Boggle: To Design is to Decide

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Onward and Upward

Excerpted from my upcoming Boggle Book ©Madelyn Grifith-Haynie-all rights reserved.

Now you are ready to design
your Boggle Space.

Re-read through the lists you have created (in that notebook I hope you took the time to create).

We want to work with externally stored information that will allow you to work with minimal decision anxiety.  

Remind yourself what is soothing to you and what you definitely do not want around.

Don’t wait to decide at the moment you are faced with the objects in the space.

  • Deciding is one of those pre-frontal cortex stressers.
  • The farther away from the actual experience, the easier the decision.

Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to pack for a trip with a list?  That’s because you separated the process of deciding from the actual handling of clothing.  If you try to decide on the spot, ad hoc, you will have a much tougher time.  The further the decision from the action, the easier the action.

Prelude to disaster – clearing cobwebs

As I said at the end of the last article, before you go back to designing your Boggle Space, we need to clear away possible mental roadblocks to keep you from cheating yourself out of the success that you deserve.

Identifying the Stuff in the Way

Start a list of stuff in the way

You know — all of those mental gyrations that keep you stuck, keep you small, and keep you Boggled.

Acknowledge those negative thoughts that are tempting you to avoid doing anything differently:

•   What’s a grown man doing in time out like a three year old?
•   Oh please!  Somebody shoot this Coach and put her out of my misery.
•   I can just hear the laughter of the family now.  I’ll never get any respect around here.
•   This is just too dumb for words!

Write it all down.

This will be important the next time you Boggle without a Boggle Space or a TBZ.

This is one short list of stuff that is keeping you stuck in the life you have now.

Do you really think that’s all there is for you?  You CAN have so much more from life.

In order to reach Optimal Functioning — the place where you love your life and live your dreams — you are going to have to give your ego a gentle talking to about these thoughts.

You deserve better from your inner self.

Re-read the section that explains why this works — the part about the tiger and Og’s adrenal response leaving him alive to pass his genetic material down to you as a hard wired reaction to danger and stress.

Remember, adrenalin is capable of sending a stimulating message only.  In order to EVER reach the point where you are able to take a calm look at the reality of the current danger and “Honey, calm down!” you will need to balance that chemical stimulation with some chemical inhibition.

You are teaching yourself to manage your neurochemical production intentionally, and much earlier in the process than the period where racking sobs, physical violence or a stiff drink wear you down.

Don’t stay Crazy

I’m sure you have heard Einstein’s definition of crazy: 
. . . doing the same thing in the same way and expecting a different result.

It’s just plain crazy to continue to let your ADD get the best of you when you Boggle.

Do the exercises and create your TBZ.  We are adding modalities to reinforce a change in habit — tactile, kinesthetic, and cognitive — and bringing your unconscious thoughts to consciousness.  If you read your lists aloud you will add verbal and audial feedback as well.

The first step on the road to any change is awareness. 

  • The more concrete you are, the more aware you will be of the dynamics of your functioning when you are approaching Boggle.
  • The more aware you are in real time, the more self-control you will be able to exert.
  • The more modalities you are able to bring to this exercise, the greater the likelihood that you will be able to access these thoughts when you need them.

Merely reading the Boggle Book, deciding to manage Boggle without doing the exercises, will give you primarily a cognitive experience — you’ll get the concept but not the details — to say nothing of the fact that these are my thoughts, not yours.

No two ADDers have the same “flavor” of ADD.

It probably won’t work if you choose to cop out on the experience.
All you will have is yet another piece of “evidence” of failure to add
to your pile.

  • I never ask a client to do anything that I have not done
    myself and found helpful.
  • Every single one of the people who have given this
    technique a fair trial finds that it works.
  • I use it myself.  More often than I would care to admit!

Aren’t you tired of being at the effect of your ADD?  It isn’t necessary.
Do the work. Do it now.

Location, Location, Location

If you’re ready to move forward, decide where you are going to locate your Boggle Space.  You must choose a location that is out of the normal flow of traffic in your house, and it must be a place that it solely yours.

  • No sharing.
  • If there are four people with ADD in your house, you each need your own Boggle Space.
  • Design yours first.  The airlines have the right idea when they instruct parents of small children to don their own oxygen masks before attempting to help a child.

Dealing with Stuff — What goes in?

