June 14, 2020

 I am publishing this Father’s Day tribute a week early because I will be taking next Sunday off.  

 I hope you have plans to spend your Father’s Day with a wonderful father – yours, your children’s, your spouse’s or just a man you admire.  I gratefully acknowledge everyone who is a father or who acts as a role model/mentor for someone else. The influence of a strong, positive role model on a young child is one of life’s most precious gifts, and these heroes don’t get all the credit they deserve for fulfilling this challenging role.

 My longtime readers will recognize this post because I have published it before.  I wanted to do so again for one of my dear clients, who recently lost her beloved father after a valiant fight with cancer.  Kerri, your father was your best friend, just like my father was for me. This is in honor of both our Dads.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PLEASE NOTE: The blog is taking next Sunday off.  (It’s the start of my birthday week.)  A Cup of Caroll will return with a new blog on Sunday June 28.

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 https://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!

June 7, 2020

“The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be still.” – Exodus 14:14 RSV

A daily inspirational post I was reading last week added this perspective to the above Bible quote: “Relax. Stand firm, knowing that with God in charge, all will work out for the highest and best good of all concerned.”

Contemplating this, I had a sudden flash of insight about how to solve a frustrating situation I had been grappling with for over a month. I had tried to solve it by my own brainpower, to no avail.

Thanks to these wise words, I remembered to take a breath, focus my energy on being open and receptive and then take the problem to a much Bigger Mind for the answer.  The process for doing that is something I have written about before in this blog and a tool that I use on a daily basis.  In fact, I am so thrilled with the results my clients and I have gotten by using it, I will be sharing it with all my New Success Membership subscribers beginning this summer.

This simple, fool-proof tool is called The Gratitude Formula, and is described by May McCarthy in her wonderful book of the same name.  I wanted to share with you my recent clear example of how well it works on ALL problems and with ALL personal and business goals, big or small. Here’s how it worked for me:

A little over a month ago, I got a notification that a “derogatory” item had been posted on my credit report by Experian, one of the three major credit reporting agencies.  It claimed that I owed a childcare provider in Minnesota over $800. The debt had been turned over to a collections agency because it was two months past due. That would be a pretty strange debt for me, since I am well past child-rearing age and I live in California!

On top of the inconvenience, this mistake could have serious financial consequences, as I was in the process of applying for a small business loan, and this one item on my otherwise pristine record was the worst possible type of derogatory report for a lender to see: non-payment of a debt.

My Ego’s first reaction was righteous anger and “Why ME, why NOW?” Fortunately, my coaching training got me down off that ledge pretty quickly.  As I teach my clients, the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) can work FOR or AGAINST you. If you respond to adversity with negative thoughts and emotions, your negative energy is only going to attract to you MORE negative outcomes.

I quickly released ALL negative thoughts and feelings and declared (and truly felt) that I forgave whichever overworked employee at the collections agency had made this unintentional error.  I soon shifted into feeling poised and confident that all would be straightened out before the lender pulled my credit report.

Since it was so patently illogical, I thought it would be pretty easy to prove that this was somebody else’s debt that had been placed on my report, perhaps due to our names or our social security numbers being similar.  I was confident that I could take care of this myself and filed a dispute online with Experian.

Off to a good start, Experian emailed a quick response, saying my dispute had been opened and giving me the case number and a few details, including the name and contact number for the collection agency, also in Minnesota, that was trying to collect the debt on behalf of its client, KinderCare. But while I waited for Experian to officially clear things up, I decided to try to speed things along by contacting the collection agency myself.

The collection agency employee looked up my name (every spelling we could think of), past names and my social security number.  None of my information was in their system.  I pointed out that if I was not in there, this could not possibly be MY debt.  I thought I was home free! Alas, it wasn’t that simple. The collection agency said there was nothing they could do, aside from letting Experian go through the proper channels to remove it from my report.

OK, it looked like all I could do was be patient.  I worked hard on having a positive expectation that all would be well and have no negative effect on me financially.

Finally, after several weeks, I got the long-awaited email from Experian stating that my dispute had been investigated and a resolution had been reached.  When I read the rest of the email, my heart sank: Experian had “checked” with the collections agency and the information on me had been “verified” so they were leaving the negative item on my report! I was in shock but I wasn’t going to give up without a fight!

