especially the people we surround ourselves with influence our health, our mindset and ultimately our level of success. “Surrounding yourself with the right people is the right thing to do.  While attitude thieves will rob you of your energy, effort and resolve, supportive people will do what they can to encourage or assist you.  Ultimately, being with success-minded people creates what researchers call a ‘positive spiral of success’ where they lift you up and send you on your way….Hanging out with people who seek success will strengthen your motivation and positively push your performance.”

The authors strongly recommend getting an Accountability Partner to support you in reaching your Big Goal.  They say that a professional Coach makes the BEST Accountability Partner, but you can also ask a trusted colleague or friend to keep you honest and on track. “An accountability partner will positively impact your productivity…. Just knowing they are waiting for your next progress report can spur you to better results. Ideally, a coach can ‘coach’ you on how to maximize your performance over time.  This is how the very best become the very best.  You’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who achieves extraordinary results without [a Coach].”

There you have it — your foolproof Formula for Success: If you are committed to reaching your Big Goals, spend your working hours identifying the ONE Thing you must do each day to reach them, don’t let the Four Thieves waylay you, and get support in holding yourself accountable for doing what you promised to do.

Above all, remember no one succeeds alone and no one fails alone and, in the words of comedian Lily Tomlin, “The road to success is always under construction!”

Coaching Results

“Caroll has been very helpful in guiding me to clarify what my most important goals are, what they mean to me and why they are important.  Learning to focus on the important things makes me more efficient and able to get there faster.  It’s a huge stress reliever to know where you want to go and the necessary steps to get there.” – June G., Realtor ™

I want to be of service to YOU and your friends, colleagues and loved ones! To schedule a F*R*E*E, no-obligation one-hour Success Breakthrough Session by phone that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION on making them a reality, please email me while I still have openings at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com

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.

April 11, 2021

“You’ve got to think about ‘big things’ while you’re doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.” – Alvin Toffler

If you didn’t get a chance to read the last blog (The Balance Myth – Blog 399), I highly recommend you do so.  This blog is a follow-on to the topic of “Life Balance” that we started examining in that blog. 

The unique approach to creating what we think of as “Life Balance” that Gary Keller and Jay Papasan teach in their fabulous book The One Thing involves knowing that it actually takes constant COUNTERBALANCING – making constant, small adjustments on a daily basis  – for you to feel fulfilled and happy in your private life while still achieving purposeful Big Goals in your career or business.

As you will recall, the bottom-line secret, to creating a counterbalanced personal life you love is this: “In your personal life, go SHORT and avoid long periods where you’re out of balance.  Going short lets you stay connected to all the things [and people] that matter most and move them along together.”

In other words, you cannot neglect your health and fitness, your relationships, your homelife or your spiritual life for long periods or they will be irreparably damaged.  You cannot pressure yourself to try to serve everyone and attend to everything that you want to all at the same time, but you CAN prioritize and focus on the ones that need the most attention on a given day. If your child needs you now, that can’t wait. That means de-cluttering your home might have to wait another few days but you will get back it when it’s time to “counterbalance” and make cleanliness and order in your environment a top priority.

However, the authors say, in your career or business, you have to take a much different approach if you are going to reach your Big Goals with maximum efficiency, ultimately allowing more time for your personal life: “In your professional life, go LONG and make peace with the idea that the pursuit of extraordinary results may require you to be out of balance for long periods.  Going long allows you to focus on what matters most, even at the expense of other, lesser priorities.  In your personal life, nothing gets left behind.  At work, it’s required.”

Now, let’s examine the authors’ revolutionary “go LONG” approach that they say will get you to your BIGGEST stretch goals in less time with less wasted effort than most people can imagine. There are two major aspects to this winning approach: developing the Practical tools you need AND adopting the right Mindset for success. 

The practical tools they teach are simple and easy to learn and use and virtually guaranteed to bring you success – as long as you develop the right mindset so you don’t sabotage your best-laid plans.  First, let’s examine the practical tools you can use to achieve your Big Goal:

The Three P’s

The key to producing extraordinary results is to follow the three P’s:

1) First, identify your PURPOSE. Get clear on WHY your Big Goal matters to you — what it is going to bring you? Why is it worth getting up in the morning and pursuing it with focus and drive for however long it takes until you get it?

2) Then make your Big Goal your ONE PRIORITY. “Your most important priority is the ONE Thing you can do right now that will help you achieve what matters most to you.”

3) The third P is PRODUCTIVITY – You must create a clear plan that will ensure you stick with it consistently, day in and day out, until you achieve it. “Write your goals down and keep them close. Knowing your future goal is how you begin. Identifying the STEPS you need to accomplish along the way keeps your thinking clear while you uncover the right priority you need to accomplish RIGHT NOW.”

