Giving


March 22, 2020

“Sometimes good things fall apart, so better things can fall together.” – Jessica Howell

I don’t have to tell you what times are like right now – crazy, challenging, depressing, nerve-wracking, scary.  Not to mention, having the kids home from school indefinitely driving you to consider having a Mommy Martini for lunch.

We are all in uncharted territory.  Nobody living today (in North America or Europe, at least) has been through a pandemic like the novel corona virus. What can any of us do to help heal this overwhelming situation?

You can do a lot.  Collective consciousness is a real thing.  (Definition: “A set of shared beliefs, ideas, and moral attitudes which operate as a unifying force within society….a shared understanding of social norms.”) Right now, the collective consciousness is causing toilet paper shortages for no good reason.  But it can also produce beneficial effects, such as making most of us voluntarily obey “social distancing” for the collective good and step up to help our neighbors find toilet paper. Our collective thoughts and emotions can either create more problems or make a dire situation more bearable.

We know that the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) says that the thoughts and emotions YOU individually put out into the world are going to attract similar people, situations, resources, etc. to you. That’s why selfishness, fear, anger, resentment, blame are NOT energies you want to embody, for your own sake.   Instead, as the Bible puts it in Proverbs 11:25, “The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed.  Those who help others are helped.” You can’t out-give God, as they say.

Still, it’s very understandable if you are feeling depressed or upset these days, because many aspects of this situation affect us and our loved ones directly, yet are beyond our control. In truth, we have more control than we think.  What we think and what we focus on will not only impact how our own situation unfolds, but as part of the collective consciousness, will impact other people we may never have any direct contact with.

The other day, I emailed a friend of mine to check on him. He is going through a really tough time right now. He just lost his job (to which he will not be rehired). He now faces the daunting task of finding a new job in the midst of the worst job market since the Great Depression. He replied that he feels dejected, numb, and wonders if he should just give up his search and hunker down alone in his apartment for the coming weeks or months.

I understood his state of mind, but as a coach, I couldn’t just commiserate.  I care about him too much not to remind him of what I absolutely KNOW to be true: He needs to take control of his own energy and start turning it toward the positive NOW, if he wants to survive this.  I reminded him that, when he was in another very difficult circumstance years ago, I challenged him to make a GRATITUDE LIST of at least 25 things he was grateful for right then.  To my amazement, he was able to list 100 things and people he was GRATEFUL for!

This time, I suggested he sit down at his kitchen table and not get up again until he listed at least 50.  He hasn’t yet sent me his list, but I fully expect it will be well over 50 again.  That’s because once you turn your thoughts from what you DON’T WANT to what is POSITIVE instead, you must quickly recognize that there is so much more GOOD than bad in your life. He has a roof over his head and unemployment insurance, which will keep it there.  He has friends and family who care about him and will help him if he just asks.  If he feels isolated, he has a phone and computer to reach out to them.

Another coaching client of mine came up with the “Three Gs” you can use to pull yourself out of negative energy quicksand. The Three Gs are:

  • Gratitude – Focusing on all the good you have in your life right now.
  • Giving – The fastest way to lift your own spirits is to lift someone else’s.
  • God – Praying, trusting, believing in a Higher Power who cares about you.

If we all focus our thoughts and our actions in those three areas, I know that we WILL turn this ship around. We will not just survive as a society, but we can come out stronger and better than before.  In fact, many social media posts are listing a lot of positives that have come out of this situation already, including a much cleaner environment and non-existent traffic, home-bound workers finally getting more exercise and more sleep, families re-connecting and a greater sense of community, as we discover the joy of helping our neighbors in ways big and small.

I also believe that our society will have some lasting beneficial changes from this awful pandemic, depending on what we decide to do after it passes. It can be the impetus to finally implement good ideas that we have kicked around for a long time now, such as an AFFORDABLE mainstream college education for all who want one that is entirely online. We are mastering using existing technology to get remote health care that keeps patients and medical staff safe from catching something in the doctor’s office.