The next morning during my personal growth reading time, I came across the “stand still and let God fight your battles” thought. It was exactly what I needed to hear!

I realized that, while I had been thinking positive thoughts that MY way of handling this problem was going to take care of everything, that wasn’t the same as turning it over to a Higher Wisdom to guide me to the ideal solution. I firmly believe that, even when we can’t see any possible solution from our limited human perspective, God/The Universe always has one.  I had just forgotten to ASK!

So, I got out my Gratitude Formula Journal and I wrote to God for guidance on how to proceed. (May McCarthy makes it clear that in using this system, we each work with our own personal belief about who our ultimate advisor is. Mine is God, but yours might be something or someone else you believe in. You do not have to be religious to use it.)

I began by listing and expressing heartfelt thanks for the many, many GOOD things in my life. It is so easy to fall into negative energy when we are focusing on our few troubles, and ignoring all the many blessings our life is awash in. That’s why you start your daily letter by thanking your Ultimate Advisor for what and who you ALREADY have in your life that you love.

Next, the Gratitude Formula tells us to express gratitude IN ADVANCE for the guidance we are going to get to create what we want but don’t yet have.  I wrote, “Dear God, I am so grateful that You are now leading me to exactly the right people who will quickly and easily help me to straighten out this mix up and restore my credit to its rightful state. Thank You!”

According to the Gratitude Formula, after you ask for what you want and express gratitude in advance, you just have to “stand still” and stay open to receive the answer in whatever way and timing it comes, often as an inspired idea that bubbles up from your own subconscious mind.  After signing my letter to God, I felt a peace and belief at a much deeper level that the perfect solution would soon appear and all would be well.

The idea suddenly came to me a short time later to call the collections agency again, but this time to give them ALL the information I had, including the partial account number for the person who owed the debt to KinderCare.  That partial account number turned into the magic key that began opening the solutions box!  The collections agency couldn’t help further, but gave me the phone number for KinderCare’s internal collections department, which I had no way of getting before, to see if they could figure it out.

Without the complete account number, a nice KinderCare employee could not find any clues as to the identity of the debtor, but she also gave me a special secret number for the collections agency’s internal Department of Consumer Affairs.  Back to collections, but NOW, I was actually getting somewhere!

The woman at collections was also helpful, but could not find the full account number in her system.  She suggested I call Experian and see if they would give me the FULL account number of the KinderCare client. Then she gave me another special secret number where I could actually talk to a LIVE employee in the Experian Dispute Department!

A very nice employee at Experian pulled up my credit report and asked me to again verify my name and social and some other identifying information.  In two minutes, she said, “Well, I am looking at the name of the person who owes this collections debt and it’s NOT you — Not even close to your name or social!  It clearly got put on your report by mistake. I am fixing this right now and a copy of your corrected credit report should show up in your inbox soon.”

In less than ONE hour, Experian emailed me my corrected report and my credit score had risen 25 points. Hallelujah!

I am forever grateful that the Divine HOW is always presented to us exactly when we need it, to help us solve any problem or reach any desired goal.  We just need to know how to ASK, BELIEVE and be open to RECEIVE it when it comes!

P.S. Please keep an eye on YOUR inbox for a special message in the coming days about the New Success Membership program that will be launching this summer to teach you EVERYTHING you need to know in order to master the Law of Attraction, The Gratitude Formula and some other great tools for reliably connecting to your own Divine Guidance that can lead YOU to easier, faster and greater success in your career, business, finances, health and relationships. We will be welcoming Founding Members at a VERY SPECIAL PRICE when registration opens for a limited in just a few weeks!

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

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

I want to be of service to YOU and your friends, colleagues and loved ones, especially now! To schedule a NO-obligation, F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me while I still have openings at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com

May 10, 2020

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

“You can’t lead anyone else further than you have gone yourself.” – Gene Mauch

First, a great big Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers, and Fur Baby mothers!  None of us would have made it without your unconditional love and nurturing…. And now, homeschooling! You do it all with style, grace and love and we are all SO grateful!

