Giving


January 24, 2021

“You are where you are today in part because of what you’ve been saying….Words are like seeds.  When you speak something out, you give life to what you’re saying.  If you continue to say it, eventually that can become a reality.” – Joel Osteen

Well, 2021 certainly has started off with a bang, hasn’t it?  Some things bad, some things good.  Much of it out of our individual control. But there are two very crucial things that affect your own success and quality of life that are always under your direct control: your attitude and your words.  How you think and how you convey those thoughts to others can make all the difference in how your future turns out.

Since many of my readers are either direct sales leaders, entrepreneurs or team leaders at their work, I want to share a simple recipe for success in leading a team. Even if you aren’t a boss or team leader, you are undoubtedly part of a team in some area of life – your class, your family, your social circle, volunteer organization or church.  Rarely do we succeed in life all alone.  We need other people – many other people – to help us and we to help them too, as we all strive to reach our Big Goals.

This recipe for success shows us how to adopt the right attitude and – most importantly – how to convey it to others on our team in a way that will inspire, uplift and encourage them to believe in themselves and to want to be their best.

This simple recipe comes from an entertaining little book one of my coaching clients generously gifted me called The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon. It’s the story of how a very unhappy marketing manager named George learns how to become a great team leader from the driver and passengers on a bus he is forced to take to work when his car is in the shop.  George’s family life is a shambles, his kids don’t like him and his wife is threatening divorce. And his department team members don’t much like him either. They do the bare minimum and won’t work cohesively as a team. George has just two weeks to pull his marketing team together to create a successful new product launch for his corporate bosses or he will be fired.

This short book is an easy read, but it contains some very practical ideas for nurturing and improving the happiness and effectiveness of our family, personal and business relationships by getting the important people in our lives to want to ride with us on our “Energy Bus.”

We’re the “bus driver” of our Energy Bus and they are our “passengers.”  We can’t MAKE them ride with us, we can only inspire them to want to get on board with our vision and CHOOSE to ride with us. The idea is that when we are all riding on the same bus, moving in the same direction, there’s nothing we cannot accomplish together.

Here is an excerpt from The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon, edited slightly for length:

“Five Ways to Love Your Passengers

“1. Make Time for Them – When you love someone or something, you spend time with them. You nurture your relationship with them. You can’t nurture business relationships sitting at your desk, just as you can’t spend quality time with your spouse if you are watching television. So the key is to come out of your office and get to know your team.  Spend time with them. Get to know them individually. Get to know them as people, not numbers. Just as you would tend to a garden, you need to cultivate your team with love. And while you are with them it is important to be present with them.  Be engaged in the present moment. Don’t be thinking about 10 things you have to do that day or the 10 other people you need to meet with.  Really be with that person and focus your energy on them. They will feel the difference.

“2. Listen to Them – One of the most important factors that determines a high management approval rating is whether the manager listens to the employee.  Does the manager hear what the employee has to say? Does the manager listen to the ideas and needs of the employee?  Your employees and customers just want to be heard, so listen to them and hear them…Empathy is the key….For instance, when you ask someone how they are doing, an easy way to show you are listening is to actually wait for the answer and make eye contact.

“3. Recognize Them – We don’t mean with trophies or some awards dinner.  We want you to make it real personal. Honor them for who they are and what they do. Recognize them as a person as much as a business professional. One leader we know sends each employee a personal birthday card with a handwritten note, not some electronic fake signature but a real note…Another very powerful way to recognize them is to praise them when they are doing things right. The more you recognize them for doing things right, the more they will do things right.

“4. Serve Them – A great leader once said, the higher you get in an organization, the more it is your duty to serve the people below you rather than having the people below serve you. The key is to serve their growth, their future, their career, and their spirits so they enjoy work, life and being on your bus. The more you serve their growth, the more they will help you grow.

“5. Bring Out the Best in Them – We saved this one for last because this is the most important. When you love someone you want the best for them. You want them to be successful and happy. You want to bring out the best in them. Thus the best way any leader can demonstrate their love for their team is to help each person discover their strengths and provide an opportunity for that person to utilize them. When you create a system that provides a way for your people to shine, you not only bring out the best in them, but in the rest of the team and company as well.  If you really want to love your team, help them do what they do best.”

Well, it won’t be much of a spoiler to tell you that George learns to live by this recipe for success and his wife and children begin to feel he loves them and they love him back. And his work team realizes he really cares about them and wants them to succeed and they begin to step up and contribute and shine and create a bang-up marketing presentation and everyone wins!

