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?

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************* 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. 

“Live for something.  Do good, and leave behind you a monument of virtue that the storms of time can never destroy.  Write your name in kindness, love, and mercy on the hearts of thousands you come in contact with year by year, and you will never be forgotten.  Your name and your good deeds will shine as stars in heaven.” – Thomas Chalmers

I was gratified by the positive response to my last blog (A Special Gift – Blog 309).  It seems the story of my friend Bob Perk’s relentless kindness and patience toward a difficult neighbor touched your hearts. Most importantly, many readers told me it made them more resolved to be kind to others they come in contact with daily, too. One said, “I want to be Bob!”

I hadn’t anticipated writing a post-script to that blog, but Bob sent me two.  I’d like to share them both with you, to provide a complete picture of what it takes to be truly committed to being kind.

You will recall that one of the residents of Bob’s new senior living community seemed determined to be cynical and sour toward his attempts to make life happy and cheerful for the other residents.  A typical example of his kindness and thoughtfulness was Bob’s decision to put on a picnic of hot dogs, sodas and sides for any residents who had nowhere to go to celebrate the Fourth of July. Bob generously paid for everything out of his own small income.

Most of his neighbors adore Bob for such acts, but this one woman seemed impervious to his good will, constantly belittling his efforts with cynical and sarcastic remarks. Although he was initially taken aback, Bob wisely made a conscious choice not to take it personally.  Each time they met, he continued to greet her pleasantly (even when she wouldn’t make eye contact or even return his “Hello”) and prayed for her daily.

One day he found himself in the elevator with her and he decided to speak up. He told me he asked her “why she found pleasure in mocking my efforts, yet showed up for the hot dog meal on the Fourth…Before she responded, I said, ‘Because I want you to be my friend.’” 

She was startled by his bold declaration, but Bob observed, “I believe my directness stunned her and my sincerity confused her stone cold spirit.  Even though I broke the wall she has built, she will most likely rebuild it in order to protect her narrow-minded assumptions and not appear at fault.  Still, I have removed a part of the wall with the only tool I know best.  Love.  Love is the answer.”

I made an observation in the blog that if you follow Bob’s shining example and spread kindness to others, most people will show deep gratitude.  But some may appear to resist.  We don’t know what their personal background is or what they have been through in life that has made them think and behave the way they do.

A few days later, Bob sent me this surprising update:

“I happened to look outside and saw C. sitting there by herself.  I opened the door and said hello.  She called me over and we had this incredible conversation.  Very open and friendly.

She then revealed that yesterday she found out that she has cancer…again.  Breast.  One removed years ago.  I carefully, gently placed my hand on her shoulder and told her that ‘I will see you in my prayers.’ 

I asked that if she felt comfortable doing so, I’d like updates.  She said, ‘You’re the only one who offered.’ …..Before I left, she thanked me again and told me I was very kind and caring. 

I see it this way: I just continued to include her rather than reject her.  God knew of her cancer and knows how alienating she was.  [God] asked me to break through so others will be there for her too.”

I wish that was the storybook ending we would all love — That Bob’s relentless kindness and love permanently tore down the walls she had put up between herself and others.  Unfortunately, reality is often a bit less than perfect.

After that wonderful heart-to-heart encounter with his troubled neighbor, Bob went about putting the finishing touches on a fabulous party he was preparing. It was to be held on his birthday, but Bob was not the guest of honor. He was the host and any of the 200 residents in his community were welcome to attend as honored guests.

He spent weeks preparing a lavish menu (including 80 pounds of pulled pork), and lots of yummy sides and deserts, a variety of games for them to play, raffle prizes, and music.  Bob’s music is his passion and a special gift he likes to share with others. He is a professional DJ and singer, so he put on a 45 minute show for them as well.  Arching over the party, he stretched a tent that made the guests feel like they were at the circus.

What an amazing time everyone had!

All except one.

When I emailed Bob and asked how his new friend C. had liked the party, he replied, “ Sadly, she did not attend.  In fact, she told one of my friends that day that ‘He is a liar.  He did not decorate by himself!’ 

Bob continued, “I have now come to believe and accept that the few recent kind words are a rarity….I believe this is a mental challenge she is facing….Still, I don’t feel that my efforts were lost.  A gift from God?  Indeed.  He permitted me to break through and bring out the person she should/could be.  I will continue to pray and treat her with the respect she deserves.” 