If you haven’t yet read last week’s blog (Pushed on Purpose – Blog 371), I hope you will.  Briefly, I told the story of how one of my clients and I both experienced the unfolding of a long-held Big Dream by never giving up on it, and by creating a daily connection to our Higher Power that gave us the step-by-step guidance we needed to succeed.

In my case, I did my daily morning journaling/connecting with God (my Higher Power), using May McCarthy’s wonderful Gratitude Formula. Specifically, I asked God to help me discover a way to help MORE people reach their Big Goals by harnessing the power of the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”), which I have been teaching to my private coaching clients for many years.  

Now, more than ever, there is a huge need for people to learn to create success and prosperity, despite a fractured economy, huge unemployment and the pervasive fear mentality that surrounds us every day.  The group I most want to help is small business owners, direct sellers and entrepreneurs. They have hustle and heart and are out there every day, working toward their Big Goals with belief and perseverance.  I want them to achieve the greatest success they can possibly imagine.

This need is also personal for me.  With the COVID-19 pandemic, my own family’s income has been drastically cut, too. My husband’s real estate business has slowed considerably, and in my private coaching practice, many eager potential clients who were poised to come into coaching in March abruptly pulled back to wait and see what happens.

This could appear to be a personal disaster, but as I said in the last blog, sometimes God/The Universe uses outer circumstances to push us out of our comfy habitual “nest” so we can grow in more purposeful ways that always lead to our Highest Good.  I have rock solid faith in that.

In my 16 years as a Personal Success Coach, I have helped over 750 private clients reach their Big Goals. But for the past few years, I have felt a strong pull to find a way to teach many MORE people the Law of Attraction tools that have always helped me succeed.

I have delivered online courses for up to 70 participants at a time, and all were well-received. But closed-ended courses have several inherent limitations. The biggest is that, like students in school, participants must move through the material at roughly the same pace.  Some participants couldn’t make it to the live Zoom calls, and if they didn’t keep up with the video replays and homework, they became overwhelmed by a backlog of work and eventually dropped out.

The other main drawback was that some who wanted the course could not afford even the modest up-front fee that I charged for an eight-week course.  I wanted to include the people who needed the information the most, while still making it profitable for me.

Finally, the main drawback for me is that it is very time-consuming to design, market and deliver a live course for two months at a time, while still serving my private coaching clients.

Seeking the ultimate solution, I began writing in my Gratitude Formula Journal each morning, expressing gratitude in advance to God that I knew there was a Win-Win solution for all the people I wanted to help AND for me — and that I was confident that God would guide me to it. The Divine Guidance we request often comes, not through our reasoning mind, but via an intuitive “hunch” or strong urge – a “lead,” as May McCarthy calls it.

That’s how the solution came to me, like a mini-miracle!  A couple of weeks ago, I was scrolling through SPAM to make sure nothing important had landed there, when an email caught my eye.  It was from a Law of Attraction coach with an enormous following whose blogs I used to read.  I almost deleted it, since I hadn’t received anything from him in many months, but an intuitive inner “urge” made me stop and read it.

The LOA coach’s email was promoting someone I had never heard of, Stu McLaren, a Canadian marketing guru who apparently is masterful at helping coaches, artists, instructors and all kinds of small business owners share their expertise with a wide audience through a membership site.  I had never really thought about membership sites before that moment.

But as Stu pointed out, we ALL subscribe to many membership sites these days – they really are our major modern delivery system for goods and services of all kinds.  If you have an Amazon or Costco membership, subscribe to YouTube or Netflix or a home school teacher site, book of the month club, use WordPress or Go Daddy, get monthly shipments of products from organic vegetables to skin care – you already are an active membership user.  You use these memberships because they have a low monthly cost and they are convenient, delivering exactly what you want exactly when you want it.

The email was promoting several free online classes with Stu McLaren, promising to show us how we could provide regular ongoing content, support and community engagement to our subscription members.  I felt another inner “urge” and signed up for his four free classes.  At the end of the free series, I was absolutely blown away — this is EXACTLY the answer I have been asking God for and it came out of nowhere, when I least expected it!

NOW, I have a way to teach an unlimited number of entrepreneurs, small business owners and direct sellers how to use The Law of Attraction to connect to exactly the right resources, customers and business partners that can lead to greater success and prosperity with greater speed and ease.  Most importantly, now they will receive the ONGOING support they need to successfully implement what they learn, which was not possible with short-term courses.

