How to live a life that doesn’t suck


from Selorm Nelson - click graphic to read

from Selorm Nelson – click graphic to read

Does anybody REALLY live
“a LIFE they LOVE?”

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
A Walking a Mile in Another’s Shoes Post
Part 1 in a Series

I know, it’s a bizarre way to begin

It is an ESPECIALLY bizarre question out of the metaphorical mouth of a coach.

For those of you who aren’t yet aware, “life” coaching is a profession renowned for holding the “Live a life you LOVE banner aloft (above a table marketing miraculous services that will transform your life with the click of a PayPal button).

I’ve used the phrase myself – more than a few times.  It seemed a handy “short-hand” in my attempt to describe the benefits of coaching. But today I’m giving that hyperbole a bit more thought.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been under the weather all week and I’m now in the grouchy phase where I’m feeling sorry for myself – but I think the topic merits some frank discussion, don’t you?

Because I think we’re focusing on the wrong objective, which will continue to lead us astray.

I’m coming to believe it’s a set up, actually — for an expectations mismatch that will make us truly miserable, regardless of what our lives look like at any particular moment.

If it works for you, carry on. I’m all FOR hyperboles that work, but I’m not sure this one does.

I’m wondering if it’s time to move on to something that works better with the way our brains are designed. Do your best to read with an open mind.

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Expectations set by appearance


The comments to this post add content – don’t miss ’em!

DeceptiveAppearances

original source unknown

Getting PAST the Visual?

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
A Walking a Mile in Another’s Shoes Post

A recent conversation on a TBI article, Laughter is Brain Injury Medicine – Relieved it’s not me … new what?  launches a conversation that deserves an exploration here — thus, the article below.

(Regular readers have probably noted that Edie, a TBI advocate, frequently comments on the articles I put together to help, primarily, a readership that has attentional struggles and challenges. I comment on her blog as well.)

I hope you will take the time to investigate Brain Injury Self Rehabilitation, the blog sustained by the life experiences and research of former nurse Edie Flickinger.

MUCH of the information that she shares about Traumatic Brain Injury is also relevant to the rest of what I call “the alphabet disorders” population: ADD, EFD, ASD, MDD, BPD, OCD, ODD, etc.

Appearance Expectations

In her article, Edie’s point about appearance expectations (they look good, therefore we expect them to “work good”) is something I had never really thought very deeply about in terms of its impact on the functioning of those whom I have coached and trained — at least, not quite so consciously.

Sometimes Size DOES Matter

BigLittleI have long observed certain manifestations of that particular “expectations set by appearance” dynamic with adults and groups of children.

I have repeatedly noted the greater number of frustrated adults when kids who are much bigger or taller than same-age children struggle with accomplishment (even when a “big” kid performs at a higher level than his or her peers.)

People subconsciously expect a particularly “big” kid to be able to do (or learn, or already know) what they would expect of a child several years older.

If the child performs at an advanced level cognitively or intellectually, it frequently seems to be taken for granted, even discounted (in a manner similar to the way we admonish bigger kids not to physically bully those who are smaller or frailer).

Should the “big” kid be even the slightest bit delayed in development, adult concern can be intense!

“Little” kids (most often if they are female), seem to get a “pass” on functional or behavioral issues more frequently than their “standard-sized” same-age buddies as well — an example of the same dynamic from the other end of the see-saw.

But I’ll bet Edie is absolutely correct that many of our expectations of what a person “should” be able to handle functionally and intellectually are set by appearance standards, regardless of age. After all, we do “dress for success!!”

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Science and Sensibility – the illusion of proof


The Illusion of Proof


© By Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, A.C.T., MCC, SCAC
Foundational Concepts of the Intentionality Series

Observation, Anecdotal Report and Science

I have a love/hate relationship
with science.  

I’m hoping to encourage the readers of this blog to develop a similar approach to what we like to think of as “proof.”

I’d like to convince you of the wisdom of stepping away from black and white thinking to embrace the possibility of the pragmatics of gray.

(By the way, the perils of  black and white thinking is one of the most useful concepts I write about, so if you haven’t clicked over to read, don’t miss it!)

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Open Loops, Distractions and Attentional Dysregulation


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

The Importance of Closing Open Loops


© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, A.C.T., MCC, SCAC
Part of the Intentionality & Memory Series

photo credit: Matthieu Aubry via Flikr - (c) Creative Commons

photo credit: Matthieu Aubry via Flikr – ©Creative Commons


An
“open loop” is my term referring to a step to be accomplished before an activity or thought process can be “put away.”