The KEY to Productivity

The authors believe the ONE great, overriding KEY to productivity is TIME BLOCKING. This is so vital to your success that there’s a whole chapter in the book focused just on how to effectively block your time.

I loved reading that because, in my 16-plus years as a Personal Success Coach, I have always told my clients: If you want to ensure that you have ENOUGH time and are doing the RIGHT things at the RIGHT time (AKA Productivity) you MUST plan your monthly goals and then lay out your weekly and your daily schedule in BLOCKS OF TIME in your planner.

The authors state, “Productive people get more done, achieve better results, and earn far more in their hours than the rest. They do so because they devote maximum time to being productive on their top priority, their ONE Thing.  They time blog their ONE Thing and then protect their time blocks with a vengeance.  They’ve connected the dots between working their time blocks consistently and the extra-ordinary results they seek.”

They go on to say, “Time blocking is a very results-oriented way of viewing and using time.  It’s a way of making sure that what has to be done GETS done… Time blocking harnesses your energy and centers it on your most important work.  It’s productivity’s greatest tool.”

How to Time Block

Time blocking is a simple habit to install, which I recommend to all my coaching clients: Spend one quiet, uninterrupted hour each weekend planning your upcoming week.

First, review your ONE Specific, Measurable Goal for the MONTH – The ONE Thing you vow to accomplish this month that will make everything else you could be doing either easier or unnecessary for reaching your Big Goal.  Then block out time to work on that ONE Thing EVERY DAY during your upcoming workweek.  

If you are serious about reaching your BIG GOAL by the end of the year, you must reach your monthly ONE Thing goal and that means you must work on it productively each workday. The authors’ recommended time for you to FOCUS solely on accomplishing your One Thing is HALF of your working hours each workday. If you work an eight-hour day, that means FOUR hours are devoted solely to working on your One Thing. The rest of your day, you tend to all the other routine tasks that have to be done – answering email, training, meetings, errands, etc. But none of those tasks is allowed to get in the way of your devoted One Thing time.

This undoubtedly sounds like a huge amount of time that you don’t think you have. But remember, you have already asked yourself the book’s Focusing Question about your blocked time: “Today, what is the ONE Thing I can do for my ONE Thing [Big Goal], such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

If you focus on accomplishing the ONE Thing and work productively toward it each day, week and month, a lot of the “busy work” you have been doing in your career, your business or on your passion project will end up being unnecessary. New ways of doing things more efficiently will emerge as you go along. Shortcuts will be found. Serendipity will happen.

You actually will GAIN more time freedom in the end because you worked with single-minded focus on accomplishing the RIGHT things that will get you to your Big Goal more quickly and easily than the haphazard approach most people take and the distractions they allow to derail their plan.

If you cannot devote four hours a day, that’s OK.  Just work as efficiently as you can toward the ultimate goal of spending 50% of your working hours on the ONE Thing that you know that you need to accomplish in order to reach your Weekly Goal, which will then carry you to your Monthly Goal, which will ultimately lead you to fulfill your BIG GOAL for the year that is going to make your life a dream and give you much MORE free time to spend on the people and things you love in your personal life.

We will finish this series on The One Thing next time by looking at the critical MINDSET side of the equation.  It’s great to have a solid plan, but as soon as you begin to work it, all kinds of challenges will inevitably arise that can derail it. Knowing what those pitfalls are and being ready to address them with the right attitude will ensure your success!

Coaching Results:

“I would not have the belief and confidence in myself or my team without Caroll, nor would I be able to bring out the best in my team without her coaching.  You should coach with Caroll if you want to create confidence in yourself, a positive mindset, a successful business and joyful approach to life.” – Lisa Davis, Top Team Leader for Crunchi Cosmetics

I want to be of service to YOU and your friends, colleagues and loved ones! To schedule a F*R*E*E, no-obligation one-hour Success Breakthrough Session by phone that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION on making them a reality, please contact me while I still have openings at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com

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.

March 28, 2021

“A balanced life is a lie…. Purpose, meaning, significance – these are what make a successful life.” – from The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papsan

It feels fabulous to have the time to write a brand new post again!

Since the late fall of 2020, I have had too many coaching resources to study, video trainings to take, new website/branding content to create and other work projects to attend to simultaneously.  On top of that, since my wonderful husband Rick had back surgery in October, many new duties fell to me at home that he had always attended to.

At first, I felt like I was failing in ALL areas of my life because I couldn’t accomplish EVERYTHING I wanted to do for my business and my home life simultaneously.  What kept me sane was remembering to breathe, having faith that God would give me the strength and direction to do whatever I needed to do in the time I had to do it, and making a short list of my top priorities each day. Soon, I learned to be at peace with just getting the MUSTS done and letting the rest go until tomorrow.

