Len, the creator of Ghoghet came from a disadvantaged and dysfunctional family background. He first developed Ghoghet in an attempt to reconnect with his children after a business and marriage failure. With all the stress and feeling like a failed father, he also wanted his children to learn how to not just cope with life’s challenges, but to learn and grow with them. The lessons he missed out on as a child.
In 1990 he began having a series of dreams about a game and a spinning bottle. So he found some old and popular games and invented some of his own and then threw in all the things he wanted his children to learn and they played often. It was great fun and the kids loved it. At the time, they didn’t appreciate how much they were learning. Not for a moment did he realize the profound significance and it has taken over 24 years to fully appreciate how much there is to gain from play with meaning.
The rules and the playful activities helped to create a safe space and the right atmosphere for Len and his children to learn how to master each of the 32 challenges.
It didn’t take long for them to realise the clearer they could mentally define what they wanted to achieve from each activity and playfully went for it, the better they performed. The blindfold challenges became lots of fun once they adjusted to moving around without the sense of sight. It was like all the other senses became more acute and they found themselves listening to, trusting and following the signals from their body. It was remarkable how accurate the information was.
Within just a few weeks of first playing, his children almost seemed to forget the tough times and became noticeably happier, calmer and more settled, which was a big relief from the dysfunctional way they had been interacting. Prior to the business and marriage failure and when times were good, Len could see the dysfunctional behaviour patterns were there under the surface, but he didn’t worry about them too much. He just disciplined his children the best way he knew and that was limited. It seems like most people can cope when times are good, but Len’s family were definitely not prepared for when the going got tough.
After about five weeks of playing once per week, it became obvious that Len’s children were developing positive attitudes, all the fighting had stopped and it felt great for Len to meaningfully connect with them. Even their school test results began to improve and the oldest became the head girl of her school Council. Previously they were hesitant to take on responsibility or give anything new a go and now they welcomed new challenges and creatively working together. They become stronger, more confident, responsible and they were also able to clearly articulate what they wanted.
Len and his children invited friends to play with them and quickly the word began to spread. It didn’t take long for GhoGhet to find its way into many homes and around 200 classrooms in Western Australia. We now realise that playing regularly helps people make a habit of playing and living with a positive can-do attitude. Initially they didn’t realize how they were playfully practicing to master a variety of skills.
Whenever Len observed a player doing exceptional things, like being able to clearly sense where other players were whilst blindfolded, he asked the person with the blindfold on how he/she manage to achieve that. Then, after discussion and understanding, they all attempted to see if they could do it and to our surprise, they could. Through hundreds of these experiences, Len began to realize that all people could hear and sense much more than they realized.
Over the years Len has discovered many remarkable abilities that people naturally have and can knowingly use once they better understand how whole body intelligence works. He has also come to understand that all people are hardwired with numerous innate skills and abilities and yet we hardly know about them. This is why we only use a portion of our potential. He now knows that it is necessary for each person to learn how to activate and practically use these abilities in daily life.
Len says “we are only limited to what we are conditioned to believe we can achieve”. “Learning to walk and talk, read and write and think in a certain way is all programming and it’s only when a person knows themselves that they can reprogram who they are and what they can do in life”. When Len commenced this journey, he didn’t realize he had all of this within him. Len said “I am very proud of the good people my children have chosen to become and believe any child can now develop the same strong foundation”.