Attracting Unimagined Success

Taking positive control in small spaces means positioning yourself
to attract unimagined success.

Health, wealth, influence, career, and more…

 

“3.   Grace is the Game Changer
What is grace and why does it matter?  It changes your impact for the
better. The skills and qualities of grace are rooted in using power
constructively. Constructive power is always within our reach.”

“When you infuse the skills and qualities of grace into your approaches,
behaviors, into the quality of how you connect with people, and into your
demeanor, extraordinary things become possible.”

“Anyone Can Be a Leader: The Secret to Making it Happen”
Andrea Zintz
Women Working
March 9, 2021

 

“Though we work in Teams, every Navy SEAL epitomizes
the kind of leadership I’ll teach you in this book. Like these elite warriors,
a leader following the Way of the SEAL is a professional who first masters
the power of his or her own thoughts, emotions, instincts, and abilities
and in so doing gains the trust and respect of others, becoming a natural leader.”

The Way of the Seal: Think Like an Elite Warrior to Lead and Succeed
Mark Divine with Allyson Edelhertz Machate

 

The horrors of my life began the day I was born. My mother wanted her first born son instead of second daughter me. She punished me throughout my childhood for being a girl instead of a boy. I had to develop soft skill power strategies very young to survive my childhood.

The first time I attracted unimagined success, I was 11 years old. My skills improved as I grew older and wiser. My biggest unimagined successes have come in my 70s.

 

Unimagined successes can have a wide range:

Heartwarming success

Life fortifying success

Life easing success

Life changing success

Life changing opportunity

Career fortifying success

Career opportunity

Career shine

These successes are unimagined because other people imagine them for you.

I use my soft skill power strategies to attract unimagined success following these 7 principles:

#1: Ignore stereotypes to see people.

#2: Use good gossip to build connections with people around you.

#3: Stay open to new people and new experiences.

#4: Give without expecting to receive.

#5: Support people when and how they want support, including satisfying needs and passions.

#6: Look for people to uplift with knowledge and skills.

#7: Draw positive attention to people whose work fits with your work.

Since unimagined success comes from other people, a wide variety of unimagined successes requires a wide variety of people in your life. These are the people who created unimagined success for me so far:

1 elementary school principal

4 high school classmates

4 top Chicago mobsters

2 small business owners

At least 2 dozen newspaper readers

1 tutoring client

1 English professor friend

1 needy whiner boyfriend

1 audience member from a business dinner speech

Dozens of people connected to a nonprofit: Founding members, staff members, volunteers

1 company worker from a different department

2 former workplace supervisors

2 neighbors who don’t live on my road

5 neighbors who do live on my road

Thousands of people connected to a professional organization: Association team leaders, co-authors, book buyers

1 co-author and co-panelist

1 surprise participant for a private online session

1 podcast host

1 podcast guest

1 podcast host mama

I shared a few similarities with some of them, but we also had many differences. These are the differences I know about:

Opposite political views

Opposite worldviews

Opposite economic levels

Opposite status levels

Opposite legal standings

Opposite personalities

Ethnic differences

Racial differences

Age differences

Religious differences

Education differences

If you’re willing to use my soft skill power strategies, follow my 7 principles, and be open to people who are different from you, unimagined success will come your way. Your unimagined successes will fit your life because they will come from the people in your life.

I’ve listed my unimagined successes so you can go right to the stories that interest you most.

You’ll have the best understanding of attracting unimagined success if you read all of my stories.

 

List Of Unimagined Successes

Unimagined Success #1
Freedom From Imposter Syndrome

Unimagined Success #2
A Thoughtful Surprise

Unimagined Success #3
A Mystery Gift

Unimagined Success #4
An Unexpected Friendship Lasting Decade

*Rewards From Collaboration
*Career Advancement From Inviting Loyalty

Unimagined Success #5
My Life

Unimagined Success #6
A Platonic Work Relationship That Prepared Me For A Romantic Marriage Relationship.

*Rewards From Collaboration

Unimagined Success #7
2 College Degrees

Unimagined Success #8
Ending A 25 Year Eating Disorder

Unimagined Success #9
Inspiration For A Book

*Rewards From Collaboration
*Career Advancement From Inviting Loyalty

Unimagined Success #10
A Way To End Hip Pain

Unimagined Success #11
Surprise Successes For My Book

*Career Advancement From Inviting Loyalty

Unimagined Success #12
The Correct Diagnosis For A Misdiagnosed Childhood Spinal Injury

Unimagined Success #13
Learning How To Intentionally Attract Unimagined Success

*Rewards From Collaboration
*Career Advancement From Inviting Loyalty

Unimagined Success #14
Gift Of My Favorite Coffee

Unimagined Success #15
Nonprofit Program Benefit

*Rewards From Collaboration

Unimagined Success #16
An Easy Way To Sleep

Unimagined Success #17
Snow Angels After A Blizzard

Unimagined Success #18
A Surprise Job That Fit Me Perfectly

*Career Advancement From Inviting Loyalty

Unimagined Success #19
Keeping My House

Unimagined Success #20
Feeling Safe In The World

*Rewards From Collaboration

Unimagined Success #21
Going From Silenced Voice To International Voice

*Rewards From Collaboration
*Career Advancement From Inviting Loyalty

Unimagined Success #22:
Influencing Peace For An Entire Country

*Rewards From Collaboration
*Career Advancement From Inviting Loyalty

Unimagined Success #23
An International Interview On My Birthday

*Career Advancement From Inviting Loyalty

Unimagined Success #24
An Intro For My Book

*Career Advancement From Inviting Loyalty

Unimagined Success #25
Approval From A Podcast Host’s Mother

 

Stories Of Attracting Unimagined Successes

 

Unimagined Success #1
Freedom From Imposter Syndrome

#2: Use good gossip to build connections with people around you.

