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Faster Than Normal - The ADHD Podcast

Having ADD or ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Hear from people all around the globe, from every walk of life, in every profession, from Rock Stars to CEOs, from Teachers to Politicians, who have learned how to unlock the gifts of their ADD and ADHD diagnosis, and use it to their personal and professional advantage, to build businesses, become millionaires, or simply better their lives.
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Now displaying: Page 1
May 18, 2022

Miles Mendoza is an author and freelance writer living in New York City. His writing often draws upon experiences as a veteran and various other emergency service roles he’s occupied. His poetic essay, “Escape From Harlem,” was published in The Void magazine’s December 2020 edition. Another, “Exotic Fruit,” was featured in the AT THE PITH art exhibit at the Nook Gallery in Oakland, California. Most recently, the author collaborated with artist and Professor Tiffany Lin to develop a satirical news story highlighting workers' rights issues (www.tlinart.com/fight-santorg). In September of 2021, Miles published his first book. "Speaking in Midnight Tongues and Other Symptoms of Neon Fever" is a collection of poetry, essays, and short stories that address themes of addiction, trauma, and creativity. When not freelancing, the author maintains a poetry and fiction website: www.MilesWrites.Blog. His work can also be found on his Instagram account: @mileswrites. Today he’s sharing about hyper-vigilance, a different- maybe more observant side/speed of the ADHD brain, and advice on how your anxiety can kind of direct you towards being more efficient, if not productive. Enjoy!

 

In this episode Peter and Miles discuss:  

 

1:17 - Intro and welcome Miles Mendoza! Ref: “Escape From Harlem

3:20 - What’s it like to be a freelance writer and be working on everything all the time & have ADHD?

5:49 - Ref: Ten Ways to be Happier When You Live/Love Someone Diagnosed With ADHD

6:09 - When were you diagnosed?

8:00 - upon joining the military

9:20 - What did you learn in the Marine Corps that you still apply to your daily routines?

11:00 - Ref: FTN episode with Jack Walston

12:25 - on processing everything at the same time

12:33 - on processing speeds

14:05 - on hyper vigilance

15:10 - about the effectiveness of flash cards

16:24 - Tell us more about how you processed the Will Smith slap?

17:42 - How can people find more about you and what you’re doing? Web: [17:42 - How can people find more about you and what you’re doing? Web: www.MilesWrites.Blog  Socials: @mileswrites on INSTA 

18:21 - Thank you Miles! Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love the responses and the notes that we get from you; so please continue to do that! Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all; we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you ever need our help I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

18:55 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT:

Oh, hellooooo-Ladies and gentlemen my name is Peter Shankman and this is Faster Than Normal. Welcome to another episode! I am your host. I said that already. I am exhausted. I flew in last night from Montana. Boy are my arms tired. It was a three-hour delay on the flight. Um, I got home around 2:00 AM. I had to be up at six to get my kid to school. Um, oh. And by the way, I'm in the middle of an 120 hour water fast. So I am about 60 hours in and I am just exhausted. So don't come near me. I will kill you. But that being said, we have a phenomenal guest. 

Y’know.. there are some sites out there on the internet that are just amazing in terms of knowledge and things you can learn. And then there are sites that are just cesspools of filth and depravity. And I was on the cesspool side of the coin a few a month ago or so, and I was on Reddit and I was reading about it. It was right around the time of the Chris Rock Will Smith slap. And I was reading an article about it or a story about it, and I read it and I saw this quote that came from a guy and ran into his quote, said, dude, I have ADHD. So maybe this is just a me thing, but do you know how many of my day-to-day interactions slash reactions are autopiloted while my brain is working on a delay to process what was actually said. So.. what that told me, first of all, the brothers from another mother type thing, but what was amazing about that is that there really are two types of ADHD. There's the ADHD that says, oh my God, someone's not even halfway through their sentence, but I know I have to respond. I know what they're gonna say. And let me just respond right now and lemme interrupt. And then there's the other half. That says I'm just going to watch this because I, my brain has to catch. Everything is moving so fast and my brain moves so fast. But in this situation, I'm going to catch up and make sure I know all the facts. That is what our guest was talking about on Reddit. His name is Miles Mendoza and Miles is an author and a freelance writer. He's living in New York city. We met on Reddit. He lives like 20 blocks for me and his writing draws upon experiences and various other emergency service roles he's occupied. His poetic essay Escape from Harlem was published in The Void magazines’ December 2020 edition. And another exotic fruit was featured at the, At the Pith Art exhibit at The Nook gallery in Oakland, California. He's from the Bay area. He lives in New York city and in September of 2021, he published his first book Speaking in Midnight Tongues and Other Symptoms of Neon Fever: Poetry & Essays, which is a collection of poetry, essays, and short stories that address themes. Trauma and creativity; pretty much sounds ADHD to me. Every single theme in that, in that, uh, book of short stories is something that we've all dealt with as ADHD and that whole brain thing- we're in talk about it. Miles. Welcome. Glad to finally have you on the podcast, buddy. 

Nice to meet you.Thank you for having me. 

So talk let's let's go back. So you live in New York city. You're married. Um, you're a journalist slash a freelance writer slash author. Let's talk for starters about what it's like to be freelance and to be working on any given thing at any given time when you have ADHD. 

Well in many ways, it's great. You, um, you're working on a bunch of different things. Your brain is stimulated on a bunch of different subjects all the time. I wouldn't be able to do this 10 years ago though, because I had to develop a bunch of different skills that I.. like to overcompensate for what would have been a very messy approach to business. So I, I, I work off of, I think I have multiple to do lists every single day and in a lot of those to do lists, uh, have to do with like, Take my dog out for the second time today, you need to go up three times. So I need to put that on the list. You need to go up three times. So every single, I didn't hear everything from like haircut to have lunch is on this to-do list. And if there's not enough yellow check marks on that list at the end of the day, I know I did a bad job. Uh, so, but then there's the great thing of like, I get to research different subjects which is. Essentially, I've tried to commodify what I did with my days anyways. So I I'm the kind of person who falls into, um, an obsession on a new subject every other day, I'll fall down rabbit holes. So I try to like, to really kind of take that momentum and just try to commodify it. And, uh, for my own business, it has worked to a certain degree. Um, I do get myself into a lot of situations where I am, uh, I over-packed myself at work because I feel best when I don't have any idle hands, idle parents for at least myself, as some of the ADHD tends to lead to trouble. And, uh, and that's what I was kind of writing about. Um, I wrote a, uh, an essay about, um, what it's like to live with a wife who does not have ADHD in any way, in fact, a very, she's a great student. She's about to finish her, um, nurse anesthesiology master's program. And when she picks up a book, that's what she's going to read until it's time to put it down. Whereas I have hundreds of books I've read most of them, but I have not finished..most of them, you know, that's, that's just kind of how my brain works. 

It's funny. You mentioned that I wrote, uh, one of them when I was going through my divorce success at 16, one of the most read articles I published on medium was, um, Ten Ways to be Happier When You Live/Love Someone Diagnosed With ADHD. You know, it was, it was the whole premise that, you know, there'll be times when I have this great experience and all I want to do is share it with the person I love and I'll call and they'll be in a meeting, but they're not answering their phones so obviously it's because they know that I'm calling they don't want to talk to me and they hate me and in my mind I've already broken up gotten divorced moved on with my life um, you know, and then they call me back and they're like, you know, th’f*ck's wrong with you? So yeah, I totally, I totally get that. But. When were you diagnosed?

You know, interesting story on that. I, uh, I came, I come from that generation where like, it seemed like every other kid in the class was diagnosed, uh, right about right about when I was in middle school. So what was that; in the late nineties, early two thousands. And I was already. I clearly had it, but I don't think it was just coming into the national conversation um, so, you know, I, I did well on tests. I was a nice enough kid with my family. I just didn't do my homework. I’d either forget about it or just could not get up to the point of performing it. And as I got older, that became more and more of an issue. And so I think that somewhere around fifth or sixth grade, I went to a doctor. And that was a pediatrician, but the problem was that I was? able to keep up with  conversation with him. He put me down in like the lower range. He was like, if he has ADHD that he's like, I, I can give you the prescription, um, on the diagnosis, but he's on the lower range. And so I remember getting Ritalin when I was a child and it, it, I, it didn't react well with me. I, I don't know if you've ever seen the episode of the King of The Hill where Bobby gets a Ritalin. 

Oh my God favorite show! 

Yeah, exactly. So like, it was pretty much that I was like, I was just sitting, staring at a wall. My parents freaked out. They were like, no, get him off of this. Uh, so I never really thought about it too much.I kind of knew that I had, it was in the back of my head. Um, but it really didn't become an issue for me because, uh, my approach to school was all over the place, but, uh, it didn't become an issue until I impulsively joined the Marine Corps. And then suddenly having your ducks in order is very, very important. And yeah. And there were a lot of moments where to this day, I think back to bootcamp, I, I'm not a religious guy per se, but, uh, I almost turned to Jesus in that sense, because there were these moments where. I did not know, like you have to have your things, like, they will tell you, you need, you know, here's the 10 things on the gear list and you have to have them when you had asked for. And I was like, cool, I've got my 10 things. And then there would just be nine things and like, okay, now w where is it? And like, I need this right now. And then something would just appear. So I, I, I remember at one point I was like, there is a supernatural force looking out for me. I now realize it was probably some dude next to me going, I got to help this idiot. But, yeah, so I thought 

I want to stop. I let’s stop and talk about that for a minute. 

Of course. 

So you joined the military, [[microphone rustles across entire frequency spectrum]] and I have said multiple times on this podcast that if I was smarter about what was actually going on in my brain when I was younger, because ADHD didn't exist when I was a kid. Right. You’re disturbing the class did.. and I have a feeling that if I had been smarter about this and been more knowledgeable, I might've done the same thing because today my life is entirely based on rituals calendars alarms, set ups, do this, then do this. Then, you know, when COVID hit and I had, I would give a speech on zoom and then have the three days of travel that I'd normally be traveling busy to do nothing it was, it was hard, right? The calendar had to be full. So it seems me like Tell me what you learned. I'm fascinated by this. Tell me what you learned in the military that you were able to then apply, especially in the Marines, they were able to apply to life everyday. I mean, is that where you got the concept of the to-do list and the calendars and all that?

Yeah, exactly. So what the military does is it creates like a huge amount of consequences for when you screw up. So suddenly you're kind of always in a fight or flight reflex, and I'm not just talking, I'm not talking about combat or anything. I'm just talking about day-to-day life about living in the fleet is you need to, you need to be places 15, sometimes 30, 45m early. And so you start building buffers into your life and you start realizing like, okay, I don't want to spend my weekend on duty, or I don't want to get my ass chewed out by a staff Sergeant or something like that. So you start to like build in all these things, so you can live a decent life and not everything comes out of the military with you. You do relax a bit. I certainly relaxed quite a bit, but, um, And you do keep these certain things. Like I have like internal timers that tell me like, Hey, you're getting close to that meeting per se for like for today, I knew I had to be at a certain place to do a certain thing. And I started having like internal alarm clocks go off before and it's like, you should be ready 15 minutes beforehand, because what if, you know, you get mugged on the way back to your apartment and you're, you know, now you're late for the worst thing possible is to be late. And you start to worry about how you appear to the world around you because that perception and military.. is often “perception is reality”. 

Right? Wow. Okay. Interesting. We do a lot of the same things and, and it, it, it, it.

Back in 2001, a former Navy seal who's since passed away a man named Jack Walston, I've had him on the podcast. Very, very, influential man in my life, he started a course, uh, for civilians, uh, where he'd come to.. he was based in Houston and he'd bring it to New York for two weeks or two weeks, four times a year where you'd basically just go and play in central park from 4:00 AM to 7:00 AM and get your ass kicked. Right. It was basically bootcamp. And, you know, for someone who you know, up until the early two thousands, you know, only ran by pressing X on a joystick, um, you know, and to the store for cigarettes, like wanting to do this and actually enjoying it and needing it in my life and doing it like 15 times was massive for me. And, you know, they're totally unexpected, but I get it now. And then the more I talked to the people like you, the more, I totally understand it. You, these rituals, these things that, you know, I'm a free spirited, are actually what ground you and what allow you to be creative because you're not worried about, okay, I'm going to miss this meeting or that miss this appointment or go down this rabbit hole.

Uh, absolutely. It's uh, to me, I, I think we live in a pretty anxious society and I I'm sure part of that internally. Uh, but I it's like weaponizing your anxiety. Like let that anxiety kind of direct you towards being productive, or at least being efficient. 

Very cool. So let's talk for a second about sort of that slower brain.  Do you think that the concept of ADHD is faster than normal? It's faster brain? The, the, the, the premise that we are always thinking 20 steps ahead and, and that's what we need to control because otherwise, you know, we're going to crash into a tree, um. In your, from what I'm hearing from you, you're actually sitting and processing the reason you might have a, you mentioned something that, where you said, uh, you know, there'll be times when when you know, you've been called out or you're about to get into a fight and you don't, you don't even flinch and everyone thinks that oh wow, he's so, he's so brave, but no, you just haven't really processed what's been going on yet.

Yeah. So for me, it is still an issue of like doing too many things too fast. A lot of times when I'm having a conversation, I, I have like, uh, I've been diagnosed with hyper vigilance, so I'm paying attention to everything in the room. I’m listening to conversations next to me. I'm watching people walk into the room. Uh, and, and I know that that sometimes comes with ADHD. You don't necessarily have to have like, Uh, trauma necessarily to spark this, but it is, it's an over-processing, it's like more Ram than, than hard drive. It's operating with one and not the other. So it's, I am, I am paying attention, but it is possible that I may have rehearsed inter-reaction already. So like, I mean, you know, I'm going to go meet with a friend for lunch. Uh, I know how long it's been since I met that friend. I know the questions that I should ask. I am then applying like I am, I'm now deploying that social plan or that social plan while interacting with them.  And then as I'm doing that, I am also getting dragged, congratulating myself for deploying that correctly and not listening to the answers. It's not that I don't want to; it’s not that I don't value what they have to say; it's just that my brain is sometimes applying more focus on some background things that are going on as well. 

Well, I think that happens in, in terms of, you know, we're constantly, when you're able to see a lot of what you're doing also is figuring out what the next question you ask is what the next, where the conversation is going. Um, and I've noticed that happens to me when I meet someone for the first time and I ask them to name right as they're about, tell me the name I’ve already moved on to think about what I'm gonna say next and I will never remember the name. Ever.

Absolutely. Uh, the names, uh, spouses names. If I, I I'm sorry. A lot of my friends is, uh, third spouses.. I probably will never truly know their names. I will always be asking other friends or my wife, what is that person's, uh, girlfriend or boyfriend's name, you know, or before we even get there. 

That's funny. You're very fortunate to have a wife who's a, who’s got your back like that. 

Oh, she's incredibly tolerant for someone who just learns.. that's what I've noticed is that, um, a lot of ADH deers are, I don't know how we describe ourselves. Um, we, we absorb information. We can interact with it very intensely and then five years later, have no idea how to do that again, like our brain dumping abilities are quite impressive almost. Uh, and, and. 

No. It's funny, many times I remember in school, one of the things that was was, you know, I hated tests and things like that, but when I had one, I would sit down.. once I discovered flashcards, right  my life changed. I'd sit down. I've learned it. I get tested on it, I’d pass and then puke it up. It's gone, right? 

Right? It's like, it's like your brain does a deep fragmenting and it just like just tosses it and there might be shreds of it there, and you can fall back on it. But for me, I, it, it meant that I needed for a career to rely on internal skills that were actual, like baseline talents that I would always kno. For me, that was always writing so I that's what I, what I ended up going to ultimately, I also have, had I had a very adventurous personality. So for a long time emergency services for EMS, all of that, I loved it because I was just excited to be out there on the street and see what was going on right now that I'm, I'm calming down a little bit and I want a little bit of a safer career choice it’s I had to go back again to the thing that never left me. It was my ability to write, edit and whatnot, but, uh, learning actual new skills and then just holding onto them for years at a time. Never really been my forte. 

Interesting. Tell us about more about the slowing brain. You, you can use Will Smith as an example. You're watching it happen in real time and yet  you weren't processing. I, I think in all fairness, millions of us watching in real time didn't process it. 

Uh yeah.. It's one of those things where it's like, I, I identified mostly because like in real life, when, when events like that happen, they don't, they don't make sense. And they don't make narrative sense. If you're making a movie, the first thing you're going to do is show Will Smith, like getting angry at the joke. Right. But in real life, yeah. He's going to laugh with you. Uh, people react to things illogically sometimes. And I just identified with that for me. When I, when my wife's telling me a story, I sometimes I I'm trying to process and keep in mind everything that's going on. And it makes what her words coming out of her mouth it's a little like watching a washout VHS tape. And it's you kind of, you know it because you've seen the, you've seen that video so many times, but you're not getting grasping all the details in the weight of everything that's going on. So you kind of have to say either stop or say that to me again, or in my case, I often am able to replay back events. So I'm just operating on like a 15 to 22nd delay before I fully understand what's going on. 

Very, very interesting. Tell us, uh, I know you have a website that I mentioned earlier. Tell us again, tell us where people can find you things like that. 

[17:42 - How can people find more about you and what you’re doing? Web: https://www.nontradaccelerator.com/academic-coaching Socials: @mileswrites on INSTA www.tlinart.com/fight-santorg ] 

In September of 2021, Miles published his first book. "Speaking in Midnight Tongues and Other Symptoms of Neon Fever" is a collection of poetry, essays, and short stories that address themes of addiction, trauma, and creativity. When not freelancing, the author maintains a poetry and fiction website: www.MilesWrites.Blog.]

Oh, uh, Myles writes DOB blog is where I post, uh, I try to curate the best of my material at the mind, poetic essays, um, poetry, uh, some fiction I write in a broad spectrum. And then, uh, you can also find me at miles writes on. Instagram, uh, which is where I usually, that's more of my, my rough draft contents are, you'll hear me scream about some political opinions here or there, but for the most part, you can find all my best material on mileswrites dot blog right. 

Awesome. Very cool. Well Miles, thank you so much for taking the time! 

Guys. You've listened to Miles, man. I really appreciate you coming in and being so honest and you know, that's, I guess that's the one, my one, you get one shot a year where you find something worthwhile on Reddit. So I guess that was it, um, for this year. So I appreciate you taking the time, man. Thank you so much.

Of course, thank you. 

Guys, listening to Faster Than Normal as always you know the drill. If you like what you hear then leave us a review. If you want more info or advanced a dog just jumped in my lap oh hello Waffle. And we would love to know more, feel free to share uh what you're thinking. We will see you next week with a brand new interview. Thank you for listening. Stay safe, stay well.

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week!

May 11, 2022
Camille Roney is a certified Academic Life Coach whose work has appeared in the New York Journal, Quizlet, MD Femme, Motivate MD, and more. She empowers students to earn competitive grades while actually ENJOYING the process and overcoming obstacles that may be impacting how they show up in their academics. You can learn more about how Academic Coaching can transform your high school or college student at her site: https://www.nontradaccelerator.com/academic-coaching. Today she’s sharing ways you can identify within yourself, via the use of a data, how to identify your, individual, best learning techniques! Enjoy!

In this episode Peter and Camille discuss:  

0:57 - Intro and welcome Camille Roney!

1:28 - How do you get kids to enjoy it no matter the subject?! (i.e. Math) 

4:18 - Ref: Yerkes-Dodson law

5:15 - On being in the zone of focus/flow

5:30 - Q&A for Peter about how he gets into and stays in the zone/flow

6:52 - On teaching students to be bored

8:26 - Tell me about first time college students and their study habits?

10:10 - Success leaves clues. These clues may present as follows…

11:38 - Give us some quick tips. i.e. I have a test tomorrow and I haven’t started studying, what can I do?

14:13 - How can people find more about you and what you’re doing? Web: https://www.nontradaccelerator.com/academic-coaching Socials: @RoneyCamille on Twitter @thelearningmom on INSTA and @thelearningmomnet on Facebook

14:26 - Thank you Camille! Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love the responses and the notes that we get from you; so please continue to do that! Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all; we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you ever need our help I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

15:23 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hey everyone, how are you doing? My name is Peter Shankman, you are listening to Faster Than Normal the internet's best, number one, most listened to podcast on ADD & ADHD and neurodiversity and it's because of you. I'm glad you're here. Thank you for that. Makes me happy. 

We’re talking to Camille Roney today. Camille is a certified academic life coach whose works appeared in New York journal Quizlet MD Femme, Motivate MD, and more. Here's the thing she empowers students to be to earn competitive grades while actually enjoying the process and overcoming obstacles that may be impacting how they show up in their academics. I’ll repeat that: she teaches kids to enjoy learning. All right. So Camille, you're obviously lying, um, welcome to Faster Than Normal. It's good to have you! 

Thank you for having me Peter!

So, so you teach kids to enjoy learning the problem with ADHD is that when you enjoy something. You get dopamine from it. If you're interested in it, you get dopamine from it when you explore it, if you don't enjoy it, you don't get domaine from it. So when, you know, if it's English class or something that I loved great, all the dopamine in the world, math or science, not so much. So you're telling me that you figured out a way to get kids to enjoy no matter what the subject let's talk about that.

Absolutely. Yeah. I'd love to, I'd love to dive in. Um, so in my experience, There's a few different ways that we can approach it. One is how we're approaching studies in general and the expectations that we have around it. So many students. In fact, I would say the majority of us humans come to school with the expectation that we're about to be bored out of our minds.

 

And therefore we have, we create the evidence to support that. And a lot of us are just thrown content at regardless of whether it has anything to do with anything that we as individuals care about at all. So what I like to do is invite students to consider what's important to them. What are their personal values, their interests, what are they into? And then there's a few different approaches that we can back; that gives us a bit of a compass with how to approach the studies. Do we need to integrate aspects of those into school? Um, what, you know, relating those values back into the, what the content that they're learning. So if they, um, decide that let's say peace wellbeing, global, um, like global warming global wellbeing. If we're approaching that with say social studies, we can say, okay, how was this really? How did this stuff that happened way back? How could that have impact a global warmingm, or how could that have impacted global wellbeing? How did this impact the wellbeing of others- that kind of invites us to get creative with the content and play with it because some content you really, really have to get creative with- how am I going to make this interesting? And if you, if you assume, let's say a student sits down for physics class, and the first thing that runs through their mind is I suck at physics. It's going to be awful. Rightfully so. But if you can say, if you're thinking throughout the course, um, man, I can't like I’m mesmerizing these formulas so that when I sit at the dinner table tonight with my family, I just get to brag about it and man, I will look so smart and like that we'll feel good. That's their motivation. That's totally fine. That's great. Also, um, you're you, are you familiar with the The Yerkes-Dodson Law of Performance? 

No. Tell us.

Okay. Beautiful. Beautiful. Imagine that this charge, if you will, on the, this graph on the X axis, you have stimulation. So low to high stimulation; and on the Y axis, you have performance. If this bell curve shape and on the left-hand side, we've got like, so you're under-stimulated therefore your performance is low. You're bored. You're not having fun in the middle the peak stimulation level you've got focus. Engaged energized, genuinely having a good time. And then on the far end, you've got anxious, stressed, restless. I like to consider both internal stimulation and external stimulation and considering how the classroom itself plays into that curve. I also like to invite students to consider. And I'm curious what your answer to this here is Peter; what's an example where it's a case where it's really easy for you to get into flow. Like you just, you don't even realize how much time has gone by, you're just your blinders are on your in the zone and it's just, it's amazing. You're completely in flow. 

When I’m on an airplane.

Gorgeous. Tell me more. 

So when I get on the airplane, I'm flying to Asia. I have 14 hours with nothing but my laptop in front of me and I started working. Next thing we've touched down 14 hours later and I, I mean, I wrote my last two books entirely on airplanes. 

Okay, cool. Can you give me another example with a completely different example of when you're in flow?

Umm… looking at the dog park and there were other dogs playing. I can, I can go to work for a while and let the dogs just have fun and get lost. 

Gorgeous. Okay. So what are, what are some of the common themes between those scenarios?

Headphones. Allowing myself to focus on the task at hand. No distractions.

Beautiful. How can you apply that to your school? Work life, something that you don't want to do? 

I would assume to get into the same zone when I'm doing something I don't want to do. But of course, the problem is, is that the problem is, is that you get bored with it. And then you wind up looking for distractions.

Is there something wrong with being distracted? 

No, there's nothing wrong being distracted. Unless it leads you down a rabbit hole that then prevents you from doing the work in the first place. 

Yeah, exactly. One of the most incredible skills that I wish we were taught in school that took me  just way too long to do, to figure out, is I teach my students how to be bored. We're often taught that boredom is like this awful negative experience. When in reality, it's just one of many human experiences that we have and there's nothing wrong with it, reframing it from negative to a positive. And what I see in so many of my students is that where again, when you approach school with the expectation that it's going to be boring. Yes- we create that. If we come with the expectation that it could be fun; that shifts things like a bit. We can actually create different behaviors so that we are enjoying the experience more. So let's say, um, to sit down to study a student suddenly starts bringing their favorite drink every time, some type of like fizzy soda or something that they genuinely enjoy, or like this pen that just like it glides so smoothly on the page that you think that you're going to die. Like, it’s fun. Like enjoy the experience. It doesn't have to be awful for us. Like honestly, if you want to. If coming to school and like a Hawaiian shirt and a wearing a lei and sunglasses, if that helps you like have more fun in school, that's a win, right? 

No, that makes sense. I mean, when, you know, when you think about it, does it make sense in terms of how you.. It's essentially what you're saying. It's a different way of looking at things.

 Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Tell me about the college student, who's in college for the first time and is on their own for the first time. And you know, whether they're neurodiverse or not, and all of a sudden they don't have a parent watching over them and then no one watching over them and they never, they never really learned that study to learn to do it. Now they're stuck in a thing where it's like, oh, no one can tell you where and when I can go out; no, one's going to stop me and they get kicked out, right?

Well, let me first say, there's nothing wrong with going out. I encouraged students to enjoy the college, the university experience, like what a magical time in someone's life. But when else are you going to be surrounded by so much diversity of experiences and people? Fantastic. What I like to suggest is. sorry, let me, let me take a step back. What I often see is people falling into this trap of, oh shoot. The expectation suddenly skyrocketed on my performance levels in academia, but I haven't, we haven't like we haven't had a class called how to read since like the third grade, yet the expectations of our reading skills are completely different since then. So what I, the tracks that I often see students in is they look around I what everybody else is doing and they just do that. So they're copying word for word what's on the lecture slides at the cost of not paying attention to the lecture. They're apt to suddenly sit still in a class for three hours at a time, which is a huge shock for a lot of students transitioning from high school. They've got all these things on their plate. And frankly, it's too much for a lot of people when you just try and do things the way everyone else is doing. What I like to say is success leaves clues. So let's look at the data, look at your information completely objectively, something that is so fantastic about academia is you do some work and you get a result. You get a specific number grade. So what you can do is take track, like keep track of as much data as you, as you feel comfortable with such as, um, how much sleep did I get before a test? Was I hungry while I was studying? What methods did I use? How many, how long did it take me to read this content that I read every word, consider the data and then look at the results of those yields because, but students often, like what I often say to my students, if you've mastered a very specific way of doing things. And you now have, are starting to collect the data of what type of result that yields. whether you like it or not is up to you. But this is a fantastic time to experiment and try new things and see what works and what doesn’t. And the key isn't to do everything. The key is to do what you know, works best. Finish all the rest. You don't have to, like, you can get through your entire degree without taking a single note. If that doesn't work for you, stop taking notes. You're wasting your time. Use it in another method for studying and really comprehending information. I think give your brain a break! 

Makes sense. It does make a lot of sense. Tell me about, um, give us a couple of quick tips. Um, other than the ones that you've given us are great. A couple of quick tips. I have a test tomorrow, um, I haven’t started studying, what can I do? I'm not saying that's what they should do every time, but. 

Right. This is such a good question! Okay. What is your favorite- to go from short-term memory to long-term memory for this specific type of content, because you should be studying, you know, how you study for Calculus, for example, should it probably looks very different from how you would study an English class. So that's my first question. How you go from a short-term memory to long-term retention. Just do that. If you get time to do anything else, that's gravy. Fantastic. So, um, I like, I get really into things like techniques, like speed reading or different memorization techniques. The high yield thing is to, sorry. My recommendation for you is strictly focused on the high yield content. Master that. Use your course syllabus or, um, a professor teachers outline on what's going to be covered on the test, how that, how the content is going to be tested matters, like how you study for a multiple choice problem. Uh, exam, it looks different than how you would study for an essay exam. So again, that's a matter of data collection. What works for you for that specific type of content and work with that. Um, my, if I had to give you just one, one quick takeaway from this is: As you're reading your textbook, never go beyond a single paragraph without asking yourself. How would Mr. Jones test me on this content? 

That’s really good!!

And you would think that that takes you longer to get through the content, but because we're strictly focusing on the high yield content, you're not reading every word in the whole, you know, in the assigned reading and because you're really giving yourself that time to get curious and play around with the content. Oh okay. I can see this being a multiple choice question. What would some of the potential answers be? And like really getting curious and creative with the content. Chances are, you don't have to review at all before the test. You've taken the time to really master it the first time, bringing it from short-term memory, to long-term retention, applying it based on how it's going to be questioned, know quizzed or examined on. And then you move on. 

Excellent. I love it. Very cool. Um, Camille, thank you so much. How can people find you? [[ Web: https://www.nontradaccelerator.com/academic-coaching Socials: @RoneyCamille on Twitter @thelearningmom on INSTA and @thelearningmomnet on Facebook ]]You can find me on Instagram. I'm at the learning mom or on my website, a non-trad accelerator.com. 

Awesome. We will definitely link to all that. We will have you back. There's a lot of fun. Camille Roney, thank you so much for taking the time! I really appreciate it. 

Uh, guys, as always Faster Than Normal, we try to bring a new and interesting different ways to learn and think about, ADD and ADHD and all forms of neurodiversity, as well as fun stuff. I know recently we've had some interviews about. We interviewed someone who, um, works with drug addiction, we talked to an accountant to is helping people with ADHD   in their math. If you know anyone who you think might be a good interview for us, let us know. We would love to have them on the podcast. You can find me at, at Peter Shankman. You can find past episodes at FasterThanNormal.com or anywhere that you get your podcasts, including-“Alexa”. I have to say her name very softly, because if I say her name..And if I say it three times Jeff Bezos appears in my apartment and tries to sell me something. So thank you guys for listening. We will see you next week. Camille, thank you for being here. ADHD is a gift, not a curse as is all neurodiversity, stay safe and stay well. —

Guys you've been listening to Faster Than Normal. We love when people come to us and say, Hey, I would like to be on the podcast, or when they have a great idea for a great story. And they have a great story themselves. If you're that person who knows someone who has let us know, we're always trying to find new people. We have a plethora!! of new episodes that we've recorded that are in the can that are coming up. The next three months are already filled but if you have someone to let us know, we'll record you and get you on the podcast as well. And you can find me at Peter@shankman.com  The podcast is FasterThanNormal.com on iTunes on Stitcher, Google play anywhere you get your podcasts. Thank you so much for listening and remember that ADHD and all neurodiversity is a gift, not a curse. And we will see you next week with a brand new episode. Thank you so much for listening and we'll talk to you soon!

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week!

May 4, 2022
Kristin Wilcox has a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Mississippi Medical Center and has spent over 20 years in academia as a behavioral pharmacologist studying drug abuse behavior and ADHD medications at Emory University and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  She has authored several manuscripts published in peer reviewed scientific journals and presented her research at international scientific meetings.  Her book “Andrew’s Awesome Adventures with His ADHD Brain” shares her son’s experiences with inattentive-type ADHD, and her insights on parenting an ADHD son.  Dr. Wilcox serves on the executive board of the Inattentive ADHD Coalition, hoping to increase awareness and understanding of the inattentive subtype of ADHD in children and adults.  She lives in Maryland with her husband and two sons. Enjoy!

In this episode Peter and Kristin discuss:  

1:00 - Intro and welcome Kristin Wilcox!

1:40 - Cocaine for research whaaahht??

3:00 - Talk about inattentive-type ADHD?

4:45 - On adrenaline junkies. Ref Type T ADHD

6:50 - Is there a nature versus nurture component there? Ref: OneWheel & Multi-Access Trainer

9:00 - Tell us about the book!

10:30 - There was not much research in existence on inattentive ADHD in boys

10:52 - Does it occur in girls as well?

11:14 - What specifically are you studying in terms of drug abuse and behavior & things like that? Tell us a little more about your background?

12:15 - Is the book available everywhere?

14:15 - How can people find more about you and what you’re doing? @ADHDAdventures on Facebook And you get get the book from Here and here-> on Amazon!

14:25 - Thank you Kristin! Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love the responses and the notes that we get from you; so please continue to do that! Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all; we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you ever need our help I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

15:15 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

Yo, yo, Hey everyone. It is Peter Shankman. It is Faster Than Normal! It is another interview. It is a great Wednesday. Uh, it's a great Thursday, Thursday? Oh my God the weeks are rolling into one. My daughter goes on a field trip for three days overnight and I no longer know what day it is. Ridiculous. Okay. Welcome. My name is Peter. Shankman. Said that already. We're talking to Kristin Wilcox today. She's a doctor. She's a PhD in pharmacology from the University of Mississippi Medical Center has spent over 20 years in academia as behavioral pharmacologist studying drug abuse, behavior and ADHD medications at Emory University and John Hopkins University School of Medicine. In other words, she's much smarter than any of us. It is great to have you here Kristin. Then she has written a book called Andrew's Awesome Adventures with his ADHD Brain, where she shares her son's experiences with inattentive type ADHD and her insights on parenting an ADHD son. She's on the executive board of the inattentive ADHD coalition of an increasing awareness and understanding of yet attentive subtype of ADHD in children, adults. She lives in Maryland where there has been two sons, Kristen. Hi, welcome. 

Hi Peter. How are you today? 

I am great. Thank you for taking the time to join us. Um, it's funny. I remember probably in 2005, I dated a woman briefly who was doing her second PhD at Rutgers, I believe, and was also studying drug abuse. And the thing I found so amazing was that when you are studying drug abuse in a university setting an academic setting, I guess, for a PhD or better, or whatever, you basically can call the government and they deliver you drugs like illegal drugs, like they delivered through cocaine to her or to her lab, I guess. And I was just shocked by that because my first question was, so can you.. and she immediately shut me down and said, absolutely not! But it was an interesting question. 

They do actually, um, the, uh, the cocaine that we used to use in our, uh, experiments with. Cocaine that was confiscated off the street and then purified by the DEA and that's how we got our cocaine for our research. 

Unbelievable. The DEA was purifying their own cocaine. That is brilliant. I love it. That's awesome. All right. I just need to throw that out there. 

I remember she sent it to me. She goes, yeah, this stuff is like a hundred percent. Yeah, you wouldn't want to use it or something like that.

That's crazy. Unreal. Well welcome. I'm glad, glad you're here. So tell us about, um, you know, we, we think of ADHD as both, um, you know, going down the rabbit hole of hyper-focus and also, you know; Hey, I'm bored. Give me some dopamine.  Talk about inattentive ADHD?

Um, well,  I think the most important thing is that, uh, there's very minimal hyperactivity and impulsivity. So a lot of the times when people think about ADHD and especially ADHD in a boy, they think about a boy who's bouncing off the walls, who can't sit still in class, who's constantly fidgeting. They don't really pay attention to the boy that maybe, you know, kind of dreamy and forgetting to turn in his assignments and has a desk that’s stuffed with undone worksheets. So that's probably the biggest thing to know about inattentive ADHD. They do also have the, uh, like, you know, the inattention and the forgetfulness and the disorganization, which also occurs with, um, the commonly thought of combined type, which does have the hyperactivity and the impulsivity, um, you know, and these kids are also, uh, they're very smart. Um, inattention has nothing to do with intelligence. Um, they're very creative. They're outside the box thinkers. They're great at problem solving. Um, they love risk-taking and adventure. They're adrenaline junkies. 

Yeah, that totally makes sense. 

Yes, my son actually wanted to skydive when he graduated from high school.

Well, tell him to give me a call and we'll make that happen. 

Haha! I’m glad somebody will go with him because it's not me. 

So that's interesting. I remember there was a, there was a study. I wish I could remember the guy's name, but it was, there was a TV show, probably the learning channel or something 15, 20 years ago, when I first heard it, got to me and it was talking about someone who came up with this concept of type T. T positive and T negative, where T is this adrenaline junkie right? And empty, positive T is someone who gets their adrenaline in positive ways based on upbringing. You know, they be able to do public speaking, whatever. And T negative is those who find it in negative ways, you know, drug addiction, um, um, you know, crime, things like that. And so, so in ADHD are they are adrenaline junkies. 

Uh, they are adrenaline junkies, but it can also go both ways they can. Um, you know, like you mentioned before regulating dopamine, they can regulate dopamine by jumping out of an airplane, but they can also regulate dopamine by taking drugs or driving fast. Um, so it's kind of a, it's a double-edged sword. Like the, the risk taking is, um, you know, can have complete benefits and be fabulous and, you know, kids with ADHD are not afraid to do something and jump right in and they, they live life. Um, you know, cause they don't think about it. We'll just think about the concept and we'll deal with the consequences later. There's no thinking about them. Um, but you know, they, they do get into problems with drug abuse and crime and driving fast cause that's also stimulating domain. So, um, you know, it, it, it is kind of a plus and a minus of having an iteration of inattentive ADHD. 

But is there, I mean, is there, you know, I think that, that for a lot of us, you know, especially when we're not diagnosed, it's just okay: Sit down. Right? And we don't realize that the things were drawn to come from this concept of…? but for me, for instance, you know, I never got into, I didn't get into drugs at least not in high school or as kid, um, you know, the worst thing I ever did was smoke. Right. And this was the eighties where smoking was good for you. But, um, you know, it's the premise that it is there. Is there a nature versus nurture component in there? Where, if you know, you, you, you, you look for positive things, or look for things to give you that dopamine, that aren't necessarily negative things.(?) 

Um, yeah, I, I, I would probably agree with that. Um, my son, as, as well, uh, hasn't gotten into the drugs in high school, doesn't go to parties and, and drank, um, you know, he finds his stimulation in other ways. Um, you know, like, right. He has a Onewheel, I don't know if you know what a one wheel is. 

Yeah, of course. 

So, so he just got a one. 

Yeah. For those who don't know what's next generation Segway with just one wheel on it and and, and you..

He just got on that thing and just took off, you know, he, he went to space camp when he was in seventh grade and they put you in this thing that, um, you know, turns you all around 

A Multi-Access Trainer. I know exactly what it is. I had a very bad experience with…

And he was the first in line to do it, you know? So he's, he's seeking his im, adrenaline out in self-regulating and positive ways. He's not self-regulating with, with drugs and alcohol. Um, is that partially because of the environment that he's in? Uh, probably he's, you know, we have an open dialogue about things like that and, um, you know, so we're kind of steering him away from that type of behavior, but, you know, um, if he wasn't in that type of environment, maybe if my husband and I were constantly gone; working all the time and stuff like that, and he was left on his own, you know, he might try to, you know, get into some of that to help self-regulate. 

And I think that, that, you know, that's one of the interesting things is that you look at, you look at, um, uh, prisons, you know, it's a 65 to 70% of um, incarcerated males are undiagnosed ADHD. And so it does come down to that question, you know, I mean, for me, you know, my, my being undiagnosed by parents just assumed, okay, he's hyper, let them run around so I’d take my bike after school everyday, and I'd ride around for hours and hours and hours. Right. And then, you know, I don't know if they ever noticed when I came back, I was much calmer. but obviously it was absolutely helpful. Okay. Tell us about the book!

Ok! So, um, so the book is in two parts. The first part of the book is my son's story with his inattentive ADHD and the ADHD elephant that lives in his brain. Um, and the second part of the book My experiences raising an ADHD son and I kind of, um, put, you know, some of the science behind ADHD and how that relates to my son's behaviors. And, um, the reason I wrote the book is because there is virtually no information out there on inattentive ADHD and boy s. So, um, when my son was diagnosed, fortunately, he was diagnosed in third grade, which is young for inattentive ADHD. Most of the time, these kids are diagnosed after nine years old, sometimes not until their teens, because, you know, it's what I like to call the silent ADHD, if they're not disruptive and, you know, creating chaos so they're not really noticed. Um, and we were fortunate. He had a teacher in second grade who recognized his symptoms because her son at the time was in high school and he had inattentive ADHD, so we were fortunate that he had that teacher. Um, and at the time is when I was working at, um, Hopkins on the ADHD project. And I was talking to a psychiatrist who was consulting on our research project. And he actually said, there's nothing out there on boys with inattentive ADHD. And of course I went home and started to look and do some research and he was right. So, you know, the purpose is just kind of to increase awareness that this occurs in boys. Um, you know, get it out there. 

Uh, it does occur in girls as well? 

It does occur in girls and adults and it's, um, most often discussed in girls and more recently in adults. 

Okay. And, and obviously it's, it's being discussed more in adults because adults are taking their kids to get diagnosed and they say, huh, it sounds like me.

Yeah. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. 

Interesting. What, um, talk for a second about, uh, about your, about your background. What are you, um, what specifically are you studying in terms of drug abuse and behavior and things like that?

Um, well, when my son was diagnosed, I stopped working to focus on him. So I haven't done research in quite awhile. Um, but the majority of my research was looking for therapeutics for cocaine abuse and finding cocaine taking behavior. Um, and it was preclinical studies. Um, and then when I worked at Johns Hopkins, Uh, the ADHD study was looking at long-term effects of ADHD medications, because at the time there were no studies on it; long-term effects of ADHD medication. So we looked at, um, physical features. Um, we looked at cognitive functioning. Um, so that was, uh, was the nature of that study. 

Interesting. That's fascinating stuff. Um, is the book available everywhere? 

Uh, the book is available on Amazon. Um, and it's available on the, uh, publishers website, um, MSI Press, LLC.

Cool. Did you self publish it? 

I did not. Okay, cool. Excellent. A lot of our, a lot of people are, um, I've talked to a handful of people who've written ADHD books down and they're all self published. Um, just like, yeah, whatever helps people whatever gets it out there. I'm a fan of..

No, yeah, I was very excited. It was picked up by a publisher. I didn't, I didn't have high hopes. And I thought that if it wells, it's never really published, hopefully it made me a better mother to my son because it helped me to understand his brain and to work with him instead of working against him, because he doesn't think the way I think.

Yep. Now it's it is, it is, you know, I think that's one of the biggest things that the parents need to understand. I mean, I remember growing up, my parents just didn't understand the difference, you know, why, and then they still treated me a hundred percent wonderfully, you know, and, and I had a great relationship with them and I still do, but they weren't the way I was and it was just a, it was a very, they just never got it. They never really got it. 

Yeah. Now I asked my son before I, um, but while I was writing the book, I said, tell me what it's like to have ADHD, because I don't know what that's like. And here I'm writing this book about ADHD and I don't really know what it's like to have ADHD. And so he describes it as an overstuffed garbage can where the lid doesn't stay on and everything's falling out on the floor. 

So that's how he describes his ADHD.

Yes! 

I couldn't come up with a description nearly that eloquent. 

I love it. I love it. All right. Well, very cool. Um, how can people find you? 

Um, well, I have, um, my author Facebook page is Kristin M Wilcox PhD, or they can find me at ADHDAdventures on Facebook. [same page] And you get get the book from Here and here on Amazon!

Awesome. Kristen, thank you so much for taking the time to be with us today. It's been a lot of fun. We will definitely check out the book and we will link to it on your Amazon link and in the show notes. And we really appreciate you being here today. This was great. 

Great. Thanks Peter. I appreciate it. 

Guys you've been listening to Faster Than Normal. We love when people come to us and say, Hey, I would like to be on the podcast, or when they have a great idea for a great story. And they have a great story themselves. If you're that person who knows someone who has let us know, we're always trying to find new people. We have a plethora!! of new episodes that we've recorded that are in the can that are coming up. The next three months are already filled but if you have someone to let us know, we'll record you and get you on the podcast as well. And you can find me at Peter@shankman.com  The podcast is FasterThanNormal.com on iTunes on Stitcher, Google play anywhere you get your podcasts. Thank you so much for listening and remember that ADHD and all neurodiversity is a gift, not a curse. And we will see you next week with a brand new episode. Thank you so much for listening and we'll talk to you soon!

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week!

Apr 27, 2022

Lissy Abrahams is passionate about helping people create healthier lives for themselves, as well strengthening the connection for partners in couple relationships. She is a leading psychotherapist who has dedicated her career to helping her clients navigate life’s obstacles and challenges. When our lives or our couple relationship goes off the rails, for whatever reason, we can all feel distressed and anxious. Lissy helps her individual and couple clients not just get back on track but also to thrive again. Lissy believes we all have the capacity to improve our lives and couple relationships with the right knowledge and skills. Her mission is to help as many people as possible transform their lives by creating happier and more connected relationships. Lissy completed her Masters at the internationally renowned Tavistock Relationships, a unit of the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology in London. She has held positions on the British Society of Couple Psychotherapists and Counsellors (BSCPC) and was Vice President of the Couple, Child, and Family Psychotherapy Association of Australasia (CCAFPAA). Lissy is available for speaking opportunities on podcasts, radio, television, expert panels, webinars, and corporate wellness programs. Lissy runs a Sydney-based therapy clinic, Heath Group Practice, and works therapeutically with clients here and around the world via online sessions. She has recently launched an online course, ‘Learn to skillfully communicate with your partner and decrease conflict’. The course explores the real reasons why couples fight, provides guided activities for participants to identify why they are having difficulty communicating, and teaches the vital skills needed to break repeated cycles of conflict. Today we're going to talk a little bit about balance and a little bit about strengthening the connection for couples who are trying to find that balance, as well as a few tips on more effective verbal communication in general. Enjoy!

In this episode Peter and Lissy discuss:  

1:25 - Intro and welcome Lissy Abrahams!

2:55 - As ADHDer’s, we’re a bit trigger happy in our communication(s). What advice do you have to manage that fire? Ref: Rejection Sensitivity

3:15 - Sometimes when we don’t feel we’re being heard, we raise the volume.

5:12 - Sometimes we’re present but not really ‘there’ with our partners. How do we stay present and how can our partners help? 

7:00 - We can be a little like the Road Runner to be around from time to time.

8:10 - What would your advice be on verbal communication & amount of content therein in our relationships?

10:50 - Is the basis of your relationship good verbal communication?

11:50 - A basic tip for better communication

12:10 - Our ADHD brains are usually going super fast; what is your advice on how to calm down for better communications?

13:39 - How can people find more about you and what you’re doing? www.lissyabrahams.com and on the Socials: @AbrahamsLissy on Twitter,  @ lissy-abrahams on LinkedIN and @LissyAbrahamsCourses on Facebook and get her FREE E-book here! 

14:04 - Thank you Lissy! Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love the responses and the notes that we get from you; so please continue to do that! Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all; we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you ever need our help I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

14:29 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

Welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal! My name is Peter Shankman.  Happy Monday, wherever you might be. It’s probably a Wednesday when you're reading, when you're listening to this, but it's a Monday here. It is a gorgeous day in NYC. A little cold, but finally starting to warm up into what we hope will be two days of spring before we get into 90 degrees and humid for the rest of the summer. Anyway, we are going to talk today about healthier lives. Now I say that as someone who has two speeds, as most of us with ADHD do, which is either eating tremendously healthy or eating six pizzas and a box of wine. So knowing that we're going to talk a little bit about balance and a little bit about strengthening the connection for couples who are trying to find that balance as well. We're talking to Lissy Abrahams. She believes that all people have capacity to improve our lives and relationships with the right knowledge and skills. She completed her masters at the internationally renowned Tavistock relationships, even of Tavistock Institute of medical psychology in London, she's held positions on the British society of couples, psycho psychotherapists, and counselors, and was the vice president of the couple child and family psychotherapy association of Australia, Asia CCA, F P AA That must be a lot of fun to say. Lissie runs a Sydney-based therapy clinic, a therapy clinic called health group practice and works therapeutically with clients there and around the world by online sessions; she's launched an online course called learn to skillfully, communicate with your partner and decrease conflict. Welcome to the podcast. 

Hi, thanks for having me. 

Great to have you. So one of the key things about add and ADHD is sort of that we because we only have two speeds. We, I think one of the things we need the most work. Okay. Sort of decreasing turning down the volume. When we get into an argument, get into a conversation, it's hard for us to just listen. It's hard for us to just, you know, we hear something we immediately want to respond and if we respond and it's not the response that someone expansion that there's not someone wants and may con they come back with it, we feel like we weren't heard. And that's what causes massive fights for us. So I think the first question, you know, in terms of creating a healthier life and sort of allowing our brains to chill and to calm down so we can actually hear the other person.. when you're ADHD and you're up against that times 10. What are your thoughts there? Right? From the beginning? 

I think the biggest gift we can give ourselves is a pause. If we could just take a moment to, even if it's just two seconds to pause before we react, because we're so trigger happy as ADHDer’s, we are so quick to just become little firecrackers. So one of the things I tell all of my clients with ADHD is that just taking a breath and pausing is our best friend. If we don't, we're just going to get ourselves in so much trouble. We we're quite a sensitive group as well. Um, a lot of us have rejection sensitivity as well, so we can very easily feel slighted. So. If we can just slow things down. So in fact, as speeds, slow and fast, we could do really well with that. But I think just slowing it down and breathing; because so often we'll jump in before someone's even finished a sentence and we're not even necessarily grabbing the full context and content of what they're saying, that being a firecracker, we can get ourselves into quite a bit of trouble with that. 

Um, most definitely. I think one of the things also is that, you know, when we, when we're trying to talk and we're consistently, we need to feel heard. Um, and so we're not feeling heard. We raised the volume, which doesn't help. 

It doesn't help at all and one of the things that happens there is that our partner can be quite confused and they often don't know what to do with that volume. Whereas someone with ADHD they're quite, they can be quite used to it. It's not as startling for non ADHDer’s who don't have that register necessarily. It can be quite a shock to their system and they, that cause a lot of defensiveness on their side and they'll come in and be quite triggered in return. So I think that level of that volume that we can, we can project can be quite frightening at times. 

Definitely. Definitely. What do you, um, so how do you work with people when, you know, a lot of times I remember when I was married, um, and I'm still, you know, very close friends with my ex, but when we were together, one of the things that she, she, she comments on a lot was that I was, I was there, but I wasn't really there. I never had any, you know, if the house was burning down, you wanted me there. I would, I would take control of the situation and fix everything, but the day-to-day stuff. You know, I had more of a problem dealing with the, the, for lack of a better word, the boring stuff. 

That's a really common one that day, but not there. And the way I see that is that we can become the person with ADHD becomes quite a tantalizing figure when someone's physically present, it's an invitation to connect with them. But if they're not really there in their minds and somewhere else, it's a, they become tantalizing and quite elusive at the same time. So it's a confusing proposal for a partner to, to know whether to do with that because they are wanting the connection. But then the message that's often given off is I'm in my own world and I can actually stay here quite happily thanks. 

I think that, that one of the things that you learn, um, as you're going through that. And it goes back to what you said about a pause, is that anything can really be sort of fixed if you're just able to give it time and stop and listen and think. 

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I don't know. Did you get, you get the cartoon Roadrunner? 

Of course! 

Yeah. Yeah. That's the way I, I, I think of ADHD, I think a Roadrunner who buzzes around and beep-beeps and there's all that dust. And I think that if if ADHD is and I'm one, so I totally relate to road runner. If we can remember that we are causing a lot of dust at times as well. So we might be really confusing in the sense that we run and scurry around and beep-beep over the place. But then there is that other part that you're talking about, but we can leave our partner out and get so much into our own zone. And when we've got our hyper-focus on, that's incredibly compelling for us to stay there. So w we can be a bit of a confusing partner at times. And, uh, and really quite rattling. I mean, I know in one of my, with one of my couples that I see when Trump came in, there were four years of that there but not there experience because this person was so obsessed with Trump and what was going on, watching every video that came up and every news article was read and attended to, it caused so many problems in the relationship, but that is the power of the hyper-focus. So it, it, it is a confusing picture because that there but not there is really not there at times. And this went on for four years. 

Yeah, definitely. Very good point. Um, talk about communication. So a lot of times I think that the, you know, the best relationships are the ones that have free communication and yet, no matter how much you love a person or how much you're, you're, you're involved with the person you're close to the person. Sometimes talking to them, especially when you're ADHD becomes difficult, right? Whether it's that you can't get the words out or what you're trying to say, or in the case of study, what can you tell people who might be going through communications issues? You know, I know that that, um, There's sometimes there's so much stress in a daily relationship, right? Just this day in-day-out that the concept of talking and really just having a conversation that doesn't revolve around: Oh, did you make the kids' lunches or, oh, you know what time is the play date?” You know, it sort of goes out the window.

It's a really good question about that one! The difficulty in communication, it can, it can be that they either don't know what to say or how to, how to speak to their partner or what to communicate that difficulty in it. But it could also be that there's an excessive amount of content. You know, if you're, if you're in your hyper-focus, I don't know about you, I can, I can go on for quite a while when my ?height and stuff that I'm really, really interested in. And sometimes I actually need to just check in with my partner to see if I'm just bombarding him with information. I mean, he also has ADHD, so he can come along for the ride to a certain extent, but sometimes I can say, you know, the eyes are going darting around because it's too much information and my intensity and excitement might not be matching where he is at times. So that's another form of it. Um, but I think.. if looking at the other side of what I often say in couples and communication is, you know, what you were saying about the kids and you know, that the logistics and there's also a very critical component that happens in couple relationships and I think that's what really gets into part of the problem communicating; because the person with ADHD has often really annoyed their partner, especially if it's been undiagnosed. And there's a lot of.. the partner can be quite, uh, um, they can complain a lot, they can be critical, they can nag and nitpick because they feel that their partner with ADHD isn't pulling their weight. I mean, they often don't know how hard they're really trying. Um, but the, the communication is really tainted I think if the ADHD isn't well-managed between the two of them. 

Most definitely. I think that it's a lot of, you know, it's not something that you go e., you know, you don't think about going into a relationship knowing that you have to talk. 

A-hah!

I think that's been a problem. You know, everyone's had that at some point, they go into these relationships and they don't, you know, you think, okay. Yeah, I'll be a good guy, I’ll bring flowers. You don't realize that that, that the entire basis, most of the time is based on communication!

Yeah. And I guess the thing is when we first meet somebody it's less on, it's not always necessarily around the talking because we can always take off another tangent into the sexual arena whenever and it's all so compelling in that area too. So yeah, I guess there, there. I haven't come across as many people who struggle with the talking part so it's interesting hearing you say that 

I think it’s combined with the listening. 

Okay. Yeah, definitely the listening part. And of course, it's very hard to get somebody's attention all the time. And that's where it's important for communication to show; I’ve got a rule that you've got eye contact telephones down, I make a rule that I don't talk to someone who's staring at their screen because I know they're not listening properly. So. Try not to do that as well. Um, cause we've yeah, we can't, if we're not attending, we're not going to hear anything so it doesn't matter what’s actually said. 

One final question. Um, give us, you know, our ADHD brains are usually going 500 miles a minute. Give us two or three really quick strategies to help us calm down. 

So the first one is to pause. That one is the most important one because our brain really won't deal with anything if it loses the capacity to think so, once we're triggered we're in trouble. So that's the first one. The second one is really about breathing. I think if we just do 5, 5, 5 breathing that's five seconds in- and you can either hold it for five seconds or not hold it for five seconds and then just breathe it out for five seconds, just very slowly. And repeat it five times. F or me, that is the absolute game changer or ADHD is. And I would say that's one of my top tips actually, um, for calming down. And then the other one is to just be able to go into a place that's just your own. And to really go inside your own mind, join up, what's upset me, what is it about this that's triggered me and to be able to do the work because it's so easy just to blame our partner for what they've done to us or in that moment. But actually so much of what we get upset about is actually our own stuff. So it could have been childhood stuff that we could have been told that we were lazy or selfish as a kid or misunderstood, whatever that was but it doesn't mean that our partner is necessarily saying it in the present, but it often has more impact because of what we've gone through as kids undiagnosed or diagnosed. Yeah. 

Very cool. This has been great. I really appreciate you taking the time Lissy, and, and, and more importantly, giving us your advice and valuable advice on this. Um, how can people find you?

[[13:39 - How can people find more about you and what you’re doing? www.lissyabrahams.com and on the Socials: @AbrahamsLissy on Twitter,  @ lissy-abrahams on LinkedIN and @LissyAbrahamsCourses on Facebook]]

Uh, people can find me at my website. It's you see Abraham's dot com and I've got some blogs on there and I've got my course on there as well. And I've got a book coming out in August, so feel free to contact me!

Awesome. Very cool. Lissy Abrahams, thank you so much for taking the time! Guys, as always, we want to hear what you think. If you like what you heard, leave us a review. If you have anyone you think would be a great guest, shoot me an email. Peter@shankman.com We would love to hear who that might be and get them on the podcast. We are Faster Than Normal. We believe that ADHD and all neuro-diversity is a gift rather than a curse. And we will see you next week with a brand new episode. Thank you so much for listening and have a great day!

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week!

Apr 20, 2022

Corey Berrier- The Sales CEO has over 25 years of experience training individuals and teams on high performance sales processes. The Sales CEO is a boutique coaching firm specializing in sales development with a focus on ADHD. Using his ADHD superpower Corey has developed systems and processes that allow business owners to maximize employee experience and revenue. Corey uses a proprietary system to guide businesses to higher sales results, focusing on every aspect of the process. A hands-on approach is used, with feedback provided throughout the entire process, which helps clients to achieve results faster. Our proven results have helped hundreds of professionals across multiple industries achieve improved sales results. Corey is a Keynote speaker, International Coach and Consultant and hosts the Top Rated podcast “Successful Life Podcast” and he co-hosts the only ADHD Sales Podcast in the world called “ADHD SALES LEGENDS', with Callye Keen. Corey is writing a book on ADHD Sales and Entrepreneurship that will be out later this year. Today we learn how he’s begun using his ADHD superpower, better. Enjoy!

In this episode Peter and Corey discuss: 

1:40 - Intro and welcome Corey Berrier!

2:16 - Corey, why..why why why are companies so stupid?!

5:30 - How can you now better things for clients via your, and possibly their, ADHD?

7:20 - Tell us what it was like growing up as a kid, where you’re from, when you were diagnosed?

9:15 - After a few minutes into an interview, do you ever ask clients “so.. are you ADHD too”?

12:21 - On rejection sensitivity

14:04 - How can people find more about you and what you’re doing? www.CoreyBerrier.com and on the socials @CoreyBerrier on INSTA  Facebook YouTube and https://www.linkedin.com/in/coreysalescoach/ on LinkedIn Also via his podcasts: Successful Life Podcast” and ADHD SALES LEGENDS

14:54 - Thank you Corey! Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love the responses and the notes that we get from you; so please continue to do that! Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all; we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you ever need our help I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse!

15:25 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT:

Yo, yo, yo what's up! Welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal! My name is Peter Shankman. This is the one day a week, but I try to do as many interviews as I can because ADHD. I don't know, interviews and in the middle of that, and I'm answering emails. I get an email from someone who says hey, sorry for the slow reply. Um, we're pausing for now. So we'll be in touch. This is a client, this is a company who I've been trying to hire, not to give me money. I wanted to give them money, right. And after like two weeks, three weeks, four weeks of back and forth of contracts and everything, Hey, we're pausing guys. If you're an entrepreneur and you run your own company, there's absolutely a reason you can make money. All you gotta do is be slightly, slightly better than idiots like this. What I'm trying to give you upwards of 500,000. And you're gonna pause. You're a moron. Okay. I got that in my system. Anyway. Literally it just happened like 30 seconds before I started this call so hey, got it out of my system with apologies to Corey Berrier who's our, who's our guest today who did not sign on to hear me ramble, Corey- thank you for being here.

Corey started his business coaching in 2014. When he got tired of business, struggling to make sales and not have the ability to offer solutions. It's all shit. I have a company you should probably talk to; I just got off the phone with them. Anyway, Corey, working with his training clients who owns a small plumbing company and the owner asking you to talk with the sales team. That led to where he is today. He's based in Raleigh. He was diagnosed at age 8 and his services extended to wherever he's needed, whether it be online on the phone. Corey has excellent guidance and excellent coaching and he is going to talk about his ADHD journey starting right now. Corey welcome! Sorry about that random intro, but oh my God. Why are companies so stupid?

So it's a great, great question. Peter you're so right. You have to be a little bit better, right? You just have to be a little bit, so you're you're right. Your company does need to talk to me because they're making very bad decisions, but a lot of companies do that. Peter. I’d love to start this out by tying this to exactly why we're on the call, which is, you know, I've, you know, the thing that you ran out about me is changed just a little bit. So I don't work just with plumbing companies now I work with, well, I work with a lot of different companies. I work with consultants all over the world, and I also work with a lot of trades companies, but here's the. Really the biggest thing that I want to drive home. And why I'm on this call with you is, you know, about five months ago I realized I had no fucking idea what ADHD really meant for me. And I've been taking medicine Peter for 36 years, 36 years. And so I just, I had no idea that, you know, I forget shit all the time. I, you know, I lose stuff; my phone's in my hand and I'm looking for it. Like all the things. I you thought that, you know, I burnt my brain up doing drugs years ago or drinking. That's the truth. That's what I thought for years. And so when I, so one of, in one of my entrepreneur groups, I noticed, I noticed a guy did a post in the word he used the word neurodivergent. I have never seen this word in my entire life. And when I saw it, I'm like, damn, that is such a cool looking word. That was the first off. And I'm like, I got to figure out I'll let me just ask the guy what it means. Well, he didn't answer me. And so I'm not certainly not going to wait for him to answer me. So I just went and figured it out myself. Of course. Yep. So I Google it and it takes me to YouTube. So I like, okay, well I'll just watch one of these videos and see what it is. This guy is literally talking about me! And I'm like, holy fucking shit. What the fuck is going on? How I just, how am I just now understanding this. And the truth of the matter is, is guess what he was like. I didn't have a reason to look at. I didn't know. I didn't know. You know,

you never put two and two together, right?

Yeah. And so the reason that I believe I am so much better in my job now at working with these companies is because you know] this; most people are ADHD. Business owners, most people that are sales, right? Those are the two people I worked with. So imagine how much more money they're going to make. If I can shore up those areas where they don't even see the problem. In other words, if they've got half her and she's not following up well, you and I both know the reason for that, but he may not. He or she may not know the reason for that. And if they do know that. What's that going to do for their business. Holy cow. Right?

It might, it blows my mind. It really does. No, you look at, and then look, there there's two types of, of, of, of sort of companies that are mistaken, right. Because the type of companies just take it because exactly what you said, they don't understand how to better target their brain, how to better use the functions they have. Those are the ones that you can help. Then there are companies that are just stupid because they're idiots, right. And, and they just don't see the value they are leaving on the table. And Unfortunately, I think it's a lot, a lot more of them, a lot more out that they're just run by idiots. But no, I think that, you know, one of the things when I went out on my own as an entrepreneur, probably 20, 20, whatever years ago now, um, you know, I had no idea what I was doing, but I knew there was something I could do. And that's, I think a key thing that.. like, you realize the same thing right. In that, in that you're not sure what it is, but there's something out there there's some way that you can better things. Right. So give us some examples of that.

Well, I think this, I feel like this is the example, and I'll tell you, Peter, for years, I've been, you know, I've owned multiple businesses and I've done great, but some of them, and I had failed miserably with some of them. And at the end of the day, like here's the deal. I went through all of those businesses and all of those things. To lead me to where I am today because I can serve the people that I work with at such a higher level, because I understand the things that they're going through. I understand I can look at somebody. I can ask, you know, this people, you can ask somebody one or two questions and, you know, If they're not just like you are not right; by the way they answer. And so that's where I feel like my superpower lies is that I've taken my love for sales. I've taken my ability to connect with people and to connect people with other people, collaborations and harnessed that into I guess you would say the 88, I guess you would say that I use my ADHD to yeah, to better serve the people I work with because I can see things they can't

Tell us about when you were diagnosed. Tell us what it was like growing up as a kid. How, how did you grow up in South Carolina, where are you from?

So I'm from North Carolina. That's a great question. I'm actually from Mayberry, Peter. Yep. Yep. Good old freaking Mayberry going up, you know, I didn't have a bad childhood. I didn't, um, And in ADHD, where now looking back where it affected me was, you know, I made terrible grades. I hated school. I would rather be doing anything other than that. Outside of that, I mean, I was never put into a special ed class, which I've, I've interviewed now. I'm writing a book about this, uh, ADHD sales and entrepreneurship. And so I've interviewed, um, close to 50 people now that are professionals in the field. And. And what I'm finding is there's a lot of people that do get put in special education classes, they get put in, you know, they get labeled and I'm sure I got labeled, but I never got labeled quite like that. And so you didn't really ask me that- you asked me how my childhood was, was pretty good. I mean, I think it was a good childhood. I got into a lot of trouble. I mean, I was constantly doing something. But, you know, but I'll tell you what, I think one of the things that I think would have helped me more than anything I think is probably if they, if, if teachers then could have understood what they understand now, I think, I think my journey with school would have been a little easier. I think. I don't know that for sure.

No, I believe it. I believe it. There's definitely a, a, you know, there's a level of, I sort of the same way and that in that, you know, sit down and you disrupt the class disease was not what I had, but it's, it's what teachers knew. It's all the teachers. Right. And, and, and to, to an extent it's crazy as it is, it's something important. Unfortunately, it's still going on that way. Right. There's still, it's not as, I mean, there's a little bit more understanding, but it's not as big as it ever was.

You're right, Peter. So let me ask you this. You're a perfect person to ask this question to. So when I bring this up to people, um, you know, when I, when I'm talking to another entrepreneur or business owner that I'm starting to have conversations to work with, how would you, you know, if you've noticed this about somebody, is it something that you would bring up in that setting?

Well, you know, I can tell immediately if someone's ADD or ADHD and I call it ADHDdar, right. It's similar to Gaydar. Right. I, I also believe that, um, you know, there are a lot of people who don't appreciate it to the same level that I do. I have this, you know, I love my ADHD. Right. I think my ADHD is the greatest thing in the world and I love what it can do for me and how it can help me. (I didn’t get the entire phone ring removed). But there are a lot of people who have not had that experience yet. And so they sit there and they're kind of like, uh, this is the worst thing in the world. So I don't necessarily bring it up unless the conversation brings itself or lends itself to that. I think a lot of times there, you know, until you know, that answer. Until, you know, that answer. I tend to be a little quiet.

But not labeled probably because there is, I mean, you know, this was a lot of into negative labels around ADHD and delight you because I understand my ADHD it is a super power because I understand what I really suck at. I'm getting what I am just not going to need no matter what, the reason behind it, there are certain things, Peter, I'm just not going to do period.

No, a hundred percent. And I think that we get used to what we know and used to what we're good at. And, and we learn to be what were we learned to do what we're good at better and ignore, you know, or, or in this case pass off what we're not good at.

But you know, so my wonder and I'm, like I said, I've interviewed a lot of people and I, I found, and this is just my observation, that a lot of people in a lot of people that I interviewed, just feel like that the information they have about ADHD is really not worth a whole lot because they have ADHD themselves. And I think it's a common misconception also outside that with salespeople is same thing. Right? A lot of people think that salespeople are shady or shitty or are slimy or whatever you want to call it, but that's just a common misconception. That's just not the truth.

Well, except, I mean, there are certain, there are look there's there's truths to every reality and there's false. There's falses in every reality right? There are a lot of people there a lot. I've met a lot of sales guys who are incredibly slimy and I wouldn't wanna work, but I've also met some of the nicest people in the world. So I think it's the same thing with ADHD. I mean, I've met people who use ADHD to their advantage and they’re still assholes. I think people use. Right. So it's, you know, there's two sides to every single conceivable coin in the world. I think that that labeling people in any capacity, right. Call me ADHD, but I'm so much more than just that. Right? I think everyone is so much more than just that. So at the end of the day, you know, I don't know if the labels help.

I don't know either, but I tell you one label that did help me and you'll find, you might find this interesting is; when I uncovered what rejection sensitivity meant. And I didn't know that that's not even a, I saw even a medical term. I don't believe, uh, I don't think it's in. I don't think you would know the answer to that. I would not. I identify with that shit boo, big time, big time. I don't, I don't get to, I'm not a victim, but I understand now why sometimes I might receive what, what Peter says to me, to hurt my feelings. So to speak. And if I know that, guess what, I can be prepared for that and I can handle it with more emotional intelligence.

I agree. I agree. I think a lot, again, also understanding sort of the way the brain works in that regard. Not everything is going to be an insult, or even meant as an insult. And there've been countless times when I have been in situations where I'm like, okay, I think I, a couple of. Um, I'm walking down the street. I'm not feeling great about myself and I, I I'm looking at my phone. I could see me as I passed some guy. I don't even look at him and him go Jesus. And my first thought is, oh, wow. He really saw how fat I feel today. Right. That's ridiculous. It totally didn't happen. But our brains are designed in such a way that yeah, we're gonna go to the worst possible. So, no, that's not always the case.

Yeah, that's, that's a great point. That is a great point. And you're right. There are always, everything is subjective, right? It just depends on who's looking at it and how they're looking at and how they're feeling that day. It could always be a different answer, you know? A hundred percent, a hundred percent.

Very cool. How can people find you and get more about you?

www.CoreyBerrier.com and on the socials @CoreyBerrier on INSTA  Facebook YouTube and https://www.linkedin.com/in/coreysalescoach/ on LinkedIn Also via his podcasts: Successful Life Podcast” and ADHD SALES LEGENDS

Sure. So you can go to my website, CoreyBerrier.com. You could follow me on all the social channels @CoryBerrier And I'm going to, uh, I'm going to send you a link. Uh, Peter, I don't know if it's okay. I need to ask you before. If we can, if I can send you a link to a download it all it is it's just a competence is for ADHD people just to help your confidence. That's all it is. It's as part of the stuff that I work with people on, uh, it's a very, very small part of what I work people with people on, but I would also argue that it's maybe one of the most important things that I work with people on.

Please do. We'll we'll include it in the show notes. Sure.

Thanks my man. Well, Peter, thank you so much. I really appreciate this. It's been great.

The pleasure was mine. Corey, thank you so much for taking the time. I appreciate it guys….leave us a review. If you think you want to be on the podcast, shoot us a note peter@shankman.com We will see you next week with a brand new episode. It's so great to have you. And it's so great to be back recording again in the studio. Talk to you guys soon, take care.

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week!

Apr 13, 2022

Nicki Maher has made a name for herself through her can-do approach to business. Her reputation as a “people advocate” is apparent, as are her main beliefs are a in the power of human connection and the ability to form meaningful and lasting bonds in business. Maybe this is why she’s become such a successful voice on social media. Today we learn why and how Nicki Maher made her pivot- Enjoy!

A bit more about Nicki:  Nicki’s management career started in the travel industry where she earned the title of “top business development manager” in Travel Agent Magazine while representing global brand, Royal Caribbean International. In 2010, she began a rewarding career with jewelry and lifestyle brand, ALEX AND ANI, at their vice president of sales, serving as the right hand to the founder, creative director and CEO. Under this title, Nicki was responsible for building the foundation for a soon-to-be exploding omni-channel business. Along with focus of sales strategy, Nicki led efforts around strategic partnerships, licensing and all corporate social responsibility efforts. During her time at ALEX AND ANI, the company grew from $2.7 million in 2010 to more than $500 million in 2014. This growth was soon recognized by Forbes Inc. 500, Digiday and many other publications. Under the leadership of Nicki and her peers, the company grew from one retail location to more than 90, supported over 1,500 nonprofit organizations, and led more than 1,300 employee volunteer hours. The company also donated more than $48 million to charity through the award-winning CHARITY BY DESIGN division, which Nicki led and grew from its infancy. Nicki was promoted to senior vice president in 2015, just after returning from maternity leave with her firstborn, Leila Louise. Under her watch came company-wide partnerships, community relations, corporate social responsibility and employee engagement efforts. Today, Nicki is the founder of Nicki Marie Inc, where she works with brands and thought leaders whose mission is beyond the brand or product that they are selling. She serves as a brand advisor and offers services in social impact programming, digital storytelling and internal culture strategy. She is also a social media digital influential creator with over over 1.8M organically grown followers. Here, she shares daily bits of life, humor and home within her modern day world of "motherhood reinvented" after divorce, loss of job and overall change of direction. Here, she is stripped down from all "titles”, reminding others that it doesn't have to be the seat in the board room, or the nuclear family that defines you, but the foundation you have build at home when everything else fell apart, that matters most. The rest is the cherry on top.

In this episode Peter and Nicki discuss: 

00:46 - A slider

1:42 - On traveling recently

2:03 - Intro and welcome Nicki Maher!

3:48 - So why the career switch and how did you did you make it? Ref: Alex and Ani

7:15 - When were you diagnosed, were you diagnosed?

9:09 - Where did you grow up?

9:28 - A lot of parents don’t want kids to just be themselves- they want them to fit in; how have you been relating to your own kids?

11:00 - On a mesh of parenting styles

11:58 - Parents have to grow too..

12:38 - Less perfection, more acceptance

13:05 - What do you tell other parents if/when they get misunderstood or misrepresented on Social Media?

15:13 - On handeling comment sections

16:20 - On the foundation of family

17:30 - Knowing your strengths and communicating with your kids

18:00 - How can people find more about you and what you’re doing? @NickiMarieInc on Twitter + INSTA @NickiUnplugged on TikTok and on her podcast Homebase with Nicki

18:40 - Thank you Nicki! Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love the responses and the notes that we get from you; so please continue to do that! Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all; we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you ever need our help I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse!

19:10 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT:

‘Sup yo! Welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal! My name is Peter Shankman. We have travel on the agenda today, which thank God, because I tell ya I.. pre COVID man, I was doing about 350,000 miles a year. Uh, and then it just stopped. All right. If you use a skydiving analogy, when you, when you open your parachute, you go at like 120 miles an hour, you open your parachute and they have this it's called a slider, and a slider comes down the lines of the parachute buffered by the wind. So it's slowly comes down because the wind is pushing you. And it sort of slows you down as the parachute opens, because if you didn't have a slider, you'd go from 120 miles an hour to about five miles an hour in about half a second. And that would hurt. Imagine doing that in the car. I've done that before in a parachute, broke two ribs in the process. So what.. up because when COVID hit, it was essentially like opening my parachute without a slider. I went for 300,000 miles a year to zero overnight and that shit just sucked. That was truly horrible. I don't recommend that at all. Fortunately, travel seems to be coming back now. And I think we are at the point where we can safely say that people are traveling. I've been on planes I was in, I was in the hell, was that I was in South Africa a few weeks ago. And it was like, people hadn't even heard of Covid, so they were wearing their masks, but you know, flying down there 14 hours, 16 hours on the plane was, it was kind of like normal. So it felt pretty good. Anyway, that's where we are right now. And we have someone on the podcast to talk about that we're talking to Nikki Mayer, my pronouncing that right. It's Mar Mar Nickie, Maher. All right, cool. That's all right, Nikki. So Nicki Maher has been in travel forever. Um, she's a reputation as a people advocate. I love that. S he started in travel. She started out Director of Development manager, travel agent magazine. She was at Royal Caribbean. We all know them, cruise people. Um, she worked for Alex & Ani. What else do you do? She founded  NikkiMarieInc. She works with brands and thought leaders, her mission is to serve and beyond the brand of product they're selling. She's a brand. She's a social media influencer. Ooh, stop using that term. You're hurting America when you use that term. Oh wait Social Media influencer, it gets even worse. You’ve got over 1.8 organically grown followers. Organically grown followers is like something out of the Matrix where they're literally like you're growing people. You have 1.8 million. Yeah, you didn't buy them. I didn't buy them. Nope. She talks about she, she has daily bits of her life, humor and home with her modern day world of motherhood reinvented after divorce, loss of job and overall change of directions here, she is stripped out from all titles, reminding others that it doesn't have to be the seat in the boardroom where the nuclear family defines foundation you built at home when everything else falls apart. Now, this is granted an ADHD podcast and ADD podcast. And we talk about that all the time. I think sometimes it's fun to bring in someone else who may or may not be neurodiverse, but has a different perspective on life. I found you, um, I believe, cause I was following you on, on, on one of your socials, right?

Yes. Yeah. Somebody connected us. Somebody said you two have to meet because I was doing some ADHD mama content.

That's right. So Nikki, tell us what it was like. You're working in corporate, you're working for global tourism boards, things like that. Major tourism companies. Now out on your your own ADHD, mom running content, things like that. What prompted the shift? How'd you do it? How scary was it? And talk to us about how that happened.

Okay. I mean, it was, so I love the question because it does sound show massive. It sounds like, oh, she went from corporate life to motherhood to, you know, influencer and I'm with you on that word, by the way, we need to reinvent the wheel on that word. Um, so I was just, I mean, I'll just jump back to 2017. I was working for a very fast growing jewelry brand. I was with Alex and Ani. I was one of the first six employees there. So very, um, homegrown family business to all of a sudden, within my four years, first four years there, we were on red carpets. We were sitting with celebs. We were, you know, our founder was on the cover of Forbes and I was one of her right-hand girls. So it all, um, went fast and furious. I had my daughter in 2014. Go back from maternity leave after having her and got a big promotion. And I was like, wait, this isn't the stuff they write about in the books. Right? Like Sheryl Sandberg is talking about like lean in. And, uh, as a woman and going for the, the seat and I'm it's happening for me. And then jump ahead to having my son, my son was a twin. Um, we lost his twin sister Gracie a week before delivery. It was a really difficult time in my life. And, um, listen, it's what made me the mother that I am, I was back in the corporate seat, doing all these amazing things I had, like the dream job. What people think is the dream job. You've got the, you know, the big seat, you were leaning in. And, um, I just wanted to be in that home. I wanted to be with my kids. I didn't want someone else to be home with them on sick days. I didn't want somebody else, you know, getting to pick them up and getting the hug at the end of the day at daycare. So I made a huge shift. I shocked a lot of people. Um, cause when I got back from that maternity leave for my son, it was a complete 180 from what I felt when I got back from my maternity leave with my daughter. Um, the changing of was becoming more political. There were more big, bad, you know, um, resume people in there and it was no longer for me. So made the jump, um, started consulting and I was like, see, I'm proof. You can, you can consult. You can create your own world of magic with your business knowledge and make just as much money as working for the big dog. And, um, and you know, jokes on me then came a really, really difficult divorce. Um, a really difficult COVID and I all of a sudden was home with a three and five-year-old went on to good old tech talk just to learn the app because some of my clients business-wise would ask about it and, um, just started sharing myself and a lot of my add ADHD-isms. And, uh, here I am with a following and able to kind of reinvent myself in the world of digital today. I guess. I still haven't figured it all out. I sound so much more buttoned up than what this originally is in real life, but that's specific.

Talk about the ADHD aspect of it, because here you are, um, you know, right-hand person to a, you know, a multi-million dollar company is growing and growing, growing. When were you diagnosed? Did you use it to your advantage? How did you know you have it? What kind of response was it?

Yeah. So I was never, I mean, I was an 80 blue collar kid eighties, right. So our parents weren't like, oh, you're, um, you're having trouble focusing and you're having trouble in school. It was more like, this is who you are, girl own it don't let anybody tell you

or, or, or sit down and disrupting the class. Yeah.

And I'd get social butterfly and chatterbox on my report cards. And it was like, my, my grandparents would laugh about it. They'd like, okay, really? Like, we didn't know that already. So, um, jump ahead your grad school. And I, I had, um, I had a lot of trouble with school, actually jump back. middle school. Seventh, eighth grade really started having a hard time. Ninth grade. I failed D’s and an F in every single subject. And what, in my mind, What did my mom do? Took away basketball all this winter. You know, like the Italian mom, like. Worst thing you could do to a kid.

take all the dopamine away now you're really in trouble.

So, um, I just was more social driven and more sports driven. I ended up, um, being able, why I got through school so well was I was able to dive fully into my athleticism. Um, so she took away basketball, but it led me to track. I became, um, I was second in New England shotput thrower. Yeah, all state, all state track, All-American softball player and Allstate field hockey player. I had a full ride to UConn for field hockey. So tell me about, I mean, ADHD, you got to find what works for you.

Where in Massachusetts are you from?

Um, Somerset, Massachusetts. So Southeast. Yeah, I was a BU kid. So small town and, um, sports was my. Social, friends and sports was what made me thrive. And I just dug in and luckily I had the type of family that let me try all different things until I landed in something so that's how I'm trying to be with my kids. It's like, you've got to find your shit.

And talk about that for say, because a lot of parents, especially growing up and even today, right? A lot of parents are afraid to let their kids be themselves. Right. There's still this aspect of it's changing a little bit, but there's still this aspect of, of, oh, if you don't fit in, that's going to cause you trouble down the road you know, I think you and I are living proof of the fact that not fitting into will be the best thing that ever happened to you. But, you know, I'm seeing, I see in my daughter school, for instance, there are, you know, and it's just, it's just, I think it just continues throughout time. There are cliques and there are the cool kids in there, the, the, the nerdy kids and their, this and that, you know, and, and I keep telling my daughter, it doesn't matter what you are, be yourself, you know? And that's a hard lesson to teach, especially when you have a child with ADHD or ADD or anything like that, where there, or where you are. And you try to say, well, you know, I know I'm weird, but it's okay. You know, what have you been telling your kids about that?

I wouldn't even say, have you had. So I just, I, I just get a TikTok relate it to a TikTok because when a Tiktok talks go viral or whatever, they get the legs behind them, it's because they're relatable. Right? So I yesterday did a post where my daughter is seven years old. I was the biggest tomboy Peter. And, um, my daughter was wearing these like, press on glam nails. I'm talking like the nails, like the Cardi B level nails. And I have a video of she's doing her homework and she's clicking the nails on the pencil and my face and my hot mom, mass bun and my coffee cup and my like no makeup. And my hoodie. And I take a screenshot of myself with the face, like what is going on and the whole thing. And I put, as the caption, I said, when the tomboy mom gets to raise a glam squad daughter, that's right. So I left, I absolutely I'm here to keep them alive and to teach them right and wrong. I am not here to teach them who to be or what they're into. So I not identify with any one parenting style. I identify with a mishmash of everything, including the way I was raised. They're not going to be eighties kids. They're not going to be in the neighborhood, playing with everybody, solving their own problems after school every day. But if it's the new modern day of, Hey, you're going to watch some Ted talks, innocently, and you're going to identify with some people or some creativity that you'd like to be part of, then go put the damn nails on as long as you're not wearing them to school. Go ahead. Do mom's makeup? Do the wings get crazy. Make me look like Amy Winehouse. It's all good.

I love that though. I mean, that's a great, it's a great attitude to have. So how did you know? I think that, that, again, the issue is you're, you're chill enough that you can have that a lot of parents don't and I think a lot of parents need to understand that there's nothing inherently wrong with that.

That's cause a lot of parents haven't found themselves, right. A lot of parents are insecure, that their kid's doing something that they're not sure they're comfortable about. And that's really takes a lot of self love and a lot of self identification to be a parent. In terms of times I flip out at my kids is because it's something that else that's going on in my life. Right. That I didn't think what would make me look like a good mom, but in the grand scheme of things, I think, you know, the positive side, Peter, that I'm seeing on social media is that it's less perfection and it's more acceptance. We’re all Artists, and we're all trying to do our best. We're all trying to raise great kids.

And I think two years certainly haven't helped. Absolutely.

It hasn't helped, but at least it's let us see a different side of social media. That's not the cookie cutter family with the matching outfits on the perfectly decorated front porch. It's like.

That's very true. Very true. So, so what do you tell, you know, what do you tell, I guess, other parents, other than just, you know, go for it. What do you tell the parents when they; do you get crap for being the way you are, have you been outed yet for being on TikTok, but you know, at school or whatever. And I know, I know a couple of parents, um, I'm friends with a woman who lives on the west coast, who, uh, was a lot of trouble. She had her job basically evaporate during COVID. She lost her Only Fans and she was making a fortune and she had, you know, on the flip side, she was also a mother. She was running the PTA, all that she was, and she got found out and it was very, very difficult for her. Right. And she's recovered and she's fine now, but you know, there was a time when, when she's like, oh my God, we have to move etc. What, what have you gotten discovered? Have you gotten, are you that weird mom? I mean, I know that I'm the weird dad, I'm the class parent in school and, and, and, uh, you know, none of the parents it's been two years now, none of the parents. So what the hell?

That's so funny. Um, the only things that I've gotten mis.. you know, um, I guess, I guess where I've been misunderstood are only two things. One, I sometimes do these, um, I call it like drunken Dunkin. I say hot mess moms run on drunken Dunkin. Right? So. But like a nip in my coffee as just entertaining. And I think when there's people that, that take social media literally, and they take that set 10 second snippet and they ident, they make it my identity, it's like, oh my gosh, I can't believe there are people that would take a cent 10second grain of salt. That's two weeks. It's a ten second out of my two weeks. I barely drank. Yeah, your making me as this, you know, drunken mom, or when my son said he needed help with the F and jam, he was three. He didn't know. I thought it was obvious that he didn't know what the word meant. Hence why I thought it was funny. And I did get a lot of heat for that. I can't believe you staged your son to say that for clout. It's like, really? You don't know me, but I will say if people follow me and they see the whole story, they see there's as much heart as there is humor.

Of course. Well, it's funny. I did one of the, um, I did one of the, you know, uh, Instagram rail that was going around for awhile, um, recently about here's how, y’know when you hate someone, everything they do for this job, it says, look at that beach, eating chicken. And it's, it's a very funny bit, and I happen to be recording my daughter. And she said something at the same time, as you would laugh when you heard that, if you were an adult hearing that and it worked perfectly. And so I submitted it, I posted it and it went crazy. People loved it. Right. And the irony was it it wasn't her hearing that she's eight years old. Right. I'm not gonna call my daughter a bitch ever, but it worked perfectly. And so to shut off the comments because everyone was, everyone was liking it and oh my God what kind of .. But then they're gone.

Listen, Every song put on Alexa has explicitly or X rating is literally the least of my concerns. If my kids are treating people well, if they're treating their teachers with respect, if they're treating the other players on their sports teams, you know, with inclusivity, like my job’s done. Yeah. They say at home or what they hear at home, like that's our private space. Leave us alone. Yeah. I agree with that. So yeah, I am laid back, but I also, you know, I've also got a lot of that old school, which I think people agree with. I've got enough traditional in me, I believe still in traditional family, whether it's nuclear or not. I believe in the tradition of family being your main priority and what you do everything for. And then I'm a modern day mom where it's like, listen, get with the times. I want to be a cool mom. I want my kids to identify with me and come to me on whatever the hell it is in their life. And I think I represent a good balance of both. Um, my friends in real life say that when they're around me, they're like, I need like more of you in my life. I need you to influence me. And what I say to them is my super powers are different than yours in parenting. We all need each other. We're all good at different stuff. So don't compare because then you'll really be depressed. So I'm never going to have the organized Marie Kondo, stocked fridge and the organized cabinets. It's just not me, but I'll play a mean game of Barbie with you.

Exactly. I think at the end of the day, that's what, that's what we have to teach our kids is to understand that, you know, everyone's different. And just because we're not what people think is perfect doesn't mean we’re that way,

Absolutely. Absolutely. And you gotta, you gotta know your deficiencies, right. And if it's attention span, I say to my daughter, I go, did you have a really hard time when the teacher was explaining this? Because I understand when I was in first grade, I had a hard time with this. So let's talk about it. It's I think to talk and to communicate with your kids is the number one most important parenting tip that I have so much more than we give them credit.

Yeah. Very, very cool. All right. So how can people find you, tell us your, tell us your socials. *18:00 - How can people find more about you and what you’re doing? @NickiMarieInc on Twitter + INSTA @NickiUnplugged on TikTok and on her podcast Homebase with Nicki

So Nicki Marie Inc is my Instagram and it's NIC. K I M a R I E I N C. And the Nikki unplugged is my TikTok handle Well, because I didn't expect to have anybody find me on Tik TOK place. Um, so yeah, that's, that's where I'm at. I'm I'm starting a podcast and trying to do these cool things. And then I'm also getting my feet back into the consulting game. So a little bit of everything, which is how us ADD people thrive. Get me on everything coach put me in.

Yeah. I love it. I love it. Very cool. Thank you so much for taking the time. Truly appreciate it guys. We were talking to Nikki Maher. I'm gonna screw that last name up no matter how I say it, but we love having you come back again. We'll definitely have you another time. Guys, you’ve been listening to Faster Than Normal. As always, if you liked what you heard, drop us a note. We'd love to have you on the podcast. And if you have a fun story to tell, ADHD story to tell if you wound up working in corporate and now you're like a TikTok Mom, let us know. We'd love to talk to you. We'll see you guys next week. Thanks for listening as always ADHD, it's a gift, not a curse. If you know how to use it, take care.

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week!

Apr 6, 2022

David DeWitt is a registered investment advisor and podcaster who helps adults with ADHD take back control of their money. He’s been a registered investment advisor for 6 years but it wasn't until he had his ADHD awakening in early 2021 that he realized he wanted to work with other people with ADHD. David knows from experience that effective  personal finance when you have ADHD is hard - even when you are a trained professional. After his ADHD awakening he set out to build a financial planning model that works for ADHD brains, first testing it on himself. And now, he's on a mission to help as many ADHDers as can. Enjoy!

In this episode Peter and David discuss: 

00:48 - Intro and welcome David DeWitt!

2:48 - Were you diagnosed as a kid; when were you first diagnosed? Ref book: “Delivered From Distraction

3:42 - Getting diagnosed isn’t a bad thing!!

4:19 - How did you decide to go into Finance, of all things?

5:08 - So after this wake up call, what changes?

6:01 - So tell us, what should we be doing differently? What can we learn?

7:34 - What else do we need to know about avoiding those impulse/dopamine hit purchases?

9:45 - Can we still have a moment of enjoyment or “spend” every once in a while, yet not go crazy?

12:00 - How can people find more about you and what you’re doing? ADHDMoneyTalk.com and on the Socials @ADHDMoneyTalk on Twitter  INSTA and “ADHD Money Talk Community” on Facebook

12:27 - Thank you David! Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love the responses and the notes that we get from you; so please continue to do that! Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all; we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you ever need our help I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse!

19:20 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT:

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

Hey, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal! My name is Peter Shankman. You guys welcome to Faster Than Normal! Let's talk about.. no not sex. We'll do that all the time. Let’s talk about money. Let’s talk about money this week, let's say money and ADHD. ADHD is one of the worst possible things to have when you're dealing with money. And I know this from experience. I cannot tell you how many things I've impulse purchased because they looked cool at the time. Remember Sharper Image? David, remember The Sharper Image store? Yeah, coolest things ever.. coolest things that are when you are a 20 year old kid or a 19 year old kid who just got his first green American express card, Sharper Image, man, you're fucked. I, I, I remember I went in the Sharper Image and I came out with a, with a inflatable raft, with a Palm, inflatable Palm tree attached to it, which would have been great if it wasn't the middle of winter at Boston University. I remember, I just, I blew it up and I sat in my, in my dorm room. Yeah. Money is not necessarily a good thing when you're ADHD, but Dave Dewitt. Who's with us today is a registered investment advisor and podcast who helps adults with ADHD take back control their money; ‘the hell were you when I was buying my inflatable Palm tree, He’s been a registered investment advisor for six years, but it wasn't until he got his ADHD awakening and early 2021 that he realized he wanted to work with other people with ADHD. And let me tell you it’s desperately desperately needed. So you're building a financial model. You've built a financial planning model that works for ADHD brains by first testing it on yourself. I think that was the same way the guy who who invented the cure for ulcers? He like drank a bunch of crap to give himself an ulcer and then treated it with what he invented a nd it worked anyway. He's on a mission to help us with ADHD; David welcome to Faster Than Normal man!

Thank you so much for having me on it. Really excited because you know, if you asked me six months ago, if I'd be on your podcast, I'd say, what podcast is that? And, um, and then I read your book and I was like, oh cool, this guy's awesome. And I'm pumped to be here!

I love it. I love it. So what's your background? So, so you, you grew up, you weren't diagnosed where you were, you exhibiting obvious ADHD as a kid or?

I was diagnosed and I was in high school and high school, um, with inattentive ADHD, but I didn't even know what the heck that really meant And no one told me. So when I was diagnosed with it, it all it really led to was, you know, people at school saying, oh, it's ADHD Dave. And so it was something that I didn't want to have. I didn't appreciate it. And I pushed it down. And then I lived the next 16 years of my life kind of like. Pretend and operate in the world Like someone who doesn't have it, which ended up resulting in a lot of pain and struggle and confusion about why I was struggling. And then I read a book Delivered From Distraction, and that was the first book I read. And then I read a couple of others and I read your book. And then basically that was in my awakening happened. I was like, you know, wow. So many things in my life now it makes sense. And that was A very, really huge transformation for me.

It's a bummer to hear that now, because a lot of times we find that people get diagnosed and they get diagnosed, but they're awakening to: “Hey, this actually isn't a bad thing necessarily doesn't come for many years after that. And that's a shame. That's something we really get to work on to change.

Yeah. I mean, doctors, you know, you know, so, right. So you get the diagnosis, then they send you to a psychiatrist, then they give you medicine. And then like, but no one ever says like, okay, You know, relationships will be hard and here's some things you can do to prepare, you know, here's some things to think about, so you're prepared, but like no one told me that. So I just was like, all right, cool.

It's crazy. It really is crazy. And it's so frustrating too, so, okay. So you, you, you will have this awakening about six months ago and you were already a financial adviser. It's interesting. It's a lot of people who have ADHD don't necessarily go into things that require numbers. I mean, I know that that, that numbers in my case are just evil. Right. I try to avoid them with all my heart. Uh, right. You went into, you went into finance.

Yeah, it's weird because I was, you know, math was terrible in math, in high school. I was, uh, I had to get into the college. I went to, I had to do a remedial algebra class to make sure I was capable. Right. And what I, what I thought when I thought about it, I was like, one of the reasons why I think math is so hard for people that have ADHD is because it's so operationally focused that if you miss the first two steps and then you catch up and you're not paying attention for the third step, you've no chance.

A hundred percent, a hundred percent, so, okay. So you go into it, you get through the remedial algebra problem, you go through it and, and you're doing it and everything's happening. And then you have this wake up call what changes?

Yeah, I mean, so six years I've been a financial planner and it wa it's been kind of, it's been kind of difficult only in a sense that I would tell people, you know, my advice to them, but I'd go home and kind of do the opposite. So I, I developed this imposter syndrome and I wasn't finding that I was, you know, earning people's trust and I was like, what is going on? And this was before I realized the ADHD thing. And so now that I got the awakening, um, I realized, okay, so I made financial mistakes, even though I know better, but it's, it's explained somewhat by the ADHD and now I can at least help other people, you know, avoid these mistakes that can lead to some painful outcomes. And, um, and that's really where I am now.

Okay. So tell us, what can we learn? What should we be doing differently? What are we screwing up? Floor's yours.

Sure. So one thing for sure is for people with ADHD, you know, your mind is so cluttered with missing bills and, you know, making sure you have money in your bank account and making sure that you can just get through the next week. So it's hard to even ever sort of stop and think about like, okay, what do I want the next 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 15, 20 years to look like, and, and why is money even important to me? So one of the first things I have people do is just like, ask that question to themselves. Like, why is money important to me? And, and usually the first answer is. I don't know, because you know, it helps me get to work and I can ..

need money to live. Right..

Yeah. And I say, okay, so you know why, so you replaced the answer with, with, with money. So you say, well, okay, why is living important to you? And like, oh, what the heck? What do you mean? Why is living important to me? I mean, living is important because, you know, I want like, okay, well, you know, you want, why you want to, you want to have a better life. They, why is having a better life important you and you keep doing that and people realize that like, okay, you can connect money to like, You know, giving back to the community or having stability or having more freedom, more options, less stress. And so if you at least get the groundwork of understanding, like what's the point of even trying to take control of this thing that's been controlling me for so long. Uh, it helps at least shift sort of the mind set. And I like to have people write down their like statement of financial purpose and put it on their fridge. So they at least walk by and we'll read it once in a while and be reminded.

Yeah. Very cool. So tell us about how do we avoid, I mean, I've heard the rules like, oh, you know, ask yourself if it's going to, where it's going to be in your apartment. And if you can't find a place where do you really want to buy it and things like that. But what else do we need to know about sort of avoiding those impulse purchases? That’s the big thing right? I think that, that we get those ideas because let's face it, you buy something, Google, you click submit, you click buy, or you walk out of the store and it's Dopamine hit, right? And that's what we're looking for.

That's totally what you're looking for. So it's hard. It's hard to sort of get into the practice of, of asking yourself questions. That question you said is a good one. Another question is. What, what value will this provide my life in three years? You know, will this give me any return on value in my life in three years? What else could I do with this money that will provide more value to me in three years? Is it saving or whatever, and, and before you even save money, you have to have a goal. Right? So one, after I asked that first question, why is money important to me? I then say, What in three years in let's imagine it's three years from now, what would have to happen in your life or to be a financial success? Like, what is your life like? And then it's usually like, you know, I'd have no debt and then goals just start pouring out, like, okay. All right. So you'd have no debt, you'd have this or that. And like, okay. So how do we get there? You know, what's blocking you. And a lot of times. Eight out of 10 times with ADHD, it's spending it's impulsive spending. It's no, no control, no awareness of their cashflow or their spending, where the money is going. It just sort of, it just leaves like the money comes in and then just leaves it disappears into this nebulous abyss. And, and that's where you have to really get under control of that. So, um, you're right. So once, but once you have the goal, you say like, rather than saying, well, this provide value to me and say, is this helping me pay off debt? And what's more important to me, this, these new slippers I found on Amazon that claimed to make me have no back pain that are $10 that are definitely not going to work, or having no debt and feeling more free. And so if you just remind yourself to have that and whatever it takes to have a monitor, maybe put a sticky note in your car and you get out of the car the last thing you see is remember the question. I don't know anything like that just to get yourself because all it takes is a five second pause to avoid that decision.

What do you, what do you say though? I mean, we can't go with avoiding. There has to be a payoff. It has to, and I know the pay off obviously is getting out of debt. But how do we, how do you recommend, do you have any tips or tricks to recommend that we, that you recommend that allows us to have a, uh, a moment of enjoyment every once in a while? Like for instance, um, there are, um, you know, when you're dieting, right? It's like, you know, once a week, take out the ice cream, put a two scoops in a bowl and enjoy it right. And put the ice cream away. And he knows what any tips to let us do have a spend every once in a while and not go crazy.

Uh, for sure, because, you know, if I were to ask you Peter, what's the first feeling that you get when I say, when I say, okay, we're going to put you on a budget?

Depressing as hell.

Yeah, It's depressing as hell. So why not call it like, at least for terminology, call it a spending plan because the budget is really, it's not a plan to deprive you. It's a plan. It's a good diet to spend money, but spend money a little bit more deliberately on things that actually are important to you. So. So when you create a spending plan, you know, you just, it's very simple. It's it's what, what do you bring in and what are your fixed expenses and how much are you going to save? And what's leftover now let's divide this between the things that you want. So if that requires a little less, you know, take out, which if you're doing five times a week, you're probably, it's probably more of a habit and not something you're truly enjoying anymore. So why not just do it one time a week so it's more valuable to you. So it's more, you enjoy it more when you get it? And then put the, the rest of that money towards things like maybe it's savings for, for, you know, that thing called retirement that no one with ADHD ever thinks they're going to do, but then ask your, you know, 75 year-old might feel slightly different and, you know, might have a health problem that where you need some money, so you can get by. So. It's kind of like that. So it's, it's allocating the money to what's important, but really first you have to have an awareness of where your money's going and, and at least get to the point where you're not building up like credit card debt every, every month because you just are spending recklessly. So we do want to enjoy, enjoy things, but why not deliberately say, this is what I'm going to enjoy this month. This is how much I'm going to spend on it. I'm looking forward to it, rather than being out of control and things coming to you and then just doing it mindlessly.

Very cool. How can people find you? How can they reach you?

Yeah. So people can find me at www.ADHDMoneyTalk.com I have a podcast there. And, um, and yeah, from there, you can, you can listen to the podcast. You can find me if you want to, you know, talk to me, you know, just that that's the place. ADHDMoneyTalk.com and on the Socials @ADHDMoneyTalk on Twitter  INSTA and “ADHD Money Talk Community” on Facebook

Very cool. You've been listening to Faster Than Normal. David, thank you so much for taking the time guys, David Dewitt, financial planner, for those ADHD, give him a call. Listen to his podcast, it’s worth it. You will learn some stuff. Very, very cool. Really glad we had you on today man, it's, you know, money's one of those things that, that ADHD touches every single part of your life and money is one of those things you don't really think about until you're like, oh shit- now I own an inflatable raft in my living room in Boston. So yeah, needless to say, I've let that go.; it hasn't bothered me or anything in the past 30 years. Anyway, thank you very much, David. I really appreciate you taking the time!

Guys as always, if you liked what you heard reach out and leave us a review, we're always looking for new guests. If you think you might fit, you have a story like David's or something cool you want to talk about shoot me an email. Peter@shankman.com. Let me know, love to have you on we interview incredibly big famous people. We have. The Dean of public health at Boston University coming out in a few weeks, who's going to be talking about how the pandemic affected people who are neuro-diverse. We've had celebrities, we've had Shinedown. We've had, uh, God who have we had. We've had, um, the mayor of Boston. We've had, um, Keith Krach, who was the, who was the founder of DocuSign on the under secretary of business, uh, under the President. We've had tons of cool people, got over 200 episodes in the bank that you can, you can listen and review anytime you want. We keep pumping out as many as we can. Thank you for listening. Leave a review if you'd like. ADHD is a gift, not a curse; I’ll say it one more time thanks to Dave Dewitt, and we will see you guys next week. Stay safe, have fun. We'll talk soon.

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week!

Mar 30, 2022

Adam Coutts has been teaching meditation and mindfulness for twenty years, mostly through weekly sitting groups, eight-week classes, corporate webinars, phone trainings, and one-on-one coaching.  For the past couple years, he has been leading a "Mindfulness Meditation for ADHD/ADD" course in corporate settings and in phone trainings.  He has sat meditation daily for thirty years and lived in monasteries in America and Asia for four years, meditating up to ten hours a day.  He has also been on a journey of discovery about his own ADHD for about a decade now.  Adam considers it an honor and a pleasure to relate to people through meditation teaching. Today we dip our toes into some well-honed methods and about how meditation works with the ADHD mind- enjoy!

In this episode Peter and Adam discuss:  

1:25 - Intro and welcome Adam Coutts!

2:03 - How in the heck does someone meditation 10 hours a day?!

3:38 - An hour in a float tank..

4:15 - What are the tricks? Do you let go and get in the zone? What are the basics?

6:20 - On paying attention to your body ref: Somatic self soothing 

8:33 - Stop telling me to “Relax!!” 

9:38 - Two main wings to meditation..

10:00 - A few other types of meditation to help with agitation(s)

11:53 - We don’t necessarily need to empty our thoughts!

13:03 - “Motivational Deficit Disorder” -Russel Barkley 

13:26 - On building concentration techniques, distraction, focus and thought and benefits

15:05 - On Walking meditation, other ‘easier’ techniques and ADHD/ADD

17:07 - How to know when what’s best for you

18:14 - How can people find more about you and what you’re doing? www.IntroMeditation.com

18:49 - Thank you Adam! Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love the responses and the notes that we get from you; so please continue to do that! Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all; we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you ever need our help I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

19:20 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

 Hey, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal! My name is Peter Shankman. I am glad that you're joining us today. Interesting morning. Interesting. Day-to-day it is, uh, here in New York. This is what's called a third winter. So you have first winter, which lasts a few months, then you have a feaux spring. Then you have second winter, which lasts a couple of weeks. Then you have a fake spring and or full spring. And then you have a third winter, which is what we're in right now, uh, where it's about 22 degrees out where yesterday it was like in the 60’s. So it is very annoying and we're hoping to get into actual spring, which comes next week, that lasts for about two days. And then we're into 90 degrees and humidity Summer, which lasts until September. 

That being said, welcome to another episode. Glad to have you. We are talking to Adam Coutts today. Adam has been teaching meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. It's something that I need desperately, mostly through weaknesses in groups, eight week classes, corporate webinars, phone trainings, things like that, one-on-one coaching. But for the past couple of years, he's been leading a mindfulness meditation for ADHD, ADD course in corporate settings. And in boundaries, he is  daily for 30 years and lived in monasteries in America and Asia. I want that. Meditating up to 10 hours a day, even a journey of discovery about your own ADHD for a decade now. Okay. How the heck does one? I can't meditate. If I set my apple watch to meditate for five minutes after three and a half weeks. I am hyper aware. There's only been three and a half minutes. How in God's name do you do 10 hours a day. And welcome. 

Thank you. I appreciate it. But you were saying earlier, remind me. I live in the San Francisco bay area and our seasons are not the normal north American seasons at all. The hottest part of the year is late, uh, late September. How does one meditate? Um, I think start small. You know, that's the classic advice that, that you hear from ADHD and meditation coaches? I think when I started meditating, I think I started with two minutes a day. The first time I ever meditated was in a Tai Chi class when I was 19. So that's 33 years ago and I felt like I was going to explode. I was just overwhelmed with emotions and memories and swirling visual images and a lot of energy in my body. So when I started my daily practice, I started with about two minutes and then, um, you know, just like weightlifting, you know, you start with with just a little bit beyond your edge and then when you're ready, you, you up it as, as your strength builds. So I also think that feeling of I'm going to explode that comes for a lot of ADHD people. It's actually a good thing. It's actually, um, not something to be avoided. It's actually a big part of the benefit of meditation. I would say one of my teachers used to say, as meditators, we are trying to tolerate the intolerability of being human. I think that's a challenge for everyone, but especially for ADHD people, we're, uh, we're special winners. We get to run up against that one really quickly and really with a lot of strengths usually.

Well, I mean, it's interesting because I mean, I remember my assistant, Meagan got me a, um, uh, for my birthday one year, she got me an hour in a float tank. Okay. It was brutal. I mean, it was, it was brutal. I, I became hyper aware of everything, which is good. I believe everything, you know, I, it was, it was, but it was so I get why people like it, but it was so difficult for me to shut down. It was just so hard, so hard to, to let go. And I think that, that, yeah, when you already HD it's, it's, it's even harder. Right? So, so what do you do? How, what are the tricks of, of letting go of it? Because I know meditation is beneficial. I know I tend to get, I think the closest I get to meditating is on a long bike ride, doing 60 or 70 miles and you just get into his own where you're just, you're just passing the time. But in terms of like sitting at a table, sitting on my bed or sitting like I'm sitting on the floor and trying to do that. It is, it is almost impossible for me, what I'm sure a lot of other people, what do you tell people? Um, you know, again, like you mentioned starting, you know, like lifting weights or whatever, but even just getting into the basics(?)

Yeah. Um, well, I want to, you know, my main teacher who, uh, when he was a child, he ells stories. He had really raging ADHD and, uh, you know, he failed all sorts of classes. And then he eventually became a professor of Physics and sort of a world renowned, uh, meditation teacher. He tells a story of, um, if you had a chunk of metal, and this metal was gold, but you knew it had some impurities in it. Nickel, cadmium, et cetera. And you wanted it to be pure gold. How would you purify it? Could you stare at it and be like, get out nickel and cadmium? It wouldn't work. Well, what you have to do is heat that chunk up till it melts. And then the other impure metals, either float to the top of the bottom. I'm a, not a metallurgist. I don't know. But it's that heating up that allows you to purify it because it brings the impurities right to the, to the top or to, you know, to where you can see them. And he said, meditation is the same thing with our inner agitation. When we slow down, we heat up things can get very kind of like, I feel like there's bugs crawling through my skin. I can't sit here for another moment and that's actually pretty valuable. You heated up the chunk of gold and you can, you can see the impurities right there to scrape them off. I think that, you know, the way meditation helps is you just tolerate it. You're just open to it. You know, there's tons of techniques that I teach. There's tons of techniques out there. You know, if your listeners go, go online or go to some of the phone apps or buy a book, there's tons of a techniques, my favorite technique for 30 years now. And the one that I do pretty much every day is just to feel the body. I do a technique where I notice where my attention is drawn in the body could be a pleasant sensation, could be unpleasant. It could be strong, could be subtle. Just I let my attention float in the body, wherever it wants to go. I hold my attention there for a couple seconds deeply and fully feel that, I say it's like attention flowing into the body sensation like water into a sponge. I say the name inside my head of the part of the body. And then after a couple of seconds, I release and see if it wants to stay in the same spot somewhere else. If I notice that I’m thinking you know, which is almost all the time. I try notice the impact that the thoughts have on my body, or if there's a body sensation, creating the thoughts. A lot of times some way that we feel like uncomfortable or really comfortable creates thoughts. If I feel an emotion, I try and notice where in the body that's happening. If a sound impacts me, I try and feel where in the body that impacted. I often meditate with my eyes open. I recommend for beginners, especially ADHD, beginner's eyes closed, but you know, if I see something that impacts me, I feel that.. my body for me, meditation is often it kind of shouldn't be since there's so many techniques out there. Sort of the meaning it has, for me, it's often just somatic self self-soothing and somatic self soothing for an ADHD people, person is so crucial in so many contexts, like the social anxiety that comes up. Like I didn't get all my to-do list stuff done. I, in fact, I screwed around all yesterday afternoon. I'm a big failure. And now I have to social areas around people and I feel like a fraud. And I feel like I got to go home and get stuff done. I don't know. That's been a big part of my ADHD. And just as I drive to the meeting with people just feeling where the tension is, my body and giving it space, um, you know, being friendly with it, loving it, just seeing it, just witnessing it, letting it dance it’s dance, and then it releases itself. And again, somatic self soothing when really emotional, when really wound up for any reason, somatic self soothing. To me, that's the number one benefit of meditation as an ADHD person. And then there's tons of other techniques that have their value as well. 

It's interesting. Everyone tells. The ADHD person to relax, to calm down. Yeah. I think that, that, that, you know, ‘sit down and quit disrupting the class’ was our, it was our mantra in school. And I guess when you hear that all the time, it's usually said to you in a negative. Yeah. So, so as such, you probably do. I know, I think about it. When you think of meditation, when you, it, it translates in the ADHD brain into forced relaxation, gunpoint, relaxation. And if someone is holding a gun at you and telling you to relax, it’s probably the last thing you want to do. Right. And, but that's how we grew up. That's what we dealt with in school, with our parents, with every, Dude, relax, calm down. There's that joke that, you know, telling women to calm down has it never has the effect of getting anyone to calm down. But at the same thing when you're telling me to relax. It's just going to make me hyper focus with the fact that I’m not. Yeah. 

Yeah. Well, you know, the way I was trained to kind of traditional mindfulness meditation, there's two main wings to meditation. There's focusing your mind and kind of like empty, you know, the traditional emptying your thoughts and, you know, getting into a state of Zen where you're really, someone could walk into the room and you wouldn't even notice cause your attention so focused on the grass or something like that. That's one part of meditation. The other is be one with everything. Life just is, as it is. And you just open to it and fully experienced life. However, it is now the way I was trained, as it goes sequentially, you learn how to concentrate them. And then you use that concentrated mind to experience things just the way they are. So, uh, I do think it's valuable to try to chill out the mind on the breath- is sort of the classic technique- the way I was trained, at least, or walking back and forth with, um, really deeply feeling the souls of your feet. That's another thing to concentrate on, you know, I've, I've heard some people on, on, uh, mindfulness teachers on ADHD podcast recommend walking meditation for ADHD people. Cause it's less going at hard right angles that against digitation like sitting still is it's more, um, you know, working with the agitation by walking. So learning how to focus the mind. I think there's a value there. And I think if a person really does that for long enough, the body calms down the mind calms down. But I, I think, um, I think it's important to have patience with that process. It can take years. I mean, I've meditated what, over 10,000 hours of my life. And still sometimes it's just really hard for me to concentrate. My mind, I had when living in monastery has gotten to a point of just really crystalline and clarity where my mind is very tranquil, but that doesn't last forever. Right? It's like being an athlete, you work out a whole lot. You get in shape. And then you don't work out as much, you know, you're not in as great shape. So that focus hasn't lasted my whole life, but I've developed that tool. And then I've used that tool to just let my body, my mind, all of who I am, just be the way it is and experience it. So that's a really different kind of meditation and the way I was trained, that's seen as the highest form of meditation. So if you have an agitated, mine, just have an agitated mind. Just notice it the way it is. It's perfect. It's just something to be aware of. If your body is about to explode, you know, and you're trying to formally meditate as long as you can keep the tush to the cush and like, just let the body feel how it feels. It doesn't have to feel any different. So, um, you know, I think thinking that we have to calm down and empty our thoughts and all of that, it’s like, that's one goal in meditation. There's certain techniques that aim for that. And I think it's a useful thing to work towards without ever expecting we'll get there, you know, perfectly. But I also think there's a lot of kinds of meditation that just let all the craziness just be the craziness and just enjoy the circus. And, um, yeah. So I think really interesting. 

That's a really interesting way to think about it is the premise that you're going to be. You know, you're going to have your moment. You're going to have your issues. Just go with them. Yeah. As opposed to, um, I guess as opposed to the uselessness of say fighting the ocean. Yeah, yeah.

Yeah. Well, I appreciate your, uh, your, you know, It's one of those things like, wow, okay.. this is more than just an interview that actually makes a lot of sense, but again, you don't, we're not trained to think that way growing up with ADHD. Right. We're trained to think that if we can't relax that we’ve failed. 

Yeah, well, you know, like, uh, like, uh, Russell Barkley says ADHD is, is an awful name for it. You know, the better name is motivational deficit disorder, attention deficit and hyperactivity are the things that bug adults about ADHD kids. They're not the main experience of being an ADHD person, um, that ADHD adult are experienced from the inside. So yeah, hyperactivity is what pucks, uh, you know, teachers and parents about, uh, about. Definitely.

You know, getting back to what I was saying. I think even that first kind of meditation concentrating the mind, um, you know, I lead that technique. I lead meditation on the breath or other, uh, concentration techniques regularly. And what I tell people is if you did this 10 hours a day in a monastery, you know, which is something a person builds up to like being an Olympic athlete, but if you did, you might get your mind really calm, but you as a corporate employee or just someone, you know, off the streets coming to my sitting group or whatever, you will have a ton of thoughts. You will have a ton of distractions. You will not have continuity of awareness of the breath. Probably unless you catch a good wave today or, you know, you're just in a good mood, right. And noticing the mind going off to obsessive thinking or a strong emotion or an itch in the body, or, you know, the conversation happening outside the door. It's not an error. It's part of the value of the meditation. You learn a lot about. You know, how fast is my mind today? What actually is happening in my emotions, you know? And, and that bringing the mind back to the breath, bringing the mind back again and again, and you know, it can be frustrating. It can be like lifting weights or playing piano, scales, simple, repetitive work, but it's building a strength. It's building that strength of concentration that, you know, builds over time. So I think there's a, that experience of like, um, yeah, my mind isn't calm, but I'm trying to focus it. You know, even in that first kind of meditation where the goal is calm there so much value in the non-com there's so much learning. There's so much to work with. There's so much. Uh, goodness. Um, and I think it's very important to, uh, emphasize that to people that are beginning meditation. I also, if I may, I want to say something about the walking meditation.

You know, I've listened to some other teachers on various ADHD podcasts and they often recommend what I would say is making the meditation easier for ADHD people. And I think that’s great. I think, you know, anything that gets you to start the practice I'm in favor of- being a big meditation proponent. But I also think for, you know, some people even say an ADHD person should never meditate. It's just going to have them feel like they're going to explode. So don't even do it. Um, which obviously as a meditation teacher and, uh, and uh, someone that's made meditation a huge part of my life. I’m not in favor of that, that recommendation. I think meditation is great. To me, telling an ADHD person not to meditate is like telling a sickly person, well, working out will be hard for you so don't do that. A sickly person is going to get all the more value from physical vitality than, you know, a normally healthy person, it's all the more important for them to do it, even if it's harder. So there are ways to make meditation easier and there's ways to make it harder. Easier:  Sit for shorter periods. Harder: sit for longer periods until you feel like you're going to explode. Easier: uh, do walking meditation, most techniques you can do seated upright, you can do walking. Harder: Um, sit still, um, Easier: do a technique where you just opened the however you are busy mind. Great. Just notice the busy mind. Harder: do more of a concentration technique where, what you're really trying to do is, um, focus the mind set on the breath. Now, I think there's a great value in going on to, you know, uh,.. Harder: sit by yourself where it's just your own willpower. Harder: I mean, Easier: sit with a group where the groups sort of vibe supports you. Harder: Sit by yourself and silence and guide yourself. Easier: Get a phone app, you know, with that voice pops into your ear every 90 seconds, come back to the breath, be aware of your thoughts, just let things be, um, you know, be friendly with whatever you're aware of, notice the details of what you're aware of and really experience the richness. So I think there's value for ADHD people to know when to go on the easier side of that spectrum, back off, sit for shorter walk, do phone app, and when to really challenge yourself and say, this is going to be hard, but I'm going to heat up the chunk of metal to strip the impurities off and sit for longer. Sit in silence, sit still rather than walking, you know, sit by yourself. Um, I don't think we should always avoid going through the harder side of that. I think though it's helpful to know when we're ready for it and when we want a challenge and when we want a good workout and you know, what's just beyond our comfort level, not way beyond our comfort level, you know, a beginner weightlifters should not try and bench press 500 pounds, you'll just rip your muscles or trust your sternum or something just three or four pounds beyond what you're comfortable with. That's your growth edge. And so I think knowing when to ramp. Speed up, you know, uh, turn up the heat, um, and make a little bit more progress. That's that's the wisdom of learning how to meditate and have a person's own meditation practice. 

Awesome. I love it. This has been a phenomenal interview. Thank you so much Adam! 

My pleasure. I appreciate you having me on! 

How can people find you if they want to learn more?

My website is www.IntroMeditation.com There's a pop-up that invites you to sign up for my email list, where I announce courses and classes and groups. Uh, I hope it's okay for me to say I have a regular, um, group Tuesday night, 7:00 PM, California time. I also in 5 months probably am going to have in August of 2022, going to have a weekend ADHD for an meditation course. 

Thank you so much and I may take a look at that. Thank you, Adam! Guys, you're listening to Faster Than Normal. We had Adam Coutts today talking about meditation for the ADHD mind, which I found really, really far more fascinating than I thought I'd actually find it. That was pretty cool. Um, as always, we love to hear from you. If you want to leave us a review, you can do that at any of the sites like iTunes or Google play or Stitcher or wherever. Uh, I think even Alexa, you can do it on there. Cancel. Got it. Thank you so much for listening. We'll be back with another episode next week and. Have a good one. And remember, ADHD is a gift, not a curse.

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week!

Feb 9, 2022

Stefan Hottel is a fellow ADHD-er from lighthouse point, Florida, and currently lives in Memphis, Tennessee. He was homeschooled for most of his childhood until attending the University of Memphis, where he studied biology & chemistry with aspirations of becoming a dentist. Stefan was part of the Emerging Leaders scholarship program, played for the hockey team, held leadership positions in numerous student organizations, multi-semester Dean's Lists awardee, and was involved in research throughout college. Since graduating undergrad, Stefan has co-authored five Academic research articles, started a Master's in neurobiology, and was accepted to Lincoln Memorial University College of Dental Medicine's class of 2026. After dental school, he hopes to continue his education in a pediatric residency with the ultimate goal of having a practice centered around treating special-needs patients. Today we ask how the switch from home school affected him, how he’s using his ADHD, and what keeps him successful in his studies, enjoy!

In this episode Peter and Stefan Hottel discuss:  

2:07 - Intro and welcome Stefan!

3:01 - When, where and how were you diagnosed?

4:54 - How was education & your studies when you weren’t being home schooled any more?

6:23 - What changes have you made since you’ve been diagnosed with ADHD?

7:42 - What is the most difficult thing about your ADHD; what drives you bonkers?

8:54 - Where do you do your best studying; what works best for you? Ref:  BrainFM episode!

9:50 - What do you do for fun, how do you recharge your brain?

10:54 - What do you wish everybody knew about ADHD that they definitely don’t?

12:05 - What advice would you give to someone who’s just getting diagnosed?

13:33 - How can people find more about you and what you’re doing? @dastefster on Twitter  INSTA  TikTok and Stefan Hottel on LinkedIN (linkedin.com/in/shottel)

13:48 - Thank you Stefan! Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love the responses and the notes that we get from you; so please continue to do that! Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all; we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you ever need our help I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

14:17 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

 Hey, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal! My name is Peter Shankman. I am your host as I have been for, oh my God. I don't even know how long, like six years, I think five years. I'm like, I don't know. It's been a long time. That noise here in the background is Waffle the dog drinking. He hasn't made any noise all day. The second I get on this podcast, literally the second hit record is the moment he thinks let’s get a drink, idiot dog. All right, but I love him. 

Welcome to Faster Than Normal. Welcome to Stefan Hottle. He is a fellow ADHD or who will be talking today. He is from Florida living in Memphis, Tennessee. He was homeschooled until he attended the university of Memphis, where he studied bio and chemistry, two things I would never, ever, ever studied with aspirations of becoming a dentist. He's the third dentist we've had on the podcast. I have no idea why dentistry and teeth are so damn popular with people in ADHD. It's a very strange, we're going to find that out. Um, he was part of an emerging leader scholarship program. He played for the hockey team, held leadership positions, multi semester Dean's list award. Obviously very humble as well. And it was about the research throughout college. He's researched he's coauthored five academic research articles started a master's in neurobiology. Are you kidding me. He was accepted to Lincoln Memorial University College of Dental Medicine’s, class of 2026. And after dental school, he hopes to continue his education in a pediatric residency with the ultimate goal of being a practice centered around treating special needs patients. Welcome Stefan, nice to chat. 

Thank you happy to be here. 

So it's obvious that you're, you know, uh, definitely an underachiever haven't done much with your life. Um, when were you diagnosed? Tell us what that was like. 

I was actually, uh, I guess comparatively speaking, I was diagnosed pretty late in life, uh, at the age of 21 right before, uh, right after college actually, which is kind of weird. Um, but I think there's a good reason for that, which I've put a lot of thought into and a lot of that has to do with me being homeschooled. So I've heard you talk about it in the podcast a lot. Um, you know, you were just sit down and be quiet syndrome when you were in school, you know, and, uh, I never had to deal with that, so ADHD didn't really affect me when I was growing up. I mean, when I had long reading assignments. Uh, my mom would sit in the living room as I would literally pace back and forth, like building a Lego and she would read me my stuff, you know? And so I never, it never really affected me growing up because it didn't, my mom kind of catered my education around. And so we never really had to take me anywhere or get me diagnosed. And then college kind of. College is kind of easy for me, sort of, um, I also had a friend who he benefited from studying with someone else and he would fire, um, our tech, uh, questions that we made together based on the, you know, the, whatever the test is on and he would sit down and he would fire questions at me. And I would do the, kind of the same thing. I would like be doing something else. And as long as I was moving or whatever, I retained more. And so I just got kinda lucky, but then when I got accepted to dental school the first time, which we'll get into later, um, I was like, okay, the only problem I ever had in undergrad was I was always the last person to leave the test every single time. And sometimes I was the person like, okay, put your pencils down. And I had just to just like submit it because I was a slow test taker. And I was like, well, I think at dental school would be worthwhile for me to try to get extended test time. So that's when I went to psychologists and got a, and got tested and got diagnosed with ADHD. So that was after a undergrad. 

So what do you think that that being homeschool? So you mentioned homeschool obviously affected, you know, your case benefited you, but hit the real world type thing. Was it sort of a massive wake up call? Was it like a, oh crap. I'm in trouble type thing? 

Um, you mean socially speaking?

 in, in any, in any capacity, I mean, you went from basically having your mom who could work with you to now, you had to be, especially, you know, hitting dental school, whatever, you know, now you had to sort of follow the rules for lack of a better word.

Yeah. I mean, um, kind of, I think. I also, um, because I duo enrolled my senior year of, um, when we moved to Memphis from Florida was at the beginning of my 11th or the middle of my 11th grade. Um, which was tough, obviously, uh, for my dad's job. And then senior year of high school for me, I had the choice of either being homeschooled and dual enrolled in my classes or being the new kid senior year at the local high school. And I was like, nah, I don't want to do that. And so I took all of my classes for senior year at college. So my mom didn't teach me anything. And so I, dual enrolled, got those credits and started my actual undergrad ahead of the ahead of the curve. And during that time I had a light schedule, of course. Um, I think I took like 12 credit hours a semester. Um, so I kinda like was, it was an ease into it. And so I think it kind of helped me kind of the transfer from kind of a catered, uh, educational setup to kind of like the real world is what you're saying. So it wasn't too bad of a transition. I just knew dental school was going to be harder. 

Right. Interesting. So what, what changes have you made now that you've been diagnosed with ADHD? 

Oh, uh, I, I allow a lot more time to prepare because I know that like, if I have, like, let's say a week ahead of me, uh, or so many hours ahead of me to study for an exam, especially a dental school exam, I'm going to allow a lot more time and kind of like space and kind of schedule my time. I never really scheduled my time before. And of course, like everyone else's age or like most people with ADHD, I was a last minute procrastinator. I mean, I was, I was banging out the night before pulling all nighters as an undergrad, but you can't do that in dental school that does not work. Um, and so I I've been more, I've been scheduling my time more. Um, and, uh, and just taking more time ahead of it, because I know that like, Uh, six hours in a day after classes to study before it gets too late to, you know, it for it to be feasible. I'm not going to study for that entire six hours. That's not realistic for me. I'm going to study for like, you know, maybe 40 minutes and then I'm going to, you know, be distracted and take a break and get on TikTok or something and then come back to it. And so I know that I need more time, um, to do things then a lot of people do. And so I've come to know that. And so I will plan ahead of time. 

What do you find sort of most difficult about your ADHD? What, what drives you insane? 

Um, kind of that, uh, hyper-focused, which is amazing, but for me, and I'm sure other people will be able to relate, um, can also be a negative as far as school is concerned because growing up, I was interested in so many things. I mean, I, uh, got my dad to get me my first car that didn't run. It was a 1970 Torino. I researched basically on YouTube, how to fix a bunch of things I was into, I I'm, uh, uh, uh, trained Luther, which is an instrument builder. I can build electric guitars. I mean, I did so much stuff in high school cause I just had so many interests that like, it's so easy for me to get focused and get lost on something that's not the pertinent task at hand. And sometimes I'll just like a notification will pop up and I'll get lost for like an hour. And then I'm like, wow, I should've been studying for that hour. And I was like, researching like how to do whatever. And so that's like the most frustrating things for me is like, I can hyper focus, but it's not always on thing. I need to be focused on. 

Where do you find yourself, um, doing your best studying? So are you, are you, can you do it in your room? Do you have to go out what's you know what works best for you? 

Uh, definitely not in my room. Um, that's the worst study place for me because there's just so many distractions. I have my guitar and I have my Xbox, I have this and that. I don't, I don't do. I try to go somewhere. I typically like the library is good for me because coffee shops I've tried, but there's just too much going on. People coming in and out and just kind of loud and everything. I try to stick to the library. I'll pick like the most secluded part in the corner of the top floor or something like that and put my headphones on. I use a program called Brain FM. We’ve had the CEO on the podcast several times. Yeah. I've listened to that episode. Yeah. I love BrainFM, it’s a game changer for me. Um, I basically can't study without it anymore. Um, so I used that and put my headphones on and go to town as long as there's not a lot of movement distractions, that's where I do my best work. 

Very cool. Um, tell us about what is it like to have, uh, at your, at your age and with everything you're doing, what is it like? Do you have a social life? Do you, do you, what do you do for fun? What do you do to sort of recharge your brain when you're not studying children’s teeth?

Um, I, uh, I like to, at this point, um, I like to play guitar a lot on my free time, so I'll just, cause I've been doing that my whole life, well, since I was like 11, um, that's a big, it's a big hobby for me. Sometimes I'll play video games with friends. Uh, I'll go out every now and then it just kind of depends. Cause like a lot of times on the weekend, um, I have a test to be studying for and stuff like that so I know for me, like if I go out. Um, with friends on the weekend and I have a test on Monday or Tuesday and I'm like, oh, I'll just go out and, you know, I'll just study before study after it's probably not going to happen. So I try to keep myself from getting into that cycle. But, um, yeah, when I can, I I'll go out with friends, but I typically my hobbies, I just like play guitar and I'll play some video games sometimes with friends, but it just kind of depends on what's going on. 

Cool. What do you wish people knew about ADHD that you find that they don’t. What, sorry you find, they don't know. What do you wish people knew about ADHD? 

I wish. I wish that even still, I know it's gotten a lot better than when you were a kid. Um, but just the, the negative stigma that still surrounds it, um, that it's over-diagnosed which, you know, that's arguable or whatever, and that it's easy to get a diagnosis and easy to get medication. And it's basically even like, when I first got diagnosed, my best friend, kind of , after that, he was kind of like, that's not real. And I was like, I don't know, dude, but like, I wish that people had a better understanding of that. Like, it is a thing and it does, it's not like the end all be all, but I mean, it's real and it does affect people's lives and you have to cater how you approach situations, uh, because of it. And I just wish that it wasn't kind of like still sort of like, aha, everyone has ADHD. 

Yeah, no question about it. Very, very cool. You know, it's interesting. It's a fascinating world that we're in and the more people I interview, the more I realized that ADHD, it's not one size fits all. Everything is different.   What last, last question? What piece of advice would you give to someone in your situation who's just getting diagnosed? 

Oh, I would, um, honestly the biggest piece of advice I could give the, I learned a lot, um, is regarding, uh, medications. So if you choose to get medicated, uh, I think that in my opinion, you should try it with your doctor's recommendations. Go through that process. Try it. If it doesn't work for you. Fantastic. If it does. Um, the biggest, honestly, the biggest thing that's helped me is when I, of course I, when I was diagnosed, he recommended medication and I was like, okay, I'll try it. And, um, at first kind of like how I mentioned earlier, I would, uh, you know, take the medication and then I would get locked in on something that wasn't studying and get lost for like an hour and like super focused on something that was just, wasn't what I needed to be doing and just lose a lot of time. And the biggest thing that's helped me regarding that is to start the task that you want to be doing, before or at right when you take your medication; so when it kicks in, you don't get lost into something else you're actually doing the task and that's what you're going to be focused on because that's changed the game for me, I've been..my productivity has gone way up. If I just like sit myself down with my studies, um, material in front of me, don't look at anything else and then go for it because I've just wasted a lot of time being focused on other things that I shouldn't at that time be focused on. 

That makes a lot of sense. Very, very cool. Really, really appreciate that. That was actually a great answer. Stefan, how can people find you?

Uh, yeah, so, um, most of my socials is:

[13:33 - How can people find more about you and what you’re doing? @dastefster on Twitter  INSTA  TikTok and Stefan Hottel on LinkedIN (linkedin.com/in/shottel)

Awesome. Very cool. Thank you so much for taking the time. We really do appreciate it. Guys as always Faster Than Normal we want to, we want to hear from you, so send us a note one day, let us know.. a bunch of you responded and said you want to be on the podcast which is how we're getting so many great interviews lately. My producer is thrilled because he doesn’t have to keep bothering me to do more interviews. That's awesome. So send us more and we would love to hear from them and hear from you and hear what you have to say! We will see you next week. Keep that ADHD working for you. It is a gift, not a curse. We'll talk to you soon.

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week!

Feb 2, 2022

In her own words: I am a wife, mother to one amazing daughter, and a fully trained human to a Chihuahua. I am a certified special education teacher and have been a special educator for 30 years. I now work as a special education consultant, Master IEP Coach® and am a member of the Master IEP Coach® Network. I've worked in the United States and England. During my career I developed my own behavior modification system that worked with all my students, which equates to hundreds of students. I am the author of “Those Who ‘Can’t…’ Teach”, a video podcast host of #nolimits and “Friday with Fran”. I am making the world better for all, one IEP at a time. Today we ask her about IEP’s, the behavior modification system she’s developed, what led her to educating and consulting, and her experience thus far. Enjoy!

In this episode Peter and Shelley Kenow discuss:  

2:10 - Intro and welcome Shelley!

3:30 - What called you to work in Special Education?

7:09 - What are the basics, what is the overview of the behavior modification system you’ve implemented?

8:12 - On the different ways to ‘listen’ for behaviors 

11:18 - On the concept of what ‘other’ people find appropriate; who makes those ‘rules’?

13:00 - Learning how everyone has their own uniquely wonderful lens  

13:44 - How are things for the neurodivergent in Europe/What was your experience like?

16:37- How can people find more about you and what you’re doing? www.shelleykenow.com  on LinkedIN  YouTube  @shelleykenowiep on INSTA @ShelleyKenowIEPconsultant on Facebook and via email: shelley@shelleykenow.com

17:22 - Thank you Shelley! Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love the responses and the notes that we get from you; so please continue to do that! Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all; we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you ever need our help I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

17:53 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT:

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

 Hey, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal. Today's an interesting day. It is the day before I leave for Paris. Um, another international trip coming up, which is normally not that big of a deal, but I am dealing with the joy of COVID testing in multiple cities, in multiple places. So I am currently talking to you, uh, with a stick up my nose. I'm about to put it into a little home test and see what kind of results we get. So that being said, who are we talking to here? We're visiting with Shelley Kenow. And I hope I pronounced that right. She’s an education consultant. Today's concept is going to be all about education. We're going to talk about ADD ADHD and education. Shelley is a wife, a mother to an amazing daughter, and a fully trained human to a Chihuahua. I love that. She's a certified special ed teacher. She's been a special educator for over 30 years, working as a special education consultant now, and a master IEP coach. She's worked in both in the US and England and during her career, she's developed her own behavior modification system that works with hundreds of students. She's the author of  “Those Who ‘Can’t…’ Teach”  and she does video podcasting and makes the world better for all one IEP at a time. Welcome! How are you doing?

Thank you, Peter. I'm doing well. And I'm sorry to hear that you have a stick up your nose. 

Well, it's no longer there now it's in a little device and I'm going to wait 15 minutes and see to get again. For whatever reason I don't have COVID, you know, I gotta tell ya. I two and a half years almost. I was, I was in China when, when Wuhan, I was a thousand miles south when the virus was discovered. And, uh, I was, I went back to Asia three times before they, before. Uh, a thing and I was all over the world. I was in a Peloton class with 60 journalists from around the world, uh, in studio, um, the morning that everything was shut down in New York city. So the fact that I didn't never got it is just a lottery, but it's pretty crazy, but I hope that was a safe as well. Tell us what got you into special ed that's that's a, yeah, that's not something you do for the money. So you must have really loved, loved what you do and still love what you do. Tell us about your background and your history and, and sort of how that started. 

Yeah, no, certainly didn't get into it for the money and didn't get out of it because of the money. Um, I, when I was nine years old, I knew I wanted to be a teacher, but I wanted to teach students in the general education population and wanted nothing to do with special education students, because I didn't think that I was capable or that I had the right stuff, whatever that is, uh, in order to, to really be a good educator for those who had disabilities, um, throughout my, from the time I was nine, until I decided, yes, I'm going into special education, which was around the age of 25, I had that thought of, oh, you should teach special education. And I thought, Nope, Nope. That's not the path I'm supposed to take. That's not what I'm going to do. Um, I didn't have anyone in my family that had any disabilities. I didn't have friends that had any. And so I really didn't have any experience with anybody and your audience. Can't tell probably by my voice and you can't see me, but I'm 51 years old. So this was, you know, I was growing up in the time when the law was just coming into practice and things were just starting to change as far as kids with special education needs. And yet I never saw anybody with special education needs. Um, it wasn't until I was, um, Much older that I realized there had been a classroom down the hall from me when I was in third grade. That's where the special education kids were. We didn't see them, they didn't have lunch with us. Um, you know, the, the whole idea of inclusion at that time was non-existent right. And so I just really had no idea. Well, then the Lord put me in jobs where I was working with kids who had different needs. And I didn't realize that they were the ones who were considered special education, because I didn't know they had an IEP or an individualized educational program if somebody doesn't know what that is and, um, and I absolutely fell in love. And the thing that really shifted for me was a position that I had when we lived in England and I worked with kindergartners who had IEP’s and two of them had major behavioral issues that, um, we were able to address and help them. And I saw such a significant change from the beginning of the school year to once we, um, put a behavior intervention plan in place and were able to help these little guys, that was it. That was the final thing for me, where I just said, I've got to do this. This is absolutely what I love and I'm passionate about. And then for the next. I don't even know how many years, um, started working with special education, finished up my degree to be able to do that, then had my own classroom develop this behavior modification system where it really is something that applies at every age. Um, but because I was teacher, I used it with my students. I might've used it on my husband, but don't tell him I said that. Um, hehe, and I, I just absolutely every student that I worked with, it worked, it worked in varying degrees. It works with kiddos in individual settings, in small group settings, and in large group settings, it was used at one of the school districts where I worked with whole class General education students. And it was parts of it, not all of it, but it was able to, to, uh, show progresses in there as well. 

So talk, talk a little bit about it. So, you know, for an ADHD and sort of, sort of ADD perspective, what are the, what are the basics, give us the overview.

So the idea, the first main point of it is having a relationship with the student. Now that doesn't mean that you take them out for ice cream or that you, you know, do anything outside or, or even anything big. It's just a matter of letting the person know that you really do care about them. You really do want what's best for them. And having that understanding goes a long way and how much trust the person will give you in order for you to be able to walk alongside them and help them figure out, okay, why are you having this behavior? What is this behavior communicating? All behaviors are communication. So what are you trying to communicate? And when you're talking about younger children, especially, they don't often know what their bodies are trying to communicate. Um, and. Or what their behaviors are trying to communicate. It often comes out through body, um, behaviors, you know, they're, they're fidgety there.. and it could be that their body just needs movement, that could truly be what they're trying to communicate. Instead of saying, look, you know, you need to sit still or you need to sit in a desk or you need to, um, stop paying attention to everything and only focus on the teacher, understanding that some of those things are just how their body is built is what we need to know, and we need to get the person to know that about themselves as well. So walking, alongside, figuring out what the behaviors are, trying to communicate, adapting what we are doing as the person walking alongside and helping the person, um, who's exhibiting the behaviors, possibly find what they need in order to be able to safely and appropriately exhibit whatever behaviors that they have, um, you know, for somebody who has maybe ADHD, that they need a lot of movement, maybe it's getting them some sort of resistance bands on their desks or that they can hold, or, um, if it's something that, uh, you know, as far as being able to focus, um, giving them some sort of a fidget or, um, some sort of other sensory input that will maybe give them what they're looking for. I'm not a huge proponent.. I don't, I don't automatically go to medicine, but medicine is also something that can help and, you know, so just trying to figure out all of those nuances of, okay, there's a person, and usually we don't pay attention to behaviors that we want; we only pay attention to the unwanted behaviors. So figuring out how somebody can express what they need to say in a way that society ‘approves’ and that is ‘socially acceptable’ and safe..and that's really the biggest one, um, for that person. And then when they have that time, when they do misbehave, rules are there. We have to have rules. And one of the other things that I say is you have to be consistent, with exceptions. So what I mean by that is when a rule is broken, the rule is broken; there has to be a consequence. However, that consequence doesn't have to be the same thing every single time. and it doesn't have to be the same consequence for every single person it's having that relationship and knowing like, okay, why did this child misbehave again, going back to the behaviors or communication, what is going on? That you know, is this something that they really had control over? Did they not get enough sleep? Is there trouble at home? Do they not understand the material that we're covering? Um, what is it that is controlling that behavior and then determining like, okay, look, yes, you broke the rule. Yes, you need to have a consequence, but maybe instead of jumping all the way to the most severe consequence, we just give you a mild one this time, but you have to have a consequence because you did disobeyed the rules.

Brings up an interesting question, you know, the concept of, um, you, you mentioned doing things that other people find appropriate. Right? Right. Um, you know, w w who's who's drawing those rules, who's making those rules for what is and what isn't appropriate, you know, God knows. I am not. Uh, when you think about me, you don't necessarily think appropriate, uh, all the time, right. So, you know, what, what defines those rules as appropriate. And, and, and, uh, I guess, I guess I asked that question because I've always thought the concept of telling a kid you're not appropriate in a lot of ways, because I mean, not all the time, but sometimes can equate to you're different than everyone else, right? And you have to find that difference between being inappropriate by society standards and then just being different, which is not necessarily a bad thing. 

  Absolutely. No, absolutely. Like you talk about, you know, it’s ‘a superpower. Um, especially ADD and ADHD, that is a major super power. People who have that, you can multitask. And that's a thing that I can't do, um, to be perfectly honest, but who determines if it's appropriate or not? That's kind of why I use the word wanted and unwanted because a classroom teacher determines what behaviors they can tolerate and what behaviors they can't and what behaviors they want and what behaviors they don't want. Parents, we do the same thing and every person who is applying that ‘appropriate or wanted’ views things differently. And so that's the other thing is like, okay, you know, kind of getting the, the broad overview of quote unquote, socially acceptable norms, as far as behavior goes, But also being able to embrace exactly what you said. Like I’m, me and I am a wonderful person the way I am. And if some person has a problem with my, my behaviors, then that's as much on them, because their behavior is communicating something also. So learning, you know, that, hey, everybody's gonna look at you with a little bit different lens; that doesn't change who you are in your wonderfulness, that's on them and how they're dealing with their own wonderfulness, and how those two things interact with each other. 

No question about very, very cool. So this has been implemented in school districts. Is that what, how, when did you live in Europe and, and what's the, is there a different mindset, um, over there in terms of kids who are different? Um, I know that in Asia, it's, it's huge. It's a huge difference compared to America. What's it like in Europe? 

When we lived in England, it was in the middle nineties. My husband was military at the time. And so we lived on a military base. Uh, it just so happened that prior to us moving onto the base, we lived, um, on the economy as they call it. And there was a school basically in our backyard. So I volunteered at that school and they do have at that time. And I don't know if it's still that way today. They had a very different approach as to, it was much more individualized in the Gen Ed setting. Um, people were working on the same subjects, but they were working maybe on slightly different levels within those subjects. So they might all be learning the same concept, but as far as how much practice they did or the exact level of that concept, um, which is very different than the United States classrooms that I've been in because we are all, well, here we go. We have 25 people in here. We're all getting the same lesson. We're all getting the same assignment. We're all getting the same test, and you all have to just deal with it. Um, so at, at that time, And again, I can't speak to it today, but it did seem much more individualized, much more, um, what we have here in the states that I have seen that is kind of like this are Montessori schools, where they really work with the child's abilities and interests and let them kind of move at their own pace, but not exactly. 

I was a Montessori kid until Junior High, so I get it.

And so the other thing that I found really appealing about the schools that I volunteered in there were that they were year round schools. So you had more breaks, built in to the system, they still attended the same number of days per school year, or maybe, you know, maybe five or six different, but, uh, one way or the other, but the fact that they had those breaks so that the students could absorb what they had learned, give their brains that break and then.. they retained the information so much better because of that. And that's actually more where the science goes as far as having learning opportunities is you need the little breaks. You need to have stuff repeated and taught different ways. Multiple times. We don't do that here in the states. We like to just say, okay, here you go, here's the new skill. All right. That's on Monday on Friday. We're going to test. Okay. Next Monday, we're doing a different skill. All right, for.. and just lather rinse repeat. And that isn't necessarily well, it isn’t, period, the best way to do it, according to Science. 

No, that makes sense. That makes a lot of sense. Actually tell us about, um, tell us like last question really, is how can people find more about you and about what you're doing and where can they look you up and where can they learn more about it?

[www.shelleykenow.com  on LinkedIN  YouTube  @shelleykenowiep on INSTA @ShelleyKenowIEPconsultant on Facebook and via email: shelley@shelleykenow.com]

so they, I feel like I'm everywhere, Peter. Um, I'm on LinkedIn. I'm on Facebook. I'm on YouTube. I'm on Instagram. I have a website which is Shelleykenow.com and, um, that's S H E L L E Y K E N O w.com. Um, Parents teachers admins trying to help everyone. As you said at the beginning, make the world better for all one IEP. By helping everyone really collaborate and understand the student and writing an appropriate, and not what the law says is appropriate, which is why I use that word, um, IEP for each individual student. 

Great interview. Great stuff. Very, very interesting. I learned a lot today. Thank you Shelley, for taking the time. I appreciate it. Absolutely. Peter, thank you for having me!

Guys you’re listening to Faster Than Normal. I’m not going to say, you know what I'm going to say, but if you're looking, if we're always looking for new guests, if you know anyone who might be a guest or you want to be one yourself, like is just shoot me an email, Peter@shankman.com. We would love to have you, uh, ADHD is a gift. We all know that I'm going to go use that gift, and I think I'm going to go do a couple of hundred laps, that'll help. So have a wonderful day! Everyone, thank you for listening. We will see you next week with a brand new interview. Stay tuned. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Guys. You've listened to Faster Than Normal. If you like what you heard, drop us a review. If you have a guest, uh, Emma came to us by a suggestion so that it does work! So if you have a suggestion, pick anyone you want to. Let us know, and we will get them.. we will work our butts off to get them on the podcast. Um, you can find me at shankman.com and @petershankman on all the socials. Our producer is Steven Byrom, he does an amazing job, give him a shout. [thanks Peter! I’m for hire! @stevenbyrom on Twitter and also via www.byroMMusic.com We will see you next week with a brand new interview. Thank you for listening. And remember that any form of neuro-diversity is different. Different is good. It is a gift. It is not a curse. We will see you next week. Thanks for listening.

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week!

Jan 26, 2022

Emma Broyles is from Anchorage, Alaska, and currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona to continue her studies in biomedical sciences and vocal performance at Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University. Having dermatillomania and acne herself along with a strong passion for helping others, she chose to study biomedical sciences as a preliminary degree to medical school with the goal of becoming a dermatologist. Not only is Emma the 100th Anniversary Miss America, she represents the Korean American community as the first Korean-American to earn the job of Miss America. Emma has earned over $110,000 in scholarships as a local candidate, Miss Alaska's Outstanding Teen, Miss Alaska, and Miss America to further her educational goals. In addition to her social impact initiative, Building Community through Special Olympics, Emma also speaks of having ADHD, which she calls her "super power." Today we ask how her neurodiversity has helped her career, why it is that girls and women are not as often diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and how she stays on time and on track! We are lucky and grateful to visit with this impressive young woman. Enjoy!

In this episode Peter and Miss America Emma Broyles discuss:  

2:10 - Intro and welcome Emma Broyles!!

2:58 - You were public about being ADHD/ADD when you were competing! That’s amazing! What’s your backstory, when were you diagnosed, tell us everything?! 

3:27 - On how women typically go undiagnosed and how her story is still not unusual

7:45 - Ref interview: The One with the ADHD PhD, Featuring Rachel Cotton 

8:38 - Why do you think it’s a less often diagnosis in women or girls? 

10:21 - On challenging the stereotype of “No way, you’re not ADD or ADHD!?”

10:48 - Do you think that ADHD/ADD played a formidable role in your competition and successes and if so, how beneficial or negative?

14:10 - How has your experience been in AZ as opposed to NYC, or growing up in Alaska?

15:38 - How did your scheduling go growing up? How did you keep school and extra-curricular going?

17:40 - Tell us about what your favorite sort of tricks or hacks are that make your life work as well as it does with ADD?  Ref: Time Blindness Check out our interview w/ Rene Brooks 

19:32- How can people find more about you? @EmmaBroyles_ at INSTA and the Miss America is @MissAmerica on INSTA YouTube FB and Twitter or via the website and via email: Appearances@MissAmerica.org 

20:35 - Thank you Emma! Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love the responses and the notes that we get from you; so please continue to do that! Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all; we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you ever need our help I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

21:28 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

 Hey, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal. My name is Peter Shankman. I am thrilled that you're here. It is a grey gross, disgusting Monday morning here. Actually. No, now it's Monday afternoon here in New York city. Uh, it was snowing all night and then turned into rain around 4:00 AM. Just around the time. You're like, oh, they're gonna cancel. No, they're not now. It's just rainy and gross. So either. We have someone here who's going to brighten up our day and say, oh, and the flowers and sunshine, and very excited for that. Introducing Emma Broyles, Emma is miss America, 2022. And you know, you say, oh, it was America And that's usually like a euphemism for something, but no, she's really miss America. She was miss Alaska and now she's miss America. And, and she won. And that is the coolest thing ever. And I have a miss America on my podcast, which I think is awesome. The last miss America I met was I think in 2015 at a conference. I was the keynote speaker and she spoke right after me. And I remember meeting her right before she went on stage and she said, well, thanks. Now, now they're now they're hysterical and they think I'm going to be funny. I'm not funny. And that, that was not cool. And I'm like, I'm really sorry that you have to do that. 

So Emma welcome to Faster Than Normal. I'm gonna try not to be funny. 

Thank you so much for having me. 

It's great to have you here. So, uh, Emma, you are ADHD, which, and you were public about that. When you were on stage and when you were competing. So, I mean, that's amazing in itself. It's, it's amazing that we're at the point where we're talking about that and we're talking about it on a national stage and that's, you know, that's been the whole purpose of Faster Than Normal from the very beginning. And I as she had mentioned, she said she was familiar with my podcast before we talked. So that just makes me sooo happy. But, um, so tell us, tell us about your background. Tell us about your, your history. Um, growing up as a kid, when were you diagnosed the whole, the whole thing. 

Yeah. You know, so this was kind of something that I talked about on stage during my onstage question was the fact that women tend to go undiagnosed with ADD or ADHD. And that was the case for me. I, you know, I grew up kind of as somewhat of a quiet kid, right. I would sit in the back of a class and. Oh, I, I, everything that I would be, um, you know, I'd be pinching myself, trying to get myself to focus. Right. But no matter what, I would sit through a lecture, I would sit through a class and then by the end of it, I would realize I have no idea what this professor or teacher just said to me, everything just goes in one ear and out the other, and it was so frustrating because then I would go at home attempting to do the homework at night. Right. And my peers would finish it during lunch. They'd finish it during the class period. And I'd sit there having to reteach the entire unit to myself. And so it took me about three times the amount of time that it took for any other student to finish my homework to 

like in, in, in like primary school, high school, things like that? 

Yeah, exactly. And it was so frustrating and I didn't really realize why I honestly, I thought that maybe I was just slow. I thought maybe I was just not as smart as the kids around me. And so it was something that was a big insecurity for me. And so I kind of did my best to overcompensate. So I had these long, so every morning I would plan out my morning before school, I'd say, okay, 6:55. I wake up by seven o'clock I'm in the bathroom, brushing my teeth by 7:10, you know? So it was down to the minute. That's why nobody would have known that I had ADD, right. I was the president of national honor society. I graduated with honors. I then went into, um, uh, bear at the honors college at ASU and nobody would have ever guessed, right. Like I, I had this busy life and it seemed like I was doing great, but it was all before. Um, the time that I had to put in behind the scenes just to be at the same level as my peers. And then finally, when COVID hit, COVID hit when I was a sophomore in college. Um, and I just remember being in my dorm, trying to do online learning, and it was so hard for me and my, my grades were just tanking and that was the first for me. I had usually been pretty much a straight A student with a B here or there, but all of a sudden I was flunking all of my tests. And I remember talking to some of my friends who also have ADD and they were telling me about one of my best friends actually, she got diagnosed during our freshman year of college and she was telling me about her symptoms and about what her medication did for her. And I was listening, sitting there, listening to her. Oh, my gosh, like that sounds exactly like me. So I go online. I did some research about ADD, ADHD in women and how it typically goes undiagnosed. And I went ahead and I scheduled an appointment, um, with a doctor here in Arizona and I ended up getting diagnosed and we tried some different variations of dosage for medication and all of a sudden it was like the blinds had been taken off of my eyes and it was so funny cause everything just flipped around for me. And that, that next semester I got straight A's I think I got all close to a hundred percent in all of my classes for the first time ever taking, you know, 21 credits and working two jobs. And all of a sudden it was like what the heck, this whole time, I could have just been taking medication and sailing through life. So it was, it was great in a way, in the way, in the sense that it, um, it made. Feel really hopeful for the future, because I was really nervous about medical school. I was like, oh my gosh. You know, if I'm already putting in this much effort for my undergraduate degree, how am I going to last in medical school? But at the same time, it was really frustrating to think that I didn't realize, and that I didn't go and get diagnosed in high school or in middle school..Uh, I don't know, you know, I don't know what it was like for you, but, um, I'm sure a lot of people listening can kind of resonate with the story that it's so frustrating thinking about how much time you spent being frustrated with yourself and frustrated with your abilities feeling like you weren't good enough. Um, but yeah, that's kinda my story. 

I mean, you know, imagine doing that in the seventies, eighties, when ADHD wasn't a thing. 

Yeah, I can't imagine.

 It was just the sit down, you’re disrupting the class disease, um, it's funny. Your story has a lot of similarities to someone we had on the podcast very early on, um, a PhD now, a, a doctor and she got her PhD. Uh, during the time she was on a podcast called re uh, named Rachel Cotton [[The One with the ADHD PhD, Featuring Rachel Cotton]] and she got her PhD in neuroscience, uh, epidemiology. Basically she's the one, uh, who, uh, everyone on Facebook thinks they know more than about COVID. Um, but she's actually a, actually a doctor in this and she was saying very similar things to you, but, you know, she, she was, uh, uh, made the Dean's list at Notre Dame and, and, and went to Harvard for her PhD and all this. And yet she was mainlining like caffeine pills and, and, you know, sleeping like four hours a night and all the stuff, because she didn't, um, she also wasn't diagnosed. And as soon as she got diagnosed, everything. Right. So, so there's definitely, um, why do you think it is a lesser diagnosis in women? Do you think it's that it's that women or girls at that point when they're younger are not getting diagnosed because they're not, they're not able to articulate what's going on or is it just that it's not thought of as something that could affect women as well?

Yeah. You know, I think that I've read a lot of articles about this, and it's really interesting how hyperactivity and a lot of women who have ADD hyperactivity is just now part of the diagnosis. Right? And so when you're in a classroom, right, when a teacher would spot a little boy running laps around the class, she said, something's wrong with this boy? You know, he can't focus. He's tapping his pen, he's distracting his other classmates. Like this is an issue, not just for him, but for the other classmates. So he needs to go get diagnosed. He needs to see a doctor, but for girls, it's more of this kind of, and this was the same thing. Same thing for me is that it's kind of like the day dreamer kind of a thing where, you know, You're looking right at the teacher and it looks like you're, um, you're totally focused, you're totally zoned in, but there's a whole nother world going on in that brain. And I think that's typically why it goes undiagnosed is because nobody would know except for that person, and typically, especially cause we don't talk about ADD or ADHD that often. And so girls don't know what it is. They don't know that there's something wrong with them, they just think that, oh, maybe I'm just. Smart. I dunno. I dunno. Maybe, maybe I'm just really lazy, you know, and I think that's one of the main reasons why girls tend to go undiagnosed, but, um, yeah, it's difficult. It's difficult because everyone that I talked to after I got diagnosed, they would say no way. And it just frustrating, you know, to have people doubt you and doubt your diagnosis saying no way you don't have ADHD, you don't have ADHD. I don't believe it. You're always, you know, you're so smart. You always do really well. School, like, how could you have add? And it's like, come on guys. Really, really? 

I remember a girlfriend of mine once I said, I said, yeah, you know, she said: Oh well just focus more!” Oh, screw me, that's all it is!? Sorry! No, no medication, no nothing, you’re right, here we go. All right, I'll do it! Tell me about, so you've been performing and, and I guess, uh, acting and pageants and all that for obviously for years. Um, it's not something you just wake up one day and say, okay, I'm going to go compete miss American's afternoon. So obviously it's something you've been doing for years. Um, do you think that ADHD played a role in, or ADD played a role in that at all? And if so, how beneficial or negative or.. 

Yeah. So, you know, I really, the hyper activity or not the hyper activity, the, um, the ability of somebody who has add or ADHD to kind of hyper-focus on something is such an incredible, it's such an incredible tool, imo. Um, I, I honestly think that it's why I got so into music at such a young age is because it was something that I felt like I understood, whereas school, sometimes I felt like I didn't know what was going on, but in my music lessons, I had no problem focusing because it was something that I just absolutely loved and adored. Um, and so it was like every single one of my senses was just completely tuned in to what I was doing and what I was singing. Um, you know, paying attention to the breath support and the lyrics, and you know, everything. So I think that being able to hyper-focus on something is absolutely what I call a super power I think; in so many different ways. And now that I'm in college, especially now that I'm studying things that I actually am interested in. I especially liked my psychology courses, but, um, you know, I would sit there and read my psychology textbook for hours on end and just be completely indulged because it's just be completely indulged because when you find something that you're passionate about. Your brain, just zeros in on that thing. And, um, it's, it's just, it's crazy. I think it's a crazy superpower that people with ADHD have. And I think that, especially with music, um, singing in a lot of people don't have this ability to be singing in a choir, right. Because you have to tune out all the other voices that are going on around you, but when you kind of hyper-focused on your own voice and your own part, it's so easy to just block out the rest of the things that are going on there rest of the instruments that are playing that people were singing. Um, so I think that it's especially interesting seeing all the people who have add or ADHD in me.

It's funny, you mentioned that, I mean, I went to high school for performing arts, the Fame school, and I have 22 years classical vocal training under my belt. Wow. I come from an opera, jazz and showtunes background. So I, people never talk about that. But, um, I mean, I was performing Gilbert and Sullivan, uh in high school and what you're saying, I mean, I was captain Cochran at HMS Pinafore, and that was the only thing I focused on for three months until the show. And then every day after, because that was literally all I saw, um, at the expense of every other class I was taking. But you know, it, it, it becomes that when we love it, we don't need to worry about what's distracting us because we're not focused on it when we love it. Our brains are producing enough serotonin, adrenaline, and dopamine to allow us to focus. It's the things we don't love when our body doesn't produce enough of so we're constantly looking around for something to get us back into focus. So that speaks well, that speaks volumes. And was it, was it different? I don't, I don't know much about Alaska is one of the two states in, in my world. I have not visited Alaska and South Dakota are the two states that are not Alaska and North Dakota the two states had yet to visit, um, was it was growing up in, I mean, you know, this was growing up in Alaska and going to high school and I was, cause at school has a different world than what say someone would experience. I mean, I'm, I'm assuming you grew up in a city part of it, you know, but is it, is it still different comparatives, like a New York or an LA or something like that? What are you finding now that you're in Arizona and things like that? 

Ooh, you know, honestly the biggest difference, which this doesn't really mean anything is. 'cause when we would go to school in Alaska, right? The sun doesn't come up till 10:30 AM. So you'd go to school and it would be pitch black. And then you sit through your first three periods of the day and it'd be pitch black. And then finally the sun would come up and then by the time you're out of school, if you go to practice, you know, I'd go to swim practice, and then I'd come out and then it'd be dark again. And then I'd go home and it's pitch black. But I noticed it was a lot easier. I feel like it's a lot easier to focus when you go to school. And because I go to school in Arizona now it's nice and bright and sunny. I feel like it just. Allows you to focus a little more and puts you in a better mood. Yeah. Yeah. But in terms of the education system, I would, I'll ask. I have a pretty great education system. I haven't really noticed any big differences between Alaska versus any other school, any other states in their schools, but, um, um, I would say that going to school when it's sunny out makes it easier. 

It was funny. I was in Iceland last month and you know, we landed, our flight landed at 5:00 AM. Uh, it's a red eye and you get there and you're okay. And you know, you're in town by like 7:30 in the morning. It's pitch black, nothing. Right. And you know, you're walking around. You're like, oh, there will be light soon, but actually no it won’t, it's like three hours from now! So that happens. It was definitely a wake up call. Um, tell me about some of your extracurricular activities. So, you know swim team and things like that. Um, were you able to, how was your scheduling growing up and like as a young adult, were you able to schedule you know, waking up at 6:55 and being in the bathroom, I suddenly am. And it was, it, was it difficult to, to schedule things and to keep to those schedules when you were doing like extracurricular versus school versus out of school, everything like that?

Yeah. You know, I think another big part ADD, and ADHD is um, when you've got homework, right or when you've got a project, when you've got something to do, it's so hard to sit down and get yourself to do it. Right. So I would come home after swim practice and it would be like 4:30, right. Then I'd go eat dinner by the time it's like 5:30 and sometimes I would have, you know, volunteering or I dunno, Musical practice or voice lessons. And there were some late nights and then I would sit there with my homework and I wouldn't start some nights until like midnight or 1:00 AM. And I was like, great. I need to get up at 6:55 tomorrow morning, but here we are. And. You know, it was, it was, so it was so difficult, but I did notice that, you know, once I got medicated, all of a sudden it was that much easier to start a project, to start my homework, to start the things that I had been dreading but, um, I think kind of the biggest struggle with my schedule was actually getting myself to sit down and do the things that I needed to do. Most times I would sit down, get the pencil in my hand, have the homework in front of me, and then I'd be like alright, let; s go on my phone  okay, Yeah, I think that was my biggest roadblock in terms of, um, being productive and getting things done on time. But, you know, I also had this just like huge fear of being late or turning in assignments on time. So I did, I would always pull it off at the last minute. I always did it, but, um, But it's just so hard to get started. 

Couple of more questions that I want to be respectful of your time. Um, tell us about what your favorite sort of tricks or hacks are, um, that make your life work as well as it does with ADD?

Yeah. So one of the main things that I obviously had already told you was, um, scheduling out my mornings to a T, especially if I have an event, or I know that I have to do my hair and makeup. I've got to get the crown on and I've thought Uber there, I've got to drive there. Um, even down to like, okay, actually I have to allot time for myself. Cause right. Sometimes I'll get up in the more I’ll sit in my bed for 10 minutes before I get out. So I got to give myself those 10 minutes and my schedule, and then I got to get out and give myself 5 minutes for brushing my teeth. Cause I don't remember how long it takes to do this and that and go get the toothpaste. but, um, another one of the big things that people, you know, I'm sure you, you know, the, with ADD and ADHD is this idea of time blindness and that's one of the worst things for me. And so something that I'll do in the mornings, especially if I wake up a little bit late is also. Like a 5 minute timer on my phone that'll go off every 5 minutes just so I can keep track of myself. And I always wear a watch because if I don't wear a watch, 4 hours could pass and I'll make it two seconds. Right. But I'm always checking my watch. I'm always keeping an eye on the time. And, um, I'm always setting, setting short little alarms that go off every five minutes or every 10 minutes an hour usually if I'm spending the whole day studying. Just to kind of check in with myself and say, okay, here's the time. Here's how much longer I have, but that's probably one of the biggest things that has helped me, and I still do that every single morning. 

Really, really smart. Really.. that's a really good idea about the alarms every 5 minutes, just to sort of keep you in the zone because it's very true. I mean, and especially with what I love, my favorite, my favorite time in the world is knowing that I have nothing to do for the day and okay. I can just sit. No, I don't have this and that. I can sit and read a book. I can sit down. I don't have to worry about this or that. It doesn't matter. Um, tell us how people can find you, what are your social handles, if any, and how can people follow you and, and, and learn more about you?

So your schedules where you're going to be upcoming and all that. [[SEE ABOVE]]

Yeah. So people, my personal Instagram is Emma Broyles, Emma bro, Y L E S underscore, and then the miss America, Instagram, which is where all of my events and all of my, um, All of my appearances go are, that's going to be at miss America and then on the miss America, Instagram, and this is also the same for Facebook. You just can search with America, um, and Twitter, but, and there's a link in the bio of the miss America, Instagram, and I think there's somewhere on there where you can email info@missamerica.org. If you ever have a request for an appeal. And interview or what have you. Um, and then all types of information is in that, that bio as well. So I think my personal bio was there in the, on the website. Um, but yeah. Yeah. That's how you can find me on social media. 

I cannot thank you enough for taking the time out of what I'm sure is a crazy schedule. Uh, even though it's Arizona, it's a gorgeous day there. I hope you're enjoying it. Emmy Broyles Thank you so much for making the time to come on Faster Than Normal; I know it’s gonna be a phenomenal interview when it goes live. We really appreciate it.

Thank you so much for having me. This is really, really great. All right. Stick around for a second. Guys. You've listened to Faster Than Normal. If you like what you heard, drop us a review. If you have a guest, uh, Emma came to us by a suggestion so that it does work! So if you have a suggestion, pick anyone you want to. Let us know, and we will get them.. we will work our butts off to get them on the podcast. Um, you can find me at shankman.com and @petershankman on all the socials. Our producer is Steven Byrom, he does an amazing job, give him a shout. [thanks Peter! I’m for hire! @stevenbyrom on Twitter and also via www.byroMMusic.com We will see you next week with a brand new interview. Thank you for listening. And remember that any form of neuro-diversity is different. Different is good. It is a gift. It is not a curse. We will see you next week. Thanks for listening.

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week!

Jan 19, 2022

Today I’m here to remind you that you’re not alone, that we are all going through this together, that you need to go easier on yourself, and that we WILL get through this pandemic & related crap -Enjoy!

As always, we are here for you and we love the responses and the notes that we get from you; so please continue to do that! Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all; we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you ever need our help I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

 

TRAANSCRIPT

Hey guys, Peter, Shankman the host of Faster Than Normal.

I want to talk to you guys just sort of heart to heart about what we've been going through for the past couple of years and what it's meant. Not only to the neurodivergent like ourselves, but to everyone, you know, because this is Faster Than Normal, really focusing on sort of us and what we're dealing with. Y’know.. I, and this isn't scripted. I'm literally making this up as I, as I talk. Um, these are just thoughts coming from my head so I apologize if they seem a little rambling, uh, or at least more, more, more rambly than my normal self. But you know, when the world shut down in, in, I guess, March of 2020, no one really knew how long it was gonna go.

 

People like us, you know, we're, we're used to adapting. Uh, the thing about ADHD is, and, and neurodiversity is that we're used to adapting, but we adapt with the concept that as we adapt things, at some point I can go back to some sort of normal that we can do. You know, and over the past now three calendar years, right, almost, almost two full years since this started, the concept of adaptation has pretty much been how we've had to live our lives, which is fine, except there's been no normalcy in that, going back to it. Right. In other words, okay. I'm not gonna be able to travel for awhile because the coronavirus, but that should end soon and I'll be back on a plane and so we look forward to that, right. Or, you know, oh, I'm not able to, to go to I'm better. I'm better at learning in school. I'm terrible at learning and homeschooling, but you know, it won't be that long remote schooling should be over by whenever. And it’s not ..and I guess I just wanted to talk for a few minutes about, uh, or talk to people like myself who are dealing with everything we're dealing with with COVID and this sort of new environment and this crazy world. And on top of which we're dealing with the fact that we're still neurodiverse and what works for other people or other people's ability to adapt, isn't like our ability to adapt and sometimes. We can't and sometimes we have to stop and look and say, oh my God, where are we? And how did we get here? And I need some hope to know that it's going to get better.

 

I can tell you that these two years have been really tough for me. Um, and for everyone, but you know, for me, and I can't really tell that to many people. Right. Because, you know, you say, oh yeah, it's usually like, oh, you know, what are you complaining about? You have an apartment and you're still, you're still making money and you have. Well, just because I'm not destitute or I'm not as in as bad shape as others. And I'm very thankful I'm not, but that doesn't make what I'm doing through any less than what other people are going through or, or it doesn't invalidate what we're going through. And I think that's the first thing we need to talk about is the fact that, that your problems, what you're going through are entirely different than what other people are going through. And they're both valid problems. And if you're sad and if you're upset about those problems, those are valid reactions just because you might not be homeless on the street or have lost your whole family to COVID doesn't mean that what you're going through isn’t valid and doesn't meant that it doesn’t need to be addressed and you need to take ownership of the fact that you're sad or that you're upset or that you're dealing with whatever it is you're dealing with.

 

For me, what COVID has brought into my world. Is the inability to travel for me, travel was where everything happened. Travel was where I did all my writing, travel is where I got my books, written travel is where I, I came up with new ideas and implemented them travel was my safe space. Being on an airplane, allowed me to do 24 hours of work in a three hour flight, and that went away and I didn't have that ability. I haven't had the ability. Last year, I traveled 39,000 miles on an airplane. The year prior to that, I took, I traveled 24 the year prior to that in 2019, I traveled 274,000 miles. So. To have that taken away almost immediately was a very hard wake up call and we kept assuming it would come back and it didn't, and again, we're still assuming it will. Right. And it has to, but we don't know when, and it gets very scary, not knowing when an after a while our ability to say, oh, everything's going to be okay. Starts to fade. And we don't necessarily have that ability anymore. We don't have that ability to say, oh, everything's going to be fine. Don't worry just a little while longer because we have no idea how long little while is going to be.

 

I bring that up because I want you to understand that it is okay to not be at your best during this time. I'm not, I am the furthest, but I'm not gonna say the furthest from my best, but I am certainly not anywhere near what my best currently is. And I know that I know where I am right now is not where my best is. And, and, and that doesn't mean I've given up. It doesn't mean that I'm not sure I can come back from it. It just means that right now, things suck, I am pretty sure that I am skating very, very close to some form of depression. I've talked to my therapist about this. Uh, I have no doubt that I, and many of us are skating very close if not full in to some sort of depressive episode right now, because there is no telling when this is going to end. I guess that's what I want to bring up more than anything else is that it's okay. It sucks, but it's okay to feel this way and understanding that it's okay to feel this way is the first step, I guess, towards being able to process it. And being able to recover from it. 

 

I look outside right now, I'm in my apartment. I gave up my office about a year ago, cause I wasn't going there anymore. I look outside and they see the streets are still emptier than they were two years ago. And then I look across, I looked the other way into Midtown Manhattan and, and, and the buildings were just empty. Right. I walked down the street and the stores are closed they are shut. New York city. I would say it's a ghost town, but it's a very scary place right now. It is not the difference between two years ago now is palpable and they talk, oh, you know, the apartments are coming back and the. You know, if you're working from home all day and don't leave your apartment in New York city, you pay your, you pay your rent or you pay a mortgage for what's outside of your department. And if you can't go enjoy any of that, what's the point. For the first time in my life, I started thinking about maybe moving out of the city. Um, obviously can't do it anytime soon. I have a daughter who's I split who splits her time between her mom and myself and, and, you know, can't just leave. Um, but I've been thinking about it. You know, maybe open space is what we need. Maybe, maybe some place with more sunshine or warmer weather. I mean, it's, it rained all night. It snowed all night and then turned to rain, now it's just a slushy gross gray day outside. And that that's certainly not helping things, but, you know, look, I know things are gonna get better. There's no question that things are, but it does suck right now. And, and I just want my listeners who I'm still so thankful with me, to know that that it's going to get better. I don't know when. I still have a hint of optimism that things are going to improve. I do. Um, I'm, I'm vaccinated, I'm boosted my daughter's vaccinated. You know, I hope that things are going to improve, but we don't know when, and we don't know when things gonna get back to any semblance of normal and what normal is. And I just, you know, I it's like I've been in situations like when I've been depressed, whatever before, and I'm like, you know what, screw it I'm booking a trip and I'm going to Asia. And the next day I'll just book a flight and go to Asia. You know what? I can't go to Asia now because it’s closed. Right. Or, you know, I couldn't even, because I have to take a PCR test and let's take 48 hours, whatever the case. I mean, it's, it's, there's always, it just seems like there's always something preventing us from being able to make it okay and, and that sucks and, and it sucks for everyone and it's not just you and it's not just me. 

 

And you look at Instagram, you look all these people sort of living their best lives, that there. And guess what they're offering. Right there. No one's living their best life. I don't care what they say. Right. There's an image I saw of a LinkedIn, this dock somewhere warm and tropical that dock. And it's a video of someone running to the dock and living carefree and just beautiful photo. And then another video zooms out there that this woman is running and there were 400 people online behind her to do the same thing.

 It's all bullshit. It's all bullshit. So I guess I pointed this sort of little mini Faster Than Normal episode. To let you guys know that it's okay to not be okay and we're going to get through it. I don't know when or how, but I do know that we're going to, and the best thing we can rely on right now is other people, as our friends, is people like us Neuro-diverse like us, people who we trust, who go through this with us. And so if any of you are dealing with that, I encourage you to reach out to me. I'm always happy to answer an email. You know, a tweet or whatever. Um, but yeah, it sucks right now and, and all we can hope is that day by day, it gets better.

 

So I just want you to know that I'm still here and I'll still keep doing this for as long as I can, and I hope it's gonna improve. And you guys are in my hearts. I'm thinking about you all. And yeah, I know it's a, an a non-normal Faster Than Normal episode, but I thought it was important to say that that. It does suck. And we all know that and it feels like sometimes it feels like our passion for all this is just non-existent. And even sometimes even just getting out of bed in the morning is the hardest fight we're going to have all day. And, but we do it and we're going to keep doing it and we'll, we'll make it somehow. You know, it's okay. If getting out of bed is literally the only thing you did that something, right. I there've been days where, okay. I got to work out today and I don't, and I feel like shit for not doing it, but you know what? I got out of bed and they made the bed and I got dressed into the shower and whatever and sometimes that's enough.

 

Go easy on yourself because. This is, I hate this term, but this is unprecedented and there are no books, there are no rules to teach us how to deal with the amount of bullshit that we have had to deal with over the past two years, there are no rules,

so go easy on yourselves. And, uh, I'm here if you need me. And we'll figure out a way to get the other side of this. I love you guys. Thank you for listening. And like I said, I know it's not a normal FTN episode, but we'll be back next week with a normal one. 

 

Next week. We actually have miss America on the, on the podcast so that's going to be an amazing interview. So I'll talk to you guys soon. Thanks for listening.

 

As always, we are here for you and we love the responses and the notes that we get from you; so please continue to do that! Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all; we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you ever need our help I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

Jan 12, 2022

Today we learn how his daughter’s ADHD diagnosis led to a better understanding of his own superpower, and how his ADHD has been serving him for many, many years. His bio is below. Enjoy!

In this episode Peter and Bill Hamlen discuss:  

2:14 - Intro and welcome Bill Hamlen!

4:45- So, how were you able to hyper-focus with all that financial responsibility?

6:56- Stock trading and related chaos.. those are places where the faster brain really thrives?

7:23- Was there something about the pits that gave you a sense of Zen, or sort of a quiet hum?

8:50- So then how did you train yourself to come up for air and get out of hyperfocus?

9:56- Tell me about how ADHD affects your personal life and the different tools you use to keep that part of you solid too?

12:11- Ref: Delivered from Distraction Peter’s interview with Dr. Ned Hallowell

13:47- ADHD and addiction are very close to each other. Did you have a similar situation?

16:32- What do you wish you'd known back then that you know now about your ADHD and about sort of the way you've lived?

18:50- How can people find more about your reach out to you if they have any questions or if they want to share, if you're willing to give us some info on how to get to you? Mr. William Hamlen on LinkedIN

19:19 - Thank you Bill! Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love the responses and the notes that we get from you; so please continue to do that! Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all; we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you ever need our help I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

19:46 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

Bill Hamlen was born in Schenectady, NY and raised in Bernardsville, NJ where he attended Bernards High School.  After graduating from Dartmouth College in 1984, Bill joined Drexel Burnham’s commodity division.  While at Drexel, Bill worked in various areas including the international order desk as well as many different “pits” including all of the metals, softs, and oil pits.  He eventually landed a permanent position on the oil desk that included a year in Singapore where petroleum derivatives were just developing. After leaving Drexel in 1990, Bill worked at Rafferty Associates and United Energy brokering various energy derivatives.  In 2001, Bill joined Westport Petroleum, Inc. in their Singapore and London offices where he started a clean product trading desk specializing in the international arbitrage of jet fuel, gasoil, various grades of gasoline, and alkylates.  In 2005 he moved over to Westport’s heavy fuel oil desk in Singapore and specialized in the international arbitrage of heavy crudes and fuel oil.  In 2007, Bill joined Vitol Singapore’s heavy fuel oil desk and worked there until his retirement in 2015.  While at Westport and later Vitol, he sourced heavy streams in the USGC, Mexico, Venezuelan, Ecuador, Colombia, Russian, Bulgaria, The Middle East, Iraq, India, Australia, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesian, Thailand, and Malaysia among others.  He also supplied blended fuel to ships in Singapore as well as power plants throughout Asia and the Middle East including India, Pakistan, East Africa, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China, and Vietnam as well as many other smaller destinations.  He also managed the complex hedging activities necessitated by all of these physical movements.  After leaving Vitol, Bill and his wife began a second career as real estate investors via their privately held Leeward Holdings with properties on Nantucket and in Hanover, NH. Bill was married in 1996 and has two daughters and the family currently lives in Hanover, NH.  Among other achievements, he is an Eagle Scout, a PADI certified diver, and completed a NOLS course as a teenager.  He has extensive open water sailing experience having participated on multiple voyages in the Caribbean and Pacific.  He is also the Chair of Planned Giving for the Class of ’84 at Dartmouth, the VP for the Association of Planned Giving Chairs at Dartmouth, and has served many other volunteer roles at the College. Even his abridged bio is incredible!! 

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TRANSCRIPT: 

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

Hey everyone! My name is Peter Shankman. You are listening to Faster Than Normal. We have taken a hiatus. This is our first episode back in about a month and a half. It was a good holiday season. It was fun COVID times now. And, but we're back it's it's early January. Daughter's homeschooling again. And we are thrilled to be back with all new episodes. We have some incredible episodes that we've already recorded coming down the pike. You're going to be very, very happy with what you hear in the new year. So I hope you guys are safe and well and vaccinated. And I want to introduce Bill. 

So Bill reached out to me after his daughter was diagnosed with ADHD in 2016 and he was based in Singapore and sure enough, I happened to be in Singapore right around that time for keynote. We weren't able to get together, but we did stay in touch and I found Bill's backstory and bio very, very fascinating. So I want to share it with you guys. Bill was born in Schenectady, New York and raised in New Jersey. He attended high school and Dartmouth. He joined a company in 84 called Drexel Burnham. I don't know if you, for those who are young and don't remember Drexel Burnham, Drexel Burnham was, um, one of the old school financial firms-the, I think the joke around that, around early nineties when things started to go south was that if Merrill Lynch and Drexel Burnham merge, would we call the company Lynch and Burnham. But I remember Drexel from the day and he worked in various and Bill worked in various areas there, including the international order desk, as well as many of the different pits, including all the metals softs and oil pits, and if you watched Wall Street And you see how crazy they get when they're trying to sell a stock or buys or whatever. Imagine that. 400 times the speed. He wound up eventually in the oil desk, he wound up in Singapore. He's got a bunch of stuff. He since reinvented his life, he started a second career along with his wife as real estate investors, um, in Nantucket and it Hanover New Hampshire, but keep in mind, he's ADHD. Because of that, obviously he couldn't just do one thing. He's an Eagle scout. He's a PATO certified diver. He's completed a NOLS course. He has extensive open water sailing experiences. He's competed multiple voyages in the Caribbean and Pacific. He's also chair of planned giving to the class of 84 Dartmouth, the VP of association, giving care to Dartmouth in addition to many other volunteer roles. Bill welcome. And you sound as crazy as I am. So it's great to have you. 

Thank you, Peter. It's funny. My wife jokes that I over-schedule myself. And I always say, well, I just schedule to my maximum ability, and then you come to me with extra things to do and that's when I get over tasked. 

Exactly. And I'm sure that goes very well. I'm sure that goes over very well when, when you explained to her that. One of the things that I find fascinating; you work the trading desks, right. And I mean, you started, uh, you know, after you left Drexel, you, you, you joined Westport Petroleum and then the second point trading in London offices, you started a clean product trading desk there, especially as in the international arbitrage of jet fuel gas, oil barrier, spades, gasoline, and alkalines basically, you were doing stuff where if you fell off.. we're talking millions or billions of dollars wiped off the balance sheet in half a second. So what I'd love to know, and I'm just gonna dive right into this. How were you able to, I mean, I know hyper-focus is a thing for people like us, but that would scare the living crap out of me. How were you able to hyper-focus that well?

Um, it's funny. I would almost put it in the, oh, I w I would reverse that, that when I first got into commodities, everything suddenly made sense. It was like a, the Rubik's cube pieces fell into place. The what, what to some people looks like total chaos to me was order. And the sitting on a desk with a bunch of phones ringing South Paulo, Brazil would call Hong Kong would call and you have to place orders and all the various pits. It was easy to me. In fact, that was fun. It was like a big game. So I always feel like I never worked a day in my life. All I did was basically play games. The games happened to be commodities and, but it was making order out of chaos. That just seemed. Um, soothing in a way. And so what from the outside looked stressful to me seemed like fun, like a big game, really. And then going down to the floor, the, you know, I was kind of in a commodity training program. So I worked in every pit learned about every, you know, orange juice, cotton. Someone was out, you'd have to go over there, then go to the gold pit. And you know, all that chaos was, it was just a big game. Uh, to me at least, or it seemed like a big game and the game was to make as much money as possible. Um, at that point though, it was just clerking. I wasn't trading and, um, it, you know, but I basically found my home and I, and I think in fact, if you go to a lot of, you know, wall street companies or commodity companies, and you look at the trading desk, you'll see a bunch of guys with ADHD. Uh, a couple of sociopaths, maybe a psychopath and a, and a bunch of engineers kind of keeping it all together, but there's a huge concentration of people with ADHD in commodities. And, um, it's, it's not a given, but you, you could see them. It's just clear as daylight. 

So it's one of those places where the faster brain really thrives?

Oh, absolutely. In fact, it's funny a couple of years ago, um, I have a, uh, former colleague, he went to Duke really, really played lacrosse there. Um, and I was joking. I asked him about ADHD and he looked at me like, I'm an idiot. Like, of course I am, I mean, that, that's how accepted and common it was. Um, yeah. And so there's a lot of people that, that seem to gravitate, um, to that type of chaos and that, and find it, find harmony there. 

I'm curious as to, how do I phrase this? When, when I get into a zone, when I'm doing something that I truly love, let's say I'm on a plane to Asia and I'm writing, I'm writing a book or something like that. I get into a zone and I just sort of have. I guess the best way to put it is this quiet hum in my head, that is my call it my hyper-focus hum. Right? And it just, no matter what chaos is happening, no matter whether there's turbulence or whether the flight attendants come over with food or whatever, the case may be, two people are fighting behind me; it doesn't matter that hum is keeping me Zen and focused. Did you find that the same thing? Was there something about the pits that gave you that same sort of hum for lack of a better word?

Well, I would, I get what you're saying, but it's funny in more realistic terms when I was in Singapore, I'd be on the desk in a conversation, looking at a spreadsheet, you know, maybe calculating what something's worth, but on the phone at the same time, talking to someone I'd look up. And it was, you know, 10:20, and there was no one else in the desk because we had a meeting scheduled at 10. I would not even notice everyone could leave the room, I'd be there. And then I w- but it didn't just happen once, you know, it would happen over and over and over again. And I, I had to really work hard. To, to get out of that. Hyper-focus but I know exactly what you mean. 

Well, what it's, here's an interesting question. What did you do? What did you, how did you train yourself? Did you involve other people? Did you say, Hey, when you're going into a meeting, you know, reach out to me, what did you do to get people into that? To, to, to, to get yourself, you know, helping with that? 

Well, I can tell you, it is funny. Like when I was on the phone, if I was sitting at my desk, I'd get bored. Um, so I would stand up and pace around the office in giant circles. Um, just to keep my brain focused. That's just how my head works. If I'm sitting at a desk and not doing something else at the same time, I kind of get bored. So I, um, so I came up with little tools okay. Based around the office and I would have a more meaningful conversation. In order to make the meeting, I would just schedule reminders that, I schedule reminders for everything. I'm a big list kind of guy. Um, I have lists for everything and those lists I create helped me, um, you know, keep order. 

Yep. Tell me about your personal life. So, so your, uh, ADHD is obviously very, very beneficial for you in this regard. Tell me about how it affects your personal life and what, what sort of changes or, uh, different things you've had to do to get there. 

Well, the it's hard to go there without telling kind of the backstory of my kind of discovery. And it has a lot to do with our daughter, who, um, at a certain age, in fact, this is what gets me angry about ADHD. And this is one of the reasons why I reached out; because her journey and my journey, um, it's a very typical situation I think. She was in seventh grade. Um, and we got called to school. This is UWC in Singapore. Um, and to give an idea, the level of understanding of ADHD in Singapore is there are about 25 to 40 years behind where we are here. 

I actually interviewed this doctor, on the podcast, a psychologist, the podcast from Singapore and she said, exactly the same thing. 

Oh, yeah. It's like stepping back in time, in fact, so, okay. So w we go into, um, we find out that she's struggling in math, she's just above the red line. They wanted to put her in learning support. And I fought back the vehemently because I believe that once she got into learning support, she would never get out. It's like a black hole and. So we had her tested independently and guess what? She's very, her processing speed was off the charts. Um, in fact, at one point we had her tested again for something else. And the, the woman that did the test said, I've been doing this for 20 years. I probably test 15 to 20 kids a year and she's the first one that has ever completed one of the sections. And so, and we started, so my wife and I, we looked back and it at her school in second grade, they said, we think maybe she has an eyesight issue. She needs glasses. So we had her eyesight tested, we're scratching our heads. And, um, anyway, fast forward, she, um, she started on Conserta

Yup. That's my drug of choice also. 

Right. Okay. Then we read, um, uh, uh, uh, Dr. Ned Hallowell’s book, um, Delivered from Distraction. Yes. And we started listening to podcasts and everything kind of fell in place. In fact, I forgot one key part of this. Is that, um, we had her tested and at the same time, my wife was reading the diagnosis of someone else that had ADHD and she's reading it and she's like, oh my God, that's our daughter. And that's when everything kind of fell in place. So it was kind of a combination of both the testing and, um, Yeah. And the reading diagnosis of someone else with ADHD. So at that point, I began to look back at my life and realize, huh, I like chaos at my own little Rubik's cube. All the pieces fell into place and I began to realize all the things I've been doing to cope. You know, I get up, I run in the morning in central park, when I lived in New York, I'd have coffee, I'd do all these different things. I needed to work out just to be able to see straight and, um, You know, so I began to see all the commonalities of the, um, Of the things I did to deal with it, and I guess it, um, and then I looked back at my career that, you know, for me, I liked playing games. I like eating good food. I like drinking good booze and commodity trading kind of combines all those things that I enjoy. And so, like I said, I never felt like I worked a day in my life. It was all kind of a big fun game to me. Um, so it was kind of perfect for someone who has ADHD. 

Let me ask the question. Um, it's it's you're you touched an interesting point. It's one of those industries where, you know, you work hard, but you also play hard. Right? I mean, I know just, just my, uh, my, um, uh, financial adviser, right. Once a year, he takes me out to dinner. He shows me how my portfolio is doing and, and, you know, five drinks in right? He doesn’t..you know it's not that we're going out to drink- you treat the client well, right, in any, in any sort of financial industry. So did that affect you at all? Did you, I mean, I know that I have a very precarious relationship with alcohol and a lot of that is connected to ADHD. ADHD and addiction are very close to each other. Did you have a similar situation? 

Yes, that would be, you know, I probably, um, well.. It depends in New York one, doesn't really go out to lunch really. Um, in Singapore, in, in London, it's kind of a different story. So, and it is very much, um, well, I should say, if you look at say the, the world of oil trading, it's a giant fraternity and it's a giant fraternity, um, of people that know each other and entertainment plays a big role in, in that industry. So you work very hard all day and you go out and celebrate at night. Um, and yeah, it, um, it plays a big role. Yeah. 

It never, it never affected you the point where you're like, okay, I probably shouldn't do this or I should cut back on anything that that? 

Um, well, for me, I can tell you, it was very clear when I was in my early fifties, I began to feel, um, diminished resilience. And that was really more a function of the stress, um, that, you know, without going too deep into it, sometimes when you have huge positions, um, you walk in and you ready to have a heart attack. And for the first up until my early fifties, I suppose if I had a superpower, it was the ability to endure enormous amounts of stress without thinking about it and I began to feel that that resilience diminishing, and that was my body speaking to me and saying, Hey, it's time to slow down. So for me, the signal was more about stress and less about other things. Um, I also, as I said, always would get up and need to workout first thing in the morning or at lunch. And I think that. Um, I think that the French have an expression to drink enough water with your wine and need enough salad with your foie gras, you know, working out, um, was always a way to balance out that aspect of you know, of my life. 

That’s very smart. So tell us last steps. What do you wish you'd known back then that you know now about your ADHD and about sort of the way you've lived?

That's a good question. Um, what do I wish I'd known before? Well, I think the, maybe I would turn that around a little bit and, and, and say that, um, I've heard that expression; it's like a Maserati engine with a bicycle brakes. And I think the understanding that ADHD can be a superpower was a transformational concept for me and for my daughter, but maybe more for young people. And I recently have had a friend whose son was diagnosed with ADHD and from the questionings, the line of questions he was asking, and from the tone in his voice, I got this sense that he'd been given some negative messaging from the school. And I thought, how tragic that was that, you know, it can be. And I, and I understand there's the, you know, there's a full spectrum for me. And I think in our family, a high processing speed is, is a part of it with less of the maybe other hyperactive issues. Right. And so we're able to harness that superpower and I get that it it's diff you know, everyone's a little bit different and that there are more difficult challenges that some people face but I think the understanding that, um, ADHD really can be a superpower is such a powerful message. And in understanding that figuring out how to channel that energy into the right direction, I think I was simply lucky to find something where I was able to channel it appropriately. Um, I don't think my knowing that I had ADHD would have helped me find.. I kind of stumbled into something that I loved And, but I think that, um, I think the, you know, to understand that people with ADHD have a superpower and it's important to try to find things in life well, ways to, to live with it, but also ways to channel it. Um, I think is the, is a message that, you know, I'd like to share because for me it was, it was a superpower.

Yeah, I love that. What a great way to when it end., um, Bill, I really appreciate that. How can people find more about your reach out to you if they have any questions or if they want to share, if you're willing to give us some info on how to get to you? I'm on LinkedIn. That's probably the easiest. Sounds good. And we'll put that, we'll put that link in the, in the show notes. Uh, it's under William Paul Hamlen. [actually under Mr. William Hamlen] Thank you so much for taking the time. I really, really appreciate it. You're our first interview of the year and it was definitely a good one. We'd love to have you back in several months as well to tell us what else you're working on.

Alright Peter, thanks, Happy New Year! 

Thanks again guys. As always, you were listening to Faster Than Normal. We love that you're here. Welcome back! This is going to be a really great year. We have a lot of new things coming up. I'll tell you right now we have some open space; you want to be on the podcast; you think you have an interesting story? Let us know what it is! I'm sure if you, if it's interesting to us, it's interesting to other people out there and you can help tell that story and share the ADHD is a gift, not a curse. We've been saying that since day one, we'll see you next week. Stay safe, stay healthy. Wear a mask.

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Nov 10, 2021

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

——

Sharon Pope is the co-founder and CEO of shelpful, the instant accountability service that pairs you with a real-human buddy to help you build good habits (they nudge you and hold you to big habits like getting exercise, or small tasks like taking out the trash on time). Prior to starting shelpful, Sharon was a startup executive for 15 years, running marketing and product. She advised startups at the famous startup accelerator, Y Combinator, and was Chief Marketing Officer at ZeroDown, Green Dot (NYSE: GDOT), GoBank and Loopt. Prior to that she managed PR and content for a range of tech companies at leading San Francisco-based PR agencies. Today we learned how she started her super helpful company Shelpful, how she learned that for her, exercise is medicine, and how she was using her ADHD as a superpower, even before she was diagnosed. Enjoy!

In this episode Peter and Sharon Pope discuss:  

2:17 - Intro and welcome Sharon, founder of Shelpful 

2:50 - What prompted you to come up with this kind of idea?

4:12 - It seems like it's one of those things that truly requires getting to numbers of scale, right?

5:20 - Tell us about what kind of tasks people are using this for?

7:15 - What's the difference between what you do versus someone just saying, Hey Alexa, tell me to drink some water in 30 minutes?

8:17 - Is there an accountability/human trust balance happening here?

10:10 - Why do you think that we don't allow ourselves give ourselves the same respect that we give to other people? 

11:35 - As this grows do think that you can find a category for pretty much anything?

13:07 - Is it a monthly subscription; how does it work?

13:48 - So if you are a shelper you're basically on call like full-time?

14:50 - What is the one thing that you know about yourself now, that you didn't know before you got diagnosed with ADHD, that has helped change your life?

[How can people find you?] @shelpful on TikTok  INSTA  and Facebook and of course via www.shelpful.com

16:25 - Thank you Sharon! Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love the responses and the notes that we get from you; so please continue to do that! Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all; we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you ever need our help I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

16:57 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

My name is Peter Shankman. You are listening to Faster Than Normal. We are going to be talking about ADHD in all forms of neurodiverse today on this episode. And I am thrilled. That you are here. I have recorded an episode of in about two weeks. It has been a while. So it's great to be back. It is a, I don't know what day it is. It's Thursday. I believe it was a gorgeous day, outside, a little cold here in New York city, but still beautiful. And, uh, it is lovely to be with you today, wherever in the world you happen to be including Portland, Oregon, where our current guest is from.  Let's just say hi to Sharon Pope. Sharon Pope is the co-founder and CEO of a company called. Shelpful It's an instant accountability service that pairs you with a real human buddy to help you build good habits. They nudge you. They hold you to big habits to get you exercise, and small tasks like taking out the trash on time.  5 years, running marketing and product. She advised startups at the famous startup accelerator, Y Combinator, and was Chief Marketing Officer at ZeroDown, Green Dot (NYSE: GDOT), GoBank and Loopt. Prior to that she managed PR and content for a range of tech companies at leading San Francisco-based PR agencies. I love the idea because it's well, well needed and way overdue. Sharon, welcome to Faster Than Normal and first off, tell us what prompted you to come up with this kind of idea other than just finding another thing to do during COVID.

Yeah. Thank you. It's really great to be here Peter. Um, yeah, I started this to solve my own problem. So I was, I think for my whole adult life, um, I'm 38 now. Um, was 37 when I started Shelpful. I I've really struggled with this kind of 10:00 PM feeling of  Looking down at my to-do list and realizing I did everything for everyone else, including work, and my two kids and all the “me” completely just fall off the list. So, you know, I to work out for like 20 minutes and that just got blown off because an email came in and that just drew me in. And so, I mean, after struggling with it forever, I tried to build a bot for it, like in 2018 and it sucked, I had kind of a fever dream one night and I was like, oh my gosh, we could do this with real people. So I put up a site overnight, convinced my friend to do it with me and that same week we launched the first version of Shelpful, um, to just try to answer that problem for everyone else, that people kind of needed more support and could use a real human accountability buddy, kind of sitting on your shoulder and saying, Hey, you said you were gonna work out at 8:00 AM. It's time to work out. I'm gonna ask you in 20 minutes, if you did it or not. And that kind of thing was what I needed desperately. And I felt like I wasn't alone. 

I love the concept. It seems like it's one of those things that truly requires, um, uh, getting to numbers of scale. Right. You know, if you don't have enough people willing to be the accountability buddy then you gotta problem.

Right. And so we have our own, we're kind of structured more like an Uber. So we find the accountability buddies. We train them. I mean, we've found some amazing people who. Are way better than I was in the early days. Uh, just having strong empathy and note-taking, and following up with you and we have them, we staff them, um, you just have to sign up and we put you with them. And honestly, as I dug more into this and looked at what else is out there, everything else requires you to just go find a friend. So you either find a friend in your real life, or you ask your mom to tell you to do something, or you go to Reddit and say, or Twitter or Google and say like somebody, please be my accountability buddy! And the answer is silence. And so that's kind of why we feel like this is working because the people who really need it, get it fast and you're instantly within a day you feel support like you've really never known. 

Tell me about, um, what kind of tasks people are using this for? Cause for someone with ADHD, I mean, this seems like an easy and easy way to, to, to kill a lot of birds with one stone. What are people primarily using it for? 

Right. So the thing that I was solving mostly was the health stuff, right? Like getting movement in and like planning my lunch instead of freestyling my lunch. For instance, when we saw people signing up, the first things were those things, for sure. But also things like. Help me remember to pay my bill. Um, can you remind me to take my trash out on Tuesday nights? Um, like the small, like kind of any range of things that falls off your list you could ask for help with; also just the habit of making it to do list in the first place. Right. So make sure I do my to do list every night before the next day, so that I can go into the day with, with fresh eyes and a clear idea of what I'm gonna do. Um, when we saw people starting up, we left, we left it really open-ended and now we have a bit more structure because we've seen what people ask for, but the open-ended thing we still get to this day. If people writing in saying I have ADHD and I could use a help with this because I forget to drink water. And I forget to do really simple things that may seem easy to other people, but aren't easy to me. Um, and I think as I, as I told you, that was really eye opening to me because I thought this was a problem that I kind of uniquely had. Cause I was quirky. And when people started saying that, it was this big ton of bricks that hit me, that I realized I actually had ADHD or I, you know, at that point I kind of had all this flashback of me asking doctors throughout my life, why I have to wait to the last minute to do things. And, and they just said, oh, well, you're good at your job, or, oh, you get good grades and you just don't have, you don't have this. Um, and so it was really eye opening to me because my mentors actually ended up kind of telling me that this was working for them. And it was because of the same reasons it worked for me.

Tell me why, and I'm just playing devil's advocate here. Um, why couldn't someone just, What's the difference between what you do versus someone just saying, Hey Alexa, tell me to drink some water in 30 minutes? 

It's a really good question. I have had a notification on my calendar to meditate since 2017 and I've done it once. Um, I think that we, I mean, especially, I mean, people have ADHD. We have a million notifications and snoozing them gives us zero guilt and makes us think zero seconds about it. It's gone. I snooze the notification and it's out of my life and I'm going back to whatever else I was doing. It's really different when you have a real person on the other end. So if you have a shopper, you know, Chanel, we call them shelpers our accountability buddies, you know, she knows asking you, Hey, did you know, have you drank water? Like how many ounces are you? If you ignore her, you feel kind of guilty, but the guilt kind of works in your favor because it's fueling your own habit, right? 

Is there a, well, that was my next question. Is there sort of a, I don't wanna say, I don't wanna call it guilt cause I don't want to put it down. Cause having to kinda build it out is not sensitive to be embarrassed, but is there a word I'm looking for a, a…. I don't want to disappoint my accountability. Like, you know, I. Have a trainer at the gym at five 30 in the morning, because I'll probably go to the gym if I didn't have one, but I might not work out as hard. 

Right. 

Right. And so he makes sure I do so is it? And if I don't, he calls me on it and I don't want to, you know, I don't want him to think that I'm a loser and not doing it.  So is there, is there that level of, have you seen that at all? Have you seen people like, oh yeah, I love this. Because again, for lack of better word, it shames me into making sure that I'm doing. 

Right. I mean, there, I shame, shame, disappointment. All those I think are, are mixed in with even just the word accountability, right? Somebody is waiting for you and asking you, and they're just there on the other end. Just kind of like hanging in the balance until you answer them, or you show up at the gym or you show the evidence that you did your to do list. So the fact that it's a real human, I mean, This is something we can all relate with, right, If somebody, if you're doing something for somebody else or in, in community with somebody else, you're much more likely to do it. And I can relate with you, Peter. Like I, the best and healthiest times in my life were admittedly. Pre-kids when I had like a, every single morning workout group that I went to and if I was late, everyone would be delayed in getting like the run around the block that we started out with. I, that, that fear of letting someone else down. Was yes. Maybe shame isn't the greatest word, but it works and it, and I felt good at the end of it. And it wasn't something that stuck with me and made me feel sad. It made me feel good. Cause I got the energy I needed from a workout. 

In this case and not in a negative way, but why don't you think we place other people's feelings and not wanting to hurt their feelings or, or, or not show up and disappoint them above our own. I know that if I wake up every day and do an hour of hard workout for 10 minutes on the treadmill or Peleton, whatever, you know, it's going to be beneficial to me. Right. But I don't give myself the same. I don't offer myself that same ability, uh, to, to not disappoint myself that I might offer it to someone I'd have to meet someone else. Why do you think that we don't allow ourselves give ourselves that same respect that we give to other people? 

Right. If only I had had the answer for that!! I feel like that's what, I've the question I've been asking myself for a decade, right? Like, and I, that's what I think that. That's that's why shelpful. That's why we created Shelpful, because it's the fact that there's somebody else invested in your personal health and habits on a daily, hourly minute level basis. It, it, it triggers that part of your brain wants to do something for others or that, that get stuff down because somebody else's depending on you. And I mean, that's, that's, you know, for me, a thousand percent why I would get something done over just the fact that it's good for me. Um, I know it's good for me. I could tell you the calories and pretty much any food. I know, I know workouts to do, like I know how to work out, ..but the question is, do I do them just because they're good for me. And that's what I've always struggled with. 

Do you think that, um, as this grows, I mean, the categories you have right now are pretty much anything, you know, you can find me accountability, buddy, for virtually anything. Are you breaking it into certain sections or certain, how does it work? 

Yeah. So we started out thinking, okay, let's start with health. Right. Cause that was my personal thing. And um, it felt like from my marketing background, like start with a niche and expand and we found really, really early people were clamoring and kind of yelling at us like, well, the reason I don't get my workout done is because this happens that I also need help with. Right. So we're not just the reason we don't get things done. Isn't because we are bad or just go sit in front of the TV. It's because the life happens and makes the other things not work. So we ended up just kind of blowing it up and within like a week of launching and making it just be like, well, you tell us what you need help with. Um, any habits that you want to form our buddies, our shelpers can hold you to they're really. Uh, limit and it's almost, self-limiting like, so Peter, if you came in and said, I want help on 20 things. Well, the shop would probably say, well, let's start with a few so that you don't just snooze me and just put me away or turn off your phone. Like let's kind of start working through it. But once you get a few things established. You could always add on, like while I watched, after I washed my face, I want to like, some people have skincare as, as a goal, right? So after I care for my face, I want to do 20 squats. So you can kind of just keep layering on habits to the ones you've already established a few, and it really is limitless.

Is it a monthly subscription; how does it work?

Yeah, it's monthly. We have a weekly option too, um, like as, as low as $13.75 a week. And then for month it's a little over $50. Um, and it, yeah, I mean, it feels, people are feeling like it's a really good value cause you get, um, Monday through Friday, basically unlimited access to your shelper so you're kind of just text them and anytime you have an update, they usually respond pretty quickly. And then they nudge you along based on kind of habits that you've established. So you want to work out Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 8:00 AM you're going to get a ping from them saying hey, time to work out, um, and a follow up to make sure you did it. Um, so you.. and then weekends are a bit quieter because shelpers are human, um, so they kind of recharge their batteries on the weekends and then hit it full force again on Monday. 

So if you are a shelper you're basically on call, it's like a full-time. 

It is, it's a really, it's a flexible gig, right? So they, um, they end up working. I mean, depending on how many have just a couple hours a day. Um, but they are able to, we have technology, we're a technology company, as well as the service. So we have helpful technology that helps them plan and, um, take notes and get things organized. So they're not having to be glued to their, their phone, but they have. The ability to work from their mobile phone. Um, so people who are shoppers are people who really appreciate flexibility. So, um, you know, imagine caregivers stay at home moms, um, hairstylists, we have a few, so people who are- it's a gig, but they're just these naturally empathetic people who are, who care a lot and have great memories and are skilled note takers and they, they really make it happen for their members. 

It sounds fascinating. A shelters.xom?  www.SHELPFUL.COM  Sorry. My bad. I meant shelpful, shelpers the people who work at ShelpFul. Awesome. 

What is the one thing that you know about yourself now, that you didn't know before you got diagnosed with ADHD that has helped change your life?

Wow. Um, I think so.. starting, I started this company in March, kind of had the lights go on in my head that this is something I had in, I don't know, April and by May I had a diagnosis in my hand. Um, I now know that for me, exercise is medicine. Um, it's not something that's optional for me. It actually changes the whole way my day goes. Um, and so now that I'm able to look at it as that I've actually been able to be successful in making it happen. Um, and I, I’ve joined a shelpful group, which is, we also have a group product. Um, and that allows me and I have group and they hold me accountable to it too. So I have what, you know, I'm trying to put a focus on making sure that I have that fuel that I need. Um, and that awareness of ADHD actually helped me just reframe how I looked at that. 

What an awesome answer, thank you Sharon. Very cool. 

Guys. You've been listening to Faster Than Normal, our guest today is Sharon Pope. She runs a phenomenal company that I'm falling in love with more & more called Shelpful, and I am definitely check it out. You can find it a www.Shelpful.com you can find me @petershankman and @fasternormal and on www.FasterThanNormal.com anywhere you grab your podcasts, the book. On Amazon. It's actually, I think it's fourth printing, which blows my mind. I get emails every day that people really liked what they were reading and I helped them and it just makes me so happy. I love, I love that. So I will keep doing that for as long as I possibly can. Guys, that feel free to reach out, say hi, tell us any guests that you'd like to see on the show. We'd love to hear you. Anyone who sends me any info tells us of the guests, whether we use them or not. I will send you a shank point, uh, for those who don't know. Uh, it's a long story. I'll tell you another time, but I say anyone who sends guest info to me, I will send you a brand new shank point is currently trading around 10 bucks a coin. It is a cryptocurrency, and it's a lot of fun for some of the ADHD. It's fun because you have to stop yourself from watching everything.

Oh, it's up? It's down. Okay. Anyway, squirrel!! Sharon. Thank you again, guys. Thank you for listening. We will see you next week. Have a wonderful week. Stay safe, stay happy.

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Oct 20, 2021

Sally Willbanks, Founder of ND Renegade, a contemporary apparel brand that shines a light on neurodiversity. She is an award-winning Australian artist who made a career change when she decided to start this clothing brand, with the intention of instilling pride in the neurodivergent population, including her two children.  Sally is the creator of all of ND Renegade's designs. Sally is also a neurodiversity advocate and speaker, presenting at schools in NSW with to educate faculty in ways to help neurodivergent students. Today we learn her story. This is awesome- enjoy!

In this episode Peter and Sally Willbanks discuss:  

 

1:47 - Intro and welcome Sally!  

2:42 - So what prompted the start of your fashion brand ND Renegade?

3:42 - The concept of starting a company is not foreign to those of us with ADHD. Did this seem natural and usual to you and your children?

5:08 - These are so smart and AWESOME!!! Ref:  Designs at https://www.ndrenegade.com

5:37 - What have your reactions been to the messaging? 

7:26 - When and with what were your children diagnosed?

8:00 - What are the conversations you are having with your young children about it all?

8:56 - How are you children involved in the business?

9:92 - What makes an item “sensory friendly” -what goes into making those?

10:15 - Pardon my American-ness, what is “Takiwatanga” and what does it mean?

11:28 - How old is the company now?

11:45 - What do you want people to know about the reasons you’ve done this and what are your goals?

12:56 - How can people find you? https://www.ndrenegade.com and @ndrenegade on INSTA and @ @NDRneurotribe on Facebook

13:25 - Thank you Sally Willbanks! Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love the responses and the notes that we get from you; so please continue to do that! Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all; we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you ever need our help I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

14:00 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

What's up guys, Peter Shankman at Faster Than Normal. We’ve got an extra special 10 minute episode this morning with Sally Willbanks. So most people, when they have ADHD this, you know, at ADHD and. Maybe I'll I'll I'll get some help, but I'll figure out what I'm doing. I'll I'll adjust some things. No. Sally decides to start a renegade contemporary apparel company called ND Renegade because that's what people with ADHD do. So we write books, we start clothing companies, we started other companies it's just who we are. So she's the founder. She's an award winning Australian artist who made a career change, which she decided to start this clothing brand with the intention of instilling pride into the neurodivergent population, including her two children. So there's the creator of all of the ND renegades designs. She's a neurodiversity new university advocate and speaker. She presents at schools in New South Wales with the ability and the desire to educate faculty in ways to help neuro diversion students. I love everything about that. Sally, welcome to Faster Than Normal.

Thank you very much. Thank you for having me. 

So you decided out of the blue, I mean, it wasn't as much out of the blue, but what made you make that change? You said, okay. I have two children who are neurodivergent; I'm just going to start a fashion. 

Yeah. Um, well, I'm a, I'm an artist, I'm a painter and that requires long, long hours in the studio And, uh, I was just not spending too much time with my family and we homeschool and I wanted to show the kids how to run a business, but I needed them to be more involved. So. Um, I put down my brushes cause that's, it's really solitary. It didn't involve them very much. Um, I had the thought of doing a clothing brand that just for neurodivergent people, just to bring pride to themselves And once I had the idea, I couldn't let it go. So I literally wrapped up my show, uh, within a couple of weeks and designed a website, uh, designed the logo, got the name and, uh, we'd sold a first item within a month of me having the idea. 

I love it. And, you know, the concept of, um, uh, sort of starting a company, or doing something like that it's not that foreign to people with ADHD because that's what sort of we do. We sit there and we say, okay, I have this idea. And 30 minutes later, you know, we've sketched it out and we have a website up. All right. We don't, we don't do focus groups. We don't do a panel testing. We just sort of go for it. So did you find that it was sort of the same thing? Like, okay, we're just going to go for this and, and, you know, you're teaching your kids sort of, sort of, this is how we do things and it's a faster sort of lifestyle as it were.

Yeah. You know, basically if I, if I'd known how big it was going to get. And I, I, I wouldn't have done it like a, like if I'd seen the big picture, I don't know how I would've gotten there, but just taking one step at a time is what made it work. So I just thought, okay, I've got to get a logo, got to get a name, got to get a website, got to start designing. And it just kind of grew. So if I had, if I had seen what it was going to be and all the steps that took, I D I think I would have backed out to be honest. Um, so it was really about. Not thinking too far in advance and breaking it down into small doable steps. And, um, yeah, it just, it just clicked. It just worked. There was nothing else out there with this idea. There's other, there are other clothing lines out there that do, neurodiversity stuff, but it's more like to let people know that there, their kids are autistic but it's nothing about pride. So I wanted to change that. 

I love what I'm seeing here on the spectrum and off the hook. Um, these are, these are, these are amazing. I love it. The nerd, my favorite is a neurodiversity, uh, shirt with like 15 different, uh, different types of, um, uh, chords, accessory chords, the Aux cord, the USB cord, the,\, this is so smart. I mean, this stuff is, I think that what I, what I like about this is the premise that, that.  You know, we're in a time right now where, you know, 50 years ago, obviously no one talked to well forger about neurodivergency, we didn’t talk about anything having to do with mental health. Mental health was a secret. We didn't share it. We didn't talk about it. If you remember, I'm always affected that, that scene in madman where, um, where Don sends Betty to a psychiatrist and, you know, she. The psychiatrist sends him the bills and the updates and the status reports. And doesn't share it with her know, even though she's the one in treatment. It doesn't share it with her. And that's changed the point where today we actually, you know, we, we represent this as pride. I mean, I have my t-shirts, I have countless ADHD t-shirts and, and, and I wear a wristband that says faster than normal and, and all of these things. And, you know, so you're in a, sort of a good place at the right time. Right. Um, we're trying to change that conversation from one of shame to one of pride. And what has been sort of the reaction that, that you've received have, have you had, I'm assuming it's mostly positive. Have there been any negative reactions? Have people told you this is something we shouldn't talk about or how, how, what what's talk about that? 

Um, it's actually been really positive reaction. There were a few designs that I had, I've had a few issues with, um, as far as like, like an asby design, um, we've been asked to take that down, but then I got. So many people are asking me to keep it up. So I've got a disclaimer on the website and, um, you know, an educate yourself page as to why some people don't like the term Asperger's. Um, but other than that, it has been overwhelmingly fantastic. I get emails from people thanking me. I get emails from people telling me that they're using their clothing to come out to their family as neurodivergent. Um, it's just been, it's been overwhelmingly positive and it keeps me going. So, I mean, pretty much every other day I'd have something in my inbox. Saying, you know, thank you so much for doing what you're doing. Which is great. 

This really is good stuff. And, and I think that, that, so, so when your children were diagnosed with, it goes to the ADHD or?

Ok, so my son was diagnosed first as autistic, and then my daughter was diagnosed as ADHD, and then she was diagnosed as autistic and my son has since been diagnosed with ADHD. Um, so it's just that. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, there’s,??you know what I mean? 

How are old are they?

My son is eight and my daughter is 10. Tell us about what you tell them. Tell us about how, I mean, obviously they, they, they understand that there are benefits to this as well. Um, what are the conversations you're having with them? Are they having, you know, do they, they, they ever look at it as, as a, as a, as a curse, as opposed to a gift or how. 

Right. Um, my son does, sometimes, he is a tough cookie. He's got anxiety disorder as well. So he gets quite angry a lot and he feels shame, uh, with his anger, but he still tells me he loves his brain because he wouldn't get to do the things that he can do. Like he can spell any word, he's been reading fluently since he was three, he can type like you would not believe on a computer. Um, and my daughter is nothing but positive. She is so stoked to be neurodivergent. She loves being Autistic. She loves being ADHD, and I just hope it stays that way. You know, she seems invincible at the moment and I know she'll have some setbacks, but I just, I love that she's so positive and she's becoming a great role model for other kids in the community as well.

Um, How are your children involved in the business?

Sure. They both have a couple of designs, believe it or not, on the store. Yeah, it is. I'm really thrilled with it actually. Uh, so I just took the drawings and turned them into t-shirts and they sell really well, which is great. And they actually partake in the giveaway videos that we do. And my son doesn't love being interviewed, so he hasn't yet, but my daughter and I do interviews with her about the different diagnoses and we do Instagram Live’s and things like that. So she's really quite involved in the advocating side of things on Instagram. 

Um, I'm looking on the website. I see sensory friendly hoodies. Talk about what makes an item sensory friendly?

Uh, basically the tag fray and as soft as we could find. So, um, the tag is the big issue. You know, people, people with ADHD and autism have sensory issues and particularly that scratch irritating tag. And even if you cut the tag off, you still have that little nub of, you know, the seem where the tag is. So we've made sure that our clothes, um, uh, tag fray and a soft and comfortable as we could find. So we just did a lot of testing on products and found the best one. So I have a whole slew of my own clothes because they're the most comfortable ones that I own. So I'm always walking around with brand and branded clothing on. 

I can tell there's definitely the artist's flare in here because the website is just stunningly beautiful. It's just so, so simple. And so, so clearly designed, um, tell me, uh, you know, this is, I think the American in me, what is “Takiwatanga” and what does it mean?

Uh, that is one that we've actually come under a bit of fire with lately. That is, um, it's the Maori word for Autism and it means “in his home, my own space and time”, and it was coined by a man called a PI who basically wrote the, the mental health, like medical dictionary for the Maori language. And, um, I'm actually, I've got Maori ancestry, so my great-grandparents were Maori. Um, And I just think it's a really, really beautiful word. And I, I think that it is a way of looking at Autism that needs to be shared. So I've got that on a t-shirt so that people ask, what does it mean? Um, because the definition is just amazing. I mean, how, how, um, perfect. As it, in, in his, her my own space and time, it kind of encapsulates everything may, that autism is. 

Oh, it really does. I love that. Oh, it obviously works. Cause I asked, you know, these are, these are really, really beautiful there. The website is ND renegade.com.  [[https://www.ndrenegade.com ]]And how old is the company now? 

It is, it started in January of last year. So what's that about? 20 18, 20 months old, something like that. 

Phenomenal. It's great to see. It's great to see that that taking sort of your, your talent and your putting it to such a use like this. Um, what do you want people to know about the reasons you've done this and what do you want people to know about, you know, what you're goals are? 

Yeah, well, our goals are to spread neurodiversity pride into every part of the world. So we want people who have these differences to stand tall and know that that people are proud of them and that they don't need to hide because the more these people kind of hide and feel shame and mask their differences, they're going to, they're going to just disappear. Their lives are going to be, you know, spend at home, not, not being in society, not making the changes that they can make because they've got amazing brains. They have fantastic ideas that neurotypical people don't have. Um, the innovation that they can, that they can create in the workspace is incredible. And we need these brains. And if we don't show them that they, that they should feel pride and that they are loved and respected, they won’t be using those incredible brains to help our planet. So we just want them to, we want me to know that they should stand tall. Differences are awesome. 

I love it. Talking to [Sally] Willbanks NDRenegade is the website.[https://www.ndrenegade.com] I love it. I just signed up for your Instagram. I'm on the whole thing. Um, yes, we'll definitely have you back. Definitely keep in touch. And when you do new, new, um, items, you have dropped your drop notifications and you let people know and everything?

Yup. Yup. I do. I usually, uh, run a few test, uh, stories on Instagram first and, you know, make sure people like what I'm doing and give them a couple of options and, uh, yeah, drop em on Instagram. 

Very cool. Well, we'll definitely have you back. 

Thank you so much for taking the time you thank you for having me. 

Of course, you're listening to Faster Than Normal. If you're wondering why my voice is a little lower today. It's cause it's just about four in the morning here. And her being in a, uh, on the other hemisphere, I decided to get up even earlier than normal to get my workout in before or right after we interviewed. So this is me before my workout. If I'm a little calmer now, you know why guys as always you’ve been listening to Faster Than Normal. We love you for being here and we will see you next week. ADHD is a gift, not a curse. As is all neurodiversity. Stay tuned. See you again soon.

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Oct 13, 2021

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

——

E. J. Wenstrom believes in complicated heroes, horrifying monsters, purple hair dye and standing to the right on escalators so the left side can walk. She writes dark speculative fiction for adults and teens, including the young adult dystopian novel Departures and the award-winning Chronicles of the Third Realm War series (start with Mud). When she isn’t writing fiction, E. J. Wenstrom is a regular contributor to DIY MFA and BookRiot, and co-hosts the Fantasy+Girl Podcast. Start the Chronicles of the Third Realm War series for free with the prequel novella when you join E.J.’s newsletter. Today we learn the specific techniques with which she wields her ADHD superpowers, maintaining a career as a multi-genre creative author! This is awesome- enjoy!

In this episode Peter and EJ Wenstrom discuss:  

2:17 - Intro and welcome EJ!  Ref: Start “The Chronicles of The Third Realm War” for free with a link HERE

3:42 - Thank you Lori for introducing us!

4:00 - So you are ADHD yourself, when did you get diagnosed & what was life like before it?

6:56 - As a professional writer; how are you managing your deadlines, especially working on your own?  Ref: @5amWritersClub on Twitter

10:56 - So tell me about how you're getting your dopamine, especially when you get up at 5am and get pretty much straight to writing?

12:08 - How do you switch roles from say..writing for a PR firm, then for Fantasy Fiction. What’s the switch in your brain’s mindset?

13:56 - Tell us about your novel Departures! And what was/is your process!?

17:35 - How can people find you? https://www.ejwenstrom.com or at @EJWenstrom on Twitter  INSTA  Facebook and newly on TikTok And links to all of her books are here

19:00 - Thank you EJ Wenstrom!  Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love the responses and the notes that we get from you; so please continue to do that! Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all; we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you ever need our help I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

19:55 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

Okay. Everybody, Zoom's little computer woman just told me that recording is in progress, which means that we are here for another episode of Faster Than Normal. Thank you so much for joining me. I am in a super hyped up mood today. Uh, what wound up me being like starting, just to take my daughter to school this morning, we somehow wound up walking the three miles to school, uh, with the dog, and then I dropped the dog off at doggy daycare.. or storage as I call it, and I walked back. So I'm six miles in this morning and a high as a kite from that. So enjoy this dopamine fueled episode of Faster Than Normal!

We have an amazing guest today, I know I said it all the time but this person, this is really cool. EJ Wenstrom is here. She's an award winning author. Why is she an award winning Author? We’ll we'll talk about that but Listen to this: “One, girl, one angel three, God's determined to keep them apart! A stormy and seductive novella that will draw you into an elaborate fantasy world.. and it's a series. This shit is awesome. Reviewers love her: “Mimicking the brutal and strange of ancient mythology alongside the high fantasy and gut wrenching actions”, says Reader’s Lane, while Literary Hill says: “In the third realm, perils await, but anything is possible and readers who venture, there will find a rewarding escape into a very creative and fully imagined world.” EJ believes in complicated heroes, horrifying monsters, Purple hair dye and standing to the right on escalators so that the left side can walk. God bless you for that. Yes. She writes dark speculative fiction for adults and teens, including the young dystopian novel Departures where the lead character or one of the characters has ADHD. I think it just gave something away. And the award winning Chronicles, a third realm series, starting with Mud when she isn't writing fiction. Ed wants some, she’s just regular contributor to DIY MFA and book riot. She co-hosts the fantasy girl podcast. Start “The Chronicles of The Third Realm War” for free with a link HERE:  We're going to put down below with her prequel novella, but holy cow, it is exciting to talk to you. EJ, welcome to Faster Than Normal! 

Thanks so much. I'm excited to be here! 

It was awesome- we got connected to our friend, our mutual friend, Laurie, who I've known for like 25 years has known me through the good and the bad of the last 25 years of my life, pre-diagnosis and post-diagnosis so I assume at some point she looked at you and said, holy shit, you're a female Peter! You guys should really meet. So it is wonderful to have you on the podcast. You are ADHD yourself. When did you get diagnosed and what was life like before it? 

Yeah. Yeah. I was diagnosed in high school, which is pretty typical, I think, especially for girls because we… differently.

Typical nowadays- when I was in HS it was called sit down you’re disturbing the class disease. 

Well, yeah, this was, this was late nineties, early two thousands. So, yeah. Yeah. But, um, but yeah, so before my diagnosis, I had gotten through most things perfectly fine because I was that quiet kid who was just not a problem. And, you know, To myself, in the corner. While other people were maybe going crazy over there. And, uh, so teachers loved that. You know, I got pretty good grades for the most part. Um, until about middle school when I switched, you know, where I was going to school and the format changed and everything else. And all of a sudden, some of the grades that I was getting in my best subjects, like Math, were just plummeting. They were just disastrous. And then around the same time I was getting like migraines. Cause you know, like your hormones are all changing. And so for a while there, we thought that the two were linked and it was kind of scary. Weird stuff going on, you get kicked around from doctor to doctor, to doctor. No one could quite figure it out until one person finally, the doctor said, have you gotten tested for any learning disorders? And it was a huge game changer. So that took place. I think it was my sophomore year of high school. And then all of a sudden we started looking at these symptoms for ADHD after my diagnosis. And it was like, uh, uh, like it was just, it was comforting honestly, to suddenly understand what was going on because the problem was never that I didn't know the material; the problem was.. turning in homework assignments and remembering what chapter I was supposed to read for class and just things like that. And, you know, look at my planner at the assignments were there was everything written out crystal clear, I just got mixed up somehow and did the wrong one. And it's, there was no explanation for it, but it just kept happening. And so it just made everything make so much more sense. Uh, we tried a few medications, which I stuck with through high school. And then since then I've actually gone without, and just found other ways to cope with my strengths and weaknesses and, uh, you know, kind of cover myself. But I, you know, I also did a little bit of ADHD coaching around that time. Did the whole section 508, all that, all that. And so, yeah, it's just. You know, crucial to understanding myself and then also a big part of my identity, honestly. 

Now let's talk about. Okay, so you're ADHD and you, you, you found ways to manage it. You're also a writer. Okay. And when you're writing these books, you have deadlines. So let's just dive right into it. Tell our listeners who are dying to know this; How are you managing your deadlines especially working on your own? 

Sure. You know, it's funny because with the Fiction I've actually lucked out so far in that my publishers have been very kind to me. I've not actually had to work on a hard deadline for a Fiction publisher, but, you know, I work in a public relations firm. I work, you know, I've done freelance writing before I've done all sorts of writing across the gamut, and yeah, stuff has deadlines and. You can't change those deadlines. You know, you've made commitments to clients. You've made commitments to, you know, people on your team, you can't change that. And, uh, you know, I think that really the, the ADHD and the way that my brain works with that has helped with deadlines or maybe the deadlines helped me and then, you know, having multiple plates spinning at once can be easier for me than just having one, uh, something about the pressure of it. As long as it's not too much, you know, there's always an edge to things, but having a little bit of pressure helps with the focus and it helps to be able to have a few things, to give attention to it once deadlines.

Deadlines, themselves help. Because if you don't give me a deadline, I don't feel the same way. If you don't give me a deadline, I'll start working on whatever you want immediately until the next big thing comes along. And then that becomes the most important thing. 

Yup. Yup. And sometimes it's easy if there's not a deadline to just keep going deeper and deeper and deeper and never reach an end point because you just get lost in the, you know, like the exploration itself.

So I've been working on something since 1987, but yeah, sure. 

Yeah. But, um, but the deadlines can really just help kind of lend that focus, but I've also learned a lot over the years about how to best use how my brain works. So I wake up at 5:00 AM in the morning, it's called 5:00 AM writer's club. You can check it out on Twitter.  It's an amazing community of authors who are all up together writing before they do absolutely anything else in their day. 

And so you're, you're you're .. you're writing before you say exercise and before you anything else?? 

Yeah. Yeah. I, I wake up, I walk my dog quickly and then I opened my computer and I start reading whatever manuscript I'm on. And I check in with my author buddies on Twitter. There's a little bit of support and accountability to that. Also very helpful. And then I just get to work and I, I write for about probably an hour and a half most mornings, um, around that time. And it's really nice because I know that my brain is a little bit slower when I've just woken up. So it's easier to have just one thing that I'm trying to do. And especially when it's something that's a really long tail goal, like writing a novel, uh, that tends to take me about a year, maybe year and a half to do so it's not like you get that instant hit of gratification of checking something off of your list. It's, it's a nice time to be able to just sink into something as opposed to jumping task to task like I do, you know, later in the day and it gets me thinking creatively before my brain is tired from having been at work all day or going for a run or whatever else it might be. 

How are you getting? So tell me about how you're getting your dopamine when you're, when you're.. for me, if I'm writing, if I'm doing long periods, writing has to be in a confined space, like I'm on an airplane for 14 hours on my way to Asia, or I've just worked out, or I've just done a long run or a ride or whatever, and then, or a skydive. And then I have the dopamine in my system to, to, to go to town on writings, but you're doing it at 5:00 AM the second you wake up, that's amazing. 

Uh, yeah. Yeah. And I definitely do things to manage my energy. Like I, I hear what you're saying with that, but I do it in the evening. So I'll usually go for my run at the end of the day when my brain's tapped out. But I'm starting to feel like physically a little fidgety, so I'll eat dinner and then I'll head out.

And, you're able to get your. My thing is if I don't, if I wake up and have to think about working out, I'm going to come up with a reason not to. So I, you know, I sleep in my running shorts. I wake up I'm on the bike or I'm on the I'm on the train or whatever. So I don’t have to think about it. So you actually have the ability to, to think about it all day. No, you have to do it and still manage to do it. That's actually pretty impressive. 

I mean, I got to tell you, I don't even think about it until I shut my computer at the end of the Workday. And then. Yeah, and I mean, it's not perfect. It's not perfect, but it's so important to me to make writing the priority, to make sure that I do it every single day. You know, I used to run in the morning and decided I had to make a choice. And so that's the choice I made. Um, but yeah, I do a pretty good job with running all the same. So I usually get out the door and go for a run three to four days a week on, on weekdays and then once or twice more on the weekends. So it adds up to a pretty reliable routine. 

Awesome. Tell me about switching roles. So, you know, at. during the day your at a PR firm or advertising, whatever and then you come home and you're writing Fantasy Fiction. How what’s..[???] And then you go to PR [..ah, here is is..} What's the switch in the brain’s mindset to go from one to the other?

That's a good question. Um, you know, I think there's maybe a difference between like when I'm writing Fiction I'm letting my brain wander. So it kind of taps into a lot of what, you know, especially having Inattentive ADHD. It’s what my brain wants to do anyway. Whereas when I'm at work, I think it taps into some similar creative things, you know, working in PR a lot of it really does come down to what's going to be a compelling story to tell, but it's a much faster turnaround. So I'm hopping from one thing to the next, the next to the next, you know, often, many times an hour even, and so. It hits. I think there's a way to tap into that ADHD thing- where you want to just jump on everything at once. And it works really well for what I do at a firm. Uh, basically everything is happening all the time at once anyway. And so it becomes a real strength to be able to exist in that and be comfortable with it. Um, and so that's kind of where I get that. I mean, you talked about dopamine before. That adrenaline hit almost of like checking multiple things off your list and then kind of jumping around and getting that fresh project to tackle, uh, every half hour or so. 

Let's change topics. Tell me about Departures, because let me, I want to guys, I want to read you. I want to read you the, uh, the sort of, um, the, the blurb here for her for her novel Departures: “to get along in the directorate, just seek control, track your metrics and die when scheduled. That's where Evie went wrong”.  

So, okay. Number one, I'm going to go out and get this immediately cause this looks really pretty good, but tell me about the book.

Sure. So I, the books started with the idea of a girl who just as the description, sounds like she wakes up in the morning and she's in a total panic because she was not supposed to wake up again. This was her departure date, the day she was scheduled to die. And so many of my book ideas come from that initial seed. So it's either like a character voice or like this was kind of like that initial hook for the that you, uh, start out with and then everything else has to be built out from there. And so I kind of tackle that sort of project very slowly over time and then layer things in. So at first I thought that was going to be that opening scene where the book would go and then I started to slowly. I wrote that scene, figuring it out the best I could. So like a skeleton version of the scene. And then from there, it's, it's called like a zero draft where you kind of write out the beats, capture what you can, as you go. Cause you kind of hit that creative flow. So you might hit full sections of dialogue or description or something where you get really deep into it. And then other sections are still just like, I don't know, I'll come back and figure this out later, something happens here where they make this discovery and.. you kinda get what you can out on the page, because then it's out in front of you and your brain space starts to open up for more. And so through that sort of process, I started to get into this world where it wasn't just about death dates, but everything about it was very carefully optimized, very carefully structured, so that everyone lived their best possible life by this particular government's definition. And so for them, that meant removing all pain, you know, kind of putting optimal, optimal levels around, you know, when people sleep, what people eat, uh, how much stress they allow into their lives, providing everybody with a fitness routine that helps them optimize their lives. And so over time that started to create a system where people live extremely long lives. And everything is very, very carefully managed on their behalf. And I, so when something goes wrong within this world, it's catastrophic. Um, and Evie, even though this meant for her that she was now able to live a longer life. You know, one of the really interesting points that came up over and over again is I was sharing this manuscripts with different, uh, critique partners with different editors and agents, was that people were struggling because Evie at first was more panicked about being alive than she was relieved. But I it's something I examined over and over again. And he really came to the conclusion that when this is kind of the doctrine that's embedded within you, your entire life, I think that rings true. You know, everyone's relying on the system to work all of the time and be, have their best interests in mind. And so if that doesn't work out, then what's going to happen to everyone. Uh, and it, it made for a really fun world to create and an even more fun world to break. 

It's very, very cool. Where can people find you and follow you? Cause this was, this is fascinating. I wanna have you back at some point, but we do keep the podcasts at 20 minutes, because you know, ADHD, um, so how do people find you? 

EJWenstrom.com or @EJWenstrom on Twitter  INSTA  TikTok and you can sign up for the first novel of the Fantasy series Departures here! 

So you can find me at. 

[ https://www.ejwenstrom.com or at @EJWenstrom on Twitter  INSTA  Facebook and newly on TikTok] and links to all of her books are here

Or at AEJ Wenstrom on Twitter, on Instagram. Uh, I've just started playing around with TikTOK. So you can find me there too. Uh, and yeah, you can sign up, like you mentioned at the beginning and get the, uh, the first novel in the fantasy series I wrote before Departures, you can also find a purchase in that whole other series on Amazon and, uh, other major books.

Love love, love. We will throw the link into the show notes guys. This was.. God.. this is awesome. We do thank you so much. I'm totally going to.. EJ what's the age on the books? I feel like my daughter would love it, but she's only eight. Would she love it or should I wait a few years? 

Uh, you know, you might, it's kind of a parental discretion thing. Uh, for Departures, it's definitely written for you, a young adult audience. There's maybe some romantic themes that are a little bit advanced for an eight year old, but she also may not pick up on it. That would be your judgment call to make, but I would say it's written for like a 12 to 16 year old audience. 

Well, she came home yesterday and told me the three boys in the class asked to marry her so we’re there!! 

Awesome, guys. This was phenomenal. EJ, thank you so much EJ Wenstrom everyone on Faster Than Normal today. Great, great interview. Thank you so much for your time. 

Guys, as always, we love that you're here. It means the world to me, we are close to 300 episodes and I can't even believe that that's almost as, as weird to me as thinking they haven't, I've almost had a dog for a year. So things get crazy up in this, up in this, uh, uh, pandemic bitch. It's just, it's been an insane year. We've had this podcast running since 2000… god since late 2016 or 2017, I think, so we are going on strong, our 300th episode is coming up. It's gonna be pretty amazing. Stick around for that. Thank you for listening. I'm at @petershankman on all the socials, the website, is FasterThanNormal.com the on Twitter and all the, all the socials there. Anything we can do for you. If you have any guests that you think were as cool as EJ Wenstrom or have the same color hair, let us know. We would love to have them on the podcast as well. We will see you next week with a new interview. My name is Peter Shankman. You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal, where we understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. I want you to understand that too. Talk to you guys soon.

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Oct 6, 2021

Aron Croft appeared to have it all when he got into Harvard. But that was the beginning of his demise. He struggled nonstop for 15 years until he was broke, divorced, and earning minimum wage, failing out of his first 7 jobs and businesses. But after getting a Master's degree in Coaching Psychology and a diagnosis of Inattentive ADHD, his life changed. He built a successful Fortune 500 career consulting to companies such as Marriott, Deloitte, Johnson & Johnson, McDonald's, KPMG, and United Healthcare. He also got remarried, and most importantly, discovered how to get sh*t done with a neurodivergent brain. Now he’s on a mission to raise awareness about Inattentive ADHD, how it goes under the radar, and how to rebuild your life post-diagnosis.  Today we learn how his ADHD diagnosis at 34 led him to recover from being broke, divorced, and earning minimum wage to a successful Fortune 500 career, and turned this Influencer’s side hustle into his full-time job… Enjoy!

In this episode Peter and Aron Croft discuss:  

2:00 - Intro and welcome Aron! 

3:14 - So you got into Harvard and things were going great- what happened?

4:28 - Ref: FTN “The One with the ADHD PhD, Featuring Rachel Cotton 

5:15 - How did you feel when things started going off the rails and you didn’t know why?

6:24 - What was it like when you finally got diagnosed; and the year prior when you rented half of a bed?

8:32 - And just when things were turning around with Aron’s new job… 

9:42 - So how did you pull out of that situation?  Ref:  At the time of publishing Seinfeld is now on Netflix  

11:25 - Aron on Adderall akin to the scene in Limitless with Bradley Cooper on NZT 

13:58 - On those ‘waking up’ moments and for the first time realizing you’re not a total loser!

15:40 - So you get diagnosed and things begin changing- then what happened?

16:52 - When did you give up the Sweet Tarts and come to the epiphany that you were unfulfilled?

17:49 - On finding Dopamine via other sources

18:48 - See, podcasts ARE fun! 

19:22 - How can people find you? https://hiddenadhd.com  @aroncroft on Twitter  @HiddenADHD on Facebook  INSTA  YouTube and hidden_adhd on TikTok

20:33 - What is it with TikTok anyway?!

21:03 - Thank you Aron!  Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love what the responses and the notes that we get from you. So please continue to do that, tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all, we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you can ever, if you ever need our help, I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

21:28 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

My name is Peter Shankman. You are listening to Faster Than Normal. I am thrilled that you're here. It is a great day outside, probably one of the last warm days we're going to have this year until like, I don't know, sometime in 2022, but it is a good day, there is good news on the horizon. Life is good. Everyone is happy. I'm happy. I hope you're happy. 

So who do we have today? We have someone who was pretty happy. He got into Harvard and he's like, holy crap. I got into Harvard. I'm pretty sure he was happy then. But as he told me, when I talked to him about coming on the podcast, he said that was the beginning of his demise. After getting into Harvard, he proceeded the struggle nonstop for 15 years until he was broke, divorced, earning minimum wage bailing out of his first seven jobs and businesses. I'm talking about Aaron Croft. It is great to have him on the podcast because- after he got a master's degree in coaching psychology and a diagnosis of inattentive ADHD, his life changed.

He a built successful fortune 500 career consulting to companies such as Marriott, Deloitte Johnson, Johnson, McDonald's KPMG and healthcare. He got remarried. Most importantly, he discovered how to get shit done with a neurodivergent brain and now he's on a mission to raise awareness about Inattentive ADHD, how it goes under the radar and how to rebuild your life if you get a diagnosis of the same. 

Peter. Thank you. It's so awesome to be here. And I do have to say that it's actually a really shitty day in Chicago. It's just been raining and everything. 

So, uh, probably that means it'll hit us probably in about 24 hours, 20, 36 hours. That's usually how it happens so we will enjoy it while we have it. But I have no doubt that later in the week, we'll be crap on a stick, anyway. Good to have you here, man. It is great to finally talk to you. I know your story. Um, so you grew up, you weren't diagnosed and you're just like, Hey, going through life and you wind up getting into Harvard and you're like, man, I'm the shit. And then you, in fact, as the announcer would say, in fact he was not the shit. Tell us what happened. 

Yeah. I mean, I had, I was a really just naturally good test taker. I had this great support structure growing up. Like, I mean, I had parents that were pushing me. I had older sisters who paved the way for me in school and built a good reputation with teachers and I just had really smart, ambitious friends that would invite me to study with them and that sort of thing. And you know, all those factors converged and I pulled off, you know, an amazing heist of sorts and somehow managed to graduate number one in my high school class, get into Harvard like woo hoo! My life is set like que que the trumpets and, uh, yeah, it turned, it turns out it wasn't. When I got to Harvard, the wheels just fell off. Lack of structure. And honestly Peter, you know, what I used to get through high school was just massive amounts of procrastination followed by minor heart attacks, followed by getting my work done. And by the time I got to Harvard, you know, I had freedom for the first time in my life. I was like, I don't, I'm done with that. I don't want to do that. 

What I find interesting is that you're not the first person. Uh, on this podcast, who's gotten into Harvard and realized holy crap, nothing is working. Um, we actually had someone, uh, several years ago named Rachel Cotton. Uh, she was doing her PhD at Harvard and, uh, she had been, she got through undergrad and her graduate degree by uh, mainlining Adderall and no.. no not Adderall, NoDoze and mainlining, uh, uh, caffeine pills. And, you know, she finally had good healthcare at Harvard and she went to it for physical induction and the doctor asked if there’s anything else there's anything else they should know and she goes, yeah. I drink about, you know, 14 cups of coffee a day, and take about nine, nine NoDoze. Um, and she just said it nonchalantly and the doctor goes to that's that's, that's, that's probably not normal. And that was the beginning of her diagnosis. So there's something about Harvard, but, um, you know, so you get into it and, and shit starts going off the rails and talk to us about how you must've felt, because I'm assuming much like I did when things would go off the rails for me, you know, it's obviously 100% entirely my fault. I'm the fuck up. It's obviously there's nothing else that could be wrong with it. It's totally me. Um, how could I be such a horrible. 

100%. Yeah. I mean, I feel like you just put my brain on loud speaker there, Peter, so thank you for that. Yeah, no, I completely, I mean, so I didn't get diagnosed until my mid thirties. And so this is all like under the radar, undiagnosed and you know, the only explanation that I had was the one that my mom had, which was Aron thinks you better than everyone, that he doesn't have to play by the rules. And he's just lazy and, you know, it's sorta like, well, I'm cutting all these corners and I'm getting away with these last minute saves, like, I guess she's right. And I mean, you know, to this day, I'm still piecing back together my self image and self confidence from all those years of misinformation. 

What was it like when, tell us about the, the, sort of the great reveal moment when you finally got diagnosed and, you know, you'd been gone for 15 years how, and if I get diagnosed, like, holy shit, there's a name for this and it starts to make sense.

Yeah, totally. Um, let me, let me tell you that. And let me just tell you, uh, what happened about a few months before that, just to get an idea of kinda where, how we got here, because when we go from Harvard we sort of have to paint the real picture. So, uh, A year before I'm diagnosed. Uh, I, I've got all of my possessions, all my belongings in a few suitcases and my wife's just basically kicked me out of the house. So we're getting divorced and I'm broke and I'm earning minimum wage. So anyway, so I'm carrying my two suitcases up the stairs of this shared house, uh, that I'm now going to share with four other acquaintances and I'm in, I'm in the room and I'm unpacking my stuff in the closet. And then Billy this 26 year old tech support agent from Vietnam comes and flops down on my king size bed. Kind of starteling me and I'm like, Hey, Billy, what's up, you know, but he looks really comfortable and that's when it hits me. He hasn't flopped down on his, on my king size bed. 

Oh no. 

He's flopped down on his half of OUR king size bed because renting half of a bed was all that I could afford at that point in my life. 

Wow. 

That's that's, that's only a bump. It was, it was such a wake-up call, right. 

Did he at least smell good? 

I mean, you know, I mean, I think it was, uh, I think it was, uh, Obsession, you know by CK, it was pretty, pretty delightful, you know, it's kinda musky. Uh, and yeah, so anyway, so of course the, the heart attack of that experience got me into action. I got a better job. And then. And then from that better job, which I only was at for seven months, I was able to move into a new company and get a raise. And I'm like, oh, this is great. Like I've, you know, I've rebuilt my life, blah, blah, blah. And anyway, so I'm three months into that job and it's all like high fives and backslaps everyone loves Aron and, uh, then history repeats itself. All of a sudden I got a call from my manager saying the client doesn't like your work. They think that it's subpar and you need to stay late for every night this week and maybe every night next week, if you don't get it done and redo all the work you've done the last few months. And you know, it doesn't mean you can't get done everything else you have to get done this week and you can't charge, you know, bill the time to the client more or anything. And like, Peter, I literally just freak out. Like, I mean, I'm thinking like I'm already, I mean, I'm already taking NoDoz and you know, I'm already at the edge of, at the edge of my bandwidth. Like I don't have another gear to stay late, you know, and redo work that I've already done in addition to a full day job. Like no way. 

And, uh, yeah, go ahead. No, this is what happens. So, so you're sitting there in the, you know, probably like deer in the headlights type thing. W what was the next step? 

Total, total deer in the headlights. And like, you know, like people say, like, when you die, like your whole life flashes in front of your eyes, there's something in slow motion. Like for me, It was kind of flashing in front of my eyes at that point, because what I was seeing was this whole image of rebuilding my life was going to be gone. At that point I was effectively a 34 year old divorce, a living with my mom. It wasn't technically living with my mom because it was living with my mom's sister, but it’s basically the same thing. 

And I'm reminded of the Seinfeld episode where, uh, you know, George, is that when we look to you should go talk to her. Yeah. Because balding middle-aged men with no job who live with their parents have a really good success rate there, 

Love it, love it. Right. And those, and you can't see this at home, but Peter and I are chatting and I've got the nice bald round dome. And, but what he said is totally true. I'll, uh, George Costanza. And so anyway, like I see my life, I see my life just falling apart for my eyes. I freak out and a friend had mentioned his ADHD and Adderall. He mentioned that socially, like going out drinking, but all I knew because I'd never tried Adderall even really paid any attention to it. But. He said it helped him stay up late to go out drinking. So I'm like, dude, I need to stay up late for this like thing! Or I'm going to get fired and live in my mom's sister's house. 

That's how Pfizer originally marketed Adderall is. “Hey, here's the stay up late going out, drinking a drug, right?” Yeah. I totally can imagine. I can totally imagine him saying that. And that's what, what you glom on. So I totally get. 

Yeah. And like, exactly. And, uh, and then, yeah, so, so anyway, so I get to work that Monday and like, I go through the day and then kind of midday, cause that was sort of the, the advice that I got like that I could take it and it would get me through the night or through like, you know, staying until 9:00 PM or 8:00 PM. So about mid day I take it anyway, I walk around like I walk around and just kill some time and I come back and I sit down at my laptop. And, you know, it's like in a conference room because I'm a consultant. There's like other people and distractions. And I'm like, of course, working on some super boring shit, like PowerPoint slides and Excel spreadsheets. And, uh, I sit down, I do some work like for a few minutes and then I look off and I look back at my boring stuff and I keep working on it. And then I look away for a little bit. Like, a minute. And then I look back and I keep working. I was like, holy crap. I'm working on this thing without stopping, even though it's not exciting and interesting, like.. is this book people have been talking about this whole time when they've said, Aron, just sit down and work on it!?!

You had the Bradley Cooper NZT moment in Limitless, where he sits, where he takes the pill. He sits down, everything becomes clear and in color. 

Like, it was literally as if like you'd given a blind person site and it was like, it was like, oh, this is what purple looks like. Like I didn't realize whatever I was everyone was talking about. 

That is spectacular, but it's entirely true. Everyone who's been there has had that. I call it that Limitless moment. If you haven't seen this film, dude, go out this afternoon, stop what you're doing and go see this film. He literally, he takes his pill of NZT, which gives him quote, unquote access to the other 90% of his brain. And, and he there's the scene. It's a stairway scene. He walks in the stairway and it goes from black and white drab to super high Def color where every single sound like the ticking of a bicycle, he hears the ticking of the wheel of greatness every day. And he's like, I get it. Right. And, and, and the, the landlord lady who is like, who's like on his ass to pay the rent, you know, five minutes later, he's sleeping with her. Right. It's just. That thing where he's just like, everything makes sense now. Yeah. We've all had that! 

Right. Exactly. And if you, if you take Peter's suggestion and you go and see the movie, uh, I also look like Bradley Cooper- so that's like a bonus as well. 

Hey, I'll, I'll, I'll sure, why not? 

Don't don't look at the show notes! [And you’re totally reading the show notes now aren’t you- Aron’s picture is on the main page ;)]

But you know, it's, it's funny because those moments, everyone talks about this one, right. And he talks about the sort of those, those Zen moments, those wake up moments. I think the thing that people don't mention the most about those moments is that it's the wake up call is not only, wow- look at all this shit I can DO, but also holy crap, I'm not the complete loser that I thought I was. 

Wow. So, you know, what's amazing about that, Peter, um, is.. I only came to that realization like a week or two ago, because I was putting together this like nine minute TED talk that ADDA is putting out, uh, next month as part of ADHD awareness month. And that literally is the theme of my talk, but I didn't make that connection until I wrote it. And you just like, I should have been just talking to you because you just said it so perfectly clearly.

We've all been there man. That's, you know, that literally comes from years of, I remember, you know, back in high school, I remember back in college, like my fourth day of my freshman year, I said something stupid. And I, you know, my, my social acuity didn't kick in and I said something stupid. And I know that's it, I just fucked up 4 years. I remember, I remember screwing up four years ago. I think I was just stood up for his college and it, it, it, why am I just so different? Why am I such a loser? Why am I, and, and. It's amazing how you, how you see that. Um, in people who haven't been diagnosed and they get diagnosed, they under, it's not even so much the diagnosis, you break your leg, you have a, you have a bone sticking on your leg. You pretty much know you've broken your leg. This isn't, this is a secret, this is a secret disease. Right? And so you, you get diagnosed for the first time. You understand it, right. You didn't have a bone sticking out of your brain. You couldn't tell that there was something wrong with you. That could be fixed. So that's it's yeah, it's a massive wake up call. So, all right. So you're diagnosed things, start changing. Now what. 

Uh, yeah, so then, then I live happily ever after, and shit just works perfectly. Um, no. So then, then I get medication and it's like a game changer, right? Right, so I go and get diagnosed. The week, like as soon as after, as I could, and then I get medications, it’s a game-changer and I go from being an under performer where to like an average and then an above average performer a nd I was like, this is great. Um, and it was really the first time in my adult life that I performed in any meaningful capacity, because as you said, I failed out of my first seven jobs in businesses and it was just like shit show after shit show. And, uh, so I then did what any responsible 34 year old does that's living on his own? I got home from work every day, broke out the weed, played video games and ate freaking sour patch, kids and sweet tarts like every effing day. 

I love it. How'd you come out of that? 

Uh, well, it was about a few years later and I was like, crap. This, this like hedonic pleasure of doing all that isn’t fulfilling. Like, yes, I enjoy it in the moment, but it's also, it's also not making me happy, deep down and you know, my social relationships weren't thriving because of it. Um, and. You know, I also wasn't achieving my fullest potential, you know, like Abraham Maslow, ‘what one can be one must be’. And that was creating like an internal lack of fulfillment and dissonance. So I finally just said that, Hey, maybe holding down a job, isn't my biggest achievement that I can have in life. Maybe I could have something bigger and do something more and make a bigger impact. And so that for me, I finally said, okay, I stopped finding dopamine in those artificial pleasures, if you will. And I started discovering, I could find dopamine through achieving personally meaningful goals and striving to be better, and to constantly improve myself. 

What happens when, uh, how many times have you had that moment where you're like, I can't believe I'm getting paid to get this high, essentially the high, the high being, what you love to do. Cause I come off the stage every day and I'd have to shake whenever I speak, as it was to shake my head and be like still, they still don't know. They still think that I'm, you know, I'm still getting paid for this crap. Unbelievable. I still get that. 

I think, I think about that. I mean, I think of that in my coaching sessions with clients, like, I love to talk about this shit. Like, you want to talk about how to like improve your life and be productive or like strategy!? Like that is candy, even podcasts, right? Like, like, I mean, obviously I’m not getting paid directly on this, but, this is like the most fun thing in the world. I get to hang out with someone awesome, we get to talk about the shared interests, which, you know, we're both so passionate about and we had to make a difference, like, yeah, same. Yeah. Like you hit it. I love, I love how clearly, uh, and I don't mean this as a knock against anyone else I've talked to, but I feel like there's a clarity of not purpose, but a clarity of thinking, and how you've processed so much of this stuff. That is just a level above. 

Thank you. I think a lot of it comes to comes to the point where you're just like, you know what? I know what works. I know what doesn't. I know how I got here. Fuck it. I'm just gonna, I'm gonna say how I feel. Um, tell us, I want to keep it to 20 minutes, I wanna be respectful of your time and the audience's time; cause it's been 20 minutes, you know, ADHD and all that. Um, how can people find more of you? Because there's a lot more that we will discuss next time I have you on but where can they find you? Where can they, where can they learn more about you? Because you have some interesting backstory and some interesting future story. And I think that our audience will want more of that. Tell us. 

Yeah, absolutely. So, um, the future story stuff that Peter's referring to, just so we don't leave people with a complete view of me as a fuck up. 

No, obviously I told you in the very beginning, you know, you're doing, you're doing fortune 500 coaching now you're doing tons of stuff, you know? So obviously you, you figured it out. 

[19:22 - How can people find you? https://hiddenadhd.com  @aroncroft on Twitter  @HiddenADHD on Facebook  INSTA  YouTube and also at hidden_adhd on TikTok]

Okay. So then we don't, we don't need to go into it. So I would say then just, uh, just Google hidden ADHD. Uh, so the “hidden” is kind of like a nod to a bit of the inattentive going under the radar and you'll be able to find my TikTok with over a hundred thousand people and you'll be able to find my free downloads and stuff. I’ve got some cool ADHD one-on-one and productivity guides and stuff. Uh, so you can get all that. And, uh, I would love to connect with you. 

Awesome Aron Croft yeah, his TikTok’s pretty off the charts you should definitely follow that. I'll give you that. I, you know, it's funny. I've been trying desperately. I tried to get into it, I just, I couldn't, I couldn't fall in love with it. I, I, I fell in love with Twitter. I fell in love with Facebook. I fell in love with Instagram. I couldn't, I still can't fall in love with TikTok, maybe because I know the company in China and I've been to their headquarters in China and it just scares me, but I just, I still can't fall in love with TikTok. I'm trying. I just can't make them a, B, 

Maybe you can't. Maybe you can't have more than three loves, like maybe. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, like, you know, your heart's full. 

My girlfriend would argue. I can have more than one, but no, I see where you're going with that. Um, all right, cool guys, you’ve been listening to Aron Croft! I love this guy who's shit is awesome. Definitely check him out. You've also been listening to Faster Than Normal. That's me. You know how to find me. I'm not going to waste your time. I'll be back next week with a new episode. My name is Peter Shankman.  I appreciate you listening. I appreciate you taking 20 minutes of your day. I know that's a lot. And for those who actually listened to this on anything less than 1.25 times speed; you're my people. I thank you for that! See ya soon!

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Sep 29, 2021

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

——

Cynthia Hammer was born in raised in Leominster, Massachusetts, about an hour west of Boston. Graduated college with her Master’s Degree in Social Work and has been married for 52 years, and has three wonderful sons. About a year after her middle son was diagnosed with ADD, the same pediatrician diagnosed Cynthia with ADD.  It was 1992 and she was 49 years old. After connecting with a few organizations, she founded the non-profit organization, ADD Resources, with a mission to help other adults with ADD learn about the condition and get diagnosed.  The organization sponsored yearly conferences with the most well-known ADHD clinicians as presenters—including Drs. Hallowell, Ratey, Dodson, and Amen along with Thomas Phelan and Thomas Brown, PhDs as well as sponsoring workshops for teachers and a special weekend for women with Sari Solden.  She left the organization in 2010 and trained to be an ADHD coach, but never got beyond offering her services pro bono. After some time away and inspired by the isolation imposed by Covid, she wrote a memoir about her life with ADD—“The Circular Staircase, Living with ADD.”  In getting reacquainted with ADHD research and literature for her memoir she learned that those with Inattentive ADHD continue to be significantly less-often diagnosed than those with Hyperactivity.  Wanting to change that she started a new non-profit in March, 2021 with a mission that children with Inattentive ADHD get diagnosed by age 8 and adults with Inattentive ADHD are readily and correctly diagnosed when they seek help. The new website is www.iadhd.org.  She is creating a social media presence, blogging, appearing on podcasts, and submitting articles for ADDitude magazine, spreading the message that Inattentive ADHD exists—it is different from ADHD with hyperactivity, and it is harmful to individuals when it goes undiagnosed. For ADHD Awareness month, which is October, people who share her commitment to spread awareness about Inattentive ADHD can download letters from her website to mail to school principals and physicians in their community.  They can find the letters by clicking on Spread Awareness. https://www.iadhd.org/adhd-awareness-month Today we learn more about how Cynthia continues to break social stereotypes and get folks the help they need -enjoy!

In this episode Peter and Cynthia Hammer discuss:  

1:55 - Intro and welcome Cynthia! 

2:57 - You got diagnosed at age 49. After you got diagnosed how did things go?

4:22 - On not believing she would have a ‘whole new life’, even though her doctor said she would.

5:04 - On her first ADHD “group meet”

6:53 - On how she started her first non-profit for ADHD  Ref: The Adult ADD Reader  Dr. Hallowell  

9:15 - Ref:  Driven To Distraction by Dr. Hallowell 

10:50 - Let’s talk about your recent memoir! “The Circular Staircase” (not yet published)  Ref: Reedsy website

14:30 - Ref Additude mag

15:29 - How can people find you? Her non-profit is at www.iADHD.org  and @iadhd.org on Facebook and you can find @CynthiaHammer9 on Twitter 

15:40 - Thank you Cynthia Hammer!  Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love what the responses and the notes that we get from you. So please continue to do that, tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all, we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you can ever, if you ever need our help, I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

15:55 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

My name is Peter Shankman. It is great to have you. It is a Tuesday here in New York and beautiful day, little warm, little hot, little Indian summer going on. It is very. I want to introduce our guest today I think you will enjoy; got someone who's born and raised in Leominster, Massachusetts, about an hour west of Boston. And after her middle son, she has three sons. After a middle son was diagnosed with ADD, the same pediatrician, diagnosed her with ADHD, whether they, it was 1982 and she was 49 years old. So. What do you do when you're ADHD and diagnosed at 49 years old, you start a non-profit. She created ADD Rescources https://www.iadhd.org It's a mission to help other adults with ADHD, learn about the condition and get diagnosed. They sponsor yearly conferences, including Dr. Hallowell, Randy Dodson, along with Thomas Brown, all the good ones, all the ones you read about in the books, all the ones whose books you've read. She left the organization in 2010. But then when COVID hit, she wrote a memoir there, a lot of stuff to cover here today. Welcome Cynthia Hammer, Cynthia. It is great to have you on the podcast. 

Thank you. 

So you got diagnosed at 49; prior to that what'd you think was going on? 

I really didn't take anything was going on.

Okay. So you just sort of lived your life and you're like, Hey, whatever, you know, this is, this is what it is. So after you got diagnosed did stuff started making a little more sense to you? 

Well, I can't say that because I was very, very sad to get diagnosed. And when I was diagnosed, actually it was after I got, um, evaluated where I worked. And my supervisor had a grandson with ADD. So she was the first one to suggest that to me. And because of my son had inattentive ADD, occasionally I said to myself, I do that. I do that, but I never took it seriously. But when she told me, she thought I had ADD, um, at the next appointment with the pediatrician, cause I'd go with my son; I said to Dr. Klonsky. I said, do you think I have ADD? And he said, you do. So then he took me on, I was his first adult patient and I started to take Ritalin. It made a big difference. And what he said to me was- I envy you, you're going to have a whole new life. And I didn't believe him because I was just so sad about having it. Um, but I say with time it was a whole new life. 

Tell me about it, why was it a new life? 

Well, I went to the first ADD conference for adults. It was held in Ann Arbor, Michigan. And I'm sorry, probably it was about 1992. And when I came home, I decided to start a support group for adults with ADHD. So I went around and got, um, a hospital to give us a room and I got, um, flyers I put out in psychiatrist's office. And then when the group met, it didn't work out too well, because there was such a range. There always is a range of people with ADD and some of them were on dis um, Medicaid, or they weren't working and others were entrepreneurs and being very successful. So we'd have about 10 people at a meeting and then at the next meeting it would be different people. And so we never got to establish trust with each other and everyone was coming to tell their story from scratch. So then I decided, well, this isn't working and we switched and got a large auditorium, not, not large, but enough to hold like a hundred people. And I started, um, to have the meetings with a  professional in some area of ADD where people would want to learn more and we would, we're easily able to get people, psychiatrists and counselors, people in areas that impacted people with ADD to come and present. So that worked out much better. Although we still had problems of people in the audience wanting to interrupt the presenter to ask questions, and we took care of that. And then we'd have people in the audience that when it was question and answer, they would monologue a long time before they would ask the question. So it's still. It still took, um, some structure, but in that process of setting up the monthly meetings, I found other people with add that were functioning well enough to be helpers.  I guess at some point in there, I just decided to start a nonprofit and I can't remember why. But my mother had sent me $2,000. She never, ever done that before, and I just decided, and she lives in Massachusetts and I'm living in Washington state and I decided to use that money to start the nonprofit. So besides learning on my own, how to create the nonprofit, I found a book in the library that helped me to do that. Then. The other thought I had was to create a booklet called the adult ADD reader because instead of, I didn't the only book at the time that was out there was by Lynne Weiss. She was a PhD and her book was adults with ADHD. That was the first I'd heard of it. So we put it together, this adult ADD reader and I got approval. I don't know where I was getting the articles from, but I wrote to all the people like Dr. Hallowell, Dr. Ratey, got their permission to use their article in the adult reader. So it was like, A hundred page booklet with lots of articles it by all these professionals. And so then we started having a membership and with the membership, you could get the adult ADD reader and we created a lending library with, um, videos and books and back then it was audio tapes. And people, no matter where they lived, we would mail them materials and then they would mail them back. And at every meeting that we had, every month in person, people that were members, we had a Cardex and if they were members, they could borrow things from the lending library at the monthly meeting. And then from that, I don't think that cost much money, but we were going to move forward and have conferences. And the first one we had to come to speak was Dr. Hallowell. And he came to speak both at the auditorium where we had our monthly meetings and also at an auditorium in, uh, the junior college in our town. And it was so coincidental because that was the same week that, um, Dr. Hallowell was on the cover of time magazine. I think he had come out with, uh, Driven to Distraction. So that was kind of fun. And, and when Dr. Hal arrived, he said, uh, how much are you? How much are you charging? How much are you paying me? When I told him, he said, you should have asked for more. Oh, he should have asked for more. That's what I mean. Um, so I stayed in the position of the Director, I guess, for 15 years. And. Only for the last three years was I paid a salary because before that we weren't, we were making enough money to rent a room. I mean, yeah, an expanse, so we had two rooms for the office and I hired a secretary. And then in Washington state, they have a program where you can hire students that are on scholarship or students that are on financial assistance. And if you're a nonprofit, you can hire them and the state will pay 30, 70% of their salary. So we got, we got some, uh, and that's still available now. So we got a really good, um, student to come and help us in the office. And I think that there's always a good thing is to have that mix of the ADD people with some neuro-typical people. 

Let's talk for a second. Let's talk for a second about the memoir about, uh, ADD to circular staircase.

Well, I wrote it during COVID shut down and I know I never would have gotten it written if it hadn't been for the shutdown, but I just made a commitment to myself. I'd worked on it every day, which I did. And I, I have never written anything before. I mean, I wrote articles for the newsletter we had was add resources, but it was kind of, it was like, you know, new learning. It was really fun in a way to have all this new learning. And I found this website called Reedsy where you could, um, what to upload your, whatever you wrote. And there are all these parameters where it would improve your writing. It would show you where you use the same word too often, or show you, um, if you put in a, ‘so’, or ‘really’, or a very telling you that the new way of writing, you know, put those superlatives in there. It does, it really enhance things and changing from passive voice to active voice. Um, a lot of things like that. And so I kept thinking I was improving it. I was improving it and it ended up being about 60,000 words long. And I thought it was pretty good, but I thought I need someone who, um, is in this field. And I was reading online about this kind of editor and that kind of editor. It just sounded so confusing, but there was one website that recommended this other guy is a developmental editor. And so I hired him. And he read the manuscript and know the things like what, all the adventures that we had were like TV moves. So it's down the manuscript and 40,000 words. And he said it was, he was changing it so it was a story about my, my ADD. So the things that he didn't think were related to that were there, and I finished, we finished the manuscript in March and then. I sent it out to like 75 agents and publishers and no one responded except this one company that I'm still waiting to hear the associate decide by the end of September [2021]  And. Yeah, I, so I guess my new learning after this will be how to promote a self-published book. If they don't, they don't decide to publish it and if they do it's, um, It wouldn't come out for a year, you know? So I I'm, I'm just learning a lot about how this world works and attending sessions to learn about how to, how to proceed. That's. So in the meantime, 'cause I got back into learning about, ADD because of the writing, the memoir and just reading stuff to make sure my, what I was saying related to ADD was very true. I read an article, a blog, post, in Additude.mag by a girl who was 21. And she said that she's been told to just move on, after she got her diagnosis, but she said, I can't, I am just so angry. She was angry that even though people saw that she was struggling and she even, I guess, asked someone if she had ADD and they said, no, you you're too smart to have ADD; and so that just, just motivated me, I guess, to start a nonprofit with the focus on inattentive ADD. And so that's where I am today.

Awesome. How can people find more about you? Do you have a website or are you a lot on social media somewhere? [15:29 - How can people find you? Her non-profit is at www.iADHD.org  and @iadhd.org on Facebook and you can find @CynthiaHammer9 on Twitter ]

Awesome. Well, we will definitely post that in the show notes. Cynthia, I really appreciate you taking the time to be on the podcast. All right guys, we're listening to fast, the normal as always. We love that you're here. Stay in touch and reach out @petershankman or @FasterNormal. And we will see you next week.

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Sep 22, 2021

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

——

Morgan Dodson is a life coach for people with ADHD. She helps them go paperless, and digitally organize their lives into simple tools they can use forever, not Pinterest perfect strategies that fall flat after a few weeks. In 2018, she started a professional home organizing business, but after hiring her first life coach, losing seventy five pounds, stopping drinking, being diagnosed with ADHD, and overcoming her hyperthyroidism, she decided to become a coach herself. Ever since then she’s been working online with ADHD-ers from all over the world to simplify their lives by going paperless for the last time. Today we learn about her journey and how she’s now helping fellow ADHD’ers -enjoy!

In this episode Peter and Morgan Dodson discuss:  

2:35 - Intro and welcome Morgan! 

3:50 - How Morgan got her start and her back story

4:40 - How she started her own coaching business

5:40 - On the concept of using paperless systems to work your ADHD

6:44 - What to do when we can’t go paperless

9:35 - What else are you helping people with other than becoming paperless?

12:00 - On prioritizing 

12:23 - What are some of your other go-to tricks?  Ref:  Apps Trello  Asana  Notion

16:50 - How can people find you? https://www.morgandodsoncoaching.com Going Paperless with ADHD Spotify Link: https://open.spotify.com/show/3HaY1LdDbiJLjA6Jqo9pfq

Apple Podcast Link: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/id1543950427

Subscribe to Morgan’s email list HERE

[At the time of taping Morgan does not appear to be on any Social media other than @morgandodsoncoaching on Facebook]

17:04 - Thank you Morgan Dodson!  Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love what the responses and the notes that we get from you. So please continue to do that, tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all, we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you can ever, if you ever need our help, I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

 

17:35 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

 

Heeey- Faster Than Normal you're here, I'm here. Our guest is here. Everyone's here. Which for someone people with ADHD thing, you know, I'll take that as a win. My name is Peter Shankman. You are listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We love when you were here and it makes us very, very happy. It is a grey gloomy afternoon here in New York city, but we are persevering and pushing through my daughter is back in school. I'm hoping that will last. That gives us some freedom. Uh, I was all, we were all like, you know, worried about the tears this morning when I dropped her off. Not, not so much from her,, rather from me. Uh, uh, it turns out she was happy to get rid of me. So, you know, Hey, everyone wins. We are talking to Morgan Dodson this morning on America’s number 1 ADHD podcast. We're going to welcome to faster than normal. I will give you a, I'll give you a second to say hello, and they will give you, I'll give you the audience are your bio and all of that cool stuff going on there. So welcome to Faster Than Normal! 

Amazing. Sorry to hear that it's gloomy. I'm experiencing a very bright Southern Illinois day, so it's just starting to feel like fall down here. But, um, thank you for having me. I have to tell you first, a, um, a quick story years ago when I found your podcast. I remember just listening to one after another classic, you know, binge consuming, a podcast, ADHD style. And I said to myself, I will be on his podcast one day; and it was, it was, and I don't even remember, like if I was a coach at that time, but I just knew I would be here someday. I didn't know how, I didn't really know but here I am. So that's super fun, but, um, 

Manifesting your dreams. Well done. 

Exactly, exactly. Nailed it. So, yeah, so I'm sure you will have read my bio by now in the podcast, but my name is Morgan Dodson and I am a digital organization coach for people with ADHD. I would say if you will. I suspect you have ADHD or you have it, and you're anywhere on the planet with the internet and a pulse. I can coach you.

So, uh, growing up, I didn't even know I had ADHD until age 22 when it kind of fell in my lap. Um, my therapist casually mentioned, Hey, I think you have ADHD. And I said, no, I don't. That's ridiculous. Cause I was so organized at the time. Right. So growing up. Kind of to navigate and kind of to compensate and accommodate my, my undiagnosed ADHD, which I thought just was the normal to have a very, very fast brain. Right. I would obsess if we organize everything because I was a hot mess. Right. Like even growing up, everything was so messy. Growing up and even into college, you know, I learned a thing or two about organizing. And after, after college I used none of my, my agricultural communications degree that I just graduated with and I started a professional home organizing business, which has evolved into what is today, which is just online. COVID. Right. So instead of going into people's houses, which was difficult because I could work with them and they would get the result of, you know, an organized kitchen or closet, but then it wouldn't even be maintained. You know, I'd come back a couple of weeks later and really be frustrated with them and maybe frustrated with themselves, but throughout my own journey, with, you know, therapy and then kind of outgrowing the therapy model, I found coaching life coaching and using those tools too of course, to learn about my ADHD and navigate all of that and to lose over 75 pounds and stop over drinking and completely change my whole life. So. I definitely believe in those tools after really having to change my mind about them. You know, I used to believe a life coaching that's cute. Right. Get a real job. Right. And so after being a product of that product, like I said, I had to change my mind. So here I am today and I help people with ADHD go paperless. And really we focus on three main areas of calendaring and following. Project management and all of the scheming and saving of all the things..

 I'm going to interrupt you just because I want to, I wanna make sure we cover as much as possible let's turn to the concept of paperless. Right? So one of the things that's given us is the ability to almost no, almost entirely go paperless. That, uh, one of the things I dread now in my life is actually one of the mailbox, right? I'm getting, you know, 99% of it. I live in an apartment, unfortunately in our building we have a recycle bin right next to the mailboxes because, you know, we dump all our junk down there. And maybe once a week I have to actually bring something upstairs. And then I look at it like, what the hell does this have to go? Right. I sit at my desk and do whatever. So paperless is a wonderful thought. It's a wonderful idea. You know, real-world scenario in a practical scenario, we can't all be paperless all the time. I'm sitting here looking at a tax bill, um, you know, a quarterly apartment tax bill that I have to pay and, and it doesn't, you can't go tax, you can't go paperless in New York state. Right. So talk about for a second as basically its competitors in many ways as possible. Talk about what we do or those points where we can’t. 

Yeah. And I think that's an important thing to mention too, right. Is like even in my life that living in very rural Southern Illinois, where I think a lot of places are lagging in the option to go paperless. Right. And I think it's important just to know that it's not about going paperless for paperless sake, right? It's about how can I save all the information in my life, all the data in my life, to where I have systems to maintain them. Right. Versus. You know, getting rid of paper, isn't the problem. I think it, a lot of times it comes down to a lack of systems problems. Right. And even for me, like, I still purposely keep a good amount of paper. Right. Like it's more about, do you know your reasons for keeping it and do you like them? Right. So always on my desk, I have this just boring and plain notepad that I dump ideas in and it's kind of just like my inbox. Right. And then I also journal on paper.  Right. And so I know how those tools give me value versus I wouldn't just, you know, not, you know, like without really considering my reasons for keeping lots of paper. Um, does that make sense? 

It's way more about, do you know your reasons, unlike your reasons, right. That, you know, a lot of people find is that they get used to a certain way. Like for instance, in, in, you know, most of the stuff that I do, I can go pay for this in so many ways. And then when something comes in that doesn't allow that when something comes into that, that, that messes with that. Uh, sort of rhythm. 

Yeah. Yeah. And I can relate to that too. Especially, you know, with the example of, you know, auto billing and even just having the bill emailed to you. Right. And it's like, oh, this is so annoying. Even for me, like my insurance, my health insurance is a cost share insurance. So it's not like, regular insurance. So they have to reimburse me with paper checks in the mail. It's like one of the few things I actually get in the mail now. And I'm, it literally does throw me off a little bit when you know, I'm budgeting or doing any kind of money things. Right. It's like it would, it would make too much sense. Right to do it electronically, but nonetheless, I think it's more, you know, for me about how can I accommodate this way of doing things that they have allowed for and not making it a problem that they do this right. Cause that could be mad at them and like begrudgingly cash, this check and, um, thank God for, you know, having a bank app that can let me deposit it. Right. You know, or it can just not make it a problem and, you know, I have everything else as digital as possible. And I know that that makes it easy for me. And also I can accommodate those other things that maybe hasn't quite caught up yet with the digital life that I want to live, you know?

Yeah, I think at the end of the day, it really is about balance and finding out, you know, sort of what works and how to make it work. What else, what else are you helping people with other than paperless? Because I know that as much as, as much of a bonus is to go, you know, to make your life easier and that there's still a lot more.

Yeah. Yeah. So we talk a lot about calendaring, right? There's kind of two sides to it of it's one thing to put some plans on the calendar, right. To map out all the things you want to do and get in any given day in any given week, but then it's a whole nother side of things to follow through. Right. I can't tell you how many times when I was trying to transition from my paper planner in college too and the grudgingly transfer from a paper planner to iCal right. A digital calendar and I'd have all the best laid out plans and then come time to do it, I could not get myself to do it. So a lot of the work is figuring out the right those reasons and those obstacles you have to yeah. Putting the plan on the calendar and then to follow through on it. That is a lot of what I coach on that. And then project management, right. Those are kind of like two sister skills of it's. One thing to put things on the calendar, but. To have a place organized enough kind of like your external brain where I can put my ideas in. And I know exactly where this kind of idea would go or this to-do list or this thing I need to buy. Right. And then having that kind of personal database to pull from, to then put your whole life on the calendar. And really, I love thinking about it. Like if I can map out any project or goal into doable chunks and put them on the doable calendar. And then if I can follow through on those things, even if they suck, even if they're like, I want to put my eyeballs out or it's scary. If I know I can overcome those obstacles and do anything on the calendar, like my dreams are as good as done. 

Right. I totally understand that. And that definitely make, you know, it makes it interesting to one of the things about ADHD. I find that is if you can block things out into small manageable chunks, as you start giving them. You know, the dope mean kicks and the adrenaline kicks in and you start wanting to do more of them. As the adrenaline and dopamine kicks in And so sometimes getting that big project done is as easy as just getting the first small one. 

Yeah. I mean, that makes a lot of sense. And I used to kind of begrudgingly like almost get mad at people who gave me that advice of eat the frog first thing in the morning. It's a no. Right. So even in the mornings, you know, on any given day, I will do certain small things kind of just to get them out of the way and to get some momentum going, but even with small goals or, or even big goals. Yeah. Like you said, like you kind of have to get the ball rolling in that way and do some small things and get that dopamine going. Y’know?

Definitely. What else do you advise people to do? I mean, what else, what else are some of your go-to tricks?  

Yeah. I mean the one main thing I always start clients with is, and I see this a lot too, because it also used to be me, right. Of people, whether, you know, in Facebook groups or people coming to me and saying, what apps should I use? Right. Like, what are the best apps for organizing or for ADHD in general? And I'm like, listen, You can digitize and organize your entire life. Even for us ADHD’ers. Right? We like the, we like the fancy apps. We like the ones that have all the bells and whistles. Right. But you can digitize your entire life into three simple apps and they don't have to cost a lot of money. Right. They could be free if you wanted them to. Right. So I always recommend, instead of kind of just looking at all the apps like a buffet, and then you can pick all the ones you want. Right. Just pick three. And I always recommend in three categories, right? You pick a calendar app. It literally doesn't matter which one. Right? Pick a project management app that is a little bit more robust than just the notes app on your phone. Right? Some popular ones are Trello, Asana notion, those kinds of ones, [[ Trello  Asana  Notion]] and then pick a place to store your files. Right? Some people love Google drive. I personally use Google drive. You know, you can use Dropbox. It literally doesn't matter, pick one in each of those categories. And then really the magic is A- you have to pull and kind of take inventory of all the other apps you have. Right. Okay. It turns out I've got three Dropbox accounts, two Google drives. Oh, I have this other, you know, Reminders list at like there's all kinds of apps we have stuff in. Taking that into account, consolidating into these three places, and then taking all of the physical paper and data you have and putting it in those three things. And I will tell you, like, this was magical for me to kind of finally figure out for myself, because if I'm going, looking for something, whether it's a file or a picture, it doesn't even matter. I'm not looking across 12 different apps. I know for sure it's at least in one of those three. Right. So then that completely constrains losing things. I can't tell you how little I lose things now, just because of that simple structure for it. And that, you know, that kind of protocol for laying things out.

I think one of the interesting things about, about, um, you know, what I've discovered in terms of keeping things online digitally is your work in the ecosystem you enjoy. Right? So for me, I'm, I'm both in Apple and Google. And so across my phone are spread out the apple and Google apps that allow me to get to whatever I need based on wherever I am, whatever I'm doing.  You know, it seems like, oh, use, use this one. I use that. And I'm like, well, if they don't live in the ecosystem, I'm already in, that's an extra step. Right. And what we're trying to do is eliminate those extra steps, right?

Yeah. And I think you brought up a good point. It's like, yeah, you have Apple stuff on your phone. I would guess you maybe have an iPhone. I do have an iPhone. I'm an Apple girl. Generally. I use I Cal. Right. But I also use a lot of different things that Google offers. And so not making it wrong if you're like in both camps. Right. And a lot of times I find that clients and I used to do this too. Right. So I'm totally guilty of it, of kind of using the indecision and the confusion about, oh my gosh, which apps should I choose? Which ones are right? Which ones are wrong? Like and using that as a distraction to not necessarily avoid digitizing things or organizing them. But I think it's more so about, I think unconsciously, our brains know if we are organized, if we can find things and have an organized to-do list, and we know we can put it on the calendar and follow up through our brains thinks that means we actually have to do things that might be scary or uncomfortable. And I think a lot of times we use the, the kind of distracting confusion of in, you know, not deciding on which apps to use or, or you pick them. And, oh my gosh, I don't know how to use it or let me go. Look up for hours on YouTube, right? I used to do this, like scrolling up and down YouTube, Pinterest, whatever of like, best way to use Evernote or what are, what are the best ways to lay it out? And really it's more about how can I use this system and make it simple. And then how can I get to work doing work that matters, right? That's what it's all about.

Definitely. Awesome. How can people find you if they wanna learn more? Yeah. So there's a couple of ways you can go and find my podcast going paperless with ADHD, and you can also go to my website, which is Morgan Dotson coaching. 

https://www.morgandodsoncoaching.com 

Going Paperless with ADHD Spotify Link: https://open.spotify.com/show/3HaY1LdDbiJLjA6Jqo9pfq 

Apple Podcast Link: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/id1543950427

Subscribe to Morgan’s email list here: https://morgandodsoncoaching.ck.page

 

Awesome guys, you’ve been listening to Morgan Dobson on www.FasterThanNormal.com My name is Peter Shankman. Thank you so much, Morgan. Thank you so much for taking the time and we will see you next week. We're going to have you back at some point in the future. Definitely. One-hundred percent! This was a lot of fun! Guys, ADHD is a gift, not a curse, you know, that make sure you are telling your friends about that. Make sure you were standing up for who you are, what you believe in and in who you are and understanding that you have the, both of you be the best you can be. Don't listen to what anyone else says, except for us because we know what we're talking about; ADHD is a gift, not a curse. We'll see you next week, byee!

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Sep 15, 2021

I wanna give a shout out to NANOVi an NG3 corporate entity who is sponsoring this episode! They make this amazing device that allows my cells to regenerate and get better after hard workouts and much quicker than normal. You simply put it on, breathe into it, for about 10, 15 minutes and it harmonically changes the cells in your body- it is pretty cool! When you think about harmonically changing your cells you might think about The Fly; yeah, This is nothing like That. It actually just makes you feel a little bit better, a little bit faster. Like, I did a 75 mile bike ride and training for the Ironman this past weekend and used it when I got home. I used it again this morning and I feel amazing. So thank you to https://eng3corp.com/lls/ for sponsoring this episode!

——

Dr. Read is a very experienced Consultant Psychiatrist, with 30 years experience in NHS, most recently as Lead for ADHD at a large London teaching trust. She has many years of experience with neurodiversity, both in ADHD / ADD and ASD, and their many comorbidities.

Dr. Read is also a trained individual and family psychotherapist, particularly specializing in Cognitive Analytic Therapy. Her psychodynamic and cognitive understanding and strategies really help in the journey of self understanding, and formulating a treatment plan that will actually work! Dr. Read has a special interest in rejection sensitivity and other emotional issues which are so often part of these conditions. Last, but certainly not least, Dr. Read has ADHD herself, as do her children. Her advice, support and experience to parents is first hand, reflecting the often difficult family journey she has taken, with many difficulties, and many successes along the way. Dr. Read's lived experience of ADHD means that her treatment plans are from the inside… She lives in London where we find her on this rainy Thursday morning. Her private practice, ADHD Consultancy, specializes in neurodiversity. She’s been through it and is doing the good work- enjoy!

 

In this episode Peter and Dr. Read discuss:  

1:55 - Intro and welcome Dr. Helen Read!  Ref: Comorbidity

3:20 - How did you get involved in ADHD/Neurodiversity research, treatment & education?

9:00 - How do parents become better advocates for their kids?

11:22 - How is the UK in terms of embracing the awesome things about ADHD and Neurodiversity?

13:00 - How do you educate/re-educate parents about misconceptions/falsehoods & bad info about Neurodiversity in general?

15:58 - How can people find you? www.ADHDConsultancy.co.uk and on @ADHDconsultancy on Twitter and Facebook

17:05 - Thank you Dr. Helen Read!  Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love what the responses and the notes that we get from you. So please continue to do that, tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all, we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you can ever, if you ever need our help, I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

17:29 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

I wanna give a shout out to NANOVi an NG3 corporate entity is sponsoring this episode and you can find a link to them in the show notes. They make this amazing device that allows my cells to regenerate and get better after hard workouts, much, much quicker than normal. You simply put it on, breathe into it, uh, for about 10, 15 minutes and it harmonically, it changes the cells in your body. Uh, it is pretty cool. When you think about harmonically changing the cells you think about that will be the fly. This is nothing like that. It actually just makes you feel a little bit better, a little bit faster. I did a 75 mile bike ride and training for the Ironman this past weekend. I used it when I got home. I use it again this morning and I feel amazing. So thank you to https://eng3corp.com/lls/ for sponsoring this episode!

Hey everyone. Welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal. My name is Peter Shankman. I'm thrilled that you're here! It is a gray and gross a Thursday morning here in New York city. But that's okay because by the time this airs, hopefully it will be sunny. Again, it was the first day of third grade for my daughter. I dropped her off at school. And in essence, I guess the rain was good because it hit the tears. Obviously I'm talking about my tears, not her. She was thrilled to be rid of me. So thrilled that you guys are here. It's another episode today. We're going across the pond as it were. We were talking to Dr. Helen Reed. Arlene is a consultant psychiatrist, 30 years experience in the NHS. Most recently as Lee. For ADHD at a very large London teaching trust, tons of experience with neurodiversity, both ADHD ADD and ASD. And there are many co-morbidities I just learned I was 48 years old last year when I learned the word comorbidities and I learned it, of course, because of COVID. Um, Dr. Read is also a trained individual and family psychotherapist, particularly specializing in cognitive analytic therapy or CAT or psychodynamic and cognitive understanding of strategies, helping the journey of self understanding formulation and treatment treatment treatment plan that will actually work. She has a special interest in rejection sensitivity. We're going to touch on that because I have a feeling that I have that other emotional issues. And literally, as I said that my dog had got up and walked away. Oh my God. I'm not even kidding. Dr. Read, welcome to Faster Than Normal, fantastic to have you! 

Thank you so much for having me on. Um, wow. Uh, it's very, it's a great honor to be on the protocols and of course. It's a talk to someone who's such a leading light in the fields of ADHD difference, not deficit. Um, as I understand your approach to be an, I would say I'm all about that as a general principle.

Difference, not deficit. That is our headline. No question about it. Oh and the dog came back. So I feel better.  How did you get involved? How, what, what's your background? How did you start in this? Tell us, tell us. 

Uh, well, uh, I started as a doctor, 

I mean in regards to ADD, ADHD, that aspect of it. 

So it was basically, it was my eldest son being diagnosed actually with autism um, 21 years ago when he was three and it was such a shock to me, it was unexpected, he didn't seem kind of that child, as I understood it to be at that time, you know, he was chatty, intelligent, loving, all that sort of thing. But, um, he was referred by the nursery and part of the assessment was a speech and language therapy, uh, appointment. And she said to me, then she said, he's a lovely talker, but he often can't understand quite a bit of what you're saying, you know, he receptive language processing issues. And, and really from that moment on, I was thrown into neurodiversity because I don't know how it is over in the states, but in the UK, I think particularly what we used to call high functioning-Although I know people don't always like that label- there's not a lot available despite good will all around. So, you know, you're, you're, you're well on your own kind of trying to get what your child needs. And we knew, I knew that he was bright, but he couldn't understand what was happening in the classroom. And so what to do. And it was really as that journey that I really came across, um, the whole language processing issue. That seems to go across neurodiversity for an awful lot of people, which is quite a surprise finding. But anyway, that was how I thought that, you know, we need to get this child, some ADHD medication, my personal decision from that point of view so that he could really tune into what's going on. And actually, you know, his first day on Ritalin when he was 11 and you know, not only about medication, but in, in my son's case, it made a very, very big difference was when he came home from school and he said, mum, I can understand what the teachers are saying. And I can understand what the other kids are saying- And, you know, I, I knew it would help, but I didn't, wasn't prepared for that much of a difference. Um, and it made me think, gosh, you know, there's so much in this. And of course the process of getting that Ritalin involved, um, having the second diagnosis of ADHD, which, you know, is, is it, I don't know what you guys think, but I don't feel it's entirely separate from ADHD though clearly. It's not exactly the same thing, but you know, he, um, with the support, you know, it's a constant fight. So I think in this country, and from what I hear about the U S it's not so different and it's a constant fight to get them what they need to represent their points of view and all that sorts of thing. So I emerged quite battle scarred, but you know, my son. You know, it got a, two-one degree in law and these are very successful, very charming, very handsome, very lovely young man today. And, you know, bless his heart. It would have been too difficult for him. I think he obviously would have done well. He's a great guy, but I just think that, you know, the specific thing about being in the school room, you know, about having to deal with a very auditory curriculum about having to focus when it's boring, we all know what that's like. And all of that kind of really mitigates against our children. Sometimes, either achieving their potential, which I guess is what it's all about. So from there, um, That's what got me started. And, uh, I, I, up until that point I'd been really particularly interested in psychotherapy, particularly with more crisis kind of groups, women's power, you know, and anywhere where the action was, that's where I tended to be. And, you know, I loved that work, but I did find, you know, with my own therapy and also with the therapy that I was giving to my patients, you can get so far with it, but often times we were ending up with, uh,  I can compassionately see why I might be finding things difficult because of certain aspects of my childhood, but hey, I'm just watching myself compassionately, continuing to screw up and exactly the same way. So I sort of thought that there's gotta be more to it here you know, it can't just be explained by such difficulties as it to be. I don't know anyone that hasn't had some difficulties in their childhood, although clearly there are differences in degree, but you know, it's the human condition to have a less than perfect life, I think at all stages. And particularly if you’re neurodiverse um, so I think I was looking for something more and I couldn't help noticing the overlap. So y’know you get to know your patients and we're talking about depression. We're talking about anxiety, job problems, life problems, relationships, all these kinds of things, but you know, then you get to, well at school, I could never focus. You know, I was disappointing. My exam results were disappointing, I’d dropped out of university. You know, I couldn't do what I wanted to do. I've had many false starts with my kids. You know, these things, you just hear time and time again and at some point the penny sort of dropped you know; hey, this isn't different from ADHD. And you know, sometimes. It dropped that I had ADHD myself, um, obviously as, as a very successful person, but you know, like many people will say, um, who have, you know, the experience of being what they call high functioning. It's not about not being able to do things it's about having to work harder, smarter, you know, you always have to get up in the morning before the neurotypical people and have it all planned out on a whiteboard, et cetera, et cetera, you know? 

Let me, let me, let me stop you just for a second and ask the question. One of the things you mentioned, um, it sounds like you, uh, became a champion for your son at a very early age, and you were advocating for him for the needs, for his needs and for the things that he required, you know, in, in, uh, the U S at least the concept of advocating, it's not as.. I mean, it's starting to get there. Right. But parents don't often have the tools or the, the knowledge to advocate for what their child needs once their child is diagnosed. You know, what are your thoughts on that in terms of how do parents become better advocates for their kids? 

Well, uh,  it's worth knowing that, um, this is a slightly difficult thing to say, and I don't want to upset anybody, but it's not remotely unusual, um, for a child with ADHD to have, um, some family history and it's remarkably common for one or other, or even both of the parents to be diagnosed. Sometimes it's about either recognizing; he may be just like everyone else in the family, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have problems. So I think a lot of the journey is accepting it ourselves because you know, the cohorts of people who I was going through the same experience with all those years ago, you know, some of them got with the program, others were like, you know, he doesn't do it at home. You know, he's not like that all the time. No, no, no. He can do better than that. Almost like they were arguing giving their kids out of any possible support that they might get. And I feel that, that, um, it's not really that it's very understandable. Obviously it's clearly understandable, but it isn't always very helpful for children if we ask ourselves are in denial about how difficult things can be for them, particularly in the classroom. So I think first of all, we got to know. We've got to read out. We've got to become knowledgeable about this and try not to be defensive. I mean, it's hard, isn't it? When someone says you're a little precious lamb, your little genius, you know, your, your precious child could possibly have a thing going on with them. The natural thing is to go, no, they don't. They’re just like me. No, they don't. But I think we probably need to get beyond that. If they're struggling, obviously, if they're not struggling, we don't need to advocate for them, but if they are struggling, they need our help and they need our help to probably get the help that they need because if we don't know what they need, how on Earth is anyone else going to where they need? 

How has the, how is the UK in terms of embracing ADHD and looking at it as, not necessarily as a, as a curse, but rather as a gift? 

Uh, I would say no where probably, I, I don't know. I think, um, I, I think as a docter, it's it interesting, and I do have some neurodiverse people in my clinic. I have more doctors in my clinic than some people would think could be there, but you know, doctors with ADHD in the UK tend to keep a very low profile I'm out there. You know, my patients know that I have ADHD myself and they appreciate that because they, that they must say appreciate the inside feel for what everyone's going to say. But I think generally, no, it's a condition with the doctors. You know, the patients, you know, you sit back and I will tell you how I am going to cure you of this terrible thing that you have going on, which means that you'll never achieve anything. It's terrible though. Y’know I was just reading the other day, a very, I'm going to say it. It's the Royal College of Psychiatrists. If you ever feel like going on there and having a look article about ADHD, it's like:  “Go on and give yourself a pat on the back. Nope. Really? Because you are trying and it doesn't matter if you can't do anything, don’t worry, you sit back, stop shitting yourself”.  Do you know, I just want to go and punch someone when I read that stuff, because that's not where it's at I don't think, you know, maybe it's for some people, but that's not where it's at for me, my family, my patients, you know, and, and no patients I've ever met; that's where it's at. You know, everybody wants to move forward. Everyone's fighting. Yeah. 

That brings up a great question. What are you telling parents who are getting this sort of information into their brain? How are you, how would you explain to them sort of, you know, what are next steps for them? How do you convince them, you know, hey it's okay- your child is not broken, here's what we can do! 

Yeah, well, I mean, I am now I left the NHS, Peter, in 2020 in may it really just because, uh, it's, it's, it's quite difficult, you know, when you sort of become aware of this kind of thing and, and, and, and, and really what we should be doing with ADHD versus what we actually do with it. There's the Gulf is so wide that it becomes quite difficult, I think, to sort of practice in that context. So I did set my own private practice up, um, and that took off immediately, uh, and is very successful fortunately, and, um, not just because of me, because there's such a need, you know, I mean, it's, it's desperate over in this country, how it is. So the people who come here, I don't see a lot of children. I tend to see children of my patients and I as over fifteens now because I can't treat kids, but because you know, Th the ideas that I have about treatment are not 100% in line with current medical thinking. And clearly I don't want to get myself into any sort of situations with, uh, people who just don't get this stuff, which I think to be fair is anyone who doesn't have ADHD. I don't know how you can get it if you don't have ADHD. I just don't think that people understand how we feel when we can't function. So what do I say to parents? When, of course they're coming anyway, they were approaching me. So they already have quite a lot of this under their belt. And they're looking for diagnosis. They're looking for help. They're the fortunate ones because they can afford to pay. And, you know, unfortunately I do what I can for other people, but yeah. It's really hard because it's a tough battle. So, you know, I don't think that you can convince someone else that they, or their child, or their spouse or whatever that they have, ADHD. It’s kind of a journey that people need to come to a little bit by themselves. And I think that goes to parents, it goes for spouses, it goes for everybody really. Because in as much as like either you can look at me and say, yeah, there's ADHD there- she has the symptoms; you can also look at me and say, oh, well, she's very lazy you know, you know, she's probably a bit thick, you know, maybe that's why she has to work harder. You know, perhaps she's just, you know, not bothered to organize so properly, and that's why she has to have things be written on the white board, you know, you could see what you want to see ready with ADHD I t's quite, um, in a way nebulous. And I think it's nebulous because you're talking about a different kind of personality rather than a person with something wrong with them. But clearly there is a mismatch between what we need the world to be like and what it actually is like, and that causes significant disadvantage, I think and nowhere more so than at school and in education. Does that answer the question? I might've rambled on a bit. 

A hundred percent. That was perfect. We're we're bumping up on time. How can people find, uh, find you? How would you find more about you and where can they find you? 

Well, my company is called ADHDConsultancy so if you went to Google, www dot ADHD, consultancy.co.uk. Um, so one way I am on Twitter, unfortunately I've certainly forgotten exactly what my Twitter handle is cause it's quite a new one because I locked myself out of my old one and I finally discovered to be registered, but it's basically, if you put my name in Dr. Helen read, that's basically what my new Twitter handle is. [15:58 - How can people find you? www.ADHDConsultancy.co.uk and on @ADHDconsultancy on Twitter and Facebook]

So I'm on there. Um, and, uh, yeah, I'm not hard to find just drop me an email. Um, and you and I love to hear from people, particularly people in the U S is, you know, I look with envy, um, on your situation over there. It seems to me that you're so far ahead of us in terms of, of exactly what you're speaking about this movement of, you know, don't abort us just make some reasonable adjustments first, just accept that you can be intelligent unsuccessful with ADHD. Doesn't mean that everybody is, but, you know, try not to make things so difficult for us I think is, is what I would really say. 

Exactly. Well, awesome. Thank you so much for your time, Dr. Read. We really appreciate it. Great to have you. We'd love to have you back again in several months. 

Guys, as always, even listening to faster than normal, and we appreciate that you're here. Uh, you can find us as www.FasterThanNormal.com and I'm @petershankman. We will see you next week and we will remind you that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. We'll talk to you soon. Stay well, stay safe.

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Aug 25, 2021

I wanna give a shout out to NANOVi an NG3 corporate entity who is sponsoring this episode! They make this amazing device that allows my cells to regenerate and get better after hard workouts and much quicker than normal. You simply put it on, breathe into it, for about 10, 15 minutes and it harmonically changes the cells in your body- it is pretty cool! When you think about harmonically changing your cells you might think about The Fly; yeah, This is nothing like That. It actually just makes you feel a little bit better, a little bit faster. Like, I did a 75 mile bike ride and training for the Ironman this past weekend and used it when I got home. I used it again this morning and I feel amazing. So thank you to https://eng3corp.com/lls/ for sponsoring this episode!

——

Steve Shane is the team leader for rapidly growing real estate team Porchlight Florida in Jacksonville FL. He has been a real estate and small business coach for over 5 years having been an affiliate coach for Tom Ferry and Keller Williams. Through his love of coaching and personal development, Steve found that research into brain science and how his brain was working lead him to create a systematic mindset ritual to keep him in a fulfilled and productive state. When his friends started to use the system during the pandemic to deal with their various mental health challenges, they all found relief through the program. That is how the GIVE ALL Neuro Journal was born. www.GiveAllJournal.com After reading Peter's book "Faster Than Normal," Steve also came to realize the program he built for his "mindfulness" was actually treating his potential undiagnosed ADHD. Enjoy!

 

In this episode Peter and Steve discuss:  

 

2:20 - The song Peter is thinking of was probably the basis for this Pumped-Up remix 

 

2:38 - Intro and welcome Steve Shane!  Ref: www.GiveAllJournal.com 

 

5:50 - So the premise of your journal is to have a system to keep you on track, or a “pre-scribed” routine if you will?

 

7:00 - What does it take to get you out of a rabbit hole?

8:18 - About the results of the first thing you don’t do in the morning/On unstructured time

 

9:48 - What is one example of when your feelings won control of your routines/rituals/systems?

 

11:21 - Resolutions fail, rituals succeed. What’s next for you?

 

12:44 - How can people find you?  www.GiveAllJournal.com. and @thegivealljournal on INSTA and @The Give-All Neuro Journal on Facebook and of course via AMAZON

 

13:12 - Thank you Steve Shane!  Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love what the responses and the notes that we get from you. So please continue to do that, tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all, we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you can ever, if you ever need our help, I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

 

14:14 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

I wanna give a shout out to NANOVi an NG3 corporate entity is sponsoring this episode and you can find a link to them in the show notes. They make this amazing device that allows my cells to regenerate and get better after hard workouts, much, much quicker than normal. You simply put it on, breathe into it, uh, for about 10, 15 minutes and it harmonically, it changes the cells in your body. Uh, it is pretty cool. When you think about harmonically changing the cells you think about that will be the fly. This is nothing like that. It actually just makes you feel a little bit better, a little bit faster. I did a 75 mile bike ride and training for the Ironman this past weekend. I used it when I got home. I use it again this morning and I feel amazing. So thank you to https://eng3corp.com/lls/ for sponsoring this episode!

Yo yo, what's up everyone, Peter Shankman with Faster Than Normal. How are you today? I am great. I hope you are too. A whole bunch of drama because the Iron Man that I've been training for it for the past, God knows how many months, years, decades, lifetimes. It was postponed yet. Again, thank you COVID!!! Wear a mask. Just, just where you can still go to Walmart without a bra and in your underwear, I just, just wear a mask. Okay. Anyway. Things are good. I'm have my health. I have my daughter, I have my dog. That's really, I'm just breathing in and out. And another six months of training, you know, maybe I'll lose even more weight, so I'm trying to stay calm, but I'm glad you're here.

Welcome to our episode. I have a cool guy named Steve Shane. Here’s what it is.. systematic mindset ritual. Whenever I hear systematic, I think of it. Wasn't to unlimited. Who was the, it was a group Mars. Remember, uh, M a R R S Mars needs women. Um, I'm totally spacing on the song that a Mars needs needs. Anyway, they use the word systematic, and I always remember that when I was like 2019 or something. I need help. Anyway, Steve Shane is the team leader for a rapidly growing real estate firm in Porchlight Florida in team Portside Florida in Jacksonville, Florida. He's in a real estate in small business coach for five years and through his love of coaching, he found research into brain science and how his brain was working, and that led him to create the system. Mindset ritual. To keep them in a fulfilled, productive state. That's when you realized….. in my book. And that program had created for his mindfulness was actually treating his faster brain, and it was potentially undiagnosed. So we are going to talk to Steve, Steve. Welcome. Tell us about, well, tell us about you first and then we're going to talk about a systematic mindset ritual. Cause that sounds like a lot. It sounds a lot like elimination of choice. So I'm curious to hear it welcome to the podcast. 

Thank you. I really appreciate it. Thank you so much for having me, uh, when I found your book, um, obviously I listened to it instead of reading it, because me sitting still holding something, it was very difficult. Um, and as I was listening to it, it was like hearing somebody like open up the rest of the windows in the house and all of a sudden I could breathe better. Cause I finally heard my story and I was like, oh, that's me, this explains so much. Um, and so I've been in the real estate industry for almost 10 years now, previously I was a musician and living a life of an artist really makes being, having whatever this undiagnosed thing I have is really easy cause nobody has high expectations of you as an Artist. And then as I entered into the business of selling residential real estate. I realized that my, my busy brain was getting in the way of me making money and being a good partner in a, in a, in a relationship and being a good Dad. So I started diving hard into the personal development world, um, and that really helped me get control of my busy brain, which I did not realize until your book was kind of add ADHD. And part of that I got became a small business coach coach, a lot of real estate agents and a lot of small business owners using the knowledge I was getting from those personal development books. Um, and. Really into Joe Dispenza, Dr. Daniel Amen. Um, a lot of the stuff that Tony Robbins talks about and it's about understanding how your brain works. And as I started developing my own little program, uh, for a relationship that was failing, my marriage was failing and I needed something to keep myself in a prime state, so I could continue to go make money and take care of myself, I built this little program out just for me, just so I could be okay. And then I bumped into a friend who was having a hard time and I was like, Hey, this is working for me. Why don't you try it. And it worked for him and he shared it with a friend and that friend liked it and it was positively impacting people in my community. So I was like, eh, maybe on to something. So we developed a, what is called the Give-All Neuro Journal, um, using brain science and using it; this idea of wellness and making it a system. So every morning you can wake up or afternoon wherever you want to do it can put you in a prime state of, uh, fulfillment and productivity.

So the premise is essentially having something, having a plan, having a system that you follow. So you don't fall off the rails or fall off the tracks. 

Yeah, absolutely. I've found personally really, even more so recently, um, that I need a recipe. I need a prescription for everyday tasks that normal people do without issue, like waking up in the morning and I need a ritual and I need a routine and I don't hang myself up on the cross if I mess up, cause that's going to happen. We're going to have days when our brain is going, go go down the rabbit hole. I was thinking about our call today and I was trying to think of like, there's this specific type of bee and it has this hole and then as I'm thinking about this, be 25 minutes later, I'm way down the rabbit hole on a Google search. Um, and all I've tried to do is figure out what kind of worker bee goes out and explores the world. And, and it has these ADD entrepreneurial, um, characteristics to it. But if I didn't have a routine to say, okay, now I've got to get back on the beam. I could have gotten lost for much longer than 25 minutes.

Yep. So tell us, tell us what that is to get you back because that, you know, that is the rabbit hole. You know, I talked about it, the book, you know, you're looking up one thing and then you're six hours later you're investigating Roman sewage canals from the information times.

Yes. Um, so for the GiveWell journal, it's, it's, it's an acronym. Uh, G is for gratitude. I intention, V for visualization, E equipped, a appreciation L learning. And finally the last L is love. Um, and all these things are are treating certain neurochemicals to be released in your, in your head and, uh, in your body. Um, so that is designed just to kind of get you in a place where you're calm and still in your focus, on the right stuff. And so the, the elimination of choice that you mentioned before, it's not so much the elimination of choice; it's just a railroad track for me to get back on when I get off the beam, and when I get off the beam, that's when I lose that productivity. And then if I lose that productivity, then the shame spiral starts. And then the shame Spiral starts, then I'm, you know, going hard on the sugar and the candy and all the things that I'm using as coping mechanisms. All of this is just designed for me to not fall off the railroad track. 

I love that. It's interesting because you know, one of the things that, that you see all the time is that it's not so much the first thing that you do that knocks you out. It's the result of the first thing you do, right. Okay. I didn't work out this morning. Okay. You know, in a normal person, we, you say, didn’t work out on this one, I missed it. Screw it, I’ll do it tomorrow. You know, somehow OUR not working out in the morning, you know, ends with 18 slices of pizza and a bottle of tequila and we have no idea how that happened because it was started off pretty easily. I don't even work out.  No, you know, I joke that it's like, it's like one mistake for us is like summer, right? June 1st comes out our it's awesome. Next thing I know, how the hell did it become August 23? 

Yeah. The worst thing in the world for me is unstructured time.

Yep. 

Um, if I have the opportunity to have all the choices, I never make the choice that is going to make me either feel good later or a help me move forward towards mine, my objectives and goals I will without fail find myself in front of a. Netflix marathon or, you know, on my sixth cup of tea when I really didn't have anything to do anyway, now I'm, over-caffeinated overstimulated and trying to, you know, get back on the beam 

and that's where it starts going down hill.

Oh yeah. Oh yeah. But then, then those feelings kick in and the feelings for me, um, that's where I get into trouble because feelings turn into actions. 

So just for kicks. Tell us one of those. Tell us one of the action stories, where the, where the feelings kicked in. What did you tell us? Something that you did that you, you know, that you looked at and okay I'll never do that again because now I have this system. 

Honestly really recently in the past four or five days, I've had to create a nightly routine for myself. And I sat down with a pen and paper and wrote down what I'm going to do every single night. I'm going through a divorce. So I'm spending a lot more time by myself right now than I have in a long time. Um, And my evenings are full of scrolling. Um, you know, Facebook marketplace looking for a, a motorcycle or, you know, playing that 13th level of candy crush for the evening, like it, and I just felt myself. Like knowing that there's no reason it's 1230 at night. There is, I'm going to wake up at 5:00 AM in the morning because that's my routine. I got to go to the gym at five so I can have a good day. So I was ruining my 5:00 AM routine by not taking care of my 9:00 PM routine. 

Yep. 

So recently I've just literally in the past few days, and I'm starting to call them recipes or prescriptions. I'm not exactly sure which catchphrase I'm going to use, but I need a prescription for basic tasks. Um, and I need a recipe for basic tasks. So I created a basic task thing where I'm, you know, pull out my computer with plan the next day, do a couple pushups, you know, read a book. I spend five minutes meditating, these little things so I can go to bed at a decent hour and my next day can start on time. 

Yup. No question. And I think that one of the things, you know, as the more we do this, the more you really. That you know, it's not that hard once you adapt to the system. I always say Resolutions, fail, Rituals succeed. Right. You're building those rituals to continue on and on. So what's the next step for you?

Right? 

Are you, are you. Obviously, this works for you and your friends uh, what’s next for you?

in the, the, the journey of a journal or the journey with my, my newly found ADHD?

Both

Um, well, I'm, I'm going to continue to use ritual, uh, in my life. Um, that has really been the leveling up tool I've used in everything. The minute I get something on a calendar, the minute I get it on paper, now I have a plan. And then the thinking process that gets me overwhelmed and distracted and, you know, out of the way, if I can jump on that, on that plan, I, I will perform on that plan every single time. And I will do it faster than the average person. Um, And then for the journey of the ADHD, it's just understanding that this is now a part of me. It's not defining me and it's not, um, you know, I've made it 39 years without knowing what my life is. You know, what this tag was. Um, now what does it mean to live with it and use it as a superpower? 

Yup. Awesome. How can people find you cause I have a feeling that some people are gonna want this. 

[[12:44 - How can people find you?  www.GiveAllJournal.com. and @thegivealljournal on INSTA and @The Give-All Neuro Journal on Facebook and of course via AMAZON]]

Um, definitely check out, uh, give all journal.com.Uh, if you're on the Instagram, we are, uh, at the give all journal, um, and come check us out. We're also on Amazon too. Um, prefer if you guys go through the website, uh, cause fulfillment's easier. I'm doing fulfillment for my living room too. So. 

There you go. Why, why give I give just three more cents to go into space?

Awesome. Very cool. Steve Shane, thank you so much for being on Faster Than Normal. This is awesome. I love the concept. The concept of having the routine, it really, really does work for ADHD. There's no question about it. So really great to have you on, I'd love to have you back in about a year or so. Let us know how it goes. 

Thanks. I appreciate it. Thanks for making time today. 

All right guys, as always FasterThanNormal is for you. Let us know what you like, what you hate. Uh, and if you're in New York and you want to hang out, let me know that too, by my, you know, my travel schedule, which was, you know, 300,000 miles a year has obviously shrunk a lot. I’m doing a lot of virtuals and that gives me a lot of free time. So I'm scheduling everything In. So if you want to hang out, go to shankman.com. Let's meet up. Let's chat. Let's go for a run. Let's go for a cycle, a bike ride, whatever, as long as we're not sitting at a table. And, and, and, and you know, both being bored, I'm happy to walk around with you exploring New York City. Anyway. Thank you for listening to Faster Than Normal, reach out anytime. That is why we're here. Uh, I'm @petershankman on all the socials. Steven Byrom @stevenbyrom is our wonderful, wonderful producer, and he's just a God; he saves me every week. We will see you next week with a brand new episode. Thanks for listening. And remember ADHD. It's a gift, not a curse as is all Neurodiversity!

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Aug 18, 2021

I wanna give a shout out to NANOVi an NG3 corporate entity who is sponsoring this episode! They make this amazing device that allows my cells to regenerate and get better after hard workouts and much quicker than normal. You simply put it on, breathe into it, for about 10, 15 minutes and it harmonically changes the cells in your body- it is pretty cool! When you think about harmonically changing your cells you might think about The Fly; yeah, This is nothing like That. It actually just makes you feel a little bit better, a little bit faster. Like, I did a 75 mile bike ride and training for the Ironman this past weekend and used it when I got home. I used it again this morning and I feel amazing. So thank you to https://eng3corp.com/lls/ for sponsoring this episode! 

——

Alex Gilbert is a New Yorker, a Mets fan, a yogi, and a brunch enthusiast. She also has dyslexia and ADHD. After spending her career working in leadership development, she decided to start a consulting and coaching business that will help adults with learning disabilities and/or ADHD like herself who have been struggling in their careers. Her business, Cape-Able Consulting, was created to help them navigate their day-to-day workloads so that they feel supported and are able to reach their highest potential. Her biggest goal in creating Cape-Able Consulting is to change the stigma surrounding learning disabilities/ ADHD by reminding people what they Cape-able of. Enjoy!

 

In this episode Peter and Alex discuss:  

3:42 - Intro and welcome Alex Gilbert!

4:00 - On why Alex started her business

5:40 - When were you diagnosed?

6:50 - On how the extra tools we’re given in school don’t really work in the real world

7:50 - What is the number one request you get from your clients?

9:53 - How there is no “quick fix” for those of us with ADHD, Dyslexia, and so on

11:26 - A little about Alex’s coaching techniques and how they’ve evolved

13:00 - About why it’s important to stop looking at yourself as if you’re broken

15:00 - Sometimes having Dyslexia and ADHD makes you the only good candidate for a job!

16:00 - On not eating the entire elephant at once/seeing the longer solution-solve/big picture

16:57 - How can people find you? https://www.capeableconsulting.com  @iamcapeable on INSTA @CapeAbleConsultingLLC on Facebook and Cape-Able Consulting LLC on LinkedIN 

17:11 - Thank you Alex!  Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love what the responses and the notes that we get from you. So please continue to do that, tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all, we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you can ever, if you ever need our help, I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

17:56 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hi guys. My name is Peter Shankman. I'm the host of Faster Than Normal.  I want to thank you for listening, and I also want to tell you that if you've listened to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well of Faster Than Normal.  We are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet, and if you like us, you can sponsor an episode.  Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is alot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... God about 25….30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say, thanks for all the interviews we brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from we've had... God, who have we had...we've had Tony Robbins, Seth Goden, Keith Krach from DocuSign, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week, so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ and grab an episode, make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks for listening.  Here's this week's episode, hope you enjoy it.

Hellooo everyone, I am thrilled that you are joining me today for another episode of faster than normal. If I sound like I've just been punched in the mouth. Well, I'm not that far off. Dental work this morning. And so I am going to be drooling and slurring some words, and we're just gonna have a lot of fun. I can not currently cannot feel the upper part of my mouth, but that is okay, it should be a lot of fun anyway, and Hey, you get to laugh at me. So there's a bonus even there. Um, I am glad that you're joining us today on another episode of Faster Than Normal. It is exciting to as always to not only have the wonderful guests we do, but the audience that really makes this podcast what it is, and it means the world to me that you continue to download these episodes and listen to them. It really, really. And I am really, really grateful. 

I wanna give a shout out to NANOVi an NG3 corporate entity is sponsoring this episode and you can find a link to them in the show notes. They make this amazing device that allows my cells to regenerate and get better after hard workouts, much, much quicker than normal. You simply put it on, breathe into it, uh, for about 10, 15 minutes and it harmonically, it changes the cells in your body. Uh, it is pretty cool. When you think about harmonically changing the cells you think about that will be the fly. This is nothing like that. It actually just makes you feel a little bit better, a little bit faster. I did a 75 mile bike ride and training for the Ironman this past weekend. I used it when I got home. I use it again this morning and I feel amazing. So thank you to https://eng3corp.com/lls/ for sponsoring this episode!

We have a fun guest today. We're going to be talking to Alex Gilbert. I love the first line of her bio. Alex Gilbert is a New Yorker, Mets fan, a Yogi and a brunch enthusiast who also has dyslexia and ADHD. So with the exception of the Yogi part We're we're, we're very, very similar people. I have been a long suffering mess fan all my life. 

Funny story. I was a, I've been a Mets fan. I've publicly been a Mets fan since I moved out of the house, uh, moved out of my parents' house back in like, I guess in 1990, uh, my father was born and raised in Brooklyn and my mother was born and raised in the Bronx. So until I moved out of the house, I wasn't allowed to have a favorite baseball team, but it was secretly the Mets. And I remember watching game six, uh, give a shout out to Michael Sergio, uh, who is a, who's a skydiver. You probably know, as a skydiver who jumped in to game six with a sign reading, let's go Mets and scared the hell out of Keith Hernandez landing about two feet behind him. So I met him at the ranch during one of my jumps, really, really cool guy and holds an incredible distinction. And he also spent some time in jail for that because he didn't give up the pilot who flew him there. So he's not a rat, so he's a really good guy. 

Anyway, we're gonna be talking to Alex. She is pretty awesome. She spent her career working in leadership development and she decided to start a consulting and coaching business that will help adults with learning disabilities and or ADHD like herself who have been struggling in their careers. And God knows that is a well needed business. Her business is called Capeable Consulting, but she spells it CAPE - A B L E. So cape-able was created to help them navigate their day-to-day workloads. They feel supported and able to reach their highest potential. Her biggest goal in creating capable consulting is to change the stigma surrounding learning disabilities and ADHD by reminding people of what they're capable of. And that's the part that really got me excited to talk to you. Welcome Alex. Great to have you here. 

Thanks for having me. I also love that Mets intro it just, you can't see my face, but I'm glowing. I just, I love Mets talk. 

So, you know, it's interesting. I was just talking to someone; it's really hard if you go through life being told you're broken and being told that all your positives are really negatives. It's really hard to accentuate your positives when you grow up because you don't believe you have any. 

I mean, I think that's really why I've wanted to do this for so long is because I was told so often as a kid, by teachers and other adults that I was stupid or less than, and I never really believed it and I really, I owe my parents for that. And it's an amazing resource from teachers that I had who were really supportive of me and could see me for who I was outside of testing and scores and other things like that. You know, there are so many abilities that people with a learning disability or ADHD have that I want to help people embrace and understand that they're so unique and special. And that's what we should be focusing on rather than all of the downfalls of the pitfalls, because everybody has things that they're not good at but for some reason, if we don't fit in the box of quote unquote, normal people are the first to jump and say, well, you're not good enough. And I hate that. So that was part of why I started my business.

When were you diagnosed? 

So I was really privileged to be diagnosed at eight years old because my parents thought to get me outside testing and I had resources pretty much all the way through college. But when I graduated from college, all the resources that you have in school don't exist in the workplace. So the tools that you use in school even apply to anything, the workplace. So I had that foundation early on and I'm really grateful for that, but that didn't really help me in my career. 

It's a really good point. You know, we, we put a lot of kids on medication and we, we give them, you know, sometimes we give them these, these extra tools, they can get extra time on the test, things like that. But the real world, uh, it's a little different, right? And the, one of the big problems is you have kids who are on medication, all their lives. And then when their insurance runs out, you know, they get off their parents' insurance and they got nothing left and they're like, well, now what they've learned nothing. 

Right. Right. And that was, I, you know, I have a lot of friends who are resource teachers and in special ed. And I remember talking to them about how I was starting this business. And they said, well, you know, we really hope that you would know what to do once you graduated. And I think that's the problem, you know, it's like 18 years old, you're good. You're cured, but there's no real cure. And even thinking about some things. Things that you mentioned about having extra time on a test? I can't ask my boss for more time when he dropped something on my desk and says, I need it two hours. Right? That's not realistic. And the mindset and the mentality and the anxiety that all stems through those conversations of do I share that I have a learning disability or ADHD, will they think I'm not good at my job? Will they fire me for those things?You know, There's so much that is stimulated from those and spirals out of control and no one prepares you for that. 

What do you, what is the number one thing you get from clients that you work with? What's what's, what's the overwhelming, uh, thing they want to fix for lack of a better word, and it takes the bad word, but the only thing they want your help with.

I think people come in asking for someone to fix everything for them. And I think you using the word word fix is really important because I think that's what people are looking for. A lot of, especially ADHD. People are looking for something that's quick, you know, we're, we're usually hyperactive and want something that you can just check off the box and be done with it. But that's not how life works in a lot of ways. And a lot of people have come to me, say, They're disorganized or they don't know how to talk to their boss or they're really burnt out. And I really want to take a step back from all of that and start where they are, because we can't really solve any of the problems that they're coming to me with, unless we actually know what the root of that is. And so I start with the, uh, with my one-on-one coaching clients, I do something called getting to know you package. And we really start from the basics, because you had mentioned earlier about being put on medications and not having any of those tools when you get older and now you don't have any, you know, you can't afford the medication, what are you supposed to do? You don't know how you think. You don't know how you learn. You don't know how you organize and everyone has those abilities, but we've been trying to fit into somebody else's box. That's not realistic. And so I really tried to take a step back and say, okay, what part of your day do you feel your best? What part of your day do you feel you're struggling with? You know, and we really work backwards to get to know themselves. 

Excellent, uh, answer, you know, I think that one of the big problems, um, is exactly what you mentioned. And then I am, I'm, I'm angry at myself now for using the word fixed, but the premise that there's just this one thing that can fix me, right. That can. Right. First of all we’re not broken, so the fixing is, is ridiculous to begin with, but the premise that, and especially it's, it's sort of twofold. It's, it's a double edged sword. We go in eight. The concept of ADHD is that, especially like, you know, for instance, you have an argument, right. You in this argument. Okay. I want to, um, I want to clear the air and fix this problem and let’s.. I'm sorry. Let's move on. And, and people that are usually often can't do that and which usually people where they usually look at those people. You know, god, why won't you let this go? Because they can't, they need to be, to process their own way, as opposed to us just says, you know, and then, so that that's that's that in itself, you know, is the quick fix that we're always looking for, but, but for ourselves, we can't offer a quick fix to ourselves. We have to, uh, it's a lifelong process. Just like you said, it's, it's similar in any way, in any way to, um, to, to in many ways to other, for lack of a better word diseases, you know, the concept of you're not cured of being an alcoholic. Right. You're not cured of things, so you're not cured of being ADHD, but you can learn to utilize it to your advantage. And so that I think is the first lesson. If people aren't coming to coaches or doctors to be cured you, you, you, you, you build to get cured of a disease that can kill you this disease. And I hate again, stop using that word. This is something that if we learn to use it, Can help us. And so I'm assuming, you know, when you, when you tell us your advisors to me to get that, that sort of first mind blown moment there, right?

Yeah. A little bit. And the thing is, it's kind of why, like my coaching practices and philosophy is what it is. So I coach based on the theory of best practices versus best principles, because best practices. Which is a common term that's used all the time, assumes that everyone could do the exact same thing and end up with the same results, but that doesn't work and that doesn't work for anybody, but that especially doesn't work for someone who has ADHD. So I really try and go with best principles, which is we have the same goal in mind, how we get there, is going to be up to you and that's the best way to move forward because that's, what's going to be sustainable and help you thrive as you move forward. And to really go through that emphasis of figuring out what your strengths are. I think a lot of people don't necessarily know what their strengths are because they've been suppressing everything else for so long, because again, they've been trying to fit in somebody else's box that's not realistic to them. And you know, that's something I want to really help people figure out is all of those amazing skillsets that they have because they have ADHD or a learning disability. 

I would ask the question of that. It's a hard thing to teach because when, when you're drilled into, um, this whole, oh, I have, you know, I'm broken. Probably an example to, to relate it to something that I could deal with- I did this long bike ride this weekend and I have new new handlebars and the, the, I guess they need to be adjusted because the way I was holding it, I, my left finger left index finger went numb and it's still three days later. Right. And so I'm hoping that it stops being numb, but you know, if you, I was holding it there for five hours and the result was no, it's numb. If you're told your entire life that you're broken, you have a hard time believing you're not. And even harder time thinking that, wow, this stuff that everyone's not broken about, maybe that might not be broken. Maybe there's something I could do with it. And so the hardest thing I think for you as a coach probably is changing the mindset before you even implement the rules, changing the mindset of stop looking at yourself like you’re broken. 

Oh for sure. But I think that's, that's a lot of what comes into play is people feel broken. I mean, there's such a high correlation between people who have a learning disability or ADHD and struggle with mental health. I mean, all of that horrendous language and all that demeaning and demoralizing language that's been used on you for years is there, whether you go to therapy and talk it through or not, I mean, I had written on my blog this piece about my anxiety, my origin story, talking about my fourth grade teacher who would call me out and yell at me in front of, you know, the rest of my classmates. He would pull me outside and scream at me in the hallway. And I wanted to miss school all the time, because I didn't understand why when I asked a question, he constantly made me feel stupid. So, you know, and called me stupid in front of my classmates over and over and over again. So, you know, yes, all of that is there, but it takes a lot of time to build forward and say, not only am I not staying, but there are so many things that I'm good at- really, really good at! I mean, I did last job that I had, um, before the pandemic I was working basically in a campaign role and I was offered this job six times. I turned it down five times, because I thought this was too overwhelming of a job. It was not the right fit for me, but the reason they were seeking me out was because of my dyslexia and ADHD. That I was the only person who could do this job because I could see the big picture and the little details all at once. I could simply. Everything that they were asking people to simplify. And I came up with it within five minutes. That's unbelievable. And not everybody can do that. And that's the kinds of things that I'm trying to help people point out is, you know, there are, there are things that are under your nose that you don't necessarily know that you're really good at, but let's find them. Let's help build your confidence in that. 

I think the key of, of, of explaining to people, you know, again, I always go back to this analogy. It’s eating the elephant, one bite at a time, right? You don't need to change your entire world. Your entire world will change as you start changing things slowly. Right. 

Yeah. It's small changes every day. And the thing is, that's what makes it sustainable because if you, if you're taking something and bake, bite-size pieces of it, you're not looking at everything all at once and I think that that's, what's so overwhelming for someone who has ADHD is they have this analysis paralysis. There's too many decisions. There's too many steps. There's too many things to go and I'm not, I'm not asking anybody to do that. It's like, can we just take this one step in front of you? How does this feel? Let's analyze it. How does it. How does this go moving forward? Is this something we can continue? You know, it's just, it takes a lot of steps. And I think that people who are looking for support and looking for, help me to understand that this is a whole picture; that this isn't something that's a quick fix and we shouldn't look at it as a quick fix. Because it, you didn't even develop, you know? Yes. In some ways you develop different skills of ADHD differently throughout your lifetime, but it's always been there, but that doesn't mean that it has to be fixed, quote unquote the same way. 

Yup. A hundred percent. How can people find you? 

Sure. So I am my website. As you mentioned, I spelled Cape C a P E capable consulting.com. Or How can people find you? https://www.capeableconsulting.com  @iamcapeable on INSTA @CapeAbleConsultingLLC on Facebook and Cape-Able Consulting LLC on LinkedIN 

Awesome. Thank you so much for taking the time to be with us today. We really do appreciate it. Sorry to you and my audience if I slurred or spit, well, you can't see me spitting all over the keyboard, but that is I've been drooling all morning. So looking forward to having you back at some point, and that was great guys. Thanks for listening. I appreciate it. It means a lot to me. It means a lot to the audience. You guys are the reason that we have this podcast, so that we'll keep doing it. So please reach out if you have any guests, you'd like to see, we would love to know who they are and tell us about them and we'll get them on the podcast just like we did here with Alex guys. Thank you for listening. My name is Peter Shankman. We will see you next week again, on Faster Than Normal. Have a wonderful day!

 

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Aug 11, 2021

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

——

Aubrey Hirsch is the author of Why We Never Talk About Sugar, a short story collection. Her stories, essays and comics have appeared in The New York Times, Vox, The Nib, American Short Fiction, Black Warrior Review, and elsewhere. You can learn more about her at www.aubreyhirsch.com or follow her on twitter @aubreyhirsch.  Today we’re talking with Aubrey about Imposter syndrome, embracing criticism, and enduring the word “no”, amongst other sweetnesses of the creative life. This is a goody, enjoy! 

——

In this episode Peter and Aubrey discuss:    

2:14 - Intro and welcome Aubrey Hirsch!!

3:35 - Tell us about growing up, how you became a writer, and how you learned to embrace hearing the word “no”.

5:40 - On becoming a professional writer.  Ref:  Duotrope

7:40 - One is a number. Oh yes it is! 

8:00 - How long have you been a full-time writer? Ref:  Aimee Bender

9:15 - On how it’s still sort of a “This is how it’s always been done” society. Ref:  “Black Boy” by Richard Wright 

11:03 - On getting over the Sophomore jinx

11:52 - On her teacher Maureen McKeil’s contextualizing rejection and keeping perspective

15:50 - Illustrations on Imposter syndrome 

16:50 - How do you deal with rejection and Imposter syndrome?

19:24 - The story of Peter’s first condo purchase

20:40 - On the battle between yourself- and You yesterday.

22:57 - How do you let yourself enjoy the successes you have achieved?

24:52 - What do you do to shut off, get away and unplug?  

How can people find you?  @AubreyHirsch on Twitter  INSTA and via her website www.aubreyhirsch.com  Her book “Why We Never Talk About Sugar” is OUT NOW!

26:11 - Thank you Aubrey!  Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love what the responses and the notes that we get from you. So please continue to do that, tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all, we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you can ever, if you ever need our help, I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

27:13 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hi guys. My name is Peter Shankman. I'm the host of Faster Than Normal.  I want to thank you for listening, and I also want to tell you that if you've listened to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well of Faster Than Normal.  We are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet, and if you like us, you can sponsor an episode.  Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is alot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... God about 25….30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say, thanks for all the interviews we brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from we've had... God, who have we had...we've had Tony Robbins, Seth Goden, Keith Krach from DocuSign, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week, so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ and grab an episode, make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks for listening.  Here's this week's episode, hope you enjoy it.

Hey guys, Peter Shankman welcome to our episode of Faster Than Normal. I hope you've been enjoying the summer. FTN has taken a bit of a break uh, to really just sort of get our brains back and do some travel and, and, and, uh, get outside and get some fresh air. It feels like about 16 months since we've gotten some fresh air. So it's nice to have done that, but we are thrilled to be back. And so glad that you stuck with us, although you probably just, this probably just auto downloaded and you didn't really have a choice as to whether because I mean, who knows how to unsubscribe to a podcast, it's the most annoying thing on your phone; they just show up and you dismiss them because come on, we don't have time for that. 

 

Anyway, either way. I am still thrilled that you're here and I want to welcome our guest this week. Aubrey Hirsch. Aubrey. I found Aubrey on Twitter because she's actually very, very funny. And she's one of the few people on Twitter who make me laugh without rolling my eyes and that is a feat of, uh, no small regard. So Aubrey is the author of Why We Never Talk About Sugar, which is sort of story collection and she's right. And she is a graphic artist. Her stories, essays and comics have appeared in the New York times, Vox the Nib, American Short Fiction, Black Warrior Review, and elsewhere. She lives online @ www.AubreyHirsch.com She is on the interwebs @AubreyHirsch, and Aubrey is joining us today from California, where hopefully the weather is better, actually. It's getting sunny out. All right. So maybe the weather is the same. Welcome, Aubrey. 

Thank you for taking the. Thanks for having me on.

No. Cool. I was amazed. You responded, you responded so quickly to my, I was, I was DM-ing you? Um, when I, when I say to the DMS that, Hey, I'd love to have new podcasts. I was actually on the Peloton bike and so my endorphins and everything were like sky high, which is why I sent you like seven messages in a row. Each one continued just a little bit more info, as opposed to just sending you one with everything. So apologies for that. Um, but yeah, you responded really, really fast and I really appreciate you taking the time. Um, so w we're going to dive into imposter syndrome. The, the, the, the, the, the, our conversation is going to center on that, and I'm entirely in that.

 

It's going to be some of that. Tell me about your sort of growing up, becoming a writer per se. Writers and, and are right up there with salespeople as, as being, as at learning the word, no at a very early age and learning to deal with it. So, you know, I'm assuming you were in school when you were pitching and you were, you know, getting out of school and you sort of writing, you sort of pitching your stuff and you got, uh, When I was doing it in college, I'm probably a little older than you, I would get at least a courtesy of a reply. Cause we had to do these by mail. Right. We'd have to send out pitching for weeks by a mail. Now it's just email. So, you know, the, when they don't respond to, they say no it's much quicker and in your face and more hurtful. So talk about, uh, what it was like starting out and how you sort of learned to embrace it.

Sure. Yeah, those were definitely some hard learned lessons for me. Um, like you, I started in the mailing era and how I got started is in college. I was actually was a chemistry major for the first couple of years and I took a writing class. Um, as a core requirement and for the final project of that writing class, our professor made everybody send a short story out to a literary magazine. So we had to learn the process. We had to put the cover letter together and we had to put it on an envelope and give it to her. She would look at it, you know, give us our grade and then she put them all in the mail. So I waited patiently as you do when these things happened by meal and definitely expected to know, you know, she told us everyone will get rejected, but that's how you are going to learn to get your first rejection. But, uh, I actually got an acceptance in the mail and was like, oh my God. You know? Well, this was like six months later. So it's like a different school year. And I told my professor and she was like, oh my God, you know, that's never happened before. That's so exciting. And so now of course, I feel like I'm some sort of genius, like who sells their first story that they've ever submitted. Like obviously, um, So, uh, I changed my major. I decided, well, maybe I hadn't better be scientists. I got some advice about, uh, getting an MFA degree, which is a degree I'd never heard of. And then of course I headed into like five solid years of nothing but rejections left and right. Like, not even like a positive thing where you get the rejection slip, but it appears that a human hand has touched it. There's like a little bit of ink on it somewhere. Or like, it's like the corners slightly bent and you're like, oh my God, like someone, uh, put this rejection and thoughtfully. No, it was all just like, we hate you. You have no talent. We wish you were dead. Don't ever talk to us again. It was like that. For many, many years, um, until I kind of figured out how to get like a little bit more strategic with it. And I found, um, do a trope, which aggregates statistics from writers who are accumulating rejections. And they'll tell you about like, Acceptance rates from different magazines and things like that. So I started targeting ones that had really high acceptance rates, figuring it'll just be good to have something in my bio because nobody knows these magazines. Like nobody knows them. All right. They don't know like one small literary magazine from another. Um, so as long as you just have something to say in your bio, I think that's helpful. I also started publishing poems. Um, because they're shorter. And so they take up less room in the magazines and magazines can publish more of them. So I published a couple of those. And then when I had a bio that started to look like maybe I was actually a writer, it became easier to get like generous reads, I think from staff. And then, you know, you can, like, I can remember seriously creating a course called pitching the strategy because that is. I've never. And I think that's probably the science side of you, uh, that, that comes in and looks at this as a, you know, as a, as a, as a, as an experiment, like, all right. My, my thesis statement is this, I'm going to test this.

 

I love that. But you went and looked at who has higher acceptance rates, and then use that. I remember. When I turned 30, uh, as I say, years ago, I wanted to, um, throw a party and I convinced a company, one company to sponsor it. And then on that strength, that one company, I send emails out to 100 different companies and said, I have a number of sponsors on the premise that one was a number and that's what you have to do. Right. And so, so it works. 

That's awesome. It is. 

So how long have you been to, how long have you been writing now and, and calling yourself a writer and, and pitching and getting kind of gets easier. I mean, over time you start to develop the relationships with the editors and things like.

Definitely. Yeah, it gets easier. And people start to like, know you a little bit and you start to have people who ask you for work. Um, which is great. I, that's a good question. I mean, I, I always liked to write when I was little. I think I just, I thought, you know, because in school we, we never read writers who were alive. You know, until I got to college. So I kinda thought like, saying that you want to be a writer was like saying one should be like a blacksmith. Like, it would be fun, but you missed the window, right? Like that's, that's done now. The books have all been written. So you have her find something else to do and no more books to write, sorry, that's it it's over. And then when I was in college and I read like Aimee Bender and so I was like, oh, damn, like, oh, okay. Like chicks do this. Oh, that's cool. And then like, you could do this now and you can do it like, so it sounds like more interesting. And you're talking about like more, um, current topic. Like I know that like, sweet. Uh, so it started in like a more concerted way then, like in college. And then I went right from college to my MFA, which is a funny story also. And then, um, you know, it kind of went on. I think that's one of the problems that you've, you've touched on the problems is that is that we are still very much a that's the way it's always been done type of society.

 

Um, you know, I can list every single book that I was required to read in junior high or high school. And then on a much shorter list, I can, I can remember every single book I was required to read in junior high or high school that actually touched me. Um, you know, and I remember, uh, the, the one that did and still to this day does, was Black Boy by Richard Wright.

And I have probably read that. A dozen times since I had to read it in high school. And, you know, I mean, I love Shakespeare and I read ByroN and things like that. But, but to look at, um, the stuff that we were sort of forced to read it, put, I think every student has, it's very rare to have a student that doesn't get that bad taste in their mouth because they're forced to do it.

Right. And they're forced to do it. People that died 300 years ago. Any words that aren't spoken today? Um, you know, I remember, uh, when I was, I think it was in college when, uh, Bosler, mins, Romeo and Juliet came out with Claire Danes, Claire Danes, who now is the mother of my daughter's school friend, which is just weird shit because she's two and nothing else, but I'm in my head but you know, I remember watching that movie and hearing Leonardo DiCaprio speak in, in Shakespearian. Okay. Okay. Now it makes sense, right? Because when you're reading something by a 400 year old dead guy, everyone in there, no matter how, you know, Juliette was 13 by, she sounds like a 400 year old dead woman and so it takes that, you know, you have to sort of look, I don't think we're smart enough at that age to sort of put that into perspective. So, so you have been doing this for years and let's, let's move on. Let's talk about the concept of rejection because you said, yeah, I got my first hit and then nothing for fighting.

 

I mean, that's actually, I went out on my own for the same reason. My first job with America Online was fun. And when I got laid off from there, I got my second job, assuming it would be fun. And every job after that sucked and like, that's okay; you, you experienced the, not the norm to begin. So that knocks you around a bit because you're like, wait, this is supposed to be easy.

 

It was easy. The first. Yeah. Yeah, I definitely did have the, the very, very, very deep seated fear that like, oh, maybe I just only had that one bad story in me. Like, did I, did I peak? Did I write my one good story when I was 19? And then that's it. That's all I got. I got nothing. Um, and that, that was hard, you know, it didn't feel good, obviously. Luckily for me, I had a very, very good undergrad professor Maureen McKeil a science fiction writer. She's the one who had us do that final project to send out a story. And because she wanted to get out in front of it and insulate us from the terrible feelings of rejection, she put it into perspective. In a way that when I was teaching, it was like my only goal as a professor was to do that same, give my students that same gift of like contextualizing the rejection to say, this is not personal, this is not a comment on your talent, this is not a prediction of the future. This is one particular reader on one particular day. And that one particular magazine took a pass. You know, it's not that deep and you shouldn't take it like it is. That was incredibly helpful for me. And I think it allowed me to like kind of power through all those years. And I also think those years are really important too, because when I wrote that first story, I didn't have any foundational fiction writing education. I was just. Writing it, you know, I was just writing a thing that was in my brain and I put it on the paper. Right. Then I had the unfortunate experience of getting a lot of creative writing education.

That were like you no, no, no, no. Showed on towel. Like, no, no, no. Not with that. You know, like this is too fast, this is too slow. Um, and also this like constant. Forcing into us of like the quiet domestic realism of the stories that you read in graduate school. Right. Of like the, the man at the bar smoking and like the, the guy in the unhappy marriage, uh, at home breaks his glasses. And that's the huge, like pivotal moment of the story, like the broken whiskey glass, you know, or whatever the thing is. And that was just not, I think what I was supposed to be writing, but I was trying, and it was not good. So it wasn't until after graduate school, when I kind of like. She was able to shake that off and no longer had to give my manuscripts to 10 other students who were in the same class and think about, you know, what they were going to say. It's like, you can almost run the workshop in your head and you're writing to those people. I was just writing it, you know, for myself that I kind of rediscovered the kinds of things that I wanted to write about. And that was when I started getting published. Freer. I mean, a lot of what I remember. 

Uh, you know, when I first started, cause I have, I have a journalism background as well, I mean, I, I went to BU as a Journalism major, and I remember that a lot of what I was dealing with at the time was writing things in a very specific way that they wanted to see them, even if it didn't feel right. And when it didn't feel right, I had a really hard time getting it on paper. Um, I have my editors now for all of my books and they're like, We we know exactly what you want to say, we just need to clean it up a little bit, but you know, how did you, how did you come to the point where you just got it down? I'm like, I literally just, I, I booked a flight somewhere, sat down for eight hours and rode, I vomited out for eight hours and here's, here's the result. Um, but yeah, you, you, you are, you're taught, I think the same thing also as a kid in like math class. Showing my work was always horrible, but I was never going to show you my work, but I could get the right answer in my head and that should be worth something that's going to, if I ever start an education, like a cult, it's going to be even not having to show your work; that's something I think, um, talk for a second. So, so, you know, getting, and I'm sure you still get rejected from time to time, right? We all, we all have that, um, you know, going after a speaking gig, someone else gets it. I wanted it, whatever. So the teacher gave you that brilliant, brilliant insight, the concept of not taking it personally. And I wish someone had told me that the same way. I mean, it's still, uh, it still stings, right? It doesn't sing anywhere near as much. And I've worked really, really hard. And I, you know, with a wonderful therapist for like 20 something years, I'm about nine you're saying, but the concept of imposter syndrome is all too real no matter what you do, it is an existing thing. It, it exists. It's there. Um, It is. I find it's very easy. Uh, when it comes to imposter syndrome to go down a spiral where, you know, you start with one thing and then you happen to notice another thing and you happen to all of a sudden you've, you know, it's like when you see a red car and then you see 50 red cars, all of a sudden you've seen every single, uh, insult or, or, or response to a tweet or whatever. Um, you haven't seen any of the positive ones because you're not looking for them because you're so now focused. On the negatives and assuming you're the absolute worst person in the world. Right. So, and, and, and for guys, you got to see what, what, what, what Aubrey tweeted? Um, a couple of, I guess we, couple weeks ago it was from money Python. It was the, uh, oh, it's just a flesh wound. It's the, guy's getting his legs cut off in his arms, cut off. It's brilliant. And it's exactly that it is how you feel, but you get enough of those slush wounds and, and you're gonna die. Right. And so what do we, so what have you learned. That you can share with the audience in the world? How do you deal with it? Because you know, as talented as you are sometimes, we are not going to please everyone. Definitely. 

 

I mean, well, like, first of all, for clarity, I definitely want to say it still feels terrible, you know, it's, it's always painful. It doesn't feel good. And I think especially now, like in the age of Twitter, you're on there for five minutes, get consumed with professional jealousy. You know, it's like here here's, everyone's like publisher's marketplace screenshots and oh, look, I'm an indie bestseller. And like, oh look, I'm a finalist for this award that you have never even heard of. And like, can't wait to go into my writing residency. Yeah. You know, whatever fancy it's, it's really hard. It's just, it's all in your face all the time. And of course not enough of us are talking about. The rejections alongside of those things. Like, it's not like here's my one tweet about my birthright writing residency, and here's my 15 tweets about the ones that rejected me for all these years. And some people do. And I always love seeing that, but you know, we have to like, keep that in mind for context also, I think like it's helpful to. I always think about the most insidious part of imposter syndrome being the kind of like moving goalpost. I did a panel at AWP one year about imposter syndrome and one of the questions they asked us is like, when did you start to feel like you belonged there? And I was like, um, I'm still waiting. I don't know. I remember going, I remember going there like as a grad student and being like, well, I, you know, I've only published one thing, so obviously I don't want it. Then once I'd published many things, it was like, okay. I post many things, but like, I, I don't have a book. I mean, you got to have a book. Right. And then I had a book and it was like, well, it's short stories. It's not a novel, you know, I haven't published a novel, so I don't really go on here. It's like, I have a teaching guide, but it's not tenure track. It's like, well, okay. I have a tenure track job, but you know, I'm not like the fit and you can't, you'll never get it. Like, it's always, the next thing is. I'm going to make you feel secure in your identity, your professional identity. And I think like the sooner that you can come around to that idea that it's not real, the easier it is to kind of live in the feeling of your professional identity that you have now. Um, and that kind of like makes me feel more comfortable.

That’s a brilliant way to think about it. It was funny when I sold my last company. Um, I've never told this story before, and I can tell you because you'll, you'll appreciate that reference. Um, I sold my company around the same time that someone, the person who owned media bistro sold hers. Um, and we all know who that is. Lovely, lovely person invited me. I had just sold my company and it was about a year later and I had just bought my apartment and we were in touch and she invited me over to her house or her apartment in the city was she had just bought as well. And I was all excited cause I had this, I bought this two bedroom condo and man in New York city a two bedroom condo means you've made it! And I walked in and she had bought a floor. And the top floor and it had roof access and she's like, oh, you gotta look at the outdoor shower… and when I got home I remember walking in and saying I hate this fucking apartment and just three hours ago it was the greatest purchase of my life. Yeah. And that is literally what we do. And, and, you know, I had someone, a friend of mine said, dude, there's always gonna be a bigger, yeah. He goes, where is the apartment you're in now bigger than the one you're in 10 years ago. He's like, start there, you know? 

 

And that's, that's a good way to think of it, but you're right. There's always going to be someone. And, and what you mentioned about seeing everything online, of course, no, one's going to post their crap days. 

I, you know, I'm training for a big iron man triathlon right now. And I post, you know, after every run, I, I post a great run with a great times as opposed, to the eight fucking two times I used to even stayed in bed all day. You know, we don't share that stuff. So I think that the battle has to be between you, and you yesterday. Between you and everyone else. 

Yeah. I think that's a great way to look at it. And I also think we describe other of people's successes to like their talent and hard work.And we just, we describe our own successes to like a lucky break or like a weird, like, I remember when I would always read Modern Love in the New York Times and be like, oh my gosh. And I would see people Facebook status, like. I would be like, oh my God, I'd be like consumed with like jealousy and burning inside. And then I published a column in Modern Love and I felt very much like, oh man, I don't know how I snuck in there! Haha! Like, like no, and people would be like, oh my God, I'm so jealous. And I'm like, really? It's like, it was nothing, you know, it was just like a weird, random, like lottery draw. Right. But of course, when it's you, it feels like that when it's everyone else, it doesn't feel like that that's phenomenal.

I mean, the story that I tell to everyone is every morning I wake up and I'm sure that today's gonna be the day that the New York Times has a front page story on how I'm such a fraud. And it's all love every day when they don't well obvious, obviously, because I'm not important enough because you know, time to do a front page story. It is literally every single day. And, and, and somehow we wake up and we put on the face and we, we, we, you know, Get dressed and we get out there and we do it again. But yeah, it is, it is brutal, um, in that regard because it is very, I think that the more success you have, the easier it is for imposter syndrome to reel its rear its head, because you just get there, the more success you have, the more you're surrounded by other successful people. And if you're believing that yours is the only one who's fake and everyone else is real, it's constantly become, why are they letting me to this club?

 

Yeah, definitely. Yeah. And there's always going to be the thing that's going to, you know, prove it to yourself. And then when you achieve that thing, the next thing is just right there. Just out of reach. So talk to me to two more questions. Talk to me. Number one about how do you let yourself enjoy the successes?

 

Yeah. Oh man. Yeah. That's that's tough one. I don't know. I mean, I definitely do. I definitely do enjoy them. You know, like whenever I have a piece go live, I get excited. It feels really good. You know, like I tweet it and then I, I like very excited to watch my notification. To get that sweet, sweet internet validation that we all need. Um, you know, I have gotten to a place like where I really truly hate to say this out loud because I sound like an asshole, but where I can kind of like see it for its own thing and feel good about having made it, you know, like all be like- I'm proud of myself because I made this thing and it looks really nice or like, oh, my drawing skills are getting better or like I'm getting faster. You know, that's the thing I've been working hard on too. It's like making a comic in a shorter amount of time and having the quality of it. And it's kinda, it's like a nice place to be where you can get like a little bit and, you know, don't worry. Like I still definitely run on Twitter likes, but I have like a little bit of, uh, internal validation happening.

 

That's phenomenal answer. 

 

You know, it's the ones that I post that I don't, that I think are just whatever that wind up getting, you know, 15,000 likes. And then it's the ones that I really worked hard on to fight you. People are idiots, this is gold all the time. Totally. You can't predict it. Like there'll be a comic 30 hours making it and like, I've researched it like crazy and I think it's like so good and brilliant. And it's like 18 likes and two stars and then it's like you post a selfie in the car where the light is really good and it's like 3000 likes. You're like, what the fuck? What are we doing here? 

Last question I want to ask you; I want to respect your time. Um, tell me about. What you do to shut down? What do you do to shut off? Where do you go? How do you get away? Cause it's it's it does seem like us like me like that. You're you're, you know, you live online. So when you shut down, when you shut off, where do you go? What do you do? How do you make that a part of it? 

 

Hm. Um, yeah, that's a good question. Well, I don't have a ton of time to do that because I have two small children and as I'm sure, you know, there's still childcare crisis going on. Um, but I do like, I'll play like dumb games on my cell phone just to kind of like spend some time associating or I will, um, binge watch, terrible television. I have watched. I'm not too proud to say that I have watched two full seasons of Bachelor in Paradise from beginning to end, the whole thing I've watched. Um, yeah, it's really not. It's really not. Or like, I'll watch a movie that I've already seen before, you know, that's just like a comfortable place to be. And I know that I know exactly what it's going to do to me emotionally. It's not going to, there's no surprises there. You know, I can just like fold laundry and like, let that kind of wash over me. 

Very cool. This has been a lot of fun. I really appreciate you taking the time.. 

 

Guys talking to her Aubrey Hirsch. She's the author of Why We Never Talk About Sugar, a short story collection. Uh, you can find her at www.AubreyHirsch.com and she's on Twitter where I found her @AubreyHirsch  She's a very quick responder, I'll give her that already. Thank you so much for taking the time. I really appreciate it. This was wonderful.

 

Thanks so much for having me. Next time you have something to promote. You have a story out. We'd love to hear. Awesome.

 

Guys is always Faster Than Normal. If you like what you heard, we'd love it if you left us a review, everyone does, you should too. You don't want to be the one person who hasn’t done it, but you can find us on www.FasterThanNormal.com you can find a single podcast. You can find us on Spotify on Amazon. You can even find us on Alexa. You can literally say Alexa, play fasterthannormal.. Crap. My Alexa is just totally gonna play that now click on the.. cancel!@ but it'll do it. And any way you want. And if you have a guest that you think would be as cool as Aubrey, let us know, you can send me an email. Peter@shaman.com DM @fasterThanNormal or @petershankman and we will get that guest on the air. Thank you so much for listening. Our producer is Steven Byrom. He is awesome. We love him. [He loves We too even though this transcript may not be 1million percent perfect]. Have a wonderful day. We'll see you next week, ADHD, and all neurodiversity are gifts, they are not a curse keep reminding yourself of that! Talk soon.

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Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Jul 7, 2021

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

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Jessica Heimsoth is a life coach who helps Christian ADHD moms (and dads!) stop putting off their dishes, devotions, and dreams. Her 1-1 coaching practice, Every Thought Captive Coaching, utilizes a “triune” approach (get it?) to achieving any goal: faith, mindset tools, and structure/ADHD strategy. When she’s not helping clients build side-hustles, manage overwhelm, stop yelling at their kids, and deepen their relationship with God, she’s living a blissfully introverted life with her husband and two young daughters. When possible, she ventures out into the world to enjoy a good long run, a wine-tasting class, or a karaoke contest.  She loves German Shepherds, white chocolate, a liberal use of sarcasm, and anything caffeinated.  Today we learn what led her to coaching and how she manages her ADHD life. Enjoy! 

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In this episode Peter and Jessica discuss:  

1:54 - Intro and welcome Jessica Heimsoth!

2:36 - Are you ADHD, or do you just help people who have ADHD?

2:58 - What made you decide to go to therapy & figure out what was going on? 

4:05 - What kind of problems are most of your client base having/what in common?  

3:38 - Therapy is never a waste; unless perhaps your therapist throws items at your head.

4:05 - What kind of clients come to see you?

4:45 - On having ADHD, the tendency to bucket things, and how not everything is wrong just because one thing might be heading in that direction.

5:52 - What are some of your client’s biggest issues when it comes to finances, etc?

6:51 - On the stigma of ADHD and the false picture of being broken. If your clients are believing they are, how do you make them understand that they are not?   

8:40 - On getting stuck down the rabbit-hole; the false belief that if you have ADHD there’s nothing you can do to make things better; how we are our own worst critics.

9:10 - On undoing years of mental programming/conditioning.

10:30 - On assisting/teaching clients to get out of their own headspace of being broken, or their worst critic and to leave that “all or nothing” mindset, and coming back from that ledge.

13:20 - Planning time to question during productivity/ to avoid paralysis via analysis  

14:10 - What’s your #1 piece of advice you give to those with ADHD?   

14:45 - How can people find you?  @everythoughtcaptivecoachinG on INSTA  Facebook and via her website https://www.everythoughtcaptivecoacH.com/ 

15:09 - Thank you Jessica!  Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love what the responses and the notes that we get from you. So please continue to do that, tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all, we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you can ever, if you ever need our help, I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

15:18 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hi guys. My name is Peter Shankman. I'm the host of Faster Than Normal.  I want to thank you for listening, and I also want to tell you that if you've listened to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well of Faster Than Normal.  We are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet, and if you like us, you can sponsor an episode.  Head over to shank.mn/sponsor  - that's shank.mn/sponsor. It is alot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... God about 25….30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say, thanks for all the interviews we brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from we've had... God, who have we had...we've had Tony Robbins, Seth Goden, Keith Krach from DocuSign, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week, so head over to shank.mn/sponsor  grab an episode, make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks for listening.  Here's this week's episode, hope you enjoy it.

Hi everyone, welcome to the Faster Than Normal podcast. My name is Peter Shankman, I'm thrilled to have you here on another great episode, with another fun guest we're gonna be talking about and looking forward to learning from. Let's say, welcome to Jessica Heimsoth who is a life coach who helps Christian ADHD Moms and Dads stop putting off the dishes, devotions, and dreams. She has a one-to-one coaching practice.  https://www.everythoughtcaptivecoach.com/ utilizes a triune  approach…. and I probably said that wrong... to achieving any goal, faith-mindset, tools, and structure, ADHD strategy.  She…. let's see, when  she's not helping clients build side business hustles, managing overwhelm, stop yelling at their kids and deepen their relationship with God, she's living a blissfully introverted life with her husband, two young daughters. When possible, she ventures out into the world to enjoy a long run, a wine-tasting class or karaoke contest, and she's a fan of German Shepherds.  Okay, that’s good to know. Welcome, Jessica. How are you? 

I'm good. How are you doing today? 

Doing OK, so tell me, um, are you ADHD or do you just help them with?

I'm definitely ADHD. I didn't think I wasn't for a very long time, um, because I was one of those good students that flew under the radar. Um, but adulting was where I hit a very big brick wall and then, um, and then here's the events that made me, um, seek a diagnosis. So I definitely have ADHD. 

OK, and what kind of stuff was going on with you that made you decide to do it.

Um, almost every aspect of my life was at a really low point. I was struggling with my marriage. I was, um, I was not writing novels, which is what I thought I wanted to do.  I was, um, damaging my health with energy drinks and staying up late and a lot of risky behavior. Um, my relationships were crap. Everything was kind of in the toilet and my faith was as well. So, like if you do one of those little life wheels you've ever seen people evaluating a life, all of mine were at like a two.  Um, and I was seeing a therapist, so that is where I was when I found out about this, 

Yeah, most, most, uh, I find a lot of people who are surprised or at least who can  put a name to what they have, usually happens in a therapist’s office. 

Yeah.

It did for me having a ton of other people that I know it's like, okay, well this explains it.  I literally had my therapist throw a book at me and say, you should read this. I'm like, I'm like, okay. As I wondered if other people have therapists throw things at them, but you know, 

Mine didn't, but I, I wouldn't have caught it if she had, 

I’m special.  Um, tell me about the kind of clients that come to you, right? What are they…. what kind of problems are they having?  

A lot of the clients that come to me, it's their…. the general theme is I, I know what I want to do, and I just cannot do it, like, it's very simple what I should be doing with my life, and I can't make myself do it. And, um, that almost everyone thinks that... is there just something wrong with me?  Like, I know I have ADHD, the ADHD meds or articles are not helping me. Why??? Like…. am I…. am I just doomed to be doing this for the rest of my life. Am I doomed to be, um, feeling broken and unable to achieve what I want? So that's what I see a lot of.

And, you know, when they come to you and they're asking, you know, I get a lot of people who email me on a podcast or the book and they say, you know, I'm, I'm, I just can't do anything right  I think... I think that when you're ADHD, you have a tendency to bucket things, right? You know, it tends to, to, to put things into buckets and say, well, if this is wrong, uh, you know, everything is going wrong, right?  And I think one of the first things I've learned to do….explain to people, no, not everything's going wrong, right? This one thing is going wrong

Yeah, and, and, and like even looking at it as this one thing is going wrong, as opposed to this one thing is not going exactly the way I want it to, but there's a reason for that, and I could discover what that reason is and I could improve it, right? We label it as wrong, and then what happens beyond that deeper than that is we decide that  only is it wrong, but we are wrong, like the whole,...your whole personhood, everything about you is just wrong because that one part of your life you've decided as wrong. 

I heard a great quote once, um, that I've actually used on my daughter. I said…. she says I had a terrible day….Like did you really have a terrible day or do you have five minutes that was terrible and you're milking it. 

Yeah. 

24 hours. Which one? 

I like that.

But it's true. It's really, really true. What are the biggest things that, that your clients come to you with? I know that a lot of people with ADHD have serious issues with money, right? Saving, budgeting, planning, right? Not so much our fortes.

Saving budgeting, planning, not so much. A lot of my clients actually tend to have someone else doing that for them, like their spouses. And they don't love that. Right. They feel like the child in their relationship, they feel like their spouses carrying the bulk of the, um, unpleasant tasks and they want to change that.  Um, they will have, um, issues managing their household feeling like they want to do more tasks at home. Um, engage more with their children, maybe start a side hustle, um, or, or even just love their life. And they're just not happy, and they're wondering if that's, you know, the end, I just have to keep going like that. Um, so there's a wide variety of, of questions and just general, how do I get better at whatever I'm trying to get better at. 

Do you find that, um, a lot of your clients or all of your clients, some of your clients, when they come in to you for the first time, there's a, there's a stigma behind ADHD and is one of the things that I've been trying to change, you know, since I started this podcast and wrote the book, but it's still very much out there and it's still very much a, I am broken scenario and do a lot of your clients come in and feel that way, and more frequently, what's the first thing you tell them, how do you… work that, so that they understand they're not?

Yeah. I love that question. I think the, the way that I go about my practice is by showing each client, that what's...what's stopping them, what's impeding them from whatever they want, is not them, it is what, the sentences that they're thinking in their brains. Essentially, a lot of people are coming to me saying, I can't… and fill in the blank, right?  I'm broken or I can't do this. And what's super interesting about that is that when we offer a thought like that to our brain, when we say I can't, what our brains are designed to do is to take that and prove that it's right. Whatever you say, whatever you believe your brain is, is like, I got it. I'm going to go make sure that everything, all of the evidence that I find for you supports this theory. So everybody's coming to me and they're saying I can't, and what they don't realize, is that… that statement in their brain, which they believe is making them feel like ass. and then from that point, they're going, and they're not being able to follow through with things. They…. they're actively teaching themselves that they can't do things. And it's starting in their brain with this thought that they have. So that's where we begin, is we figure out what is it that you're thinking that your brain is trying to prove true to you, and how can we start to learn to believe something else about you? Because there are so many more wonderful things that are also true at the same time. 

Yeah, totally true. And I think that we know what the big thing is, is that it's very easy for us, especially because the majority of us have been told so long that there's something quote/unquote, wrong with us, right? I think it's so easy to believe that. and to sort of go down that rabbit hole and say, there's just nothing I can do. There's nothing I can improve. There's nothing I can make better. You know? And, and we sit there and we wonder, uh, you know, how is it that I'm so broken when in fact it's not as bad as, as it's never as bad as we see it, right? We're our own worst critics always.

Yeah. Yeah. And it's not even a question of good or bad. It's honestly just a, that's just an interpretation. And you nailed it when you said, like we've been told this for so long, because most of us have had somebody at least hint, if not directly tell us when we were very young,  like you can't do this, or you'll never amount to anything or why don't we not like maybe we should just do a tech school? Not that there's anything wrong with tech schools, but if your dream was to be something else, right? Um, and so somebody has told us a long time ago, you're disorganized, you're this you're that. And we started to apply that thought to the rest of our lives and that's all that we’ve…. that’s all that we believe since then, and it's  very automatic for us.  It FEELS true, it’s not true at all, um, if, if we start to look at what, like the skills that you actually have in your life, but because it's an automatic thing in our brain, it's difficult to change it.

Yep, it really is. And I, you know, how do you work with, how do you teach people to, to get that out of their brain? Because a lot of times, you know, again, being our own worst critic, we're, we're the worst… uh, person in our own heads and, and, and we sit there and we take up space in our own heads that could be used for good things, but you know, one small failure, one small back step, oh, wow, that's it, I blew it, I'm never doing anything, I'm done. You know, I gotta move. I remember what's the joke is the, uh, I once raised my, I saw someone across the street who was waving at me. I waved back, but it turns out they weren't waving at me, and I was so embarrassed. I just kept my hand up, hailed  a taxi, went to the airport and moved to Bolivia, start a new life.  [laughter]  Right?  But it's… you know, we tend to go out on that, out on that limb, we tend to go it's either all or nothing for us. It always has been when you're ready. 10:41 - So, so how do you bring people back from that ledge? 

You start, you actually start to look at the gray area, right? So you said we're, we're very all or nothing, which we are, and part of that is just because it's easier to be all or nothing, right? If, if you're one or the other, your brain doesn't have to work as hard. The grey area is harder to maintain, but what you want to do, is to start to investigate the grey, and you do that by asking questions.  Not like high pressure questions, like what's wrong with me, but questions that make you feel really curious about what might be going on or, um, where.. like where, if you're, if you're believing well, I'm super disorganized, well we might say, OK, well, which parts of my life are organized? Where is it that I actually reveal a lot of organization? Um, or no one likes me. Well, how is that true? Have I met everyone? I haven't met everyone and do.. I have... they all told me they don't like me, um, so you start to ask yourself questions and this actually changes your brain chemistry.  I Googled this. last week…. questions to release serotonin and dopamine in your brain. And if you spent any time on https://www.additudemag.com/...you know that those neurotransmitters are a little bit wonky. 

Have you ever listened to my Podcast? 

{laughter} 

I have. Yeah. 

I mean live on dopamine, serotonin and adrenaline. .every single way to get it….

That's it…. questions are like a very cheap drug for you, Peter. 

No question about that's true. It's fascinating when you think about it, because it allows you to get exactly, there are so many ways that you can get exactly where you need to be. in your brain, right? Understanding sort of what you have to do to get those chemicals in a positive way. And, uh, it's anything I could add questions to the mix as well. 

Yeah. Yeah. I'm guessing that you do a lot of that. Um, maybe consciously, maybe not, but when you're, when you are investigating a new business endeavor or, um, or even back in your past when you were like, I wonder what's possible for me, could I do that? And you've probably naturally gravitate towards questions for yourself and, and just allow your brain to explore. Would you,

I would say yes. I think outside of that is, you know, there's two sides of that. The first one is that I also tend to really go fast… uh, when I come up on, uh, you know, I want to run with it immediately, right? And so the questions tend to come later. Um, I find that the biggest issue I have is, you know, sometimes moving too fast.  For me. It's the, the, the problem is if I start asking myself questions, then I start going down rabbit holes.  Rabbit holes, then nothing gets. done.

Yeah, so that, that's a good example of, so the question helps you get into the grey area and then what we all need to do is have, have hard stops for ourselves. Like have, uh, um, one of the things that I'll use is like you get a certain amount of time to think about something and then that's it for the day, right? Like then.. then you get to plan for that thinking time tomorrow or, um, or that decision making time tomorrow. So we can set up our lives with structure. If we have a habit of running with something like that.

That's a good idea… that’s a really good idea.  Yeah, I mean I think the…. again, the  biggest problem is that you're sitting there and you're like, okay, this sounds really interesting, let me look at it. As I say, joke, you know, I’m looking up something about how to fix a toilet and it's been six hours and I'm, I'm still researching, um, you know, Roman sewage canals on Wikipedia and how they were started. So, yeah, it's, it's difficult to sort of let yourself think of that much. You have to have that, um, that ability to shut that off and then scheduling those a great is a great way to do that. 14:10 - Um, what's your number one piece of advice you give to people that ADHD? 

 

My number one piece of advice is that if you will just start with the possibility that you can change and improve, that is all you need. Um, it's just that belief..  it is, it is possible that I could get better at this thing that I want. Um, and, and then let that take you, like live that belief in your life and go after it, because what you will find is you don't always know exactly where your life is going to take you, but as long as you believe that improvement is possible, you're going to find something amazing.  I just believe that, and I want you to do that as well. 

I love it.  Jessica Heimsoth, How can people find you? 

You can find me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/everythoughtcaptivecoaching/ and you can find me at my website, which is https://www.everythoughtcaptivecoach.com/ you take off the “ing”on that last one. 

Awesome. Awesome. Thank you so much Jessica, for being on Faster Than Normal, we do appreciate it. 

Uh, guys, you’re listening to Faster Than Normal, as always, you know what to do. Leave us a review, shoot us an email, send us some guests or anything you want to do. We're glad that you're here and we'll see you next week. Thanks for listening, have a wonderful day. ADHD is a gift, not a curse, try to remember that. 

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Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Jun 30, 2021

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/login/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/?campaignId=1f99a340-203f-498e-9665-24723a5f8b7a  make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

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Today’s guest is a Gen-Z’er who has accomplished more in her short time on this planet, than most of us have by age 40! Myah Master has used her ADHD powers to fuel her creativity and ambition to become the Administrative Director, (before age 24), of a Non-Profit 501(c)(6) that manages four other non-profits all centering around:  access, research and education on/about Mental Health. She’s published 3 books and is working on her memoir which will become a guide for any other 20-something’s navigating their quarter life crisis, wanting to get their life together and be successful. Today we learn how she’s been using her ADHD superpowers. Enjoy! 

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In this episode Peter and Myah Master discuss:  

2:00 - Intro and welcome Myah!!

2:51 - How old were you and what made you seek a diagnosis in the first place?  

4:06 - On the positive side of being diagnosed so early, and never having the idea of being broken enter your thought process, but using it as a way to move forward with positivity.

4:27 - On being a fighter.

4:55 - Have you ever taken a break?

5:54 - On now knowing how to relax and take personal time

6:30 - On finding joy

7:15 - How do you hit reset?  

7:57 - On taking the great advice you give to others and applying it to your own life.

8:28 - Do you have any particular triggers, that signal you to take a break?  

9:42 - Have you ever noticed a drop-off in work productivity when not taking time to take care of yourself? Tell us about what you’ve found, avoiding ADHD impulsivity and how you avoid burnout(?)

11:09 – Balancing goals versus time spent

12:20 – On physical setbacks sometimes being a needed wake up call 

13:07 – Advice for the younger demographic, being diagnosed w/ ADHD, or being neurodiverse for the first time; what is your advice, what would you say to them?

15:14 - Thank you Myah – real fast, tell us about your books?

I started writing my memoir, which is about, you know, a guide for a 20 something overcoming their quarter-life crisis as a means of therapy to overcome my quarter-life crisis. I decided to procrastinate and publish three self-published poetry and prose books. The first on anxiety, the second addiction and the third book on affirmations. The third is the most recent that I'm most excited about. It's essentially a short, maybe 35 minute read of poetry & prose that anyone can pick up on a hard day. They can read the words and let me do the work for you until you make it, and that's the title https://www.amazon.com/Until-You-Make-Myah-Master/dp/B08ZW3JPWH …so  affirmations is to read yourself and get you through the hard times.

16:04 - How can people find you?  @ChaoticGoodest on Twitter  myah_master on INSTA and via her website:  https://www.myahmaster.com/

16:28 - Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love what the responses and the notes that we get from you. So please continue to do that, tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all, we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you can ever, if you ever need our help, I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

16:53 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hi guys. My name is Peter Shankman. I'm the host of Faster Than Normal.  I want to thank you for listening, and I also want to tell you that if you've listened to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well of Faster Than Normal.  We are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet, and if you like us, you can sponsor an episode.  Head over to shank.mn/sponsor  - that's shank.mn/sponsor. It is alot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... God about 25….30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say, thanks for all the interviews we brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from we've had... God, who have we had...we've had Tony Robbins, Seth Goden, Keith Krach from DocuSign, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week, so head over to shank.mn/sponsor  grab an episode, make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks for listening.  Here's this week's episode, hope you enjoy it.

Hey guys, Peter, Shankman welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal, I'm thrilled that you're here. It is a gorgeous day here…. it is…. we're recording this on June 16th, which happens to be our guest's birthday, also my Mom's birthday, so random, random birthdays today, but, um, it is lovely to have you.  Today is a Gen, I don't know, a Gen Z, I guess, episode... today's episode, we're talking to a 20-something, who has done more in her few short years on the planet than most of us have done by the time we're 40, so there's benefit in that. We're talking to Maya and Maya tells me that she's used for ADHD as a power to fuel her creativity and ambition to become the Administrative Director before 24 years old of a 501-6C non-profit, that manages four other nonprofits, all centered on access,  research and education on mental health.  She's published three books, she's working on her memoir. I don't know how big a memoir can be when you're in your mid twenties, but I'm looking forward to seeing it. It's a guide, and she’s working on a guide for any other 20- somethings navigating their quarter-life crisis… that's a thing - uh, wanting to get their life together and be successful.  Maya, welcome and Happy Birthday. 

Thank you so much,  I'm happy to be here. 

Glad to have you. So, so…. I'm guessing you're one of those people who, when you got diagnosed were like, well, shit, let's just use this and do everything we possibly can. But what was it like when you first…. well, first of all, why were you diagnosed?  How old were you and what were the sort of the negatives that brought you into the Dr. in the first place? 

Yeah, so, um, I don't have a ton of insight because I was actually very young. I was six. So the ADHD life is mostly all I've ever known. And I think part of that is why I have never really had this mentality that it was holding me back.  It was just always a part of me so I learned to adjust at a young age and I had, you know, I was taught different tools on how to organize and, and I had to learn that for me personally, I had to hyper-organize myself, just to  manage daily life without completely falling apart. So I instilled that from a young age and just, I mean, it was just such a part of my life that, uh, it wasn't until adulthood when I started...people really started talking about ADHD and the struggles that came with it, that I realized that the struggles I had, weren't actually personality traits necessarily, they were symptoms of my ADHD and I felt a lot less guilty for places I faltered, but also a lot stronger for the adversity I overcame through it.

Yeah. I mean, I think that one of the big things that happens is when people realize, um, you know, when they're first diagnosed, when they're a little older than you, their first thought is, um, okay, I'm broken, you know, and the brain is able to take that and turn it around. Usually it takes some time. So the fact that I guess that you were diagnosed that young, you pretty much grew up with, okay, here's who I am, and here's what I’m gonna do. 

Yeah. I mean, I've always, it's, it's kind of a fight or flight thing and I always was a fighter. I, I have never, um, had a moment without adversity, even beyond ADHD, so it never really occurred to me to stop going. I think part of that has just been, uh, I didn't... I didn't feel like I had a choice, so my entire life I've just been constantly running uphill and sprinting because I was afraid of what would happen if I stopped.  

Right, no, I totally get that. And, and... and have you ever, has it ever come to a point where you... where you felt comfortable enough to say, okay, I can relax, I can take a break? 

Uh, maybe one day, I don't think I've ever had that moment.  I mean, you know, I think maybe other people with ADHD feel this.  You’ll hyper-focus and you'll set a goal and you, your entire life, even momentarily revolves around this thing that you're focusing on and chasing, and then once you accomplish it or you get to that point, there's this one moment of…. of “cool, I crossed off the task.  I crossed off the thing on my to-do list.”  And then at least for me, I'm almost immediately like, okay, what's the next thing. Let's go. Let's go. Let's go. I don't know how to slow down and I think that's something that I should probably work on and, and enjoy the fruits of my labor. But I mean, so far it's really worked for me, you know, never-ending goals….

So it’s interesting you’re mentioned that because when I sold my first company back in 2001, um, I've said take a year off, and I went to Asia, and bummed around for about two or three weeks and then my third weekend or,  end of my second weekend, whatever, um, I went back to Tokyo airport and flew home and I called my Mom from the airport and said I'm flying home. And she's like, why {indistinguishable} you never taught me how to relax, and I think that was a good thing,  {indistinguishable}  okay, I'm getting really smart. But over time, I've really learned that I need to relax, I need to take time for me, whether that's, whether that's, you know, skydiving or going on a trip or doing whatever.  Even just being on a plane on my way to a business trip with eight hours of uninterrupted time on the plane is relaxing, but you gotta to do something. If you're not taking care of yourself, you're gonna, you're gonna drop. You're not gonna be able to do as well. 

Definitely.  I, I don't have big…. I think there's always these goals in my back of my mind, but I do at least probably in the last year, that's something I've been working on and actually finding things that bring me joy, and I think that’s part of my writing, which then turned into more of an ambitious goal, but, uh, my writing is my therapy. It's my place away from the world where I can put the jumbled mess of thoughts in my brain on paper. And that was a huge coping tool that I learned with ADHD from a young age. And I've been writing as long as I can remember, because it was the only thing that calmed the choas,with organizing my thoughts, whether personal or professional or whatever it be, and so one thing I do is I'll run off into the woods literally and, uh, take a journal and I turn off my phone and I, I just go out as far away as I can from society and write, and, um, that's one thing that just that I think allows me to take a step back from… the goal-chasing.

That makes sense. And are you, do you find yourself sort of rebirthed with that or, you know, reset I mean for me, my skydiving is my reset. 

Yes, it's, it's an, uh, being out in nature and just going back to my most authentic self, just me and myself and a pen and paper is an automatic reset for me, and, um, it definitely works and I should probably do it more often these days.  

It's, it's hard to, to, um, sort of what you teach other people is hard to teach yourself on occasion. I mean, it's, it's the monkey see me, you know, do, as I say, not as I do, but I've been in that same situation.  

I'm great at giving advice, not great at following it. Then I started realizing that your words have more weight when you lead by example.  So I've been trying really hard to do that with self-care and work-life balance and setting more boundaries, even with myself against myself. 

What do you find, um, do you have any triggers that sort of say, okay, you know what?  I need a break.

I think when the stress gets to the point, when my, when my stress turns physical, I'm used to mental anxiety and kind of all that that encompasses, but once I reach a certain level of stress, where it's physically manifesting and, you know, jaw popping, and my, you know, I have fibromyalgia, so with chronic pain, the worse my stress gets, the worse my body hurts, and I think it's rare for me to not go, go, go. It's so instinctual that the moment I feel myself unable to like... have that fire in me, I realize that I’ve very literally burned out. And so right now I've been practicing, um, being more mindful before I actually reach the point of burnout, because in the past, the only time I ever stopped to relax, is when I absolutely have to, when I can't possibly move another step and I have to go reset. And so I'm trying to keep myself from doing that because the highs and lows are just not manageable and, and aren't necessary. If you can be self-aware enough to just take a step back before it goes too far. 

 

That makes sense.  What about, um, you know, have you, have you noticed, has there ever been a point where your work has sort of tried to drop off or you're seeing it, you know, a, a, a, a lesser effect in your talents because you're not taking care of yourselves. I know that's a big deal for a lot of our…. a lot of our listeners.

Oh, yeah, oh yeah, and it's part of that burnout because I'll, I'll go see it. It's kind of like a it's part of the highs and the lows. I'll go so hard that I burn out and then there's a day or two or three even where I'm at half speed, and then I feel anxious because, uh, and guilty because now I'm moving much slower than I normally do, and I'm not even at regular power, but the week before I was at 150 - 200%, and so then it's this ebb and flow and then I'll kind of recharge. And then I go even harder to make up for the time I've lost and it's... it's definitely a balancing act that is a constant, daily, mindfulness practice I think, of learning your limits and I'm the type that works that, you know, 10, 12 hour days.  And sometimes that brings me a lot of joy, but then in the aftermath of burnout, it's kind of, I've been telling myself every day, make a decision today that your future self will thank you for, stop with the instant gratification with impulsivity, like ADHD. Impulsivity is huge, and I struggle with that a lot.  And so I'm like, I need to start making decisions that my future self is gonna thank me for 

No, that's a great line. That's, it's very true. I think alot of it, you know, a lot of times, especially in this world we live in, where everything's so go and go, and internet-connected and everything like that, it is very easy. It's much easier to think about, okay, what's going to give me the most joy in the next five minutes, versus what's that….in the next like five years.

Exactly. I've, I've always had like a 1-3-5-year plan, but I get, you know, and part of it is why I've reached the success that I have now, because I'm so impatient. I'm like, I mean, yeah, it's realistic to make, let's say VP or an executive role five years from now, just like last year, five years from now, that's a, that's a reasonable and still very ambitious goal.  Then I said, nah, I don't want to wait, so, I just, I fought and I fought, I fought and. I, I got myself so stressed out last year that I got a strep throat three times in three months, had  to get a tonsillectomy, which forced me to sit on my back for two weeks sick and recovering. And that was one of the first times I realized, which was that physical manifestation of this is what happens when you go too hard.  And now you've, you've set yourself back much farther than if you’d just taken two days off in the beginning. 

I think even, even, it's crazy how many people have realized that the moment they realized they needed to chill is that moment when they're like, okay, um, I have no choice. I have to sit on my back.  I'm I'm, I'm injured or I'm whatever, you know, and that's sort of their wake up call in that regard.  

It was I'm... I'm a very big believer in everything happens for a reason. And, you know, hindsight is 2020, and sometimes it's very difficult to see why things, why obstacles get put in your place. But I started realizing that more often than not the obstacles put in my place are gifts, and even though I don't always see it, it later on down the road, I realized that that slow down was so important for my health. And it's such a wake up call, like you said, to realizing that what would happen if I didn't take care of myself, 

 

What do you say to someone a little younger than you? Because a lot of our guests are older and, and you know, you have a voice now and you have a platform right now with, Faster Than Normal... to tell kids who are maybe 9, 10, 11, getting diagnosed for the first time, different than slash/broken.  Here's your, here's your chance? What are you saying? 

I would say that life is all about perspective and, you know, we create the world that we cultivate. So if you were only looking at the bad or even just looking at your circumstances in a bad way, it will always feel bad and you'll never feel encouraged to move forward.  If you can take the things that make you feel broken, and make them see, make you see them as uniqueness as something that sets you apart, and yeah, you're different, but all the greatest minds were not the typical people you'd meet in society and that your brain fires differently, works differently, and if you look at it as being broken, that's all you're ever going to see. But if you'll take these things and you self examine, and you go through the practice of mindfulness and just testing out your own strengths, you'll start realizing that those things are strengths, and what sets you apart is uniqueness can cultivate success when you set yourself apart from everyone else. So I learned, uh, I learned early on, that if I just allow myself to be beat down, I would only ever be beat down. The only option you have is fight or flight. I wanted so much for my life that I just chose to look at things differently. And it's an everyday struggle to make sure that you see things in a positive way, but if you affirm yourself and, and you take that gift of hyper-focus and you learn to guide your hyper-focus on positivity, then you will be the most positive person in the room. You’ll be that person that feverously chases happiness and true, genuine joy, and that hyper-focus that you have on the good. outweighs what a non ADHD brain would. 

That is awesome, what a great answer, I love that!  Uh, real fast, tell us about your books.  

Uh, okay. So, uh, ADHD, I started writing my memoir, which is about, you know, a guide for a 20 something, um, overcoming their quarter-life crisis as a means of therapy to overcome my quarter-life crisis, and, um, I decided to procrastinate and publish three self published, three poetry and prose books. The first on anxiety, uh, the second addiction and the third book of affirmations. And the third is the most recent that I'm most excited about. It's essentially, uh, a short, maybe 35 minute read of poetry and prose that anyone can pick up on a hard day, that they can read the words and let me do the work for you until you make it, and that's the title https://www.amazon.com/Until-You-Make-Myah-Master/dp/B08ZW3JPWH …. so  affirmations is to read yourself and get you through the hard times.

I love it, Myah, how can people find you?

Uh, you can find me on Twitter https://twitter.com/chaoticgoodest?lang=en, um, you can find me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/myah_master/?hl=en, and at my website, https://www.myahmaster.com/. 

Very cool, Myah Master, thank you so much for taking the time, we  greatly appreciate it and we're glad that you're part of our lives here. Um, we'll definitely have you back. 

Thank you so much. I hope you have a great day. 

Awesome, guys, you’re listening to Faster Than Normal, as always, we love that you're here. If you liked what you heard, leave us a review, drop us a line, let us know who else we should have as a guest, we would love to hear from you. My name is Peter Shankman. You can find me at  www.petershankman.com .  Steven Byrom is our producer, we love him, he’s awesome, and  anyone else who is listening to this podcast, and might not be having the best day,  let me tell you something, you're awesome, and it only gets better. Talk to you guys soon, thanks for listening.

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Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

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