Relationship Repair when Apologies are Due


HOW to Apologize
beginning with how NOT to

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
from the Intentionality Series

Find it on ADDCoach Wisdom on Pinterest – linked to thedailyquotes.com

Just because we didn’t do something intentionally (“on purpose”), doesn’t mean the injured party is not entitled to a sincere apology for the reality that we were involved and that something was damaged – or somebody was hurt – as a result.

Apologizing doesn’t mean that you have been purposely wrong and that the other person is absolutely right. It means that you value your relationship more than your ego.

ADD/EFD oopses

Far more often than many of the neurotypical members of society, those of us with what I refer to as Alphabet Disorders (AD[h]D, EFD, TBI, OCD and more) tend to say and do things that get us into hot water with our friends and loved ones.

  • Unfortunately, according to a great many of my clients through the years, instead of cleaning it up and asking for forgiveness, we tend to allow hurt and resentment to fester as a result of our reluctance to apologize.
  • Even more often, we make things even worse by our bungling attempts at taking responsibility for our actions when we do attempt to say we’re sorry – making it even more difficult for us to decide to apologize in the future.

While we might argue that the above points are two sides of the same coin, shame (certainly a factor), I have observed that only a few of us truly understand HOW to apologize – so we tend not to offer them as often as they are deserved.

That’s unfortunate, because apologizing costs us nothing, means a great deal to those we have disappointed or offended, and is a relatively easy thing to learn to do in an effective manner.

8 Reasons we don’t apologize more readily & more often

There are probably as many explanations as there are people who “refuse” to apologize, but they tend to cluster in areas similar to one or more of those below.

  1. We have collapsed blame, fault, and intentionality with apologyThey are NOT the same, and the presence of the former is completely unrelated to the need for an apology.
  2. Our egos are attached to appearing “perfect” or loving or emotionally sensitive in some black and white manner, fearing that apologizing makes us seem weak, ineffective or damaged in some fashion beyond that which we already fear that we might be.  The opposite is actually true.
  3. We aren’t fully appreciating the feelings of the individual at the effect of our actions, words or behavior, frequently because we ourselves would not respond in a similar manner.  We let ourselves off the hook with the lame excuse that they are “over-reacting”  — contexting our actions their fault.
  4. We feel as if we’re “always apologizing” – most often because we’ve been told that so many times throughout our lives we’ve concluded that yet another won’t really make much of a difference anyway. How can we expect to rebuild trust if we won’t take responsibility for our actions when they are hurtful?
  5. We don’t know how to “fix it,” and we are hoping that saying nothing will allow it to become no more important than a bit of dirt under a carpet.  By the time our attention is drawn to the huge dirty pile in the corner, it seems as if it really could be too late to repair the damage.
  6. They are younger than we are, or less senior, so we allow ourselves the excuse that an apology from us would be “inappropriate.”  Even very young children and junior office assistants are entitled to an apology whenever our actions would merit an apology to someone older or more senior – especially if we didn’t intend harm.
  7. It takes us a while to realize that an apology is probably due – or to work up the courage to offer one – and we don’t know how to begin at a later date.  It’s never to late to attempt to set things right.
  8. We lack the skill. When we believe we are apologizing, the person on the receiving end hears something entirely different: an attempt to shift the blame.

Whatever underlies our reticence or lack of effectiveness, we can learn to apologize effectively, and our happiness with our relationships will improve significantly once we do.

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How to Get your Doctor to Prescribe you Adderall


Promoting Student Amphetimine Abuse
while marketing non-pharms
When profit seems ALL that matters,
then BOYCOTT is our most effective response

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
in the Diagnosis and Treatment
and What Kind of World do YOU Want? Series

Almost impossible to believe!

Irresponsible articles like the one written by supposed student Stephen McLaughlin – with a title the same as this article’s title [How to get your doctor to prescribe you Adderall] – encourages student amphetimine abuse, despite the Limitless Cognition LLC site’s supposed “disclaimer” posted just under the articles sub-title:

“Adderall can be nearly impossible to get, but we have the strongest nootropics available right here in our online store, such as Adrafinil, the pro-drug to prescription Modafinil** (lasts for 12 hours) and has effects similar to Adderall…just…legal;)”

**Modafinil is a medication prescribed for narcolepsy and shift work sleep disorder – sometimes used off-label for ADD/AD(h)D

What’s wrong with the article?

In addition to offering other students a detailed description of how he faked ADD/AD(h)D to secure an Adderall prescription, despite the presence of his “helicopter parent” mother, articles like McLaughlin’s also contribute to a significant problem that makes it difficult for those who need and deserve a valid diagnosis along with treatment medication to obtain them.

The article has been published on a dot com site named smartdrugsforcollege – capriciously supported by a company clearly intent upon using any method possible in their attempt to sell non-pharmaceutical alternatives that they claim are “just as good” – along with those that they claim add to or protect from the effects of pharmaceutical stimulants.

It is being passed along on Pinterest as well, pinned and repinned using a [non-site] graphic of a pill bottle with MAKE ME CONCENTRATE on the label, linked to the article.

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Productivity, Focus & Follow-through


What helps & what hurts
– so that you don’t unintentionally
make accomplishment harder  –

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

The Motivation/Activation/Focus Continuum

As I’ve explained in the Activation articles, cheerleading – or any other attempt to motivate someone who is struggling with activation – is likely to backfire.

There are many tips and techniques that can help a person who struggles with Executive Functions initiate action and stay on track to completion, but most of them are counter-intuitive. The “typical” advice only works for the “typical” person.

Attempting to explain the differences between the neurotypical and the neuro-diverse, I’ve said many times, “The reasons they don’t do things are seldom the same as the reasons we don’t do things.”

Different causes mandate different approaches and ideas.

One of the best ideas I know is to make use of the services of a Body Double – as long as both partners are aware of some of the unwritten rules of the game.

Body Double Confusion

An ADD Coaching technique I introduced in Body Doubles for Activation & Accountability, the Body Double concept underscores how simply having another person in the room can make things easier to do — because it is an externalized reminder of the need to stay on track for the person being doubled.

Haven’t you ever noticed how much easier it is to stay on track on certain types of tasks when somebody is observing?

Some repeat information from the earlier article:

  • It’s important to note that the Body Double does not actively help, advise, disrupt concentration or comment outside of a structured, agreed upon set of circumstances.
  • The Body Double’s only task is to sit quietly out of the way, reading or writing while the ADD/EFDer attends to work (unless it has been agreed in advance that s/he will interrupt a hyperfocused worker-bee occasionally to ensure that s/he stops for periodic breaks or for meals).
  • Frequently, the Body Double brings along a compatible task of his or her own – like journaling, knitting or catching up with email on a laptop or tablet.  They’re only there to externalize the observing ego of the person they’re doubling – the witness self of the person they are assisting.

I have observed for almost three decades now that having another person in the room actually helps those of us with activation and follow-through struggles focus on the task at hand, and stay on-task to completion — provided that the person in our space doesn’t feel it is their job to “help” us with what we are doing.

THAT’s where the confusion begins

In general, people tend to think about “helping” as an active state: donating food, clearing the table, fixing a flat — DOing something.

So when they are asked for help as a Body Double, they tend to be as much an active off-task distraction as a passive partner who helps to improve the odds that someone with Executive Functioning struggles will stay on track.

  • They often assume they are at least supposed to ask how things are going, or for a report of what has been done so far, or to remind the person of the items still undone (or something else that also needs to be done).
  • Unfortunately, intruding on the process in a manner that might be intended to be  “actively helpful assistance” actually makes things harder – sometimes much harder.

To be really helpful to someone already struggling with attention, focus and follow-through, a Body Double needs to be passive.

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The Backwards To-Do List


A Different Way
to Help you get UNSTUCK
Help for Activation, Hyperfocus & Scattered Energy

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Another article in the ACTIVATION Series

Expanding on a helpful concept

In last Monday’s article [How to STOP chasing your tail], I introduced a productivity tracking technique I call The Backwards To-Do List.

Over the years, I have received many requests to explain the idea. I hope this article will help those of you with similar questions.

I initially developed this technique for myself, a year or two after my own ADD diagnosis – several decades ago now. I figured it out after realizing that the “standard” advice about making To-Do lists left me DE-motivated, rather than it’s opposite.

Lacking a sense of time, I never could get the hang of how much to put on the darned thing. Plus, my high level of distractibility made it certain that there would be many items undone every day.

As I told you in Monday’s article:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Unlike our neurotypical friends and families, those of us in the ADD/EFD camp find it more difficult to “let it go” when we see a to-do list with items untouched.

  • Many of us who try the typical advice end up becoming so demotivated that we tend to conclude that “to-do lists don’t work.”
  • Others in our club feel so overwhelmed by day after day of undone to-dos that we end up doing practically nothing at all.

We need to do it another way

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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How to STOP chasing your tail


Changing your approach to
Productivity
Help for Activation, Hyperfocus & Scattered Energy

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
An article in the Org&Task Series

The Problem with Planning

We’d be nuts to believe that we could carefully plan every minute of every day and that life would line right up with the plan.

For one thing, activities always seem to take longer than we mean for them to take. In addition, a great many other items intrude – including some that cannot be put off.

Unlike our neurotypical friends and families, those of us in the ADD/EFD camp find it more difficult to “let it go” when we see a to-do list with items untouched.

  • Many of us who try the typical advice end up becoming so demotivated that we tend to conclude that “to-do lists don’t work.”
  • Others in our club feel so overwhelmed by day after day of undone to-dos that we end up doing practically nothing at all.

We need to do it another way

Coming back from my difficulties of the past two years, I am working diligently to [re]teach myself that listing 1 to 3 things in most of the currently active/important areas of my life – not thinking of them as things “to-do” but more “to keep in mind” – is extremely helpful to jumpstart my overall productivity.

My [no more than] 3 Item Overview has always helped me keep these items at the front of my mind – even if they aren’t addressed and accomplished every single day (or week!)

In addition, I always handle more than I anticipated doing on any particular day – every single day. I find it useful to write those items in my datebook and cross them off (as if they’d been there all along and I am the master of intentionality and productivity!)

It’s what I refer to as my backwards to-do list.

Seriously, that little trick helps to remind me, when I beat myself up about delaying the start of certain projects, that I’m not sitting around doing nothing all day – eating bon-bons or worse.  It also lets me become conscious about the areas where I spend the most time.

I highly recommend it.  You certainly don’t think you’re likely to remember what you’ve done if you do NOT write it down, do you?  Besides, it’s incredibly motivating.

Yet if you don’t write these things IN your datebook you are not very likely to be able to find the scraps of paper where you did write them down at the time you need some additional motivation.

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Choices and Decisions


Navigating the Forks in the Road
Carefully Anticipated
– or –

Suddenly Forced Upon Us

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

Describing Decision Anxiety

The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost*

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

*Published in 1916,
the first poem in the Mountain Interval collection.

Decision Anxiety?

Speaker_-_ScaredAlong with other sources exploring this poem, Wikipedia informs us that renowned poet Robert Frost (3/26/1874 – 1/29/1963) wrote The Road Not Taken as a gentle mockery of the agonizing that frequently accompanies indecision (in particular, the process of indecision that his good friend, writer Edward Thomas, displayed on their many walks together).

Although we are told that Frost later expressed his irritation that most readers took the poem more seriously than he had intended, we continue to do so because it so perfectly illustrates our experience of decision anxiety.

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Change, Growth and Decision Dilemmas

There is no doubt that the process of growth would certainly be easier if it were as predetermined and automatic as the metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly.

However, I can’t help but wonder if, were we humans relieved of the task of having to decide what comes next, we would be more comfortable with life’s changes or more frustrated by them.

As difficult as most of us find the process, it seems we are practically “hard-wired” with some kind of drive to exercise our free will.

  • Since early childhood, few of us have been especially happy when someone else tells us what we must do.
  • More than a few of us absolutely refuse to acquiesce. (Why else do you think we describe that particularly early transitional stage characterized by the single word NO! as “The Terrible Twos?”)

So how come so many of us AGONIZE when it comes time to decide?

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I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!


Getting back on the horse
(never as simple as Neurotypicals seem to believe!)

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

Source: CLICK HERE

Time & performance pressure

I didn’t get nearly as much done as I expected to this past weekend – and what I did accomplish were NOT the most important items on my to-do list!

(Oh, let’s be honest: I’ve been struggling for over two years now to recover from the cascade of unfortunate events of 2014!)

  • Every night I go to bed praying that tomorrow will be the day when my former Energizer Bunny level of activity will resume.
  • Every morning, for quite some time now, I have awakened in a mood that could best be described as panic or overwhelming dread.

I hear the tick-tick-tick of time’s passage louder and louder every month.

Can anybody else relate?

Shhh! – you can’t tell people that

Truly, I appreciate the intent of those who have advised me that helping professionals are expected to be far beyond all those nattering little human-being problems and pressures.

HOWEVER, in this particular period of my life, advice from that fear-based paradigm is beyond annoying to hear or read – on this particular Monday especially!

I understand that you believe that it is important for me to keep up “professional” appearances if I expect to make a living, BUT THAT’S NOT THE WAY I ROLL!

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LOL – You KNOW you have ADD when …


Laughing Out Loud —
You’ve gotta’ be a citizen of
Alphabet City when …

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

Laughing Out Loud for YEARS now

Artist: Johnny Automatic

Here’s A BIT of history excerpted from ABOUT LOL, a brief article I posted here  back in March 2011, introducing the LOL…You KNOW idea to [probably] a brand new crop of ADDers seeking support.

This little ditty first appeared in the early 1990s on the AOL ADD forum (yiikes! somewhere around 25 years ago now – longer than some of the readers of ADDandSoMuchMore have been alive!!)

It was a time when ADD Conferences were just beginning to be organized and promoted, the Internet was still a baby, and The World Wide Web was barely born. America on Line was relatively new too — and one of the few places where a vital and rapidly growing community of ADDers could meet in virtual chat rooms to support one another with empathy, a few tears and a great deal of humor.