Happily, my career is back on a more manageable pace and Rick is doing great with his full recovery.  But this personal growth experience got me intensely interested in the topic of so-called Life Balance, since my life felt completely “out of balance” in both the personal and professional realms.

Achieving an elusive “life balance” is usually the number one thing my coaching clients mention among their top three Big Goals. Women especially feel pulled in too many directions between work and their family responsibilities, with nothing left for themselves. I couldn’t really empathize with them before my own life went off the rails, but now I get it. Believe me!

One of my real estate/entrepreneur clients recently recommended a fabulous book called The One Thing, by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan.  Gary is the co-founder of Keller Williams Realty International, which began as a single office in Austin and is now the largest real estate company in the world.

This book, which is meant to help us succeed BIG in our careers and live fulfilling personal lives, has a whole chapter devoted to debunking the myth that “life balance” exists. They write, “The desire for balance makes sense.  Enough time for everything and everything done in time.  It sounds so appealing that just thinking about it makes us feel serene and peaceful. This calm is so real that we just know it’s the way life was meant to be. But it’s not.”

In order to truly “balance” your work life and personal life, you would have to stay in a “middle” zone, like on a teeter totter. However, in your work and passion projects, “magic happens at the extremes.” If you try to take care of all things all the time, everything gets short changed and you never achieve your Big Dreams.  A life lived in the middle creates mediocre success.

But in your personal life, “When we work too long, eventually our personal life suffers. Falling prey to the belief that long hours are virtuous, we unfairly blame work when we say, ‘I have no life.’ Often, it’s just the opposite. Even if our work doesn’t interfere, our personal life itself can be so full of ‘have-tos’ that we again reach the same defeated conclusion: ‘I have no life.’ And sometimes we get hit from both sides. Some of us face so many personal and professional demands that everything suffers. Breakdown imminent, we once again declare, ‘I have no life!’”

Bingo.  That was my experience exactly. What is the solution, then?

The way to achieve a successful, purposeful and happy life in BOTH your work and personal realms is to learn how to COUNTERBALANCE.

“When we say we’re out of balance,” they write, “we’re usually referring to a sense that some priorities – things that matter to us – are being underserved or unmet. The problem is that when you focus on what is truly important, something will always be underserved.  No matter how hard you try, there will always be things left undone at the end of your day, week, month, year and life….Leaving some things undone is a necessary tradeoff for extraordinary results.  But you can’t leave everything undone, and that’s where counterbalancing comes in. The idea of counterbalancing is that you never go so far that you can’t find your way back or stay so long that there’s nothing waiting for you when you return.”

There are two difference types of counterbalancing: The balancing between work and personal life and the balancing within each.  Work and personal life counterbalancing each require a different strategy, so let’s examine them separately. First, let’s look at your Personal Life and in the next blog we’ll look at what you can do to counterbalance your Work Life.

The authors state, “In your personal world, awareness is the essential ingredient.  Awareness of your spirit and body, awareness of your family and friends, awareness of your personal needs – none of these can be sacrificed if you intend to ‘have a life,’ so you can never forsake them for work or one for the other.  You can move back and forth quickly between these and often even combine activities around them, but you can’t neglect any of them for long. Your personal life requires tight counterbalancing.”

A good example of this principle was uncovered by one of my prospective coaching clients during our complimentary first session.  She felt her job’s time demands were interfering with her family’s happiness.  She longed to bond with her two young children in a special way by spending time at bedtime with each individually, reading to her, listening to her say her prayers and kissing her goodnight.

But her job required her to log into a couple of evening Zoom meetings each week, while other nights, she chose to work in her home office for a couple of hours, seeing it as an opportunity to catch up on work projects. As a result, she felt guilty that her husband often put their kids to bed and read to them most weeknights, while she felt cheated out of having special “Mommy and Me” time with them. Still, she pushed herself to accomplish more work tasks.

This conundrum gave her the opportunity to learn to “counterbalance” between her work and home life!  I reminded her that her kids wouldn’t be little for long and that she couldn’t put off this special bonding opportunity with them and expect it to be waiting for her when she had more time.  In fact, the authors of The One Thing made the same point: “Do you really think you can ever get back a child’s bedtime story or a birthday?…Do you think you can cut a deal with God that time stands still for you, holding off on anything important until you are ready to participate again?”

So we came up with a simple plan: Each weekend, she would look at her next week’s work schedule and PLAN which nights she had to be on a Zoom conference and which nights she had discretion about how she spent her time.  She was able to prioritize several nights each week that she could have precious bedtime bonding with her girls, and the other nights, her husband was happy to cover for her. The next time we spoke she was so happy and the whole family was grateful that they weren’t letting this precious time disappear.