And, hopefully, a lot of businesses that have been reluctant to let staff work remotely will finally see that they really CAN be productive at home. That could be a solution to the huge childcare problem parents face when their children are sick or too young to go to school or it is just unaffordable.  Once we have test-driven these “new normal” ideas for several months, it will be hard to go back to the old ways that don’t work for so many people.

IMPORTANT INVITATION

If you could use some real positivity in your life right now, I urge you to join me in plugging into the F.R.E.E. new Outrageous Achievement series my friend and mentor Leslie Zann is doing five days a week for the next five weeks on Facebook Live.

For those of you who don’t know her, Leslie has been an inspiring speaker and masterful trainer for over 25 years.  It was Leslie who first introduced me to the importance of having a daily personal development practice as a foundation for success, which set me on the path to becoming a Personal Success Coach.

Leslie’s Facebook Live series begins this Monday, March 23 at 7AM Pacific (times vary by day Monday – Friday).  She will offer insights – both emotional and professional – in her usual “Leslie style” (fun and candid!).  These brief 15 -30 minute segments will focus on helping you develop the Mindset, Skillset and Viewpoint necessary to maneuver through our new normal with grace and courage.

I am honored that she has invited me to speak on one of the segments!  I will keep you posted on which date that will be.

I urge you to listen to as many of these wonderful daily doses of positivity as you can.  This is for EVERYONE – we are all in this together! Check out her facebook page for all the details: www.facebook.com/lesliezannconsulting

Go here for more details and sign up for a daily email reminder: http://bit.ly/ZannLive

February 16, 2020

“…Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39, NIV)

However you spent your Valentine’s Day – with your sweetheart, a four-footed pal, a BFF, or just enjoying your own company – I hope you felt LOVED.  The most important person on the planet for you to love is YOU.

If you are not being loved, respected or treated right by someone else (a boss, teacher, romantic partner, friend, upline, downline, neighbor, etc.), The Law of Attraction says that “energy attracts like energy.” Therefore, if you recognize that you are attracting people into your life who do not seem to be honoring and valuing you (especially if you see a pattern among several people), it’s a good idea to honestly assess how YOU are feeling about and treating yourself.

I have always loved two quotes from psychologist Dr. Phil McGraw and I often share them with clients who are dealing with someone who is behaving unkindly or disrespectfully toward them:

“No one will ever value you more than you value yourself.”

“We teach other people how to treat us.”

If we allow someone to mistreat us because we feel we somehow “deserve” it or it bothers us but we just keep quiet, trying to avoid “conflict,” their disrespectful behavior is sure to be repeated. If, however, YOU believe and behave like you are valuable, others will treat you that way. Or, if they need your polite but firm correction, they will definitely change their attitude and behavior toward you in the future.

And, if you want to love others more, you first need to love yourself, human imperfections and all.  Remember, God/The Universe couldn’t create junk – therefore, you ARE a masterpiece.

There are two things I believe all successful people have in common: Self confidence and Self-esteem.  The former is you believing that you are capable.  The latter is you believing that you are lovable.

If you were raised by well-meaning parents to believe that loving yourself displeases your Creator because it is “prideful” or “selfish,” here is a different spiritual outlook from my favorite positive-thought minister, Joel Osteen:

 “Love Yourself (By Joel Osteen)

Jesus said that if you don’t love yourself in a healthy way, you will never be able to love others in the way that you should. This is why some people don’t have good relationships. If you don’t get along with yourself, you’ll never get along with others. We all have weaknesses, shortcomings, and things that we wish were different. But if you see yourself as less than, not talented, and not valuable, you will become exactly that. If you feel unattractive on the inside, you will convey feelings of unattractiveness. That’s going to push people away. You carry yourself the way you see yourself.

People see you the way you see yourself. Perhaps if you quit focusing on your flaws and start loving yourself in a healthy way, being proud of who God made you to be, then as you send out these different messages, it’s going to bring new opportunities, new relationships, and new levels of God’s favor.”

