Service


November 17, 2019

“Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude.  Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness.  Thankfulness may consist of merely words.  Gratitude is shown in acts.” – Henri Fredric Amiel

For many of my clients and me, 2019 has been a challenging year. Our personal challenges may be related to career, finances, politics, health, family relationships, the loss of a loved one, or just coping with the helpless feeling from almost-daily news of yet another violent, senseless slaughter of innocents or lives upended by natural disasters.

Fortunately, the season of “gratitude,” “peace” and “goodwill” is now upon us, when most people make an extra effort to be kind and generous toward their fellow humans.  Maybe one day, this season of goodwill will last all year long, but for now, we will take what we can get!

For the past several years, from Thanksgiving through the end of the year, I have used this blog to invite my wonderful readers to make life a little brighter, happier and easier for others with a “Pay-It-Forward Challenge.” I hope that YOU will participate this year, too!  I love hearing about the many creative ways my readers find to help someone else, show them that they matter to you, or simply brighten their day and put a smile on their face.

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

I unexpectedly got to repeat that joyful practice again last week.  I noticed a young man sitting across from us, plugging his cell phone charger into the wall socket.  He had a pile of things covered by his jacket on the seat next to him.  His clothes weren’t dirty, but his hair looked like it hadn’t been washed in some time.  Despite his own troubles, when a small child was acting out in a way that undoubtedly annoyed some patrons, he just grinned at her, revealing a number of missing teeth.  I admired his kind understanding toward a young girl having a meltdown over something she wanted her mom to buy her.

When he stepped outside for a smoke, I quickly went to the register and bought my first pack of $5 Starbucks gift cards to kick off my own annual Pay it Forward Challenge. I was able to prop one against his cup and quickly exit before he saw me.  It made me smile to imagine his surprise that a stranger would give him a little day-brightening gift. I felt great for the rest of the day.

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

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

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

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

  • Surprise a friend on a tight budget with a supermarket gift card that will make their Holiday feast much brighter.
  • At the gas station, if you notice someone in an old car with kids in the back, surprise her by paying for a full tank of gas.
  • Astonish a homeless person by handing them $5 or $10 instead of spare change.
  • Contribute a little extra to your favorite charity or cause. I like to support grassroots animal rescue organizations that are operating on a shoestring. $25 means far more to them than it does to the big animal welfare organizations, although I try to donate as much as I can to those, too.
  • Take the opportunity to donate to the Red Cross, Salvation Army and other relief organizations that are struggling to fill the needs of millions whose lives have been upended by natural disasters or homelessness.

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

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

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

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

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

 

November 10, 2019

“There are generations yet unborn whose very lives will be shifted and shaped by the moves you make and the actions you take today.  And tomorrow.  And the next day.  And the next. Your life and what you do with it matters forever.” –from The Butterfly Effect by Andy Andrews

This quote struck me as very appropriate for Veterans Day Weekend, because those who serve our country and the sacrifices that they and their loved ones voluntarily make surely have a huge impact on generations to come.  We can never adequately thank them nor repay the debt we owe them, but we must try.

And for the rest of us, this quote also applies.  Maybe you don’t think of the things you do in your daily life as having an impact on generations yet unborn, but each and every one of us makes a difference in the days we spend on this earth.

I recently read two different short excerpts about integrity from Eric Harvey’s “The Leadership Solution” published by WalkTheTalk.com, a great free daily blog you may want to subscribe to if you are interested in leadership and building a cohesive, successful team or organization.

I wanted to share them with you because they remind me of the honor, courage and commitment exemplified by the men and women who serve in uniform.

 “Here is an ETHICAL ACTION TEST for you to use from the bestseller Ethics 4 Everyone: The Handbook for Integrity-Based Business Practices by Eric Harvey and Scott Airitam

  1. Is it legal?
  2. Does it comply with our rules and guidelines?
  3. Is it in-sync with our organizational values?
  4. Will I be comfortable and guilt free if I do it?
  5. Does it match our stated commitments and guarantees?
  6. Would I do it to my family and friends?
  7. Would I be perfectly OK with someone doing it to me?
  8. Would the most ethical person I know do it?

Answering “NO” to one or more of these would suggest the need to develop an alternative strategy or seek counsel and advice from appropriate sources.  Lead well.  Lead right.”