Keller and Papasan say the secret to creating a counterbalanced personal life you love is this: “In your personal life, go SHORT and avoid long periods where you’re out of balance.  Going short lets you stay connected to all the things that matter most and move them along together. In your professional life, go LONG and make peace with the idea that the pursuit of extraordinary results may require you to be out of balance for long periods.  Going long allows you to focus on what matters most, even at the expense of other, lesser priorities.  In your personal life, nothing gets left behind. At work, it’s required.

“Acknowledge that your life actually has multiple areas and that each requires a minimum of attention for you to feel that you ‘have a life.’ Drop any one and you will feel the effects. This requires constant awareness. You must never go too long or too far without counterbalancing them so that they are ALL active areas of your life. Your personal life requires it.”

IMPORTANT NOTE: The blog is taking next Easter Weekend off (for counterbalance!) and will return on Sunday April 11 to examine what it takes to SUCCEED BIG by focusing on your One Thing and “going long” in your career and passion projects. 

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! To schedule a F*R*E*E, no-obligation one-hour Success Breakthrough Session by phone that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION on making them a reality, please email me while I still have openings at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com

March 7, 2021 

I recently completed a series of advanced coaching trainings (live via Zoom), each of which took up the better part of three or four days. And for the past several weeks, I have been working on producing new content for my wonderful web designer to turn into a complete re-branding of my website and social media. It’s all very exciting and fulfilling…. AND tiring! While I am very grateful to be doing this fulfilling work for a living, I must admit to feeling a bit depleted physically and mentally right now.

Next weekend begins Daylight Savings Time for most of us, when it is recommended to change the batteries in home smoke detectors. My thought just now was “My inner battery could really use some re-charging!”  

Many of my clients are solopreneurs and direct sales professionals who are tempted to work 24/7 to grow their businesses and achieve the success they desire and deserve – not to mention handling “bonus” duties like homeschooling that have been thrust upon many of them courtesy of the pandemic.

So, I am sure that most of my cherished readers can relate to this topic right now, too.  Here is a lightly-edited past blog with some great tips to give you greater ease and balance:

August 3, 2019

“I learned that we can do anything, but we can’t do everything…at least not at the same time. So think of your priorities not in terms of what activities you do, but when you do them. Timing is everything.” – Dan Millman in Stress is a Choice 

You may recall that one of my suggestions for “How to Beat Burnout(see blog #188 if you missed it) was to take at least one full day off each week and one entire weekend off each month.

If you find it challenging to imagine creating that much “recharging” time for yourself, I understand.  It’s challenging for me too.  There always seems to be plenty of paperwork, errands and projects to tackle on the two days a week I don’t have coaching clients. But I am striving to walk my talk and take regular time off to rest and re-charge my mind, body and spirit so I can be a more effective Personal Success Coach for my clients, a more attentive and loving wife to my husband, and a happier, more fulfilled ME to myself.

No matter how diligently we try to keep up, the chores will always be there. Trust me, the world will keep spinning if you unplug from them for a few hours a week. Isn’t it more important to nurture yourself and your personal relationships than to have a spotless house or completely orderly office?

I’ve learned to prioritize and do the weekly “musts” like writing this blog first, and then if I also manage to knock off a couple of the “would be nice” chores each week, that’s a plus that makes me feel EVEN better.

What really makes me feel happy and balanced is spending a few hours each week reading, relaxing, enjoying good meals with my husband and watching good television.

Here are four specific suggestions that I know for certain will have a very positive effect on your personal relationships and your mental, emotional and physical well-being IF you follow them:

  • Be fully present. “Haste makes waste,” is accurate. If you focus 100% of your attention on what you are doing, you will do a better job in less time. You may think regular multi-tasking is a time-saver, but it actually makes you chronically half-present in your life. You half-understand what you hear and read, and are emotionally half-present with the people you are with. If you aren’t giving your projects, conversations and reading your full attention, you will eventually miss something critical that will lead to misunderstanding and/or having to completely re-do a task.

One of my clients was dismayed when her five-year-old child recently asked her, “Mommy, why are you always in a hurry?” It’s not the amount of time you spend with them, but the quality of your undivided attention, that makes your loved ones feel that you care about them.

  • Be mindful in your health habits. Obesity studies show that people who eat slowly and savor their food, instead of shoveling it in mindlessly while watching television or working at their desk, consistently consume fewer calories. Taking time to prepare dinner and eat it with your loved ones most evenings will benefit your family relationships, as well as your waistline. Similarly, in your exercise routine, if you do your running, Pilates, yoga poses or weight lifting mindfully with proper form, your muscles will respond faster and avoid injury.
  • Get enough sleep. The late evening hours when the kids are in bed may seem like your ONLY chance to get your own tasks done or just collapse on the couch in front of the TV or on social media.  But the price of sleep deprivation is very high, including stubborn weight gain, emotional and mental stress and a compromised immune system. Falling asleep at the wheel or a tired driver’s slowed response time are now said to cause as many deadly accidents as drunk drivers.