Who: Elementary school principal
What: Life fortifying success
When: 11 to 14 years old
Where: Elementary school
How: Making a statement that invited connection

My mother emotionally and verbally abused everyone in our family. My father became a quiet alcoholic to cope with the abuse. He loved me, but could go into sudden rages. His rages terrified me.

The first adult to make me feel safe was my first second grade teacher. It’s too long ago to remember exactly what she did, but I remember feeling safe in her room. She married in the middle of the year and left teaching. I have no memory of my other second grade teacher.

The principal at that time also helped me to feel safe, but again, it’s too long ago to remember how. I began to blossom at school because I could be myself.

When I was in 5th grade, a new principal came to my elementary school. Blossomed me must have said something to Elementary School Principal that delighted her. I was one of hundreds of school children. She couldn’t have known she wanted to have conversations with me if I hadn’t given her a reason to listen to me. Through 8th grade, Elementary School Principal would have me come to her office for conversations. I remember sitting across from her desk, thoroughly enjoying our conversations and laughter. Those conversations fortified me with equality. I have never felt like an imposter in any situation. I have always felt equal to everyone else in any room.

I never imagined that having fun conversations with Elementary School Principal would fortify me with feelings of equality for the rest of my life.

 

Unimagined Success #2
A Thoughtful Surprise

#4: Give without expecting to receive.

Who: High school classmates
What: Heartwarming success
When: 15 years old
Where: High school
How: Giving my classmates Halloween cheer

In October of my sophomore year, I decided to make felt pumpkins to take to school. I drew a pumpkin, traced dozens of pumpkins on several pieces of felt, cut them all out, and took them to school with straight pins to hand out to classmates to wear on their uniform lapels. I wore one, too, until a classmate came to me and asked for a pumpkin. I gave her the one I was wearing. A little while later, 3 classmates approached me with a pumpkin made especially for me. They had noticed I was no longer wearing a pumpkin. They went to the home ec room, found orange fabric, traced one of my pumpkins, cut it out, and delivered it to me.

I never imagined that doing something to make my classmates smile would lead to heartwarming thoughtfulness from others.

Unimagined Success #3
A Mystery Gift

#2: Use good gossip to build connections with people around you.

Who: High school classmate
What: Heartwarming success
When: 17 years old
Where: High school
How: Words and actions that invited appreciation

I sat in the same seat for one of my classes. One day I arrived at that classroom to find an ornate hand mirror on top of my desk. No note or any indication of who left it for me. I respected the giver’s desire to remain anonymous and did not ask anyone else in the room who put the mirror on my desk. I knew the beauty of the mirror meant the giver wanted me to feel good about myself.

I never imagined receiving a beautiful mystery gift.

Unimagined Success #4
An Unexpected Friendship Lasting Decades

#2: Use good gossip to build connections with people around you.

*Rewards From Collaboration
*Career Advancement From Inviting Loyalty

Who: Supervisor
What: Life fortifying success and career fortifying success
When: 19 to 66 years old
Where: Workplace and home
How: Doing my best on my job

When I was 19, I took my 2nd full time job at a small business in Chicago, just 4 or 5 employees at a time. My supervisor always encouraged me and often told me what I did well. After a year the business owner decided to move the company to a different state. He invited me to go with. I decided to stay in Chicago. Former Supervisor stayed with the company and made the move.

I didn’t know Former Supervisor took my address with her until I received a Christmas card from her. She also sent me birthday cards. After her romantic partner died, we exchanged long letters, then emails, and her Christmas cards became laugh out loud newsletters full of stories about the cows on her farm outside the city where she lived. After learning of my financial difficulties caused by the increasing pain from a misdiagnosed childhood spinal injury. Former Supervisor helped me out financially. She bought a computer when I needed one so I oculd continue to write. We had been friends for 47 years when she died. I am where I am today in my career because of Former Supervisor’s friendship and support.

I never imagined the supervisor who moved away when I was 20 would keep me alive decades later.

 

Unimagined Success #5
My Life

#1: Ignore stereotypes to see people.

Who: 4 top Chicago mobsters
What: Life fortifying success
When: 20 years old
Where: Workplaces
How: Doing my job well

I worked the lunch shift as a waitress at a fancy Chicago restaurant. I enjoyed my job. I was good enough at my job that the maître d’ assigned me to work a Friday the 13th evening party for an anti-superstition society. Attendees included local officials, local politicians, local celebrities, the Chicago Bears, and one movie and TV star, Cesar Romero, the original Joker in the 1960s Batman TV show.

I was the only waitress and the only woman in the room. I was supposed to be there to work, but I don’t remember doing any work at all. I just remember having a lot of fun. All of the men were respectful to me. It stands out as the best party of my life.

The week after the party, the restaurant manager came into the bar and had me serve him a drink. He wrote his phone number on a napkin and told me to call him. I did not call him. The next week he came in and gave me a dime for calling him. I did not call him. I ignored whatever stereotype that manager had about me and saw myself as a person who had the right to say no. This is an example of how Elementary School Principal fortified me with equality.

At the start of my shift some days later, the maître d’ assigned me to serve 4 men at a square table. He stressed that the men were ‘top managers’. I served the top managers the way I always served lunch. Immediately afterwards, the maître d’ fired me for “not smiling” at the managers.

Of course, I had smiled at the managers. The only manager I hadn’t ‘smiled’ at was the dime manager. It took naïve me decades to figure out this strange firing. In Chicago, the powerful mob laundered money through several businesses, including restaurants. The ‘top managers’ were top mobsters.