The second excerpt is from the new Start Right…Stay Right employee handbook that you can use to remind your Team members (and yourself) of the importance of keeping their commitments:

“Trustworthy, dependable, reliable.  What do these words describe to you?  Would others say that your word is your bond?  Successful people in life and at work place a premium on keeping their promises and commitments.  If they say they’ll do something, they DO it! They count on the fact that people can count on them.  And, they understand that statements like ‘I was gonna, or I mean to, or I haven’t forgotten’ all translate the same way: I JUST DIDN’T DO IT!  Those are just lame excuses, so they are close to meaningless.

Most of the time, we DO intend to keep ‘our word’ and promises, but good intentions only take you so far. You get no ‘points’ for developing the expectation; you only get ‘points’ when you deliver.

So don’t make promises lightly.  When you do make commitments to your manager, your co-worker, or your customer [or Team members], do what it takes to make good on them. Those people are depending on you. Those people are expecting you to keep your word.  Your reputation is at stake, and your success at work and in life is on the line.” – Eric Harvey

I would add that keeping your word to your family and friends is just as critical as it is in your job or business.  You can’t create lasting success and prosperity in ANY area of life if you do not live with integrity in EVERY area of life – especially with yourself.  If you break your word to yourself (e.g. not going to the gym, breaking your diet, blowing off those prospecting calls), you will soon learn that you cannot trust yourself.  And that is the beginning of the end of your self-esteem and self-confidence.

But if we hold ourselves to living by these clear, simple integrity guidelines, we, too, can aspire to make a positive impact on the world, each of us in our own unique and priceless way.

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

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

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

June 30, 2019 

“You should, you can and if you are brave enough to start, you will.” – Stephen King

 This Thursday is Independence Day in the USA — the day Americans set aside to celebrate the priceless gift of freedom that our forefathers bestowed on us, both in our sovereignty as a nation and in the precious personal freedoms we enjoy. As we pause to show our patriotism, we should also show our gratitude to the brave men and women who serve and sacrifice to help keep us free.

I hope this lightly-edited blog from last year will encourage you to never take our country, our freedoms, our protectors or each other for granted. Importantly, I hope it will inspire you to make the MOST of the opportunities you have been given to fulfill your own dreams and destiny!

 June 30, 2018

 If you live in the USA, I hope you will be celebrating this most American of holidays in a delightful way that fills both your heart and your stomach. But no matter where you live, I hope you will join me in pausing for just a moment to reflect on what freedom means to you and your individual quest to live a life of meaning and abundance.

To me, being FREE means, first and foremost, that I have complete choice in how to live my life.  How it goes is truly up to ME. I am 100% responsible for my own success and happiness, because I am free to co-create it with God/the Universe, as I choose.

This is very much in keeping with the Law of Attraction which states, “energy attracts like energy.”  This means that the thoughts you hold – coupled with the emotions that result from holding those thoughts in your mind — create the energetic vibration that you are sending out into the world every second of your life.

Your own energetic vibration will inevitably attract to you the people, things and circumstances that exactly match your energy – just as a magnet attracts a nail.  Thus, whatever thoughts you consistently focus your attention on will eventually show up in your world in physical form – for good or for not-so-good.  You have the complete freedom to control your own thoughts, so YOU are truly the “magnet” for whomever and whatever shows up in your life.

Gratitude, as I am fond of reminding you, is THE most powerful emotion for creating a positive energetic vibration that will attract more good things to you.  When we are grateful for everything we already have, MORE of the same is attracted to us.  But when we focus on what is lacking in our life, what shows up is more LACK.

In that spirit, I’d like to acknowledge here and now my profound gratitude for the many personal freedoms that I have been blessed with.  In particular, I am deeply grateful to the patriots of every gender, color, sexual orientation, socio-economic level and ethnic origin who have sacrificed to ensure that I will continue to enjoy these precious freedoms throughout my life.

