Integrity


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

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

I have to be honest, for me today, Number One is writing this blog. I love to write, but I have a lot of things I’d prefer to do on a beautiful Spring day, rather than sit in front of my computer trying to come up with a topic that can inspire my readers to be more efficient, successful and fulfilled in their lives.

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

The human Ego much prefers sitting on the couch, safe and comfy, avoiding anything that will challenge the status quo in your life.  Pursuing your Big Goals usually requires sustained effort, self-discipline, risk and emotional or physical discomfort.

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

What would your life look like right now?

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

Really?  You “hate” getting tips that can help you succeed?  Being challenged and inspired?  Developing your character?  Learning how others have overcome the same challenges you are facing? Stretching your belief in what is possible for you?

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

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

Not everything we do is for someone else’s benefit, of course.  Many of the tasks we avoid doing are uncomfortable things we don’t want to do but which we know will bring us the results we say we want to have.

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

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

Here’s Romi’s great method for overcoming the Ego’s natural preference for avoiding all uncomfortable tasks: At the start of her business, she wrote down her WHY in vivid detail, including both the carrot and the stick. She listed all the great things having a successful direct sales business could produce for her and her family AND all the tragic disappointments that would occur if she didn’t do the things necessary to succeed.

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

Mel Robbins has her own simple, foolproof method to counteract the Ego’s desire for inertia. She calls it “The Five Second Rule.”  Most of my coaching clients have watched Mel’s short TED Talk about this.

I urge you to spend 20 memorable minutes being entertained and confronted with the reality that you have just five seconds to do what you promised yourself to do when the time comes to do it.  If you wait longer than five seconds, like a skilled courtroom litigator, your wily Ego will make a compelling argument for why it would be better to “wait until tomorrow” to carry out the task.

Guess what the outcome will be if you listen to that voice inside your head instead of keeping your promise and taking action right NOW?

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

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

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

Next Sunday the blog will be taking the day off so that I can spend Easter with my family.  A Cup of Caroll will return on Sunday, April 23.

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

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

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

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them contact me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com  or toll free 888-503-8145 to schedule their session.   

 

“If given a choice do what is right.  Do what may push you along.  Choose that thing that is outside your grasp and then work hard for it….’Or’ don’t and live to whine another day.” – Bob Perks

Welcome back  —  I’ve missed you! As you know, I took two weeks off from writing the blog to prepare for and then enjoy a one-week vacation to Oregon over the Fourth of July weekend with my wonderful husband, Rick. We had a perfect trip.

The weather was perfect – in the mid-seventies with blue skies the whole time.

The food was perfect. Portland, where we spent half the time, is a Foodie’s paradise.  We followed recommendations from friends and clients and enjoyed several wonderful restaurants and wineries. We also had some great food during the second half of our trip to Cottage Grove, in southern Oregon, to visit my only sibling’s family.  My nephew smoked four whole chickens, and we had one of the best lasagnas ever, courtesy of my nephew-in-law, Don. He even made one pan with turkey sausage, since I don’t eat anything with four feet.

The scenery was perfect.  While staying in Portland, we spent the better part of a day driving through the nearby Columbia Gorge, which is nature on steroids.  The winding road through the tall pine trees reminded me of Yosemite, but with many more waterfalls (although smaller), which were all an easy walk from the road.

Aside from all the food, fun and scenery, the MOST significant thing about the trip for me was seeing my extended family again.  All but one of my older brother’s kids and grand kids reside in Oregon or Washington, so we all congregated at the home of my niece Ann and her husband Don, an acre-plus spread right next to the Row River. My brother and sister-in-law, four of my six nieces and nephews and four of my five great-nieces and great nephews joined us, as well as my brother’s ex-wife (the mother of three of his children) and her husband. It is truly one BIG, happy family, who all get along great.

We spent time looking at old photo albums and marveling that 10 years had passed since we last got together for a Parker Family Reunion.  It seemed to all except the youngest ones that those 10 years had zoomed by in the blink of an eye. Some of the memories were still vivid, while others made us shake our heads, not believing the photographic evidence that we really DID wear that hairdo or clothing back then. And the more “seasoned” among us could count new wrinkles and grey hairs (and maybe a couple of new belt notches) that weren’t there last time.