If you discipline yourself to go to bed even 30 minutes earlier on weeknights, it will pay off in greater mental acuity, emotional control, and physical health. Back-lit screens like TV, computers and e-readers have been shown to interfere with your brain’s ability to wind down and let you fall asleep and stay asleep.  Exercising too close to bedtime can keep you awake too. Make the last 30-60 minutes of your evening a quiet time to meditate, converse with your partner or read an enjoyable paper book.

  • Unplug from your devices as often as possible. 84% of smart phone owners use their device while watching TV. Many people are tethered to electronics 24/7. “If you’re with your children and checking your phone all the time, the message to them is ‘Anyone in the world is more important than you,’” says Tanya Shevitz, a spokesperson for Reboot, a Jewish nonprofit dedicated to reinvigorating Jewish culture for a modern world.

Orthodox Jews refrain from business transactions, writing, driving, gardening, shopping, laundry and other tasks from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday, spending time focused on God and their loved ones. But you don’t have to unplug from the internet and your phone just for religious reasons. “Embracing the sensual pleasures of life – having a special meal, lighting candles, having conversations where we really listen to others and listen to what our souls are trying to say to us…is rejuvenating when we give ourselves a day of rest once a week,” Shevitz suggests.

If you commit to making even one small change in one or more of these areas and stick with it, you will begin to create a more balanced, healthy, happy and fulfilling life for yourself and those you love. And don’t you deserve that delight?

IMPORTANT NOTE: In keeping with the message of this blog, A Cup of Caroll will be taking next weekend off and will return on Sunday March 21!

If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog 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 purpose. 

****************** You Can Fulfill Your Big Dreams! ******************** 

To schedule a complimentary Prosperity Breakthrough Session 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 7, 2021

“What seems to be an obstacle can often be an opportunity to go in a better and more rewarding direction.  We only need to stop complaining and start looking at things with fresh eyes.  At the very worst, problems require us to become smarter, more resourceful and more determined.” – From the book How Successful People Think

Indomitable: (adj.) “Brave, determined, and impossible to defeat or frighten.”

Happy Superbowl Sunday!  As two talented football teams take to the field today in their quest to be Number One, we have the opportunity to think about our own Big Goals and what it takes to reach them when we face long odds and obstacles of all kinds.  Sometimes these obstacles can appear impossible to overcome.  But you cannot give up on your Dream!  You must be committed. You must be UN-stoppable.

Here is a lightly-edited fan favorite post from two years ago that reminds us exactly what it takes to be indomitable.

April 27, 2019

A number of my coaching clients recently have faced some very big challenges in their lives: the death of a parent or close loved one, depression, anxiety, cancer, a parent’s stroke, serious financial hardship, a doubled work load when a colleague quit, sexual harassment, an ex-spouse trying to make their life a living hell, debilitating health challenges, an emotionally devastating court case, miscarriage, the serious illness or death of a beloved pet, and trying to find an affordable place to live closer to their work.

And yet, all of them have remained steadfast in their commitment to their personal Big Goals. How do they do it?  How do they remain strong and continue to carry on in the face of such daunting obstacles?

First and foremost, all of them have a strong faith. Whether they call it God, the Universe, Spirit, etc. – they all believe that a force for good that is bigger than themselves wants to help them triumph.  Faith has sustained me in some of the darkest times when I could not see a light at the end of what seemed to be an endless tunnel.  I went to bed praying for strength and guidance and when I got up the next day, exactly what I needed was always there for me….One step at a time.

Second, they have a friend or family or support group they can lean on. It is easy to feel alone and isolated, believing you are the only one going through hell, especially when you spend time on social media reading about your peers, who seem to all be doing fine.  But you have to be willing to open up with someone you trust and ask for support.  The human Ego resists being vulnerable because it thinks showing weakness will get you killed. In truth, pretending to be OK when you are not will NOT help you overcome a challenge. Asking for support from those you can trust WILL.

Third, they take it one day at a time.  The journey to overcoming all obstacles and reaching a Big Goal often lasts longer than you think it should, but you will eventually get there if you don’t give up.  It’s always too soon to quit.

My friend and I are on a mutual-support journey together right now to losing weight and getting fit.  It’s not easy, believe me.  For me, it’s a matter of wanting to look good and have more energy. The stakes are even higher for my friend’s health and physical comfort. We each broke our weight goal down into specific ACTIVITIES we promised to do each day, and we keep track of them and report in to each other each morning about what we did and didn’t do.  Having a daily accountability partner is one of the best forms of support you can use to help you persevere when the going gets tough.

When the scale doesn’t seem to budge after a long time of staying on track, we remind each other not to fixate on the outcome, but to focus on what we can control – our activities.  We know it is inevitable that doing the right activities MUST produce a result.  The timing isn’t in our control, but having the right mindset and doing what we said we would do IS.

Finally, you must expect the BEST.  When you are in the pit and you can’t see the way out, you can turn away from focusing on your problem and re-focus on your Big Goal. Spend time each day closing your eyes and VISUALIZING in vivid detail what life will be like when you reach it.  Remain unattached to the WHO, WHEN and HOW. Allow God/The Universe to do the planning and provide the guidance you need in the form of brainstorms, new insights, suddenly recalled memories, resources and people you encounter at just the right moment.  Your job is to BELIEVE and EXPECT it will happen, even when you have no idea HOW.

My husband and I suffered a huge financial setback in the Great Recession. We lost our clients, our incomes, two homes and a car.  We had to file bankruptcy and focus on just keeping a roof over our heads and simply getting from one end of the month to the other. My daily focus for five solid years was putting one foot in front of the other, talking it out with friends when I felt down, and asking for specific help when I needed it. With a lot of faith and support, we survived the toughest time either of us had ever faced.  There were days I wanted to give up, but that notion never lasted.  I had too much indomitable spirit to allow any outer circumstances to defeat me.  With the support of friends and our unshakable faith that God would direct our steps, little by little, we found our footing.

After five years of steadily-growing inner strength, faith and hanging on, suddenly, everything turned around for us out of the blue.  Rick’s real estate business rebounded into one of the best years of his long career. At the same time, a single referral from a coaching colleague led me to several clients in the same direct sales company, which began a string of hundreds of client referrals and the greatest financial abundance I have known in my 16 years as a Personal Success Coach.

If you have an indomitable mindset, faith that your Higher Power will actively assist you, a willingness to be vulnerable and ask others for help, and the integrity to do everything you know how to do right now, I promise you, no matter how big the obstacles you face, you WILL overcome them and reach your biggest dreams.

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website 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 yourself, 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 gift this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish.  (Feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!) Just email caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com

 

January 10, 2021

Visualize this thing you want. See it, feel it, believe in it.  Make your mental blueprint and begin.” – Robert Collier 

I think it’s safe to say we ALL want 2021 to be better than 2020 was! Here’s your chance to help God/The Universe make it so!

In the last blog, we discussed the importance of completing your old year before you attempt to create your new year the way you want it to be.  Once you have released any disappointments, lingering resentments, incompletions and regrets over what did or didn’t happen for you last year, you are ready to CO-create (with God/The Universe) an even BETTER new year for yourself.  

I have been doing a New Year Creation exercise every year since 2004. I can’t say every year turned out exactly the way I had envisioned in every area of my life. (2020 least of all!) Still, as I re-read each New Year’s Eve what I had set out to create that year, I was consistently amazed to find that much of what I truly wanted did come true.

By the way, if you haven’t yet completed the “Reflections Exercise” from last week’s blog (Ready to Move On! – Blog 391) to help you powerfully complete 2020, identify your main lessons from it, and create the mental and emotional space for a year of new manifestations, please take all the time you need to finish it before you begin this next step. You can find it in the blog archives at www.practicalprosperitycoach.com.

CREATING YOUR NEW YEAR

Once you have completed the old, you are ready and receptive to a brand NEW year of co-creating your life to be how YOU want it to be! We know that life can definitely throw us some curve balls from time to time, but this is a very effective technique for creating your year intentionally, rather than passively waiting to see how it all “turns out.”

I was so pleased to receive an email today from one of my longtime clients about the outcome of her New Year Creation exercise: “In re-reading my Year Creation, I see that what I put down for what I wanted in a new home manifested exactly how I specified – the realtor, house location, everything!” As hundreds of my clients have proven, year in and year out, you CAN ask for what you want – and get it!

And NO, I am not suggesting that the Divine Plan for your life doesn’t matter!  I personally believe that in order to manifest our highest good, we must first ASK God/The Universe clearly and specifically for what we want, and then know that if it is good for us and doesn’t harm anyone else, we will be shown HOW to get it.  You can trust that if God/The Universe has different plans for you, you will be guided to fulfill them and they will be EVEN better than the ones you suggested!

STEP ONE: Create a THEME for the year. How you would like this year show to up for your life?  Make it catchy so you can remember it on a daily basis. This year, my theme is “2021: The Year of Fully and Abundantly Living my Purpose” because I want to expand my avenues for sharing Law of Attraction prosperity principles in new and bigger ways. 