Remember, there are only two opinions about you that TRULY matter: Yours and your Creator’s. If you steer your life by those, not only will you be happy and successful, you will be able to reflect your healthy self-love out to the rest of the world and make a positive difference in the lives of many others.  And I can promise you that you will feel loved and valued in return.

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.

December 15, 2019

“The habit of giving only enhances the desire to give.” – Walt Whitman

Welcome to the final Cup of Caroll for the year.  We are ending 2019 on a high note, with another very successful Pay it Forward Challenge under our belts, as so many of my cherished readers have enthusiastically spread comfort and joy far and wide this Holiday Season!

I have loved sharing the many touching and creative ways you have come up with to show kindness and generosity to others. I know the ripples of your Pay It Forward actions will spread far and wide, as those you have blessed pay your kindnesses forward to others and on and on!

Besides the good feeling you get from helping others, did you know that your giving will also come back to YOU in many practical ways?  Gratitude is said to be the most powerful positive emotion for attracting MORE good things to you because the Law of Attraction dictates that “energy attracts like energy.”  I have seen plenty of this in my own life, and I want to share some recent personal results with you to close out our 2019 PIF Challenge.

But first, I must share just one more reader story, because it so beautifully illustrates the principle that giving generously to others not only blesses them, but also comes back to bless YOU, as well.  One of my readers sent me this email after reading the last blog:

“I have been paying it forward to the Universe and getting pretty good things back in return.  We have made the decision to never resell anything that was given to us for free, even if it has a high monetary value.  It seems now that when we hand something to someone else, there is some gift, material or not, waiting for us in return.  Recently, I had been wanting a midcentury dropleaf table, and I had been hoarding a GIANT tub of Legos for a kit I realized I would never have the time to put together.  I heard my neighbor coming home from work and walked out to the parking lot with these Lego tubs to give to her son. She had been helping a friend clean out a storage unit and as I handed her the Legos, she took the table I had been wanting out of her SUV and offered it to me!  It was unbelievable, but of course, giving things away feels good even when there is no return.”

There is always a return! You may not receive it back from the same person or institution you gave to, but you WILL receive exactly what YOU want and need from somewhere – You can count on that!

Here’s my own story that illustrates this Law of Attraction principle:

In September, I came across a life-changing book by a successful entrepreneur named May McCarthy.  I absolutely believe I was guided to it, as I was scrolling through my “Good News” feed and saw a link to a podcast in which the author was being interviewed about her book called The Gratitude Formula. Normally, I wouldn’t take time to listen to a podcast, but this was a short 7-minute clip and the topic, being gratitude-related, caught my attention.  I just felt a strong urge to click on it and listen.

What I heard rocked my world!  She told an amazing story of asking God/the Universe to show her how to bring an additional $400,000 to her company by the end of the business quarter and it happened!  It was clearly divine guidance that led her intuition to steer her to be in the exact right place at the precise moment to bump into a prospect she had been trying to get a business meeting with for weeks.  They spoke on the fly, and he asked her to set up a presentation.  In just a few weeks, he had signed a contract with her company for $400,000 – the exact amount and timing that she had asked for. She said that this was just one of hundreds of “miraculous” occurrences she had used to build seven companies worth over $110 million.

I immediately got her book and all my coaching clients got it too, and together we all began working with a specific type of Daily Gratitude Journal that is a letter to our Higher Power, expressing gratitude for all we have now AND for all the things we want in the future in every area of life – health, relationships, finances, recreation, home, etc. I have taught this principle to my clients for 15 years, having them describe their life on paper exactly the way that want it to be in the New Year.  But expressing GRATITUDE in advance for the desired outcomes was the missing link to make it a “formula” that works reliably for everyone.

To test it out, I decided to ask for something specific for my business and my husband’s, to prove to myself whether an unlikely outcome could be achieved in a specific amount of time.  I wrote in my Gratitude Formula Journal to God each morning, “Thank you that by the end of the year, I have 10 ideal new or returning coaching clients who are delighted with my services and who bring me prosperity in return.” And for my husband’s real estate business, I wrote, “Thank you for connecting Rick to one or more ideal buyers and/or sellers who will appreciate his skilled help with their real estate needs and bring him a generous commission in return.”

