January 19, 2020

“Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement.  The bigger your goals and clearer they are, the more excited you become about achieving them. The more you think about your goals, the greater becomes your inner drive and desire to accomplish them. – from WalktheTalk.com

I hope you have taken some time to complete the powerful exercises from the last two blogs.  The Reflection Exercise (January 5 Blog #359) asks you some probing questions to consider so you can decide what worked and didn’t work for you in the past year and what you want to have and do in the new year ahead.  Once you mentally and emotionally complete 2019 and identify your key life lessons from it, you are ready to move forward with passion and enthusiasm to make your 2020 even better.

The New Year Creation exercise (January 12 Blog #360) gives you the opportunity to envision how you want your 2020 to be in all the areas of life that are most important to YOU personally – health, relationships, career, family, travel, finances, spirituality, etc.  Writing down your Big Goals gives them real power, because it tells God/The Universe and your subconscious mind exactly what you want, so they can figure out the HOW for you to get them. It builds your excitement and all-important BELIEF that you WILL get them – because you start each specific vision statement with “I am so grateful that…” like it’s already a DONE DEAL.

Of course, not everything that you write down will come to pass and your Big Goals are not all equally important to you.  But I have been doing these two exercises for the past 15 years and I am consistently impressed that about 80 percent of the Big Goals I write down for my life in January become my reality by the time I check on them again in December, even if I had forgotten writing some them!

Last week was the beginning of one of my own Biggest Goals for 2020: A free webinar I presented about how I found and have proven for myself that there is a NEW Success Formula for manifesting any Big Goal with greater speed and ease than you might imagine is possible.

The OLD Success Formula that I had been teaching my clients for the past 15 years was good, but it worked better for some people than others.  Last September, I serendipitously was led to the “missing link” that turned it into a brand new FOUR STEPS to SUCCESS Formula.  I have been using it myself and teaching it to my private coaching clients for about four months now, and I can tell you it really WORKS.

The free Zoom class I presented on January 13 (which I have been creating and promoting since the Holidays) is the launch of a six-part mastermind/webinar I will be teaching in February and March.  The free introductory one hour class explains what the FOUR STEPS to SUCCESS are.  The six-part mastermind/seminar that begins on Tuesday February 4 will teach each participant exactly HOW to put this four-step NEW Success Formula into practice to reach a heartfelt Big Goal that they would like to have by the end of the first quarter of 2020.

If you missed the free one-hour class and would like to learn ALL the details of the FOUR STEPS to SUCCESS system, here is the replay link:

https://zoom.us/rec/share/-uMsf7jQ00NLeoH8xnD2RZYiH6fJeaa82yQf-qEPy0lLMGLqSmJ-KIF4JDk1Wn_Q

To recap briefly, the old system had three steps for manifesting anything you want using the power of the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) to help you reach a Big Goal:

  • STEP ONE: ASK for what you want, clearly and specifically. God/The Universe and your subconscious mind need to be clear on what you want if they are going to figure out the best, more efficient HOW for getting it for you.
  • STEP TWO: BELIEVE that you are going to get it. You MUST believe that your dream will become a reality.  It’s the toughest part of the system for most of us, because our Old, Limiting Beliefs get in the way.  Our Egos are constantly telling us why we CAN’T accomplish our Big Goals, based on their interpretation of things that have happened to stop us in the past or what someone else has told us about their experience, trying to convince us that the same fate will befall us if we pursue that goal.  Fortunately, despite what your Ego thinks, our BELIEFS are not the “Truth” – they are just an interpretation of specific events that have happened to us in the past.  Just because something happened to us before does NOT mean that the same things will inevitably  happen the same way if we try again – especially if we try again with a New Empowering Belief to give us confidence to take the actions that God/The Universe is directing us to take.
  • STEP THREE: RECEIVE I used to interpret this third step of the Old Success Formula to mean “Receive the Goal you are after.” Now, I have learned that it really is just the third of the FOUR STEPS to Success.  It’s not the endgame.  It’s the all-important step where your Higher Power gives you the HOW – the inspired ideas, resources, inner urges to be in the right place at the right time, connections to the right people, etc. — that will guide you to take the right ACTIONS which will lead you to a successful outcome.

I think my favorite positive thought minister, Joel Osteen, explains it perfectly: If your vision is limited, your life will be limited.  Dare to get a fresh, new vision of victory for your life and trust God to bring it to pass.  You don’t have to figure out how it’s going to happen.  All you have to do is believe.  One touch of God’s favor can bring any dream to pass.  But you have to see it on the inside before it will ever come to pass on the outside.”

  • STEP FOUR: The NEW Step Four is “ACHIEVE” After you get the specific guidance from your Higher Power as to the BEST course of action to take, you must TAKE ACTION on those Divine leads, and  then you will ACHIEVE any Big Goal that you pursue using this system.

The game-changing tool that I explain in some detail in the free class is having a focused, DAILY collaboration with your Higher Power.  During this brief morning journaling session, you express GRATITUDE IN ADVANCE to your Higher Power for giving you the leads/directions (AKA: the HOW) that will enable you to fulfill the specific Big Goals you are after, in multiple areas of your life at the same time.