STEP TWO: Create a list of personal qualities to describe how YOU want to show up in the world this year. State it in the present tense, as though it’s already a fact. Here’s mine: “In 2021, I am God’s richly-rewarded Prosperity Messenger: Inspiring, Confident, Peaceful, Joyous, Patient, Empowering, Faith-Filled, Loving and Giving. I attract effortlessly WHO I AM and what I desire.” 

By declaring who you are in writing, you will automatically begin to become this person. The qualities and attributes you begin to embody will then attract the right people and resources to manifest your Big Dreams with ease.  As the Law of Attraction states, “energy attracts like energy.”  So whatever qualities you cultivate in yourself will show up in those who will be attracted to you – in business, friendship, romantic relationship – everywhere!

STEP THREE: List the main areas of life that are important to you.  Then simply state what you desire to have in each area this year.  Remember, you do not have to know HOW you are going to get those desires fulfilled!  Each dream you describe is simply a declaration to God/the Universe that this is what you desire – stated in the present tense, with GRATITIDE, as though it’s already happened(NOTE: This “gratitude in advance” wording is a really important part of the format!)

Declaring “I am so grateful that…” above the first one and then describing what you desire in each area of life that is important to you tells your own subconscious mind that you believe 100% that it is going to happen – in fact, it’s ALREADY a done deal, as far as you are concerned.  You BELIEVE that God/the Universe will figure out the HOW and convey it to you by whatever means He/It chooses. It’s your job to quietly listen for Divine Direction and then take ACTION when you get those Divine “leads.”  Visualizing, Declaring and Believing in your dreams being fulfilled before you see any tangible evidence is key to making them a reality.

EXAMPLE YEAR CREATION

A couple of years ago, one of my clients created an outstandingly simple, clear, graceful and powerful Year Creation – all on a single page, which is much shorter than my own!  I share it as an example of what the format looks like when complete.

Remember, the areas of life she wrote about are the most important to HER; your Big Dreams may be in different areas, which is perfectly fine. If you see something in hers that you would like too, feel free to “borrow” it for your own!

2019: The year of Growth, Grace and Grit 

In 2019, I am a vehicle for dreams to be achieved and goals to be attained: Joyful, Confident, Determined, Enthusiastic, Graceful, insightful, Loving and Unstoppable. I attract effortlessly WHO I AM and what I love.

I AM SO GRATEFUL THAT…. 

Love and Family: I love spending time with my husband and daughters learning about the world. We vacation often and have incredible trips where we learn, enjoy and explore amazingness. We have time to enjoy each other and be fully present, but we also take time for ourselves. We love each other deeply, have thoughtful conversations, celebrate our success and help each other thru the failures.

Business:  I am so grateful for the excitement, challenges and rewards that my Rodan + Fields business gives to me every day. I am the leader of an amazing team and have very loyal customers who feel appreciated. I get time every day to work and inspire the men and women on my team.  It will be a source of joy that radiates into every aspect of my life including my primary career. At convention, I am wearing my blue, blingy lanyard and I am so thrilled to be a part of the leadership summit!!

Friendship: My friends are so very important for me. I have time every day to check in on everyone – a phone call or a series of texts. I’m so very grateful for their love and humor!  We find time at least once a month to all go out together for dinner or movies and drinks! We are there to support each other through hard times and celebrations!

Health: I am eating healthier and feeling great. My morning walks are a time for ME. Sometimes it is for reflection, listening to a podcast or an early morning phone call with a friend on the east coast. I wake up every morning excited to go out and hit the road. My husband is cooking fantastic meals!

Self-Care: My mental state is clear and focused; my stress levels are low. I am able to attend my monthly meetings with other women entrepreneurs where we can help each other with whatever we need in life and in our businesses. I take time to read 30 minutes every day in peace and quiet. I have conversations with friends who feel similarly to me about what we learn, feel and think.  The laws of attraction are so present in my life that it is a natural part of my time – all of the time. 

What matters most to YOU right now? 

Think of your New Year Creation exercise like a Vision Board that uses words instead of pictures. Nothing is required of you. You don’t have to make an action plan or a to-do list from the heartfelt intentions you wrote! All you have to do is EXPRESS GRATITUDE IN ADVANCE to God/the Universe for it and BELIEVE it will show up for you at the perfect time and in the perfect way.

Some of my clients like to read their New Year Creation at the beginning of each week or the first of a new month, just to stay connected to it. But you could put yours away in a drawer and not take it out until next New Years — and you will be amazed that your own subconscious mind has been conspiring with your Divine Co-Creator throughout the year to create opportunities for you to make your Big Dreams a reality.

That’s the Law of Attraction in action! So don’t delay — The BEST year of your life (so far) is just waiting for you to create it!  And I believe we ALL want that for our 2021!

PLEASE NOTE: The blog is taking next week off.  Look for your next fresh Cup of Caroll on Sunday January 24.  Until then, happy year creating!

