Bumbershoots, Metaphysics, Logic & Coaching

If I prepare for a rainy day,
does that mean it’s going to rain?

©Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
from the Coaching Series, supporting the
What Kind of World do YOU Want? Series

All Rights Reserved

Well, Of COURSE it does! Eventually. But not because you prepared for it. Your thoughts really don’t control the universe.

How powerful do you think you are?

Even if you happen to be a mighty wizard who can command the elements — what about the OTHER mighty wizards who are thinking a sunny day into place for the Teddy Bear’s Picnic or something?

If you REALLY want to control whether you are likely to remain dry, get it together to move somewhere it rarely rains – like the desert.

But aren’t Thoughts THINGS?

I’m right with you on the metaphysics of this idea, but there are a lot of thinkers on the planet.  Sometimes we get out-voted (er-um, out-thought?)

But If you think negative thoughts, you’ll bring about bad things, right?
Isn’t that The Law of Attraction?

I was tempted to buy into this fear-based point of view when I was younger – for about a nano-second.  I was led to believe that it was some kind of “Secret.”

Here are the REAL Secrets:

  1. ALL thoughts aren’t the same. There are random thoughts with little power, and powerful thoughts with a great deal of intention behind them – brain-based, by the way.  Although there IS a correlation between our thoughts and the experiences we draw to ourselves, it makes no sense to be afraid of what you might accidentally set in motion whenever you think.
  2. Only SOME things are controllable at the individual level — some simply are NOT (think group vibrational level, for those of you who subscribe to that vibrational way of thinking – which makes sense to me too, on some levels of intentionality).  We DO have the power of influence, but not control.
  3. Some things are not in human being hands at all.  They are factors of God’s plan, karma, Mother Nature, the ways of the universe, physics or metaphysics – however you choose to think about it, we simply are NOT the all-powerful creatures we’d like to believe we are.  And there will be many times when we simply won’t understand WHY NOT.

Life-Planning for Success

NOW we’re getting down to the real source of the thoughts above.

How do we focus our LIVES with intentionality?

  1. Some of the answer lies in knowing what we want
  2. Some lies in planning for what we want
  3. A great deal is the result of taking consistent
    ACTION toward what we want, and
  4. The rest lies in “keeping the faith” so we don’t
    give up on what we want before we get it.

Note that our THOUGHTS – day-to-day and moment-by-moment – are only about 1/4 of the equation. Which is not to say that how we think isn’t an important part of each of the four categories above.

Focusing on the thoughts that keep us going, and reframing and reprogramming the thoughts that mire us in the muck, are extremely important – but few of us are truly powerful enough to merely think things into being, regardless of what you read around the internet.

“Whatever makes you believe that the same Mind
that created an unwanted situation to begin with
is sufficiently developed to UNcreate through thinking alone?”

~ my first New Thought/metaphysics mentor G. Eric Pace
(Don’t Just Sit There – Live: How to Achieve Health, Wealth, Love, Success, Happiness)

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Looking at what WILL work

• Knowing what you want

It’s not as easy as it seems at first glance.  Many things that even the proverbial “best of us” believed we wanted turn out to be mere whims of our level of development at the time. (Bummer! Precious time and energy wasted, we think, even though it’s not really so.)

The more time we spend in sincere Self-examination (vs. “self-examination”), the better we get at predicting which goals will be soul satisfying in contrast to those that will leave us singing, “Is that all there IS?” once we attain them.

Needs-Values-Wants and GOALS

Until we get our Needs met, it’s next to impossible to clarify our Values through the smokescreen that Needs create.

Values-based goals, whether we attain them are not, are the ones that will allow us to feel that our lives have – and have had – significance.

Now THAT’s a life worth living!

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with going after things we merely “want” – but an entire life spent in the pursuit of those “whims of the moment” is a possible recipe for bitter regret as we move into our sunset years.

• Planning for what you want

This is where things break down for a lot of us, often because we’ve based our goals solely on wants and needs.  However, more than a few of us who have identified authentic, Values-based goals accurately, continue to struggle for lack of sufficient planning.

Sometimes our “negative scripts” keep us stuck, but just as often our lack of a realistic understanding of the demands of PLANNING is what makes us fall consistently short of our goals.