The mob was looking for a female employee who would be comfortable around a lot of men, including having sex with a lot of men. Assigning me to work the Friday the 13th party by myself was the first test. I passed that test. Having sex with the dime manager would have been the second test. I refused to take that test.

Everyone on the restaurant staff knew I had refused to call the dime manager. The top managers couldn’t let any employee get away with saying no to a manager. They came to the restaurant that day to decide how to punish me. Firing me was the lightest possible punishment. They could have made me disappear that day. When the mobsters met me, they realized I wasn’t right for the job of sleeping with a lot of men. Too nice. I’m certain that the ‘not smiling” at the managers excuse was a warning to the other employees.

I never imagined I would face down 4 ruthless killers and walk away alive.

There’s more to my experience with the Chicago mob. Those top Chicago mobsters didn’t know I had another mob connection as well as an FBI connection.

Paula & The Chicago Mob

 

Unimagined Success #6
A Platonic Work Relationship That Prepared Me For A Romantic Marriage Relationship.

#2: Use good gossip to build connections with people around you.
#5: Support people when and how they want support, including satisfying needs and passions.

^Rewards From Collaboration

Who: 2 small business owners
What: Life fortifying success
When: 24 to 26 years old
Where: 2 workplaces
How: Shining on a job that matched my skills

A married couple owned the first small business. My job was typing up envelopes for a mail campaign. I wasn’t good at this job. I mixed up the CT for Connecticut abbreviation with CO for Colorado. Every piece of mail meant for Connecticut came back. The owners had to notice. But the wife — Small Business Owner #1 — recognized something in me. I never asked her what.

One day when I got to my job, Small Business Owner #1 told me to take something to her son, Small Business Owner #2. He owned a small specialty store that catered to interior designers and wealthy people. It was within a mile and I enjoyed walking, so I walked. While I was walking, Small Business Owner #1 called Small Business Owner #2 to let him know she was sending me over. She told him to hire me. Small Business Owner #2 did hire me and I started working for him that day. I was good at this job because it matched my people skills. I stayed 2-1/2 years until I decided to move to Wisconsin with the man I married.

Small Business Owner #2 and I were the best boss / employee combination for both of us. Most of the time it was just the 2 of us, with 1 part time employee for a short time. We became friends as well as co-workers, and we helped each other through many difficulties. We spent more time with each other than we did with other people. My work relationship with Small Business Owner #2 prepared me for a marriage relationship with my husband. My childhood hadn’t given me an example of a good marriage.

I never imagined that applying for a job at a small business would lead to more emotional maturity in personal relationships for me.

 

Unimagined Success #7
2 College Degrees

#3: Stay open to new people and new experiences.
#4: Give without expecting to receive.

Who: Newspaper reader
What: Life changing success
When: 34 years old
Where: On the phone, in my house, in Newspaper Reader’s house
How: Doing what I could to improve life for others

My mother tried to kill me twice when I was very small. To protect herself from what I might say about her as I grew up, she taught everyone to ignore what I said and discount what I did. As adults my siblings treat me like a trespasser in their lives. I am  an outsider to my own family.

Medical professionals misdiagnosed a childhood spinal injury for 33 years, leaving me with increasing pain and increasing limitations. Sitting and standing normally became excruciatingly painful. I became an outsider to normal life activities, including holding jobs to earn money.

My husband died when our daughter was 8 months old. I became a disabled single mother. The Social Security survivor’s benefits were too low to pay all of our bills, so we needed food stamps, rental assistance, and medical assistance to survive. Even though I was a widow with a baby, many members of society saw me as a greedy freeloader taking money out of their wallets. I felt like an outsider to American society.

Food stamps seldom provide enough food. I wrote letters to the editor of the local newspaper about poverty. I wanted to improve life for people in situations that made survival difficult. Some readers wrote letters to support me. Other readers wrote letters to attack me. One letter writer accused me of hiding behind my daughter and looking for free handouts. One reader asked a friend of mine if I was fat and sat in front of a television set all day eating potato chips.

Another reader called me. When I answered the phone a woman asked,

“Is this the Paula Kramer who wrote the recent letter to the newspaper?”

Not knowing what to expect, I said yes.

The woman asked,

“Is there anything I can do to help?”

Over the course of about 14 months, Newspaper Reader and others took a few actions that changed the way I saw my place in the world. Her church group gave me a $40 gift certificate for a grocery store. Newspaper Reader came to my house for tea. Her teenage daughter babysat my daughter once when I had an appointment. The husband lent me money once so I could get something for my daughter. I paid him back. When a situation came up that left me stranded with a dead car after my in-laws took my daughter for Christmas, the entire family welcomed me into their Christmas. After decades of being treated like an outsider, this family gave me a positive identity.

I didn’t go to college after high school because my mother would have controlled where I went and what I took. I thought about going to college after my husband died, but after decades of people preventing my success, I thought American society wouldn’t allow me to succeed in college. This family made me feel like a member of American society for the first time in my life. I felt that I could go to college and succeed. I enrolled as soon as I could.

I never imagined that writing letters to help other people have enough food to eat would lead to college success for me.

 

Unimagined Success #8
Ending A 25 Year Eating Disorder

#4: Give without expecting to receive.

Who: Newspaper readers
What: Life changing success
When: 30 to 39 years old
Where: In person, in a letter, on a phone call, in the newspaper
How: Trying to help people with knowledge

To bury the murder memories I didn’t know how to cope with, I began compulsively overeating at age 14. I did everything I could think of to stop my overeating, including starting a local Overeater’s Anonymous group. None of my direct efforts stopped my overeating.

I wrote letters to the editor frequently from 1981 through 1989. I started out writing about poverty, then wrote about political issues, including President Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) — otherwise known as ‘Star Wars’ — and Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Red Scare, among other topics.

