Climbing your Mountains YOUR way


Success Strategies
Different Strokes for Different Folks

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

MY way is not the only highway

Hopping around the ‘net hoping to find the beginning markers of the yellow-brick-road to massive success, life-satisfaction and ultimate happiness?

How many of the gurus below have YOU tripped across?

If you are not meeting with much success by following any of them, maybe what I have to say in the second half of the article below might make some sense.

YouTube Gurus spill their guts

I’ve been arguing with YouTube again — this time with the so-called “Success” Gurus.

I’ve been listening to their lectures, TED talks, keynote speeches, and all kinds of interviews with an impressive line-up of fabulously successful guests — and it ALL sounded good at the time.

  • Locate your motivation for massive action.
  • Never give up — Do it NOW.
  • A belief is a story you tell yourself repeatedly.
  • Argue for your limitations and they’re yours.
  • Focus on your goal and grind it out!
  • Connect with your passion to move into JOY.

I listen to the stories of huge successes coming after repeated failures – the tales of leaders who now experience massive wealth and large communities of followers because they kept their eyes on what they wanted for many years and didn’t allow themselves to be stopped by mental or physical challenges.

Who wouldn’t want what they have?
They seem happy, they’re making a difference — and they’re RICH!
So what did they DO?

They refused to take no for an answer.  They uncovered the fundamental reasons underlying their goals – and motivated themselves by connecting to their dreams every day.  They doubled their efforts with practically single-minded focus.  They went more than the extra mile.

They set increasingly larger goals for themselves until the picture was large enough to pull them into taking the actions that ultimately led to their eventual success.

And it all sounds wonderful!

But then along comes . . . Harry ?

Moments later another video cycles through. Now I’m hearing something that sounds confusingly different, from a totally other paradigm.

  • Stop tilting at windmills. Think it through first – you can’t reach your destination without your map.
  • Stop pushing on locked doors – perhaps you’re being guided in another direction.
  • Figure out what you are meant to do and do that.
  • One baby step at a time – slow and steady wins the race.
  • Money is an inadequate metric for success.
  • The most satisfying life is a balanced life.
  • Follow your bliss.

This time I’m watching shining faces as I listen to statements of gratitude like the following:

“Getting fired and having to live in my parent’s basement for two years, working nights at the local convenience store for minimum wage, was the best thing that ever happened to me!

“It was only after my spouse threatened to take the kids and leave me that I realized that my priorities were totally out of whack.”

“I would never have found my true calling – or the guts to do what I really wanted to do – if my older paths had not been blocked.”

Sure, that makes perfect sense –
as long as we keep taking action toward an eventual balanced outcome
we’ll eventually connect with our source of power.

 

Think again, Grasshopper

Watch for just a moment longer and you will run across still other videos with another point of view entirely — telling you that focusing on action is doing it the hard way.  It’s like pushing a rope – lots of side-to-side movement but no forward momentum – and certainly no successful results.

  • You are a spiritual being having a physical experience.
  • The universe knows what you want the moment you experience what you don’t want.
  • You can’t attract what you desire unless you are in vibrational alignment.
  • Affirmations don’t manifest – you can’t get to having from a vibration of have-not.
  • Meditate every day so you can become congruent with your goals.

Again, I’m seeing a room full of exuberance, hearing tales of lives that are unfolding perfectly after years of pushing rocks up hills in vain.  BOY does that sound appealing!

I know how hard so many of us have worked for years as we wondered what we could possibly be doing wrong that we continued to struggle in some fundamental ways.  SURE!  We need to meditate our way into havingness. We can do that, right?

Trust the universe –
Let go and let God!

Read more of this post

Procrastination’s link to kludgy Executive Functioning


Getting a Round Tuit
CUTE — but not very helpful

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Reflections from posts in the Challenges Series

Oh those clever seminar leaders!

We all love the little gifties that are passed out at a great many seminars we have attended, seminars designed to help us fashion lives that are more productive and enlivening.

Most of us have a list of things we intend to do when “we get around to it” — but I can’t imagine how being gifted with a little round reminder that we need to STOP “procrastinating” and “just DO it” is going to make one whit of difference.

In most cases it’s shaming, actually, regardless of how positive the humorous intent – and shame rarely works well as a motivational technique.

Related Post: The Top Ten Reasons to Reframe Procrastination

We need to look clearly at what’s going on

Follow through to completion is a linear process modulated by the prefrontal cortex [PFC], the brain’s “conductor” that keeps us on track and in action, step after step.

