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Faster Than Normal - The ADHD Podcast

Having ADD or ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Hear from people all around the globe, from every walk of life, in every profession, from Rock Stars to CEOs, from Teachers to Politicians, who have learned how to unlock the gifts of their ADD and ADHD diagnosis, and use it to their personal and professional advantage, to build businesses, become millionaires, or simply better their lives.
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Now displaying: March, 2021
Mar 31, 2021

Taylor Jacobson is the founder of Focusmate (www.focusmate.com) a remote coworking community where people get things done, together. He's a trained executive coach with clients like Yale, Cornell, and Wharton, a wannabe adventurer, and a recovering pizza addict turned holistic health aspirant. He's been featured in The New Yorker, CNN, The Guardian, BBC, and more. Today we talk about, unscheduled downtime, accountability, our zone(s) of focus, anxiety, and how we Get Sh*t Done.  Enjoy!

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***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

In this episode Peter & Taylor discuss:

   :40  -  Intro and welcome Focusmate founder Taylor Jacobson  [Thank you to Lisa Marks for introducing us!]

2:46  -  On Focusmate – what it is,  how and why you created it.

5:08  -  Did you find this type of focus tool was something you needed, and was that why you created it?

9:02  -  On societal (go-go-go) mentality and how Focusmate taps into the concept of accountability without being overbearing, hitting the sweet spot of good middle-ground

12:56  -  On sense of pride upon completion of a project/reward, and for Focusmate’s repeat customers, how it becomes a lifestyle tool to stay organized and accountable

14:46 -  On Focusmate session completion and the positivity that goes along with it

15:02  -  On advantageous results from frequent use of Focusmate sessions

16:00  -  On the concept of scheduling, and it’s vital importance for people with ADD/ADHD 

18:01  -  How do people find you and learn more and reach out to you?  @TaylorJascobson on Twitter or LinkedIN   People can head over to www.focusmate.com to sign up. Follow them on twitter @Focusmate 

For subscribers of this podcast! You can sign up and enter coupon code:  FTN  for your FREE month of Focusmate Turbo! 

19:15  -  Thank you Taylor! 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. 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!

19:38  -  [Hey thanks a bunch Peter! It’s true @stevenbyrom is totally looking for more work]

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

20:44-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hey, Hey, what's up everyone.?Happy, happy day. Hope you're having a wonderful day, my name is Peter Shankman and you are listening to another episode of Faster Than Normal. We believe that ADD, ADHD, anything in the neurodiverse world, can be a gift, if you know how to use it.   That doesn't mean we don't have problems, it doesn't mean we don't want to throw things against the wall alot of times it doesn't mean our brains aren't incredibly weird creatures that seem to have their own wants and desires, no matter what we try to do, that all still exists, but we don't believe that neuro-diversity is as bad as for instance, the people on Reddit make it out to be. I personally think that neuro-diversity is pretty cool. So I want to welcome you to another episode. I'm glad you're here.  Again, my name is Peter Shankman.  I am joined today by Taylor Jacobs. We're going to call this the “Get Shit Done,” episode or GSD episode, and we're going to talk to Taylor Jacobson, who founded a company called https://www.focusmate.com/.  Focusmate is a remote co-working community and we'll let him tell you all about that, but I love the idea, shout out to my friend, Lisa Marks, who I'm pretty sure Lisa introduced us, am I right? Yeah. Shout out to Lisa Marshall, who I also found out it was just, she gets some sort of a, I'm totally going to screw this up, she got some sort of award today. She was listed as one of the, I don't know, some designer to watch or something,  I don't know, she sends me texts all the time and I read them and then I kind of forget about them, but I do want to congratulate her on winning some sort of, uh, Women in Design Leadership Committee and Advisory Council there, I looked up the text.

Congratulations, Lisa, and thank you for turning me on tyo Taylor. Taylor has, is a trained executive coach. He has clients like, yeah, Cornell, Wharton. He's a wanna be adventure and he calls himself a recovering pizza addict, turned holistic health aspitant.  I hate every single one of those words, dude. I am, I am I, you don't recover from pizza, pizza gets you. And it's just, it just, is, so we're going to talk about that. It's all bullshit. There has no, no not okay. He's been in the https://www.newyorker.com/ ,   https://www.cnn.com/ ,  https://www.theguardian.com/us ,   https://www.bbc.com/  and more.   Taylor, welcome to Faster Than  Normal. 

Thank you, Peter. 