Said another way, when you are thirsty, you need to have a source of water handy to quench that thirst – and it sure is helpful to have some sort of container handy as well.

It is not enough to SET a goal, most of us do best when we develop the S.M.A.R.T. focus of an action plan for the achievement of the goal: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time delimited.

I know – this is nothing really new.  But quite a few of my clients through the years didn’t really have a solid grip on the meaning of the terms or their intention. So let’s run through it again – briefly.

Elements of a S.M.A.R.T. Goal

Specific — Precise.  Described in detail.  Explicit.  Not fuzzy.

Think “specifications” for the task at hand.  If you were to hand the specs to someone else, is there room for interpretation or would you get the actions and results you expected from the description you delivered?

Your subconscious is very literal.  It will line right up to give you exactly what you focus on.

Do you really want more privacy, for example?  Are you sure?
I can give you “more” privacy by granting you one more nano-second than you have now.

Articulate exactly what you want — specifically.  Otherwise, how will you know whether or not you get it?

By the way . . .
I’m sure you’ve taken a few laps around the “make sure you state it positively” track.  This is not the fluffy “positive thinking” advice it might initially seem to many of you.  It’s key, from a brain-based perspective.

The brain doesn’t process in negatives – and your subconscious mind doesn’t “grok” them, to use an old Heinlein term from Stranger in a Strange Land. If you expect your brain to work for you, you have to be willing to speak to it in its mother-tongue.

For example, “I have financial reserves enough to be generous at a drop of the hat” is more likely to get you where you want to go than “No debts.”

BUT we’re no where near there yet, in terms of S.M.A.R.T. planning – and those are both lousy examples of specificity, by the way.

Measurable — Quantifiable.  How much, to what degree?  Finite.

The extent of your specificity expressed in a way that anyone could look at the result you achieved and tell you whether or not you obtained your objective is what’s called for here.

It needs to be clearly articulated so that you can easily tell the very minute you’ve accomplished the goal to your own satisfaction – and the very moment you wander off-course so you can re-aim yourself before you are too far afield.

You also want to be able to track your progress and see how much further you have to go.

Without concrete measures, an activity lacks boundaries.  The door will have been opened to an endless number of possibilities, with no way to know when to stop taking action OR to stop looking at possibilities.  Boggle bait!

Attainable  Feasible.  Appropriate.  Accomplish-able.

Can you do it with a reasonably well-targeted approach?  It certainly is an attainable goal for a sixteen-year-old who has studied ballet with some measure of success (and practices several hours a day) to dream of a professional career as a prima-ballerina with a major company.

The same goal for an out-of-shape grandmother who has never danced before in her life is simply not attainable.  For the sixteen-year-old, the dream qualifies as a goal; for the grandmother it is merely a dream.

Do you realistically have what it will take to attain your desired objective?

Do you have sufficient motivation and support to keep you involved until you reach your goal, or is your objective something you would have to be somebody you are not to achieve?  We can only race the horse we brought to the track.

Those “goals” that are set from the premise that you will wake up tomorrow morning with an entirely different way of being flunk the test for attainability.

Realistic — Possible.   Achievable at all.

Can anyone do it with a reasonably well-targeted approach?  Can it be done at all?

  • Flying to Chicago from Miami in under an hour is simply not possible with today’s technology; unless you are already on your way to becoming a cutting-edge aerospace engineer, it flunks the test for a realistic objective that makes sense for you to spend your life seeking.
  • Hoping to purchase a house that is entirely self-cleaning is similarly unrealistic in today’s market.
  • Having a self-cleaning oven in your very-own kitchen, while more of a “want” than a goal, is something that can be done.  It passes the test for “realistic.”

While there are scientists and philanthropists that set goals FAR out into the future, content to stick only the first shovel into the task, setting our sights on the “realistic” – things that can be done in the time we expect to have on this earth – will give most of us a more satisfying LIFE.

Time-delimited — By when?????

Some-day never comes — you need dates and time-frames attached to your plans.

For example:
“By the end of next year [fill in the DATE, don’t leave it fuzzy] I will do/have/have accomplished/finish [fill in your specific, measurable, attainable realistic goal!]”

