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ADHD: Gift or Curse?
Does rapid thought help or hurt?
I used to think ADHD wasn’t real as I saw it used as a blanket term that justified medicating children.
I’ve since adjusted my position and now use it as a way to label people who think the way I do, rapidly with a host of Pros and Cons. It’s similar to being labeled as an Introvert or Extrovert. An introvert could give a public speech in front of thousands, and an extrovert can find themselves insecure at a party, but the label captures their normal operating modes and not the exceptions of their character makes sense.
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When it comes to ADHD, people seem to think it’s spinning on your head instead of sitting at a desk in class, while that may not be too far off the mark (my brother was once hanging upside down from the top crossbar of a soccer goal in the middle of a game) there’s much more than “hyper” to the person who has an “ADHD” mind and what is always viewed as a curse and bane of one’s existence, I’ve found ADHD to be one of my advantages in both business and life.
Before you read on, check out my recent piece tackling the subject here:
Gift or Curse?
Like all things in life, you decide what to do with the cards you’re dealt.
Whether we want to admit it or not, dyslexia, ADD/ADHD, and a hot temper are all things that we’re born with, and somewhere along the way, we find a reason and ability to adapt, or we allow it to define and limit our potential.
The choice of which path you take is yours to make, and whether ADHD is your biggest flaw or feature - is something that will be decided by you. I’ve chosen to turn this “mental operating mode” into my greatest advantage.
People from the outside who look at you struggling to complete the simplest of tasks will throw blanket terms like lazy, unmotivated, and lacking discipline as if you don’t want to do the damn thing yourself.
Those words rarely capture the entirety of what is happening, which is the curse we face; nobody understands what it’s like to know you have to do something but struggle to find the ability to execute that task until it’s crunch time.
Sure, you could get ahead on your obligations, but the brain is getting you to focus on 1,000 different tasks as opposed to the one needing to be done, and you don’t know why that is, and you wish it weren’t so - but it is, and this is the burden that’s been laid at your feet.
You need to find a way to get your mind, which is capable of knocking out 1,000 thoughts simultaneously to knock out the tasks you need to complete without it having to be one hour before the deadline.
The best way to harness this is to create a system designed to keep your tasks broken down in chronological order of events that will play out. Order things by when they need to be completed, not in order of importance.
Doing so will have you knocking out the thing you know needs to be done for the reason you want to do it, and when you start to drift away to another topic, allow yourself to go there for a few moments.
Often, this will have you shifting to focus on what is important over what is next on the docket; this approach puts you in a position where even your distractions are productive endeavors, and it’s there that you will find yourself becoming productive as fuck, even while distracted.
Perfect example, I have school work that is due, but my mind doesn’t feel like doing it, so instead of playing a game on my phone, scrolling Twitter, or learning about a subject that I’ll never use or need in my life, I knew that on my schedule was writing for the Substack, so technically I’m not doing what I should be doing at this very moment, but what I’m doing is productive because I had something else on the schedule I could get to.
Now, eventually, I’ll need to do my school work, but tonight is not that night, though I know the deadline is coming up, so I’ll spend a day knocking it out so it’s done, and then I can get back to doing what I want to do, or at least what I want to be productively distracted by.
Create the same system for yourself; ADHD can be your ally to blasting through projects, or it can be what keeps you from ever completing one; harness the control today and build yourself into a better person who’s more focused tomorrow.
- Zac Small
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