I acknowledged Bob for the incredible effort and personal expense he kindly undertook to give his neighbors a fabulous evening. I am sure they will remember it forever.  And I was especially proud of him for his attitude toward C’s retreat back into her bitter little emotional shell.  Instead of getting angry at her, he recognized it as an opportunity for him to grow as a person and to be God’s instrument to show her what’s possible for her life, if she chooses.

So what’s the payoff for being kind and loving to everyone you come in contact with — including the few difficult ones who seem to rebuff your good intentions and even try to punish you for being kind?

I believe the payoff is that, as the Law of Attraction states, “energy attracts like energy.”  Therefore, if you keep on being positive, generous, kind and caring, you will inevitably attract more and more people and circumstances that reflect YOUR positive energy.  Being positive won’t insulate you from all negative people and situations, but it will help you grow into someone who is 100% sure of her own values and consciously embodies them everywhere, with everyone.  If our values and convictions are never tested, how can we know what we are truly committed to?

I am convinced that there are still more chapters to be written in Bob and C’s fascinating friendship saga.  She may act as though she doesn’t believe it, but deep down, she cannot deny that at least one person on this earth truly CARES about her, no matter what.

And that is why when you “write your name in kindness, love and mercy” it will forever bless you, the giver, along with the thousands of hearts who are the recipients.

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. 

April 15, 2018

“It’s very freeing when you realize you don’t have to fight every battle.  You don’t have to straighten people out.  You don’t have to pay somebody back.  Instead, focus on what matters: Focus on God and His Word so you can live in peace and happiness every day of your life.” – Joel Osteen

Wow! This is my 300th blog post.  When I began writing A Cup of Caroll 10 years ago, I never imagined I would end up writing three blogs a month for 10 years (and counting) with the intention of helping my clients and cherished readers live more fulfilling, successful and prosperous lives.

And, after almost 14 years as a full-time professional coach, I never imagined I would be writing today’s topic because, frankly, I thought I was “cured” by now of the self-punishing practice of judging others.  LOL.

Today, I am 100% clear that, because we are human beings, we are NEVER cured of judging.  Judging is part of our Ego’s critical survival mechanism.  It keeps us safe by trying to size up people and situations and making a split-second decision: “Is this person friend or foe?” “Is this situation good or bad for you?”

Unfortunately, your Ego often gets it wrong because it judges people and situations only externally — according to what it can quickly observe about their outer appearance and behavior.  We all know that “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” yet your Ego just can’t help but try to judge people and situations based on these very limited, superficial clues.

Today, I was blessed to receive what I hope will remain an unforgettable Life Lesson about just how much anxiety, turmoil, frustration and unhappiness we bring upon ourselves and others when we judge them.  It’s not easy to catch ourselves judging, but we can if we know the signs to look for.  From now on, the trigger thought I will notice myself having is “How DARE they?”

That self-righteous, judging rhetorical question always comes to me whenever someone cuts me off in traffic, doesn’t pick up after their dog, allows their front yard to go to seed and spoil the neighborhood’s appearance, doesn’t return my messages, promises to and then forgets to pay their invoice, etc. etc. etc.! “How DARE they not live up to MY standards of proper behavior and right values?” is what my Ego whines inside my head.

Today my Life Lesson came, as many of them do, during my morning stop at Starbucks.  It is often crowded on weekend mornings so, spotting an open table, my wonderful husband Rick and I put our sunglasses down on it to save it and then got in line.  Then I went to get some napkins and returned to “our” table, only to find someone’s big purse and other items sitting on a chair at the same table.  Our glasses were still clearly visible, but the woman who was walking away from the table, dressed in business clothes and talking on her cell phone, had just put her stuff down there anyway.  “How DARE she?!”

I called out to her, waving the glasses in my hand and asking if this was her stuff?  She looked at me and pointed to her cell phone, as if to say, “Can’t you see how busy and important I am? I can’t listen to you and talk on the phone at the same time!”  At least, that’s what my EGO told me she was saying.

I shot her a stern look of annoyance and disapproval and then picked up our glasses and moved to the next table. Rick sat down and began to eat his breakfast, and when I came back with mine, the woman was standing next to our table, saying to him, “Your wife is unhappy with me.  I could see it on her face.” 