Only once a task has been “put away” does the Prefrontal Cortex [PFC] voluntarily let it go.

Until then, it continues to “ping” the stored reminder of where we were in the process —
to keep it “active” in our working memory banks, even when we are not “actively”
thinking about it.

Completions are “closed loops” – whether we have completed an entire task or an identified portion – a “chunk” that we have set before ourselves – fulfilling our expectation that we will take the step or accomplish the task or activity, which “closes” the loop.

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Intentionality CAN be a Trap


Remember – links on this site are dark grey to reduce distraction potential
while you’re reading. They turn red on mouseover
Hover before clicking for more info
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Lessons Learned from Late Night Upsets

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

“When in deep water, become a diver”
~ the Viking Runes (Ralph Blum version)

Unexpected Benefits

When I lived in Manhattan, there were more than a few nights when somebody’s car alarm went off — sometimes blaring away for over an hour.

Sometimes the car was parked close enough that it seemed as if the sound threatened to oscillate the teeth right out of my head.

With the laws in place at the time I lived in The Big Apple, there was absolutely nothing that anyone but the owner of the car could do to silence the racket, including the police.

Dealing with this little hitch in my git-along, as they say in the South, turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

THE UNIVERSE IS PERFECT

The first few times I heard that expression, it annoyed me. Greatly.

Perfect?!

How can (for example) disturbing an entire neighborhood in the middle of the night because some idiot parked the car too far away from his or her apartment to be able to hear that s/he needed to go turn off the racket possibly be considered any flavor of perfect?

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Juggling Invisible Balls



By Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, A.C.T., MCC, SCAC
Part 2 of a 2-part article in a series of excerpts from my upcoming book,
TaskMaster™ – see article list below

Some Juggling is an INSIDE Job

 

Juggling invisible balls is my term for the conscious attempt to screen out persistent, irrelevant, or intrusive, off-task, background “noise.”

“Noise” refers to input from any modality (an area of information processing using our sensory apparatus);
“juggling” is a metaphor to help us understand the mechanism by which we handle life’s many demands.

In the previous TaskMaster Series article, Taking Your Functional Temperature, I introduced several analogies that help illuminate what’s going on “behind the scenes” to help explain WHY we struggle with focus — and WHY we struggle in ways that make it difficult-to-impossible to get things done.

If you haven’t read the previous article, I STRONGLY suggest you start there, or I doubt the content below will be as valuable to you as it could be.

In this second section, we’re going to take a closer look at some of the reasons why functioning can be so erratic.

As I said in the first part of this article, on an average day, you may well be able to handle a great many things that, on another day, you simply cannot.

  • It makes sense ONLY if you start becoming aware of – and counting – invisible balls, so that you can better predict your functioning level BEFORE you attempt to take on more than you can manage.
  • Part of the value of ADD Coaching is helping you develop the habit of taking your functional temperature to help you take on the type and number of tasks that will keep you stimulated but not overwhelmed.

You will find tasks easier to manage if you learn to think of your day as if, like Alice, you were faced with one long  juggling  performance for The Red Queen.

You may certainly plan what objects you TAKE to her palace, but you must determine the order of your performance in the moment, so that the objects don’t come crashing down around you to the tune of, “Off with your head!”

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Taking Your Functional Temperature



By Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, A.C.T., MCC, SCAC
Part 1 of a 2-part article in a series of excerpts from my upcoming book,
TaskMaster™ – see article list below

Functional Temperature

artwork courtesy of artist/educator Phillip Martin

Some days I don’t wanna’

When I look at my wide and wonderful list of things I DO want to do, it seems the items I must do to keep a roof over my head, food on my table (and some semblance of organization and order in my life) are seldom the items that make me drool.

I often fantasize about what I’d do if I were to win the lottery, so I know, without stopping to think, exactly what I’d do first: I’d prepay everything for a decade or so!

Next, I’d throw a couple of years of generous support to a would-rather-be-a-stay-at-home Mom to add me to her list of charges.

THAT would allow me to coach and train, and write, and jump on the speaker’s circuit to advocate and educate for NOTHING — following my bliss every single second of every single day — freed from the constraints of capitalist imperatives.

Alas! Since I would probably need to drive someplace to purchase a ticket to said lottery (and my car is currently feeling too lazy to run), I doubt I’m likely to experience said windfall any time soon.

So if anybody knows somebody in that 1% who’s in
a philanthropic mood, send ’em my way.  

Until then I, like you, must figure out an effective way to bob and weave between the tasks that allow me to make a living and the activities that make life worth living.

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