Our vanilla-flavored friends rarely appreciate the fact that they have an unconscious advantage in the linear processing department – what is frequently referred to as “declarative memory.”  That makes certain kinds of information retrieval, organization and task completion, and – well, just about everything else – a heck of a lot easier for them.

With the ADD/EFD brain-style (and others with attentional spectrum dysregulations – all of us with Executive Functioning glitches), we seem to process sequential information in a fairly disjointed manner — the pieces somehow jumbled together — sometimes not recorded at all, even when we do our very best to keep our attention on matters at hand.

Too many guests at the EFD Table

Because the brain is soft and sloshes around in fluid inside a hard skull with bony protrusions – especially in the front area where the PFC is most vulnerable – any appreciable hit on the head is likely to result in a few problems with Executive Functioning.

Because the PFC is connected to almost every other part of the brain, it’s not much of a stretch to believe that strokes or medications that affect one one part of the brain are likely to have an effect on PFC connectivity as well.

Implication: any individual with a disorder, stroke or other brain damage affecting the prefrontal cortex is highly likely to experience brain-based executive functioning challenges of one sort or another.

In a nutshell, “Executive Function” is the mental ability to organize, prioritize, and accomplish tasks. It is figuring out what to do first, second, third, and so on, to see a task through to completion. Executive function involves things like being able to realistically determine, in advance, how long and how difficult a particular task will be to accomplish.
~ from a great 1st person article by PTSD advocate Linda Lee/LadyQuixote, Impaired Executive Function, My Invisible Disability

Connectivity challenges are experienced by individuals with mood disorders, autistic spectrum disorders, TBI/ABI, and more than a few neurological conditions such as sensory integration disorders, Parkinson’s, dyslexia — in fact, almost all of what I refer to as the alphabet disorders.

Due to the way the brain ages, even individuals who were born with the neurotypical brain style will begin to notice increasingly more Executive Functioning struggles as they get older.

Read more of this post

Living within the boundaries of TIME


Why TIME can be so hard to track
MOST of us battle it – but some of us lose more often

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

If you want to know the truth about TIME, ask a kid

Kids know that, even on December 24th, the time between now and Christmas morning is MUCH longer than the time between the now of the last day of summer vacation and the first day of school.

How long those “golden rule days” last is open to debate in kid-courts everywhere.

Kids who enjoy learning and have great teachers
are positive that the school-day is short,
as the kids who don’t will swear it is interminable.

On this they can agree

Most kids beg for “just one more minute” to watch TV or play computer games – as if a measly 60 seconds is going to give them what they really want: to continue doing something that engages their attention and avoid doing something they find difficult or don’t want to do.

Science tells us that the perception of time is a function of interest and effort.
I say: only partly.

  • NO extra time eases the transitions, for kids or adults – which is a huge part of the problem for anybody who isn’t strictly neurotypical and linear beyond belief.
  • And it takes a lot of work to learn to work with and around hyperfocus – that “trapped in the NOW” state that brains challenged with attentional struggles use to compensate for kludgy focus.

What’s a poor time traveler to do?

Read more of this post

Expectations Mismatches & Moon Men


Frustrated expectations are difficult to overcome.

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

Graphic: Johnny Automatic

“You do something right ONCE and they
hold it against you for the rest of your life!”

~ Mel Levine

One of the complaints you often hear about ADD/EFDers (and all of us struggling with kludgy Executive Functioning) is that our cognitive and functional abilities are erratic.

In posts to come, I will share with you what I have discovered about WHY that it so: why our behavior seems so unpredictable, and what we can do to change that perception.

I would like to introduce you to some of the theories and concepts that underlie the manner in which I work with Executive Functioning Deficits of all types — a way that allows you to put the pieces together so that you understand what you need to DO to be able to drive your own brain — without the constant fear that it will break down on the road!

Prediction is key

An ability to predict the impact of your particular combination of cognitive challenges allows you to realign expectations realistically, so that you can design action plans that are likely to succeed. Almost more important, through prediction’s crystal ball you will be able to design action plans that produce the kind of results that are more likely to be perceived by others as successful.

Subsequent posts will say more about learning to predict yourself. I want to begin by tackling the “perception of others” part of the equation.

In this post I want to describe an unconscious dynamic in our society that makes it tough for ALL of us, but especially for those of us with Executive Functioning Deficits.

It is very difficult to allow yourself the experience of success when the feedback that surrounds you focuses primarily on real or imagined “shortcomings.” And it happens ALL the time. What’s up with THAT?

Read more of this post

%d bloggers like this: