Info

Faster Than Normal

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.
RSS Feed
Faster Than Normal
2020
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2019
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2018
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February


Categories

All Episodes
Archives
Categories
Now displaying: September, 2020
Sep 30, 2020

Dr. Kenneth Carter is a Charles Howard Candler Professor of Psychology at Oxford College of Emory University. He has published in both academic and lay publications, translating psychology research into engaging everyday language. His articles have been published in magazines such as Psychology Today and Women’s Health, and he has appeared on news programs such as NPR’s: ShortWave and NBC’s Today show. The psychology of thrill-seeking is the current focus of Dr. Carter’s research. He has delivered a TEDx talk on thrill-seekers and presented on the subject in March 2020 at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. His most recent book is Buzz!: Inside the Minds of Thrill-Seekers, Daredevils, and Adrenaline Junkies (Cambridge University Press). When not teaching, speaking, or writing, Dr. Carter prefers reading and relaxing on the beach to wingsuit flying or BASE jumping. Today we’re talking about it all, well, all that we can get to in our time today.

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION also EPISODE 200!!!***

Hey guys, Peter Shankman here with a very special episode of Faster Than Normal. Welcome to episode number 200! For the past four and a half, almost five years we have been changing the world and showing people that ADHD and all forms of neurodiversity are in fact a gift, not a curse. I hope that over these past several years we've helped you understand yourself, helped you understand your children, your coworkers, your spouses, your lovers, your friends, and helped you realize that having ADHD doesn’t mean that you're broken. It actually means you're gifted! I am thrilled for episode 200 as we welcome one of my heroes, who has just now learned that he’s one of my heroes, Dr. Ken Carter. Thank you so much to every single one of you who has participated, and listened throughout these 200 episodes. I could not have done this without you and I am honored every single time I get to do this!

In this episode Peter & Dr. Carter discuss:

1:20-  Intro and welcome Dr. Ken Carter!

3:30-  Let’s talk about the concept of risk taking and what you’ve learned.

5:50-  On thrill-seekers versus high risk takers

6:20-  Peter about his first solo skydive

8:15-  On euphoria followed by  sustained calmness. 

11:20-  Can you talk about the proximity connection between thrill-seekers and addictive personality?

13:23-  In the research you've done, do you see that correlation between thrill seekers and the people who sort of have to be more aware of their personalities?

14:24-  On type “T-positive” and type “T-negative” thrill-seekers 

17:30-  Careers and on getting a high via a entrepreneurship or becoming a first responder

19:40-  What do you say to a parent who’s been handed a pamphlet right after their child has been diagnosed with ADHD, ADD or otherwise neurodiverse?

21:52-  How can people find you?  Website at www.DrKenCarter.com. email: kennethCarter@emory.edu  @DrKenCarter on:  Twitter  INSTA  @DrKennethCarter on Facebook  and you can find his book “Buzz!: Inside the Minds of Thrill-Seekers, Daredevils, and Adrenaline Junkies” here! 

22:38-  Thank you Dr. Carter! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials.

STAY HEALTHY - STAY SAFE - PLEASE WEAR YOUR MASK.. until next time!

23:33-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

As always, leave us a comment below and please 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! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

We have a new sister video cast called 20MinutesInLockdown! A video podcast devoted to learning fascinating lessons from interesting humans all around the world, all in 20 minutes or less!  20 Minutes in Lockdown was born in early April of 2020, when we were in fact, in lockdown, and couldn’t do much of anything. Realizing that more than ever, people could benefit from learning from people outside of their comfort zone – people with interesting stories to tell, people with good advice, people with useful ideas that could help improve lives, we started hosting short Facebook video interviews, and we grew from there. (Plus, you can actually see my hair colors change before your very eyes!) Check it out:  www.20MinutesInLockdown.com

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hey guys, Peter Shankman here with a very special episode of Faster Than Normal. Welcome to episode number 200! For the past four, four and a half, almost five years we have been changing the world and showing people that ADHD and all forms of neurodiversity are in fact, a gift, not a curse. And I hope that over these past four, four and a half years, we've helped you, we've helped you understand yourself, helped you understand your children, your coworkers, your spouses, your lovers, your friends, and helps you realize that having ADHD doesn’t mean that you're broken. It actually means you're gifted. I am thrilled. 

For episode 200 we welcome one of my heroes. And I say that up until about five minutes ago, I'd never met the guy and he had no idea I was, but Dr. Kenneth Carter has written a book- what, several books with the book he wrote recently, it's called “Buzz. Inside the minds of thrill seekers, dare devils and adrenaline junkies” published by Cambridge University press. He's presented on that same topic at TEDx. He's spoken at SouthX. He does prefer relaxing on the beach to wingsuit flying and BASE jumping. And we'll get into that in a second, but Dr. Kenneth Carter is a Charles Howard Candler professor of psychology at Oxford college of Emory university. He's published in both academic and lay publications. Translating say psychology research into engaging everyday. Language he's had articles in Psychology Today, Women's health he's been on short wave and a PR he's been on NBC is today's show along with my ex girlfriend, strangely enough, Dr. Jennifer H. Um, the psychology of thrill-seeking as, as he puts it is the current focus. Dr. Carter's research. And I am just so thrilled that you took the time. Thank you so much for being on today.

Thank you for having me and congratulations on 200 episodes. It's not easy. 

It isn't. And you know, again, that's the ADHD way when I started the podcast and I see how it goes. Right. And now we're at 200 when I, when I went out and when I quit my last job that I ever had, one of my own, once I will say, when I feel like when I can't make it work, not if right. Yeah. I was so thrilled to have you, so. 

You know, let's, let's start off very basic. So the, the, the, the concept of thrill secret, I remember dating a woman once, probably in 2003, when I started getting my license for 2005 and her, she found a skydiving. She thought it was okay, but her, I guess she told her dad and her dad, he had-I don't want to say we had a conversation. He did most of the conversing. Right. And he, cause he thought I was gonna marry this girl, honey. And he goes, that was wrong with you. You have a death.. ehy would you do something stupid? And I just remember he kept repeating, give a death wish. And I said, one time, well, no, sir, it's actually about wanting to live. And I realized that was the entirely wrong thing to say because there are people out there who will never get it. Yeah. Yeah. So, so, so with that, talk about how you ended up talking about you were getting into and discussing the concept of risk taking and, and sort of let you know what you've learned.

 

Yeah. You know, it was completely by mistake. So I'm a clinical psychologist and, you know, I am a really chilled guy and I had this idea about 10 years ago for this book and. It was completely different book. It was about some people that I thought of as chaos junkies. And if, when I say that word, everyone instantly has someone in their mind that they think of can have an idea of the book. Yeah. Was to try to get people who were cast junkies. To be more predictable and have a life like mine, which is what a lot of people, which is probably what the, that that father wanted. You know, you know, what, what your parents usually want for you is a completely predictable life that you're happy with. Um, and then when I started really going into the research and I started  to talk about this idea of sensation seeking, I've realized that these high sensation seekers craved chaos because they could control it. And it wasn't something that they needed to stop doing. It was really something they needed to embrace in a way that was going to be healthy for them. And so I abandoned that original book and I decided to really work on helping people understand the, how they're a high sensation seeking personalities can really be a superpower for them. 

That's really interesting that you would abandon and go to something that proved to be right, because the majority of people, and we talked about this before it, before we started recording, the majority of people are told they have to change.

 

Yeah. Yeah. 

I know. I was told that all my life. 

And, and in the, in the, when you talked about the story about someone and asking if you ever had a death wish, when I asked the, uh, high sensation seekers, what is one thing they want people to understand about what they do? They said. To not think I have a death wish, you know, all I really want to have was a death wish I would just run in and out of traffic. And that's not what it's about. 

If I thought That was going to die every time I jumped out of a plane, I wouldn't do it. 

Oh, yeah. Yeah. That's the thing. I think a lot of people that are high sensation seekers and thrill seekers really embrace life and what they want is the experience. And one of the hardest things to get people to realize is that there's a huge difference between, uh, a high sensation seeker or a thrill seeker versus a risk taker. Um, people aren't doing these things because they're risky. Is that they can tolerate the chaos to get the experiences they want. That's what they're really after is that experience. 

I, I I'm, I'm just, I'm just loving it. It's just so nice to hear everything in my life validated in a quick 20, 25 minute interview. So let's, let's talk about that for a second. So I remember when I, when I started jumping and the story I always relate to, it was my instructor. You know, you have to do three tandem jumps where you're attached to someone else and your fourth jump, you jump on your own, but you jump on an instructor who's holding onto your belt. Right. Just to make sure you're stable in the sky. And then when he sees that you're stable, he did my whole on you for the entire time. He might like go for a minute, a second or two, and, but you have to pull your own parachute, right? You have to land, you know, your whole, your parachute all by yourself. You have a radio, a little walkie talking to your, in your, your pocket, but you have to Lam and, and it's on you. And I remember that my instructor was probably 300 pounds and I don't remember his name, but 300 pounds. It was the middle of July. He, he, he looked like a sopping wet elephant. Okay. And it was just, and you're in this tight little plane right. And he's just, he's like touching me and holding on. And it all, it was the grossest thing. And I remember I couldn't wait to go to the plaintiffs, so I didn't have to be with that anymore. And I'm scared to death and I guess a good way. It was a good thing that I was focused on that. Cause I wasn't focused about the fear. We exit the plane I'm in a free fall. He signals that I'm doing okay. And he lets go my belt and I stay stable. I pull my parachute and I land and he landed probably about 20 seconds before me and this 300 pound sweaty guy who, what, four minutes ago, I couldn't stand to be anywhere. I ran up to this guy and gave him the biggest, longest bear hug. Right. Just hugging the sweaty as much as I could. And it was, that was the first moment I ever realized. Holy crap. Look at the mind shift I just had and looking back on it. Yeah. I realized what that, you know, every, everything I've ever done professionally has usually come immediately after a Mindshift like that.

 

Yeah. Yeah. And a lot of people who are high sensation seekers say they don't only feel that sense of euphoria and then a sense of calmness, not, not only after they do those kinds of things, but sometimes for weeks after, um, I've talked to some people whenever they have to make big decisions in their lives, they, they, you know, they'll go on a hike, they'll go on a jump they'll base dive, um, or they'll walk on a Slack line. That kind of thing for the people that are high sensation seekers, um, really focuses and really calms them. Very different than someone that's like me who's a low sensation seeker who I get overwhelmed by that, you know? And so one thing I, I try to get people that are low sensation seekers understand is that they're not going to their bodies ren't going to behave like high sensation seekers and vice versa. 

One of the things that I find fascinating is that when I land after jump, there have been times, times when I know I have a lot of writing to do I'm on deadline for a book or an article or something like that, I will turn off Uh, you know, my brain. I'll go do the jump and I'll say, okay, I know I have to do this, this writing, but I'm not going to it's it's Thursday and it's due Monday.

 

I'm not going to work on it until I jumped and I'll go jump. I'll bring my laptop, the drop zone. I'll . I'll throw my gear in a corner. I'll sit on top of my parachute or something, pull up my laptop and I'll write 10,000 words in an hour. Yeah. And it is a level of focus that is unmatched by almost anything else in the world. And being able to, once I found that, I mean, literally it was, it was like finding the, the, the, the pill from the movie limitless. Yeah. Right. It was that, that Holy crap look at my, I am so focused on it. And I remember the first time I did it. Because I've never, I’d drive home. And the first time I drove home, after, you know, one of my, I don't know, first 20 jumps, whatever I'm driving home and I get pulled over for speeding. And I looked down and going 85 miles an hour on a local road. I didn't even didn't even realize it. Right. And I said to the cop, I'm like, you. Kinda just hang here and wait for it to be, he's like that's my entire day. 

Well, and then the question I have for people that aren't like that is that if you knew there was something that you could do that would bring that level of euphoria and calmness and focus and you know, that kind of thing, why, why, how could you not do it? 

You know, I want to switch the topic a little bit because on that, it reminds me of a great quote, an Aaron Sorkin quote from the West wing where he's interviewing. Okay. The chief of staff, Leo McGarry is, um, talking to someone about being an alcoholic. And he said, I don't understand people who leave a half a glass of wine on the table. I don't understand people who don’t..who don’t want to stop feeling that good. And he talks about being an alcoholic. I have never been quote unquote diagnosed as alcoholic, but I am very aware that I will not have one drink and I have set up my life in such a way that I very rarely drink. I quit for a couple of years and now maybe four times a year. I'll I'll, I'll set up a situation where I'm at home with a friend and I'll have a drink or two or three or four, but I don't leave the house. I don't buy more. And you have to be aware of that. And I think that, can you talk, if you can, about the connection or the, the very close proximity I would imagine, between thrill seekers and addictive personality. 

Yeah. And I think, you know, so there are a couple different components of that thrill-seeking personality and the two that can worry me sometimes are, um, disinhibition, um, your ability to be unrestrained and. Um, boredom susceptibility, um, where people get bored really easily get irritated when they get bored. It's not necessarily people that are the thrill seekers that, that worry me, but the thrill seekers who may not plan out, or to be able to understand how it might impact other people.  Because of the way the, um, you know, chemicals work in the, in the body. A lot of people who are high sensation seekers, um, end up sort of excluding higher levels of dopamine, um, and lower levels of like, um, stress hormones. And those are the same kinds of combination of things that can be, um, problematic for people with addictive personalities or addictive conditions. And so it's, it's important to be really sort of mindful that you're either not doing it too much or doing it in a way that can be a problem for you for other people.

I talk about that a lot in the book, in Faster Than Normal, where you sort of have to set up these life rules, right. Because if you let yourself go off the rails, it doesn't take long. Before those off the rails is like, You know, a six month process. I'm not going to go out and pillage a village after drinking, but I'm going to drink and I'm not going to wake up super early to go to the gym so I'm not going to get dope, mean I need and then be dehydrated. Well, I already blew the morning. I might as well order something bad for lunch. Well, lunch order a pizza it's three weeks later, I've been 20 pounds. Right. And what's good has come out of that. So you sort of have to be aware to prevent yourself from taking that first step. Do you find that and the research you've done, do you see that correlation a lot between thrill seekers and sort of people have to be more aware of their personalities? 

Yeah. I mean, there, there are some research studies that suggest that people that are high sensation seekers may have lower levels of empathy about what other people are experiencing, because we all assume that everyone experiences the world the same way we do. Right? And so that's why you might have someone, who's the highest sensation seekers if you're driving a car darting in and out of traffic, they're calm and chill, but their passengers are really freaked out and they may not know why they're freaked out because they're experiencing the world in a different way. And so a lot of these high sensation seekers have people that I call their anchors, you know, who will be the one that say, Hey. You know, that is more dangerous than you think it is. Or maybe you should rethink about doing that and they trust their anchors to help pull them back from situations that may be problematic for them.

Talk about thrill seekers and, um, something I learned once the concept of type T positive and type T negative, that, that how you go after those thrills, um, might be determined by how you were brought up. Or by what you were sort of, um, exposed to as a kid. I mean, I know that my parents were not, my dad loved roller coasters still does and, you know, and, and we would go on roller coasters, but the concept of skydiving, you know, my, my, my dad's classic would appear: Don't be ridiculous Jews don’t skydive, it's classic quote to me. But, but, um, I remember that, you know, as a kid, he would take me, we'd have, we'd go hiking in Maine and he'd take me to find, um, um, Fire towers, right. When they were still back in the eighties and they're still manned. Right. And we'd yell out to the guy at the top of it and they’d invite us up. We climbed I'm six years old and we're climbing this ladder 200 foot ladder, top of firefighter tower. But I was, I was raised in the respect that I guess that was a thrill. Right. And I enjoyed it, but there are people who are raised to sort of, I guess, type team negative, where you're finding. You know, that's where you go into drugs or crime or whatever, to get that same sort of thrill.

I think, you know, like everything, there's a combination of what could be biological and environmental, even for this personality trait. Um, they, there, there is some evidence that there are some genetic components to thrill seeking. Um, they're higher levels of certain kinds of chemicals in the body. We talked about, um, uh, cortisol and dopamine previously, but you also see higher levels of testosterone, even in women who are thrill seekers, But there are some environmental things that can really help a lot too. Um, having exposure to chaotic environments when you're younger. Um, and there are some high sensation seekers that said that their parents seemed more strict, but the parents may have just seemed strict because they were doing lots of thrill-seeking things as kids. Uh, but we know that that also changes over time. People that are high sensation seeking when they're teenagers or adolescents, it tends to get, go lower as they get older because of those environmental influences, but also because of biological too. So it's a little bit of a mix of both things. 

So the fact that I didn't discover any of this and I almost, I didn't know, my ADHD didn't exist as a kid. It was, it was sit down, you're interrupting the class disease. Right. And so the premise when I was, when I was busted for seeing those from the class, the irony being that I was actually looking around or squirming or fidgeting to find something to give me that dope mean. So I actually could focus. 

Yeah. Yeah. And so I think that if people understand what their brain and bodies are capable of and really directed to try to get what they want out of life, I think that's really what the whole idea is. And it's the same for a high sensation seeker or a low sensation seeker. Part of what I've been thinking about more is part of it's really creating and capturing and getting that sense of awe in the world. And that people that are high sensation seekers can, can really tolerate a lot more chaos to get those all experiences. 

Do you feel that, that the premise and I mean, I think it's shifted over the last 20 years, but the premise that we at least I had growing up was, you know, you, you, you, not that being different, it is wrong, but rather there are certain ways you do things. Right. Right. And, and, and doing them other ways, you know, is wrong. And I remember my, my, uh, telling my parents, I was going out on my own. Right. And becoming an entrepreneur were public school teachers, all their lives. And, and, and, you know, it was, it was difficult for them to sort of comprehend. Why I enjoyable…It's so risky. I know, but that's the cool, you never know what, you know today could be I'm not making any money or I'm making my largest contract ever. That's the thrill, you know, and, and, and there's nothing I've yet to find anything that compares to landing a new client or landing a new speaking gig or let you know, it's just a high.

Yeah. And I, and I think that what work is for and what life is for, has changed for a lot of people, you know, over time, or could be different for different people. Um, you know, when I grew up, you know, I was talking to my dad about work, and work wasn't something that you did because you enjoyed it. It was something that you did because you had to have work. And the idea of having a job that might pay less, but that was really fulfilling wasn't really in the list of options for him. And it isn't the list of options for, for a lot of people. But I consider myself so fortunate that I have a job that I am fully engaged in and that I really love. Um, so being able to marry those things together is a magical thing. So a lot of these high sensation seekers have careers in which they use that super power. Um, they are first responders or police officers or firefighters or, uh, emergency room nurses and doctors. They can handle that chaos and turn it into a focused experience. Um, other people decide to use that part of themselves for recreation. Um, but you'd be surprised how many of them really use it every day in their jobs. 

Two more questions. Um, cause I want to respectful your time. Some of the people we've had on the, on the podcast before you have included, uh, Tony Robbins, um, Seth Godin, Keith Cross, who founded DocuSign and is now the secretary of, of, of, of, um, business, uh, in this administration. Uh, we've had, um, uh, the band Shinedown, and every single one of them has said that when they realized they were ADHD, um, they believe that it has benefited them and they, uh, have learned to use that as their skill and as a superpower. Yeah. What do you, and I always ask them the same question. I'm gonna ask it to you too. What do you say to the parent whose child was just diagnosed and, you know, after they get over their first? Aha. Well, that explains it moment. What do you say to them in terms of when they're sitting there going, Oh my god now my son won't be successful. Now he can't do this. Or, you know, they have this preconceived notion of, of, of what success looks like for their child of what your growing up looks like, the child. And this is. A lot of times, you know, they're, they're given this information from a teacher or from a, uh, an administrator with absolutely no, you know…and, and here's a pamphlet. Right. You know, what, what do you say to them to, to sort of talk them off the edge for lack of a better word? 

I think part of this would be having them listen to some of the interviews on your podcast. Um, having them understand that there are different ways to be successful, engaged, and happy in the life that they have. And to choose from their selection of powerful things about themselves to get to where they want to go. And where they want to go may not be where you want it to go, but it's going to be there path and you can help them to sort of uncover who they are and to use those best parts of themselves. Um, and I think that's true of everyone. It's not just true of certain kinds of individuals, but I just think that a lot of times parents just want their kids life to be easy and happy. Um, and I don't know if everyone's life ends up that way. Um, but they, they get there in different kinds of ways. 

Yup. That's a great answer. I love that. Uh, how can people find you doctor? Cause I know you're gonna get some emails and stuff.

Oh yeah. Um, I've got a website, www.DrKenCarter.com and you can email me, I'm happy to, to, to take a look at some emails too, at kennethCarter@emory.edu. Uh, and on my website too, you can actually take a sensation seeking questionnaire to find out where you are on the, on that, um, uh, scale. It goes from zero to 40. Um, I've interviewed lots of 35’s and 40’s, I, myself, even am an 8 on the sensation seeking questionnaire. So about as low as you can get. 

So, um, so, um, I'll come down to Atlanta and we'll, we'll go jumping. 

I will watch you for a safe distance and applaud so loud when you'll be able to hear me from the sky! LOL

What a phenomenal interview for number 200. Thank you so much for joining us, Dr. Carter, truly, truly presented. Love to have you back to come back to continue this conversation. 

Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me. 

Thank you and guys, thank you for listening. Episode 200. It's a big deal. If you remember, a couple of years ago, episode 100 right, we had my parents on and we, I talked to them for half an hour, but how the hell they could have possibly raised me considering how difficult I was to raise. And, and, and they, I remember that, I always remember the answer. I said,  I asked the same question, I asked the same questions as I asked Dr. Carter, what do you tell parents who might be freaking out and might not be at the end of their rope. And both my parents said, just tell him you love them. And just keep telling them you love them. So thank you, Mom & Dad for telling me you love me all the time and thank you, Dr. Carter, and most importantly, thank you to every single one of you who has listened throughout 200 episodes!! I could not have done this without you and I am honored every single time I get to do this. We'll see you next week with a all new episode about ADHD and all neurodiversity, it’s a gift. It's not a curse. Keep telling yourself that. Talk to you guys soon.

Guys as always, you're listening to Faster Than Normal where our interviews are 15 to 20 minutes, well, you know, because ADHD, but we appreciate you being here. If you like what you’ve heard leave us a review, drop us a note. We're always looking for new guests. If you have anyone who might want to be on the show, or it might be beneficial to be on the show, shoot me a note: peter@shankman.com or on @petershankman on any of the socials and we will see you guys next week. Thank you so much for listening. 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 performed by Steven Byrom and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

 

Sep 23, 2020

Alex Hey (pronounced "high") was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 20. This diagnosis explained two decades of underachievement and feeling misunderstood. In the wake of his diagnosis, he began a casual study of ADHD which, over the years, turned into a passion for learning about ADHD and finding all strategies that might help work with his brain, not against it. From July of 2017 until May of 2018, Alex dove into heavy research and writing which resulted in Catholicism and ADHD: Finding Holiness Despite Distractions (available on Amazon). While working on this book, he had the opportunity to support one of his friends who was being tested for ADHD. Writing the book and supporting his friend helped him discover a passion for helping those with ADHD. This led him to pursue a career as an ADHD coach. Alex was trained by the ADD Coaching Academy, and in 2019, received his PCAC (or Professional Certified ADHD Coach) credential from the Professional Association for ADHD Coaches (PAAC). 

Today we’re talking about how he found his path and is now helping others, enjoy!

 

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Alexander Hey discuss:

1:03-  Intro and welcome Alex!

1:53-  So two decades of underachievement and feeling misunderstood, so school must have sucked?

2:14- When you got diagnosed and on meds what happened? Do you take them daily?

2:34-  So why did you get so involved with your research?

3:05-  How do you keep balance in your life, in your weekly schedule?

3:58-  What happens when you plan for everything, but then you can’t plan for everything; especially now during COVID?

4:58-  Alex’s sleep formula

5:53-  Do you find that exercise helps you; what’s your strategy?

7:06-  Have you read anything in your research about ADHD and Sleep Apnea?

7:48-  You became a certified ADHD coach. What are your clients asking for more nowadays?

8:25-  How have the things been since COVID hit?

9:04-  What advice would you give those who are dealing with home schooling?

9:30-  What do you make of the premise that quarantine may continue for many months yet?

10:30-  Tell us about your book!

11:00-  Talk to us a little about your creative process in writing the book.

11:52-  How can people find you?  Find  website at www.resetadhd.com  and @ResetADHD on Twitter  INSTA and on Facebook & YouTube

18:38-  Thank you Alexander Hey! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials.

STAY HEALTHY - STAY SAFE - PLEASE WEAR YOUR MASK.. until next time!

19:40-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

As always, leave us a comment below and please 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! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

We have a new sister video cast called 20MinutesInLockdown! A video podcast devoted to learning fascinating lessons from interesting humans all around the world, all in 20 minutes or less!  20 Minutes in Lockdown was born in early April of 2020, when we were in fact, in lockdown, and couldn’t do much of anything. Realizing that more than ever, people could benefit from learning from people outside of their comfort zone – people with interesting stories to tell, people with good advice, people with useful ideas that could help improve lives, we started hosting short Facebook video interviews, and we grew from there. (Plus, you can actually see my hair colors change before your very eyes!) Check it out:  www.20MinutesInLockdown.com

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hey guys, Peter Shankman, welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal.  Hey guys, welcome back to another episode of faster than normal. Good to have you hope you're surviving. Hope you're staying safe. Hope you're wearing a mask. We are joined today by Alex. Hi, I'll tell you his story in a second. It is a lot of fun to be back. Uh, we took a week off. It's been a crazy few weeks, especially here in New York city, but I think everywhere around the world and it's just gonna be a crazier, so buckle up. Keep that seatbelt on. Anyway, Alex was diagnosed ADHD at the age of 20. And that explained to him immediately two decades of underachievement. Yeah. Feeling underachievement in feeling misunderstood in the wake of his diagnosis, because he just started looking at ADHD. And over the years that turned into a pattern like things with the ADHD; usually we either love it or we never we never talk about it. Are we looking at it with everything we have? So from July 17th to may of 18 and Alex the heavy research, which resulted in a book called Catholicism and ADHD. Finding holiness, despite distractions. And I want to talk to you about that beause I was definitely the Jewish kid in temple who was always, uh, screwing around and, and, and causing trouble. So you are an ADHD coach. You would train with the ATD coaching Academy and in 2009 received a professional certificate, uh, for the professional association for ADHD coaches. Welcome aboard Alex. Good to have ya. 

Good to be here. 

So 20 years of two decades of underachievement and feeling misunderstood, so school must have sucked. 

Yeah. I was always told that I should be getting straight A's, but I w I felt like I was. Happy getting bees. And so I never really expected much out of myself. Um, until I got diagnosed with ADHD and realized, Oh shoot, I'm actually kind of smart.

Okay. That makes sense. And then, so when you got diagnosed, what was the outcome? Do you get on meds or what happened? Yeah, I started on Adderall, but now I'm on Conserta. Okay. Yeah. Another, another concern fan over here. Do you take it daily? Yep. Okay. Yeah. I, I find that, um, I don't need it all the time if I can get other ways to get my dope mean, but it is, it is a wonder drug.

There's no question about it. So what made you decide to pursue this? Were you just so fascinated by him? Yeah, I think, you know, just dealing with ADHD yourself and like trying to figure out what, um, What all is going on with your brain, it's just takes over your life and you don't think about much else.

I think that one of the interesting things is that, you know, in the life that we lead, though, you have to think about much else, right? You don't have a choice to adjust to sit and listen to one thing or focus on one thing. I mean, you can make a career out of it, but you know, you still have a life. You still have a family, still have obligations, right?

So what do you do to find that balance? 

Yeah. Uh, I try and plan out my week every Monday and just say, okay, here's what I'm going to do on each of these days. Here's where I need to, you know, decide what I'm going to talk to this person and see this person, um, you know what, I'm going to do my work when I'm going to take my breaks, you know what? I'm going to get my lunch in when I'm going to, you know, take time in the evening to relax. And so it's just a matter of planning. And I think that's kind of, one of my strengths is planning. Like my favorite thing to do in college was to plan out my schedule when I'm going to take all my classes. And I actually got done with college a whole year earlier because I could plan it out and see, okay, if I take this here, here, here, and then I can get done in three years. You know? So scheduling is massively important. Yes. 

And do you find that if on the occasions that you don't schedule, you just see things go downhill? 

Yeah. If I don't have, have anything planned, I'm sitting around wondering, okay, what do I do now? Um, And then you can't plan for everything all the time though. How do you deal with, um, let's talk about how do you deal with unexpected downtime? Because for instance, you know, during, during COVID that we're currently dealing with, you know, I used to travel a quarter million miles a year, and so a 45 minute speech would take three days, right to get there, to speak and get it back. Now it takes 45 minutes. I have a lot of extra downtime. How are you handling that? 

I'm uh, trying to find it ways to staying at active. Um, I actually dove into a bunch of research on ADHD and sleep. Uh, Kind of during this whole situation. And what have you learned?

I've learned quite a bit. Um, it's harder to fall asleep at night. We're more tired during the day. It's hard to get out of bed. Um, and so kind of what I did is I came up with like a sleep formula to help you fall asleep at night. Yeah. So the sleep formula is in bed plus, uh, a tired feeling tired. Plus a calm mind equals sleep, so you actually actually physically get into bed. And when you have ADHD, you're not always so good at that. You're running around doing X, Y, or Z, and it's hard to stop and say, okay, now I need to get into bed. 

Um, so, so do you start, do you set yourself up earlier for that like sort of a wind down period?

Yeah, I do. So I got, my watch goes off at nine. O'clock telling me okay. Time to start winding down and that way I'm in bed by 10, 10, 15. What time are you up? Uh, six 45. Okay. And talk about exercise, anything in there? Yeah. That's how you get your body to feel tired. Um, so exercise during the day is going to help you feel tired at night. It's also going to help you wake up in the day. So I usually exercise in the afternoons. After work. Um, if I could get myself out of bed earlier, I'd do it in the morning, but I, why do you think you can? I don't know. I think it's something a lot of us with ADHD struggle with getting out of bed in the morning, um, but I think it's because I stay up so I don't stay up too late, stay up, you know, a relatively good time, but just getting up the bed in the morning is a little hard for me. So that sleep inertia really gets to me. I find that, that the earlier you go to bed, the easier it is to get up. 

I mean, I'm up at 3:45 every morning for exercise and things of the sort, because I know it makes me a better person and it makes me, you know, use my ADHD better. So I think that, and I'm not saying everyone needs to do that; I think there are some night people, some night owls that are ADHD and some morning people, and I think we find that balance find out where you are. I think that helps a lot. You know, I think that that I've seen people who, Oh, I wish I could get, I wish I could wake up as early as you do. I'm like, well, you, you go to sleep at 1:00 AM, so you probably can’t, right? It's basic physiology physiology. But if you go to sleep earlier, you know, you'd be amazed at what happens, something consider. 

Have you, have you read any studies in your, in your study on sleeping or anything about ADHD and, um, C-PAP or abs ADHD and sleep apnea?

Yes. I'm quite common for those of us with ADHD. In fact, I haven't myself and, and I sleep with the C-PAP machine every night.

I don't think you're alone in that I've seen a tremendous number of people who have found their ADHD actually improve, and they've been able to use it more. It was a benefit once they realize that they're waking up 70, 80, 90 times an hour. 

Oh yeah. I'm the exact same way. Yeah. I've found that since my diagnosis of sleep apnea, my focus has been better and I'm just more alert during the day. And it helps me out a whole lot. Yeah. 

What about, um, so talk about your counseling. And so you, you became a, a, a certified coach. What are you, what are you doing? What are you working on? What do you see in your clients most needing things like? 

So a lot of what they're looking for is just to get organized and get going through the day. A lot of my clients are like teens and college students, and they struggle, you know, in school and getting organized and getting figure adulting, essentially. So a lot of my work has been helping them figure out how they work best. I like to say I help people work with their brain, not against them. 

Yup. That makes sense. And do you, have you found anything, uh, any, anything related to COVID? Have you seen more or less, um, have you seen more people coming to you? Have you seen, I mean, I'm noticing that that a lot of people that my podcast listens have gone up, you know, my, my, my, my, my listeners have increased, but I think a lot of those also, cause a lot of people have time to kill.

Yeah, I think one of the struggles is, you know, online classes. I think that's one of the big things where people are looking for help with that. Cause they're not used to being at home when they're trying to learn and get their work done. Right. So I think, I think that's been a particular challenge with COVID.

What kind of advice would you give people who all of a sudden now have, you know, they're not in front of a teacher, they're doing this at home and they have to deal with that whole nightmare?

 Uh, really have a plan. Um, so plan out, you know, when you're going to do your classes and try to keep routines as similar as to when you're in school, as you can. Um, so routine is going to be huge. Yeah. Yeah, definitely. 

What do you think about, um, the premise that this might continue for the next six to eight months? You know, what, what kind of changes do you think we're gonna see coming out after we eventually get back to life? As we used to know it, if, if that ever happens.

Yeah. I don't know. It's going to be interesting to see, you know, um, it's so common to shake someone's hand when you meet them. Are you going to do that again? 

Do you think that, that, uh, you know, for ADHD, a lot of times we do better on our own when we're focused and we do have that plan, but you know, so now you're looking at, what's going to be upwards of a year of people working on their own. If people wind up being asked to go back, I think there's gonna be a bit of a backlash against that. 

Yeah. I think transitions are, we're going to be a real pain in the butt. Transitions are always tough for people. Um, you know, with ADHD anyway, we that we don't, we're not too fond of change, but we know the change has to occur. Yeah, so it's going to be, it'll be hard. And I think, you know, that's where you need to reach out and get the support you need so that you can succeed and thrive. 

Tell us for a minute or two about the book. 

Yeah. So, uh, it's kind of what inspired me to become an ADHD coach was writing about ADHD. So it’s, my faith is important to me and it's actually kind of how I decided to get tested for ADHD. I was trying to pray one day and just couldn't because I couldn't focus and I thought, gosh, what is wrong with me? And, you know, I found out that I just have a different brain wiring. 

Yep. So you, so tell what did you learn? Talk about writing and talking about what you learned from the book. 

I learned a lot. Cause you know, before I started writing it, it was just sort of a side hobby to look at ADHD, but then it really became my focus. So, um, A lot of, a lot of structure and, you know, getting well, I find one of the best ways to focus in prayer, really in anything else is to get all of your senses involved. So like, what sort of lighting can you have? What sort of sounds can you have while you're trying to focus? What sort of, um, you know, sometimes tastes you can get involved, you can get smells involved to help you focus. So I think that was one of the biggest takeaways is just getting as many different things involved as possible and that'll help draw you into what you're trying to focus on. 

Definitely. How can people find out more? Where can they find you online? 

Uh, my website is www.resetadhd.com and then I'm at @resetADHD and all the social media. 

Yes. Awesome. Yeah, I follow you, totally worth it. So give the guy, give Alex, give Alex a follow! 

Alex, thank you for taking the time today. I appreciate it. Looking forward to having you back at some point and, you know, stay in touch, let us know, uh, let us know when you learn some new stuff and we'll have you back on the share. 

Yeah, thanks for having me! 

Guys as always, you're listening to Faster Than Normal where our interviews are 15 to 20 minutes, well, you know, because ADHD, but we appreciate you being here. If you like what you’ve heard leave us a review, drop us a note. We're always looking for new guests. If you have anyone who might want to be on the show, or it might be beneficial to be on the show, shoot me a note: peter@shankman.com or on @petershankman on any of the socials and we will see you guys next week. Thank you so much for listening. 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 performed by Steven Byrom and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Sep 9, 2020

Nick Seluk is the New York Times Bestselling cartoonist behind Heart and Brain comics and creator of The Awkward Yeti. He is the author/illustrator of two books with Scholastic, creator of the card game OrganATTACK, and enjoys finding new projects and mediums to work in. Nick lives in Michigan, where he enjoys occasionally going for a very slow, painful run. 

Today we’re talking about his ADD and how he harnessed it to create a career! Enjoy!

 

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Nick Seluk discuss:

:47-  Intro and welcome Nick!  Check out his work that I love here https://theawkwardyeti.com

2:12-  Tell us your backstory, tell us what it was like growing up?

5:00-  Growing up as a kid were your distractions primarily drawings, doodling then?

6:20-  What would you say to our listeners who are emailing and saying, how do I figure out what I really want to do and how do I turn it into success, despite whatever degree I’m allegedly pursuing? 

11:40-  Have you had a moment where you realized/it hit you that ‘holy crap, I can make a living and survive by doing this for a living’?

13:00-  Do you still suffer in any capacity from imposter syndrome?

15:24-  Have you noticed any changes in the way you live your life during all this COVID madness? How are you handling it in regards to your ADD, etc?

17:43-  What is a life rule, or two that you really have to keep in place, otherwise, everything just goes to shi*&?

18:20-  How can people find you?  Find Nick’s website at https://theawkwardyeti.com and @theawkwardyeti on Twitter  INSTA and @AwkwardYeti on Facebook

18:38-  Thank you Nick Seluk! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials.

STAY HEALTHY - STAY SAFE - PLEASE WEAR YOUR MASK.. until next time!

19:40-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

As always, leave us a comment below and please 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! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

We have a new sister video cast called 20MinutesInLockdown! A video podcast devoted to learning fascinating lessons from interesting humans all around the world, all in 20 minutes or less!  20 Minutes in Lockdown was born in early April of 2020, when we were in fact, in lockdown, and couldn’t do much of anything. Realizing that more than ever, people could benefit from learning from people outside of their comfort zone – people with interesting stories to tell, people with good advice, people with useful ideas that could help improve lives, we started hosting short Facebook video interviews, and we grew from there. (Plus, you can actually see my hair colors change before your very eyes!) Check it out:  www.20MinutesInLockdown.com

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hey guys, Peter Shankman, welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal. We're going to have fun today this is going to be a great episode! I got Nick Seluk here. Nick… you've seen his stuff. You might not know his name, but you know, his comic. Nick is the cartoonist behind the amazing, The Awkward Yeti. Have you ever seen this? I guarantee you, you have, I've shared them with my ADHD audience, you probably shared them with friends. There's no question about it because it speaks to anyone who has any type of neurodiversity going on in their lives- a hundred percent. He's the cartoonist behind Heart and Brain comics and as I said, The Awkward Yeti. He’s the author and illustrator of two books with Scholastic, creator of the card game Organ Attack, and he enjoys finding new projects and mediums to work in. Nick lives in Michigan, where he enjoys occasionally- I love, I love this knowing for a very slow painful run. Oh my God. I've found my soul mate. I've found my, my, my… This is awesome. Nick. Welcome to Faster Than Normal man. 

Thanks for having me, Peter. 

Oh, this is awesome. I was just telling you before we started all, I'm a fan boy of yours, but a huge fan for years.Your, your comics speak to, they speak to everyone, but my God, I mean the, the, the ones you do where the brain just sort of goes off on us like we're perfectly happy. Everything's fine. And then, we'll say something and now we're up all night and we're screwed. It is just beautifully done for those with ADHD, because that is literally how we live our lives. Now you have.. ADD you were telling me, so tell us your backstory, tell us what it was like growing up, where you, obviously, you said you were diagnosed around, uh, what'd you say? 38 or so? 

Yeah, around the age that I am right now, 38. I, as you can imagine was not a very good student. I hung out with really intelligent people, really good students and I always thought, Oh, I must just be kind of the clown with the group. That's fine. So, you know, this mediocre student never knew how to study. I was the one in college who was pulling all nighters with people who were studying, but I was just there distracting them. But I never did it for a test. So, um, yeah, it was just, uh, I.I needed to figure out like what's going on with, um, my focus and everything. And I finally saw a psychiatrist and I was telling them about my anxiety and my depression and, uh, you know, things like that. And, and then I said, well, you know, maybe some of the impulsiveness, there's some ADD element, and he's like, yeah, Yeah. He immediately, yeah. Some, some good stuff that Adderall, um, which is, which was really great the first, week for those of you who have taken Adderall. It's wonderful. Um, but the funny thing with my comics is I think they are pretty, uh, They do display a lot of the tendencies that I have with ADD. And I've even had, I think years ago, somebody said you should probably get yourself checked out over, ADD in the comments and I remember at the time I was really offended by it. Oh yeah. How dare you diagnose me? About how little attention span. I have. Um, and it turns out they were right. So if I could find them I’d probably say thanks.

 

Begrudgingly angry. Thanks. No, I, you know, it's totally true though. I mean, I've, I've been on stage, you know, before I, before I got diagnosed and started making ADHD a mainstream of what I talk about, I mean said, I'd be on stage. We'd be like, wow. You know, you're a really fast mouse and a really fast brain, you know, you should, I wonder if that does that affect you negatively? And I'd be like, bitch, please. How dare you? You know? But no, that's exactly what it is. And, and, and I always, I always compare it to like, um, Every once in a while, you'll catch an interview on TV or something with some sports figures, some music, musician or something who's clearly hi at the time they're playing it off. Like they're playing it off like they’re not, and they're just trying really hard to participate in the conversation, but you're watching them and you're watching their facial expressions. Yeah, it's obvious you're high, you know, stop trying to hide it. Just be high. It's sort of exactly the same thing. Um, so tell me about you growing up as a kid, you were always on assuming, you know, even me for college, like school and whatever it wasn't that great. Or, you know, as it were, did you, were you a, was your district or your distractions primarily, um, uh, drawings. Doodling or yeah, drawing?

Absolutely. In class. That's all I would do. I would, I couldn't pay any attention to anything that didn't interest me, which was about 80% of school. So it's any wonder I even made it to college at that rate, but yeah, I would draw comics in class and I'd share them with my friends and that was pretty much how I spent school. I never got any better at it. And I think that has something to do with the attention span too. It was just, I, I. Love the drawing, but I didn't have the focus to sit there and, and get better. Like do fine Art had took a couple of classes here and there, but, uh, I think cartoons ended up just being the perfect medium for me. So I could express things without having to really commit to say 10 hours doing an intricate drawing or painting or something. 

A lot of our listeners are students or college students, things like that are just out of college, you know? And they're constantly emailing, Hey, I don't have. You know, even on Adderall, even on Conserta, my attention span, you know, I'm trying to figure out what I love. Right. It seems to me that you figured out what you love and to manage, to turn it into a career. Right. You know, at least one that would seemingly support you. So what would you tell. All these kids who, you know, are, are emailing and saying, how do I figure out what I do and how do I, how do I turn it into success? You know, they're saying, Oh, you know, I got my degree in this or that. And I just love it. I can't imagine doing the rest of my life and I get bored and I get stressed out about it. I think there's still very much a very much a stigma, even though it's dropped a bit, there's still a very much of a stigma of, um, and what you love as opposed to doing, you know, getting the 40 hour job, every job, and then doing it 40 years ago, even though that doesn't exist anymore. It's, you know, our parents' generation, obviously, that's what they have. And so it takes a very sort of enlightened parent to be okay with that, doing that and I think we have another, another generation to go before that starts to let up a little bit. 

Yeah. Um, finding what you love to do is really difficult. And I, I did not go right into it. I tried, I tried to get syndicated when I was 18. I was making a strip and sending it into at least one syndicate who rejected me, of course. Well, funny thing is later, they ended up being my first publisher. 

So you can take a second. You can tell us how awesome of a feeling that was. 

That felt really good. I pursued one publisher because they used to publish Calvin and Hobbes.

Awesome. 

And that's, that was my favorite strip or one of my favorites. And, uh, so I didn't shop around and it was just like, it's this, or it's nothing basically. And it worked out after a while, but I spent, you know, I went to school for, uh, I wanted to do Music Production and then I shifted over to Psychology and that ended up being really good for me because I could kind of BS my way through it because there was a lot of essays and it's like, I can, I can kind of convince you that this makes sense. Um, so I got through my degree that way, um, you know, in science, uh, in more straightforward sciences, you can't do that as much because you really have to stick to facts and figures and you know, there are. Real answers. 

I think that is, I think that is something that we do because, you know, I have a journalism degree, right. And well, I know how to write as long as I had a right. You can't tell me I didn't do the assignment. 

Exactly, when it came to the formatting, this is where I really struggled because I didn't care. Um, and it's, it's really difficult to do something that you don't care about. Like even with the medication they want to help you care about something they will just help you follow through to something you are willing to do. So I ended up of course, with a degree in Psychology going into Graphic Design, uh, that natural transition for somebody like me. Um, so I did Graphic Design and it kind of worked my way up and it was an art director for awhile and was managing a team and I did the whole soul sucking corporate job for about. 10 years and I hated it and I hated the people I was around. I started thinking I was one of them and I got really dark and depressing and still, I just, I put all of my energy into this thing that I really loved doing. And I already knew that I loved doing, and it was my escape. Um, and then it became my desperate attempt to get out of it. And so I think it took me about a year and a half of working on it maybe two years, but I've. I mean, I, I worked my ass off when I was like, uh, when I was making comics initially I was riding in the car on the way to work. I would, if I was at the stop light, I’d scratch down a quick comic and then I'd get to work. I just to take my lunch break in the car and. And do comics in there. And then like once things were going, I I'd be doing emails and shipping out orders and before work in the morning, and then after work and I still, I had kids and a wife. And so I was still busy with that too. And you know, social life, but I like when you want something bad enough, that's the kind of work you have to put into it as I'm sure, you know, Peter.

No question about it. And you know, it's interesting because even though you're busting your ass and you're constantly exhausted and you're 24 hours a day, you know, if you're not doing your real job, you're doing this. So you get to, hopefully one day become your real job, no matter how much you're doing that, it still doesn't feel like work because you love, you love it so much that you constantly want to do it, right?

Yes, absolutely. I mean, what I do now, you know, any new projects I'm working on, it never feels like work. I'm not really thinking about, you know, what kind of, what's this going to turn into? Um, monetarily, I like I'm working on a video game right now and I'm not really thinking about- is this video game going to make me a bunch of money. I'm thinking I really want to make video game because I've never made one and I don't know much about it and I think it would be fun to try to do this. Um, there was no, Oh no, no, no. That's all right. I was kind of trailing off. Anyway. 

Have you had a moment where your, where you realized the moment hit you, where you realized, holy crap, I can make a living out of this and I can survive this and, and this is going to be, you know, this is the future I wanted. I mean, I remember when I was, when I was a kid, I was always nervous if I didn't have a complete answer to something, if it's not a guaranteed way of doing something and finishing something and knowing how it was gonna work out, I'd be crazy. Right. And I couldn't, I, you know, I'd be, I'd be anxiety filled and now I'm just like, Well, yeah, I know I'm not traveling, and  COVID’s hit and I’m doing some, some digital keynotes and I'll make it, I'll make it. And, you know, eight year old Peter be like, who the fuck is this? Right? How the hell is, how the hell is he okay with this? Not like, you know screaming and downing Xanax or whatever you had that moment, as well?

Yeah, I think so. I. Yeah. I feel that all the time, like, I, I just, I feel that I can make things work. And I remember the first time I felt like I could actually do what I wanted. It was a very early on when I was posting on Facebook for awhile. I, I got to a point where I had 33,000 followers and this was a turning point. I was working on a project and trying to start a business with like an old colleague and, um, And it wasn't really going anywhere. And I called him and I said, you know, I've got 33,000 followers and I actually think this could be something, so I'm done with this project and I'm focusing on this other one. And so it was an interesting gut feeling because I think it was just the rate that I had gotten to 33,000 felt like a trajectory that would sustain and I was right. I have a 2.4 million now on Facebook. So. I think it's pretty cool that I was seeing it that early on. Um, you know, I looked, I just looked for the patterns and things, I guess.

 

You know, it's, it's, it's interesting. Do you still suffer in any capacity from imposter syndrome? I'm assuming you do because every everyone like us does. 

Oh, big time. 

Let's talk about that for a second. Tell us about that. 

Um, how do you experience it?

So the best way I can describe and positives. And I've done this before in the podcast that people who listen know, um, everyday I wake up sure. That today is the day. The New York times is going to have a full front page story about what a complete fraud I am and how none of the success I have is real. I've just fallen into it. And then obviously they don't. But then the reason they don't is because I don't know when you're important enough for New York times to do a story, a front page story on someone like me. Well, you know, and, and I get these, I get these speaking gigs that people call me in the email, me, and I'm like, Wow. It was amazing. I made so much money this year, doing what I love sitting on stage and talking. It was all just a fluke. That won't last, it can't be real…yet it has lasted quote unquote for over 20 years. Right. It's completely lasted, but it's still in my head. I see it as that.

I, I can not see my own success. I'm completely blind to it and, uh, I sometimes have to sit down and this may be maybe once a month or so. I'll force myself to think and say, listen, you had 80,000 likes on your comic on Instagram and you are so down on yourself right now, you're an idiot. Like you're not seeing this for what it is. Think of it as an absolute number. Now, 80,000 people took the time to read and participate in the posts, but I just can't even seem to see that. And I, I look at other Artists at any level of success and I think there's so much better- they are actual cartoonists where I'm more just, I just sketch things and I can't seem to.. 

I always see there might be 50,000 comments thanking me for something awesome. And then there's a one comment who says you're terrible. And of course that's the one I see, the other 50,000 completely don’t matter. 

Yeah, that's the one that is more important than all the rest, they're just being nice. But the one in a million who was all; that was like stupid. That, that person was correct. That's the truth that one person spoke the truth.

Nobody else was willing to speak. Where do you see, um, where you, I mean, we're, you know, we're obviously a weird time now, right? What do you see? Have you noticed any changes in the way you live your life? We were talking about this earlier. You said you can't go to the bar as much, but have you noticed any changes that you think might affect you or might affect that, that the focus more on neurodiversity? And one of the things I've noticed is that it's so much easier. To quote, unquote, forget about the schedule that keeps me on point. It's so much easier to forget about the fact that I have to exercise every day or I don't have a good day. And I have, you know, it's always easier to forget about the fact that dude, if you eat everything in the fridge, you're going to get much, much fatter, you know, what are you seeing and how are you handling that in this sort of weird new post-apocalyptic nightmare that we're all in?

Not having accountability and a schedule is difficult. You know, I used to have a, a strip that I did for an online publisher for web, And I think I did Two a week. So it kept me on schedule and I found that everything else kind of went along with it. So if I, I knew I had to do those and it would kind of motivate me to do my other comics. Um, but at the same time, having very little restriction over overtime. Like once I've gotten used to, this has been really beneficial because I've noticed, you know, I'll do whatever I want whenever I want um, I'm, I've been running a lot more lately, like the last month. Like every other day, at least I'm running because I can, I just run what I feel like running. Right. It doesn't have to fit into any schedule. And I like, I don't have to be in an office or anything. So, you know, if I've done enough work that I feel satisfied and it's like, Two o'clock, three o'clock in the afternoon I'll just go out. You know, of course, absolutely. Without question in the worst possible time, I'll get it done. And..I’m starting to hit a groove. I've got good projects to work on where there is some accountability, like I’m trying to get an animated series going with a company, so I have to deal with them. And then the video game I'm dealing with the program, or, you know, I have people that need me and rely on me. I think that is necessary, or I probably wouldn't get anything done, especially a home where it has, you know, TV, iPad, phone, distracting me constantly.

What is a life rule, or two; that you have things that if you don't do, everything just goes to shit?

Um, if I don't do something creative, I, I am like dying inside and that kind of spirals. So I, I have to be creating something and it doesn't matter if anybody sees it, um, I just have to be doing a project that's like creating something new. That's my, that's my main thing, like that's what drives me and keeps me going, is just being productive. 

How do people find you now? Obviously the awkward Yeti, um, is, is, is we're going to see where else do people find you?

Oh, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Those are great places. Um, and yeah, the AwkwardYeti.com. 

Very, very cool. I have no doubt that people are gonna reach out to, I, I I'm so thrilled. It was funny. I, when I emailed you and sent you a message, I'm like, you know, I really would love to have you, I'm sitting here going; you have you’ve had over 200 episodes, major celebrities like Tony Robbins, why the fuck are you sitting there going, you know, beginning to get all worried that he's what he’s going to say saying was, this was..I was excited about this. There's no was he’s going to say yes. So I’m thrilled that you did, man. This was really awesome. And, uh, really appreciate you taking the time.

I really appreciate you inviting me on!

Most definitely. And, and we'll definitely have you back. We'll do some more over time in the future- And again, thank you for being here! 

Guys, just a phenomenal interview with Nick from The Awkward Yeti it's a phenomenal interview. We really appreciate him being here. If you liked what you heard as always, this is your first time you can subscribe if you liked what you heard, you could leave us a review somewhere on iTunes or Google play or wherever you download your stuff from. I think we're even on the Alexa. Yeah. So I have to say that because there's Alexis all in the house cancel. And if I don't say yes, a little start bothering me what I want.So thank you so much. ADHD is a gift, not a curse, as you know, and we will see you guys again next week. Thanks for being here. Have a great day. Stay safe, 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 performed by Steven Byrom and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Sep 2, 2020

Life can change when you embrace your fears like our guest today did. His name: Patrick Sweeney. His occupation: Stunt pilot. He is also an Olympic level athlete, a best selling author, a World Record holder, has built and sold three global tech companies, is a leukemia survivor, a husband and a father. Why does he fly and seek-out fear regularly? Today we’re talking about managing fear and ADHD.. and also a little about skydiving!  

A bit more about Mr. Sweeney in his own words:

"I grew up terrified of everything. I didn't have confidence or self-esteem. My biggest fear was flying. I made excuses every time I had a chance to fly – on exchange programs, to family reunions, for big races, I made excuses to cover up the shame I felt of being afraid. I was lying to the world and myself. Then at 35 I got one of the rarest forms of leukemia. The doctors told me to say my good-byes. That was when I chose courage. Yeah, it's a choice. Not for me but for my 1-year-old daughter and unborn son. I decided if I beat the disease and got out of John’s Hopkins I’d get over my fear of flying. I did. I decided I’d get my private pilots license. It was terrifying, but I still took the first frightening step. Then an incredible thing happened. I fell in love with flying. I now fly a stunt plane in aerobatic competitions. It is one of the greatest joys in my life, a true passion that was hidden from me because of fear. My choice had a halo effect on my whole life. Suddenly courage became my superpower. It all started with that first small step. My life changed and so can yours. That’s why I left the lucrative start-up world behind; to write Fear is Fuel and help millions of people find courage and the life of their dreams. When we become authentic, strong and confident we can achieve world peace. That’s my dream." Enjoy!

 

 

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Patrick J. Sweeney discuss:

1:00-  Intro and welcome Patrick!  Check out his book “Fear Is Fuel

2:11-  On not getting over your fears

3:20-  On discovering how fear can be used as a performance fuel

4:20-  On being owned by fear and the shame of fearing fear

6:15-  On overcoming poor self esteem

7:12-  On making decisions out of fear rather than opportunity

9:17-  What advice would you give someone who’s been told ‘you are different’ all of their lives?

12:20-  On being ‘different’ and the conceptualization of fear

14:24-  About the fight, flight or freeze reactions

15:20-  On recognizing opportunity and finding more fear in our daily lives

17:30-  About the courage center in our brains

18:50-  On activating our courage center 

19:15-  Take Patrick’s Fear Level Test here  Find Patrick’s website at www.PJSweeney.com Find Patrick @ thefearguru on INSTA @PatrickSweeneyFearGuru on FB @PJSweeney on Twitter and on YouTube here

19:57-  Thank you Patrick! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials.

STAY HEALTHY - STAY SAFE - PLEASE WEAR YOUR MASK.. until next time!

20:05-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

As always, leave us a comment below and please 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! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

We have a new sister video cast called 20MinutesInLockdown! A video podcast devoted to learning fascinating lessons from interesting humans all around the world, all in 20 minutes or less!  20 Minutes in Lockdown was born in early April of 2020, when we were in fact, in lockdown, and couldn’t do much of anything. Realizing that more than ever, people could benefit from learning from people outside of their comfort zone – people with interesting stories to tell, people with good advice, people with useful ideas that could help improve lives, we started hosting short Facebook video interviews, and we grew from there. (Plus, you can actually see my hair colors change before your very eyes!) Check it out:  www.20MinutesInLockdown.com

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Guys, Peter Shankman looked at their episode faster than normal I'm thrilled that you're here. Let's talk Fear today. Let's talk for your, let's talk about the fear that paralyzes you and prevents you from doing anything. That's the fear that says, Hey, I have this great idea, but you know what? I don't think there was no of good. So I'm not going to take the risk. I'm not gonna do it. Let's talk about the fear that keeps you paralyzed and inactive and prevents you from getting everything you want. And when you're ADHD or any sort of neurodiverse, you get that a lot. The road is littered with brilliant ideas that never took off because fear held us back. And the day I realized that I could manage my fear was the day that I became free. And I think we got someone else who's going to share a little bit about that as well. So let's talk to Patrick Sweeney. 

Patrick calls himself the fear guru and long story, very short. He grew up terrified of everything. His biggest fear was flying. Hated flying. At age 35, he was diagnosed when the rarest forms of leukemia and the doctors told him to say his goodbyes and he chose courage, and he got over it. He beat the disease. Studied to get his private pilot's license. And now he flies a stunt plane. He does aerobatic competitions. He loves it. Life can change if you embrace your fear like this guy did. Patrick welcome to Faster Than Normal.

Peter man. It is great to be here. Thank you so much. I love what you guys are doing and I'm excited to be on the show.

Good. I appreciate that. You know, fear is one of those things that I, I, you know, I I've talked to people. Oh, you know, I have no fear of fear for the weak. I don't believe that. I believe fear is actually very beneficial because fear. You know, if I went to, if I, every time I, I don't have to, if I wasn't afraid every time I sat up, I wouldn't skydive. Fear is designed to keep you alive. It's designed to make sure that you're on top of your game. So I think the first thing we should establish is, is you're not anti fear(?) 

Oh man, the opposite. And in fact, people who say avoid your fears or get over your fears, or I want to be fearless; that's complete bullshit, Peter. I, uh, I just got off a call with 200 CEOs. Uh, in Asia from this group called YPO young president's organization. And one of them said, you know, are you afraid of anything? And I said, yeah, I'm afraid of tons of stuff, but now I know how to use that fear as fuel because when you produce that fear cocktail, when you have that those physiological changes you literally get smarter and you get stronger. So why not use that as a, as a superhuman performance fuel? 

I remember the first time I ever truly discovered that fear could be a performance fuel. Exactly. Like you said, I, when I went to get my skydiving license, my first solo jump, you know, you do three tandems and they do a bunch of solo jumps with an instructor. Right? First jump you do you're you're on your own, but the instructor is sort of holding onto your belt loop, right to make sure you can stay stable in the air. And for some reason I had this, I had an instructor who weighed about 280 pounds. It was the middle of August. He was sweating his ass off. He smelled horrible and I was doing everything in my power to stay away from him in this tiny little plane. But of course it had to be right next to him. And I was gagging and several,.. I get out of the air to do the job; he lets go on and he tells me to pull, I open my parachute. I land in a heap on the ground. He comes over to me and I hugged this man like harder than I have anyone in my life. And I realized nothing else mattered. At that point I was hi is a kite on dopamine, serotonin and adrenaline and that was the first time I realized that, wow, you can really target this fear and allow it to benefit you. Now, when you started telling me, this is when you started out, you know, you were just like everyone else in that respect, fear was there. Right? 

So, yeah, I mean like, is it became a life? I was, I was owned by fear. I was, uh, and, and because of growing up in a blue collar, Irish Catholic, you know, uh, immigrant area of Boston, fear was something to be ashamed of. Right. Fear was something you didn't admit. Fear was something that you pretend it didn't exist. Yeah. And my grandfather was thought the way to make us Men, you know, it was, was to beat the fear out of us. So he used to take his, um, uh, his belt off and put us over his knee and whip us with it. And so I grew up with no self esteem, always thinking I wasn't good enough. And then always feeling this terrible amount of shame because I was afraid of stuff. I couldn't tell anyone I was afraid. I wouldn't, you know, things got really crazy. Uh, you know, I got crazy scared of something I'd start crying and you know, my dad would give me the old, I'll give you a reason to cry and, uh, and so I grew up with this fear and then not knowing, not having any mechanism for dealing with it. Because of that, Peter, I became afraid of fear. So when I started feeling those feelings, you know, the butterflies, new stomach that heartbeat faster and all the stuff I talk about in my book, I started to think, holy shit, this is fear is happening I got to get away from it. I got to do something. So every time I felt that I, it became the fear of fear that really was crippling for me. 

And that wake up call. I mean, you know, I'm not going to say you were lucky to get the disease you got, but you know, all the major life changes that we have come, they started some random point and yours happened to be that right? Tell us about it. 

Well, you know, and, and I wouldn't necessarily say it was random. Uh, I caused it for sure. So I was, I spent my lifetime trying to build self confidence and self esteem and, and never being good enough. And so when I started a company, I figured if I made a lot of money. So first I figured if I, if I became a great athlete, I'd signed self esteem and courage, so I spent six years training to the Olympics, finished second in the Olympic trials, race the world cup in the single skull and rowing and I got confident on the water, but no place else. I mean I still was terrified to ask out a, a beautiful girl or, or ask Investors money or, you know, all this stuff instead of \so, uh, so then I thought, well, so I make a lot of money. I'll get self esteem and confidence. And, and so I started to build up this persona, uh, after business school where, you know, I was wearing $10,000 watches driving $150,000 car, raised about $50 million in venture capital in debt and was just terrified the whole time. And the way I dealt with it was, was the only way I could keep these anxiety wolves at bay was drinking. I'd have seven or eight beers every night and probably twice that on the weekends. And so that combination of drinking of anxiety and fear, a fear of failure, fear of employees, leaving fear of customers going and then that, that just being terrified to fly, all of those things combined to just keep a flood of cortisol, the stress hormone, going through my body and not surprisingly- that almost killed me. I'm highly convinced that combination of things led to this really rare form of leukemia. And when I went into my local GP, he said, we have no idea what's going on, but you get no immune system and we're going to send you to the Hopkins. My one year old daughter went to her grandparent's house, my wife and I went up to Hopkins and we endured this battery of nightmare tests that culminated in Dr. McDavid coming in and saying look, um, you know, we're going to do everything we can, we've got great oncologists, but we think you should get your affairs in order and say your goodbyes. My wife was six months pregnant and went into shock. And I was just, you know, I didn't know what to do. I mean, I, it, it was then when regret hit me like a baseball bat to the stomach. I thought I looked back on my life stop, man. I had these amazing opportunities and I just wasted them all because I was terrified of everything I made every decision out of fear instead of making decisions out of opportunity. And that's when it hit me that, that, uh, I had wasted my entire life and now I'm going to die anyways. 

So, the podcast is primarily geared towards either people with ADHD or people who love people with ADHD, or neurodiversity, and you know, what do you, what can you tell them? What can you tell someone who has all his life or her life been accused of being different. And has, you know, is we just suddenly realizing that that might not be a curse; that might be a gift, but they're not anywhere near the point where it doesn't scare them- where they're not afraid of that, where they can..where they can move forward from it. You know, when you're, when you're in school and you're not like everyone else, a lot of times ‘that's different and you're wrong’. Right? And so you, you grow up with that mentality of: ‘my God, something must be wrong with me. I should probably keep a low profile. I can't do anything. I shouldn't try anything new’. You know, what advice would you give. 

Well, you know, I got a ton of advice from Peter and, um, partially because, you know, I think I'm going 100 miles an hour all the time. When I grew up, uh, you know, obviously in the eighties and they weren't really diagnosing kids with ADHD and the, in the, uh, eighties and nineties, she was called, “sit down, you're disrupting the class disease”.

Exactly. That's exactly. And that was me. And so, and, and I'll, I'll continue the story with my youngest son as well, but, um, I had so much energy and I was always thinking of stuff and I could, I could just, you know, I was like a machine gun instead of these people who were like a bolt action rifle that I deal with. And so to me, it was always, you know, my, my. Uh, my, my friends were, would always say, you know, you're either gonna end up in jail or as a millionaire because you're out of control dude. And, you know, I think up until the sickness, you had that, that looking for self esteem and that was a big part of it because feel different and one of the things from a neuroscience perspective, everyone listened to your podcast needs to know— is that when something is different, it scares us. So we have, uh, a subconscious database that's the equivalent of 500 Mac book computers, and the really messed up thing. Peter is we don't populate that, that subconscious. Other people do. So we don't choose where we're born. We don't choose the color of our skin. We don't choose the number of brothers and sisters. We don't choose the language. We speak, all of that's changed. And for us yet, we use that to make 18 and 90% of our decision every day. So all of those decisions are being made subconsciously. Now, if you realize that if you realize that I'm going to populate the computer that's making decisions for us. And one of the key warning signals of danger that our brain gives is when something's different. And it doesn't match up with things that are in our tribe, things that are in our environment. So when someone seems different or they're called different, then they scare people and, and people are gonna act differently around that. They're going to have literally a fear response. And so. When, when you look at the greatest, most successful and happiest people in the world from a, an Elon Musk to a Richard Branson and, uh, you know, to, to, uh, Gandhi, they're all very different from normal people. And so being different. One thing I learned after, or six years of neuroscience research- being different means you've got a much higher chance of success and happiness and fulfillment. If you find the, the really bright shot, any exciting side of your difference. 

It's a great way to look at it. I always think- in the concept of fear, um, if you look at the, I mean the human body and you're right, you're a hundred percent, right? The human body does classify things that could kill me, stay away from it. That's pleasurable. Get more of it, things like that. It's a very, it's a very binary, binary approach, right? A you want a, okay. That's B you can't have B you should get a stick with that. On the flip side, though. I mean, there are benefits to that, you know, not, not from the perspective of ADHD. Um, a lot of the ADHD perspective is, is, is the body is telling you not to do those things when in fact you should and that's where the training comes in. You know, for instance, um, you know, a car. Uh, God forbid a car rolls onto your kid. All of a sudden you have hope strength strengthen. You can actually pull that car off, right. Adrenaline and, and, and, and, and dopamine sorry, give you that strength. Now. You're going to be in hell for the next six months as you heal from that, but you know, you're going to the body says, hey, I'd rather you. It's better for you to, to hurt for a few months than to lose your ability to procreate, right. And that's millions of years of evolution. And so the concept of fear is that it's fear. Fear is the same thing in that regard, as adrenaline fear tells us, Hey, that saber tooth tiger can kill you; avoid it. The problem is is that we don't have saber tooth tigers anymore. Right. We have, you know, the risk of, of looking stupid, right? And we've, we've maximize these risks and glorify them in such a way through the media and through the us that a lot of times we are afraid to take that chance. 

Well, and that's the problem. So we're running a 2 million year old piece of software on our amygdala, and that knows the fight, flight, or freeze response. But the problem it is that was designed by our caveman ancestors to be an early warning system for danger. And in fact, today we can use that same system in our modern society, which is full of stimulus. We can use that as an early warning system for opportunity. Because we have, when we designed 2 million years ago, that cave man was sitting out in front of his cave maybe some birds were tweeting and gentle breeze was blowing, but there wasn't phones ringing. There, there weren't computers going off there weren't horns honking and, and weed whackers going there, there wasn't all this stimulus. So anything that, that that was the slightest bit off was something that they needed to be warned about. The problem is that software stayed with us. So we've got to reprogram that. So that when something feels different, when something gives us a strange feeling, we look at that and we say, Hey, wait a minute. I’ve got an opportunity presenting itself here and try and figure out what that is when you have that feeling, beause what most people do and what I did until, you know, I almost died was I looked at that and I said, Oh my God, I get that feeling. Something's wrong. I get it. I got to run. I got to run from that feeling. When in fact you've got to lean into it, that's why we need to find more fear every day in our lives. 

Well, it's very true.  And you know, the, the, the, the first time I jumped again for sometimes under the airplane, I felt freer when I hit the ground than I ever had in my life. I'm like, I gotta do that again And every time I jump, I get scared, but that's the excitement of it is that I know that the end result is going to be worth it. 

Oh, Peter, when I, you and I took that first flying lesson, I peed at least four times. I'm telling you. I remember absolutely every detail. It was in a, you know, ultra high definition, crystal clear and that fear response helped me learn better because my pupils were dilated. I was taking in more visual information. My hearing was better cause more blood flow went in there. My, my brain, the brain oxygen blood barrier opened up wider so I got more oxygen to my brain. And, and I was terrified, but I kept thinking I'm going to do this for my daughter, so I had an altruistic motivation. I, I didn't want her memory of her dad being a guy who was too afraid to get on a plane and take her to Disney world. Right. So I said, I'm going to overcome this fear of flying for her. And that motivation gave me courage, that that helped me flip the switch to my courage center. The second lesson was even worse because we went out over some mountains. And, and let me tell you, Peter, in that little plane, that little diamond DA40 we were bouncing around and I actually pooped myself up.

Updrafts! Updrafts will do that to you, my friend that's phenomenal. 

Hey, that ha that's part of it. That's part of the game and that's part of the experience. And that's the story you tell now. 

Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And, and, you know, after that, having the courage that we've literally have a courage center in our brain there's there's, uh, everyone has heard about the amygdala, our fear center, but these Israeli researchers did a brilliant study. They took, uh, 300 people who had admitted in a survey; they were terrified of snakes. And they put them in a functional MRI machine. That's one of those white sort of coffin-like things you can go into scan your brain. And at the other end of the FMRI machine was the snake sitting in a wagon on a little, um, a little track. And inside the FMRI machine, they had a button that could move the snake closer or further away and not surprisingly, most of the people got in were told what the buttons were for, and they pushed that snake as far away as they, yeah. But. There were a few brave souls who actually moved it closer to themselves. And what happened was incredible because the amygdala literally switched off and a part of their brain called the SGACC sub-genial, anterior cingulate cortex lit up like a Christmas tree. They literally flipped a switch on their brain and activated their courage center and they did it by choice. And that's the amazing thing that we all have the capability to do. We can activate our courage center. It feels horrible. Right? You've got to act courageous first, then you'll feel courageous. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking, Oh, I'll do that. When I feel more courageous. 

Yeah, it's never going to happen. It's just your body telling your body you're ready to do it and then just get it done. Awesome. Patrick, I cannot thank you enough. The book is called fear as fuel. It's a Wall Street Journal Bestseller. I strongly encourage people to check it out. How can they find you? What's a, you have a website and what? [Take Patrick’s Fear Level Test here  Find Patrick’s website at www.PJSweeney.com Find Patrick @ thefearguru on INSTA @PatrickSweeneyFearGuru on FB @PJSweeney on Twitter and on YouTube here]

Well, Peter, uh, I definitely have a website and something for your listeners. I think that..You have a, there's a little button there that says test your fear. So you can take a survey for, uh, it takes about five minutes and you can test your fear in different realms, like finance and chill and physical and that sort of thing. So go to www.PJsweeney.com and go test your fear. Have some fun with that. Uh, we're also got a master that released I'm really excited about. Is the fear, your listeners. Thank you all so much for taking time out of your busy day. Awesome, Patrick, thank you again. And guys, thank you as always for listening, we'll see you next week for another episode of Faster Than Normal, looking forward to it with other great guests like Patrick Sweeney. 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 performed by Steven Byrom and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

1