The ideal format for this daily Divine collaboration came to me when I unexpectedly ran across May McCarthy’s amazing little paperback book, The Gratitude Formula. She has been using her own specific form of gratitude-in-advance journaling to connect to her Higher Power (or “Chief Spiritual Officer” as she whimsically calls hers) nearly every day for the past three decades.  It has made her a highly successful serial entrepreneur with seven different companies collectively valued at over $110 million.  She attributes her enormous success to the daily “leads” she gets from her CSO that guide her with the ideas and connections to solve any personal or professional problem and achieve any Big Goal in any area of her life.  (If you choose, you could use it as a practical tool to put some of the Visions you wrote in your New Year Creation 2020 into ACTION, so you can make them a reality.)

After I read her book last fall, I decided to prove it for myself by setting several specific Big Goals. They had audacious time deadlines that seemed far-fetched at the time, but I was amazed that I reached them all.  Then I began sharing the Gratitude Formula with my private coaching clients and they, too, had outstanding success with it.

That’s when I decided that I MUST share with a wider audience the new FOUR STEPS to SUCCESS System, which incorporates the key tool of the Gratitude Formula to help you get the HOW.  I hope you will listen to the replay ASAP and check it out for yourself.  If you have some BIG GOALS of your own that you want to achieve this year, but you don’t know HOW you will be able to do it, this course is for YOU! As May McCarthy says, “Success isn’t a Secret.  It’s a System.”  Yes it is!  And YOU can learn to master it too!

Check out the free video recording:

https://zoom.us/rec/share/-uMsf7jQ00NLeoH8xnD2RZYiH6fJeaa82yQf-qEPy0lLMGLqSmJ-KIF4JDk1Wn_Q

At the end of the one-hour presentation, I give all the details on the six-hour Success Formula 2020 Course that begins Tuesday at 6pm PST February 4 and ends Tuesday March 17 (with one Tuesday off on February 25). All six one-hour classes will be recorded so you don’t have to be on all the live calls.  If you are interested in registering or have questions, please email me ASAP so you can get the Early Bird discount.

Whether you join us or not, know that I wish you UNLIMITED Success in 2020 and far beyond!

IMPORTANT NOTE: The blog will be taking the next two weeks off to give you time to finish your Reflections and New Year Creation exercises and for me to continue my preparations for the Success Formula 2020 course.  Watch for your next Cup of Caroll on Sunday February 9

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

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

Give a friend, colleague or loved one a truly unique gift that can get their 2020 off to a great start — 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 awhile, feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!)

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

 

December 15, 2019

“The habit of giving only enhances the desire to give.” – Walt Whitman

Welcome to the final Cup of Caroll for the year.  We are ending 2019 on a high note, with another very successful Pay it Forward Challenge under our belts, as so many of my cherished readers have enthusiastically spread comfort and joy far and wide this Holiday Season!

I have loved sharing the many touching and creative ways you have come up with to show kindness and generosity to others. I know the ripples of your Pay It Forward actions will spread far and wide, as those you have blessed pay your kindnesses forward to others and on and on!

Besides the good feeling you get from helping others, did you know that your giving will also come back to YOU in many practical ways?  Gratitude is said to be the most powerful positive emotion for attracting MORE good things to you because the Law of Attraction dictates that “energy attracts like energy.”  I have seen plenty of this in my own life, and I want to share some recent personal results with you to close out our 2019 PIF Challenge.

But first, I must share just one more reader story, because it so beautifully illustrates the principle that giving generously to others not only blesses them, but also comes back to bless YOU, as well.  One of my readers sent me this email after reading the last blog:

“I have been paying it forward to the Universe and getting pretty good things back in return.  We have made the decision to never resell anything that was given to us for free, even if it has a high monetary value.  It seems now that when we hand something to someone else, there is some gift, material or not, waiting for us in return.  Recently, I had been wanting a midcentury dropleaf table, and I had been hoarding a GIANT tub of Legos for a kit I realized I would never have the time to put together.  I heard my neighbor coming home from work and walked out to the parking lot with these Lego tubs to give to her son. She had been helping a friend clean out a storage unit and as I handed her the Legos, she took the table I had been wanting out of her SUV and offered it to me!  It was unbelievable, but of course, giving things away feels good even when there is no return.”

There is always a return! You may not receive it back from the same person or institution you gave to, but you WILL receive exactly what YOU want and need from somewhere – You can count on that!

Here’s my own story that illustrates this Law of Attraction principle:

In September, I came across a life-changing book by a successful entrepreneur named May McCarthy.  I absolutely believe I was guided to it, as I was scrolling through my “Good News” feed and saw a link to a podcast in which the author was being interviewed about her book called The Gratitude Formula. Normally, I wouldn’t take time to listen to a podcast, but this was a short 7-minute clip and the topic, being gratitude-related, caught my attention.  I just felt a strong urge to click on it and listen.

What I heard rocked my world!  She told an amazing story of asking God/the Universe to show her how to bring an additional $400,000 to her company by the end of the business quarter and it happened!  It was clearly divine guidance that led her intuition to steer her to be in the exact right place at the precise moment to bump into a prospect she had been trying to get a business meeting with for weeks.  They spoke on the fly, and he asked her to set up a presentation.  In just a few weeks, he had signed a contract with her company for $400,000 – the exact amount and timing that she had asked for. She said that this was just one of hundreds of “miraculous” occurrences she had used to build seven companies worth over $110 million.