For the first few weeks of doing it every morning, nothing big happened.  But I noticed that Rick and I both got a number of nice little financial windfalls. Rick received an unexpected referral commission and I was delighted that many of my clients decided to continue in coaching beyond their initial contracts, which meant that I had greater income over the Holidays — the most challenging time of year in my coaching practice. And our tax accountant determined that we would likely get a refund on our 2019 taxes, instead of owing more, as I had feared.

Over a couple of months, as I became more skilled with my journaling and more inspired by these little demonstrations, bigger serendipitous outcomes started to happen.  Several past clients I had not spoken to in months or years contacted me out of the blue, wanting to resume coaching, and we are once again doing some great things together! My clients have sent me many wonderful referrals, and the free sessions I did in November and December introduced me to some fabulous new clients who have committed to coaching in the New Year!

But the most amazing outcome so far happened last week, when I least expected it. As I approached a local café for my morning coffee, a young man held the door for me, and I smiled and thanked him.  On foot, dressed very casually in jeans and a hoodie, he didn’t look homeless, but he didn’t look too prosperous either.  As I was getting my coffee, I noticed him counting out change in his hand, as he looked at the items in the deli case.  When he mumbled to the cashier that he would “be back,” and quickly left, it was clear to me that he didn’t have enough money to buy breakfast.

When I caught up with him in the parking lot, he turned and smiled at me and asked, “Excuse me, Ma’am.  Do you have any spare change?”  I had been intending to offer him $5, but instead I spontaneously pulled out a $20 bill and handed it to him.  His look of happy amazement was priceless!  He said, “God bless you!” walked a few feet, then turned and added, “Merry Christmas!”

As many of my readers have reported, it felt great to help a stranger with a spontaneous Pay it Forward kindness!  Feeling confident and happy when I got home, I spontaneously emailed someone I done a free session of coaching with the prior week, and invited her to coach with me in January.  I loved her energy and knew that we would both benefit from working together, but I hadn’t heard anything from her since our session, which usually is not a good sign.  I didn’t get a reply to my email all day. But late that night, she surprised me by responding, “Let’s do this!”

I am delighted and grateful that she is now the seventh new or returning client who has come to me since the Pay it Forward Challenge began around Thanksgiving, and I am still connecting with potential new and returning clients every day.  Recently, my husband Rick also got a call from a couple he hadn’t heard from in months, wanting to resume searching for their perfect home now, in the middle of December, which is not a normal occurrence in real estate!

I feel divinely guided to share this Gratitude Formula with others, so I am currently working on a webinar about it for February.  I cannot wait to see the miracles that will occur for those who learn how to put their Gratitude into ACTION in their daily lives, not only to bless themselves, but everyone they come across.

Stay tuned for more information about the course in January!  In the meantime, I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, or whatever tradition you celebrate this time of year. Let’s keep paying our many blessings forward to others far beyond the Holidays. I promise you it will come back to bless you over and over again, too!

NOTE: A Cup of Caroll will be on vacation for the rest of the year.  Look for a new post on Sunday January 5, followed by information about the upcoming Gratitude Formula Webinar as well.

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 or Someone Else 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.  You can offer this to a friend as well!

December 8, 2019

“You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” – John Wooden

“Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.” – Charles M. Schulz

(First, I have to say “Happy Birthday” to my brother, Harbison Parker.  Big Bro, I hope this is a great one for you and your family!  — Love, Your Lil’ Sis)

In case you didn’t read the last two blogs, I started the Pay it Forward Challenge spontaneously several years ago around Thanksgiving because a gentleman in line ahead of me at Starbucks surprised me by paying for my drink. When I tried to thank him, he just smiled and said, “I trust you will pay it forward.”

