Transformation


November 8, 2020

“Blessings can come in a number of ways.  The Lord doesn’t give you what you want; the Lord gives you what you need.” – Eric Davis

In addition to our ongoing worldwide pandemic, concern about the economy, a US election like no other and the passing of my only sibling, I have had one other life-changing challenge to deal with over the past two months or so.  I am only now catching my breath enough to share the story with you.

The reason I want to share my personal trial and transformation with you is that I believe, as with virtually all big life challenges, there are blessings and valuable lessons in them for us.  Whether you have faced my particular type of challenge or not, I am sure you will agree that the take-aways I got apply in your life, too.  And, hopefully, if we remember these lessons, we will grow and prosper from them.

At the beginning of October, my wonderful husband Rick went into the hospital for a back operation to correct spinal stenosis that had been pinching nerves to his legs and making it more and more painful for him to stand and walk.

Alas, due to COVID-19, the surgeon and hospital weren’t taking non-emergency patients for months before and by then he was in a lot of pain, so we were both happy he was going to finally get relief.  The surgeon and his staff told Rick that, while he couldn’t bend over or twist his torso or pick up anything heavy for at least three months, he could likely expect to be back to pretty normal activities like driving and walking within perhaps a couple of weeks.

The operation went smoothly with no complications or infections, for which we were very grateful.  But we were both shocked at how weak he was.  He could barely stand and walk a few steps with the help of the hospital’s physical and occupational therapists that worked with him several times a day for four days.  When he was ready for discharge, instead of taking him home, I had to admit him to a rehab center where he stayed for another 10 days, working to get strong enough to use a walker.

Finally, he was more than ready to come home with his walker and a plethora of gadgets to help him get around, pick up things and put on his socks and shoes without bending over. But  his legs were still pretty weak and I had to help him do just about everything, including personal hygiene and getting into and out of bed several times a night.

I was exhausted within a few days and my own daily routine was completely out the window.  I could barely keep up with the needs of my daily private coaching clients and all the members in an online course I am teaching, let alone reliably get in a daily shower or daily walk.

On top of that, not realizing how much of my time and attention Rick’s recovery was going to require, I had signed up for not one but TWO intensive and expensive online courses, and I was rapidly falling behind at watching the videos and doing the work that was supposed to help me deliver great courses and sign on more wonderful coaching clients.

Never having children nor being a hands-on caregiver for elderly parents, I had never before had to deal with anything like this.  I felt drained, like I was constantly behind, never doing enough for Rick or my clients or myself.  I am used to helping my clients learn to effectively balance their busy lives with family, work, side businesses and self-care and now I was feeling like a complete loser at it myself, letting myself and everyone down who was counting on me.

Fortunately, I have many years of mindset and personal development work under my belt, and a rock-solid faith in God’s daily guidance and help.  My morning practices of inspirational reading, gratitude journaling and then praying and reciting positive affirmations while taking my daily exercise walk provided a foundation of sanity and helped me to eventually recognize this challenge held many blessings, too.

Rick has come a long way in the past three weeks or so. By faithfully doing the strengthening exercises his home PT has given him and walking around the house as much as he can, he has become self-sufficient on his walker and taking care of most of his own self-care needs like dressing himself.  He is back to work at his home desk, serving his real estate clients, with the invaluable help of his colleagues who kindly take them on home tours for him.

I continue to expand my repertoire of skills daily, doing chores and errands that Rick has always done, like fixing three meals a day, grocery shopping, getting the car washed and filled up, and taking care of our two dogs by myself. These responsibilities require many extra hours in my week, but it is satisfying whenever I find a way to get them done “between the cracks” of my daily coaching schedule. I recently stepped WAY out of my comfort zone when I successfully installed grab bars in two bathrooms and put together a new office chair for Rick!

As I learned to release the negative emotions of overwhelm, fear, guilt, resentment and self-pity that have confronted me over these past weeks, I became much more aware of the GOOD things that have emerged from this experience. Here are the most important Life Lessons I have learned so far:

1) We must have empathy for others.  I know first-hand now what life must be like for my clients and friends who are struggling daily to do right by their children, day jobs, side-jobs, ill or elderly family members, etc. All of my judgment of others has evaporated. I can see it’s not always possible to “just do it,” even when you have good planning skills and a strong work ethic.

2) Accept your limits.  I really had to come to terms with the fact that there was no way I could get EVERYTHING done that I wanted to do. I learned to prioritize what was MOST important for Rick and me each day, even if work or other things had to be postponed or done to less than perfectionist standards.  We cannot do it ALL, but we can commit to do the BEST we can at the tasks we truly MUST do, within the time limits we have to work with, and be OK with it.

3) We are all stronger than we know. Before Rick’s operation side-lined him, I had not been grocery shopping or cooked a family dinner in YEARS, let alone assembled furniture! On days when I thought, “I just cannot do this,” I reminded myself that it was not MY strength alone that would carry me.  I leaned on my faith and somehow, whatever I had to do got done.

4) Don’t be too proud to ask for help. Many health care professionals, friends, clients and family members have graciously assisted Rick and me every step of the way.  They have been happy to do things I couldn’t or help in ways I wasn’t qualified to. All we had to do was ASK.

5) Take it one day, one hour at a time.  I have learned not to worry about next week, let alone next month.  I just focus on today and maybe what I will need to do tomorrow, and everything just falls into place, minute by minute, hour by hour.  Worrying about the future wastes precious time and energy that could be put to better use getting things done TODAY.  And I now take time to celebrate the small victories like cooking a good dinner or getting caught up on my studies or reviewing my clients’ assignments. Giving yourself regular pats on the back keeps you motivated!

Finally, I would say my BIGGEST personal blessing and lesson that has come out of this difficult time is a deeper appreciation for my wonderful husband’s contributions to our life together.  I have always been grateful for what he does (especially his daily meal planning, shopping and gourmet cooking!)

But I now truly realize how MANY big and little things Rick does quietly behind the scenes every day to make life better for me and our four-footed “kids,” without ever demanding praise or gratitude.  Now that I truly understand how MUCH he does, it makes me want to do even more to show my love and gratitude to him. This experience has brought us closer than ever and made us both more grateful for all of God’s blessings in our lives, not the least of which are our supportive clients, friends and family.

If you would like your own F.R.E.E. subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to https://practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top to enter your name and email.  Your information will never be shared with anyone.

****************** 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 into ACTION on making them a reality, email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.

September 27, 2020

This weekend, I am happily busy with doing homework assignments for an online course that I am taking about creating online courses, while at the same time teaching an online course of my own! So here is a lightly-edited post from two years ago that is just as relevant today.  I hope you enjoy it (again).

August 18, 2018

“What this power is, I cannot say.  All I know is that it exists….and it becomes available only when you are in that state of mind in which you know exactly what you want…and are fully determined not to quit until you get it.” – Alexander Graham Bell

Have you ever wanted something so badly you just ached for it — and then you let your fear stop you from getting it?

You hesitated just a few moments before taking the first step toward your Big Goal and then watched helplessly as the “magic moment” that could have catapulted you forward passed. You didn’t cross the room to ask that special someone to dance, you didn’t ask your boss for a raise, you didn’t apply for your dream job, you didn’t take your friend up on the opportunity to join her business, you didn’t sign up for the audition….You never did get your heart’s desire and you have regretted it ever since.

Of course you have done that!  I know because I have done that. Everybody who ever walked this planet has done it. That’s because whenever we have a strong urge to go after something, our Ego’s default mode is to hesitate. We pause before leaping into action just long enough to listen to the little Fear Voice in our head, which is determined to stop you from taking that action. This is the cause of what we call “self-sabotage.”  We KNOW we really, really want something and we KNOW exactly what we have to do to get it, but we just cannot seem to MAKE ourselves take that first step.

If you want to reach your Big Goals and stop this maddening cycle of self-sabotage, you couldn’t find a better instruction manual than motivational speaker and life coach Mel Robbins’ book “The 5 Second Rule.”  I have shared her TEDx talk about the 5 Second Rule with hundreds of people, and many of my coaching clients have read her book because Mel was one of the keynote speakers at their direct sales company’s convention.

The way she developed her simple but effective trademark tool for circumventing the hesitation urge that stops you from getting your dreams is a compelling story. Years ago, this former attorney’s financial world suddenly collapsed when her husband’s over-extended restaurant business started to fail and her own fledgling media career tanked at the same time. Rapidly, this successful power couple became heavily-in-debt “failures.” Blindsided, she felt numb and hopeless and no matter how hard she tried, she just couldn’t seem to motivate herself to get out of bed each morning to handle her many daunting life challenges.

That posed a serious problem for her family because her children were not getting ready for school on time and were missing the bus day after day.  Her marriage was in jeopardy too. Her husband resented that he was working around the clock to try to save his business while she was sleeping in and avoiding looking for a job that could bring in some much-needed income.

Then one morning when her alarm rang, Mel spontaneously created a simple but very effective tool to push her brain past the paralyzing fear that was making her hit the snooze alarm again and again.  She counted down aloud like the rocket launch she had recently watched on television “Five. Four. Three. Two. One. GO!” When she got to “Go,” that word triggered her subconscious mind to automatically throw back the covers, and she stood up and started her day, which led her to starting a new life.

Her book explains in fascinating detail exactly WHY that little Fear Voice in your head stops you from pursuing your Big Goals. It is part of your normal, healthy Ego’s survival mechanism to try to keep you “safe” by keeping you on the couch instead of allowing you to make any changes in your life that could possibly turn out to be a physical or emotion “risk.”

Mel also explains exactly how you can use the 5 Second Rule countdown to leverage yourself into taking the critical first step toward creating a new career, stopping yourself from giving in to your negative urges like smoking, alcohol or overeating, finding your perfect mate, getting a raise, expressing yourself artistically – ANY Big Goal you have in life.

She says, “Are you waiting for someone to ask you, drag you, pick you or catapult you into the spotlight, or are you willing to find the courage to push yourself?  Are you waiting to feel ready?  Waiting for the right time. Waiting to gain confidence.  Waiting to feel like it.  Waiting to feel worthy.  Waiting until you have more experience.

“Sometimes there is no next time, no second chance, or no time out.  Stop waiting.  It’s now or never.  When you wait, you aren’t procrastinating.  You are doing something more dangerous.  You are deliberately convincing yourself ‘now is not the time.’  You are actively working against your dreams.”

Mel’s book is filled with messages from people who have used the 5 Second Rule to overcome their Ego’s self-sabotaging fears and JUST DO IT.  And their results have been phenomenal.

Mel says, The difference between people who make their dreams come true and those of us who don’t is just one thing: the courage to start and the discipline to keep going.  The Rule is a game-changer because it 5-4-3-2-1 forces you to get out of your head and start and it’ll 5-4-3-2-1 help you keep going…..When you 5-4-3-2-1 push yourself forward you’ll discover the magic in your life and open yourself up to the world, to opportunity, and to possibility.  You might not get the girl, the part, or the response you wanted but that’s not the point.  In the end, you’ll get something way cooler – you’ll discover the power inside of you.”

I invite you to watch (or re-watch) Mel Robbin’s 20-minute TEDx talk from several years ago.  Here’s the You Tube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lp7E973zozc

And I very much encourage you to read The 5 Second Rule and USE what it teaches you. The life of your dreams is waiting for you — and the start of it is just FIVE SECONDS away!

IMPORTANT NOTE: The blog is taking next weekend off and will return on Sunday October 11 with a fresh Cup of Caroll!

If you would like your own F.R.E.E. subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to https://practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top to enter your name and email.  Your information will never be shared with anyone.

****************** 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 into ACTION on making them a reality, email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.

“Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.” – William Feather

I hope your New Year is kicking into high gear….Or have you already started to lose some enthusiasm and consistency in pursuing your Big Goals or “New Year’s Resolutions”?

This is a timely reprint of a great blog written almost 2 years ago by my wonderful former personal trainer, Rose Zahnn, who owns a great fitness studio in downtown Sacramento, CA called Healthy Habits (www.HealthyHabitsStudio.com).  If you are faltering in your determination to succeed – or want to avoid doing so – she has identified a formula for success that is SO simple, SO true and SO helpful, I just had to share it with you!

Although her coaching specialty is helping her clients get fit and healthy, I am sure you can see that the success secret shared in this blog applies to ANY Big Goal you are pursuing in your life – business, relationship, career, financial, you name it.

The one thing you’re missing . . .

By Rose Zahnn

“There is one reason why most people haven’t yet reached their goals, and it’s a simple one. It’s something that I’ve struggled with in the past, and it just may be the one thing that’s holding you back from your big breakthrough.

That one thing is consistency.

Think about it. The difference that separates a fitness lifestyle person from a couch potato is the consistency with which the former applies to their diet and exercise routine. That’s it!

Look, I know you can exercise and eat right. You’ve done it before! But a fitness plan only works when you consistently stay with it. You start, stop, start again, take a few days off, then get back on track. This haphazard effort will never lead to a dramatic body transformation!

What if I told you that you’re 5 feet from gold? That if you simply dug in a little deeper, and stuck with the program with consistency, you’d finally achieve the big results that you’ve been hoping for all along.

You are 5 feet from gold; don’t stop now!

The fact is that anyone can stick with a fitness and diet plan for a little while. Anyone can complete a challenge. Anyone can finish a 30-day program. Anyone can put in 2 weeks of solid effort.

It’s those who click into consistency that see the big changes and experience the joy and triumph of real accomplishment.

I want this for you.

I know that you see how valuable consistency is, and you want to do it, BUT you get off track time and time again. How do you tap into the consistency you need to make a real improvement in your life?

Use these three steps…

See it: Define exactly what it is you want to be consistent on. For example instead of saying that “I’ll start exercising,” say, “I’ll do the 7am session on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.” And instead of, “I’ll start eating healthy,” say, “I’ll eat XX number of calories per day divided into 5 small meals.” The more specific the better!

Keep in mind that you are defining your actions – not your outcome. Don’t use this step to determine what size jeans you want to fit into. That outcome is a byproduct of you consistently doing the actions. Just clearly define the actions that you need to be consistent on.

Feel it: Now that you’ve determined the actions needed, let’s think about that outcome and clearly define it. Be specific! What will you look like? What will that new body feel like? How will your friends and family respond to the new you?

It’s time to get your emotions all tied up in your quest. Daydream about getting to that outcome, feel it, emotionally take ownership of the idea of owning it. FEEL the happy, excited, proud emotions as if it’s already happened!

Do it: You’re clear about what you want. You feel invested in getting the results. Now go about the business of taking consistent action toward your goals.

Yes, this sounds simple, and it is simple.

Be consistent and you’ll soon strike gold.”

Yep. Rose nailed it. The three steps to setting yourself up to reach your Big Goals: See it, feel it and DO it.  Get clear on what you must do, visualize and FEEL what it will be like when you reach your Big Goal and have exactly what you have dreamed about.  Don’t let yourself be distracted by how close or far you are from your goal.  Just keep on executing your daily plan of action with clockwork consistency — and know in your heart that you are just 5 feet from striking gold!

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

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

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

October 6, 2019

“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain, but it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.” – Dale Carnegie

I got a huge reader response to the last blog (Use Your Superpower – Blog 350) about ways you can control your own MINDSET in dealing with negative people and situations that we all face from time to time.

The message essentially was: When you maintain a positive energy and do the right thing, the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) will work on your behalf to produce a positive outcome for you and everyone involved, no matter how difficult a situation may appear to be.  Even people who seem permanently locked into negative patterns can change their thoughts and behavior when YOU change your thinking and expectations about them.

This past week, two coaching clients shared their personal examples of this phenomenon, which I now pass along to you, in hopes their experiences will inspire you to use YOUR Superpower too.

The first client has an ailing mother who has required a lot of care from my client and her siblings.  The sister who lives farthest away has not helped share the burden of Mom’s care, either physically, emotionally or financially, and my client was feeling resigned and resentful that there seemed to be nothing she could do about it.

But when she decided to work on her OWN attitude toward her sister, things “miraculously” changed.  My client consciously held positive thoughts towards and expressed gratitude for her sister, wishing her only the BEST.  Soon, her sister surprised the family with a visit and spent a lot of time with their mother, which delighted Mom. She also pitched in with her care, so her siblings could take a much-needed break. What amazed my client most was that there was only positive energy among all the siblings while they were under the same roof.  “They usually butt heads, but there was no conflict, only harmony, while she was here.  I was amazed,” said my client. “I put on a positive mindset and it made a difference.” 

The second client posted a picture on social media of herself with friends at a joyful gathering, which garnered many positive comments. But she was blindsided by a harshly critical message from her own mother about her choice of wardrobe.  This was typical of how her mother has criticized her since childhood about any detail of her life that wasn’t in alignment with her mother’s rigid opinions of “right” and “wrong.”

My client took some time to think before she replied.  She resisted her Ego’s first inclination to lash out after feeling attacked.  Instead of choosing to feel hurt, offended and defensive, she worked on trying to understand her mother’s motivation. Regardless of how bluntly her mother delivered her criticisms, she knew deep down that her mother only intended to help her be successful and well-regarded by society.

When she replied, my client simply thanked her mother for caring about her and always wanting what is best for her.

Then it was her mother’s turn to be caught off guard!  She wrote back that she was surprised and very pleased at how “maturely” and “graciously” her daughter had received the “feedback.” This is the hidden blessing that my client discovered wrapped inside of this negative incident: She knows that her mother may never change, but she will never again allow herself to feel “less than” when her mother shares her personal opinions with her.

As my clients so wonderfully demonstrated, your mindset and energy (your thoughts plus the emotions those thoughts conjure up) constitute a very powerful force – a SUPERPOWER, in fact!  We are all born with it….We just have to consciously choose to use it for our benefit and the benefit of everyone whose paths we cross.

PLEASE NOTE: The blog is taking next week off for some Fall fun in Apple Country!  A Cup of Caroll will re-appear in your inbox on Sunday October 20. 

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!

 

April 14, 2019

“Change is unavoidable.  Change sometimes feels uncomfortable, at least at first.  Change is often messy.  Change takes time, patience and commitment.  Change requires planning, perspective and an investment of time and energy.  Change opens the door to valuable new possibilities, discoveries and adventures.” – From the book Getting Unstuck: 10 Simple Secrets to Embracing Change and Celebrating Your Life.

From time to time, I like to share the advice and wisdom of other coaches and Master Manifesters with my readers.  One is my former personal trainer, Rose Zahn, who owns the Healthy Habits workout studio in Sacramento, California, where I lived in the 1990’s. Rose helped me get into great shape, both physically, mentally and spiritually. In a recent blog, she shared the unvarnished truth about the mindset you must adopt in order to reach ANY Big Goal:

“We are living in a have-it-all, have-it-now world. Access to anything you desire is literally a key stroke away.

There’s one-click ordering. There’s food delivery in 30 minutes or less. There’s credit available with the swipe of a card.

More so than any time in history, we have forgotten the art of sacrifice.

Can you blame us? Mainstream marketing tells us hundreds of times each day that we should have it all, and that we should have it right now.

The problem with this have-it-all-right-now mindset is that real accomplishments require sacrifice and delayed gratification. And these real accomplishments are where true satisfaction is found.

Think about it for a moment. When was the last time that you felt proud of something that you’ve done? I doubt that it was for the shoe purchase that you just one-click ordered online 🙂 More likely it was for a big project that you tackled at work, or a meal that you cooked for your family, or an 5K (or marathon!) that you worked hard for and finished.

Those proud moments have one thing in common: they all required sacrifice and delayed gratification. You gave up your time, you invested your attention and efforts, you put in the miles and the effort for a considerable period of time…

And then you achieved your goal and experienced that sweet satisfaction.

Learning how to sacrifice and delay gratification, rather than getting something right now, is a skill set. This skill set can grow as you use it more often. Just like a muscle that becomes stronger under resistance, your ability to sacrifice your immediate needs in favor of a larger accomplishment will improve the more you use it.

Sacrifice and delayed gratification are the name of the game when it comes to getting into great shape. Get comfortable with sacrifice and you’ll achieve any goal.

I know that’s not what any of us want to hear. We’d prefer the one-click-to-dream-body button over months of a controlled diet plan and challenging workouts. But by embracing and enhancing your ability to sacrifice you’ll gain traction on all of your big life goals, including getting that dream body.

I’m here to help you achieve your fitness goals. Yes, it’s going to require that you put in hard work and sacrifice, and I’ll be there with you every step of the way. Call or email me today to get started.”

Rose Zahn www.healthyhabitsstudio.com

I am working on my own personal fitness goal right now, and I can admit that delaying the gratification of yummy foods and adult beverages is the hardest part for me.  But I know that it will be SO worth it when I am looking good in my swimsuit this summer!  And more importantly, I will feel great about myself because I know that I worked for it and proved to myself that I had the willpower to stick to it until I reached my Big Goal.

I hope you are working on your own Big Goal right now, and that you will “embrace and enhance your ability to sacrifice” so you can have the unparalleled satisfaction of achieving it, however long it takes.

PLEASE NOTE: The blog is taking next weekend off for Easter Sunday.  Look for your next Cup of Caroll on Sunday, April 28

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

I invite you to give yourself, 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 gift this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish.  (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

  

April 7, 2019

“The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is.” – Jim Carrey

A few weeks ago, I wrote about adopting our newest four-footed family member, Cagney.  After our beloved little rescue Chihuahua, Diamond, died unexpectedly in February, we knew immediately that we wanted to provide a home for another deserving rescue and Cagney came to us quickly and easily through the Nextdoor neighborhood website.

Cagney had a neglectful owner who kept him chained on a backyard patio for about two years, with only a lawnmower grass-catcher for a bed.  Eventually, his rescuer Sue was able to get custody of him and her friend Atissa took on the task of acclimating him to indoor life and finding him a good home, as these two wonderful women have done for many other dogs.

My husband Rick and I fell in love with Cagney at first meeting and the feeling was mutual.  He is adorable and loving and cuddly.  We are amazed at his loving, playful disposition, given that he had so little contact with people or other animals for most of his young life.  (Our vet estimates his age as 2-3 years old.)

He’s a smart little guy – part Border Collie and part Dachshund, from the looks of him — and Atissa was able to housebreak him and teach him to sit on command in a short time.  But soon after we took him into our home, we realized that his manners still needed “polishing” in a few areas.  He’s young and energetic and needs a lot of exercise and attention.  No problem.  Rick and I both work from home and he gets a lot of affection and attention from both of us all day.

The exercise part was a little trickier because he was not fully acclimated to walking on a leash.  I started walking him each morning with a harness, but soon found two major problems with that. He is small but very strong, and he would strain on the leash to go faster, dragging me along behind him.  And, more importantly, he is skittish around strangers and other dogs.  Whenever he sees another human of any age, he barks ferociously, and when he sees another dog – even at a distance – he barks, growls and snarls like a deranged hound from hell.

It was humiliating to have Cagney snarling at my neighbors and all the other placid, well-behaved dogs walking around us.  So we decided to get expert help on the proper way to train him, and hired a great trainer who came highly recommended on the same website where we originally found Cagney.

Dr. Eric Liss (chiropractor by day, dog whisperer by night) gave us just one hour of expert training and Cagney became a new dog.  It seemed like magic to us, but to Dr. Eric, it was simple: Understand how a dog thinks and then approach him with tools and techniques that make sense to HIM.  (As my BFF Lisa likes to say, “Dogs are not people in fur suits.”)

I want to share with you now the three lessons I learned from Dr. Eric’s simple and effective training techniques that can be applied to ANY goal you want to achieve or ANY challenge you must overcome:

LESSON ONE: Most of our fears are unfounded. This is really Cagney’s lesson. Without normal early socialization with other dogs or daily interactions with people who loved on him, Cagney probably came to view strangers and other dogs as threats.  He’s not really mean at all — just scared. He masks his fear by being loud and ferocious-sounding, hoping his bluff will scare them off.  But they aren’t really threats.  His fears are unfounded.

Isn’t this true of most of our fears when we pursue a Big Goal or face a challenge?  We immediately imagine a Worst Case Scenario outcome (failure, overwhelm, public humiliation, disappointed loved ones, etc. etc. etc.) and paint it in vivid detail in our imagination.  We get ourselves all worked up over something that almost never comes to pass or, if it does, turns out to be a lot less dire than our imagination cooked up.  We waste time and energy “barking” at nothing.

The mind (canine or human) can only hold one thought at a time.  Dr. Eric showed us how to redirect Cagney from focusing on the perceived threat, enabling him to calm down very quickly.  Now, when we encounter another person or dog on our walks, I know how to calmly reassure him and re-focus him to move on, and he is soon happily sniffing the bushes once again. You can also break the fear cycle by re-focusing your thoughts on the outcome you WANT, instead of imagining what you DON’T want.

LESSON TWO: Use the right tools. The harness was not the right equipment for Cagney’s walks. He was able to pull against the leash as hard as he could without discomfort, and there was nothing I could do to redirect him from barking at dogs and people. Dr. Eric brought a small prong collar for Cagney, which I had always imagined was a sharp, cruel instrument of torture.  But when I saw it up close, I realized the prongs are not sharp at all and it won’t choke him.  If he pulls against the chain with any force, it’s going to make him uncomfortable, but it’s not going to hurt him.  With a prong collar, it’s easy to redirect him with a light flick of the leash, instead of trying to pull against the cloth harness with all my might, which only gets him more agitated.

Whenever we pursue a goal, or face a challenge, we must use the right tools.  Sometimes they are obvious to us, but we avoid them because they make us emotionally “uncomfortable.” Many of my network marketing clients admit they have a “phone phobia” of speaking to a prospective customer or business partner.  They feel more comfortable texting.  And their prospect is also very comfortable ignoring their texts, just the way Cagney ignored me pulling on the harness.

But when they pick up the phone and CALL, even if they end up leaving a voice mail, my clients are always amazed at how quickly most people respond.  That’s because your energy is transmitted through your voice much more effectively than through flat words on a screen.  There’s no warm, friendly and inviting tone conveyed in a text.

So if you find that you are avoiding whatever tools you know you need to get the job done, ask yourself if you are really COMMITTED to reaching your goal.  If you are, you will find that a small amount of discomfort is worth it, if it leads to a great amount of success and pleasure.  Cagney’s walks are now a pleasure for both of us, thanks to one simple tool and knowing how to use it properly.

LESSON THREE: Energy is everything. This is the biggest lesson I got from Dr. Eric’s instructions. Whenever I panicked and tried to correct Cagney by yelling “NO!” it only escalated his anxiety and got us both more upset.  Rick and I learned that dogs don’t really understand words like “sit” and “stay.”  They respond to the tone and body language we use when we give those commands. Dogs are masterful at reading our energy and responding to it.  My own self-conscious anxiety over “What will the neighbors think of his behavior?” was actually getting him more worked up and causing more bad behavior.  Once I learned to relax, give a light flick of his chain, use a reassuring tone with “It’s OK,” and walk on, Cagney soon stopped barking, forgot about the “threat” that wasn’t real and followed my lead.

Humans are biological creatures too, and we respond to subtle energy cues from other people, just as dogs do.  The energy you bring to an interaction is going to have a big impact on the other person’s response.  As the Law of Attraction states, energy attracts like energy.”  You can decide what energy you want to embody and then direct your subconscious mind to put it into action by stating aloud to yourself how YOU want to show up in the situation. For example, “I am calm.  I am relaxed.  I am in control.” The positive energy you consciously choose to embody will affect the other people you are interacting with. Positive energy is stronger than negative energy, so when I decided to feel confident, adopt a cheerful, reassuring tone of voice and take control of my physical manner, Cagney’s negative energy quickly dissipated and reflected my own calm.  

There you have it!  It’s not rocket science, as Dr. Eric can attest.  You can make any Big Goal a reality or overcome any problem situation, if you will remember these three basic principles and put them into play….Did someone say “PLAY”?!  Cagney’s got a ball in his mouth right now. Guess we gotta go play!

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

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 gift 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.  

 

 

March 17, 2019

“Don’t just believe in magic; expect it!” – Louise Hay

Longtime readers of this blog know that my wonderful husband Rick and I adore Disneyland.  We live just 30 minutes from the Park and are Annual Passholders.  We have visited at least once or twice a month during the past 13 years that we’ve been together, but Rick had an Annual Pass long before that. It’s so special to us, it’s where he proposed to me.

For me, Disneyland is truly “The Happiest Place on Earth,” where I can leave all my cares at the gates and feel completely carefree the whole time I am there.  Rick and I were there just yesterday and it was a perfect day, as far as I’m concerned.

But even more important than the escape it provides, I have learned some very valuable life lessons at Mickey and Minnie’s home, too.  I thought I would share a few of these little nuggets that have helped me to be happier and more successful, and I am sure will help you, too:

  • Be patient. This is life’s #1 ongoing lesson for me!  I am not by nature patient and every trip to Disneyland reminds me that I need to be.  If I wait patiently for a ride or a meal or for the crowd to part so we can walk through, I will eventually receive what I want with a smile on my face.  But if I get annoyed and impatient with people, I will be in a bad mood by the time I get to my destination and it spoils what could have been a fun experience.  I have learned that when I cannot control whatever or whoever is impeding my progress, I need to breathe, smile and trust that all is working itself out in perfect timing. And it inevitably does.
  • Do what nourishes you. It’s easy to fill up on “junk food” at Disneyland and in life.  We are constantly surrounded by tempting but unsatisfying food and diversions. (Churros are my personal favorite junk food at Disneyland.)  Social media, television, online games and many other diversions provide immediate gratification, but they can steal precious hours and leave you with nothing of real value.  Take the time to seek out food, drink, friends and activities that nourish your body, mind and spirit, and you will feel strong at the end of the day, instead of empty and hung over.
  • Stop and smell the roses. One of the things Rick and I love most about Disneyland and California Adventure is the wide variety of beautiful plants.  The groundskeepers are creative and meticulous and the beautiful floral displays change with every season.  We make a point of walking slowly and stopping often to appreciate the different plants and flowers close up.  Instead of rushing to get to the next activity or errand, try to slow down, look around and be fully present to the beauty that is everywhere around you.  Appreciating and expressing gratitude for the many blessings in your life will make you feel deeply fulfilled and happy, no matter what challenges you are facing at the moment.
  • Pace yourself. You can’t get where you want to go immediately, any more than you can ride every ride in Disneyland in one day. Be patient, trust Divine Timing and try to embrace each step on your path to ultimate success. You must inevitably learn whatever lessons God/The Universe wants to teach you before you can fulfill your Big Goals, so strive to embrace them and enjoy your personal development journey.
  • Be kind. I don’t like crowds.  And it’s a fact of life that there will be crowds on most of our visits, because many other people enjoy Disneyland too! I can look at them as adversaries, vying for limited resources, or as fellow Mouseketeers who are going through the same challenges and experiences, doing the best they can, just as I am. The kinder I am, the more I smile and strive to be patient and non-judgmental toward everyone I encounter, the happier and more relaxed I feel at the end of the day.
  • See the world through the eyes of a child. Walt Disney’s original goal, which he more than accomplished, was to create a magical place where children and their parents could come to enjoy themselves together. When we’re there, I love to watch parents observing their little ones’ eyes grow big with wonder at experiencing so many “magical” things for the first time.  For a few precious hours, adults are allowed to drop their jaded, skeptical, cynical veneers and embrace seeing the world with innocent childlike wonder, too.  (Disneyland has this effect on adults of all ages, by the way, including those without kids!) Being present to the wonders of daily life is a choice and a practice.   Daily miracles are all around us, if we will just open our eyes to them. Uncle Walt developed a keen sense of childlike wonder himself as he pursued his Big Dreams, which have, in turn, made many millions of people happy all over this planet. And they will continue to do so, as long as we are willing to surrender to the child within us every day.

PLEASE NOTE: The blog will be taking the next two weeks off. A Cup of Caroll will return on Sunday, April 7. In the meantime, I wish you a happy St. Patrick’s Day and the official start of Spring this week — I know we are all eager for that!

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

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 gift 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 6, 2019

“We are not in a position in which we have nothing to work with.  We already have capacities, talents, direction, missions, callings.” – Abraham Maslow

Happy New Year! I hope you and yours had a great Christmas, Kwanzaa or Hanukkah!  Now that the Holidays are behind us, we can pause, reflect and examine what lies ahead.

I don’t have to tell you that this year was, once again, one of the most tumultuous we have had in the USA and across the globe.  It was the best of times AND the worst of times, as people showed themselves to be amazingly generous and selfless toward their fellow citizens, amidst many natural disasters, man-made tragedies and global conflict.

With so much change and division still swirling around us, it is important to give yourself time to sit quietly and reflect on your own personal 2018 outcomes before you attempt to move into a fresh new year. Like mine, I am sure your year was a mixture of joy, heartbreak, challenge and triumph. By taking stock of what happened, you can discover important life lessons that you can carry into this new year to help you create it to be all that you want it to be.

In my 14+ years as a Personal Success Coach, I have been blessed to help over 750 individual clients reach their Big Goals, so I know what it will take to make your next year turn out even better than this one did. Creating your 2019 YOUR way requires a two-step process and now is the ideal time to begin:

 Step One: Complete the Old Year.  You can’t create something NEW in a space that is cluttered with old stuff. You have to truly be done with the old. So, if you want this next year to be more than just a replay of whatever you experienced last year, you must first complete your old year to make space for your new intentions.

The Reflections Exercise

A great completion process is simply to sit quietly and answer a series questions that make you think deeply about the outcomes of your past year – the good, the bad and the ugly. Answering them honestly will clarify your underlying beliefs, expectations, attitudes and actions that influenced the results you got.

This exercise is designed to help you look objectively at what you did (and didn’t) do that influenced what happened for you last year. Determining accurately what caused your past outcomes helps you to identify NEW ways of thinking and being that will cause you to take NEW actions.  Taking new actions will bring you new results, while continuing on “auto-pilot” inside of the same thought and behavior patterns pretty much guarantees that this year is going to bring you more of the same.

Here are 14 KEY questions to complete your 2018 and set you up for a more fulfilling and prosperous 2019. They will only help you IF you will take the time to actually answer them!  If you are thoughtful and truthful, it should take just 30-60 minutes to journal your answers. And, if this introspection sets you up for a new level of success and happiness in the coming year, isn’t it worth making such a small effort?

Part 1 – Questions to Complete the Old Year

  • What was your biggest accomplishment in 2018 and why?
  • What was your greatest disappointment?
  • What was the greatest lesson you learned?
  • Who did you make a difference for and how? (List as many as you can!)
  • What do you wish you hadn’t wasted your time and energy on?
  • What do you wish you had spent MORE time and effort on but didn’t?
  • What are you most thankful for regarding last year?

Part 2 – Questions for Creating Your New Year

  • What ONE WORD would you like to have as your theme in 2019?
  • What would you be most happy and fulfilled about accomplishing and why?
  • What skill would you most like to learn or master and why?
  • What are you most committed to changing/improving in your work?
  • What are you most committed to changing/improving about yourself?
  • What is ONE positive habit you are committed to instill this year? What is the first step you can take NOW to begin to instill it?
  • What brings you the most joy and how will you do/have more of that in 2019?

NEXT WEEK

We will do STEP TWO: Create Your Year Your Way. I will share with you my all-time favorite method for co-creating your new year with God/the Universe to be all that you would like it to be.  It’s a great adjunct to the Reflections Exercise. I have loved doing it for myself every January for 15 years now and I know you will too!

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.

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

I invite you to give yourself (or 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!  

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.

November 11, 2018

“How often do you tell the people in your life how much you appreciate them? God wants you to be joyful and enlighten others with His joy by being kind and patient and showing your appreciation and love.  Make a list of your loved ones and make a commitment to let them know how much you care.  When you tell someone how much they mean to you, you receive an unexpected boost of love and joy yourself!” – Guideposts magazine’s 60 Days of Prayer

What a week.  I am feeling somewhat emotionally wrung out amidst a jumble of tough news: Flooding and severe weather in the Midwest and East, deadly firestorms and yet another senseless mass shooting here in California. Oh, and a divisive mid-term election that refuses to end, with continuing recounts and threatened lawsuits in several states.

With Christmas and Hanukkah still weeks away, where can we turn for some comfort and joy? I say we need to “Make Thanksgiving Great Again” — Not that Thanksgiving (or America for that matter), ever really stopped being GREAT.  It’s just that we have taken both of them too much for granted lately.

Instead of allowing this unique holiday to become simply a day to watch football, stuff ourselves, suffer through annoying dinner conversations with relatives who get on our nerves, while anxiously awaiting the opening bell to buy more stuff we don’t really  need, what if we truly put the THANKS back into Thanksgiving by showing our GRATITUDE to the people we too often take for granted?

Here are some ways my clients have done it this year. I hope they may inspire you to do it, too:

  • Send someone a heartfelt message of thanks. This year, instead of getting lost amidst the avalanche of Holiday greeting cards and annual newsletters from friends, relatives and vendors, my coaching clients are sending out Thanksgiving cards. Their purpose is simply to express heartfelt gratitude to the customers and Team members who have supported them throughout the year.  There is no motive except to say “Thank You. You are special and I am grateful to have you in my life.”  You can do this with your friends and family too. I promise you they will be surprised and delighted to be acknowledged at Thanksgiving.
  • Apologize, even if you don’t believe you are wrong. After a long-distance argument, one of my clients sent a loving apology text to her husband, who is working on an extended job assignment in another state. She gave up being “right” and simply thanked him for the sacrifice she knew he was making by being away from his family to help build a great future for them. In response, he surprised her by getting his boss to pay for renting them a beach house, so they can all be together as a family at the Holidays.
  • Extend an olive branch to heal a rift. One of my clients hadn’t spoken to her sister for several years. After hearing a reconciliation message in church, she spontaneously called her sister and simply told her that she missed her. A few days later, she drove several hours for an afternoon visit, where they laughed and enjoyed each other’s company, just as they used to. Now, my client plans to invite her sister to spend Thanksgiving with their family, who are all relieved that their estrangement is over.
  • Change a relationship by upgrading your own mindset. One of my clients  dreads her family’s Thanksgiving gathering because one of her in-laws is always cold and rude to her, for no apparent reason. We discussed what she could do to improve their relationship through changing her own energy and expectations.  Now, she is mentally prepping by expecting The Best and focusing on bringing only positive, healing energy to the gathering, so that everyone there (including herself) will feel loved and appreciated.
  • Another client was dreading attending a business function where she must interact with a talented, but insecure, colleague who is prone to creating drama-filled confrontations. Instead of fearing her worst behavior, my client created a whole new mindset for herself. She vows to proactively express her sincere gratitude for the colleague’s contributions and speak only kind, acknowledging and empowering words when they meet. And she is truly expecting the BEST from her colleague in return.

The Law of Attraction, which states that “energy attracts like energy,” dictates that our own thoughts, words and emotions will inevitably attract to us people and circumstances that match our energy.  Gratitude, which is a form of love, is one of the most powerful positive emotions we can send out into the world to attract back to us MORE good things to be grateful for.

So let’s do our part to spread kindness and express love and gratitude to others, especially in this month that focuses on giving thanks.  What more precious gift could we possibly be thankful for than all the wonderful people God has brought into our lives?

If you would like your own F.R.E.E. subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top to enter your name and email.  Your information will never be shared with anyone.

************* 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 into ACTION on making them a reality, email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com. 

June 10, 2018

“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” – Oprah Winfrey

I am sure you have a number of important Big Goals you want to achieve in many areas of your life.  Some will take a matter of weeks or months to fulfill (like planning a great summer vacation), while others can take years or maybe even a lifetime.  How do you sustain the necessary daily focus and enthusiasm it takes to reach a goal that seems pretty far down the road… When it’s just an average Wednesday?

I believe the first thing you have to do is get crystal clear on your WHY.  What is the compelling reason you are making the effort to pursue your Big Goal in the first place?  What will it mean to you when you when you have attained it?

Without a compelling Why, every day can feel like just another Wednesday full of To-Dos, errands, and action steps you promised to take but are now looking for an excuse not to do, even though you recognize that they are the stepping stones that will carry you to your Big Goal.

The good news is that you CAN motivate yourself on a daily basis to do that stuff that nobody WANTS to do to build your business, get your degree, work your way up the corporate ladder, write your novel, learn a skill that will change your life, etc.

In Get Over your Damn SelfRomi Neustadt, a very successful Leader in the network marketing industry, suggests four simple questions you can journal the answers to that will help you dig down to find your fundamental REASON for reaching a Big Goal and why it is worth making the daily effort to reach it:

  • What is your WHY? (Peel back the onion to get to your real WHY).
  • Why is this so important to you? Get really specific here. How do you see this changing your life, affecting your family, helping you get where you want to be long-term?
  • If you don’t achieve your WHY, what’s the pain you’ll experience? In other words, what’s the cost you’ll pay in your life by not taking action [to reach your Big Goal]? Really flesh out this part. What will you and your family miss out on in life? How will this affect your confidence and your self-esteem?
  • Look ahead into the future. If you don’t achieve your WHY, where will you be and what will you have given up, all because you didn’t follow through and take action on what was important?

After you have answered these questions honestly, Romi says, “Read this every day for three weeks.  I found it very helpful to read it first thing in the morning, even before my feet hit the floor, to help set my intention for the day.  You may decide to do it before you go to sleep.  It doesn’t matter when you do it, as long as you do it.  Every day for 21 days.”

Another tip to help you get motivated to carry out the actions/activities that aren’t so fun and glamorous on an “average Wednesday” is to create an empowering “context” for what you are REALLY up to.  If you can’t see a direct connection between what you are currently DOING and an inspiring, worthwhile OUTCOME that all your hard work will eventually lead to, you won’t be willing to do the work.

I recently had a context-shifting conversation with one of my coaching clients that helped her uncover a new, MUCH more important WHY to inspire her to work daily on building her network marketing business with focus and enthusiasm.

She confessed that she just wasn’t feeling motivated to do the work to achieve the next rung on the Leadership ladder.  Titles didn’t mean anything to her.  Her WHY wasn’t financial, because her family is already pretty comfortable.  She liked the idea of being able to provide some nice “extras” for them, but they didn’t really NEED her business income in order to have a good life.  She was trying, but she just couldn’t find a compelling reason to get up every day and go after this goal like it mattered to her.

But when I asked her about the other people she could bring into the business if she would just pick up the phone and reach out to them, she started to perk up.  She is a natural giver and what really lights her up is helping others.  As we talked, she began to see that by not reaching out to these people, she could be depriving them of the opportunity to change their lives in ways that might be really important to THEM.

Suddenly, her energy shifted and her new, empowering context for “building a Team” was no longer what title or goodies SHE could attain from doing the work. Her new WHY for succeeding in her business became helping as many others as possible achieve THEIR WHYs.  They might never achieve their Big Goals, unless she makes a consistent effort to reach out to them with passion and enthusiasm!

A week later, she reported making a LOT more calls to prospective business partners.  Even her husband had noticed a marked change in her and asked her what was different about her business these days.  She told him about her NEW Why and he marveled that he had not seen her so passionate about her business since she first started it.

“I’ve never felt as positive or comfortable with my business as I do now,” she said. “My husband was really impressed.  He could tell.  He said I sounded like a completely different person.  I FEEL better than I have in a long time!”

Building a large, thriving team of successful business partners is going to be a years-long endeavor for her.  But with this new, empowering context, she can turn each “ordinary” day into an extraordinary opportunity to change someone else’s life.

And that’s worth getting out of bed for!

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.

 

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