I am thrilled to have you. I love the concept of Focusmate. Tell us before you, I mean, tell us a little about what it is that... I want to find out how you created it, because it seems like something that everyone needs beyond all conceivable belief.  So tell us, tell us about, tell us about it and then tell us about why you created it.  

Yeah, so we'll give a quick overview of what it actually is. So we, we call it virtual co-working, but, but basically you and a, motivating buddy, an accountability buddy, get on a 50 minute video call where you hold each other accountable and you keep each other company while you each work on your own stuff, your own projects.  Um, so, you know, our, our, our application online. It's, you know, you basically schedule anytime you want to get work done, you just book an appointment. There's people available all over the world, 24/7.  Um, and you get matched up with somebody awesome, and when your appointment starts, you greet each other and really in like a minute or less, you share what you are planning to work on, and you might write it down in the chat to be a little extra accountable, and then you just get to work.  Most people mute themselves. Um, and your partner is there. You can see them. Um, I, for instance, I’ll put my partner on a second screen so I can see them while I'm working on my main screen, and you just do your work and you might update each other.  “Hey, I just finished you know,  my first task. I wrote my to-do list and now I'm moving on to outlining this blog post.”  And, but you're not talking, you're um, you're just sitting there quietly working sort of side by side, if you will. And at the end of the 50 minutes, a bell goes off, um, and you come back to say hi to your partner again, and just say, “hey, how'd it go?”  And you have this moment of reflection and it's not meant to be punitive or anything like that.  It's really just checking in and, and, um, and hopefully celebrating a little before you go on your respective way. And, and, you know, we do 50 minutes. That's the only format we offer at the moment, um, but one of the nice things about it is a lot of people do Focusmate sessions back to back. Um, so it sort of builds, builds in a….break. You can go get a snack or whatever, and then get back to it. So I'll leave it there, but that is what Focusmate is, in a nutshell.

I love the concept. I mean, I, first of all, I imagine, I imagine the person on the second screen, sort of watching it from above like, “Oh, look, God's here.” I love the concept, you know, for, for a lot, because I run a mastermind and, and it's, I’ve…. I've stopped calling the mastermind of late and started calling it an accountability group because that's really what it is.  No guys, I need to make sure that I do “X” - someone make sure by Thursday that a... bug me on Thursday that I've done “Y” right?  and I love the concept of doing it in real time. That is, that is brilliant. Um, what did you, was it something that you found that you needed and that's why you started it? 

Yeah. Yeah.  So, absolutely, yes, um, you know, I started working remotely 10 years ago and, and I had a job at the time and, uh, you know, my, my commute got really far, so I basically begged my boss to let me work from home and overnight I went from being, I think, a pretty high performer to just absolutely useless, really, really struggling.  I just, and I, and I,  I didn't, you know, I didn't quote/unquote get fired, but it was about as close to getting fired, you know, as you can get, I was shown the door very gently, thankfully, but, um, you know, it just shows you, I couldn't cope with the lack of structure, um, of, you know, I didn't have a place to, I didn't, I didn't have to take a shower in the morning and put real people clothes on,  and be somewhere at a certain time. And, um, so the lack of structure and that just the lack of having people who could look over my shoulder and see if I was on, uh, on Facebook or just, just the thought that somebody could take a look and see if I was working, and, and so I really, really struggled and I, I did not figure it out for a really long time. And that, that struggle, it really thrust me into, you know, first it was shame and then depression, and then it just, you know, thankfully it really lit a fire under me to delve into the study of productivity and, and behavior change and, and all these things.  But I just experimented with everything that I could find and, and, a few years ago I was talking to... this is while I was executive coaching, which that, that whole career was really born out of this struggle of like, oh my goodness, it's so hard to just be who I want to be, uh, to do what I want to do. Um, I was talking to a friend who was also working from home and, and, you know, we were intimate enough friends, that we were just being very vulnerable with each other, and, um, it was in fact him that was procrastinating worse than me at the moment. But, um, I just sort of had this spur of the moment, you know what I'm going to tell my  friend, Jake was his name, I'm going to tell him like my dark fantasy of what I'd really like, what I'd really like, you know, in terms of a support structure.  And honestly, I felt kind of silly and a bit ashamed telling him about it, cause I, you know, we just have all these narratives about, kind of how we  you know, is it the sort of fierce, you know, rugged individualism of American culture and, um, all the language that we use around productivity, which basically likens us to machines and all this stuff.  So anyways, I was like, you know, Jake, here's my fantasy. I want to get on a video call and I want to, I want to tell, you know, to break this stuff down into specific tasks and, and, and just keep each other company and check in on each other, so Jake was down for that. And so he and I did the first quote/unquote Focusmate session about five years ago now, and you know, it just, both of us had tried everything under the sun, and then we had this, just magic moment where like,  “Oh my gosh, this really works!”  Uh, and you know, it just clicked like, Oh, there's gotta be millions of people who aren't so different from us that would really benefit from this same technique.

