Responsibility


“When you see yourself as calm, positive, truthful and possessed of high character, you behave with greater strength.  Other people respect you more.  You feel in control of yourself and the situation.” – Brian Tracy

This week’s coaching brought a blog theme to the forefront of my mind, as several of my coaching clients struggled to deal with negative people without letting it destroy their own positive mindset.

One client was unsure how to respond to a Leader in her network marketing organization who was spewing negative texts to her and other members of her Team about someone who had reached a milestone reward in the company.  She felt it was unfair that someone who had been in the business for a shorter time was receiving this recognition and reward ahead of her. The Leader tried to make someone else’s triumph mean that SHE was never going to get there herself.

Another client was very hurt by a dear friend who texted her after a social event they attended together that she wished my client would “dial it back” about discussing her business with others in a social setting.

And a third client was exhausted from caring for a sick relative who seemed unwilling to take personal responsibility for her own decisions and actions that were contributing to her problems.

At some time, we all must deal with people whose energy is negative, selfish, uncaring or even purposely hurtful.  If we allow it, their negative thoughts and actions can throw us off course in pursuing our dreams by making us doubt our own positive expectations, values and beliefs.

It’s not in their power to steal your success and joy, but it is in YOUR power if you surrender to their negativity.  That’s because the Law of Attraction says that energy attracts like energy.”  Toxic people and negative circumstances will come into your life, but it isn’t these outside forces that can harm you.  It is solely your reaction to them that either empowers or disempowers you and determines who and what is attracted into your life next.

In the first client’s case, she handled the toxic texting beautifully with a positive response of her own that said essentially, “I know you are going to reach [that same prize] soon!  Keep up the great work.”  Responding with cheerful positivity is great way to respond to someone else’s negativity.  If you respond with positivity and don’t take the bait, they will eventually stop sending gossip and negative messages your way because it’s no “fun” when others won’t join in the trash talk.  Similarly, when someone comes at you with anger, if you respond calmly and don’t fight back, their angry energy will deflate because it truly does take two to quarrel.

This is not to say that you should be a doormat or allow someone to mistreat you.  I absolutely believe in standing up for yourself and for what you believe is right.  It’s the energy behind your response that will have a positive or negative impact on YOU.  If you take it personally and allow yourself to go negative, “the terrorists win” because you have given away your power to think and behave the way YOU choose to.

In the case of the friend’s “dial it back” text that hurt my client, I tried to help her see the situation from her friend’s point of view. It takes maturity and self-confidence to consider another’s point of view, especially when it is diametrically opposed to our own.  Judging or being self-righteous toward others’ opinions, beliefs or lifestyle is a form of negative energy.

I invited my client to consider that her friend probably felt awkward in a social setting, standing on the periphery of a two-party conversation for 10 or 15 minutes, as my client politely fielded a barrage of questions from a stranger who wanted details about a product she was interested in. The friend didn’t express herself as well as she could have, for sure.  But I don’t believe she was really being unsupportive of my client’s business; she likely just felt left out and overlooked and it hurt her feelings.

I had a lot of sympathy for the client with the difficult relative.  Anyone who has ever had to care for a sick adult knows how emotionally and physically stressful it can be.  And when that person is a needy, stubborn, chronic complainer who creates problems that others have to clean up, it can be extra frustrating.

In truth, though, more than the actual caregiving, it was my client’s attitude toward her recuperating relative’s lifestyle that was wearing her out.  For example, she allowed herself to feel helpless and upset that the woman struggled out to the porch multiple times a day to smoke, even though she knew it was bad for her.  I suggested that my client allow the relative to be herself, make her own decisions, and live with the consequences.  She is not required to solve all her problems for her.  She must be compassionate and give her relative whatever support she feels she can, without feeling guilty about whatever she can’t control.  Her relative is an adult, after all.  It’s HER life and her own life lessons that she must learn.

The irony is that the recuperating relative seemed to be getting along just fine, while my client was feeling exhausted and unfocused, which was taking a toll on her OWN health, productivity and family relationships.  You cannot control anyone else, and in trying to, you can lose control of who YOU are, thinking and behaving like someone you don’t want to be. The solution is to stop trying to save others from themselves, judging them or controlling them.  Just relax, be neutral and don’t volunteer to be sucked into their life drama.

I love Brian Tracy’s powerful quote.  Let it be your guiding star in determining your own life course. You can ask yourself daily: Am I feeling calm, positive, truthful and possessed of high character”?  Am I acting “strong and in control”? If not, adjust your thoughts and actions until you can answer “Yes!”