JIMAMS, the official leader of the ADD on-line group, was like the Energizer Bunny in his dedication to AOL’s leadership in the ADD online community.

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Yes AND vs. yes but


Conversational Lubricant
Mental Space in which to Work

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
part of the Habit Series

Give me the Strength to . . .

ACCEPT the things I cannot change,

the courage to change the things I can,

and the wisdom to know the difference.

Did you know?

Brain-space is not an unlimited resource — at least not in the bottomless well kind of unlimited.  Yeah sure, we have an almost unlimited number of pathways connecting billions of neurons, but what about the stop lights that keep our brains from movin’ on down one of those pathways?

Stop Lights?

Yep, our brain is built to STOP and take another look when it recognizes something it’s seen before that didn’t turn out so well.

That also applies to linguistic associations, by the way, especially when we use them in response to a conversation pointer or request: little things like “but,” “maybe,” “not right now,” and “however,” as well as plain ole’ NOPE.

For those of us with Executive Functioning struggles, that stopping part frequently means we forget all about that “take another look” part — often because distractibility kicks in before we do.  When someone in our household is expecting us to take another look, interpreting our “later” to be a promise that we WILL work it into our busy schedules, that’s a recipe for a long cold night on the couch.

OF COURSE we need to do what we can to minimize open loops, distractions, and attentional dysregulation or we’d never get anything done (and an intentional use of stop words is a quick and easy habit to develop to help us do just that).

HOWEVER, many of our linguistic habits stop follow-through dead in its tracks unintentionally.  I have also learned that the same thing happens in reaction to our habits of thought.

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Medication Fears


Grumpy again today
– another addition to the languishing Series
Monday Grumpy Monday –

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

Discouraged, Weary and Worried

I started my day today on Pinterest, where I came across a pin with a picture of a little girl that brought back memories of myself as a child: sitting on the stairs after doing something “wrong,” head in hands, sad and worried – fearful of what my father’s reaction would be when he heard about it.

The words across the photo were, “Why Punishments Don’t Work for ADHD Kids (But What Works Better!).”

For readers who have not yet explored Pinterest, Pins are graphic snippets “pinned” to a virtual bulletin board, similar to cutting a picture out of a magazine and pinning it to an actual bulletin board.

The biggest difference – and what makes it useful – is that the graphic snippets are automatically linked to the source, which is frequently an article that turns out to be well worth reading.

————————————————————————————————–
I use “ADD” to include AD/HD etc. Check out What’s in a Name for why.
—————————————————————————————————

What an Excellent Idea for an Article!

Clicking this pin led me to a wonderful article on an extremely useful ADD/HD focused blog by The Distracted Mom.

I was smiling broadly as I read her description of a well-reasoned, learning-oriented approach to parenting her son through a melt-down – an approach that many of us who know ADD/EFD well agree is one of the best for ADD/EFD kids.

HUGE on attribution, I was especially pleased with her generous linking to other useful resources (for example, the Lives in Balance website of Dr. Ross Greene, author of The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children).

Having devoted over 25 years of my life to making a difference in this field, it is such a pleasure to read articles like hers, that allow me to believe that perhaps the world is finally changing its attitude toward what I like to call The Alphabet Disorders.

Only later, as I read through the MANY comments to her article, did my hopeful mood slowly to turn to dismay.

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Medications vs. Non-Pharm Alternatives


Educated Opinions
Informing personal CHOICE

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
from the Non-Pharm Alternatives Series

Expanding a Comment

The genesis for this article is my response to a comment left on an earlier article, my first on a recently new non-pharmaceutical alternative claiming wonderful improvements to the brain’s Executive Functioning: entitled  Neuroflexyn: BUYER BEWARE.

By the way, I’m still reserving judgment on the value of Neuroflexyn until I’ve been able to give it a solid one month trial, as promised. Life events interrupted my trial after two weeks, so I plan to begin anew before reporting my experience. Meanwhile, my jury’s still out.

Why expand a response to a comment on an earlier article?

Since my articles tend to be lengthy, I know that many of you seldom read the comments – especially since,  at times, some of my replies seem almost as long as the original posts.

I believe that the particular point I was making subtly in one particular response to a comment cannot be stressed too often, so I have decided to expand it into a blog post of its own, quite a bit more overtly.

Demonizing is Dumb

As I continue to affirm, I believe it is a big mistake to demonize pharmaceutical approaches OR non-pharmaceutical alternatives simply because they didn’t work for us personally.

People are different and brains are different – and each of us has the right and responsibility to decide for ourselves what we will or will not ingest.

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Brain-hacking – Moving Beyond the Brain you were Born With


Genes, Environment &
Neuroplasticity
Brain-based Reframes

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

Turning on the light

What happens if you try to turn on a lamp before you plug it in?

Not much, right?

What happens if you try to turn on a lamp that is plugged into a dead outlet?

Still no light.

AND, unless there is a working bulb in the lamp (and the electricity hasn’t been disconnected for some reason), you won’t get light either – no matter how many different outlets you try.

In none of our “no light” examples is anything wrong with the lamp itself — but there is more to getting light into a dark house than simply having a working lamp.

Getting light into dark rooms includes having effective connections to other things that are working correctly — assuming, of course, that the lamp itself has been designed to work correctly and that it was put together the way it was designed.

Lamps, Brains and Bodies

If you think of your body as that lamp, the specs (design specifics) were set by your genes, passed on to you from each of your parents. You spent approximately nine months inside your mother being “put together” according to the specs.

There are a large number of things that have to go exactly right during that process, so even those of us who have disorders and disabilities are truly miracles of nature.

POWER to the People

NOW, if you think of your brain as the light bulb, the electricity might be loosely analogous to the neurotransmitters that facilitate the electro-chemical process of brain communication, to and from a brain cell to any other cell of your body.

Without that that communication
you wouldn’t be able to do anything at all (no light) –
consciously or unconsciously.

But just like getting light from a lamp, unless ALL of the connections are working correctly too, your body-lamp won’t work the way it is supposed to, including the part of it we call the brain.

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Life Success on YOUR Terms


You DON’T have to
Do  it their way
How does that change The Name of the Game for YOU???

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

Success Stoppers

It’s difficult for motivational coaches used to midwifing the success of client after client to believe that what works for so many doesn’t necessarily work for EVERYONE.

In particular, more than a few Success Gurus approach the subject of productivity and goal fulfillment from a paradigm that I believe does not work very well at all for citizens of Alphabet City.  In fact, it shuts many of us down.

These “experts” certainly don’t mean to shut anybody down – and many find it difficult to impossible to believe that they do.  Still, they speak in soundbites that encapsulate the cornerstones of their systems.

Get up Early … Give it your ALL … Bite the Bullet … Eat that Frog
Connect with the Pain … Exercise to FOCUS! … Clean out your Desk
Throw out the Clutter …  Accelerate your willingness . . .

They tend to promote techniques in alignment with the claim that increasing a commitment to change, demonstrated by “giving up your resistance” to what they are suggesting, is the single most important step that turns the tide for many of their clients, students and seminar attendees – and that it would work for you too, if you’d only give it a try.

What if you can’t?
– or –
(horror of horrors!)

What if you don’t WANT to? 

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Really?

We are doomed to a life of struggle and poverty unless we can somehow force ourselves to do something that feels like climbing a mountain in cement boots or taking steps out of the way rather than in the direction we want to travel?

Is our reluctance a clear sign of something else – like fear of failure (or success), lack of motivation, or a vision that is insufficiently compelling?

Oh, please!

I have observed – time and time again in my Boomer-Generation life – that the only things insufficiently compelling are all of the “in order to” steps that have now been set in concrete —  attached to the result as if they represented stepping stones along the one and only path to a successful life.

Different strokes for different folks

The connections that make up the networks in our brains determine how are brains operate in a manner similar to how the network of roads in a city determine how various people travel.

How you get to a particular location in your town, for example, depends upon a great many variables: where you are coming from, the amount of gas in your tank,  the time of day, what else you are trying to accomplish on the same trip — even the type of vehicle you are driving and the state of your tires.

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My friend Jason recently provided an excellent example, the day after he failed to see one of Cincinnati’s abundant potholes until he drove right over it.  Oops.

He was forced to replace the resulting flat tire with his spare.  He learned the hard way that driving faster than a certain speed was a recipe for disaster until he had four regular tires.

Rushing to get to an appointment the very next day, his spare failed on the interstate. There went his entire morning. He missed his appointment entirely.

Even though the Interstate was the direct route for a great many people, it certainly wasn’t a route primed for success for Jason!

Probability of results – the standard bell curve

What does SCIENCE have to say about it?

With technical advances like functional brain scans, science has discovered more about the brain in the last twenty years than in the previous hundred. And yet they are decades away from understanding the mechanisms of consciousness – how we do what we do.

BellCurveMeanwhile, scientists have undertaken studies that have allowed them to compile aggregates that attempt to explain human beings and their behaviors in a sort-of bell curve fashion — even though they also know that, individually, we are unique.

The one thing they know for sure is that each of us struggle through life’s challenges with brains that work slightly differently – and that some of us are doing very well with brains that are a whole lot more different!

Ironically, scientists have made as many breakthroughs by studying the behavioral and functional exceptions at the tail ends of the bell curve as they have about the so-called “normally” functioning brains that make up the center portion.

The initial question driving the American research in the recently launched Human BRAIN Initiative do NOT center on sameness, in fact, but on differences.

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Here’s what Wikipedia has to say by way of introduction to this immense project:

The BRAIN Initiative (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies, also referred to as the Brain Activity Map Project) is a proposed collaborative research initiative announced by the Obama administration on April 2, 2013, with the goal of mapping the activity of every neuron in the human brain.

Based upon the Human Genome Project, the initiative has been projected to cost more than $300 million per year for ten years.
**********************************************************************************************

Source: NIH BluePrint

Click to enlarge to read, but please do NOT comment on ANY illustration pages – comment below the articles themselves — Source: NIH BluePrint

Which Means . . .

BRAIN Initiative scientists are asking, essentially, the following questions:

**********************************************************************************************
“How do the differences in the wiring and firing of human brains translate to their behaviors, their emotions, their approaches to practical tasks, and the way that they think?”

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We don’t have the cognitive bandwidth to process each of the inputs of the of our senses, piece by piece, every single time we need to make a decision or recombine information to learn something new.  So the way in which we approach much of anything at all is determined by what science has decided to call our connectome – the wiring and firing of brain cells that make up our cognitive maps.

And STILL we try to categorize

© Courtesy of Phillip Martin – artist/educator

It’s what our brains have evolved to do – beginning way back when only those who could quickly answer the following question survived to pass their genes along to us.

Do I eat it, or does it eat me?!

As the cerebral cortex evolved – that outer layer, the brain’s conscious thinking portion – there wasn’t a whole lot of room inside our skulls to allow for our brains to get much bigger, or our heads would have to grow so large our necks would snap.

So the “category method” was conserved for its efficient use of resources, which indicates that the brain is a pattern matching machine of sorts.

Similar to the way most of us store items in our silverware drawer (forks with forks, spoons with spoons), our brains store different inputs differently. When it comes time to retrieve information to be able to use it, the brain attempts to sift through the “drawer” where it usually keeps information of that type, rather than its entire “kitchen.”

Categories aren’t Constants

Based on a combination of genes, environment, experience, usage and personal preference, we each categorize according to our unique perceptions of our inputs.

Something as simple as an apple, for example, could be “filed” in any one of a great many categories:

  • Foods, healthy foods, foods I like (or don’t), or even “foods I can’t eat easily, now that I have dentures;”
  • Non-meats, non-protein diet items, fruits, Paleo-diet approved comestibles, fruits I can feed my dog without harming him;
  • Objects that are round, objects that are red, objects of a certain size;
  • and so on.

Thinking logically, given the vast number of connections we must make to explore intellectually (much less accomplish even a very simple task), one person’s cognitive map could not possibly be the same as his neighbor’s — even if we are comparing two so-called neurotypical maps from the fat portion of the bell curve.

Why ELSE would resources as great as $300 million per year for ten years have been dedicated to discovering how we DO what we do?

Also working against the logic of the reality of diversity is our brain’s addiction to certainty: we want to be able to size up our world and our fellow human beings quickly and once and for all!

Beyond the Meyers-Briggs, etc.

Productivity gurus and success coaches continue to invent methods that center on CATEGORIES.

  • They publish and market books, typing matrices, questionnaires or inventories that support their ideas about how humans operate – even though there are most certainly NOT millions of dollars worth of studies to support their ideas
  • And that’s fine.  Helpful, even.  Our brains like categories.

Not quite so helpful is what tends to happen next.

In an effort to be clear and concise, the gurus tend to communicate their “typing” in a manner that almost seems to insist that they are describing universal principles.

We’re encouraged to identify ourselves and our compatriots within one of their identified “types” — promoted to jumpstart understanding and communication, multiply sales, increase work-team or marital success — even to decide how best to educate our children.

The more people who find a particular chunking helpful, the more the ideas proliferate in a manner that seems to insist that there is something wrong with US if we can’t easily locate ourselves in one of them.

Hey – if the shoe doesn’t fit, don’t blame the FOOT!

Styles of Productivity

With apologies for seeming to attack any particular chunking as the article concludes, one of the more popular methods of late centers upon what is called The Four Styles of Productivity.

Carson Tate, founder of Working Simply, a North Carolina-based management consultancy and author of Work Simply: Embracing the Power of Your Personal Productivity Style has gotten quite a bit of press about the simplicity of her particular chunking system.  Less is more, I suppose.

According to Tate, each of us falls into one of four personal productivity styles. We have all four styles within us, she admits, but similar to whether we’re left- or right-handed, we have a strong preference.

Through her experience, reading and research, Tate claims to have identified four styles, each with distinct characteristics by which they can be identified: Prioritizers, Planners, Arrangers and Visualizers.

That method may well be useful as a place to begin – but four?
Really?  Only FOUR?

Come ON!