My day had not been going too well up to that point, but this stranger’s thoughtful gesture turned my frown upside down and I wanted to pass along that warm feeling to others.  So, I bought a packet of $5.00 Starbucks gift cards and gave one to the barista at the counter whenever I stopped in throughout the Holidays, asking her to bestow it on whomever she wanted. This made me happier than any of the wonderful Christmas gifts I received!

Gratitude is thankfulness in ACTION, so I challenged my coaching clients and cherished readers to do some kind and generous act for someone else during the Holidays to show their sincere gratitude for all the many blessings in their lives. Year in and year out, they have come through in many creative ways.

Now, to finish off our “Pay it Forward Challenge 2019 results stories, I am happy to share more of their great ideas with you, in hopes they will inspire you to do a nice deed for someone else and keep our chain of “comfort and joy” going.

  • One reader recently baked 10 pies to share with the residents of the assisted living home where she regularly visits her dad.
  • Another reader emailed, “I live in a rural town. Many of my friends and I are giving $100 each to our local police department.  The plan is that the officers will randomly give $20 to folks they come across that need it.  It helps our police department, too, by giving them a positive influence in our community.”
  • A teacher spends about 20 minutes of class time on “Gratitude Fridays.” First, she shows her 6th graders a short video about some aspect of gratitude. (She says there are LOTS of these videos on YouTube and TED talks.) Then she gives them a different assignment each week designed to expand their understanding of the importance of being grateful. This past week, she had them list 10 things they were grateful for in their lives right now and say WHY they felt thankful for each thing. For example, “I am grateful for my Mom because she fixes me breakfast and makes sure I get to school on time every day.”
  • One reader told me her church has a tradition of asking each family in the congregation to purchase a warm sleeping bag on Amazon.com and have it shipped directly to the church, which then takes all the sleeping bags to the streets and distributes them to the homeless.
  • Local grassroots organizations give us great opportunities to pay our blessings forward in many ways. One reader in Colorado has her kids fill backpacks with books and school supplies and drop them off to Kinsey’s Kids, which serves underprivileged children.
  • Similarly, the local Rodan + Fields direct sales community supports Hope House of Colorado, whose mission is to provide local teen moms with encouragement, education and empowerment. This is the third year the community is coming together to do the Christmas Stocking and Stuffers Drive. The consultants can personally shop for toys or much-needed supplies for the moms and their precious kids, or simply make donations online that are then turned into purchases by other volunteers.

Here is a recent Pay It Forward story that I loved in the online good news feed:

Adrianna Edwards used to have to walk four and a half long hours in order to get to work every day at a Denny’s restaurant in Galveston, Texas. She had been scrimping and saving to buy herself a car so she would no longer have to make the 14-mile trek to and from her job.

An anonymous couple who Edwards had been serving at her restaurant learned about her grueling commute. Hours after they paid their bill, they returned to the restaurant with a 2011 Nissan Sentra and handed the keys to a dumbfounded Edwards. Their only condition for the gift was that Edwards simply pay the good deed forward.

Now that she is freed from having to buy a car, Edwards says that she will be able to put herself through college much sooner than she expected—and she is already planning on using her good fortune to help others.

“I still feel like I’m dreaming. Every two hours, I come look out my window to see if there’s still a car there,” Edwards said. “When I see somebody in need, I’ll probably be more likely to help them out (and) to do everything that I can to help them out.”

But of ALL the many wonderful stories my cherished readers have submitted so far, one is my very favorite.  It proves that one simple act of kindness that “someone will never be able to repay” can create miracles for them – and YOU:

“I got into a minor car accident last spring and the young man at fault told me that his car had been broken into earlier that day and his license and wallet had been stolen. I could see the broken window, and I believed him.  Clearly, he was having a REALLY bad day. He asked me if he could pay for the damage himself, because he didn’t want his insurance rates to skyrocket. 

I agreed and took his information. My local garage gave me an estimate of $1400 for the body work. He didn’t have that much in a lump sum, but asked to send me what he could every month, and I agreed to hold the payments until $1400 had been accumulated.  He was faithful to his word, sending me a few hundred each month until it reached $1400.