NOW members will be able to learn what to do at their OWN pace, so they will never again have that “fall behind” content overwhelm.  And they will still have the benefit of LIVE coaching with me as part of the membership, as well as being part of a growing, on-going mastermind/support community of peers who are on the same path (along with purposeful personal direction from their Higher Power, of course). In the near future, I also intend to invite other master trainers and speakers to share their own special ideas and techniques for manifesting greater prosperity and success in our businesses and lives.  (I have been studying The Law of Attraction for over 25 years, and I am still constantly learning myself!)

The best part is, ALL this can be done for a very low monthly fee for each member, so EVERYONE can participate who wants to, for as long as they want to. It’s month-to-month, with no contract.  People will stay as long as they are getting good value for their time and money.

I am now enrolled in Stu’s two-month course that begins next week, to learn to set up an effective membership site right from the get-go, so members can have the best possible experience. I will be opening it up to new enrollments in June, and launching the membership site content in early July.

But I need YOUR help NOW!

In the next week or so, I will announce a special PRE-launch, offering a limited number of Founding Member subscriptions to the New Success Community. Founding Memberships will be at the LOWEST price I will EVER offer and are guaranteed to never increase, as long as their monthly membership is maintained.

Founding Members will not only get a screaming deal on their monthly membership, but I am going to call on them for their input on the membership site content and community structure. I want them to share their valuable ideas to make this the effective, valuable and enjoyable learning and personal growth experience we all want it to be.  Together, we can transform lives!

So, you see, the tools I give my clients to master The Law of Attraction and create more success with greater speed and ease also apply to ME.  I used the Gratitude Formula to get the “hunch” that led me to the ultimate answer I have been seeking.  I love coaching because it makes me walk my talk, and that leads ME to greater success, too!

IMPORTANT: Pre-launch ends in May, whenever the limited number of Founding Memberships are gone. For information on the cost and details of becoming a Founding Member and helping shape our New Success Community, please contact me ASAP at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com with your full name and email address. I can’t wait to hear from you!

If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to https://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.  The archive of all past blogs is also on my website.

 

 

 

 

April 26, 2020

“Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.” – Peter Marshall

The message that came to me over and over again this week is one that most of us need to be constantly reminded of: Stay present and live each moment of life as it comes.

As I thought about the word “present,” it dawned on me that this one word has at least three main meanings which, while different, are all related.  First, as a noun, it means “gift,” like a Christmas present. It also means “now,” as in this present moment in time.  As a verb, “present” also means “to offer something” (as one might offer a gift).

In all these interconnected meanings, being present IS a gift because it enables us to fully experience and appreciate every precious moment of life.  Now, more than ever, the whole world is keenly aware of the precious fragility of life — that we could be here today and gone tomorrow.

Friday’s daily thought from Joel Osteen also reminded me of what a special gift each moment of life is, especially all the “simple” things we often overlook or take for granted. This is especially true now, during this pandemic, which has forced us to slow down and re-arrange our usual daily routines:

Enjoy the Simple Thingsby Joel Osteen

“Don’t miss a great season in your life wishing you had more, complaining about what you don’t have.  The real joy in life is in the simple things – making memories with your family, riding your bikes together, watching the sunset with your spouse, or staring up at the stars at night.  You don’t have to have big vacations or lots of money to have fun.  Learn to enjoy the simple things in life.

Could it be that you’re at the right place for the season that you’re in, but you’re not enjoying it?  Maybe if you would step back and see it from a new perspective, you would realize that God has you in the palms of His hands.  He knows where you are, what you like, and what you don’t like.  Instead of living discontented, frustrated, always wishing you were somewhere else, embrace the place where you are.  See the good. Be grateful for what you have.”

My job is to help my coaching clients get what they want.  Each has a Big Goal, and I help them with the mindset tools, strategy and accountability that will enable them to reach that Big Goal, even if it seems far-fetched to someone else.

In my 16 years as a Personal Success Coach ™, I have learned that there are TWO fundamental keys to reaching any Big Goal:

1) Focus on what you WANT (not on what you don’t want). Keep your eyes on the prize and use mindset tools daily to strengthen your belief that you will get it.