Over the years I wrote letters to the editor frequently, the compulsion to overeat faded away. By 1989, my overeating had dropped dramatically. My last — mild — overeating incident happened in 1991. I was not ready to acknowledge my murder memories until 1992.

In 1998, I began to learn about DISC behavior styles and Spranger guiding values. I am an I/S DISC behavior style blend with a Helping + Knowledge Spranger guiding value blend. Writing those letters satisfied my High I need to influence people as well as my Secondary High S need to write. Trying to help people in poverty and passing along useful information satisfied my guiding value passions to help people with knowledge.

Many people were offended and even hostile to my letters. Other people went out of their way to thank me. High I people need appreciation and approval, and the letters brought me lots of both. People recognized my name in public and thanked me person. Other people gave me recognition and approval in a personal letter, on a phone call, and in other letters to the newspaper. One man publicly praised my 6 part series on SDI / Star Wars. Another man thanked me for writing about how McCarthy hurt ordinary Americans. He had known one of McCarthy’s victims. That appreciation and approval continuously lessened the compulsion to eat.

I never imagined that writing letters to help and inform newspaper readers would end my compulsive overeating.

Smiles Spark Success

 

Unimagined Success #9
Inspiration For A Book

#2: Use good gossip to build connections with people around you.
#5: Support people when and how they want support, including satisfying needs and passions.

*Rewards From Collaboration
*Career Advancement From Inviting Loyalty

Who: Tutoring client
What: Career opportunity
When: Late 30s
Where: 2 workplaces
How: Tutoring for understanding

I tutored writing during college. One day, a woman walked into the tutoring center, looking for immediate help. I was free. I explained the few things she needed to change, giving her techniques to use for future writing. Weeks later, the woman saw me in the hallway and came up to thank me. Her professor said it was the best paper she’d ever read. Tutoring Client and I became friends.

When I got a job at the university Women’s Resource Center, I suggested to Tutoring Client that she apply, too. She did apply and got the job. The Center was run by an overall director and 3 staffers. Director and each staffer had separate responsibilities. When Director failed to do all of the duties of her job, Tutoring Client and I took up her slack. Tutoring Client decided that everything would run smoothly if each staffer was director of her own area, making us all equal. She wrote up a proposal for the board. I came to the Center one day to find Director standing over Tutoring Client and dictating changes to the proposal. I intervened.

Director called a meeting with the board the next day. Tutoring Client and I were both single parents. We could not attend. The board agreed with Director. Tutoring Client and I resigned. Since Tutoring Client and I weren’t there to do Director’s work, very little got done. Months later one of the board members said to me, “You were right and we were wrong.”

Tutoring Client’s idea about equal roles for all directors inspired my thinking about shaping groups to succeed. I took several graduate level classes on small groups to get a better understanding. I wrote From Pyramids To Circles: Shaping Groups To Succeed as an independent study project in grad school.

I never imagined that doing my best for Tutoring Client would lead to an insight for a book.

 

Unimagined Success #10

A Way To End Hip Pain

#3: Stay open to new people and new experiences.

Who: Needy, whiner boyfriend
What: Life changing opportunity
When: 40 years old
Where: 1983 Honda Civic
How: Acting out of empathy

My letters to the editor attracted a man who came knocking on my door. He was depressed and because I was depressed, I understood his need. The relationship was short-lived, but he created an opportunity for me. While we were together, Needy Whiner Boyfriend bought a 1983 Honda Civic. Because of my spinal injury, I also felt pain in my hips. The first time I sat in that car, my hips stopped hurting. My hips barely hurt for the rest of our time together. No other vehicle made my hips stop hurting. Riding in that car let me know I had the opportunity to end the pain in my hips when I could buy a similar car for myself.

I never imagined that feeling empathy for a man who knocked on my door would give me a way to end the pain in my hips.

 

Unimagined Success #11
Surprise Successes For My Book

#2: Use good gossip to build connections with people around you.
#3: Stay open to new people and new experiences.

*Career Advancement From Inviting Loyalty

Who: English professor
What: Career shine
When: Early 40s
Where: A conference table and convents
How: Demonstrating that my writing fit with her writing

English Professor and I met in a religious fellowship. We wrote similar letters to the editor. She liked my small group book. She recommended it to a friend who was regional director for a national corporation. When the company had regional conferences, they provided a table of books for conference participants. Each participant could take 1 book for free. English Professor’s friend bought 5 copies of my self-published, spiral bound book and set them on the table with all of the perfect bound publishing company books. When English Professor’s friend reported the response after the conference she said,

“Paula’s book was the first to go and it went fast.”

Next, English Professor suggested I do a mailing to convents. She was friends with the sisters at the local convent, and asked how to get a mailing list. I bought the list, did the mailing, and got an 11 percent return on my investment. A convent that bought 1 copy sent in an order for 3 more copies.

I never imagined my self-published book could outperform traditionally published books or that convents would be interested.

I’m in the process of revising my book again with a new first chapter about Portage County, Wisconsin, a hotbed of world, national, and state firsts as well as spectacular successes.

The Little County Than Can & Does: World, National, & State Firsts

From Pyramids To Circles: Shaping Groups To Succeed

 

Unimagined Success #12
The Correct Diagnosis For A Misdiagnosed Childhood Spinal Injury

#4: Give without expecting to receive.

Who: An audience member for my speech
What: Life changing success
When: 45 years old
Where: Restaurant in a different city
How: Doing my best to prevent pain and disability for other people

When I was 12 years old, a boy in school pulled my chair out from under me. I landed hard on my tailbone. The pain started immediately, but wasn’t constant. At first it was minor pain, so I kept doing what hurt. Over time the pain increased. Continuous pain while sitting started with my high school auditorium seats. I had to sit on a folding chair in the aisle. By age 28, normal sitting and standing had become so painful that I had to continually think about how to avoid or ease the pain.

