Finishing what you Start

Linears and  Holographics

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

ALL Kinds of Minds

  • Tortoises and Hares
  • Detailers and Concepters
  • Prioritize First vs. Do it NOW
  • DECIDE and Do vs. Go with the Flow

WHY won’t they LISTEN?

We humans are funny critters.  We want everybody to do everything OUR way.

Secretly, we sincerely believe that whatever we have figured out effectively for our own lives would transfer to anyone else’s — if they’d only DO IT RIGHT!

THEIR problems would magically disappear with OUR solution,
IF ONLY they’d:

  • try hard enough
  • give it enough time to become habitual
  • “want to” badly enough
  • stop resisting
  • or procrastinating

 — or really wanted a solution and not simply a chance to complain!

Remember – links on this site are dark grey to reduce distraction potential
while you’re reading. They turn red on mouseover.

Except for ME, of course

As a Coach, I have worked very hard to jettison that kind of “I know better” thinking.  For the most part, I have.

But I got kicked off my lofty perch during a conversation with good friend and colleague Kate Kelly, co-author of You Mean I’m NOT Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!  (who became one of our ADD Angels late September, 2012, for those of you who didn’t already know that).

We were going ’round and ’round, each trying to get the other to understand our own point of view, absolutely certain that as soon as the other understood what we were saying, we’d immediately AGREE.

Nope.  We didn’t and we wouldn’t.

In exasperation, Kate finally said, “THIS is why nobody can give advice to anybody else!”  With all due respect to my dearly departed friend, I heartily disagree with THAT statement.

We  CAN  “advise” – but we must be willing to leave respectful space for the other to totally IGNORE our advice because it is not a good fit for THEIR world-view, their values, or their way of approaching things.  

And we have to keep a close eye on our underlying thoughts, to make SURE we are not subconsciously “should“-ing all over them in our hearts!

And we must remember that it’s always a lousy idea to attempt to, in the words of Jungian analyst Robert Johnson, “teach an old man’s lesson to young men.”

And it would probably be a good idea to get permission before jumping in with our brilliant thoughts and opinions on the subject!  Sometimes people just want to vent.

Live and Let Learn

Regardless of our secret beliefs, most of us grudgingly permit others to run their own lives their own way with a minimum of grousing or but-inski — UNTIL  there is some kind of diagnosis in place. Then things get really dicey.

We like to believe that anything we say is “for their own good,” don’t we?
And while that’s not completely false, it’s not exactly true either.

We don’t want to worry about them.


And we certainly don’t want to worry about the impact of their diagnosis on our lives.

We want them to take CARE of themselves (so we don’t have to worry about the impact of their diagnosis on our lives).

We want them to learn HOW to take care of themselves so we don’t have to worry about taking care of their lives for the remainder of ours.

And Stand Back Jack if we can pull RANK!

If we happen to be PROFESSIONAL caretakers or advice givers, we’re not used to having our pearls of wisdom scattered around the pigpen: doctors, lawyers, therapists (coaches?)

We may be among the best examples of charge-neutral and lack of attachment in our respective fields, but when it comes to those in our personal lives, not so much.

We can be some of the worst “do it MY way” folk anybody knows.

What about PARENTS?  Aren’t we supposed to take their advice to heart?

Even if that doesn’t mean, “Do what I say, not what I do,” God didn’t hand-inscribe a set of universally relevant tablets for parents to deliver to the subset of the masses to whom they happened to give birth.

But, especially when a loved one has a diagnosis, we tend to forget that little detail.

And there is no rank higher than the one who got there first:  those “I’ve been through this myself and let me tell you that . . .”  folks.  (gulp – guilty as charged!)

Unless, of course it’s the really, really old dudes and dudesses looking back on their lives.
Depending on the age of the advice-ee, “really, really old” could be as young as thirty!

If they’d ONLY . . .

Most of ALL, it seems, we don’t want to have to take precious minutes from our lives
to finish what they start.

Fair request, but where is it written we must?

We have to remember that just because WE need work honoring our own boundaries, it does not mean the fall-back is permission to tell our Beloveds HOW to finish what they start.

Unless we are twins separated at birth, we probably don’t have a clue about their best way to do much of anything.

Nor does it mean they MUST finish what they start, even if we live with them and can barely walk through the house without tripping over unfinished project detritus.

Boundaries, boys and girls, THAT’s the segue here: setting them, expressing them, honoring them, restating them, bribing others to honor them . . . all in the upcoming articles.  Stay tuned.

Meanwhile. if you ring in with some examples of where your diagnosed Beloved is making your life crazy, I’ll try to work some possible solutions into the Boundary posts – no “advice” here, just a few little concepts and techniques that have been known to work for a great many others.

As always, if you want notification of new articles in this Series – or any new posts on this blog – give your email address to the nice form on the top of the skinny column to the right. (You only have to do this once, so if you’ve already asked for notification about a prior series, you’re covered for this one too). STRICT No Spam Policy

IN ANY CASE, stay tuned.
There’s a lot to know, a lot here already, and a lot more to come – in this Series and in others.
Get it here while it’s still free for the taking.

Want to work directly with me? If you’d like some coaching help (one-on-one,couples or group) with anything that came up while you were reading this article, click HERE for Brain-based Coaching with mgh, with a contact form at its end, or click the E-me link on the menubar at the top of every page. Fill out the form, submit, and an email SOS is on its way to me; we’ll schedule a call to talk about what you need. I’ll get back to you ASAP (accent on the “P”ossible!)

Related articles right here on
(in case you missed them above or don’t see them below)

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Kate Kelly Related Articles

Other Memorial Posts

About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

One Response to Finishing what you Start

  1. Pingback: Advice and Boundaries | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

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