Here are just a tiny fraction of the many personal freedoms for which I am grateful, and which I am fully aware are still NOT available to so many of my brothers and sisters across the globe:

The freedom to choose my friends

The freedom to choose my mate

The freedom to marry or not

The freedom to choose how many children to have (or none at all)

The freedom to choose my political party affiliation (or none at all)

The freedom to vote (or not)

The freedom to read the books and see the plays, movies and television shows I choose

The freedom to express my life purpose by following the path that fulfills me

The freedom to choose military service or to serve my country in other ways

The freedom to go to the church of my choice (or no church at all)

The freedom to travel throughout my country and to many other lands

The freedom to live where I wish

The freedom to express my opinion, as long as it does not harm another

The freedom to dress according to my own tastes

The freedom to spend my money as I wish

The freedom to choose my career and the people I want to work with

The freedom to determine my income – according to my personal beliefs about what I “deserve” and the value I bring to the world

The freedom to celebrate Independence Day just as I please.

So, what’s on your Personal Freedoms gratitude list?  I hope you will record in your Daily Gratitude Journal the personal freedoms that mean the most to YOU and to express sincere gratitude to your Higher Power, your country and your fellow citizens who defend your right to enjoy them each and every day.

The freedom to fulfill your purpose and to prosper is your birthright as a human being, but it’s up to YOU to claim it, appreciate it, and live it to the fullest.

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

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

 SUMMER SPECIAL!  New clients who begin coaching in either July or August will get 50% OFF of your first month’s fee!  This offer won’t be repeated, so HURRY! If you have a Big Goal you want to pursue – either business or personal — I urge you to schedule a no-obligation, F*R*E*E hour of phone coaching with me that will help you clarify your Big Goals and explore how we can get you into action to make them a reality: Email caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com TODAY! 

June 16, 2019

 Happy Father’s Day in the USA!  I gratefully acknowledge everyone who is a father or who acts as a role model/mentor for someone else. The influence of a strong, positive role model on a young child is one of life’s most precious gifts, and those heroes don’t always get the credit they deserve for fulfilling this challenging role.

 I was originally planning to take this week off from writing the blog, to give me time to celebrate my upcoming birthday and prepare for this week’s training in the third annual Prosperity Summer Camp webinar series. But since today is Father’s Day, I decided to re-post a tribute to fathers everywhere that I last published in 2016 and share with my many new readers the invaluable life lessons that my own wonderful father taught me.

(I dedicate this blog to my own Big Bro, who is the father of six wonderful men and women and grandfather to five amazing grandchildren – Much love from your Lil Sis!)

 June 19, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PLEASE NOTE: The blog is taking next Sunday off.  It’s my birthday!  A Cup of Caroll will return with a new blog on Sunday June 30.

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

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

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

 

 

February 24, 2019

“A chief cause of worry and unhappiness in life is trading what we want most for what we want at the moment.” – Maralee McKee, author

I really don’t want to write this blog right now.  It’s Presidents Day Weekend, and my best four-footed friend just passed away.  It’s definitely not convenient or easy for me to write this now.

Yet, I AM writing this blog today because 1) The ideas are still fresh and 2) It will free me up next Saturday to do something I REALLY want to do.  I am willing to forgo the “easy” and “comfortable” option of sitting on the couch today, reading and relaxing, in favor of a much greater gain next week. Let me explain.

My wonderful husband Rick and I made the wrenching decision to have our little nine year old canine BFF put to sleep the night before Valentine’s Day.  She had just recently been diagnosed with a heart murmur, and within a week, her health had deteriorated to the point where she was lethargic, wouldn’t eat and was struggling to breathe.  It totally sucked for us, but we knew it was the kindest option for her.

After Rick’s former canine BFF, Samantha, died in October of 2016 at the ripe old age of 16, we adopted our little Chihuahua, Diamond, from The Little Red Dog. They are an amazing non-profit dog rescue headquartered in our town. They don’t have a shelter. Instead, they have an army of volunteer canine “parents” who foster the rescued dogs in their own homes until forever homes can be found for them, sometimes taking many months.

After the extreme emotional pain of losing Samantha, I swore I would never, ever own another dog. But the house felt so empty and quiet without her presence, I decide that being one of those foster parents would give me the satisfaction of helping a needy animal, without the attachment and responsibility of being its owner.  I was SO wrong.

During the car ride home from picking up Diamond (with two hours’ notice on Halloween), Rick took one look at my blissful face and Diamond totally relaxed on my lap, and sighed, “I know….We’re keeping her.”

