What Kind of World do you Want?

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Living into a Vision You Create

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Part One of the What Kind of World Series

“Don’t be afraid to take a big step.
You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.”
David Lloyd George

Allow me to introduce you to a conversation that can change your life.

It was introduced to me by Jim Lord, a visionary I have been following since about the time I created The Optimal Functioning Institute™ with the goal of inventing a new kind of training with a new coaching paradigm — one that would work better with a population near and dear to my heart.

“Imagine,”  Lord asks,
on the website dedicated to an inspiring book by the same name
(where you can download that REALLY inspiring $35.00 package for free),
if all the people who want to change the world knew they could.”

In a subsequent post in this new series, I will share my initial answer to this question with you: OFI’s vision, mission and purpose.  I am hoping, in this one, to inspire at least some of you to ask it of yourselves.  You truly have NO idea how much your answer can change your experience of living.

I am again asking that question of myself, as I again reinvent my Self along with a brand new kind of training I have been in the process of developing.  I need an answer comprehensive ENOUGH to sustain me through the next phase of my life if it turns out to be as challenging as the last one.

It was TOUGH!

I don’t mind telling you that, in the beginning and throughout many phases of this journey, asking myself the question that is the title of this post was often the ONLY thing keeping me from throwing in the towel!

There were more than a few times when I didn’t even believe what I kept telling myself, much less believe in the possibility of creating the kind of world I envisioned — even as I clung to my answer to that question like a life raft.

I sacrificed quite a bit personally in service of my belief in the world’s need for the actuation of my vision.  I did without more than any of you can imagine, and more than most of you would believe, many MANY times in the past two decades.  And I do without still.

And I was never really sure if it was worth it.

There were times, in fact, when I was absolutely positive that it was difinitely NOT worth it.  Despite the appearance of evidence to the contrary (finally), there remains enough evidence that makes me wonder whether “martyr” and “visionary” are synonymous.

Still, my Vision calls me forward.

From faith alone to EVIDENCE!

When I went to Altlanta to speak at the March 2012 ACO Conference — the 5th annual conference of The ADHD Coaches Organization [ACO] — EVERYTHING changed for me with a concrete glimpse of the future I had envisioned!

I had the amazing experience of seeing my vision come to life before my eyes. It’s not yet what it will be, and it’s not nearly where it needs to be, but I know that I have DONE what I set out to do.

I felt like Johnny Appleseed surely must have felt when the seeds he planted became trees that finally began bearing fruit.  The emotional wind beneath my wings provided by a view of all those apple blossoms has become a source of new energy at exactly the time I needed it desperately.

And yes, I can now say with a smile on my face as I begin anew to do it all again, it was definitely worth it — on that occasion, at least.  It’s a process.

And ACO is currently stepping through some dangerous waters as they establish policies and procedures in their attempt to guide the field into the future.  I’ll see what I think now, at the beginning of 2015, when I see what they do!

So really, as a REAL question, what kind of world DO you want?

Where do you go for the answer?

Deep inside: invent it, dream it, imagine it, envision it, make it up — in the same way, and from the same place of fullness and lack of limitation, that you answer questions that are more commonly asked in the coaching community:

  • If money were no object, what would you want?
  • What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
  • If you knew you had only one year left on earth, how would you spend it?

These questions and others are attempts to connect you with your wants, your needs, your dreams and, ultimately, your VALUES.  This work forms the foundation for the formation of your goals, around which you will develop an action plan.

  • How you spend the moments of your life determines
    more than what you accomplish in your life.
  • It IS your life.

Jim’s question asks you to expand your vision to include all of us here on this small planet we share, perhaps, even, for generations to come.

Broader than the conversation about values, VISION calls you forth.

Who do you need to BE to create the world you want to live into?

Yes, the phrasing is awkward, yet it is exactly the phrasing that conveys the question I want to ask – and the one I want you to ask yourselves.

Writing uses Words

Those of you who know me and are familiar with my work already know the love/hate relationship I have with words.

  • Words make possible specificity and focus, which I absolutely adore and, as
    The ADD Poster Girl, greatly need on many levels.
  • Words also shut down thinking almost as soon as they are uttered –
    so we must choose them wisely.

Ah yes, our brains and minds respond,
I know what that concept means.

Some day, perhaps, we’ll all be able to mind meld.  For right now, rudimentary as they well may be, words are the communication tools we have, and they have power beyond their ability to quantify information.

Words can inspire and they can wound; they can create emotional reserves, and they can shut down a life.  They achor thoughts, they create thoughts, and some say they make thought itself possible.

Change your brain, change your life

We now have technology that can demonstrate what happens in the brain in response to the words we use. Words can alter thinking and emotions in a manner that literally alters the structure of our brains.