2) Take ONE step at a time toward that outcome you want. Don’t try to figure out the whole HOW for getting there.  You can count on God/The Universe to help you with that, rolling the plan out for you one step at a time.  YOUR job is to take the step that is in front of you right NOW.  Looking too far ahead will only distract you from taking the right action today and make you doubt that it is possible to reach your Big Goal.  If you just stay in the NOW, focusing on carrying out today’s action step, the next step will come to you when the time is right.

A Case in Point

A week ago, on a coaching call, one of my clients seemed close to having a panic attack.  She was feeling totally overwhelmed by all the tasks she felt must be done simultaneously – caring for her family, staying mostly inside when she wanted to be outside, trying to come up with an entirely new distance learning curriculum for her students, while trying to consistently work her network marketing side business.  I understood why she wanted to stay in bed with the covers pulled over her head rather than try to organize ALL the many steps she needed to take!

During our call, we took a calm look at things and focused on what steps she could take NOW to begin to make progress on her tasks.  As we talked, she thought of some specific resources available to her that she hadn’t been utilizing, and she promised to take just ONE action as soon as we hung up: call her mentor teacher for lessons plan suggestions and emotional support.

She also came up with a brilliant plan for shaking off her paralyzing sense of overwhelm: She vowed to complete just ONE to THREE action items per day — no more, no less.  That number was mentally manageable to her, and she knew that she could prioritize that many items per day and get them done.  Completing them each day would give her a sense of control and accomplishment, which in turn would restore her self-confidence and expectation of success.

When we talked a week later, she sounded like her old can-do self again. She had been carrying out her daily “three things” action plan, and was feeling much better. She was getting up early and enjoying her daily walks with her dog again, and grateful to be able to spend more precious time with her family because she wasn’t away all day in the classroom.  She is embracing where she is” and being grateful for what she has in the PRESENT moment, just as Joel suggests.

We can all emulate my client’s simple approach to creating greater productivity and happiness:  Accept what is going on right NOW, do what we can right NOW, and let tomorrow’s steps unfold in God’s perfect time and way.  When we allow ourselves to be fully present in each moment, we will find joy in recognizing the many precious gifts that surround us right NOW.

PLEASE NOTE: The blog will be taking the next weekend off.  Your next Cup of Caroll will arrive on Sunday May 10. 

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

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

I want to be of service to YOU, your friends, colleagues and loved ones, especially in this challenging time!  To schedule a NO-obligation F.R.E.E. HOUR of phone coaching that will help you clarify your goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me while I still have openings at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.

 

 

March 29, 2020

 “There is more to us than we know.  If we can be made to see it, perhaps for the rest of our lives, we will be unwilling to settle for less.” – Kurt Hahn

On my “social distancing” morning walk a few days ago, it occurred to me that because of the creative power of our spoken WORDS, what we repeat ALOUD often manifests very literally. For example:

Moms: “I wish I could spend more time with my kids.”

Teachers: “I wish the school year would hurry up and end.”

Harried workers: “I wish I didn’t have to go in to work today.”

Me: “I wish Disneyland wasn’t so crowded!”

LOL, right?  We got what we wished for, just not in the way we thought.  (And NO, I don’t think individual requests like these can cause a global pandemic!)

Nevertheless, our habitually repeated words CAN become reality for us individually – for good and for not so good.  That’s because the subconscious mind is always listening to what we SAY and it takes everything very literally.  Therefore, it’s always a good idea to think carefully before you speak because by the creative power of your words, “thoughts become things” in your world.

The method and timing (the “How”) for delivering what we ask for, I believe, originates with God/The Universe. If what you ask for isn’t in alignment with your highest good, God/The Universe will block it. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get something you want.  Believe that it wasn’t the best thing for you and God/The Universe is going to direct you to something even better.

But if your heartfelt desire IS good for you and doesn’t harm anyone else, you can trust that the Divine Plan for manifesting what you ASK for will make sure it comes to you at the perfect time, in the perfect way. Your subconscious mind is like a receiving dish that channels the Divine Mind’s messages into your conscious mind in the form of an unexplained urge to go somewhere or do something, an inventive, inspired thought or a deeply buried memory that suddenly surfaces. If you pay attention and ACT on those Divine nudges, they will lead you to the ideal “How” to fulfill your desire.