Then she crouched down, looked us both in the eye and babbled a steady stream of explanation for her unintentional faux pas of “stealing” our table.  She said she has been a nurse for 30 years and she can read people’s demeanor instantly, which is how HER Ego drew the conclusion from my facial expression that I was “angry” with her.  (I was annoyed and perplexed, but I would not go so far as to say I was angry.)

She said my inexplicable anger had at first upset her and she was tempted to curse me under her breath, but then she noticed my Disney cap and said, “I thought you MUST be a fun person, if you were wearing Mickey Mouse!”  That made us smile and proved that she is someone who knows how to recognize and calm down her own Ego’s “How DARE she?” reactions.

Her voice choked with emotion, she rapidly spilled out more information about her state of mind this morning — that she had recently lost two loved ones, one of whom was 94 years old.  She was talking so fast and with such emotion, it was hard to catch her exact words, but the meaning was clear: She was distraught and distracted.  She apologized for taking our table and said she hadn’t even noticed our glasses on it.  She didn’t know what I was saying to her as she walked toward the counter because she was on the phone and couldn’t hear me.  But she could tell I was upset with her.

I consider it Divine Intervention that she bravely chose to come over and talk to us.  She could have just sat down and pretended to ignore us.  Instead, she chose to be the bigger person and address the issue head on.  She apologized AND did me a huge favor by describing clearly how MY negative energy toward her had made her feel. In truth, my Ego’s judgment that this woman was entitled and uncaring couldn’t have been more wrong!  She is a compassionate, sensitive, and dedicated caregiver who courageously took responsibility when she unintentionally wronged someone.

I felt instant sympathy toward her and instant shame toward myself for making such a harsh (and inaccurate) judgment of her. I was reminded of the iconic story I’m sure you’ve heard about a man who was riding the New York subway and found himself suddenly surrounded by a number of loud, boisterous young children whose father sat slumped in his seat, looking distracted and dejected, and seemingly ignoring their behavior.  The man was annoyed and berated the father for not controlling his children, who were bothering the other riders.  The distracted father looked up and quietly apologized, explaining they had just come from the hospital where his wife passed away.

We never know what is really going on behind the scenes in someone’s life and what is causing them to behave the way they are.  Sometimes their behavior IS patently unacceptable or hurtful and if that is the case, we should speak up about how it impacts us, just as the nurse did when she told me in a forthright but inoffensive manner how my behavior had made her feel.

But most of the time, we should take Joel Osteen’s advice and just LET IT GO.  It’s not our job to school everyone else on how to live according to our own values and standards.  And it certainly does not benefit US to harbor negative feelings about all the ways someone has wronged us and maybe even plot how to pay them back.  Leave the judgment department to God. It’s above our pay grade.

Instead, our job is simply to be the BEST we can be, and to strive each day to live up to our own standards, beliefs and values.  If we “lead from the front” by doing and being our BEST (which includes showing kindness, support and compassion to others), we are setting a good example for our children, loved ones and business colleagues and doing more to help them be happy and successful than any tongue lashing ever could.

Here’s the happy ending of my own story: After breakfast, I was about to walk out of Starbucks, when I noticed the nurse still sitting at the table, writing intently. I went up to the counter and bought a $5 Starbucks gift card that said, “Thank You. The next one’s on me.”

I took it to her table, where she was totally absorbed in writing in her journal, and laid it gently in front of her.  She looked at it and me with surprise and delight and asked my name.  Then she stood up, thanked me by name and asked if she could hug me.  We embraced and when she sat down again, there were tears in both our eyes.  She said, “You made my day.  You have no idea how much this means to me.”

I put my hand on her shoulder, smiled at her and just said, “Ditto.”

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

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

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

February 18, 2018

“The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me.  The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.” – Viktor Frankl

It has been cleverly stated that “holding a grudge is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.”  Yet, from time to time, all of us have been hurt, annoyed or even angry with someone important in our lives.  It might be a boss, spouse, child, client, colleague or Team member.

Unpleasant and unfair circumstances and people are a part of life, no matter how hard you try to do your best and keep a positive outlook. But you can certainly mitigate the damage they do to you by controlling your own mindset and not allowing yourself to go negative in return.