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 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.

 

 

November 6, 2016

“There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life — happiness, freedom and peace of mind — are always attained by giving them to someone else.” — Payton C. March

In honor of Veteran’s Day this Friday, I want to share with you this touching message written by my good friend and fellow coach, Bob Perks.  I have edited it for length and reprinted it with permission.  It made a big impression on me in the simple way it honors every man and woman who has served our country, at great personal sacrifice, in order to preserve their fellow citizens’ democratic rights and freedoms.  It is particularly meaningful to me because I was in High School during the era he writes about, and I had family members in that war.

This small, special group among all the brave military members who served can be easily overlooked because they never came home to a hero’s welcome OR a solemn burial.  Let us honor them, along with each and every individual who has served in the armed forces during peace and war — AND their self-sacrificing families — by demonstrating our deepest gratitude for the precious rights and freedoms they fought to defend: Let us VOTE.  

“Three Taps.  POW MIA”

By Bob Perks

In a corner prominently displayed for all to see is a simple table set for one.

The lamp stays lit 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Above it is the world-recognized POW MIA black and white flag imprinted with the words “You are not forgotten.”

This of course is in recognition of those who were prisoners of war and missing in action.

As you look at the above picture know these facts:

The Missing Man Table, also known as the Fallen Comrade Table, is a place of honor, set up in military dining facilities of the U.S. armed forces and during occasions such as service branch birthday balls, in memory of fallen, missing, or imprisoned military service members.

The table serves as the focal point of ceremonial remembrance, originally growing out of U.S. concern of the Vietnam War POW/MIA issue.

Table: set for one, it is small, symbolizing the frailty of one isolated prisoner. The table is usually set close to, or within sight of, the entrance to the dining room.

For large events, the Missing Man Table is set for six places: members of the five armed services (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard) and a sixth place setting reminiscent of the civilians who died during service alongside the armed forces or missing during armed conflict.

Table is round to represent everlasting concern on the part of the survivors for their missing loved ones.

Tablecloth is white, symbolic of the purity of their intentions to respond to their country’s call to arms.

Single red rose in the vase, signifies the blood that many have shed in sacrifice to ensure the freedom of our beloved United States of America. This rose also reminds us of the family and friends of our missing comrades who keep the faith, while awaiting their return.

Yellow ribbon on the vase represents the yellow ribbons worn on the lapels of the thousands who demand with unyielding determination a proper accounting of our comrades who are not among us tonight.

Slice of lemon on the bread plate: represents the bitter fate of the missing.

Salt sprinkled on the bread plate: symbolic of the countless fallen tears of families as they wait.

Inverted glass: represents the fact that the missing and fallen cannot partake.

Lit candle: reminiscent of the light of hope which lives in our hearts to illuminate their way home, away from their captors, to the open arms of a grateful nation.

Empty chair: the missing and fallen aren’t present.

In the past year I have joined and now actively participate in American Legion Post 672 in Dallas, Pennsylvania. I serve on the board. I serve food to our vets as often as I can afford.

When visiting, I often sit at one end of the Legion.  It is a great spot to watch the members.

It was from that perch, I saw my friend approach the “Missing Man Table,” pause and tap three times on the surface.

At first I thought it was just a coincidence. Then I discovered that he did it every time he walked by.

I had to ask.

You must understand that soldiers from the Vietnam Era don’t often talk about it. I step lightly into a conversation and never ask direct questions out of pure respect.

I listen.

With John, I felt comfortable enough to question this routine.

“John, forgive me for asking, but I notice that every time you walk past our table, you stop and tap on it three times.”

John is short in stature but big in pride and attitude.  He walks slowly across the room with a slight limp.

He smiled, his face slightly blushed and said, “Oh, you noticed.”

Then as he sat up he said with a prideful look on his face, “It is in memory of three buddies.”

That’s it.  I didn’t ask anything more of him.

Like me, you can inject any possible scenario into the symbolic pause and three taps.

I will wait for a proper time when I can delve a little deeper.

It was in that single moment that he and I grew a bit.

I hold a greater respect for him and I believe John was pleased that I took notice.

I served during the Vietnam Era but nowhere near the war.  In fact, my time was really toward the end of the war and I remained stateside.

Those men and women returned to their country without parades, welcome home banners or any recognition for time served in hell.

The Table in my legion reminds us daily that many never came home.

I know of three thanks to John.