Doesn’t it seem a tad silly to base something as important as our own success productivity (or the success of our companies) on whether or not we (or they) “do it” in any manner that one or another system indicates is THE way it’s done?

Doesn’t it seem more logical for each of us to be encouraged to figure out how to drive the brain in our individual heads by examining the outputs of the brain in OUR heads – writing our very own User’s Manual to guide our actions and endeavors?

It does to me, in any case.

Throughout my adult life, I know that I have gotten into the most trouble when I doubted my own experience in response to the certainty of someone else promoting something else as the best way to go about this business of life.

Once I figure out what items that I, uniquely, need to have in place to function best, as long as I can set things up to keep those items in my life and use my own unique systems and strategies,  I do VERY well.

I have even been accused of not being able to relate to ADD/EFD because I am obviously not a member of the club.  Me – the ADD Poster Girl!

The extent to which any one or several of the items I need to function best are missing or unavailable is the extend to which I flounder and fail – when others comment that I seem to be little more than a stuttering wonder!

I would like to suggest that might be true for YOU as well.  Get in touch if you’d like to hire me for some coaching help identifying what you, uniquely, need to have on board, and to midwife the process of putting those items into place.

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Brain Injured from Birth?


Never “normal” —
and never understanding
why you can’t do what others CAN

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

Sort of, but not really

As awful as it is to lose functionality as a result of head injury, stroke, or some of the short-term memory deficits that cause “senior moments,” what if you had NEVER experienced the functionality you are mourning?

Those of us with Attentional Spectrum Disorders and Executive Functioning Deficits have been struggling with “TBI problems” and “senior moments” our entire lives, to undeserved and unkind public ridicule and general disbelief that what we report is a legitimate problem.

In an earlier article, Lessons from the TBI Community, developed initially for a brain-based talk to a professional conference for ADD Coaches, I attempted to compare the problems faced by individuals with challenges due to Traumatic Brain Injury to the struggles of the rest of us here in Alphabet City.

Broken Brains

I doubt that anyone who reads or watches television is unaware of the behavioral and cognitive changes that accompany dementias, strokes, and brain injuries due to accidents of one sort or another.

Most sensible individuals readily accept that those changes are a direct result of brain damage, leaving areas of the brain incapable of performing their role in the neural relay race, or doing so inefficiently or incompletely.

WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT TO BELIEVE that that someone might be be born with parts of the brain that function inefficiently, or that brain development might not proceed in that so-called neurotypical fashion in a subset of individuals — and that there might be similar behavioral and cognitive differences as a result?

AFTER ALL, anyone who has had any reason to take a look at education in the last forty years surely must be aware of the meaning of the term “learning disorder” or “learning disability.”

If they’ve looked beyond the headlines, they may also be aware that the term does not refer to an intelligence-delimited inability to learn, but to a difference in the manner and speed in which the information must be presented for learning to take place.

Unrealistic Expectations

TBI advocates and sufferers frequently write about how painful and difficult it is for them that those around them expect that their functioning will mirror their appearance.

During the period where they look “banged up” in some fashion, loved ones and friends encourage them to be patient and take it easy. Once they look “okay,” the understanding that they are still healing seems to run out.

  • They are expected to BE okay as soon as they LOOK okay —
    to rapidly return to the “self” they were before their accident.
  • There seems to be little to no understanding that they are being asked, metaphorically, to walk on a broken leg with severed nerves.

Although the unrealistic expectations of others are maddening – and tough on the sufferer’s self-esteem – there is usually some awareness in his or her heart of the reason that they aren’t able to do what is expected of them.

They realize only too well that parts of their brain aren’t functioning “normally” yet, even though the underlying reason is “invisible” to others, so tough for them to believe.

What if they had NEVER experienced anything different? 

What if not being able to live up to expectations WAS “normal,” as far as they knew?  Then what?  How would that affect their view of themselves?

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When SHTF is a DAILY Occurrence!


Emergency Preparations
for lives that have A LOT of emergencies

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Introducing the Surviving EFDs Series

“Preparedness, when properly pursued, is a way of life,
not a sudden, spectacular program.” ~ Spencer W. Kimball

Lots to learn from the Survivalists

“SHTF” – for those new to the acronym – is a Survivalist abbreviation for Stuff Hits The Fan (with a 4-letter “S” word replacing the one I used to keep things acceptable to my ENTIRE readership).

As with any subgroup, Survivalists run the gamut from the extreme through the consumed by anxiety to the worried . . . all the way to the merely cautious.

At base, most of them are no different from savers and planners in any arena — except that they larder physical supplies and foodstuffs instead of cash reserves in more traditional savings formats.

They’ve lost faith in the system.

That’s something that many here in Alphabet City share with them.  Except the system we have a hard time trusting anymore is Mental Health Care, including the lawmakers charged with protecting the rights of the many in our society who have “invisible” disabilities.

It occurs to me that, like many of the Survivalists,
we ALL might be wise to expect the best,
but prepare for the worst.

Global catastrophe’s aside, the “worst” here in Alphabet City seems to happen A LOT more frequently than in the neurotypical population – and we can expect precious little help from the current state of the Mental Health [lack of an effective] System.

Let’s not spend time going over all of the ways in which the system desperately needs changing.  I’ve been ringing that bell for over 25 years now – along with a great many other Mental Health advocates – as things continue to worsen nonetheless.

Instead, let’s focus on what we might think about putting in place to BE PREPARED.

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Our Brains, Crock Pots™ and Microwaves


Metaphors of Mind & Brain

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

In our attempt to understand ourselves and our environment, we often end up talking about the brain — “that three pound lump of jelly you can hold in the palm of your hand” [~V.S. Ramachandran]

Even though science has learned to quantify a great many of the elements of the brain, most of us still search for metaphors and analogies as we attempt to describe our understanding and our experiences.

In my own mind, the way in which my brain is like either a microwave or a Crock Pot™ pops up frequently – and I use the terms as communication “short-cuts” in my coaching.

Microwaves

Most ADDers love microwaves — you know, “the ‘nuker.”  The rest seem to have a love/hate relationship with them.

“Want hot coffee now!” is a powerful incentive to consider the ‘nuker a necessity in my own life, in any case.

Microwaves work with ADD Brain Wiring.  

Crock Pots™

The concept of a Crock Pot™ is greeted less enthusiastically by almost everyone in the EFD crowd, ADD or not!

“Spend energy now, then wait 6 hours for food?
What moron dreamed THAT up?”

However, there are some dandy little benefits to a slow-cooker.

It is the ultimate procrastination permission-slip, for one thing.  It seems to me that I can forget about one of those things for days and still eat the meal whenever I remember that it’s waiting for me. (Just kidding – don’t try this at home!)

Click for Source: memoriesofatime.com

I use my brain that way some times

I put some things in “slow-cook” mode, figuring that I’ll be better able to handle them later, and that they will still be “digestible” if I forget about them for a while.

By giving myself permission to do things my way on my timetable, my brain responds with a way to solve the issue that works for me.

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STOP Judging Purse-dogs!


Unless you also DRAG your little kids
(in which case, I have judgment about YOU!)

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

Tiny dogs have tiny legs (duh!)

It recently took a great deal of will-power to over-ride my impulse to smack a college student who [loudly] opined to his friends, as they passed me during a walk with my brand new teeny-tiny puppy, that “some people” needed to let their dogs out of their “purses” to walk for themselves.

I am full-grown, tall and have long legs.

My little Shih Tzu pup is about three months old, weighs less than five pounds, and has legs that are less than three inches long.

While he needs (and seems to adore) the exercise he gets trotting along beside me on our walks, the amount of time he is able to keep up without exhaustion is limited.

Humans can’t trot alongside horses for very long either!

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Neuroflexyn: Jury still out


Email reply bodes well
Responsive companies are usually
trustworthy companies

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
from the Non-Pharm Alternatives Series

Not at all fearful of prescription medication when warranted, I have always been ALL FOR effective non-pharmaceutical alternatives when available.

The question in my mind was (and is) whether Neuroflexyn will be among them – and for what segment of the population (since nothing works across-the-board for everyone who struggles.)

FIRST instincts (a summary)

“Preliminary findings: short and not so sweet” is how I began my prior article entitled Neuroflexyn: BUYER BEWARE – Lack of information vs. marketing is suspicious — where I encouraged you, as always, to READ WITH YOUR BRAIN ENGAGED.

SINCE that time, I received an email from someone involved with the company.

As I indicated in a top-of-that-article update, I requested and received permission to share it with you.

I will continue with additional comments following their email.

(The image at left is from the Amazon site, where you will find additional reviews of the product.)

Quick Review for Context

My initial article began with the information below, which will help with context for their reply for any of you who don’t jump over to read that first (which, obviously, I strongly recommend).

Too good to be true?

A plethora of marketing-posing-as-information articles make some pretty amazing claims about the benefits of Neuroflexyn. I’ll admit that I was tempted to purchase as I read them – which is what launched me on the informational research trail.

Product marketing swears that Neuroflexyn has been “proven” to significantly increase IQ as it enhances memory, concentration, intentional focus — productivity practically across the board, in fact.

In addition, again according to their marketing, this new “supplement” dramatically increases cognition and intelligence with NO reported side effects — despite the reality that, as a supplement, this new product currently flies beneath FDA radar, so the manufacturers can pretty much claim anything they want.

Initial Concerns

My initial objection was to current “ask for the sale” marketing approaches that attempt to sweeten response rate by urging readers to take hasty action for fear of losing some advantage or opportunity if they take a day or more to think things over or investigate other options.

According to the email below, this is NOT what Neuroflexyn’s marketing game-plan endorses – actively opposing, it asserts.

My second concern was that there was little to be found from mainstream scientists, doctors, or the credible nootropic community leadership (at least, not that I was able to find in a couple of hours online).

Only time will tell which “experts” will respond — favorably or not — since Neuroflexyn is still a brand new product.

To be CLEAR: Silence doesn’t always indicate LACK of endorsement – but it certainly is a reason for caution and further investigation before jumping on the bandwagon ourselves.

My parting comments were that it will take more INFORMATION to change my mind and that I’d LOVE to be proven wrong about my initial assessment of this product.

It would seem, from the email below, that the folks at Neuroflexyn are willing to do what they can toward the same objective.

If it improves my own cognition substantially I’ll continue to take it – in addition to or instead of my current medication.

Read it for yourselves, immediately below.

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When you feel like you can’t bounce back


Down for the Count?
– RESILIENCY: Bouncing back from Setbacks –
NOT the usual rah-rah post

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

What IS Resiliency?

of resiliency.com says:

“Resiliency is the ability to overcome challenges of all kinds – trauma, tragedy, personal crises, plain ‘ole’ life problems – and bounce back stronger, wiser, and more personally powerful.”

While I don’t disagree with her, exactly, I would label her definition positive resiliency.”  Over twenty-five years working with the ADD/EFD community have taught me that making the distinction between rising like a phoenix and getting back up AT ALL is IMPORTANT.

hang-in-there-baby-you-ll-get-through-thisThose of us here in Alphabet City need to feel like we have a shot at mastering STEP ONE — bouncing back at all — before we can keep the faith that we can move forward (with or without increased power).

More than simply TIMING

  • Attempts to motivate of the “stronger/wiser” variety may be what’s called for in the neurotypical community and with folks whose lives have remained relatively on-track (although I am inclined to wonder if perhaps they merely tolerate them better).

I’m fairly sure that point of view is not particularly encouraging or effective with people whose lives have consisted of setback after setback.

They strike me as insensitive when said TO those for whom life seems little more than crawling out of one hole after another.

Those are words for them to invent (or not) as they begin to bounce back, not a concept for others to wave in front of their shell-shocked eyes like a red flag in front of a bull.

  • Said TO us as we flounder, those stronger/wiser words tend to hit our ears as they might if we were prize fighters over-matched in the ring, barely making it to the corner in a daze — only to hear our managers tell us that we’ll be better fighters as the result of being beaten to a bloody pulp.

Few of us are particularly motivated by the thought of getting “stronger and wiser” about about the ability to tolerate a continuation of life’s abuses!

We want to somehow be able to keep the faith that we can get through them THIS time!

If we hamstring the resiliency process with “stronger, wiser, and more personally powerful,” many too many of us are likely to stay on the mat (or out of the ring)!

 

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Hey! Grinch! Get off of my cloud!


MonGrumpHeadW-A-Y behind on
Grumpiness Dumps

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

Now that Christmas is behind us, back to business!

I have gotten a few comments from folks who have missed my grumpy side – happy to oblige.

So here’s what’s caught in my craw as today progresses – taking down all the Christmas decorations happens WAY too soon.

It’s just plain ole’ depressing to walk down the street and see still-green tree corpses kicked to the curb before Twelfth Night!  When they start hitting the streets before NEW YEARS I simply want to fall down next to them and weep.

Kicked to the curb so SOON?

Poor Christmas Trees!  Kicked to the curb so SOON?

Whatever happened to AFTERGLOW?

I mean, even if you are one of the lucky ones with a staff of elves to give you plenty of time before Christmas to drive around and see all the pretty decorations and visit all your friends to see what they’ve put together, are you really that eager to jump up and shower immediately afterwards?

As for the rest of us, if we don’t have time to see the sights while we’re busy getting ready for our own celebrations, we can pretty much forget about it until we try again next year.

Live and let live?

I suppose I could live with the idea that many folks want to take down their Christmas decorations before New Years, but what frosts my grapes is the attitude of the early denuders toward those of us who don’t want to rush the removal.

They are so snide – and so VOCAL – about the fact that the entire world doesn’t share their particular preference for getting rid of all evidence that Christmas exists practically the moment the last present is opened.

Who put the Grinches in charge of the timing?

What’s HAPPENING with our planet these days?

There is so much about our world that is, shall we say, less than uplifting.  Why would anybody campaign to remove the small bit of cheer that manages to survive?

Not that I let what Grinches prefer change what I decide to do one iota – I simply don’t want to have to tolerate their “superior” attitude and their make-wrong. 

Can’t they tut-tut-tut in private?

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ALL I want for Christmas is . . .