From age 12 to age 35, I received several different diagnoses. None of the doctors suggested more than exercise. The last doctor said the pain was permanent. The last diagnosis came from a physical therapist who insisted my pain was emotional and it would go away if I just kept doing what hurt. Never mind that doing what hurt made the pain increase. To that physical therapist, my pain could only be emotional.

I thought I would live with pain in my spine until the day I died.

A business women’s group in a city 150 miles from where I live hired me to do a dinner speech on gossip in the workplace. I said I needed a tall stool to lean against since I couldn’t just stand without pain. I brought a lumbar pillow with me for sitting during dinner. At the beginning of my speech, I explained I needed the stool and the pillow because of my childhood spinal injury. I asked my audience to tell any children in their lives to never pull a chair out from under anyone. One chiropractor told me that some people are instantly paralyzed. I’m lucky I can walk.

Afterwards, an audience member who was a nurse came up to me and gave me the correct diagnosis for my injury. When I hit the floor, my spinal cord tensed up. Audience Member said doing what hurt increased the tension in my spinal cord, which increased the pain. The increasing tension pulled my pelvis so far backwards that my spine had no S curve. My hips shifted out of place because my pelvis was out of place. My vertebrae shifted out of place because my pelvis and hips were out of place.

Audience Member said her husband was a chiropractor who could end the pain in my spine using Neural Organizational Technique. I thought about everything Audience Member said on the 2-1/2 drive home and decided it made sense. I made an appointment to see Audience Member’s Husband. He told me that the spinal cord is attached to the spine by 2 muscles, one at the top of the spine and one at the bottom of the spine. He said those muscles were also tensed up. Using a laser pain, Audience Member’s Husband released the tension in the muscle at the top of my spine. My spinal cord relaxed and my pelvis moved forward. In one hour, Audience Member’s Husband ended 33 years of pain in my spine. I have not felt that vice-like pain since June 28th, 1996, my first appointment with Audience Member’s Husband.

No other medical professional had talked about my spinal cord. The information about Neural Organizational Technique never came into my life in any other way.

I never imagined that trying to prevent pain for others would bring me the correct diagnosis for my misdiagnosed childhood spinal injury.

My Bones & My Hyundai Kona

 

Unimagined Success #13

Learning How To Intentionally Attract Unimagined Success

#2: Use good gossip to build connections with people around you.
#3: Stay open to new people and new experiences.
#5: Support people when and how they want support, including satisfying needs and passions.
#7: Draw positive attention to people whose work fits with your work.

*Rewards From Collaboration
*Career Advancement From Inviting Loyalty

Who: MREA founding members, staff, volunteers
What: Life changing opportunity
When: 48 years old
Where: Fairgrounds and my home office
How: Satisfying my curiosity about the soft skill power strategies of the founding members

In 1990, a friend told me she was a founding member of the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA). MREA founders were organizing a people’s renewable energy fair. Founding Member asked me to volunteer. I knew nothing about the fair, but said yes. I am one of the few people who have attended every single fair since 1990. It quickly became the most successful renewable energy fair in the world. The fair started before Tutoring Client gave me the inspiration for From Pyramids To Circles.

After I finished the first edition of my circle book in early 1990s, I would volunteer at the fair and wonder how the founders had made it a world success. I knew how to shape small groups to succeed, but I didn’t understand how MREA founders created this level of success. I decided to make a documentary to satisfy my curiosity.

Because I had volunteered for the first 8 years of the fair, the founders, staff, and other volunteers trusted me. They went out of their way to help me film the documentary. I was able to make the documentary because a man who came up from Illinois for the fair every year volunteered to help me with the grunt work. We stayed friends until he died way too young.

Volunteer Helper and I filmed footage in 1998. When I began editing the footage, I realized the spectacular success of the fair came from relationships. I filmed more footage in 1999 to capture those relationships. I finished editing the documentary on my home computer in 2007.

In making the documentary, I discovered the 26 situational, organizational, financial, emotional, and relationship ingredients for spectacular success.

1 ingredient focuses on self
2 ingredients focus on task
9 ingredients focus on working with other people
14 ingredients focus on satisfying other people

I realized that spectacular success is the unimagined success other people intentionally create for you because you intentionally create success for them.

From that realization on, I have attracted more unimagined successes to me by intentionally creating success for others.

I never imagined that satisfying my curiosity about the spectacular success of a small group of people would show me how to intentionally attract success for myself.

Spectacular Success Ingredients

Working With Others & Satisfying Others

 

Unimagined Success #14
Gift Of My Favorite Coffee

#2: Use good gossip to build connections with people around you.

Who: Coworker
What: Heartwarming success
When: 49 years old
Where: Office lunchroom
How: Showing interest instead of disgust

During the 2000 national census, I worked at a regional office for the census bureau as payroll supervisor. Opportunities for conversation with most of the staff happened only in the lunchroom. One of the workers there had another job counting mice in fields. I expressed interest in that job and asked questions. Each counter would count mice in a particular area.

In another lunchroom conversation when Mouse Counter was present, I said my favorite coffee was decaf hazelnut. One day, Mouse Counter came into the lunchroom and handed me a bag of expensive decaf hazelnut coffee. She was thanking me for showing interest rather than disgust in her mice counting job.

I never imagined that showing interest in an unusual job would bring me a surprise gift.

 

Unimagined Success #15
Nonprofit Program Benefit

#2: Use good gossip to build connections with people around you.