It can feel temporarily satisfying to nurse your wounded feelings by harboring resentment and enumerating to others all the ways someone has treated you poorly.  But as tempting as it can be to play the martyr, your negative thoughts and words will not help heal the situation and will eventually come back to bite you.  The Law of Attraction (energy attracts like energy) will cause the wounded, angry, complaining energy that you are spreading around to attract MORE bad breaks and people to mistreat, disappoint and upset you.

One of my coaching clients recently found herself in the unhappy position of being relentlessly hounded by a parent of one of her special-needs students.

The mother felt my client hadn’t been giving her son enough attention, support and help, even though my client said the child was one of the most difficult in her classroom, a handful in every way.  No matter how hard she tried to patiently help him, the boy’s mother seemed to blame all his learning and behavior problems on her. My client had to sit through several uncomfortable meetings, feeling “attacked” by the parent, while her principal didn’t support her strongly enough.

We talked about how the mother’s combative approach to helping her son was beginning to take a toll on my client’s energy and enthusiasm for her teaching, as well as for her own family and her network marketing business.  By allowing the negative attitude of one person to affect her, she was actually punishing herself and her loved ones in many ways.

I reminded her that I had given her some powerful mindset tools she could use to take back her power and she vowed to work on maintaining a positive outlook.  One of those tools, which I have found to be very helpful in shifting one’s mindset quickly, is gratitude.

Acknowledging and expressing appreciation for the positive aspects of a person or a situation you are having problems with can calm you down, put things in perspective and help you to re-focus on what you WANT, instead of what you don’t want. Rather than complain about the mother and the principal, I encouraged my client to feel GRATEFUL for her job and her students and to focus all her energy on creating the best possible outcome for everyone involved. After all, she and the mother were actually on the same side – both wanting only what is BEST for the student.

A few days later, my client emailed me that she had spoken to a colleague about how parents had been treating her this year and the other teacher suggested making a bigger effort to reach out to them about positive and neutral things, “so that they don’t only hear from me when something is wrong.” She followed through on that good advice by emailing the parents some neutral class updates and the next day, she said her students “all did amazingly on their Science quiz (a class all but one failed first semester.) So I texted their parents the good news and I got a great response from the mom who’s been awful to me all year.” 

The mother responded that her son had voluntarily done his homework early, which was unheard of, giving her time to review it with him and help him better prepare for the test.  As a result, he got an exceptionally good grade and both mother and son were thrilled.

The next time you find yourself seething over what someone has done (or failed to do) and want to change your mindset so that YOU can be happy and successful, instead of attracting MORE strife to yourself, here’s a tried and true little exercise that is guaranteed to shift your energy toward the positive.  In my more than 13 years as a Personal Success Coach, I have never seen it fail:

Sit down with a blank sheet of lined paper and list 25 things you appreciate or are grateful for about the person who is causing you grief.  You aren’t allowed to get up until you have listed at least 25 positive things about the person, no matter how long it takes.

Many of the unhappy clients I have had do this began by saying, “I can’t think of 25 good things about him!”  Yet, soon I invariably receive a message from them stating that, “By the time I did 25, I was so in love with my husband again, I didn’t want to stop …. I wrote 50!”

Whatever we focus on and send our energy to will grow stronger.  If you focus on someone’s bad behavior or shortcomings, those negative traits are only going to get stronger.  But when you focus on what you love, appreciate and are grateful for, that energy will draw out more of their best – and more of yours, too.

So the next time you are annoyed or upset, just sit down and make a 25 Gratitudes List about the person or situation.  I promise that you will go from grumbling to grateful in no time!

If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to 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.

“If you want things to be different, perhaps the answer is to become different yourself.” – Norman Vincent Peale

First, I want to thank my readers who sent me their heartfelt condolences after reading my last blog about the passing of my former husband and dear friend, Jerry Tagami.  I have many mixed, bittersweet feelings of missing a wonderful person who won’t be around anymore, while simultaneously feeling relieved for him and his lovely widow, Diane, that he is out of pain and at peace at last.  I am grateful that I was able to recognize and name the blessings this special person left behind and the huge influence he had on all our lives. His friends and family know that we are all better ourselves for having witnessed Jerry’s zest for life, unfailing caring, devilish sense of humor and dedication to making a difference in the lives of his beloved students.

I believe that Jerry’s passing has given me another gift, as well.  More clearly than ever before, I see that “life is too short” to allow ourselves to sweat the small stuff.  In my September 11 blog, (See #246 in the blog archives on my website), I recalled the old saying that “You can be right or you can be happy.” Most of the time, I choose to be happy.  But I still have to make that a conscious choice each day. That’s because the human Ego appears to be hard-wired to choose right over happy most of the time.