This past week, I had a very unexpected “How” manifest one of my own Big Goals. I want to share it with you, in hopes it will remind you to actively, daily use the unlimited power of your creative WORDS, in partnership with God/The Universe and your subconscious mind, to manifest everything you want and need.

For the past two months, I have been writing a letter to God first thing each morning, asking for my husband’s real estate and my coaching businesses to grow and flourish, and then reading the letter ALOUD with a feeling of gratitude. The key to the effectiveness of this method of manifesting — which comes straight from The Gratitude Formula, by May McCarthy — is expressing gratitude IN ADVANCE, which convinces your subconscious mind that it is already a done deal for you.

I first journal and then declare OUT LOUD, “Dear God, I am so grateful that on or before March 31, 2020, I have eight or more new or returning coaching clients and my business is prospering.  We have all the money we need to cover all our expenses, wants and desires.”

Reading ALOUD the gratitude statement for what you want plants it deeply into your subconscious mind and sets the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) to work on your behalf, attracting the right people, resources, breaks and inspiration to you. Then, as the book teaches, you simply wait and pay attention for God/The Universe to send you a “lead” (or leads) that could turn into the “How,” once you ACT on them.

By mid-March, I was delighted that, by following each “lead” I got, I had easily connected to six new or returning clients. Those six were a huge gift, and I was very grateful.  But then things stalled, as people were understandably reluctant to make financial commitments with so much uncertainty about the economy right now.  Each prospective new client would say, “As soon as this crazy time is over, I will definitely coach with you.”

Recently, I got a letter from Joel Osteen Ministries, requesting a financial donation to help them reach their March 31 fiscal year-end goal so they could continue their good work of giving hope to people around the world.  (Interesting, isn’t it, that his financial deadline was the same as mine for manifesting the last two clients I wanted?)

Over the past several years, I have gotten SO much clarity and belief from watching Joel Osteen’s uplifting messages, which always remind me that with God’s help, ANYTHING is possible, no matter how far-fetched the goal might seem. I have made a few small donations in the past and really wanted to send him a bigger “thank you,” but now didn’t seem like the right time.  Yet, over several days, the thought kept coming into my mind at odd moments to “Send Joel Osteen $100.”

Try as I might, I just couldn’t seem to throw away the donation card and envelope.  I looked at it every day, thinking, “I am so grateful to Joel for his positive messages. Nobody has helped me more to stay in faith and expect that God’s will for me is GOOD, especially in these scary times.  But I don’t see how I can make that size donation, with the lower income I am expecting over the next few months.”

Finally, the “inner urge” was so strong, I spontaneously wrote his ministry a check for $100 and dropped it in the mailbox before I could get cold feet. It made no sense to my rational mind, but that strong inner urge was prodding me, and I thought it just might be one of God’s “leads” to bring me what I needed. Almost instantly, a sense of peace came over me, convincing me that somehow my gift was going to lead to something good for me, too.

A few days later, out of the blue, I got an email from PayPal, stating that they had “pro-actively” decided to NOT deduct a business loan pay-back amount from my account for at least the next 30 days – representing almost $1,000 worth of income I wouldn’t need to cover the loan payback.  I had received back about 10 times what I had given in faith that it would somehow be covered!  In this perfect example of a “lead” straight out of The Gratitude Formula playbook, I got an “urge” and I followed it in faith, even when I didn’t know exactly what it meant.

As it turned out, that was just the beginning of my generous payback for following Divine instructions!  I got another “lead” from a business article that said many creditors are now helping their customers the way PayPal had.  So, I decided to reach out and ASK two other creditors and they instantly agreed to suspend all payments through June, with no interest penalty and no effect on my credit scores.  Altogether, I will save $2,000 each month through June, which means that I won’t need as much income as I had thought to cover my bills. The answer to my need wasn’t what my conscious mind had figured out. Instead, God/The Universe answered my Gratitude-in-Advance request in a much different way, but the outcome was just as good.

Even more importantly, this manifestation proved to me once and for all that The Gratitude Formula really does work.  If we ASK our Spiritual Source OUT LOUD for what we want, believing and feeling grateful, like it’s already done, then WAIT patiently for Divine directions to come to us for the “How”, our heartfelt desires WILL manifest.