*Rewards From Collaboration

Who: Former supervisor
What: Life fortifying success
When: 60 years old
Where: Office & phone
How: Giving moments of satisfaction

I worked as a customer service agent (CSR) for a catalog company that hired 100s of temporary employees each Christmas season. When CSRs and order takers had questions, we would put red flags on top of our computers. Floorwalking supervisors would come to answer our questions. One supervisor insulted CSRs and order takers. I got tired of the insults and wrote a letter to the HR department.

The next Christmas season, I didn’t work for that company. I ran into a company employee who was at a higher level than I had been. I asked about Insulting Supervisor.

“She seems happier this year.”

I told the employee about my letter. She told me that another employee had written a similar letter to HR about Insulting Supervisor. In my letter, I wrote that Insulting Supervisor shouldn’t answer red flag questions. The other letter writer said that Insulting Supervisor shouldn’t be allowed to talk to people at all. Those 2 letters meant HR had to talk to Insulting Supervisor.

I went back to the company for the following Christmas season. The supervisor was still angry with me. By then, I had learned about DISC behavior styles and Spranger guiding values. I recognized that Angry Supervisor was a High D behavior style with a Position First guiding value. I invited loyalty with moments of dignity and moments of passion. Eventually, I got her laughing.

Laughing Supervisor left the catalog company before I did. Years later, I called a nonprofit to ask about a program that provided benefits for people with a particular need. Laughing Supervisor answered the phone. I identified myself and immediately congratulated her on getting a much better job. She could tell I was sincere.

Laughing Supervisor who stayed angry with me for close to 2 years went out of her way to get me more than I expected from the program.

I never imagined that invitation moments meant only to move someone from anger to laughter would bring me more than I asked for in a particular situation.

Smiles Spark Success

 

Unimagined Success #16
An Easy Way To Sleep

#2: Use good gossip to build connections with people around you.

Who: Neighbor #1 living on a different street
What: Life easing success
When: 65 years old
Where: My house
How: Expressing concern, giving support, being generous

Different Street Neighbor #1 and I had connected over children and similar interests. We both expressed concern over family difficulties and gave what support we could. We were generous with each other. We saw each other less as the children grew older, but always supported each other.

Because my hips shifted out of place easily, sleeping has been difficult. I spent several years sleeping on the floor of my bedroom. My hips shifted out of place on any kind of mattress. To stop sleeping on the floor, I asked someone to build a wooden platform about the size of a twin bed. I put about 2 inches of padding on my wooden platform. I was grateful to be able to sleep on that wooden platform.

Eventually, even sleeping on that platform became too much for my hips. They hurt constantly. I barely slept, so I tried something new. I had a short couch with a 50 inch seat, too short to lie flat on my back. I decided to try sleeping with my head on one arm of the couch and my feet on the other arm of the couch. I wedged blankets underneath my lower legs and upper back to give them support. I could sleep only 2 or 3 hours at a time on that couch. An improvement over sleepless nights.

When Different Street Neighbor #1 came for a visit, I explained the blanket wedges on my couch. She said, “Why don’t you try a zero gravity chair?”

I had never heard of zero gravity chairs. I looked them up and decided to buy one. The first night I reclined in my zero gravity chair, I fell asleep within minutes and slept for 5 hours. I slept in my zero gravity chair for maybe 2 weeks before I started alternating between the chair and my bed. I eventually was able to sleep in my bed full time again. I still sit in my zero gravity chair when I get enthusiastic and do too much for my back and hip muscles.

It was an inexpensive and remarkably easy way to sleep without pain in my hips.

I never imagined that telling Different Street Neighbor #1 about my sleep troubles would bring a response that ended my sleep troubles.

 

Unimagined Success #17
Snow Angels After A Blizzard

#2: Use good gossip to build connections with people around you.

Who: 4 neighbors across the road from me
What: Life easing success
Where: My driveway
When: Age 67
How: Making whatever connection I could with neighbors

Across the road from my house are 4 other houses.

Left to right are neighbors #1 Far Left, #2 Middle Left, #3 Middle Right, #4 Far Right.

I had never talked to #1 Far Left at the time of the blizzard. I had sent a letter to #1 Far Left and his wife after a near tragedy in their family. We have since had several conversations.

I talk to #2 Middle Left when we see each other outside in warm weather. Sometimes, I don’t talk to him for more than a year.

I wave and yell ‘Hi’ to #3 Middle Right several times a year when I see him outside.

I talk with #4 Far Right fairly regularly.

An April 2018 blizzard dropped more than 2 feet of snow. Snowplows leave more snow on my side of the road than the other side of the road. Fewer driveways on my side of the road. The snow pile from the plow was 3 feet high and 5 feet deep. I started shoveling, but couldn’t move much of the packed snow in the pile. The temperature forecast for the following week was in the 40s. I decided I would just stay home until the snow melted. Back inside, I noticed activity in my driveway at various times.

#1 Far Left came by with his skid and cleared away the big pile of snow at the end of my driveway.

#4 Far Right came and shoveled snow up to the back of my car.

#3 Middle Right came and shoveled the rest of the snow around my car.

#2 Middle Left came and shoveled a path from my driveway to my house.

I never imagined that 4 of my neighbors would shovel blizzard snow for me without my asking and without even talking to each other.

 

Unimagined Success #18
A Surprise Job That Fit Me Perfectly

#2: Use good gossip to build connections with people around you.
#4: Give without expecting to receive.
#5: Support people when and how they want support, including satisfying needs and passions.

*Career Advancement From Inviting Loyalty

Who: Neighbor #2 living on a different street
What: Life fortifying success
When: 67 years old
Where: My neighborhood
How: Supervising children at the park

Different Street Neighbor #2 had children younger than my grandchild. Sometimes when the kids wanted to play at the village park, I agreed to watch her children so she could stay at home and get things done. We connected mostly through the children.