In my youth, I felt the need to try to right every wrong, fight every injustice and set everyone “straight” about what I saw as truth, justice and “the right thing to do.”  I argued with my loved ones, teachers, authority figures and employers, trying to convince them that I alone knew what was “right.”  Many of them undoubtedly rolled their eyes and put up with me because they were much more emotionally mature than I was.

One of the (few) benefits of growing older is that you gain a bigger perspective on life’s problems.  You realize you have to pick your battles and that it’s just not possible to right every wrong.  The issues that truly matter in your life and the lives of people you care about are the ones to focus on. Unfortunately, we often waste a lot of time and energy battling just for the right to proclaim, “I was right and you were wrong!”  (Yes, it does sound a lot like the current Presidential race, doesn’t it?)

I’m witnessing this first-hand right now with two of my coaching clients.  They are both smart, lovely, accomplished, good-hearted, hardworking young women.  Both are determined to create a better life for themselves and their loved ones. They are sisters, currently living under the same roof.

The older sister saw her marriage and financial support collapse unexpectedly and responded heroically by treating it as an opportunity to create a great new life on her own terms for herself and her two young children.  She applied to an in-demand school in another state to pursue a career that will make her financially independent and give her children everything they need to thrive. Her plan requires long hours of study and hard work, with little money to live on until she graduates in several years.

Her younger sister already has a successful career and is in the process of creating her own side business that promises more emotional fulfillment and greater income to help her pursue her own Big Dreams.  She has responded to her older sister’s current need in an equally heroic way by offering to share living quarters and to help with child care duties while her sister is in class. She willingly gave up much of her free time and her own space to share a four-person household and make some significant lifestyle adjustments in order to help her sister. That is true love.

That is the kind of support I would hope family members everywhere would be willing to give each other. I know the older sister is grateful.  I know she loves and admires her younger sister and wants to see her reach her own dreams, as well. That is why she referred her to me for coaching help. That is true love too.

And yet….They both seem to spend much of their precious few hours on this earth blaming and resenting each other over one petty, inconsequential issue after another.

Each has fallen into the trap of following her Ego’s desire to be right at all costs.  They bring up childhood slights about how each was treated in the family pecking order and have reverted to bickering like teenagers over who deserves the most attention from their mutual friends, best bedroom, more time to herself, etc.  One (so I’m told) insisted that the other “unfriend” some of their mutual friends on Facebook, so the other sister retaliated by demanding that her sister stop “liking” her own friends’ posts.

Really? I have a hard time re-reading that without laughing, and yet it is causing both of them absolute anguish.

When I talk to them separately, each shows up as mature, calm, smart, open and determined.  But when one complains to me about the other, each appears childish, petty, defensive, and completely attached to being declared “right,” no matter the emotional cost.

The truth is, both women have made some significant, admirable sacrifices in their lives and really deserve each other’s support. In addition, I am trying to get each one to recognize that her negative attitude and behavior toward her sister will eventually produce some negative consequences for herself too. The Law of Attraction states that “energy attracts like energy,” which means that whatever you do unto others will inevitably be done unto you – for good OR for bad.

I don’t want to see either of them attract negative consequences as a result of her own negative thoughts, words and actions. Each of them deserves success, happiness and a smooth path forward in pursuing her dreams.  Therefore, each of them must decide for herself if she’d rather be “right” or “happy.”

I know they both read this blog. It is my fervent hope that this post will help each to see herself through objective eyes and recognize that whatever she focuses her energy on WILL attract similar energy, people and circumstances back to herself. Each could be actively pursuing her individual dreams and feeling great happiness for her sister’s success, instead of attracting unnecessary technical and emotional roadblocks and distractions to herself.

It is also my hope that you will view their story as an opportunity to make better choices in your own relationships with your spouse, boss, business partners, children, parents, relatives, students or teachers. We must recognize in ourselves the same Ego pull to risk our success and happiness simply for the cold satisfaction of proving ourselves “right.”

It is said that we rarely regret the words we don’t say, but we often regret the ones we do. I hope you will join me in striving each day to make the one truly right choice: to be kind, loving, forgiving and to simply bite your tongue whenever necessary!