My life changed forever at that moment.  I was no longer able to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. My life was no longer just my own.  It now also belonged to this 10 pound bundle of tail-wagging love. Like any parent, I was at my “baby’s” beck and call 24/7. My daily routine centered around HER needs for walks, feedings, companionship, grooming, regular vet visits (and BIG vet dental bills), daily medications for her allergies, bathroom trips outside in the pouring rain, and regular trips to the pet store for toys and treats. Whenever Rick and I traveled, we had to arrange for a family member to come stay with her. I wrote out detailed instructions for her daily care, and worried while  we were gone that she might imagine we had deserted her like her former owners (who dumped her at the side of a Los Angeles freeway!)

What did I get in return for all this upheaval in my nice, easy routine?  Not much.  Just the greatest loyalty and unconditional love I could ever imagine.  A living being that trusted me completely and worshipped the ground I walked on. Whose whole body wriggled whenever I came into the room. Who would leave her food bowl to search for me if I left her side.  A warm, loving presence who slept in her bed by the side of my desk all day as I coached my clients and then stretched out between us on the couch every night while we enjoyed television.  Who looked into my eyes with adoration and licked my hand whenever she got the chance.

Was caring for Diamond inconvenient?  You bet.  Did it cause me extra work and worry and eventually heartache?  Oh yeah.  Was it worth it? 1000 percent YES!

Like everything in life that REALLY matters, our relationship was real work and it was worth it.  The easy, convenient things in life rarely seem to deliver much lasting joy or satisfaction.  The heartfelt Big Goals that we must sacrifice and risk something for usually bring us great reward and fulfillment.

The preparation answers that I recently received from a prospective client before our free coaching session struck me exactly like that. She said her three biggest short-term goals were: “I want to live a healthier lifestyle and lose weight. I want to enroll new members to join my business Team and grow my sales volume. I want to better manage my money so I can afford to move into my own apartment.” 

When asked what major obstacles stood in her way to achieving these Big Goals, she was admirably candid and insightful:

“I fall victim to immediate satisfaction. For example, I know I should save money, but going out with my friends makes me feel happy now.  I know I should eat healthier, but that glass of wine with pizza is too good.  I know I should work my business, but I’m hooked on reality TV.” 

Bingo! It’s always much easier and more comfortable to do whatever our human Ego wants to do in the moment.  But succumbing to momentary ease will never carry you to where you dream of ending up.  It will keep you stuck on the couch, eating pizza, watching TV and getting a little plumper each time you do.

Pursuing your Big Goals will be inconvenient, I can promise you.  There will never be a “perfect time” to go after them. There is only the moment when the OPPORTUNITY suddenly presents itself, like Diamond was unexpectedly handed to us.  You can grab it with gusto and give it your BEST effort and be rewarded a hundredfold in return.  Or you can stay right where you are today, doing whatever you want, whenever you want.

By the way, the thing that I REALLY want to do next Saturday is to meet our potential next adopted rescue and find our next opportunity to be inconvenienced.  Now that I have done the hard work of writing this blog for next week, I am free to do so and I can’t wait to meet our new furry Best Friend!

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

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

This New Year, 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 for the New Year and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com to schedule their session.  

January 27, 2019

“We need to find the courage to say ‘NO’ to the things and people that are not serving us if we want to rediscover ourselves and live our lives with authenticity.” – Barbara De Angelis

 I hope you have been enjoying creating your 2019 the way YOU want it to be, using the guidelines I gave you in the last blog (Your Time to Shine – Blog 326).  If not, the time is NOW to get it done because it will truly set the stage for your Big Dreams to manifest sooner, rather than later!

No matter how distant your Big Dreams seem from your current reality, it is possible to reach them. Manifesting your dreams requires that you demonstrate both a real PASSION for them and a BELIEF that it is possible to achieve them. It’s not your job to know HOW you are going to get there – that is up to God/the Universe.

Your job is simply to say “YES” to your dreams.  Saying “YES” with every fiber of your being sets in motion the Law of Attraction, which states that “energy attracts like energy.”  Your “YES” energy (your thoughts plus the emotions your thoughts create in you) will attract the perfect opportunities, people and resources you will need to reach your Big Dreams.

But there is also a time for you to say “NO.” In order to make the time and space for YOUR dreams and live YOUR life with integrity and authenticity, you must sometimes say “NO” to other people’s requests.

“Having the courage to say ‘no’ to requests that are unnecessary could be your most effective time-management tool!  Never say ‘yes’ without considering the time investment you are committing to. Ask yourself, ‘What is the potential consequence of saying ‘no’?  Then make a good decision on what you commit to.  Be incredibly selective about your commitments.” – From the book 175 Ways to Get More Done in Less Time by David Cottrell and Mark Layton

This can be emotionally hard to do, especially for recovering “people-pleasers” like me.

For much of my life, my knee-jerk reaction to just about every request made of me was always “YES!”  Even if it was something I wouldn’t have chosen to pursue for my own happiness or fulfillment, I generally agreed to the assignment in a misguided attempt to “help” the nice person asking me to perform the task.  My thought was, “If I don’t help them, who will?” (If you say that same thing to yourself, NOW is the time to stop!)

Most of the time, I was saying “Yes” to other people’s requests strictly out of guilt.  And guilt is a negative emotional energy that will NOT engage the Law of Attraction to help you perform a task with ease and efficiency!  Thus, at the end of such a “self-coerced” project, I often felt emotionally and physically drained and resentful of both the good work I had done and the good person who had innocently made the request.

In the early 2000s, I was asked to volunteer my time with a worthy organization that relied heavily on unpaid volunteers to do much of the work.  Were it not for an army of volunteers, the organization couldn’t have offered their services at low rates to the people who needed them most.

Since I had personally benefited from their services and believed in their work — and had skills they could use — they naturally approached me and asked me to “give back.” At first, it was just a few hours a week, which didn’t seem like much to ask in return for all that I had received.  But as my skills grew and the workload increased, the requests for my time grew as well.

For the first year, volunteering was a fun, challenging and personally enriching experience, even though I was beginning to struggle to find the time, as my fledgling coaching practice was just beginning to grow.

By the beginning of year two, I found myself performing 15-20 hours a week of unpaid work for a cause whose time had passed for me. I had gotten all there was to get out of the work I was doing there, and it had become simply a repetitive chore for me.  I was not one of the “Yes, we can!” people who came there eagerly each week, happy to be contributing to the cause.  The work was still purposeful for them, but it no longer was for me.  I felt more and more resentment. I knew in my heart that I was done.  Yet, I lacked the courage to simply say “NO” every time the volunteer coordinator called me.

Finally, tired and depressed, I was forced to ask myself, “Why am I doing this?” The honest answer turned out to be my guilt-ridden belief that “If I don’t help them, who will?” When I forced myself to think about it, the answer to that well-meaning question was very clear: The people who will help are those for whom this work is purposeful!

My Ah-Ha Moment was realizing that, by “contributing” my time out of guilt instead of genuine passion, I was doing an uninspired job that neither forwarded the work nor reflected the spirit of the organization.  I was occupying space that could have been an opportunity for the RIGHT person to contribute their skills, to grow and develop and experience fulfillment, just as I once had.  By lacking the integrity to say “NO,” I was not only depriving myself of the opportunity to pursue purposeful activity, but I was also selfishly depriving someone else of their opportunity to contribute their priceless gifts.

After this self-revelation, I did one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I called organization’s volunteer coordinator to resign after giving three years of weekly service. I didn’t beat around the bush, explain myself or make excuses. I knew from studying the Law of Attraction that defensive, “guilty” energy would only attract similar negative energy.

Recovering People-Pleasers take note: Well-meaning people who attempt to cajole you into participating in their projects will view your attempted “explanation” as a sign that you are wavering and will try to pressure you further.  I recommend stating firmly and simply, without a hint of guilt, “Thank you for thinking of me for this opportunity, but I am going to say No.  I wish you all the best with your project.”  You will be amazed at their reaction!

The volunteer coordinator replied that he understood and thanked me for my service. It was that simple to free myself from the time and emotional bondage that was preventing me from pursuing my OWN Big Dreams!

So, if you are still saying a guilt-induced “Yes” to hobbies, committees, politics, a dead-end career or personal relationship which no longer serves you, please know that you are preventing another soul from bestowing his or her priceless gifts on the world.  And, you are depriving yourself of the joy, prosperity and fulfillment that will come from living a life of authentic, purposeful self-expression.