That made me realize that life truly does go by SO fast.  I am sad to admit that I have made the choice year after year not to make the effort to get us all together again…Not a conscious choice, but a choice of omission. Rick and I simply chose to do other things with the little time off we took from making a living.

That may end up being one of my few life regrets because this reunion made me realize that as far as I am concerned, there are really only TWO important questions to ask ourselves when we come to the end of our earthly life:

  • Did I SHOW the people I love how much I love them?
  • What Big Dreams did I pursue (or let die without ever being born)?

Our lives are built on a series of many little decisions made day by day in each of these two categories.  Each day is a new chance to take time to pay attention to those we love and demonstrate to them that we really do value them.  And each day is a chance to pursue our heartfelt dreams with everything we’ve got, or let them slide in favor of what is easier, more comfortable, less scary.

Within a day of arriving home, I received yet another amazing, thought-provoking post from my friend and fellow-coach/writer/speaker/workshop leader, Bob Perks. (See blog #230 “Listen with Your Heart” if you missed his earlier post that I re-published.)

Bob perfectly expresses that it is all the little daily choices we make to be loving, to be generous, to be in integrity, to stand up for our beliefs and values, and to either pursue our dreams or sell out that REALLY matter.  It’s not the few big life choices we make, but the many little ones that steadily add up day by day, year by year to create the picture that our life ultimately ends up looking like.

Here, with permission, are Bob’s own thoughts.  I hope they make as big an impression on you as they did on me. And I hope they move you to take ACTION and make the right daily choices for YOU, so that the next decade of YOUR life fulfills and empowers you. Because one thing I can guarantee: It’s going to feel like it zoomed by in the blink of an eye.

P.S. If you find Bob’s words inspiring and the spirit moves you, you can make a small or large donation at the end, as I did, to help him keep on sharing his love and wisdom with the world.

Perks Pearl of Wisdom

“I have lived to see another day for nearly 66 years.  I have been given more second chances than I deserved.  Still, I often feel unfulfilled.  Why?  Because there are greater things for me to accomplish.  Things I can’t even imagine at this moment.  For He has plans.”  Bob Perks

“Today’s message:

“Or”

By Bob Perks

Life is full of choices.  The truth is every choice we make ripples like a stone dropped in a still pond.

Even not choosing is a choice.

I could start writing that book or I could go back and edit a few older projects I once started.

I could call my friend or wait until she calls me.  Why should I be the one?

I could look for some healthy recipes and then go shopping for the food I’ll need or I could finish all the junk food up instead of wasting it.

I could update my resume and start looking for a better job or I could wait until after vacation.

I could study more for that test on Monday or go celebrate with the girls. I’ll pass it I’m sure.

I could save this extra money I got or maybe double it at the casino.

I could or I couldn’t.

I should join that civic club and get involved or stay at home and mind my own business.

I should go for a walk after dinner or at least sit on the porch for a while.

I should tell him now how much he means to me, how much I love him, how blessed my life has been having him in it.

Or wait until morning when he has rested awhile.

I should or I shouldn’t

I could have, I should have.

I didn’t and I regret it deeply.

I could tell you that I really care about you, my friend.

I should say thanks for always being there for me.

I will…”I love you, my friend.  I depend on you being there.  Thanks.”

Bob Perks

My messages are sent free. 

The services I use to send them aren’t.

Thanks for any support you can provide.”

www.PayPal.me/GiftBobPerks

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

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

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or call 888-503-8145 to schedule their session.

“As I grow older, I pay less attention to what people say. I just watch what they do.” – Andrew Carnegie

Honest, thoughtful, effective communication creates the foundation for fulfilling, lasting personal and business relationships.  Those relationships, in turn, become the foundation for our success in life. And whether you realize it or not, people really DO notice how you behave when you communicate (or don’t) and judge you by your actions.