****************** 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 to schedule their session.

“You alone are enough…you have nothing to prove to anybody.” – Maya Angelou

Recently, I witnessed anew the power of a mindset shift that I shared with you in Blog #155.  (You can find it on my website in the blog archives if you missed it.)

In that blog, I detailed how the wisdom found in the I Ching helped me settle a potentially disastrous conflict with the IRS. It was the single most terrifying obstacle my husband and I faced in five years of struggling to overcome the devastating financial effects the Great Recession had on his and my businesses.

After losing two homes, a car and filing for bankruptcy, we still owed federal taxes that had grown, with penalties, to the mid-five figures.  With the help of our positivity-thinking accountant, we submitted an Offer in Compromise that laid out in painstaking detail just how little income we had to pay off the debt and still keep food on the table and a roof over our heads.

Having done everything we knew to be right — being thrifty, truthful and focused on the outcome we wanted instead of an outcome we feared — I had complete faith that God/The Universe was on our side, the side of Truth. So when I got the IRS rejection letter, I felt like everything I had coached hundreds of clients to believe about the Law of Attraction might just be bunk after all. It made me really angry and I sputtered for days about how unfair and wrong the IRS and its “stupid” agents were.

Thankfully, God/The Universe didn’t give up on us. I was guided in a seemingly-random way to a daily reading in a little book of ancient Chinese wisdom called the I Ching that taught me the BEST approach to resolving a serious conflict:

“The I Ching teaches a simple but effective method of influencing difficult people and arduous situations.  It advises us first to lay aside our prejudices – our feelings of being wounded, angry or in the right – and second to seek to understand the positions of others and the lesson that the Sage is teaching us with the situation.  Even when another is truly out of line, it is only by accepting this and remaining balanced that you make it possible for positive change to occur.  Gentleness and understanding create in others an unconscious willingness to be led.” 

That was a life-changing Ah-Ha Moment for me — realizing that being angry and self-righteous toward an entity that had complete power to either free us or seal our doom was NOT a good approach. So we regrouped, submitted an appeal and the independent arbitrator who reviewed our case was helpful, even-handed and ultimately ruled in OUR favor over the IRS!  We settled our tax debt for 25 cents on the dollar and got a fresh start to create the debt-free financial freedom we are so grateful to enjoy today. 

For me, what this really boils down to is that in order to receive the support or collaboration we ultimately want from another person, we must give up the right to self-righteously prove to them that their position is “wrong.”  Just pause a moment and reflect on a time when someone went out of their way to prove YOU wrong. Did you feel grateful to them for showing you the error of your ways?

“I told you so” is NOT an effective approach to getting another to understand your position. Yet, when faced with a conflicting point of view, the human Ego seems hard-wired to become defensive and try to prove itself “right” at all costs.

Despite knowing the effectiveness of remaining positive, emotionally balanced and non-defensive while seeking to understand the other person’s point of view, at one time or another, we all succumb to an overwhelming urge to prove ourselves “right,” with results that are usually self-destructive.

I recently coached a young friend about what I learned from my experience with the IRS and urged him to apply it to an equally critical issue he was having with an authority figure who has complete control over his life.

Some longtime readers will remember my blogs about “Mitch,” who made a very bad choice in his early 20s. Mitch is sensitive, funny and intelligent. He is a techno-whiz who used to help me with my computer issues. He graduated from college and planned to be a teacher. I know Mitch well and truly believe him to be a good person who would never intentionally hurt another human being.

But Mitch was also very naïve and immature, and with little thought, he committed a crime over the internet. When caught, he took full responsibility, resulting in a felony conviction and several years’ incarceration in a federal prison.

Surrounded by serious criminals and gang members, he stayed laser-focused on being a model prisoner, not getting hurt, becoming a good father and role model for his young son, and returning to the “outside” to rebuild his life as best he could. For a couple of years, we did coaching by mail, which helped him to stay positive and to support some other prisoners to do the same.

Since being released to parole in 2012, Mitch has been a hardworking, productive member of society who meticulously follows all the rules of his parole – reporting regularly to his Parole Officer, steering away from bad influences and staying clean and sober. He currently holds two jobs, commuting over an hour each way every day from his very modest apartment in another county, where he eventually found one of the few landlords willing to rent to a convicted felon.