I immediately got her book and all my coaching clients got it too, and together we all began working with a specific type of Daily Gratitude Journal that is a letter to our Higher Power, expressing gratitude for all we have now AND for all the things we want in the future in every area of life – health, relationships, finances, recreation, home, etc. I have taught this principle to my clients for 15 years, having them describe their life on paper exactly the way that want it to be in the New Year.  But expressing GRATITUDE in advance for the desired outcomes was the missing link to make it a “formula” that works reliably for everyone.

To test it out, I decided to ask for something specific for my business and my husband’s, to prove to myself whether an unlikely outcome could be achieved in a specific amount of time.  I wrote in my Gratitude Formula Journal to God each morning, “Thank you that by the end of the year, I have 10 ideal new or returning coaching clients who are delighted with my services and who bring me prosperity in return.” And for my husband’s real estate business, I wrote, “Thank you for connecting Rick to one or more ideal buyers and/or sellers who will appreciate his skilled help with their real estate needs and bring him a generous commission in return.”

For the first few weeks of doing it every morning, nothing big happened.  But I noticed that Rick and I both got a number of nice little financial windfalls. Rick received an unexpected referral commission and I was delighted that many of my clients decided to continue in coaching beyond their initial contracts, which meant that I had greater income over the Holidays — the most challenging time of year in my coaching practice. And our tax accountant determined that we would likely get a refund on our 2019 taxes, instead of owing more, as I had feared.

Over a couple of months, as I became more skilled with my journaling and more inspired by these little demonstrations, bigger serendipitous outcomes started to happen.  Several past clients I had not spoken to in months or years contacted me out of the blue, wanting to resume coaching, and we are once again doing some great things together! My clients have sent me many wonderful referrals, and the free sessions I did in November and December introduced me to some fabulous new clients who have committed to coaching in the New Year!

But the most amazing outcome so far happened last week, when I least expected it. As I approached a local café for my morning coffee, a young man held the door for me, and I smiled and thanked him.  On foot, dressed very casually in jeans and a hoodie, he didn’t look homeless, but he didn’t look too prosperous either.  As I was getting my coffee, I noticed him counting out change in his hand, as he looked at the items in the deli case.  When he mumbled to the cashier that he would “be back,” and quickly left, it was clear to me that he didn’t have enough money to buy breakfast.

When I caught up with him in the parking lot, he turned and smiled at me and asked, “Excuse me, Ma’am.  Do you have any spare change?”  I had been intending to offer him $5, but instead I spontaneously pulled out a $20 bill and handed it to him.  His look of happy amazement was priceless!  He said, “God bless you!” walked a few feet, then turned and added, “Merry Christmas!”

As many of my readers have reported, it felt great to help a stranger with a spontaneous Pay it Forward kindness!  Feeling confident and happy when I got home, I spontaneously emailed someone I done a free session of coaching with the prior week, and invited her to coach with me in January.  I loved her energy and knew that we would both benefit from working together, but I hadn’t heard anything from her since our session, which usually is not a good sign.  I didn’t get a reply to my email all day. But late that night, she surprised me by responding, “Let’s do this!”

I am delighted and grateful that she is now the seventh new or returning client who has come to me since the Pay it Forward Challenge began around Thanksgiving, and I am still connecting with potential new and returning clients every day.  Recently, my husband Rick also got a call from a couple he hadn’t heard from in months, wanting to resume searching for their perfect home now, in the middle of December, which is not a normal occurrence in real estate!

I feel divinely guided to share this Gratitude Formula with others, so I am currently working on a webinar about it for February.  I cannot wait to see the miracles that will occur for those who learn how to put their Gratitude into ACTION in their daily lives, not only to bless themselves, but everyone they come across.

Stay tuned for more information about the course in January!  In the meantime, I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, or whatever tradition you celebrate this time of year. Let’s keep paying our many blessings forward to others far beyond the Holidays. I promise you it will come back to bless you over and over again, too!

NOTE: A Cup of Caroll will be on vacation for the rest of the year.  Look for a new post on Sunday January 5, followed by information about the upcoming Gratitude Formula Webinar as well.

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

************ Give Yourself or Someone Else 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.  You can offer this to a friend as well!

December 8, 2019

“You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” – John Wooden

“Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.” – Charles M. Schulz

(First, I have to say “Happy Birthday” to my brother, Harbison Parker.  Big Bro, I hope this is a great one for you and your family!  — Love, Your Lil’ Sis)

In case you didn’t read the last two blogs, I started the Pay it Forward Challenge spontaneously several years ago around Thanksgiving because a gentleman in line ahead of me at Starbucks surprised me by paying for my drink. When I tried to thank him, he just smiled and said, “I trust you will pay it forward.”

My day had not been going too well up to that point, but this stranger’s thoughtful gesture turned my frown upside down and I wanted to pass along that warm feeling to others.  So, I bought a packet of $5.00 Starbucks gift cards and gave one to the barista at the counter whenever I stopped in throughout the Holidays, asking her to bestow it on whomever she wanted. This made me happier than any of the wonderful Christmas gifts I received!

Gratitude is thankfulness in ACTION, so I challenged my coaching clients and cherished readers to do some kind and generous act for someone else during the Holidays to show their sincere gratitude for all the many blessings in their lives. Year in and year out, they have come through in many creative ways.

Now, to finish off our “Pay it Forward Challenge 2019 results stories, I am happy to share more of their great ideas with you, in hopes they will inspire you to do a nice deed for someone else and keep our chain of “comfort and joy” going.

  • One reader recently baked 10 pies to share with the residents of the assisted living home where she regularly visits her dad.
  • Another reader emailed, “I live in a rural town. Many of my friends and I are giving $100 each to our local police department.  The plan is that the officers will randomly give $20 to folks they come across that need it.  It helps our police department, too, by giving them a positive influence in our community.”
  • A teacher spends about 20 minutes of class time on “Gratitude Fridays.” First, she shows her 6th graders a short video about some aspect of gratitude. (She says there are LOTS of these videos on YouTube and TED talks.) Then she gives them a different assignment each week designed to expand their understanding of the importance of being grateful. This past week, she had them list 10 things they were grateful for in their lives right now and say WHY they felt thankful for each thing. For example, “I am grateful for my Mom because she fixes me breakfast and makes sure I get to school on time every day.”
  • One reader told me her church has a tradition of asking each family in the congregation to purchase a warm sleeping bag on Amazon.com and have it shipped directly to the church, which then takes all the sleeping bags to the streets and distributes them to the homeless.
  • Local grassroots organizations give us great opportunities to pay our blessings forward in many ways. One reader in Colorado has her kids fill backpacks with books and school supplies and drop them off to Kinsey’s Kids, which serves underprivileged children.
  • Similarly, the local Rodan + Fields direct sales community supports Hope House of Colorado, whose mission is to provide local teen moms with encouragement, education and empowerment. This is the third year the community is coming together to do the Christmas Stocking and Stuffers Drive. The consultants can personally shop for toys or much-needed supplies for the moms and their precious kids, or simply make donations online that are then turned into purchases by other volunteers.

Here is a recent Pay It Forward story that I loved in the online good news feed:

Adrianna Edwards used to have to walk four and a half long hours in order to get to work every day at a Denny’s restaurant in Galveston, Texas. She had been scrimping and saving to buy herself a car so she would no longer have to make the 14-mile trek to and from her job.

An anonymous couple who Edwards had been serving at her restaurant learned about her grueling commute. Hours after they paid their bill, they returned to the restaurant with a 2011 Nissan Sentra and handed the keys to a dumbfounded Edwards. Their only condition for the gift was that Edwards simply pay the good deed forward.

Now that she is freed from having to buy a car, Edwards says that she will be able to put herself through college much sooner than she expected—and she is already planning on using her good fortune to help others.

“I still feel like I’m dreaming. Every two hours, I come look out my window to see if there’s still a car there,” Edwards said. “When I see somebody in need, I’ll probably be more likely to help them out (and) to do everything that I can to help them out.”

But of ALL the many wonderful stories my cherished readers have submitted so far, one is my very favorite.  It proves that one simple act of kindness that “someone will never be able to repay” can create miracles for them – and YOU:

“I got into a minor car accident last spring and the young man at fault told me that his car had been broken into earlier that day and his license and wallet had been stolen. I could see the broken window, and I believed him.  Clearly, he was having a REALLY bad day. He asked me if he could pay for the damage himself, because he didn’t want his insurance rates to skyrocket. 

I agreed and took his information. My local garage gave me an estimate of $1400 for the body work. He didn’t have that much in a lump sum, but asked to send me what he could every month, and I agreed to hold the payments until $1400 had been accumulated.  He was faithful to his word, sending me a few hundred each month until it reached $1400.

By that time, the lease was up on my car, and I turned it in and got a new one, without ever fixing the damage.  Of course, I expected to hear from the dealer about charging me for the repairs, but weeks went by and I was amazed that they never contacted me.

I didn’t want to keep the young man’s $1400, since it was no longer needed for repairs, so I called him. He sounded groggy, like he had been asleep.  I reminded him who I was and said, ‘I have some good news for you!  I am going to Venmo you your $1400 back.’ 

He was completely flabbergasted!  He blurted out, ‘I lost my job and it’s been really tough.  I didn’t know how I was going to pay my rent this month.  You are an ANGEL!’ He even called me back to thank me a second time and make sure he hadn’t been dreaming!  I just told him to pay it forward and wished him a great Holiday.”

3 Steps to Becoming More Grateful from DailyHealthPost.com

“In times of hardship, or stress, it might seem difficult to be grateful.  But if you really think about it, we all have something to be grateful for. If you engage in only one prayer, let it simply be a heartfelt ‘thank you.’  Here are three easy ways to put yourself in the mindfulness of gratitude.

  • Keep a daily journal of things you are grateful for – list at least three. The best times for writing in your journal are in the morning before your day begins or at night before sleep.
  • Make it a point to tell people in your life what you appreciate about them on a daily basis.
  • When you look in the mirror, give yourself a moment to think about a quality you like about yourself or something you have recently accomplished.

Through the power of gratitude, you can wire your brain to be optimistic and compassionate, making you feel good.  The more you look, the more you can find to be grateful for.  This positivity can extend to those around you, creating a virtuous cycle.”

Let’s keep the gratitude goodness flowing through the rest of the Holidays!  If we all continue to do random small good deeds for others and ask them to Pay it Forward, this truly will be a Season of Comfort and Joy for the many lives that your kindness will touch.

PLEASE NOTE: Next week will be the final Cup of Caroll for 2019.  In it, I will share my own Gratitude Miracle with you and give you a preview of some exciting things I have planned for the New Year!