I hope you will follow your inner urges and sudden inspirations. They are undoubtedly your subconscious mind trying to make you pay attention to what a much BIGGER Mind wants to guide you to, which is MORE than you dreamed was possible!

IMPORTANT NOTES: The blog will take next Sunday off and return with a new Cup of Caroll on Sunday April 12.  In the meantime, stay safe and healthy and expect The Best!

Also, if you haven’t yet checked out Leslie Zann’s Facebook Live Outrageous Achievement series, you really must!  She gives her unique input to help us design our new lives in “home stay” mode.  It will lift your spirits and give you great ideas for prospering during this challenging time. Her 15-30 minute live presentations on mindset, skill set, viewpoint, courage and open mic are all at 7:00am Monday-Friday for five weeks at www.facebook.com/lesliezannconsulting. (Of course, if you are not an early riser, you can watch the recordings later, 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://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.

March 22, 2020

“Sometimes good things fall apart, so better things can fall together.” – Jessica Howell

I don’t have to tell you what times are like right now – crazy, challenging, depressing, nerve-wracking, scary.  Not to mention, having the kids home from school indefinitely driving you to consider having a Mommy Martini for lunch.

We are all in uncharted territory.  Nobody living today (in North America or Europe, at least) has been through a pandemic like the novel corona virus. What can any of us do to help heal this overwhelming situation?

You can do a lot.  Collective consciousness is a real thing.  (Definition: “A set of shared beliefs, ideas, and moral attitudes which operate as a unifying force within society….a shared understanding of social norms.”) Right now, the collective consciousness is causing toilet paper shortages for no good reason.  But it can also produce beneficial effects, such as making most of us voluntarily obey “social distancing” for the collective good and step up to help our neighbors find toilet paper. Our collective thoughts and emotions can either create more problems or make a dire situation more bearable.

We know that the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) says that the thoughts and emotions YOU individually put out into the world are going to attract similar people, situations, resources, etc. to you. That’s why selfishness, fear, anger, resentment, blame are NOT energies you want to embody, for your own sake.   Instead, as the Bible puts it in Proverbs 11:25, “The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed.  Those who help others are helped.” You can’t out-give God, as they say.

Still, it’s very understandable if you are feeling depressed or upset these days, because many aspects of this situation affect us and our loved ones directly, yet are beyond our control. In truth, we have more control than we think.  What we think and what we focus on will not only impact how our own situation unfolds, but as part of the collective consciousness, will impact other people we may never have any direct contact with.

The other day, I emailed a friend of mine to check on him. He is going through a really tough time right now. He just lost his job (to which he will not be rehired). He now faces the daunting task of finding a new job in the midst of the worst job market since the Great Depression. He replied that he feels dejected, numb, and wonders if he should just give up his search and hunker down alone in his apartment for the coming weeks or months.

I understood his state of mind, but as a coach, I couldn’t just commiserate.  I care about him too much not to remind him of what I absolutely KNOW to be true: He needs to take control of his own energy and start turning it toward the positive NOW, if he wants to survive this.  I reminded him that, when he was in another very difficult circumstance years ago, I challenged him to make a GRATITUDE LIST of at least 25 things he was grateful for right then.  To my amazement, he was able to list 100 things and people he was GRATEFUL for!

This time, I suggested he sit down at his kitchen table and not get up again until he listed at least 50.  He hasn’t yet sent me his list, but I fully expect it will be well over 50 again.  That’s because once you turn your thoughts from what you DON’T WANT to what is POSITIVE instead, you must quickly recognize that there is so much more GOOD than bad in your life. He has a roof over his head and unemployment insurance, which will keep it there.  He has friends and family who care about him and will help him if he just asks.  If he feels isolated, he has a phone and computer to reach out to them.

Another coaching client of mine came up with the “Three Gs” you can use to pull yourself out of negative energy quicksand. The Three Gs are:

  • Gratitude – Focusing on all the good you have in your life right now.
  • Giving – The fastest way to lift your own spirits is to lift someone else’s.
  • God – Praying, trusting, believing in a Higher Power who cares about you.