As my bones shifted out of place more and more, I had more and more trouble earning money. At one point, my income was so low I kept my thermostat set at 59 degrees during the winter and lived without any television service. I was in danger of not being able to pay my mortgage, which would have delighted my community mortgage banker.

A neighbor I knew about but never had the chance to connect with called me one day. He said Different Street Neighbor #2 had recommended me to be a companion to his wife. She could no longer be left alone. I interviewed with the husband and got job work I could walk to. I could do the job without terrible pain. I was able to turn up my heat and watch television again. I was able to make my mortgage payments.

I never imagined that being responsible for Different Street Neighbor #2’s children at the park would fortify my ability to keep my house.

Community Banker Risks Freaky Failure Death For Community Residents, Including Children

Add One Word, Create Equality

 

Unimagined Success #19
Keeping My House

#2: Use good gossip to build connections with people around you.

Who: Neighbor #5 living across the road
What: Life fortifying success
When: 67 years old
Where: My neighborhood
How: Friendliness and occasional favors

Over decades, I fulfilled small requests for Across The Road Neighbor #5, wife of Snow Angel #3 Middle Right.

My new job work paid me enough money to keep up with my mortgage payments, but I still had difficulty paying my property taxes. I tried contacting the tax assessor myself because I knew my house was not worth the assessed value. It was over 100 years old and my trouble earning money meant I hadn’t been able to keep it up properly. No change in my taxes.

Across The Road Neighbor #5 called the tax assessor without saying anything to me beforehand. She only told me about it afterwards. My taxes went down by more than half, making them much easier to pay. Without that tax reduction, I would have had to leave the house I had lived in for decades. I would have had to leave the neighborhood where I had built connections for decades. I would have had to tell my grandchildren they could no longer do everything they enjoyed doing when they visited me.

I never imagined that being a helpful neighbor would fortify my ability to keep my house for a second time.

 

Unimagined Success #20
Feeling Safe In The World

#2: Use good gossip to build connections with people around you.
#3: Stay open to new people and new experiences.
#4: Give without expecting to receive.

*Rewards From Collaboration

Who: Women Speakers Association, Co-authors, Book Buyers
What: Life changing success
When: 70 years old
Where: The world
How: Putting my heart into ending stereotype pain for others

In 2019, Women Speakers Association asked me to write a chapter for a cooperative book about resilience, Voices of the 21st Century: Resilient Women Who Rise and Make a Difference. My life forced me to be resilient. My mother stereotyped me the day I was born, so I’ve never not needed to be resilient. I wrote “Resilience Against Stereotypes” for the book. I wanted to show other people how they could overcome the stereotypes in their lives.

My childhood was so horrific that I have PTSD. Childhood terror doesn’t end just because childhood ends. I avoided any situation that brought back the terrors of my childhood. My mother’s horrific actions made me feel anyone could attack me physically. I felt safe in situations where people made me feel safe, but I didn’t feel safe in situations where I had no protectors.

The book became an international #1 bestseller the day it launched. About a month later I realized that the terror in situations without obvious protectors was gone. Telling my story around the world made me feel that every reader was a protector who would help me if anyone attacked me. At age 70, I felt safe in the world for the first time in my life.

I never imagined that writing to help other people would bring me something I thought I could never have.

Note

In Episode 109 on SexyCoolLounge*, I talk about particular music that helped me feel less anxious in my house. My participation in Voices of the 21st Century helped me feel safe in the outside world.

The music satisfied my DISC Secondary High S Steadiness need for quiet activities.

The book satisfied my DISC High I Influence need for recognition and approval.

Visit smilessparksuccess.com for more information about DISC behavior styles.

*For more about SexyCoolLounge, see Unimagined Success #23.

 

Unimagined Success #21
Going From Silenced Voice To International Voice

#1: Ignore stereotypes to see people.
#2: Use good gossip to build connections with people around you.
#3: Stay open to new people and new experiences.
#4: Give without expecting to receive.
#5: Support people when and how they want support, including satisfying needs and passions.
#7: Draw positive attention to people whose work fits with your work.

*Rewards From Collaboration
*Career Advancement From Inviting Loyalty

Who: Co-Author
What: Career opportunity & life changing success
When: 70 years old
Where: Zoom meeting
How: Giving shine and support to a co-author and friend

Ca-Author and I wrote stories for 3 cooperative books. I attended a webinar she presented and we were co-panelists on a podcast together. I built connections with her. I drew positive attention to Co-Author’s speaking skills during the podcast interview. When Co-Author faced a life threatening illness, I did everything I could to give her the support she needed, including getting the book publishing team and other co-authors involved in supporting her. I did not expect anything in return, beyond our continuing friendship.

After recovering her normal life, Co-Author decided to launch her own television network, Boss Ladies TV. She asked me to produce a TV show for the network. I agreed and Relationship Reckoning was born.

I had never considered becoming a television producer, though I did take a videography class in college and I did make a documentary. Producing a weekly television show was a new experience that never crossed my mind.

Black woman Natasha Williams gave white woman me the opportunity to teach soft skill power strategies around the world.

I never imagined that agreeing to write a story for a cooperative book would lead to a career opportunity that took me from the silenced voice of my childhood to an international voice in my old age.

Boss Ladies TV

 

Unimagined Success #22
Influencing Peace For An Entire Country

#1: Ignore stereotypes to see people.
#3: Stay open to new people and new experiences.
#4: Give without expecting to receive.
#5: Support people when and how they want support, including satisfying needs and passions.
#6: Look for people to uplift with knowledge and skills.

*Rewards From Collaboration
*Career Advancement From Inviting Loyalty

Who: Surprise participant in an online workshop
What: Career shine
When: 71 years old
Where: Zoom meetings and Facebook messaging
How: Saying ‘okay’

I am a member of an African page for women on Facebook. I saw a post from another member about gender stereotyping in the workplace. At the time I offered an online workshop about breaking the stereotypes that build glass ceilings. I contacted her privately and offered to do my workshop for her for free with follow up meetings to help her use her new knowledge and skills.

On the day of the Zoom session, the woman told me she had invited a friend and hoped I would include her friend. I said okay. I welcomed Surprise Participant and went on with the workshop, including Surprise Participant in everything. Afterwards, we set up a meeting for the next month.

Only Surprise Participant showed up for that first meeting. She asked me if we could talk about personal matters. I said okay. She was having a number of problems. I gave her one piece of homework: to say one positive statement to herself every day. At that same time, a friend sent her a message saying, “You are strong. You can do anything.” Every morning when Surprise Participant wakes up she tells herself that she is strong and can do anything.

In the month after I gave her that homework, Surprise Participant left a bad situation, moved to Nairobi, got a scholarship, and said positive words to every store clerk who checked her out. 23 year old Surprise Participant told me that when she is 65 she will tell her grandchildren this:

“I met an old lady and she changed my life.”

When I talked to Surprise Participant 7 months later, she had a surprise for me.

Having changed her life several times already, Surprise Participant decided to change her life again in a way that would change life for her country. Her uncle gave her a place to live, but travels a lot. While the uncle was gone, Surprise Participant felt sad and lonely. She decided that if she created a nongovernmental organization (NGO), she could see people who would make her laugh, make her happy, tell her jokes, and talk about their problems. She could give them the information she knows. She made a list of what she wanted to do.

When her uncle came home, she told him her idea. He used to be in government. He gave her a week to write up a plan, then had her meet with former government colleagues of his.

Rebecca Moraa launched Peace With Land Kenya and created the website herself. One year after my first private conversation with Rebecca, the Kenyan government gave her NGO approval to operate in the country. My influence for peace is official. Rebecca is currently in negotiation with the government parastatal body in charge of land and physical planning. Their collaboration agreement will give Peace With Land Kenya some political authority to serve Kenya indirectly.

Black woman Rebecca Moraa gave me the international influence of peace for an entire country, a career shine that is rare in this world.

I never imagined that saying yes twice would bring me a rare career shine.

Peace With Land Kenya

 

Unimagined Success #23
An International Interview On My Birthday

#1: Ignore stereotypes to see people.

Who: International Podcast Host
What:

Career fortifying success
Career opportunity
Career shine

When: 72 years old
Where: Email
How: Asking for the podcast to be a resource to my soft skill self-study course participants

My online self-study courses teach soft skills for participants to use with other people. Since too many people tell themselves they don’t deserve success, I decided to ask podcast hosts to let me list their podcasts as resources. I sent a detailed email to a number of hosts, including a Black man.

International Podcast Host — the Black man — responded quickly and positively. I was hoping to get the podcast on my resource list and to be a guest. I didn’t expect lightning speed. International Podcast Host responded to my email on Thursday, set up Zoom meet & greet for Friday, and interviewed me on his show on Sunday, which happened to be my 72nd birthday.

Unimagined Success #23 is career fortifying because International Podcast Host saw me instead of age stereotypes.

Unimagined Success #23 is a career opportunity because that one interview introduced me to listeners in 57 countries.

Unimagined Success #23 is career shine because the host made sure I talked about my books and my TV show, and I was also able to explain my influence for peace in all of Kenya.

Black man Jimmy IV gave me international influence with 3 different types of career success.

I never imagined that asking a host to let me promote his podcast would lead to 3 types of career success on my birthday after years of fighting age stereotypes.

Sexy Cool Lounge

 

Unimagined Success #24
An Introduction For My Book

#7 Draw positive attention to people whose work fits with your work.

This offer could not happen because of health issues. I did receive the offer, which was an unimagined success.

 

Unimagined Success #25
Approval From A Podcast Host’s Mama

#1: Ignore stereotypes to see people.
#2: Use good gossip to build connections with people around you.
#3: Stay open to new people and new experiences.
#4: Give without expecting to receive.
#5: Support people when and how they want support, including satisfying needs and passions.
#6: Look for people to uplift with knowledge and skills.
#7: Draw positive attention to people whose work fits with your work.

Who: Mama of podcast host
What:

Heartwarming success
Career fortifying success
Career shine

When: 72 years old
Where: International podcast
How: Doing months of research for dropping little seeds of positivity all around the world

*Rewards From Collaboration
*Career Advancement From Inviting Loyalty

SexyCoolLounge podcast host Jimmy IV invited me back on his show for a second interview, Episode 109. I had already ignored stereotypes about Blacks to contact Jimmy IV. I ignored stereotypes about many other people, finding wisdom and opportunity for giving support and protecting ourselves. I offered knowledge and skills to the audience and drew positive attention to Jimmy IV for letting me do the most important interview of my life.

And Mama IV wrote this to Jimmy IV:

“Note: Paula Kramer is a well-versed scholar with a wealth of knowledge. Hope you’ll stay in touch and use her as a resource or reference.”My own mother tried to kill me twice. When the physical attempts to kill me failed, she spent the rest of my childhood doing her best to kill me mentally and emotionally.

Mama IV’s recognition and approval warms my heart in a way I cannot describe and brings tears to my eyes. I offered my knowledge without expecting to receive this.

© Paula M. Kramer, 2022
All rights reserved.
Updated February 15, 2024.

 

 

 

 

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