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

************ Give Yourself or Someone Else 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.  You can offer this to a friend as well!

November 24, 2019

“The habit of giving only enhances the desire to give.” – Walt Whitman

This is one of my favorite blogs I get to write during the year!  I hope it will be just the first, as more and more of my cherished readers share what they have done to make others’ lives a little lighter and brighter during the Holidays.

If you didn’t read my last post (Show Your Gratitude – Blog 355), it kicked off the annual Pay It Forward Challenge that I began several years ago.  From Thanksgiving through the end of the year, I invite my wonderful readers to join me in spreading some “comfort and joy” wherever we are, as a way of putting our gratitude into ACTION by making an extra effort to be kind and generous toward our fellow human beings.

A new client recently sent me an article from DailyHealthPost.com titled “Gratitude Rewires Your Brain to be Happier.”  Psychologists from the University of California Davis and the University of Miami published a study in 2015 that looked at the physical outcomes of practicing gratitude.  Among the randomly-selected study subjects, one third kept a daily journal of things that happened during the week for which they were grateful.  Another third recorded daily irritations or events that had displeased them.  The last third of the study group wrote down daily situations and events that occurred, with no special emphasis on either positive or negative emotional reactions as to what had happened.

The randomly-assigned group that wrote daily about things they were grateful for reported feeling more optimistic and positive about their lives than the other two groups.  In addition, the gratitude group was more physically active and reported fewer visits to a doctor than those who wrote only about their negative experiences.

The article concluded, “Through the power of gratitude, you can wire your brain to be optimistic and compassionate, making you feel good.  The more you look, the more you can find to be grateful for.  This positivity can extend to those around you, creating a virtuous cycle.”

I would add that not only does paying it forward to others demonstrate your sincere thankfulness for the blessing in your life, but it is also a proven way to put the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) to work bringing you even MORE good to be grateful for.

Spreading kindness doesn’t have to be a big gesture.  I got the idea for the PIF Challenge when someone ahead of me in line at Starbucks paid for my drink.  When I approached him to thank him, he just smiled and said, “I trust you will pay it forward.”  And I did just that for the rest of the Holiday Season by buying multiple packs of $5 Starbucks gift cards and giving one to a barista at the counter every time I visited the store, asking her to bestow it on any customer at random after I left.  (Anonymous gestures of kindness and generosity can be the MOST fun of all!) This always puts a surprised smile on the barista’s face, too!

At the end of the last blog, I asked you to email me your own Pay it Forward stories so I could share them with other readers, in hopes of inspiring even MORE random acts of kindness and generosity among us.  Here are some of my favorites so far:

  • One reader regularly slips a note with a $10 bill in it into a package of diapers at Walmart for a surprised new mom to find when she opens it. The note says, “I know being a new mom can be tough.  You are doing a great job!”
  • My reader was standing in line at a restaurant cash register when she overhead that the guest in front of her was $5 short to pay her bill. While the woman frantically ran out to her car to search for more money, my client anonymously paid the balance for her.
  • Another reader at a restaurant noticed a less-than-prosperous-looking elderly couple sitting nearby and anonymously paid their tab before he left.
  • Many said they purposely over-tip hardworking servers and leave a note with the bill that says, “Thank you for your service!” (I recently heard of a new tipping practice that is apparently catching on in which those who can afford it leave a tip for the server equal to the amount of the bill. I hope one day soon to be able to do that myself!)
  • For several winters in a row, one of my readers has put together comfort bundles that include a couple of pairs of new warm sox, protein bars, Cutie tangerines and bottled water. She carries them in her car and hands them out to any homeless folks she sees. Once, when she went to the “skid row” section of her city to hand them out, a number of people ran up to her excitedly, having heard about her comfort bundles.
  • Similarly, a reader’s church has an annual drive to collect travel-size personal hygiene items like shampoo, shaving cream, soap, toothpaste, etc. to bundle together and distribute to the homeless throughout the year.
  • Several selfless readers say they plan to volunteer serving meals to the less fortunate on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • One reader decided to play even BIGGER and get her whole network marketing Team involved in the PIF Challenge. She had them read my blog, and then told them that anyone who posts on the Team’s Facebook page about an act of kindness or generosity they did will get one chance in her raffle for a fun gift. The more acts of kindness they post about, the more chances they earn in the drawing.
  • One of my clients who teaches 6th grade gave her class the assignment to think about the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and write a page about all the things they can feel grateful for IN ADVANCE about it, such as spending fun times with friends and family they don’t often see. She asked them to really think deeply, visualize what they want and be specific. They already knew how to journal about things they are grateful for in their lives right NOW, but this assignment taught to be forward thinking by feeling grateful IN ADVANCE for what they WANT to have happen – which is a tried and true technique for triggering the Law of Attraction to MAKE it happen!
  • Rick and I helped “Gracie,” a sweet big dog who needed a ride from the vet to a temporary boarding facility, while our favorite local grassroots non-profit, The Little Red Dog, went about finding her a good new Forever Home for the Holidays. The round trip took two hours on busy freeways, but it was totally worth it.

I hope these Pay it Forward Challenge stories will give you some new ideas for creative ways to put your own gratitude into ACTION to help others. Once you start, I predict it will become a 365-day happy habit for you! Please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com and share your own stories so we can all enjoy another round of inspiring Pay It Forward outcomes this Holiday Season!