A Shih Tzu Puppy
I’ve been so lonely since my little Tabitha died

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

I guess Santa got my letter

Some of you were aware that I finally decided that, apartment ready or not, sharing my life with another Shih Tzu was exactly what the doctor ordered to turn this miserable year around.

I’d love to be able to rescue but, like almost everything else, it’s a bit more complicated in my case.  I am highly allergic to all cats and almost every other breed of dog, so if I am to remain breathing I must make sure the animal I live with is a purebred Shih Tzu.

Source: officialshihtzuclub.com

Source: officialshihtzuclub.com

The very idea of buying a dog activates my own black and white thinking – in spades!

After much investigation, I finally found a breeder I trusted, put a deposit down before making final payment on one of the most adorable little puppies I’ve ever seen.  I was just about to hop on a plane to go get the little guy when everything blew up in my face.

Won’t anything ever go right again? was my reaction,
tears of disappointment streaming down my face.

If you’ve been following along since the gang mugging, resulting medical drama, forced move, FOUR repeats of iPhone failure, the auction where everything in my rented storage space was sold after they couldn’t reach me by phone, etc. – this year alone – you’ll understand that was not quite the over-reaction it might otherwise seem to be.

Getting back on the horse

On the recommendation of Lynn Fontaine, the wonderful and spiritually generous original breeder, I spoke with Twana of Pe-Kae Treasures – a breeder she had known for quite a while (and only a day trip away by car).

SO . . . while this article auto-posts, Peggy Ramundo and I are in her car and on our way to pick up my little Christmas puppy.

Oh yes, there really IS a Santa Claus!

ShihTzu in car

Source: officialshihtzuclub.com

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Wanna’ see his first baby picture?

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Neuroflexyn: BUYER BEWARE


Lack of information vs. marketing is suspicious
Read with your brain engaged

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
from the Non-Pharm Alternatives Series

UPDATE 1/9/15: VERY early this morning, I received an interesting email from a member of the Neuroflexin organization in response to this article.

I have replied, seeking their permission to post it online – so say tuned as I check them out further.

BY THE WAY:  It was respectful and seemingly concerned about the sensationalism around the web – which they say they do not condone or promote.  Bodes well, huh?

#2 UPDATE – 1/14/15: They have responded with permission – to be fair, I will put it in a new post with a new (and more hopeful) title, rather than adding it in a comment to a post that begins with “Buyer Beware.”
 — Link now at the bottom of this article in Related Content —

Preliminary findings: short and not so sweet

For those of us with Executive Functioning Dysregulation issues [EFD], a new product on the performance enhancement market touted as the Viagra for the Brain sounds like a nootropic answer to a prayer.

You may have heard about it as EVO, “the Limitless Pill” (E-Huperzine) – credited as the genesis of the idea for the film. The buzz about Neuroflexyn increased rapidly after Limitless became a Box Office smash hit and publicly referenced Neuroflexyn as its inspiration.

Here’s what the folks at smartSMARTER have to say about the product in their introduction to a clearly marked ADVERTISEMENT (designed nonetheless to look like something else):

We expose the truth behind a ground-breaking pill that has many experts furious. Studies have revealed it boosts brain power by up to 89.2%, sharpens your mind and sky-rockets your energy levels. With such overwhelming evidence and media mention, the question is not whether the pill works, but whether it should be legal.

EF_pieChart_brainToo good to be true?

A plethora of marketing-posing-as-information articles make some pretty amazing claims about the benefits of Neuroflexyn. I’ll admit that I was tempted to purchase as I read them – which is what launched me on the informational research trail.

Product marketing swears that Neuroflexyn has been “proven” to significantly increase IQ as it enhances memory, concentration, intentional focus — productivity practically across the board, in fact.

In addition, again according to their marketing, this new “supplement” dramatically increases cognition and intelligence with NO reported side effects.

Ahem! As you may already be aware, the FDA does not currently regulate supplements. Whether or not that is ultimately a good thing or turns out to be a lousy way to attempt to protect the public, it does mean that this new product currently flies beneath FDA radar.

The manufacturer can pretty much claim anything they want
in their attempt to sell their product.

It is up to us to determine how ethical they appear to be, in contrast to any eagerness to part us from our wallets by any means available, in service of corporate profitability.

Not to seem to have joined some Royal Society of Skeptics, my Boomer lifetime of experience has taught me that whenever something sounds too good to be true, it usually is (not true, that is).

NEXT year’s stocking stuffer, maybe

Stocking

Before any of YOU put any of your hard-earned Christmas cash into a product trial – as a gift or for yourself – take a few moments to read what I have to say about why you might want to wait until more results are in.

In addition to other reasons I’m skeptical, I always advise caution any time product marketing attempts to manipulate us into buying — rather than enticing us into that action with information designed to help us to come to a decision.

I DO NOT Heart Scare Tactics

It seems to be a popular “ask for the sale” approach to attempt to sweeten response rate with text urging readers to take hasty action for fear of losing some advantage or opportunity if they take a day or more to think things over or investigate other options.

Neuroflexyn’s marketing game-plan seems to be to set up “Big Pharma” as the bogey-man, supposedly intent on shutting down Neuroflexyn production because it is “competition” for the profitability of their pharmaceutical products.

Uh-huh – so buy now or regret it when
Neuroflexyn is taken off the market?

I guess that implies that one must seriously stock up from the very beginning – just in case it really does work – to ensure access to a continued supply during the upcoming fight for manufacturing rights.  Let’s all go get right on it, then!

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Christmas Happy Christmas


Oh the weather outside’s not frightful
(But inside it’s about to get delightful)

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

WinterSnowMartin

A Quick Reminder

From now until Twelfth Night – January 6th, when any sensible ADDer plans to celebrate the big present fest – I am going to replace the Monday Grumpy Monday series with Christmas Happy Christmas.

My regular Wednesday articles will all probably have a “getting ready for the upcoming holidays” theme as well.

This is Monday replacement #1.

Tannenbauming

Since I leave the trees up for so long (yes, trees – plural), there is no way any live tree would make it through the length of my particular holiday season.

Every single one would be a stick, long before I was ready to take it down — surrounded by a carpet of needles that I would track all over the house.

So I am especially grateful that artificial trees have become so realistic-looking in the last decade or so.  Not that it would really matter — eventually.

By the time I cover them with years and years of ornaments, it’s difficult to tell what’s underneath!

But I try to put my trees up very early and decorate as I find dribs and drabs of time — so I really like them to look as real as possible during the period they are comparatively naked.

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A Visit from St. What’s-his-Name


Source: click graphic

ALL Sources: click graphics

ADD and Christmas Too
“Reprint” of something wonderful from years ago

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

One of my FAVORITE Presents

Janine Baker, one of my long-time best friends, is one of the most fabulously creative people I know. Although she does not have ADD herself, she GETS it, “thanks” to an up-close-and-personal relationship with me (and the fact that she was an early graduate of my ADD Coach Training),!

She also gives some of the very best presents, so when I tell you that this poem she wrote many years ago for my first website is among my top favs, understand that it has some stiff competition.

She gifted me the copyright along with the poem, so I own all rights to it.