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

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

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

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

“Choose being kind over being right and you’ll be right every time.” – Richard Carlson

[As our summer exploration of “The Best of A Cup of Caroll” winds down, I want to share this slightly-edited blog from 2013 with you again as a reminder that nothing and no one else can determine what ultimately happens to YOU.  The Law of Attraction dictates that the energy YOU send out in response to someone else’s actions or words is what is going to determine what happens next to YOU, just as the other person’s energy will do for them.]

I was going to write about a different topic today, but when I heard from two clients in the space of an hour this morning, both with the same complaint, I felt a nudge to write about a totally different topic.

Both of these women are good people who always strive to do the right thing and treat others with kindness and respect. They deserve only the BEST in life.  But no matter how good we are, we will sometimes be treated badly by others. One was upset because her soon-to-be ex-boss had made a snide comment to her, insinuating she was being less than productive during her final week at work. The other was hurt that her mother had unjustly accused her in front of other family members of not being supportive during a family crisis.

I let them vent, and then I asked them both, “What difference does what they said make in YOUR life?”  The answer both gave was “Nothing.”  Nothing unkind that is said to or about them can impede their happiness or ability to reach their goals. And, in each case, their nemesis was behaving in a way that was totally consistent with who they had shown themselves to be over a long period of time.  In other words, they were just being themselves.  Not their highest selves, but they were acting according to how their Egos view the world.

It’s not our job to change other people. Constant, fear-based scarcity thinking is its own punishment. These people are living under a cloud of constant suspicion, resentment, anger, blame, and self-imposed victimhood. Because they expect the worst from others and “energy attracts like energy,” according to The Law of Attraction, they must inevitably attract negative people and situations into their lives. By recognizing that they are creating their own hellish self-fulfilling prophecy, we can forgive them — or at least have compassion for them.

It is not how others treat us, but the way we respond to how they treat us that determines what is attracted next into our lives.  Nobody and nothing outside of you has the power to make you feel bad.  How we FEEL is entirely our choice — an internal response to an external situation. If you allow someone’s words or deeds to upset you, “the terrorists win.”

I know how frustrating and hurtful it can be to be unjustly accused of something.  But in the grand scheme things, what others think of you is none of your business.  They have a right to their opinion, and if it is petty, flawed, or just plain mean, that’s THEIR loss, not yours.  For the most part, the folks they are gossiping to about you are well aware of this, and most don’t buy into it. Those who have their own interactions with you will judge you on their personal experience of you, not on malicious gossip.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean that you should be a doormat.  If someone is doing something that harms you in a material way — slandering you on a job reference, withholding money owed to you, lying about you in court, etc. — such actions need to be answered directly with the truth.  And, as I’ve seen time and again, the truth ALWAYS wins out eventually.

One of my past clients was taken to court by her ex-husband, who accused her of hiding a huge income from the IRS (that he knew she didn’t really make), in an attempt to get his child support payments reduced.  In fact, he claimed that she should have to pay HIM child support, even though she had primary custody of their children.

At first, she was incensed that she was being falsely accused and that she had to expend a great deal of time, effort and expense defending herself in court. I coached her to let go of all resentment towards him and to focus solely on maintaining positive energy and putting together solid proof of her true income for the judge. Since the truth was on her side, I helped her steadily grow her faith that everything would ultimately be resolved in her favor.

She was able to remain calm, get the expert help she needed, and triumph in court.  In fact, not only was the case against her dismissed, but the judge substantially INCREASED the amount of child support her ex-husband was paying her and ordered him to pay all back child support he owed, as well as half of her attorney fees! Her Ex came out of the unjust situation he had purposely created to hurt her with a lot of new pain for himself.

When faced with unfair treatment, the rule of thumb we can use is this: If there is something you need to do to protect your own material interests, by all means do it, but without negative emotion about the person or situation. And, if there is nothing you can do about it, LET IT GO and re-focus your attention on all the GOOD that you want for your life.

Where attention goes, energy flows. So stay focused on what you want and allow others to learn their own life lessons and reap their own karma. “Living well,”as they say, “is the best revenge.

NOTE: A Cup of Caroll is taking next Sunday off so I can enjoy a carefree Girls’ Vacation with my dear friend Lisa on Santa Catalina Island.  I will join you again on Labor Day Weekend with a final “Best of A Cup of Caroll” column that will be a fitting sendoff to a great Summer of 2016. See you then!