PLEASE NOTE: The blog is taking the holiday weekend off. Look for your next Cup of Caroll to arrive on Sunday December 8.  In the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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

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

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

“Recreation is a valuable tool to provide positive energy and balance…that will help you achieve your goals.” – May McCarthy

I was planning to stay home today and write on a different blog topic.  I woke up this morning wrestling with myself about whether to do something fun Rick and I had planned or put my nose to the grindstone and do a fresh blog and some other paperwork.  I was leaning toward the grindstone. But it was a beautiful day and I longed to be outside for at least part of it.

My husband and I had registered weeks ago to attend a special free event in our area – a celebration in honor of the 179th anniversary of the birth of Madame Helen Modjeska, a Polish actress who came to Orange County in the late 1800s to leave the repression of her homeland for the freedom of a life of farming on the California frontier.

Once a year the Parks Department opens the Modjeska house and gardens to a free tour and special Shakespeare presentation by local talent, in honor of Madame Modjeska.  In her day, which was the late 1800s to the early 1900s, she was the Meryl Streep of live theater, and was especially famous for her Shakespeare roles.  She toured all over the USA, and was such a sensation for decades that many consumer products were named after her, from perfumes to candy.

Her beautiful home, which she called “Arden” after the forest in one of Shakespeare’s plays, is one of two National Historical Monuments in Orange County (the other being the birthplace of President Nixon.) Arden is just 20 minutes from our house, but once you are out in canyon country, among the towering live oaks and horse ranches, it feels like a world away and a different time.  The house, designed by famed architect Leland Stanford, is country chic stunning.

We really wanted to go to this event, but I was torn by guilt, knowing it would take up most of my Saturday, which is usually dedicated to writing the blog, doing a little housework, and catching up on paperwork that I don’t have time for during my coaching week.

But the first thing this morning, I opened a book I have been studying for the past month (and planning to teach a course on next spring) called The Gratitude Formula by May McCarthy, who is a highly successful entrepreneur. The book uses a special type of daily gratitude journaling to help you tap into divine guidance by using your innate intuition to co-create anything you want for your life –business success, wonderful relationships, financial abundance, a fit body, first-class travel experiences, a new dream home – literally ANYTHING you want.

The chapter I read this morning to prepare for my daily gratitude journaling exercise was about (of all things) “Recreation and Fun.”  I had never really thought about the possibility of creating more of THAT in my life, although I knew I needed it.  I had been focusing my journaling on more “practical” goals like business success and financial abundance.

Here’s what really struck me from this chapter of May’s book:

“What do you absolutely love to do?  Where can you lose hours having fun?  The answers to these questions could give you a clue to discovering your ideal recreation.  I looked up the definition of recreation: ‘The refreshment of one’s mind or body after work through activity that amuses or stimulates play; an activity that provides such refreshment.’

What do you think of and how do you feel when you hear the words ‘refreshment,’ ‘play,’ ‘amuse,’ and ‘stimulate’?  I can’t help but smile, feel happy and think of fun.

Recreation is a valuable tool to provide positive energy and balance.  According to researchers who have studied successful aging, participating in activities that reduce stress provides tremendous health benefits. These benefits include better immune function, less illnesses and physical complaints, more energy, feeling more relaxed, sleeping better, better digestion, a calmer mood, more focus, and more positivity.  Doesn’t that sound like a perfect state to be in to notice more intuitive and subconscious messaging that will help you achieve your goals?”

Well, that made perfect sense to me!  I knew that being in a positive state of energy made it much easier to attract positive people and outcomes to you via the Law of Attraction, since “energy attracts like energy, after all!

Then this next paragraph REALLY grabbed me:

“I’ve found it interesting over the past 30 years speaking to people who are much older than I am and asking if there was anything in life that they would do differently.  Most of the time, the answers are that they’d have more fun and not put so much pressure on themselves to be perfect.  They wouldn’t spend as much time at work, and they’d live a balanced life, so that they didn’t neglect their family and friends.”

WOW.  This was exactly what I needed to hear to help me choose whether to stay home and work or go to see Madame Modjeska’s home and enjoy Shakespeare under the towering oaks outside on a gorgeous fall day in Southern California.  I had my good reason to go have FUN.

Rick and I had a great time. During the three hours we were there, I felt my heartrate slow and my lungs fill with clean country air. I basked in the golden fall sunshine and laughed with the players who made Shakespeare FUN for everyone, even the kids who were there.

And guess what? Just as May McCarthy promised, enjoying recreation and fun did make me more productive. In my case, it gave me the content for this blog, which can take sometimes 2 or 3 hours for me to write, huddled in front of my computer screen, missing out on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.  This one took me just one hour to write after I returned from the Modjeska event, so I got to have my birthday cake and eat it too!

I hope you will focus on doing your BEST at your job or business when it’s the right time to WORK.  This message isn’t an excuse for you to slack off or not be accountable.

But if like me, you are prone to work TOO much and not give yourself grace to unplug and take some regular “Me Time” each week, consider that doing so could actually be the key to unlocking MORE success in all areas of your life.

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!

December 17, 2017

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

“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” – John Bunyan

“Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.” – Charles Schulz

At last, Christmas is nigh!  You will recall that in early November, I was really feeling the need for a little “Christmas Spirit” right away, so I kicked off the blog’s annual Pay It Forward Challenge early.  The challenge is to demonstrate our true, heartfelt gratitude for all the good in our lives by spreading it to others in the form of kind, generous, hospitable deeds and uplifting, encouraging and loving words.