If you share it (and I hope you WILL), you must provide a link back to this post and credit both sources below.  (It is slated for inclusion in an upcoming ADD Anthology, so don’t drop out “ownership”  and link or things might get legal, okay?)

AND NOW . . . moving right along to one of the most clever of the versions of the rewriting of Clemens’ original — ESPECIALLY for ADDers and ADD Coaches!

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Happy Thanksgiving – make way for Christmas


Sorry to be so Late
(The stores have been ready since September)

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

Fair warning: This is not going to be a rant about the season.

Grab a drink (you’re likely to need one)

Turkey_Drinks

Anyone who knows me, even a little, will attest to the fact that I’m a card-carrying Christmas ELF – a regular Emmy Lou Who**.

I simply LOVE Christmas – the whole Christmas season (“Now please don’t ask why, no one quite knows the reason”**)

————
**Both from How the Grinch Stole Christmas
by Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel

I start thinking about digging out my humongous collection of Christmas CDs of ALL types the very first day the horrid summer heat wave shows signs of dipping below 80.

I ESPECIALLY love Christmas decorations.

I like to deck the halls with a-whole-lot-more than boughs of holly!

I’m big on trees and wreaths and stockings, and candles and garlands, and Santas, sleighs and reindeer — and nutcrackers, and sugar plums — and Byers Choice Carolers (which I have been collecting since before anyone else even knew who Joyce Byers was!)

Carolers

click image for source

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When your Sleep Clock is Broken


N-24 Awareness Day –

November 24

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

Because I was not able to make it home in time to make sure this article posted automatically before November 24, 2014, primarily due to the ramifications of my own sleep disorder, it didn’t (groan!)

No matter, really, because the information remains relevant, if not exactly “timely,” posting one day following the official N-24 Awareness Day.

ABOUT Chronorhythm Disorders

As I said in the 2013 article about N-24 Awareness Day, chronorhythm disorders – the various disorders of sleep timing – have long been the unloved step-child of sleep medicine.

ALL OVER THE WEB, and in the sleep disorder literature itself, you will read that “the most common sleep disorders include insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and narcolepsy.

That information is only partially correct.

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Below the Radar Make-Wrong


I am NOT amused
– with a Top Ten List of Types of Criticism
that I never want to hear AGAIN –

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

Mean Come-backs I wish I could have said

Criticism in all its forms seldom works as designed.  Instead of helping us make better choices, criticism makes us defensive – and then we have to figure out how to respond.

I have never been able to respond very well in the moment – my startle response closes most of the pathways that might grant me access to what is otherwise a pretty fine brain.

source: http://www.1099.com/c/co/gw/na/naustin029.html
source: http://www.1099.com/c/co/gw/na/naustin029.html

Why are they voting on MY life?

When slapped across the face with a negative comment, especially one that is little more than a vehicle for make-wrong, I seem to struggle to come up with even a one sentence response — except a mean one, of course, which I reject out of hand.  Tit for tat has never been my style.

Since I’m not a fan of the eye-for-an-eye, tooth for a tooth manner of doing life, which leads only to a world filled with the blind and toothless, it often feels like I have to choice but to suffer the sting in silence.

Only later, as negative comments echo and RE-echo, do I dream of a million ways I could have responded without violating my core value of kindness.

Wouldn’t you think that, by now, I’d have an arsenal of come-backs to use the next time somebody makes me wrong?  Nope – because most of life’s criticism comes disguised as something else.

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Spam or Internet Marketing – which is worse?


Blatant Narcissists BOTH
Get a clue – most of us HATE what you’re doing
(if that matters to you at all)

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

How do I hate thee, let me count the ways

Oh, never mind – I’m sure I’d run out of room before I ran out of steam.

At the risk of sounding clearly black and white, I can’t help but wonder about the intent of either the spammers OR the Internet Marketers, but at least the spammers don’t pretend to be much of anything else.

Internet Marketers, for the most part, seem hell-bent on manipulating us into believing that they are providing an eagerly awaited service that, only incidentally, employs the flavor-of-the-moment formulaic approach designed to increase SEO (“Search Engine Optimization,” translated into dollars).

I wish I could force every single one of them into spending as much time as they have stolen from my life considering the following  questions seriously:

  • Is EVERYTHING about what you want, regardless of how it impacts anybody else?
  • Has EVERYTHING become merely a numbers game to you, designed to stuff your personal pockets (or those of your company or organization)?
  • Do you have any respect AT ALL for those at the effect of your tactics – beyond their value as one of the numbers in your game?

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I am NOT a Lab Rat!


MonGrumpHeadSince people can TALK –
how about asking us?

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

Not my first Rodeo

I have written about my love/hate relationship with science before and I’m sure I will again.

I think I did a fairly lousy job of hiding the fact that I was more than a little disgruntled about what I call “the Blind Men and the Elephant problem” the last time I mentioned it – but all bets are off on Monday Grumpy Monday!

I’ve been singin’ this song for over 20 years now, and I’ll keep singin’ this song until things change or until I die, whichever comes first — hoping that somebody somewhere will read with a brain engaged and get my point.

I’m R-E-A-L-L-Y grumpy about the negative impact on OUR lives of their confirmation bias.

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Pitiful Party Lines & Flying Monkeys


MonGrumpHead“Following the rules” is
probably doing it wrong

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

Question Authority

Source: click image

This is not about politics or voting, but I have to start by telling you this:

a life-long grump gets activated every single election period, when politicians rally to regurgitate party line soundbites — on BOTH sides! 

It’s obnoxious.

I am incredulous that we don’t rally en masse to call them on it.

I am dismayed that people continue to vote for these idiots with their formulaic approach to getting elected and staying in office – simply because we have so little choice otherwise.

I really hate it the minute that things get nasty: when they attack by closing ranks to dig in and defend party politics after somebody says or does something stupid – on EITHER side.

That’s NOT the topic of THIS grump, however.

The nasty antics of politicians merely prime my pump and start my engine.

Every single election period, my disgruntlement quickly shifts focus to a more important target for those of us with Executive Functioning struggles: doctors and scientists.

I can’t help it – it’s just the way my brain works.

They are not supposed to be political animals, yet almost ALL of them seem to have pledged allegiance to their equivalent of that “thin blue line” so prevalent on those cop shows we watch like soap operas.

Hippocratic

Doctors are supposedly sworn to, first, do no harm.

It seems to me that they must somehow be able to pretend that allowing illogical, or out-of integrity actions of colleagues slide by without censure is not harmful to their patients.

They are wrong.

Scientists are purported to be seekers of truth — it’s supposedly a foundational concept of the scientific method.

Yet in social constructs where group identification runs rampant, they seem to band together against ideas that are “inconsistent with the current body of knowledge in the field.”

2Red_RoverTo me, they seem like a bunch of playground bullies in a mean game of Red Rover.  And it holds science back for YEARS.

That, too, is causes harm: many struggle-on needlessly
as groundbreaking work languishes for years.

I have been privy to far too many examples of the herd dynamic in my career.  So every time I hear of a new example, I get my grump on practically immediately anymore.

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