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

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

BRAND NEW! This New Year, give a friend, colleague or yourself a unique gift that can be truly life-changing: A ONE HOUR “Prosperity Attraction Breakthrough” session. This private phone coaching session is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no strings attached! To schedule this F*R*E*E* session, email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com ASAP, as I book up fast!

 

 

November 15, 2020

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

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

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

Now, at last, the season of “gratitude,” “peace” and “goodwill” is upon us – the season when most people make an extra effort to be kind and generous toward their fellow humans.  Even though it won’t look like Holiday Seasons past, it can still be a time of rekindled hope, love and reconciliation that we all need so much. Maybe one day, this season of goodwill will last all year long, but for now, we will take what we can get!

For the past several years, from Thanksgiving through the end of the year, I have used this blog to invite my wonderful readers to make life a little brighter, happier and easier for others with a “Pay-It-Forward Challenge.” It has never been more needed than right now. So, I hope that YOU will participate this year, too!  I love hearing about the many creative ways my readers find to help someone else, show them that they matter to you, or simply brighten their day and put a smile on their face.

I got the idea for this annual Pay It Forward Challenge when I was at Starbucks during Thanksgiving week several years ago. A stranger ahead of me paid $5.00 toward my purchase, which turned my frazzled, grumpy day around and put a smile on my face that never went away through the rest of the year.  That simple act of generous kindness inspired me to buy a bunch of $5.00 gift cards and begin giving them out every few days to the baristas at the register to bestow on random people in the line behind me.

I plan to purchase more gift cards this week and give them away randomly at Starbucks through the end of the year.  I trust that most of those surprised strangers will also pay it forward to make someone else feel special and cared about. Last year, the baristas told me that there were a number of customers doing the same thing, creating a big old warm chain of goodwill and gratitude, one cup at a time!

You can experience the joy of spreading around some “Holiday Spirit” in your own creative ways.  Your kindness and thoughtfulness don’t have to cost anything.  Here are few examples my readers came up with in years past:

  • Let someone who appears to be in a hurry go ahead of you in the checkout line. I promise they will beam at you!
  • Help a harried friend or colleague run an errand, or babysit their kids while they do.
  • Surprise your friends, family and clients with a snail-mailed or emailed Thanksgiving card this year! Few people think to send them, but this gesture says, “I am so grateful for you!” to friends and customers like nothing else can.
  • Send an individual email to one or more of your closest colleagues that says what you appreciate about them and why you are grateful to have them on your team. This will make their day.
  • Use your musical, baking or crafting talents to spread cheer and delight to children, neighbors, elderly folks and the sick.
  • Help an older person or someone who is under the weather put up their holiday decorations or haul home their Christmas tree, or offer to do some service to lighten their load, such as mowing their lawn, buying their groceries for them or running another errand.
  • Donate some lightly-used warm clothing, school supplies or blankets to an organization that serves the homeless or low-income families.
  • Donate money, food, towels, blankets or pet supplies to an organization that helps loving pets that are patiently waiting for their forever homes.
  • Surprise someone who lives alone with a tin of tea and a plate of homemade holiday treats. Better yet, sit down and listen to them (socially distanced, of course) while you enjoy the goodies together.
  • Donate blood! One of my clients recently showed up to donate and the nurse asked if she would stay an extra 2 hours to give plasma, which was desperately needed for three children waiting for it.  It interfered with the plans she had for her day, but it also made her day.

If you are able, pay your own financial blessings forward by spreading the prosperity around a bit.  Here are just a few ideas:

  • Surprise a friend on a tight budget with a supermarket gift card that will make their Holiday feast much brighter.
  • At the gas station, if you notice someone in an old car with kids in the back, surprise her by paying for a full tank of gas.
  • Astonish a homeless person by handing them a $20 supermarket gift card instead of spare change.
  • Contribute a little extra to your favorite charity or cause. I like to support grassroots animal rescue organizations that are operating on a shoestring. $25 means far more to them than it does to the big animal welfare organizations, although I try to donate as much as I can to those, too.
  • Take the opportunity to donate to the Red Cross, Salvation Army and other relief organizations that are struggling to fill the needs of millions whose lives have been upended by natural disasters or homelessness.

It’s easy to fall into despair and think “What difference can I make in the face of all that seems so wrong and tragic in the world?”  But as this week’s quote reminds us, we can demonstrate sincere gratitude for our many blessings through small acts of giving to others.  And if each of us makes it our mission to touch just ONE life in this way, we can start a tidal way of Gratitude, Kindness and Giving that just might spread a little joyous Holiday Spirit far beyond the end of this year.

Please email me your own 2020 Pay It Forward Challenge story to caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com!  I will collect them and share them in a future blog to inspire others to do more of the same. 

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

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

To schedule a no-obligation, F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.

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 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.

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