In ways big and small, local and far-flung, my wonderful readers responded with an outpouring of healing energy and love, which our world has never needed more than now.

As 2017 draws to a close, many of us will heave a sigh of relief that we survived the non-stop floods, fires, hurricanes, mass shootings, online cruelty and governmental incompetence. But now we can also let out a little sigh of happiness and fulfillment, knowing we did OUR part to make life a little bit easier, happier and brighter for our fellow human beings.

Here are just a few of the creative ways you and others have found to Pay It Forward and make a difference:

In the News:

  • As they have for the past 10 years, an anonymous donor and his wife in Fort Collins, Colorado bought out the local Goodwill store’s supplies of children’s books, toys and stuffed animals. Whenever a child entered the store, they were told to pick out a free gift for themselves.  The couple briefly stayed to watch some of their joyous reactions before slipping out the front door, unnoticed.
  • The wildfires in Southern California (which are still raging) closed many schools, causing low-income children to also lose the breakfast, lunches and even dinners the schools provide to combat hunger and help them focus on their schoolwork. So one school district left a school cafeteria open and volunteer staff continued to serve kids nutritious daily meals, which took a huge weight off of families who were already worried about losing their homes. One family even used the district food trays to put together a 10-year-old’s birthday party on school grounds.
  • Over 100 retired nuns, some in their late 80s, had to evacuate their nursing home during one of the L.A. fires. Some went to medical facilities, but staff members took most of them into their own homes and cared for them like family. (Now THAT is practicing “Radical Hospitality”!)
  • While a mother was struggling to handle a screaming toddler and a fussy baby in the parking lot at a Walmart, a police officer got out of his patrol car, took the toddler’s hand, fetched a cart for the mom and walked them all into the store. Later, when the toddler was crying because his mother couldn’t afford to get him a toy, the same officer appeared again to pay for the toy AND the mom’s entire shopping cart full of food.

Our Own Stories:

  • One reader and her family “adopted” a family of six who are temporarily living in a local shelter and bought Christmas presents for each of them. She also told the shelter’s staff to let her know about future fundraisers or other needs and promised that her networking marketing Team would pitch in to support their work.
  • Another reader donated part of her monthly sales commission to a local women’s shelter where “they need a fresh start.” Several others also donated part of their commissions to local causes in both November and December. (I especially love donating to local charities and grassroots organizations that support your local community. A few dollars mean so much more to them than to the big national charities, although those are certainly worthy too.)
  • I also received an eCard from one of my clients stating that in lieu of cards and gifts this year, she and her husband are donating to a number of worthy causes and hoping that her friends will choose to do the same.
  • One thoughtful reader sent a “comfort package” containing a warm blanket and cute bunny slippers to a friend who is battling cancer and feeling cold.
  • As they do every year, a network marketing Team decorated a Catholic Charities shelter with Christmas trees, festive decorations and wrapped gifts for the parents and children who are spending Christmas there.
  • A reader eating at a local restaurant noticed a waitress sitting at a nearby table, patiently studying the menu with an elderly gentleman. Overhearing that he was searching for items with a senior discount, she quietly slipped the waitress $20 to pay for his lunch and told her to give him the change.
  • A reader’s friend loves her skin care regimen for adult acne, but her husband said they had to cut the family’s budget, so my reader surprised her with the regimen as an early Christmas gift.
  • One of my readers connected a friend who was looking for a job with someone else she knows who had an opening. The job seeker got the job and is thrilled to have a temp assignment over the Holidays that could become a full time gig later on.
  • One reader took my $5 Starbucks gift card random distribution idea out into the streets and passed them out to Vets who were watching a Veterans Day parade.
  • Another reader took the Starbucks gift card idea one step further: She surprised her dentist’s office with a gift card big enough to buy every member of the staff a treat.
  • At the beginning of November, an elementary school teacher had her class create their own Daily Gratitude Journals from construction paper and lined notebook paper. Every school day, they took time in class to list THREE things they were grateful for. They had to be different things each day. At the end of the month, she assigned a short essay on what they learned from seeing the wide variety of things they each had to be grateful for in their lives.  The kids absolutely loved it and many want to keep up the daily practice.
  • The same teacher told me that at the student talent show, a girl who was supposed to play the ukulele and sing instead froze on stage. The other performers came out of the wings and surrounded her with their kind support until she began to sing.
  • One reader told me she unexpectedly ran into a friend who had just had a suspicious mammogram and now needed a biopsy. My reader spontaneously gave her a warm hug and assured her it would be OK. The friend later told her the small tumor was benign and that her hug and caring had made a world of difference for her.
  • I bought two Christmas trees that did double-duty in Paying it Forward: My gift helped a friend’s son support his school baseball program AND I donated the trees to the school to give away, which turned out to be to the families of California Highway Patrol officers who had either been killed in the line of duty or were unable to work.

Well, there you have it!  We did a GREAT job of spreading some comfort and cheer around in 2017, a year that surely needed all it could muster!  I hope you will look for even MORE ways to spread a little extra before the year is over….And then ramp up to continue Paying it Forward throughout the New Year.  Let’s BE the change we want to see in the world!