Make a list of the items that will go in the space.  What is soothing to you?  Will you want music or a tape of waves or nature sounds?  Will you want incense or potpourri to scent the space?  Will you want to be able to stretch out on the floor?  Will it be optimal to have a rug?

Don’t worry about where you are going to get these things.  Just write them down.  Identify an optimal Boggle Space for you.   You’ve got your TBZ to get you through until it is a reality.

What comes out?

Make another list of the items that have to come out of the space.

This list is a little tougher. You will be tempted to make “dirty deals.”

Well, the mounted marlin
really doesn’t have to go
I can just ignore it   

Thoughts like that are budding tolerations.  Nip them in their little buds.  Get everything on the list that needs to come out of your Boggle Space.

Where will it go?

Make a list of where each item is going to go after it leaves your soon-to-be Boggle Space.  Will it go into the trash, to the basement, the attic or another storage space, or to another room in the house?

Where exactly?  The third shelf of the linen closet is the kind of specificity that is necessary.

Are you planning to give some items to your neighbor or to the Salvation Army?  Whoa!  Where is it going to live until it leaves the premises? 

The farther away from the actual experience,
the easier the decision.

  1. It isn’t difficult to sit in the middle of your soon-to-be Boggle Space, decide what you would like to disappear, and write it down on a list.
  2. It isn’t difficult to read the names of  items on a list and move them
    out of a room.
  3. It isn’t difficult to move items to a designated spot.

It will be extremely difficult to combine the three activities in “real time.” 

You will procrastinate because you know, somewhere deep in your
ADD soul, HOW difficult it will be.  You won’t like thinking of yourself
as “someone who can’t even get it together to move a Marlin.” 

You will probably make even more “dirty deals” about
what you can live with.

Then you will have to force yourself to use your Boggle space because you will know, deep inside, that it is not really all that soothing to you.

Part of your brain will be distracted by the extraneous items and part of your brain will chastise you for being “someone who can’t even get it together to move a Marlin!”

You will be adding doses of adrenalin with every distraction.  And you will spend a lot longer in your Boggle Space as a result — if you use it at all.  You may actually avoid using that Boggle Space if you do not take the time to make it perfect.

A properly designed Boggle Space, with nothing that will add adrenalin stimulation, can change your life.  I promise.

New Boggle excerpts will post weekly, sometime between Friday night and Monday morning.  In the next section we’ll continue designing after a nine-point list that will help you secure cooperation and support from the people in your life.  Stay tuned.

As always, if you’d like notification of future articles in the Boggle series (or any other), give your name and email to the nice form at the top of the skinny column to your right.  You only have to do this once, so if you’ve asked for notification for a prior series, you’re covered for this one.  STRICT No Spam policy.

Articles in the Boggle Series
**Below: SOME content overlap – different info – Read BOTH

Coming up in the Boggle Series:

Other related Articles on this site

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!"

3 Responses to Boggle: To Design is to Decide

  1. Pingback: Homepage

  2. Glen Hogard says:

    Perfect description: Reminds me of Maharishi’s words on the order of Being, Thinking, Action, Achievement, then Fullfillment.

    “1.It isn’t difficult to sit in the middle of your soon-to-be Boggle Space, decide what you would like to disappear, and write it down on a list.
    2.It isn’t difficult to read the names of items on a list and move them
    out of a room.
    3.It isn’t difficult to move items to a designated spot.”

    Sitting = Being. Deciding = Thinking. Writing and Reading and Moving = A Smooth Transition from the Thinking to Action. Action can then lead to Fulfillment.
    Glen at


    • Thanks, Glen. Your post is a good reminder that Spirit underlies all we make visible through ACTION! And that preparation is essential – both mental and physical – for us to be ABLE to step into action.

      I attended a Unity service yesterday, followed by a concert by singer/songwriter Karen Taylor Good (Where Did You Go?, How Can I Help? Lighten Up – among others). I was reminded, through song and with a great deal of laughter, that we are all uniquely created to bring unique gifts to fruition on this small planet we share – and that ACTION (saying YES to life) is always a product of preparation.

      Just as Karen’s years of preparation were music-related and “Karen” specific, with ADD in the picture, ours is ADD-related and “us” specific. Nothing effective comes from ignoring those early steps — or from trying to squeeze ourselves into boxes created by those who function in ways that are alien to us.

      Thanks for stopping by and for taking the time to comment.


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