So what are you waiting for?  Pick up the phone right now and “Just say No!” Then you will be free to pursue your own authentic Big Dreams — the ones you are passionate about and truly believe in….the ones that make you say, “YES, I can!”

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

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

This New Year, 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 for the New Year and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com  to schedule their session.  

 

 

 

 

 

December 16, 2018

“Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day.” – Sally Koch

“The willingness to share does not make one charitable; it makes one free.” – Robert Brault

What an inspiring week it’s been for me!  After the blog with your annual Pay it Forward Challenge stories came out two weeks ago, many readers were inspired to step it up even MORE to show their gratitude for their many blessings in life by spreading charity, emotional support, kindness and joy to others. 

Here are some of my favorites from all the new stories shared with me:

In the News:

My favorite two stories from the daily GoodNewsNetwork.org emails I subscribe to were these:

  • Kelsey Rae Zwick had been flying from Orlando to Philadelphia with her 11-month-old daughter Lucy earlier this week. Since the baby suffers from chronic lung disease, the two of them were heading to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) for treatment.

“I was pushing a stroller, had a diaper bag on my arm and also lugging an oxygen machine for my daughter,” wrote Zwick in an open Facebook letter to the passenger. “We had smiles on our faces as we were headed to see her ‘friends’ at CHOP.”

As they settled into their pre-boarded seats, Zwick was stunned to be approached by a flight attendant who said that a man in first class (an Executive Platinum frequent flyer) wanted to switch seats with her.

“Not able to hold back tears, I cried my way up the aisle while my daughter Lucy laughed!” Zwick  wrote to the kind stranger. “Thank you.  Not just for the seat itself but for noticing. For seeing us and realizing that maybe things are not always easy. For deciding you wanted to show a random act of kindness to US. It reminded me how much good there is in this world. I can’t wait to tell Lucy someday. In the meantime… we will pay it forward.”

  • When a young boy mailed a birthday card to his father in heaven earlier this month,he was surprised – and comforted – to get a response. Since his father passed away four years ago, 7-year-old Jase Hyndman in Scotland mailed the card as a means of wishing his dad a happy birthday.

Instead of an address on the front of the envelope, however, Jase simply wrote: “Mr. Postman, can you take this to heaven for my dad’s birthday. Thanks.”

Assistant delivery office manager Sean Milligan from the UK’s Royal Mail service wrote a response to reassure the youngster that his card was in good hands.

“Dear Jase,” reads the letter, “While we’ve been delivering your post, we’ve become aware of some concerns. So I just wanted to take this opportunity to contact you about how we succeeded in the delivery of your letter, to your dad in heaven. This was a difficult challenge avoiding stars and other galactic objects on route to heaven. I will continue to do all I can to ensure delivery to heaven safely,” it concluded.

“I actually cannot state how emotional he is, knowing his dad got his card,” his mother wrote on Facebook, praising Royal Mail UK. “You didn’t have to make the effort to do this. You could have just ignored it, but the fact that you have made the effort for a little boy you’ve never met is such a lovely thing to do. Royal Mail, you’ve just restored my faith in humanity and thank you – it honestly means the world to him.”

Here are some of your own wonderful PIF random and planned acts of kindness:

  • One reader and her husband, who spend part of each year living in Mexico, take a percentage of their income every month and put it into their personal giving fund, out of which they donate to a local orphanage and an educational scholarship fund to help students go to university. Occasionally, when they come across an individual in need, they are happy to be able to say, “Let me look into our giving fund and see what we can do.”
  • Another reader purchased two extra $10 Target gift cards and gave them to the cashier to pick two random shoppers to bestow them on. “Her reaction alone was worth it!”the reader wrote.  “She was so honored to be the cashier to disperse our presents.”
  • One reader and her business Team headed up a big drive to collect diapers and baby wipes for a women and children’s shelter. Team members who delivered the supplies also took time to decorate Christmas cookies with the kids.
  • A reader told me that a customer of hers is a single mom going through a tough time financially.  She is planning to give her a generous pre-paid Visa card through a go-between, so the customer won’t know who her “Secret Santa” is.
  • A group of “Mom’s Club” Facebook friends teamed up to adopt a family and get their six year old child a bunch of wonderful Christmas presents.
  • My client was in a long line at a grocery store that only takes debit cards or cash.  A woman two carts ahead of her was struggling to find a viable payment option and people behind her were growing impatient.  My client stepped forward and said, “I got you,” paying for her items with a debit card.  The astonished woman exclaimed, “Thank you, but why would you do that for me?!” and my client just said, “I know you will pay it forward next time.”
  • An oncology nurse started a lovely giving tradition that has grown and grown over the past several years. She originally wanted to create some simple “goodie bags” filled with candy and cookies, etc. for cancer patients who were in the hospital over Christmas.  Other departments got wind of it and jumped in with their own goodies to add.  Soon, her little goodie bags had grown into the Christmas Basket Campaign, including a volunteer Santa and Mrs. Claus to pass them out and carolers to entertain, that even got coverage by a local news station. A man whose late wife had received one of the Christmas Baskets sent the hospital a note and a $500 check with his thanks, helping to ensure the program that had lifted her spirits during a very dark time would continue. 
  • One reader said her two daughters’ individual Girl Scout troops made lunches for a shelter kitchen and she and each of her girls took a shift, so she got to participate twice.
  • My reader was part of the organizing committee of a big toy drive for a huge annual  Christmas Kindness event, which this year served 154 under privileged or struggling kids and their parents. The event includes a big catered party, a Build a Bear workshop and other fun activities. Besides receiving toys, the kids get to shop at Santa’s Workshop for gifts to give their parents.  One of the families consists of four children who all lived with their aunt until she died of cancer and then their great grandmother, who just went into hospice. “That’s who we’re helping,” she said.
  • One of my clients texted me a picture of her two grandchildren.  They bought five Krispy Kreme Donut gift cards and 10 Cane’s Chicken gift cards at Sam’s Club, and the kids had a ball proclaiming “Merry Christmas,” as they handed them out to random families. “The reactions they got were priceless,”she said.
  • This is my personal favorite reader PIF story, also involving the intuitive generosity of young people: While my client and her boys were waiting in line to go into a rather pricey family fun center, her older son overheard a conversation between a mom and four kids who were behind them.  The mother hadn’t realized how much the tickets cost and she didn’t have enough money for all her kids to go in that day, so she was trying to explain to them that only some of them could go now and others would go some other time.  My client’s son quietly asked her if they could pay for the family so they could all go in together, and she put the other family’s tickets on her credit card.  As she and her sons went in, they looked back to see the astonished expression on the face of the mother, as the cashier explained that her whole family’s entry fee had been pre-paid.  Later, at home, my clients’ sons insisted on paying her back with $20 each that they had been saving.  “They didn’t realize how much the tickets really cost, but that’s a lot of money to them,” she said.  “I am so proud of them for wanting to make that sacrifice for other people they didn’t even know.”

Finally, here’s my own latest PIF demonstration:

Today at Starbucks, I again planned to give my last $5 gift card to the cashier to distribute to someone in line at random,but something told me to hold onto it.  Soon,I noticed a mom with two kids sitting across from us, waiting for their order to come up. The little girl, who was about five or six, spontaneously put both arms around her mother’s neck. The mother hugged her tight, pressing her lips against her daughter’s neck and closed her eyes in a beautiful reverie of pure unconditional love. I was so touched and inspired that on our way out, I put the $5 gift card on their table and said to the mom, “You two are so sweet, Santa told me the next one’s on him.”  She broke into a big, surprised smile and exclaimed “Thank you!” The girl and older boy looked at me with their mouths open, which just made it more fun!

I hope the wide variety of these wonderful Pay It Forward stories will inspire YOU to do even more to make the rest of this year (and far beyond) merry and bright for others. Remember, the thoughts, words, emotions and especially the DEEDS that you express will put the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) into ACTION for yourself, as well…. Because the good you do for others is guaranteed to attract more GOOD to you!

PLEASE NOTE: This is the final blog of 2018.  Look for the next Cup of Caroll to arrive on Sunday January 6.  It will be a very special one to help you get your 2019 off to a successful start! In the meantime, I wish a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours!

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

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

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

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