Over my eleven-plus years of coaching, I have witnessed a number of less-than-optimal communication “manners” among my clients that I know can limit their success. Now, I want to share with you, too, a few practical tips for making your own communication habits more effective, successful and enjoyable:

  • Give them your undivided attention. When I coach, I sit at my desk, listening intently and taking notes about what my clients are saying, occasionally taking a sip of water (as quietly as possible) when my throat gets dry. Most of them give me their undivided attention, too.  But over the years, I have heard some banging pots and pans, running water, dragging furniture, chewing gum (or food) and slurping beverages. I often wonder if they do the same things while talking to their customers, colleagues and loved ones. The message this sends to your conversation partner is that “You are not important enough to me to give you my undivided attention.”  So please don’t multi-task while you are on the phone. (And please don’t be looking at or on your phone in the presence of someone you are supposed to be paying attention to – including your kids!)
  • Don’t avoid a conversation. Many of my clients are used to texting or messaging their friends, customers and prospects. Rarely do they pick up the phone, even if the conversation is likely to have extended back and forth question and answers. If you want to speak to someone, CALL them and leave a voice mail if they don’t pick up.  In this text-happy world, leaving a voice message conveys to your listener that they matter SO much to you that you actually wanted to have a real conversation with them! One of my clients who took my advice to call her prospects reported that the ratio of replies she got was triple what her texts had garnered.
  • Respond to your messages promptly. Do unto others what you would have them do unto you. If you want your teammates, customers, prospects and loved ones to return YOUR messages, ask yourself how promptly YOU respond to emails, texts and voice mails. Many of my clients complain about lack of response from others, but when I send them an urgent or critical email, I have learned to put PLEASE RESPOND in capital letters in the subject line – and some of them still never answer. Often, I have to resort to texting to make sure they got my email!  Causing other people to wonder and worry about whether you got their message or whether something is wrong between you will not make them enjoy communicating with you. Is your voice mailbox full?  Do you have a week’s worth of emails or 20 texts you haven’t looked at?  If you don’t respond to others in a timely manner, the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) says YOU will attract plenty of people who will frustrate you by not responding.
  • Keep your word. This is the #1 MUST for effective communication.  If you made an appointment to meet someone at Starbucks and then just didn’t show up, you can imagine how they will react!  Why is it any less of an affront if you stand them up for a phone appointment they planned on and made time for? As soon as you realize that you are running late or can’t make it, text or leave a voice mail.  They will forgive you if you apologize and give a BRIEF explanation (not a rambling, self-serving excuse). But if they call and you are just not there, they will get the message loud and clear that they don’t matter much to you. One of my past clients used to complain that some team members in her organization purposely cut her out of the loop on communications. I was stumped why they would do this to such a nice person — until I discovered that she is rather infamous for standing them up on set appointment calls, often when they have a business prospect on the line with them.
  • When you mess up, fess up. When the stood-up team member would later text that Leader to ask why she hadn’t picked up, she would usually text a lame excuse such as, “Ooops — My phone died!” That is not a real apology – or even a good explanation. Hey, we are all human.  If you mess up, you will be forgiven, as long as you explain briefly, take full responsibility and sincerely apologize for the impact your slip up had on the other person. A perfect example happened this week, when one of my longtime clients called over an hour late for our appointment to apologize with this brief message: “I am so sorry. I got engrossed in writing a report for work and completely lost track of the time.  I value your time and I take full responsibility for missing our session.”  That was all we needed to get our relationship back on good terms.

I hope these tips will help you create fulfilling relationships built on mutual trust, honesty and respect. Those are the kind that last and will bring you rich rewards!

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

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

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or call 888-503-8145 to schedule their session.   

Happy Mother’s Day!  I salute everyone who is a mother (I’m not) or acts as a mother-figure for someone who needs one. (I have done that.)  Whether you were lucky enough to grow up with an unconditionally-loving “June Cleaver” mother like I did or struggled to cope with someone who fell far short of the ideal, we have all been deeply affected by a mother or mother-figure in our lives.