He was recently re-assigned to a new Parole Officer — a no-nonsense, by-the-book type of official. Despite Mitch’s impeccable parole record, she has treated him with suspicion and tested his trustworthiness over and over in various ways. She ordered frequent drug testing (despite him not being a drug user or drinker before or after his incarceration), polygraphs and spot-searches of his home while he is at work. Admitting she is within her rights to do all these things, Mitch was still incensed that she seems to have it in for him and appears to want to trip him up in some way.

The last straw was when she insisted that he reveal his prison record, not just to potential employers, but to everyone he regularly associates with. Feeling defensive and angry that one of his very few remaining rights to privacy was being violated, Mitch called me for coaching one night.  He had retained a lawyer and said he was prepared to fight his Parole Officer in court.

At the same time, there was something he desperately wanted – to move to the county in which he works and where his family lives. This would greatly improve his quality of  life and one of his relatives had generously agreed to have him live with her family. The catch is that moving to another county under the supervision of a different Parole Officer required the permission of his current Parole Officer.

I saw where this was going, so I asked him if he remembered my earlier blog about the I Ching teaching on how to deal effectively with adversaries and how it had helped me to triumph in my conflict with the IRS. He did.

I reminded him that when someone is in a position to materially affect your well-being – be they a client, boss, partner, landlord, or the IRS —  attempting to prove them “wrong” and yourself “right” is a surefire way to win the battle and lose the war.  He got it. I sent him another copy of the I Ching reading and he promised to read it daily and think carefully before he decided his next steps.

A week or two later, I got another phone call from him.  He was pleased to report that he had re-read the I Ching and decided to request a personal meeting with his Parole Officer, instead of having his attorney contact her. They talked calmly for three hours. He conceded to taking certain steps she wanted him to take to prove his honesty to her. And she agreed that if he did so, she would sign the release for him to move to the other county.  He is happily making plans to do so right now.

As the old saying goes, “You can be right or you can be happy.”  I believe you can be both, as long as you realize that you don’t need public approval to validate you. As long as you know you are doing the right thing, you can be sure of the approval of your Highest Self and God/The Universe. And that should be more than enough to make you happy.

If you would like your own free subscription to receive A Cup of Caroll 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 email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com 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.   

“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.

 

 

 

“Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward.” – Henry Ford

The human Ego is pre-programmed to keep our thinking and behavior as status-quo as possible. It thinks this is what will keep us alive and relatively comfortable. That’s why Life has no choice but to occasionally push us out of our comfortable nest via “setbacks and grieves” because without those external challenges, we would never hone our values and character or grow into our full purpose and potential.

We all know the saying Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Unfortunately, I think the human tendency to repeat mistakes is more common than this humorous definition suggests. We’re all somewhat prone to repeating painful patterns of beliefs and behaviors, although some of us seem willing to learn our lessons a bit faster than others.

Just part of growing up

It’s all part of the youthful Ego’s normal maturing process to stubbornly ignore elders’ “been there, done that” advice, only to endure the painful consequences of their naive mistakes in judgment. Sometimes they have to repeat those mistakes before finally grasping a Big Life Lesson.

Still, it can be hard for parents, relatives, teachers and mentors to stand by patiently and watch their young loved ones make the mistakes we know they could have avoided had they just listened to us. But we have to recognize that the “setbacks and grieves” they are facing WILL work out for their highest good and move them forward on their individual life path.

A Cautionary Tale

One of my coaching clients, “Willy,” is a 30-year-old who is developing his character by following the “learn from painful repetition” method. He is an intelligent high school graduate with the character and values of a Leader who wants to make a difference in the world. For the past several years, I’ve been trying to help him escape the tiny “box” that his inner city upbringing would have kept him in, so he can live his Purpose and fulfill his innate potential.

Willy’s work ethic is strong and he has made great progress, rising from being jobless for several years to holding down a full-time steady job as a dishwasher, then a fry cook, and eventually being in training for a supervisor position at the restaurant where he has worked for the past year. He has worked hard to adopt a positive mindset and learn to control his temper. He conquered a long-term smoking habit and lost a great deal of weight during our coaching time, as well.

His two young sons, whom he wants to be a great role model for, are his main motivation to succeed. He now shares amicable custody of them with his Ex-partner and her new partner.

With all this hard work and positive mindset training, Willy should be well on the path to success, right?   Yes, except for one big recurring Life Lesson he is still struggling to learn: To take his time getting to know the other person’s true character before leaping heart-first into a new romantic relationship.

The first time he made this mistake, he fled an unhappy relationship with the mother of his sons and ran into the arms of “Britta,” the single mother of two toddler daughters, whom he had met online. She lived in a different part of the state from where all his family and friends are, but he didn’t hesitate to move in with her in the fall of 2013. Then he could not find a job in the new area for months. Meanwhile, she lost her own job and he and his new family ended up living in a homeless shelter all winter.   That’s when he made his REALLY big mistake: Because they seemed to be compatible living in difficult “survival mode,” he decided they should get married! They finally both found work and were just barely able to rent an apartment and pay the bills.

Soon, according to Willy, Britta showed her “true colors” – becoming unreasonable, stubborn and argumentative. They began to fight constantly. Coupled with the stress of their precarious financial situation, during a fight one day he lost control of his temper and “head butted” her. She ran home to her sister, who called child protective services, which took the girls away. Once they came to their senses, Willy and Britta were both extremely remorseful. They went to court to petition to get the girls back, and began going to marriage counseling and attending church regularly. They claimed they still loved each other and vowed to strengthen their relationship.

Through all of this, I continued to coach Willy, and was even prepared to testify to the court about the growth and positive changes I had seen in his maturity, ability to deal with conflict without anger, and the positive things that were happening for him at work, as he was poised to be promoted into a leadership position.

Eventually, though, it became apparent that Britta is too immature and too scarred from her upbringing to be able to use the marriage counseling tools that were helping Willy learn to master his emotions and be a better husband. One month before they were due to get the girls back, things imploded. They began to argue again, and separated before the Holidays. As soon as they filed for divorce, the court returned the girls to her.

Lesson Learned?

As his coach, I hoped that once Willy escaped the highly dysfunctional relationship that he had naively and impetuously jumped into, he would come back to himself and continue the great progress he had been making with his life.

I took pains to spell out explicitly for him the Life Lesson he claimed to have learned: Look carefully before I leap into another relationship. I urged, “It’s time to re-focus on YOUR goals. Stay home, clean your apartment and spend the weekends with your sons. The right woman will come along when YOU are 100% ready for her. Under no circumstances should you jump back into a relationship while you are still emotionally vulnerable!

Willy wholeheartedly agreed. But very soon, he was out with friends and bumped into the attractive manager of a nearby restaurant…And they immediately started dating. He began posting endless pictures on social media of “The Happy Couple,” complete with gloating updates like “We’ve been together one month and not ONE fight!” He met her parents and she met his sons and everyone got along great.

Faulty Conclusion

Willy must have concluded his real Life Lesson was that his two previous relationship implosions were the “fault” of the women, not him, because his new girlfriend was obviously the perfect mate he so richly deserved.

But just weeks later, Willy went from nirvana to texting me, “I am broke and homeless. I moved in with her last week. Yesterday, we had our first fight and she kicked me out. I have no place to go.”

Oh boy. Not only did he decide to give up his apartment and move in with New Girlfriend without mentioning it to me, he also gave notice at his job, confident that he would easily land a better one where he would be more “appreciated”. Unfortunately, Willy is now down to his last few dollars before his upcoming second interview at a new restaurant.

In his text, he implored me that he has “everything all lined up” and just needs “a little gas money” to get to that second interview on Monday. I knew that sending him money would simply enable him to postpone a MAJOR Life Lesson he desperately needs to absorb in order to avoid perhaps much more dire consequences in the future.

So instead of offering to bail him out, I texted back,“Remember, you have successfully used [the self-coaching affirmation] “The Best” and ALL the other prosperity manifesting tools I have given you MANY times. If you stop blaming others and instead take 100% responsibility for you own mistakes, I know God will help you manifest everything you need to succeed!”

That seemed to bring him back to his true self. He replied that he is determined to rock that interview, which I know he is fully capable of.

Manifestation 101

One of my favorite Master Manifesters is Edwene Gaines. In her books and talks, she coaches us to write down the specific, measurable Big Goals we want to reach in every area of life. And she warns us to not to waste time worrying about the “How” because the amazingly perfect means that God/The Universe will employ to deliver our Dreams are far beyond anything we could ever think up ourselves.

However, she reminds us that one BIG caveat goes along with this effective manifestation technique: For each Big Goal you list, you must ASK: “What must I change about MYSELF in order to have that?” If your heart and mind are open to receive the answer, it will come. Once you receive it, then you must make those changes in yourself — IF you truly want to have what you say you do.

And wouldn’t it be much easier and more comfortable to embrace those necessary inner changes consciously and willingly, rather than via the method my client was using: Ask. Receive. Throw away. Suffer. Repeat?

****************** 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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