The best of the motivational gurus, coaches and trainers who work with and study neuro-lingistics, inspiring sales managers, and top-notch sports coaches have intuitively understood the transformative power of a compelling vision put into words.  They know that weakly stated concepts produce, at best, weak results.  They also know that there is amazing power in words used to articulate and affirm goals that may seem, initially, beyond reach.

I would like to suggest that a huge vision makes possible actions – and results – that seem to come forth from somewhere mysterious, calling us into being in ways we barely recognize.  Try it.  Until the next post in this series expands this topic further, take some time every single day to really think about what kind of world YOU want to live in.

  • What kind of people do you work with and play with?
  • What kind of food and drink nourishes your body?
  • What kind of air do you breath, how does it smell, what surrounds you visually?
  • What kind of resources are available from any category you can imagine?
  • What creates the juice, the joy, the excitement, the connection – the love?

Let yourself do the actions suggested in this series of articles and step up your game a notch or two.

Give yourself the gift of SIGNIFICANCE. I promise you there’s NOTHING else like it.

As always, if you want notification of new articles in this series – or any new posts on this blog – give your name and email 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


What Kind of World Articles & Related Inspiration:


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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!"

7 Responses to What Kind of World do you Want?

  1. aparentbreak says:

    I would like a world wherein I do not have to either color or cover my gray hair or remove earned experience dates from my resume to be considered for a job. That is just for starters.


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  4. EB says:

    I’m working now on filing in the assorted real-world details of my own compelling vision- a somewhat daunting process, no doubt (see comment appended to Boggle book post, Madelyn). Nobody said it would be easy, though I devoutly hope/pray it gets easier!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nope – sorry to be a buzzkill but, in my experience, it never really gets what I would call EASY (or even easier).

      Life is like a work-out with weights in a gym – the point is not to make it easier, but to condition ourselves to stop struggling with the lighter weights (and that DOES happen – but only if we keep taking ACTION steps)

      Each new level seems hard – sometimes harder. For motivation, on your way up the accomplishment and productivity mountain, remember to look down from time to time to see how far you’ve come.

      In addition to over-focusing on planning instead of DOING, so many of us fail to put “check-in, review and tweak” procedures into our lives, over-focused on the planning & follow-thru stages alone – then wonder why we’re spinning our wheels.

      As my first coaching mentor, Thomas J. Leonard, loved to say “Information is the booby prize”. Life lives in ACTION (not in planning for action, btw).

      So MANY ADD/EFDers (myself included at times) are so eager to avoid our “Ready-Fire-Aim” inclinations, that we agonizing over readying and aiming and never actually FIRE! It’s a tricky balance, FOR SURE.


      PS. Already found your former comment – and responded before I got to this one.

      Another suggested resource for you as you set up your systems:
      Bumbershoots, Metaphysics, Logic & Coaching (with some help with that S.M.A.R.T. idea)


  5. jeg700 says:

    Your enthusiasm is brimming over and spilling onto the page:) Love it!

    I have asked those questions and found answers, jumping to the end result in my mind and becoming obsessed with it over the past 3 years.

    Of course, my ADD mind forgot to include all the painful little steps necessary to get there.

    But, Hubby knew the steps, and in his wisdom did not lecture me, or overwhelm me with any of it. He let me discover the roadblocks on my own, then helped me take the action needed to overcome those challenges. Always my champion…and my companion on the long tedious journey towards the goal.

    It is not easy, and it is a lot of work. Often discouraging as the seemingly never ending rocky road to bliss always is.
    But the halfway point is only 4 months away for us. When I allow myself to get my hopes up, I can feel the wild unbridled passion for my vision bubble up towards the surface of my being. Tears of joy threaten at the drop of a hat. I have to keep a tight rein on that enthusiasm…if not, I will sabotage my pursuit with an impulsive act of joy, unrelated to my goal and it will set me back. ADD will take over and the consequences of engaging in that “immediate gratification need” will be forgotten…then I will find myself further away from the goal, rather than closer.

    I sure hope you have someone to share your vision with. Someone to help you along, cheer you on and willing to lend a hand when needed. It is vital to your success.

    And I wish you success. I truly do.

    A happy person, a fulfilled person, can only do good in the world.
    Goodness knows we need more of that, right?:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • How lucky you are to have a champion! Since I seem to have attracted potential partners looking for a woman’s auxiliary to their lives (clearly not the greatest fit for any ADDer, and certainly not for a spirit as free as mine!), I have relied on friends and colleagues to pick me up and dust me off when things become so overwhelmingly complex I felt I was imploding.

      It really WAS the vision I held for myself, the neurodiversity community, and the world that continued to pull me forward, none-the-less.

      Thank you for taking the time to share the fact that you are on this “big picture” pathway yourself (hope you don’t mind that I added in some “white space” between your paragraphs to encourage those who struggle to stay tracked with text to read your inspiring comments.) I ALSO hope you will allow me to celebrate your success with you when the time comes.

      Onward and upward!


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