Many of my readers have joined me since today’s blog was first published two years ago, so I want to share again my Mom’s “best practices” for living a life of joy, integrity and fulfillment.

May 11, 2014

“Love never ends.” – 1 Corinthians 13:8, The Bible.

My mother passed away in 2006, just shy of her 92nd birthday, on the very night that my wonderful husband Rick and I were supposed to have our first date. I’m sorry they never got to meet because with a similar playful, gentle sense of humor, they would have thoroughly enjoyed each other’s company.

Mom was always very spiritual, if not religious, and as soon as I married and left home at 19, she began sending me a subscription to the little booklet of daily inspirational thoughts put out by Unity, the Christian denomination that she grew up in.  She would be delighted to know that it still makes me feel connected to her every morning when I read the daily message.

Interestingly, the Daily Word topic for today is exactly what I had already decided to write about. I quote here as background for what I want to share with you on Mother’s Day:

“A mother’s love is strong.  It protects and comforts, nurtures and forgives. It is uplifting, supportive and unconditional.  A mother’s love begins before birth and continues without end. It is an expression of the Divine.

 Today I honor and appreciate my mother or anyone who may have filled the role of mother in my life.  I bring to mind the wisdom she has shared, the stories she has told, and the mannerisms and characteristics that are uniquely hers.

 I am grateful for all she has given to our family. The greatest thank-you I can offer is to share with others the best of what my mother taught me.

 With gratitude, I bless and celebrate all mothers and the love they share.”

 Today, as a heartfelt thank-you to her, I want to share with you the best of what Charlene Turner Parker taught me by her words and actions. Here are the Top Five Life Lessons I learned from my Mom:

  • Make everyone feel included. When I was in elementary and middle school, my mother invited a distantly-connected family of immigrants to Sunday dinner at our house about once a month.  The working-class parents spoke broken English and I felt it was a pain to have to entertain their son who was several years younger than I.  But my mother was adamant that we must make them feel welcome and give them a good meal. “Little Carlos” grew up to be a handsome, intelligent young man who graduated from college and became a successful professional. After his parents had both passed, he continued to bring his little sister to visit my Mom on her birthday and holidays. At her funeral, he cried harder than everyone and told me he considered Charlene a second mother and would never forget her kindness as long as he lived.
  • Speak only kind words. When I was a teenager, I went through a “smart mouth” (OK, and a “foul mouth”) stage. Copying my peers and the media, I thought sarcasm, irony and scathing criticism were the height of sophisticated communication. My mother set me straight very quickly: There would be no trash talk or gossip in HER house.  I rolled my eyes and thought she was hopelessly square. When I got a little older, I realized how badly I had behaved and was deeply appreciative of her frequent reminder: “People will eventually forget what you said or did, but they will always remember how you made them FEEL.”
  •  Listen deeply, without judging. My mother listened to EVERYONE – whether a three-year-old grandchild, a school Principal or a supermarket clerk — as if what they had to say were the most fascinating and important thing in the world. When she worked as an elementary school secretary, a dozen kids would hang out in her office at lunch time just to bask in the attention she paid them.  Yes, people always remember how we make them FEEL.  And feeling “heard” is one of the best feelings in the world.
  • Always send a hand-written note. My mother always nagged me mercilessly until I had mailed a thank you note to anyone who gave me the smallest gift, had me over to their house for dinner or came to my birthday party, graduation, wedding etc. Now, it seems archaic, but Mom sent me real paper birthday and thank you cards until the end, and I still strive to do the same. I wouldn’t have shoeboxes full of her loving memories if she had texted me. I advise my job-seeking clients to immediately mail a hand-written thank you note to EVERYONE who interviewers them. Nothing is as sincere and classy as acknowledging someone with a hand-written note. You would be surprised how many successful careers have started that way!
  • Help everyone you can in every way you can. Sometimes it annoyed me how much my mother gave away from her little pension — sending $10 a month to dozens of charities, paying family members’ college tuitions so they could become successful, hiring down-and-out folks to do odd jobs and errands that she really could have managed herself.  But even more than financially, she helped others with a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on and unconditional love.  Nobody who came in contact with Charlene Turner Parker ever forgot her patience, kindness and generosity.  That is a legacy we can all aspire to.