I believe I generally do follow these precepts with my family and coaching clients, but I know I can always do better. Starting NOW, I am going to re-read these five rules each morning during my personal development time to remind me to make sure they know that I genuinely do love them!

If you will do the same with the team in your life, I can promise that you will see some success miracles unfold for all of you, just like they did for George.

PLEASE NOTE: The blog is taking next week off.  Look for your next fresh Cup of Caroll on Sunday February 7. 

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

Start the year off right and give a friend, colleague or yourself a truly unique gift that can be truly life-changing: a private ONE HOUR “Prosperity Breakthrough” session with me.  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no strings attached! To schedule this F*R*E*E* phone coaching session, email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com ASAP, as I book up fast!

December 20, 2020

“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – Jane Goodall

The global pandemic and all the political strife that has grown up around it have been the spark for rekindling our awareness of how interconnected we all truly are.  One of the most unexpected blessings of this very challenging year has been my increased awareness of how MANY people regularly go out of their way to be kind, generous and helpful….not just to their friends and neighbors, but also to complete strangers.

My annual Pay It Forward Challenge, where I ask my clients and blog readers to do at least one random act of kindness for someone during the Holiday Season, as a way of demonstrating our gratitude for our own blessings, has taken on special meaning for me this year.  I notice little acts of kindness every day by people all around me, in the grocery store, my neighborhood and Starbucks – everywhere I go.

The past several blogs have detailed many Pay It Forward acts of Gratitude-in-Action that my readers have shared with me so I can pass them along to you, in hopes they will inspire you to come up with your own personal ideas for “the kind of difference you want to make.”

As we wrap up the 2020 Pay It Forward Challenge with this blog, I wanted to share a few more stories, as well as the divine timing of an article I read just today in the Los Angeles Times about a Facebook Group that is dedicated to doing random acts of kindness (usually anonymously) year-round.  The group is called “Sparks of Kindness” and you can join it, as I just did.  The readers share their acts of kindness in the forum, giving each other ideas of small, fun, inexpensive ways they can make a difference in the world around them.

Since it was launched several years ago, Sparks of Kindness has grown to over 5,000 online members in about 40 countries, according to the founder, Debbie McFarland.  She is a photographer from Georgia who founded the group because she “found that there’s so many people that want to do good – they just don’t really know how to start.Sparks of Kindness has lists of ideas for “sparks,” or small acts people can do to brighten someone’s day and spread hope, love and joy around any time of the year.

Debbie launched the group several years ago, but interest has picked up a lot this year. “During this pandemic,” she says, “I think people are starting to realize that…every person you come into contact with is fighting some kind of battle, whether it’s appointments or unmet expectations of others or health or bullying….Everyone’s facing a battle, and if you can get one tiny spark to ignite hope within them, then it does something within them.”

Some ideas the Sparks of Kindness group members have shared are similar to what my blog readers have done, such as taking soup and biscuits to a sick mother, giving someone ahead in line $20 when his debit card didn’t go through and taking flowers to someone who could use cheering up.  Some very creative ones from other members that I particularly love include:

  • Leaving a ziplock bag of pennies next to a fountain with a note that said, “Take a penny. Make a wish! Hope your dreams come true!” 
  • Leaving a tin of cookies on the running board of an ambulance outside a nursing home with a note to the EMTs that said, “You’re AMAZING! Yes, You!”
  • Leaving snacks and water on the porch for the mail carrier and delivery drivers who are running around so fast right now, they rarely have time for a break.
  • Leaving notes in stores for others to find, such as “You’re beautiful just the way you are” in the cosmetics aisle or “This too, shall pass, hang in there” in the cold and flu remedy aisle.
  • My personal favorite listed in the L.A. Times article was someone who left a ziplock bag of quarters at the laundromat for anyone who needed change. It was a godsend for a young mother who put her toddler’s comforter in the washer, only to discover she didn’t have any money for the dryer.  After she went on the Sparks of Kindness Facebook page to post her thanks, a member bought her a new dryer.

Here are the final ones from our own Cup of Caroll readers, that are equally heartfelt gestures of generosity, love and kindness:

  • One of my clients who has really taken on the Pay It Forward Challenge in a big way just sent me this text: “I’m getting ready to deliver a homemade Mexican dinner with homemade Mexican chocolate sugar cookies to a friend and her family who’ve been quarantined;  Christmas Gifts for 2 Angel Tree kids who wouldn’t get presents otherwise; 3 products that a client wasn’t able to order due to them being out of stock (I had 3 extra for sample packets…he’s getting them at a discount!), and stopping by another friend’s place of business for his Christmas Customer Appreciation get-together. I feel very happy that I am making a difference in at least four families’ lives.  Oh, and one of the Angel Tree gifts I picked up, wrapped, and am delivering is for another friend who is totally swamped with her own business and family stuff going on.  It feels sooooo good to give!!”
  • A client told me about a kind deed she did for a long stretch of time after her direct sales upline leader’s loved one passed away. My client wrote her a short snail-mail note once a week for three months, simply expressing love and support and assuring her that she was not forgotten in her grief. The leader just recently replied with a note that said, “You will never know how much it meant to me.”
  • The teacher I wrote about in the last blog who taught her students about complete sentences by having them write three a day in their Gratitude Journals that start with “I am grateful for…” also had them write about “One thing I want to STOP doing after 2020 is…” and “One thing I want to START doing in 2021 is….”
  • Although we have plenty of money to buy presents, my wonderful husband Rick and I decided that this special Christmas, we will put that money toward worthy causes instead of stuff. We wrote Christmas cards to all our friends and family members, asking them to designate a charity they would like us to donate to in their name. They all loved the idea. In fact, I have never gotten such enthusiastic thanks for any gifts I have given them before!

As I said in the blog, a nice side benefit to the warmth you feel when you help someone else is that the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) dictates that YOU will also be blessed whenever you do good for others.  True to form, I just received surprise gift card for our favorite supermarket from a friend and former client. The amount was exactly what I will be spending for our family’s Christmas feast that I recently ordered from there.

I send you and your loved ones heartfelt wishes for joy, health and prosperity for the rest of the Holidays and on into the New Year!  Next time, we will lay the groundwork for what needs to be emotionally and mentally completed for 2020 and begin to create a MUCH better 2021 for all of us!

PLEASE NOTE: The blog is taking the next week end off.  Merry Christmas and look for your next Cup of Caroll on Sunday January 3, 2021. 

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

To schedule a F*R*E*E* “Jumpstart Your Success” 60 minute phone coaching session 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 13, 2020

“A person struggles.  You help.  A door needs to be open. You open it.  A piece of trash is in your path.  You pick it up and throw it away.  A child needs extra attention.  You give it. A job needs to be completed. You do it.  One more act of kindness a week will add 52 moments of inspiration to your year.  Push it to two a week and you add more than one hundred.  Imagine the possibilities.” – From 212 The Extra Degree

It’s time to celebrate more inspiring acts of paying your gratitude forward, as many of my cherished readers have shared with me what they are doing to make others’ lives a little lighter and brighter during the Holidays.

If you didn’t read my November 14 post (Two Kinds of Gratitude, Blog 387), 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 for our own blessings into ACTION by making an extra effort to be kind and generous toward our fellow human beings.

A client 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 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!

I asked my coaching clients and other blog subscribers 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 new favorites:

  • Our mobile dog groomer, Janet, has a large email list which she regularly uses to send out requests to her contacts for things like helping a local animal rescue with their donation drive, matching individuals who are looking for local work with employers seeking helpers, as well as putting out the word whenever one of her friends or clients has a pet go missing. In this way, she is our local matchmaker who helps many others.
  • One of my clients who teaches Language Arts to sixth graders is teaching them how to write complete sentences that start with “I am grateful for…” The students have to write three of those gratitude sentences a day in their handmade Gratitude Journals. She is teaching the next generation about grammar and gratitude at the same time!
  • My compassionate client delivered a homemade dinner to a friend who broke her foot on top of having to care for her husband who had COVID at the same time.
  • One of my clients who thought she was “too busy” signed up to work a shift at her local food bank around Thanksgiving and liked it so much, she is now volunteering on a regular basis.
  • One of my clients had to step out of line at a busy checkout register at Walmart to run back and retrieve an item she forgot. When she returned, she bought a $20 Walmart gift card and bestowed it on the woman behind her with heartfelt thanks for waiting patiently for her return.
  • A reader wrote, “On a daily basis, I make it a point to give a compliment to a total stranger about their hair, an article of clothing, shade of lipstick or something like that.”
  • One client makes personalized greeting cards and sends them to elderly folks who are celebrating birthdays or anniversaries, along with a personal note of congratulations.
  • She also belongs to the Blue Star Mothers of America. “One of our mail projects is sending hand decorated Christmas stockings (about 450) to the troops overseas or away from home at Christmas time. We collect donations like individual packets of chips or crackers, playing cards, gum, wet wipes, etc. to fill the stockings.  In past years, we also baked homemade cookies and each stocking got a dozen.  This year they have to be pre-packaged.”
  • Another client does something similar with her church congregation, which puts together boxes of goodies for sailors who are in port over Christmas, with a “Thank you for your service” message inside each one.
  • A reader’s young daughter came up with the idea for the whole family to participate in helping stock a “pop up” food bank pantry in their area.
  • After sending a handwritten gratitude card to each of her customers at Thanksgiving, a client who is an interior designer went a step further for the Holidays, putting together lovely gift bags with small decorative items like dishtowels and candles for their homes and enclosed a note that says, “I am so grateful you chose me to work with you. It has been such a pleasure.”
  • That same client always gives an extra $2 to the toll booth attendants each time she passes through, telling them to use it for anyone who is caught unawares on the interstate without cash for the toll.
  • A client who is a horse lover always shops online at AmazonSmile.com, where a small portion of what she spends is donated to a Therapeutic Horseback Riding facility that helps people with a wide variety of special needs.
  • One of my clients took the Pay it Forward Challenge to her book club around Thanksgiving and reported back to me what they decided to do. The women gave eight classrooms of first and second graders a total of 285 Scholastic Reader books for Christmas. “The teachers were not able to purchase these books this year due to the book fair being online and not enough purchases were made to get credits the teachers usually use to pay for them.  We each donated money to purchase a book for each student to take home and keep!”
  • My longtime client’s young teen son seems to notice people in need wherever he goes and often persuades her to assist them. Recently, they were in a take-out line when he overheard a girl ask her mother, “Is there enough money left for dessert?”  He immediately asked my client if she could buy dessert for them. Out of the goodness of his big heart, he was going to pay her back with his own savings when they got home, but she gladly covered his act of generosity and compassion herself.

In case you doubt that small gestures of kindness and generosity can make a BIG impression on the recipient, I can attest that they DO.  The night before Thanksgiving, I was absorbed with preparing my first Thanksgiving feast in 14 years (because my live-in chef/husband Rick is recovering from back surgery). I had not even stopped to think about what I could do for a centerpiece to decorate the table, which is usually my main Thanksgiving responsibility. The doorbell rang about 6pm and when I opened it, I found the most beautiful bouquet of fall colors arranged inside of a Thanksgiving-themed cornucopia basket. The enclosed note from one of my coaching clients who lives on the East Coast, expressed her gratitude to me for helping her with her business and personal growth.  That gift and note were the highlight of my Thanksgiving this year.

The Holidays are far from over! So, 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 year-round happy habit for you! Please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com and share your own stories so I can publish a final round of inspiring Pay It Forward outcomes before the end of 2020!

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 22, 2020

“No act of kindness is too small.  The gift of kindness may start as a small ripple that over time can turn into a tidal wave affecting the lives of many.” – Kevin Heath

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 (Two Kinds of Gratitude – Blog 387), 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.

I recently read an article in the Los Angeles Times about a $20-million gift to the University of California at Los Angeles to fund the Bedari Kindness Institute, studying the benefits of doing good for others. The article by Teresa Watanabe said, “A friendly smile. A food pantry donation…such acts of kindness have a self-serving upside, too, as science has conclusively shown they also make you healthier….Among many other topics, [the Bedari Kindness Institute] will explore how and why being nice to others reduces depression and the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.”

According to the article, “Researchers agreed on an academic definition of kindness: an act that enhances the welfare of others as an end in itself.  When it comes to kindness, the intention, rather than the outcome is key…Kindness is complimenting someone to make them feel good, not to get what you want.  It’s sending a donation to a charity even if the check gets lost in the mail. It’s contemplating a legitimate reason why a driver who cuts you off might be in a hurry.”

One of the co-founders of the Institute, Matthew Harris, “said his own struggles, through trauma and addiction to eventual self-acceptance, made him realize the importance of cultivating kindness to oneself and others.  He said the current state of partisan politics, environmental challenges and continued violence and war gave him an urgency to help out.

“’My end goal is to have a broad platform to promote empathy and help people think about kindness,” Harris said. ‘It is, in terms of the perpetuation of our species and the ability to live with each other and nature, critically important.’”

I would add that not only does showing kindness, generosity and empathy toward others actively demonstrate your thankfulness for the many blessings 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!

Today, I slipped a barista my first $5 gift card of my 2020 giving season and asked him to use it toward the bill of the customer behind me.  She caught up with me outside and thanked me profusely.  “That was so kind of you!” she exclaimed. “God bless you!” I could tell she was just as surprised and delighted by that little gesture by a stranger as I was several years ago.

And, wouldn’t you know it, before another five minutes had passed, the Law of Attraction kicked in and my small act of kindness came back to bless me!  As my wonderful husband Rick and I sat outside eating our lunch, a gentleman took it upon himself to move a heavy umbrella so it would provide shade for us.  We didn’t ask him; he just showed his empathy and kindness toward two strangers by that kind gesture that gave us a more pleasant lunch experience.

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:

  • Most of my coaching clients are sending snail mailed Thanksgiving cards to their clients and Teams, letting them know how much they appreciate them.
  • One client spent every night for two weeks at her girlfriend’s home, cooking her dinner and caring for her as she recovered from major surgery. Her friend had no other family to help her, and this was an exceedingly kind personal sacrifice on my client’s part.
  • One reader told me about her family tradition where on one of the eight nights of Hanukkah, each family member asks the others to donate to his or her favorite charity instead of receiving a personal gift. This has taught her children to be kind and generous at an early age!
  • One reader decided to play even BIGGER and get her whole network marketing Team involved in the PIF Challenge. She is going to contact a foster care agency and find out which teenagers will soon be “aging out” of the system at 18 years old. The Team will then purchase suitcases and fill them with supplies and gift cards to give the teens a good start as they begin life on their own.
  • Another client carries on a giving tradition for foster children that was started by her dear friend’s mother, who passed away near Thanksgiving a few years ago. She runs a “pajama drive” for child- and teen-sized warm pajamas to stock nearby “foster family closets,” where foster parents can go to get donated food and supplies for their foster children. She said the drive has grown each year with more and more local business support, and it has donated as many as 100 pairs of PJs to make kids feel extra cozy and cared for at the Holidays.
  • One direct sales Team Leader gives incentive gift cards to her Team from local women-owned businesses that may be struggling right now.
  • A client told me that whenever she sees someone who looks hungry and homeless hanging around outside the grocery store, she goes in and buys them something to eat and drink and brings it out to them. She does this all year round, but knows it is especially needed in the wintertime.
  • One of my clients told me that because of COVID, she discovered one of her neighbors is a 101-year-old woman who lives completely on her own, with no family nearby. “I checked on her all summer. Other neighbors check on her too, and we help her with grocery shopping and other errands.  She is so appreciative.  I am going to take her some homemade pumpkin bread and a little note to lift her spirits this weekend.”

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 of kindness and generosity so we can all enjoy another round of inspiring Pay It Forward outcomes this Holiday Season!

PLEASE NOTE: The blog is taking the next two weekends off. Look for your next Cup of Caroll to arrive on Sunday December 13.  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 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.

August 30, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

July 19, 2020

“People may hear your words but they FEEL your attitude.” – John Maxwell

I am happily busy with preparations for the exciting launch of the New Success Coaching Membership.  But I wanted to pause to share with you one more insight I recently got into all the amazing ways you can use the creative power of the Law of Attraction in every area of your life, which is actually the whole focus of the Membership course.

As you know, the Law of Attraction states that “energy attracts like energy.” Therefore, the personal energy vibration (your thoughts plus the emotions that those thoughts stir up) that you put out into the world must inevitably attract to you the people, circumstances and resources that are a match for your energy.

The GREAT news is, there are many tools available to help you harness the power of The Law of Attraction by directing your energy to attract the GOOD things that will answer your needs, prayers and heartfelt wishes.  You don’t have to know exactly HOW or WHEN the answer will appear because you can always trust that the perfect means and timing will be handled by God/The Universe.

All you have to do is YOUR part of the equation: ASK clearly and specifically for what you want or need, BELIEVE that God/The Universe will come up with the perfect HOW, and keep your eyes and mind open to RECEIVE the clear guidance that will lead you to exactly what you want or need at the perfect time.

In the last blog, I shared a personal story that proved to me that the divine Law of Attraction can bring you what you want and need at exactly the perfect time, in unexpected ways that your Ego never would have thought of in a million years.

As you will recall, a few weeks ago, I went out to my mailbox and found an envelope from a friend and former coaching client.  I had no idea why she would be writing to me. When I opened it, I got a huge surprise — a check made out to me for $1,000!

Her enclosed note explained that she had received a very unexpected large bonus from her work. That $10,000 was the exact amount she had been ASKING to manifest in one of my past Law of Attraction courses to help her pay off some debts. It wasn’t delivered exactly when or how she might have imagined, but it was perfect to meet her present needs.

What was miraculous for ME was that she chose to pay a large portion of it forward to ME, as thanks for having loaned her some money when she needed it several years ago.  She had already paid me back in full, as far as I was concerned.  But she said in her note, “I told myself that when the day came that I could return the favor to you, I would do so….In the past few months, I have had several surprise windfalls myself and so I decided, ‘there is no time like the present!’”

I was stunned and delighted, of course!  But at the time, neither of us suspected that her timing for sending me this unexpected gift was especially perfect.  She had originally been planning to send it to me closer to the Holidays, when she thought it would be most welcome.  But an inner urge kept telling her that NOW was the right time to send it.  Happily, she followed that divine prodding because it soon became apparent that NOW was indeed the perfect timing.

I stashed her $1,000 gift in the bank while I contemplated how best to use it.  Two weeks ago, my tax advisor informed me that the amount we still owed for 2019 plus our quarterly estimated tax payments for 2020 came to exactly $1,000!  I was amazed and so grateful that God/The Universe obviously knew of my upcoming need and arranged to have it delivered at exactly the right time by unexpected, perfect means.

We know that Generosity and Gratitude are two of the most powerful positive emotions we can express to attract MORE good things to us.  I was once generous to my friend and she felt very grateful.  Years later, she got the inner urge to be generous to me at the perfect time to fulfill a need I didn’t even know I was going to have. By the divine Law of Attraction, our reciprocal giving and receiving energy connected us in an exchange of abundance that fulfilled both of our needs.

Serendipitous timing and prosperity windfalls like these don’t have to be rare occurrences in our lives. We can learn to adopt the right mindset and energy to harness the creative energy of the Law of Attraction in all areas of life on a daily basis.

These proven tools that I have been using myself and sharing with my private coaching clients for the past 16 years are exactly what I will be teaching to all the New Success Coaching Members beginning in August.  Once they master using the Law of Attraction, they will be able to attract more of the RIGHT customers, business partners, ideas and resources to boost their success more quickly and easily than just hard work and marketing savvy alone could do.

Of course, the Law of Attraction works in EVERY area of life, not just business.  It can help us to create ideal relationships, health, creativity, fun – virtually anything you desire, require and MORE.  And yes, it can even pay your taxes!

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 valuable gift to a friend as well!

June 28, 2020

“Giving is a universal opportunity.  Regardless of your age, profession, religion, income bracket and background, you have the capacity to create change.” – Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen

As we prepare to launch the New Success Coaching Membership next month, I thought it would be fitting to share with you a personal story of how I recently experienced a delightful financial mini-miracle via the Law of Attraction.

As you know, the Law of Attraction states that “energy attracts like energy.” Therefore, the personal energy vibration (your thoughts plus the emotions that those thoughts stir up) that you put out into the world must inevitably attract to you the people, circumstances and resources that are a match for your energy.

The GREAT news is, there are many tools available to help you harness the power of The Law of Attraction by directing your energy to attract the GOOD things that will answer your needs, prayers and heartfelt wishes.  We don’t know exactly HOW the answer will appear – the perfect means and timing are always up to God/The Universe.  But you can be sure that you WILL attract your matching energy, in one form or another, according to this divine universal Law.

These proven tools that I have been using myself and teaching to all my private coaching clients for the past 16 years are exactly what I will be teaching to all the New Success Coaching Members, so they, too, can manifest their dreams, especially in the area of business.  Once they master using the Law of Attraction to help them, they will be able to attract more of the RIGHT customers, business partners, ideas and resources to boost their success more quickly and easily than just hard work and marketing savvy alone could do.  (Of course, the Law of Attraction works in EVERY area of life, not just business.  It can help us to create ideal relationships, health, homes, careers, creativity, fun – virtually anything you desire, require and MORE.)

What recently happened for me is a great example of how the divine Law of Attraction can bring you something you want when you least expect it, in unexpected ways that your Ego never would have thought of in a million years!

I went out to my mailbox a few weeks ago and found an envelope from a friend and former coaching client.  I had no idea why she would be writing to me. When I opened it, I got a huge surprise — a check made out to me for $1,000!

The enclosed note contained an even BIGGER surprise, as she described the reason for sending me this amazing windfall:

“Surprise!  I am very happy to fulfill a special intention I have had for some time to send you this check, which represents the loan payments you forgave to celebrate my birthday or to help our Christmas be that much merrier.

I told myself that when the day came that I could return the favor to you, I would do so….In the past few months, I have had several surprise windfalls myself and so I decided, ‘there is no time like the present!’”

She went on to explain that the company she works for recently merged with a big investor and with the resulting prosperity, the owner decided to acknowledge her years of hard work and loyalty with a bonus of $10,000:

“She selected a few people to show her appreciation to and I was one of them.  I was absolutely flabbergasted!  What won’t surprise you is that I had been praying for $10,000 with no attachment to ‘the how’ so I could pay down some debt.  I set $1,000 aside and that is what is coming to you today with immense gratitude for all you have done to get me through some very difficult times!  Thank you for believing in me!”

She closed by stating that she intends to be one of the Founding Members of the New Success Coaching Membership, which thrilled me even more.

I emailed her a heartfelt thank you letter and pointed out some other miraculous facets to her amazing surprise gift that she wasn’t aware of or had perhaps forgotten. I wrote:

“Thank you!  Your gift was indeed an incredible surprise!  It is so generous of you and could not have come at a more perfect time!

I declared in my Gratitude Formula Journal just this morning that I would soon be debt-free and be able to ‘lend and not borrow,” as The Bible says.  When I wrote that, I was thinking of YOU and how the overflow abundance I was able to share with you all those years ago felt SO wonderful, I wanted that feeling again, of being able to help someone financially when they most needed it.

I also just sent a $100 check off to Joel Osteen Ministries, whose messages have given me ‘spiritual food’ for the past several years, especially during the current scary COVID crisis.  I always send those donations off with the affirmation ‘What I send out to do good in the world returns to bless me 10-fold.’ Your check was EXTRA amazing because it was EXACTLY 10-FOLD!”

Then I went on to remind her about two of her own heartfelt desires that I vividly remember from our past coaching, which her boss’s gift also miraculously represents the HOW for:

“Beyond your amazing gift itself, I am EVEN more gratified by the $10,000 that YOU received from your boss, for two reasons: I know that you once doubted that she truly appreciated your worth at work, and that ‘appreciation bonus’ must have validated for you that you were valued – PRICELESS, in fact!

Also, I seem to remember that $10,000 was the EXACT amount that you set as your Intention to receive during one of my past workshops.  It took awhile longer than we thought, but it’s an amazing validation that God hears and acts on ALL of our requests, at the perfect time, in the perfect way!”

She was blown away, realizing that she really had triggered that $10,000 “miracle” to come to her by her own positive energy of always striving to do her BEST, and EXPECTING that God would send the BEST to her in return.

Our story demonstrates the kind of Win-Win mutual-benefits and delightful surprises you can attract to you by consciously putting the Law of Attraction into positive action in your everyday life. Giving energy, especially, always comes back to bless us in some way.  And I believe that is one of the greatest lessons that God/the Universe wants us to learn in life.

MY SPECIAL INVITATION TO YOU

If YOU would like to see delightful surprises like this become a regular part of your OWN life, I invite you to become a Founding Member in the New Success Coaching Membership program! Founding Member enrollment closes July 3. If you want to get all the benefits at the BEST price – just $27 a month! – REGISTER NOW and that incredibly LOW monthly price is guaranteed NEVER to go up, as long as you choose to remain in the membership. Come join us and learn how to become a Master Manifester, too! For New Success Coaching Membership details and a registration form, please contact me ASAP: caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.

PLEASE NOTE: The blog is taking the next two weeks off so I can prepare for the launch of the Membership program.  Have a safe and happy Canada Day or Fourth of July next week and find your next Cup of Caroll in your inbox on Sunday July 19.

 June 14, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 19, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The difference between dogs and cats

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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