By that time, the lease was up on my car, and I turned it in and got a new one, without ever fixing the damage.  Of course, I expected to hear from the dealer about charging me for the repairs, but weeks went by and I was amazed that they never contacted me.

I didn’t want to keep the young man’s $1400, since it was no longer needed for repairs, so I called him. He sounded groggy, like he had been asleep.  I reminded him who I was and said, ‘I have some good news for you!  I am going to Venmo you your $1400 back.’ 

He was completely flabbergasted!  He blurted out, ‘I lost my job and it’s been really tough.  I didn’t know how I was going to pay my rent this month.  You are an ANGEL!’ He even called me back to thank me a second time and make sure he hadn’t been dreaming!  I just told him to pay it forward and wished him a great Holiday.”

3 Steps to Becoming More Grateful from DailyHealthPost.com

“In times of hardship, or stress, it might seem difficult to be grateful.  But if you really think about it, we all have something to be grateful for. If you engage in only one prayer, let it simply be a heartfelt ‘thank you.’  Here are three easy ways to put yourself in the mindfulness of gratitude.

  • Keep a daily journal of things you are grateful for – list at least three. The best times for writing in your journal are in the morning before your day begins or at night before sleep.
  • Make it a point to tell people in your life what you appreciate about them on a daily basis.
  • When you look in the mirror, give yourself a moment to think about a quality you like about yourself or something you have recently accomplished.

Through the power of gratitude, you can wire your brain to be optimistic and compassionate, making you feel good.  The more you look, the more you can find to be grateful for.  This positivity can extend to those around you, creating a virtuous cycle.”

Let’s keep the gratitude goodness flowing through the rest of the Holidays!  If we all continue to do random small good deeds for others and ask them to Pay it Forward, this truly will be a Season of Comfort and Joy for the many lives that your kindness will touch.

PLEASE NOTE: Next week will be the final Cup of Caroll for 2019.  In it, I will share my own Gratitude Miracle with you and give you a preview of some exciting things I have planned for the New Year!

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 or Someone Else 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.  You can offer this to a friend as well!

November 24, 2019

“The habit of giving only enhances the desire to give.” – Walt Whitman

This is one of my favorite blogs I get to write during the year!  I hope it will be just the first, as more and more of my cherished readers share what they have done to make others’ lives a little lighter and brighter during the Holidays.

If you didn’t read my last post (Show Your Gratitude – Blog 355), it kicked off the annual Pay It Forward Challenge that I began several years ago.  From Thanksgiving through the end of the year, I invite my wonderful readers to join me in spreading some “comfort and joy” wherever we are, as a way of putting our gratitude into ACTION by making an extra effort to be kind and generous toward our fellow human beings.

A new client recently sent me an article from DailyHealthPost.com titled “Gratitude Rewires Your Brain to be Happier.”  Psychologists from the University of California Davis and the University of Miami published a study in 2015 that looked at the physical outcomes of practicing gratitude.  Among the randomly-selected study subjects, one third kept a daily journal of things that happened during the week for which they were grateful.  Another third recorded daily irritations or events that had displeased them.  The last third of the study group wrote down daily situations and events that occurred, with no special emphasis on either positive or negative emotional reactions as to what had happened.

The randomly-assigned group that wrote daily about things they were grateful for reported feeling more optimistic and positive about their lives than the other two groups.  In addition, the gratitude group was more physically active and reported fewer visits to a doctor than those who wrote only about their negative experiences.

The article concluded, “Through the power of gratitude, you can wire your brain to be optimistic and compassionate, making you feel good.  The more you look, the more you can find to be grateful for.  This positivity can extend to those around you, creating a virtuous cycle.”

I would add that not only does paying it forward to others demonstrate your sincere thankfulness for the blessing in your life, but it is also a proven way to put the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) to work bringing you even MORE good to be grateful for.