This is a good time to remember that you need to set time-delimited sub-goals to keep you on track for completion by deadline.

  • What steps need to be taken to make sure you arrive at your goal on schedule?
  • How much time do you estimate each of the steps will take? (Be realistic here – you have the rest of life to consider too!)  Then, working backwards, figure out the start times for each task involved.
  • Don’t be afraid to adjust the end-timing of the greater goal to reflect your sub-goal details.
  • You can always move the big deadline closer, if you discover it will be easier to get there than you originally believed.
  • If you discover that it is likely to take more time to accomplish than you gave it originally, don’t set yourself up to feel crummy when it DOES!
  • FINALLY, don’t forget to put each sub-goal deadline (along with start-times) on your calendar.

• Taking Consistent Action

Oh boy! We’ve come to that dreaded “follow-through” part. 

Slow and steady may not, in fact, win the race, but fits and starts interspersed with side-trips won’t work either.

Do you have a plan in place to keep you focused and on-target through the ups-and-downs of life that will attempt to do whatever they can to derail “the best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men” — or have you set yourself up to win the Bobby Burns award?

Part of the reason for all the specificity so far is so that you will have what you need to track your progress.  Daily.

  • If you allow lack of daily focus to create a situation where you fail to take consistent actions, you may “suddenly” wake up years away with a long jaunt to get back to the track.
  • If you are like 98% of the population, the likelihood that you will be able to convince yourself to get back on the horse at that point is slim-to-none – and that sucks!

• Maintaining the faith

Finally!  Here’s the part where what you think really matters.  A LOT.

Your inner monologue – what you say to yourself as you face the inevitable challenges that test our resolve – will tell the tale.

Ironically, our inner monologue is quite often a mirror of what others say to us – and have said to us – throughout our lives.  This is especially true for those of us who are citizens of Alphabet City!

davidairey.com - click graphic to visit

David Airey – davidairey.com

Old Tapes Continue to Create Futures from the PAST

Unfortunately, those “old tapes” have been stored in the unconscious portions of our brains, where it is rarely possible to impact them positively in real time. This is the arena where working with a coach will pay the largest dividends, by the way.

Regular, ongoing contact with a comprehensively-trained, brain-based coach will make SURE you not only recognize your old tapes when they play — but also that you put time and effort into wielding a bright red editing pencil to reframe and relanguage those negative scripts — so that you can replace those old tapes with some newer technology that will get you where you want to GO.

Most of us continue to muddle through, unaware of the extent to which our old programming is shaping our actions and running our lives much of the time.

Here’s the Problem:

Every time those tired old tracks play, they wear their “grooves” deeper into our unconscious programming, and it becomes all that much more difficult for us to challenge and redirect.

By bringing them to conscious awareness and restating what we choose to believe instead, with repetition over time we can develop NEW grooves. Eventually the old pathways atrophy and die from disuse — brain-based!  Case closed.

Here’s the challenge:

If we want “more and different” from our lives, we must consciously reprogram our brains and ourSelves, which takes more attention, time and follow-through than any of us would prefer.  It seems really difficult to stay on that horse for many of us, but the dividends are as dramatic when we DO as the consequences when we do not.

  • Nobody sane continues to play a game they don’t really believe it’s possible to win!
  • Most of us who’ve done the work of the steps earlier in this article – with little to no success – fail to achieve our desired aims because our thoughts are standing in our way. That’s the most significant fearful consequence of “thinking negative thoughts.”
  • Bringing unproductive thoughts to consciousness is the first step, but by no means the only step on the journey to achieving Health, Wealth, Love, Success, and Happiness.

Get in touch if you’d like my help turning things around and aiming them in the direction you would sincerely like to travel – with the objective of arriving at your stated destination.  Once you’ve laid the functional foundation, this is the part that’s really FUN!

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About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

12 Responses to Bumbershoots, Metaphysics, Logic & Coaching

  1. Nobody can have it all, but we can have some of it if we’re prepared to put in the effort to get it.

    Liked by 1 person

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  10. janetkwest says:

    I grew up in the Name it and claim it or the You can have it all generation. It used to get me depressed because it didn’t work for me. Glad to be past that stuff!


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