PLEASE NOTE: My wonderful husband Rick and I will be in Yosemite National Park this week, celebrating our 9th wedding anniversary.  The blog will return on Sunday May 22. 

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

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

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or call 888-503-8145 to schedule their session.   

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Steven Covey

When one of my clients didn’t call at our appointed time this week, I texted her, thinking she might be absorbed in some task and had lost track of the time. Instead, her reply confessed that she was sitting in the doctor’s office and had completely forgotten our appointment.

Just the day before, to my chagrin, I had double-booked a coaching slot.  Fortunately, I discovered my mistake well in advance and one of the two clients was gracious enough to switch times. Nevertheless, I was quite annoyed because I take pride in being well-organized and detail-oriented.  (My husband and friends probably have less-flattering terms for this tendency!)

Living an “abundant” life doesn’t depend on how much money you have in the bank, although money is certainly a good resource to have.  Abundant living depends on how much you are enjoying your life.

All of my clients are very busy people.  Some run a full-time business from home while juggling a full-time family life.  Many have a day job AND are working hard to build a thriving business on the side, often with families to look after, as well. It’s understandable that they sometimes feel exhausted and overwhelmed, so I share tips and techniques I have learned to help them take control of their schedules.

Here are five keys to mastering your own busy schedule and living a more abundant, enjoyable life:

#1 Write it down. The only way you can remember all of the “To Dos” that come up daily is to write them down in ONE place. You can break the list into categories if you like, under the headings “Work” “Family” and “Personal.”  Keep ONE list you carry with you everywhere and review it at least weekly. Trying to keep To Dos in your head over taxes your brain and creates stress.  Once you write it down, your mind can relax and focus on what needs doing NOW

#2 Schedule it. The items on your To Do list are not going to get done unless you transfer them onto your scheduling calendar. You must keep ONE scheduling calendar that has EVERY appointment and action item from all categories on it – work, family and personal. If you keep multiple calendars for your work and family events, you are inevitably going to double-book yourself or miss some important meeting.  The reason I double-booked my two clients was that I noted the appointment change in one client’s file, but must have gotten distracted and forgot to change it on my actual appointment calendar.  You MUST write appointments on your calendar the minute you make them.  Don’t rely on scraps of paper or sticky notes to remind you.

I recommend taking a quiet 30 minutes each weekend to sit with your To Do list and appointment calendar and plan the upcoming week. Schedule up to three of your To Dos each day AROUND the appointments you already have.  Recurring appointments include your morning personal development time, exercise time, kids’ sports schedules, etc.  If you don’t write all of these down, you will think you have time for the three To Dos, but will quickly discover that your day actually is already full of unwritten items that you overlook until you have to do them. If you have blocked time in advance for them, you will accomplish at least 15 important To Dos each week.

#3 Plan ahead. Years ago, one of my dear friends had to wait by the side of the road for AAA to rescue him when his car ran out of gas on several occasions. When I asked him why this kept happening, he said, “I was late for work and didn’t have time to stop at the gas station. I thought I could make it.”

Haste truly does make waste, so instead of flying by the seat of your pants, practice looking ahead 24 hours on your calendar to see what you are going to be doing TOMORROW. Make sure you have everything you will need: Gas in the car, clean clothes, cash, meeting supplies, etc. This habit will de-stress your life tremendously.

#4 Focus. Men’s brains are designed to be single-focused, while women are born multi-taskers.  I know how easy it is to go into a room for one thing and end up doing three other things while I’m there.  Many of my clients use social media as a vital tool to market their business and make new connections. Most of them confess that they plan to spend just 10 minutes posting something,but end up being mesmerized by others’ posts for hours.

If you have your schedule blocked out in detail each week, you should know how much time you plan to spend on a particular task.  Set a timer for doing the task and when it goes off, STOP and proceed to the next item on your schedule, even if you didn’t finish the first task.  That “stick” will teach your brain to FOCUS next time so you can have the “carrot” of proudly accomplishing everything you planned for the day.

#5 Do it NOW. Most of us are born procrastinators.  If we don’t want to do something we must do, we often postpone it until the last minute. But more often than not, our well-laid plans for tomorrow get interrupted by unexpected “fires” to put out that may cause us to miss the deadline.  A client declared her New Year’s Resolution to be “Don’t delay; do it NOW.”  She has stuck with it and it has made her much more calm and productive.  One of my favorite quotes from life coach Mel Robbins’ great book, Stop Saying You’re Fine is “If you only did the things you don’t want to do, you’d have everything you want.”   

Here’s a final piece of hard-won wisdom from this recovering People-Pleaser: If you can easily fulfill another’s request, by all means, do so. But if it will suck up your time or resources so that your OWN dreams, family or personal well-being are likely to suffer, just say “NO!”  Many things we are invited to attend, join, buy or facilitate aren’t things we truly want and keep us from our own purposeful pursuits. If you firmly, respectfully decline, the requester will appreciate your honesty and will then ask someone for whom it will be a purposeful opportunity.

If you implement one or more of these tips, I am confident that you will soon experience more ease, productivity, joy and success in your life!

NOTE: A Cup of Caroll is taking the next week off and will return on Sunday, April 24.

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

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

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com  or 888-503-8145 to schedule their session.   

“When everyone on the team is accountable, the team’s effectiveness rises above the sum of its parts.” – from the book Pulling Together

The dictionary definition of the word “accountable” is “Responsible to somebody else or to others or responsible for something.”

This week, when one of my clients showed a very off the wall reaction to the idea of being accountable, I suddenly realized that the meaning and value of accountability are NOT self-evident nor universally-accepted. I think it’s worth examining the concept of being accountable and understanding the crucial role it plays in helping you reach your Big Goals.

When you promise (I like the word “commit” even more) to do something, you are making yourself accountable for keeping your word, whether it is to someone else or to yourself. Most of us try our best to keep our promises to others, even to our own detriment sometimes. But how often do we make commitments to ourselves that we fail to be accountable for, like going to the gym three times a week, making a certain number of prospecting calls each day, taking time to do our personal development work every morning, etc.?

With every one of my coaching clients, I share a number of powerful tools that will put the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) into action to help them reach their Big Goals much faster and more easily than they can do simply with their own smarts and hard work. That’s because they don’t know the best, most efficient way to reach their Big Goal – but God/The Universe does.   To get help with the “How,” all they have to do is to ASK for what they want, clearly and specifically, BELIEVE that it is possible, and demonstrate that they are 100% COMMITTED to their Big Goal.

Simply saying you want something doesn’t prove that you are really committed to having it – only your ACTIONS do. By taking whatever actions you know to take right now – even making just ONE committed step toward your Dream — activates a Divine “matching funds” program that can connect you to the people, resources and serendipitous “coincidences” to help you fulfill your Big Goal in amazing ways.

Minister Joel Osteen explains it beautifully: “In this day and age, we are equipped with so many wonderful resources in the natural: technology, education, abilities. It’s easy to rely on our own natural strength for so many things…[But] we aren’t limited to the earth’s resources; we have unlimited spiritual resources by the Spirit of God. There are some things that can’t happen by human thinking and reasoning.   There are things that won’t be solved by natural power and might. But God is not limited by the resources of this world.”

Accountability is a way of proving your commitment to your Big Goals. My clients often choose an accountability partner in their own business or personal life with whom they voluntarily check in daily or weekly to be held accountable for carrying out their promises to take ACTION on their Big Goals.

And, of course, providing an accountability structure for following through on the action plan they set for themselves each week is part of my job as their Coach. As long as a client does their best to show COMMITMENT to a Big Goal by keeping their promises to themselves and others, I know that God/The Universe will show them an even BETTER plan for reaching their Big Goal.

This past week, a client of four months fell off the accountability bandwagon — so badly, in fact, that it forced me to do something that I have done only three other times in nearly 11 years as a professional Coach.

The problem wasn’t that he broke his promises to himself and to me – that is something that happens to most of my clients at one time or another. A big part of my job is to help them recognize exactly what caused them to drop the ball and then strategize with them to come up with logistical fixes such as changing the timing, setting alarms and other reminders, or asking for assistance from others to help them carry through on their commitments.

Yet, despite my many helpful suggestions, this client routinely admitted that he had not carried through on his promise to use ALL of the Law of Attraction tools I had given him to their full effect. He would read his Daily Success Script every morning but was always “too tired” to do it at night. He claimed to feel grateful for the huge commission increase he had seen in the past 90 days. Yet, he was usually “too busy” to list 10 things he was grateful for in his Gratitude Journal each day, as a way of thanking God/The Universe for this prosperity and indicating he would welcome even MORE.

No, it wasn’t his failures to perform that were the problem. It was his refusal to take 100% responsibility for breaking his word. The prior Wednesday, just minutes before our scheduled call, he texted me that he was too busy with servicing all his new clients to talk to me then, and asked if we could reschedule. Wanting to support him, I gave him a slot that wasn’t particularly convenient for me, and he was happy.

We had a good call on Friday and I thought all was well until the following Wednesday when, right before our coaching time, he texted me (I swear I am not making this up!): “When my alarm went off that it was almost time to coach, it caught me by surprise. Doing it Friday means today came up quicker than my body clock was anticipating….I left all my stuff at home. I guess we need to reschedule.”

I texted him back that I wanted us to go ahead with the call as planned and that I wanted to share with him a powerful technique I learned years ago from Landmark Education for restoring your integrity with others who have been impacted by you not keeping your word.

I got crickets in return and I was left waiting by the phone for about 20 minutes before giving up and composing an email to him instead.

I believed that calling him out directly and strongly might be what was needed to finally shake him out of his complacency and make him understand that his lack of personal accountability was going to have a BIG negative impact on his ability to reach his goals. So I wrote an admittedly strong email to him. I have re-read it several times since, and though I now know he considered it “harsh,” I still feel it was the right thing to do and wouldn’t change a word of it. Here it is (edited a little bit for length):

“You really caught me by surprise today! I am very tired, having gotten maybe 3 hours sleep after a restless night. My patience is thin and I was looking forward to really focusing in and giving you my BEST today, regardless of the circumstances. That is my commitment to YOU, as a professional coach you are paying to help you succeed. 

Then I got your text saying that your stuff is at home because you forgot we had a call. That is not a big deal! We could have had the call anyway….Instead, you threw in the towel just like that.   Like this session didn’t really matter to you. And I know it does. I know your financial success is pretty close to life or death for you in reality.   And yet you would throw away a precious hour to learn more and gain more ground and get help with whatever your challenges are – just like that. 

I thought to myself, ‘OK, he is not really ready to coach today for other reasons – under the gun with paperwork, etc.’ I GET that. If you had said that, I would have understood. That is standing up and taking 100% responsibility. I just wanted to tell you how to restore your integrity whenever you have fallen short of your word. (Your word is to be ready to coach at your appointed time each week.) 

It’s not hard to do.   It’s very powerful and liberating.   I could have taught you the script for it in 5 minutes and forever after you could take responsibility with maturity and be respected by others, even when you have fallen short of your promises or goals. But you would not give me the 5 minutes to do that. 

This is why I am re-thinking whether we should be in coaching. I only coach the willing and the coachable. Too many people want and need help that I don’t have precious time to spend trying to persuade a grown up to come to the phone and learn a powerful integrity-restoring technique that will have him WIN in his life.”

I ended by asking for his thoughts, but never heard another thing from him until the next week’s scheduled coaching call. He called right on time and immediately launched into lecturing me that I was “rude,” “condescending,” did not “walk my talk” and that my email was an emotionally-volatile “rant” for which he could see no positive purpose. As proof, he had shown my email (without my permission) to four people who ALL agreed with him.

Realizing he was being defensive and unwilling to consider any other point of view, I knew exactly what was needed, for both our sakes. I quietly replaced the receiver in mid-rant and wrote him another email. In it, I stated that it’s 100% clear that we are complete with our coaching, that I am very happy his Big Goal of creating a specific amount of commission income over the past 90 days was fulfilled exactly, and that I wish him the very Best with his future endeavors.

Maybe you will agree with his four friends that I was too harsh. But I doubt it. Because if you are a regular reader of this blog and a student of The Law of Attraction and/or the Golden Rule, you already know that it takes personal responsibility, commitment, love for yourself and genuine caring for others in order to manifest Big Goals. And that’s why I am sure I will never, ever, have to say to YOU, “You’re Fired!”

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching! It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached! And if YOU haven’t coached with me in awhile and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift!

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or call toll-free 888-503-8145.

 

July 5, 2015

I was planning to take a breather from writing the blog this Holiday weekend, but I decided instead to re-post the blog from last Fourth of July, in order to remind you of the deeper meaning of what it means to be of service.

“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” – John Andrew Holmes

Happy Fourth of July weekend! As we celebrate this most patriotic of all American holidays, we are reminded that “Freedom isn’t free” — and neither are happiness, abundance and personal fulfillment.

I recently read a wonderful book by Felicia Blanco Searcy called Do Greater Things: Following in Jesus’ Footsteps. One chapter that particularly stood out for me was about what Jesus taught about being of service. We often think that “service” to others is given primarily by those who risk their lives or make extraordinary personal sacrifices for their fellow man, such as those in the armed forces, law enforcement, medicine and public service do.

In reality, as Felicia’s book points out, service is something that ALL of us can and should participate in. In return, we will be rewarded with more happiness, abundance and fulfillment in our lives.   If we look around, we see everyday heroes among us, in every walk of life, who use their time, treasure and talents to improve the lives of others in countless ways, large and small.

A You Tube video was recently posted by a bystander who witnessed a spontaneous act of service in the checkout line at Wal Mart. A young mother with children in tow was trying to pay for four packages of diapers, believing they were on sale. When the checker informed her that only the first package was on sale and the other three were full price, the mother was crestfallen and embarrassed because she didn’t have enough money to pay the full tab.

That’s when an older woman in line stepped forward, put one hand on the mother’s shoulder and used the other to swipe a credit card and pay for her entire purchase. The young mother was flabbergasted. The older woman just smiled and said, “Someday, I know you will pay it forward to someone else.”

When a reporter tracked her down later to tell her that the cell phone video of her good deed has been viewed by millions, the Good Samaritan said she didn’t know what “going viral” meant, but she was glad that others knew about it, because she hoped it would inspire them to perform their own spontaneous acts of kindness.

As Felicia’s book states, “We serve best when we are involved with something that uses our gifts. Anytime we give from our passion, we give wholeheartedly and joyfully. Our enthusiasm is infections and people often join in because of our influence…

Service challenges us once again to look at our attitude toward receiving. Instead of teaching us to sacrifice, service teaches us how to accept gifts. That may sound like a contradiction. But when we give for the pleasure of giving, we see how others get the same pleasure from sharing. We let them give to us because we know that it brings them joy, since that is our experience, too….God gives to us through other people.

We also have a tendency to judge some acts as worthy service and other as less honorable. In truth, all service is notable. We all have the ability to contribute to the well-being of our planet, and no job is holier than another.

However insignificant we may feel our own contribution is, we should always remember that our good works are vital to the well-being of the whole.  Without our efforts, someone would suffer.”

This Independence Day weekend, as we celebrate our precious freedoms and abundant way of life, let’s recognize that service is not performed just by our wonderful men and women in uniform, public servants and those who labor in the helping professions. Being of service is is a precious gift that all of us can and should make our personal mission every day.

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching! It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached! And if YOU haven’t coached with me in awhile and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift!

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or call toll-free 888-503-8145.

 

 

 

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