Spreading kindness doesn’t have to be a big gesture.  I got the idea for the PIF Challenge when someone ahead of me in line at Starbucks paid for my drink.  When I approached him to thank him, he just smiled and said, “I trust you will pay it forward.”  And I did just that for the rest of the Holiday Season by buying multiple packs of $5 Starbucks gift cards and giving one to a barista at the counter every time I visited the store, asking her to bestow it on any customer at random after I left.  (Anonymous gestures of kindness and generosity can be the MOST fun of all!) This always puts a surprised smile on the barista’s face, too!

At the end of the last blog, I asked you to email me your own Pay it Forward stories so I could share them with other readers, in hopes of inspiring even MORE random acts of kindness and generosity among us.  Here are some of my favorites so far:

  • One reader regularly slips a note with a $10 bill in it into a package of diapers at Walmart for a surprised new mom to find when she opens it. The note says, “I know being a new mom can be tough.  You are doing a great job!”
  • My reader was standing in line at a restaurant cash register when she overhead that the guest in front of her was $5 short to pay her bill. While the woman frantically ran out to her car to search for more money, my client anonymously paid the balance for her.
  • Another reader at a restaurant noticed a less-than-prosperous-looking elderly couple sitting nearby and anonymously paid their tab before he left.
  • Many said they purposely over-tip hardworking servers and leave a note with the bill that says, “Thank you for your service!” (I recently heard of a new tipping practice that is apparently catching on in which those who can afford it leave a tip for the server equal to the amount of the bill. I hope one day soon to be able to do that myself!)
  • For several winters in a row, one of my readers has put together comfort bundles that include a couple of pairs of new warm sox, protein bars, Cutie tangerines and bottled water. She carries them in her car and hands them out to any homeless folks she sees. Once, when she went to the “skid row” section of her city to hand them out, a number of people ran up to her excitedly, having heard about her comfort bundles.
  • Similarly, a reader’s church has an annual drive to collect travel-size personal hygiene items like shampoo, shaving cream, soap, toothpaste, etc. to bundle together and distribute to the homeless throughout the year.
  • Several selfless readers say they plan to volunteer serving meals to the less fortunate on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • One reader decided to play even BIGGER and get her whole network marketing Team involved in the PIF Challenge. She had them read my blog, and then told them that anyone who posts on the Team’s Facebook page about an act of kindness or generosity they did will get one chance in her raffle for a fun gift. The more acts of kindness they post about, the more chances they earn in the drawing.
  • One of my clients who teaches 6th grade gave her class the assignment to think about the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and write a page about all the things they can feel grateful for IN ADVANCE about it, such as spending fun times with friends and family they don’t often see. She asked them to really think deeply, visualize what they want and be specific. They already knew how to journal about things they are grateful for in their lives right NOW, but this assignment taught to be forward thinking by feeling grateful IN ADVANCE for what they WANT to have happen – which is a tried and true technique for triggering the Law of Attraction to MAKE it happen!
  • Rick and I helped “Gracie,” a sweet big dog who needed a ride from the vet to a temporary boarding facility, while our favorite local grassroots non-profit, The Little Red Dog, went about finding her a good new Forever Home for the Holidays. The round trip took two hours on busy freeways, but it was totally worth it.

I hope these Pay it Forward Challenge stories will give you some new ideas for creative ways to put your own gratitude into ACTION to help others. Once you start, I predict it will become a 365-day happy habit for you! Please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com and share your own stories so we can all enjoy another round of inspiring Pay It Forward outcomes this Holiday Season!

PLEASE NOTE: The blog is taking the holiday weekend off. Look for your next Cup of Caroll to arrive on Sunday December 8.  In the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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 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.

 

July 28, 2019

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou’s powerful quote is one of my all-time favorites – a constant reminder to be kind, to be an encourager, to lift people up instead of putting them in their place or trying to prove that you are right and they are wrong.

When I saw it again this past week, I decided to share this updated blog from three years ago with my cherished readers.  I hope it spurs you to make a difference in another’s life, just when they may need it the most.

July 31, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Next Page »