My Christmas Wish is that 2018 will bring all of us an overflowing abundance of peace, love, health and prosperity.  If we keep on showing our sincere gratitude to God/The Universe for our many blessings by spreading love and kindness to others, I am quite sure that The Best is already on its way to us!

PLEASE NOTE: This is the final blog for 2017.  A Cup of Caroll will return to your in-box on Sunday, January 7 with a proven way to get your New Year off to a successful start!

*************** 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.

“Make it a habit to tell people thank you — To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return.  Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you.  Truly appreciate life and you’ll find that you have more of it.” – Ralph Marston

[This slightly-edited blog first ran in 2014.  I give this incredibly powerful prosperity tip to all my Personal Success Coaching clients, and I want to share it with YOU, too!]

Feeling grateful is my habitual way of being, but that wasn’t always so.

It came from consciously following a daily practice that has greatly increased both my joy and the level of material abundance in my life. When I began it years ago, there was much more fear than gratitude inside of me.

Soon after my wonderful husband Rick and I bought our big expensive Dream Home in late 2006, the national real estate bubble burst with a vengeance.  Our home’s value plummeted by hundreds of thousands of dollars and my Realtor husband’s income evaporated overnight. At the same time, many of my clients had to quit coaching because their incomes also had been decimated by the Great Recession.

For months, I regularly woke up around 3 AM with a cold wave of fear engulfing me as I lay next to my sleeping husband thinking, “What if we lose our house?  Could we end up living in our car like the people on the evening news? Would our friends let us sleep on their couch?  What will happen to our beloved pets?”  I lay there envisioning the Worst Case Scenario in living color until the alarm clock finally went off. Then I would drag myself out of bed and try to put on a happy face for my family and my clients, but inside I was terrified.

Because of my faith and my coaching training, I knew the antidote to fear was to change my thoughts.  So I began to study every book and audio about prosperity that I could get my hands on. The consistent message coming to me from all the Master Manifesters was “Be grateful.”  That seemed like a real stretch, given our bleak circumstances and the predicted length of the Great Recession.

One day, I was watching Oprah interview Sarah Ban Brethnach, the author of Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy.  Sarah recommended that the path to greater abundance started with keeping a Daily Gratitude Journal. Oprah enthusiastically endorsed the practice, saying that it had changed her life.  Well, Oprah was already one of the richest people on the planet, so that got my attention. What could possibly make her life better?

Oprah said that writing down five things she felt grateful for in a Gratitude Journal every day changed her life because it made her notice all the GOOD things in her life, big and small.  On a challenging day when she was feeling discouraged or stressed, she had to really pay attention because she knew she would have to come up with five things that she was thankful for at the end of the day!  Keeping a Daily Gratitude Journal made her aware that we are all so blessed to have a life we often take for granted.

That got me thinking about all that I was taking for granted in my own life: My loving, healthy family and pets, an abundance of material comforts like indoor plumbing, a refrigerator full of food, electricity, a microwave, washer and dryer, clean running water, etc. etc. etc. And most of all, we are blessed with personal freedoms that billions of other people don’t enjoy. I was living a modest middle-class lifestyle that would be considered royalty in most of world!

Then I understood the Prosperity Secret that Oprah knew: All I really needed in my life was more GRATITUDE for what I already have, instead of worrying about what’s lacking. We know that what we focus on expands. I was focusing on lack, so I was attracting more LACK into my life.  If I wanted to experience more PROSPERITY, I needed to focus on all the wonderful blessings I had in my life right NOW!

I started a Daily Gratitude Journal that very day. But I write down 10 things I’m thankful for each day because it’s hard to stop at five! My husband and I also began saying “grace” together before our evening meal, giving thanks to God for the specific blessings we are present to right NOW.

Slowly but surely, with a lot of Divine guidance, we began working through every single financial challenge we faced — settling five years of back taxes, discharging a bankruptcy, recovering from losing one car and two houses. Along the way, our family never missed a meal, paid a bill late or spent one night without our own roof over our heads.

Now, my husband’s real estate business is flourishing again, my coaching practice is nearly full and we are experiencing greater financial abundance and personal happiness today than the day we married nine years ago.

One of the clearest explanations of the very real power of GRATITUDE to create more good in your life is found in Felicia Blanco Searcy’s wonderful book Do Greater Things: Following in Jesus’ Footsteps. She writes: 

“…physicists have shown that there are a multitude of possibilities available to us at any given moment. All options are there at once, waiting for us to decide where we will put our focus, which then determines which possibility will manifest. 

…Gratitude opens us to the possibility that anything can happen.  It increases our capacity to entertain other options even if we can’t begin to see how they might happen.  It gives us a renewed sense of hope and brings our focus back to the possibility that things will turn out well. 

As we focus on what is good in our lives, we bring the favorable possibility out from the shadows into the light of day.  We clothe the desired choice and make it real with our thoughts and feelings.  As we focus on gratitude, or appreciation, we give God the space to bring about other possibilities that are beyond our human understanding or imaginings.” 

If you aren’t keeping a Daily Gratitude Journal, I highly recommend starting yours today. Take it from Oprah (and me), your life will never be the same!

NOTE:  If you would like your own F*R*E*E* subscription to receive A Cup of Caroll three Sundays a month, go to my website at www.practicalprosperitycoach.com then click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top and enter your name and email. This information will be kept 100% confidential and will not be given to anyone else for any other purpose.

****************** 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.