If you would like your own free subscription to receive A Cup of Caroll three Sundays a month, just go to my website at www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

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

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

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

October 11, 2015

When you read this, I will already be winging my way to Orlando with my wonderful husband, Rick, where we will spend a week enjoying every part of the Magic Kingdom from our dear friends’ Disney Vacation Club villa in the Animal Kingdom, followed by a few days sightseeing in the Florida Keys. Both of these destinations have been on my bucket list for decades, so I am thrilled to have this opportunity to visit them in one trip.

Due to my extended time away, A Cup of Caroll will take next Sunday off. But in the meantime, I want to give both my new and faithful longtime readers the chance to enjoy/enjoy again this slightly-edited post that was originally published two years ago:

November 3, 2013

“Circumstances are beyond human control, but our conduct is in our own power.” — Benjamin Disraeli

When I heard from two clients in the space of an hour this morning, both with the same complaint, I felt a nudge from God/The Universe to write about this topic.

Both of these women are good people who always strive to do the right thing and to treat others with kindness and respect. They deserve only the BEST in life. But no matter how good we are, we will sometimes be treated badly by others. One was upset because her soon-to-be ex-boss had made a snide comment to her, insinuating she was being less than productive during her final week at work. The other was hurt that her mother had unjustly accused her in front of other family members of not being supportive during a family crisis.

I let them vent, and then I asked them both, “What difference does what they said make in YOUR life?” The answer both gave was “Nothing.” Nothing unkind that is said to or about them can impede their happiness or ability to reach their goals. And, in each case, their nemesis was behaving in a way that was totally consistent with who they had shown themselves to be over a long period of time. In other words, they were just being themselves. Not their highest selves, but they were acting according to how their Egos see the world.

It’s not our job to change other people. Constant, fear-based scarcity thinking is its own punishment. These people are living under a cloud of constant suspicion, resentment, anger, blame, and self-imposed victimhood. Because they expect the worst from others and, as the Law of Attraction states, energy attracts like energy, they must inevitably attract negative people and situations into their lives. By recognizing that they are creating their own hellish self-fulfilling prophecy, we can forgive them — or at least have compassion for them.

It is not how others treat us, but the way we respond to how they treat us that determines what is attracted next into our lives. Nobody and nothing outside of you has the power to make you feel bad. How we feel is entirely our choice — an internal response to an external situation. If you allow someone’s words or deeds to upset you, “the terrorists win.”

I know how frustrating and hurtful it can be to be unjustly accused of something. But in the grand scheme things, what others think of us is none of our business. They have a right to their opinion, and if it is petty, flawed, or just plain mean, that’s their loss, not ours. For the most part, the folks they are gossiping to about us are well aware of this, and most don’t buy into it. Those who have their own interactions with you will judge you on their personal experience of you, not on malicious gossip.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean that you should be a doormat. If someone does something that harms you in a material way — slandering you on a job reference, withholding money owed to you, lying about you in court, etc. — such actions must be answered directly with the truth. And, as I’ve seen time and again, the truth ALWAYS comes out eventually.

One of my clients was taken to court by her ex-husband, who accused her of hiding a huge income that she didn’t really make, in an attempt to get his child support payments reduced.   In fact, he claimed that she should have to pay HIM child support, even though she had primary custody of their children.

At first, she was incensed that she was being falsely accused and that she had to expend a great deal of time, trouble and expense defending herself in court. I coached her to let go of all resentment towards him and to focus solely on maintaining positive energy and putting together solid proof of her true income for the judge. Since the truth was on her side, I helped her steadily grow her faith and expect The Best — that everything would ultimately be resolved in her favor.

She was able to remain calm, get the expert help she needed, and triumph in court. In fact, not only was the case against her dismissed, but the judge substantially INCREASED the amount of child support her ex-husband was paying her and ordered him to pay all back child support he owed, as well as half of her attorney fees.

When faced with unfair treatment, the rule of thumb we can use is this: If there is something you need to do to protect your own material interests, then DO it, without generating negative emotion about the person or situation. And, if there is nothing you can do about it, then simply re-focus your attention toward what you want for YOUR life.

Where attention goes, energy flows. So stay focused on what you WANT and allow others to learn their own Life Lessons and reap their own karma. Living well, as they say, is the best revenge.

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

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

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