If we all focus our thoughts and our actions in those three areas, I know that we WILL turn this ship around. We will not just survive as a society, but we can come out stronger and better than before.  In fact, many social media posts are listing a lot of positives that have come out of this situation already, including a much cleaner environment and non-existent traffic, home-bound workers finally getting more exercise and more sleep, families re-connecting and a greater sense of community, as we discover the joy of helping our neighbors in ways big and small.

I also believe that our society will have some lasting beneficial changes from this awful pandemic, depending on what we decide to do after it passes. It can be the impetus to finally implement good ideas that we have kicked around for a long time now, such as an AFFORDABLE mainstream college education for all who want one that is entirely online. We are mastering using existing technology to get remote health care that keeps patients and medical staff safe from catching something in the doctor’s office.

And, hopefully, a lot of businesses that have been reluctant to let staff work remotely will finally see that they really CAN be productive at home. That could be a solution to the huge childcare problem parents face when their children are sick or too young to go to school or it is just unaffordable.  Once we have test-driven these “new normal” ideas for several months, it will be hard to go back to the old ways that don’t work for so many people.

IMPORTANT INVITATION

If you could use some real positivity in your life right now, I urge you to join me in plugging into the F.R.E.E. new Outrageous Achievement series my friend and mentor Leslie Zann is doing five days a week for the next five weeks on Facebook Live.

For those of you who don’t know her, Leslie has been an inspiring speaker and masterful trainer for over 25 years.  It was Leslie who first introduced me to the importance of having a daily personal development practice as a foundation for success, which set me on the path to becoming a Personal Success Coach.

Leslie’s Facebook Live series begins this Monday, March 23 at 7AM Pacific (times vary by day Monday – Friday).  She will offer insights – both emotional and professional – in her usual “Leslie style” (fun and candid!).  These brief 15 -30 minute segments will focus on helping you develop the Mindset, Skillset and Viewpoint necessary to maneuver through our new normal with grace and courage.

I am honored that she has invited me to speak on one of the segments!  I will keep you posted on which date that will be.

I urge you to listen to as many of these wonderful daily doses of positivity as you can.  This is for EVERYONE – we are all in this together! Check out her facebook page for all the details: www.facebook.com/lesliezannconsulting

Go here for more details and sign up for a daily email reminder: http://bit.ly/ZannLive

January 5, 2020

“We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past.  But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.” – Steve Maraboli

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

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

With so much change and political division still swirling around us, it is important to give yourself time to sit quietly and reflect on your own personal 2019 outcomes before you attempt to move into a fresh new year. Like mine, I am sure your year was a mixture of joy, heartbreak, challenge and triumph. By taking stock of what happened, you can discover important life lessons that you can carry into this new year and new decade to help you create it to be all that you wish for.

In my 15+ years as a Personal Success Coach, I have been blessed to help over 775 individual clients reach their Big Goals, so I know what it will take to make your next year turn out even better than this one did. Creating your 2020 YOUR way requires a two-step process and now is the ideal time to begin:

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

The Reflections Exercise

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

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

Here are 14 KEY questions to complete your 2019 and set you up for a more fulfilling and prosperous 2020. They will only help you IF you will take the time to actually answer them!  If you are thoughtful and truthful, it should take just 30-60 minutes to journal your answers. And, if this introspection sets you up for a new level of success and happiness in the coming year, isn’t it worth making such a small effort?

Part 1 – Questions to Complete the Old Year

  • What was your biggest accomplishment in 2019?
  • What was your greatest disappointment?
  • What was the greatest lesson you learned?
  • Who did you make a difference for and how?
  • What do you wish you hadn’t wasted your time and energy on?
  • What do you wish you had spent MORE time and effort on?
  • What are you most grateful for regarding last year?

Part 2 – Questions for Creating Your New Year

  • What ONE WORD would you like to have as your theme in 2020?
  • What would you feel most happy and fulfilled about accomplishing?
  • What new skill would you most like to learn or master and why?
  • What are you most committed to changing/improving in your work?
  • What are you most committed to changing/improving about yourself?
  • What is ONE positive habit you are committed to instill this year?
  • What brings you the most joy and how will you make room for more of that in 2020?

NEXT WEEK

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

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

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

I invite you to give yourself (or someone you care about) a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching!  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached!  

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

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.