No question about it. And you know, what, what I find interesting, uh, I think the most is about it, is that, um, you know, we are a society that… and you said it yourself, we thrive on that whole, oh, we have to work, we have to work, we have to work, you know, and, and, and I've always been of the opinion that we're killing ourselves, you know, we have these, of these, um, you have these, uh,  I hate the term called  “gurus” right?... on Instagram, um, specifically one who has a three-letter last name who talks about, you know, make sure you're hustling, you're gonna be hustling. And if you have nine hours, you know, if you have 24 hours a day and 18 of them are working and you know, you'll leave to see your kid for 30 minutes and just make them dinner and put them to sleep, but it works the more, you know, sleep 20 minutes, like, what are you doing? you're telling  people to kill themselves, you know? And so the, the premise of, of having to always be on is a, is definitely a societal thing, right? It affects us in America, it affects a lot of Asia. Um, hell the UK has it, they have it nailed down!  right,  OK, we’ve worked a week, time for six weeks off! But,, but on the flip side of that and what I love so much about what you’ve built, is that when I sit down to work, it's time to work, right?  I might not work 20 hours a day, I don't work 20 hours a day, right?  I try to strive... strive for that, I used to... I strive for that balance now, but when I sit down, it's like, okay, go  go, go and for me, the worst thing that has happened over this past year, and I think this episode is going to air about two months from now, but, but the, the… we are talking, we are having this conversation, you and I, on the Monday of the, of the one year anniversary of when everything shut down, right? This is the week that everything truly went to hell right?  A year ago with Covid, and for me, uh, my work, work place was on an airplane, and to no longer have that, to have that just taken away from me, you know, was, was brutally difficult. And so I think that something like this, even though it's not my preferred workplace, which is up in the air, you know, put me on a plane, 14 hours to Tokyo, and I'll write you a book, but, but which I've done like four times, but the, um, knowing that someone is there, to keep an eye on me without being sort of overbearing. I think you might have tapped into that perfect middle ground there. 

Yeah. You know, it's not so different from the, you know, sit on an airplane for 14 hours. It's, it's a shorter time duration than that. But, um, yeah, it really, it goes back into this idea of like, you know, we're not machines, and so what is a support structure that just works for us. And, and, and I, I love the philosophy that you talked about in introducing your show about. You know that our neurodiversity can be our gifts. And, and I think the can be... is for me, is about, do we really embrace them? Do we really lean into them and just celebrate them and just say, okay, well, like how much can I learn about how this thing works so that I can tap into the awesomeness that's actually, um, You know, it's, it's two sides of the same coin. So for me, yeah, Focusmate is not about grinding ourselves into submission more, it's... it's about just saying, Hey, this is how we are, and if we embrace that, um, you know, what's going to work for us and this, you know, you could talk if you're interested, uh, we can dive into maybe why that's the case, but it's just a support structure that, that clicks for, you know, human beings, the way that we are. Um, and yeah, like you alluded to, it has this awesome side effect of yeah, when you're on you're on, and then like, there's nothing better than getting to the end of your last Focusmate session of the day and being like, all right, I'm done. And you know, for me, and for so many of our users, it really creates that like finitude, and sort of a celebratory finish line where it really empowers you to be switched off when you're off too. 

I think that there's, there's also the aspect of it when you're done and you've completed it, there's a sense of pride, and studies have shown that pride... sense of pride, where you do something and you get it and you nail it, actually leads to dopamine,  leads to dopamine,  leads to adrenaline leads to serotonin, and so it could be a wonderful feedback loop in that regard. Okay. I know I'm going to work for four hours now and I'm excited about that, cause I know where I’m going, I know what my reward… then we get the mental reward and the stimulus reward going to at the end of this, which starts the process or even earlier.  So like, okay, let's sit down and do this. And I know that again, I, I linked back to the plane. When I get on that plane, I'm excited to work, right? I'm excited to take off, here's my Diet Coke, OK, let's rock this. You know, and there's that, there's that, uh, I think that, you know, normal people have, um, more normal ways of getting excited, but for me, this works, you know, but, but it it's, it's the thing that, okay, let's do this, let's get this done.  That's, that's a, that's a wonderful feeling. So I would assume that I would assume you have pretty high retention. I'm assuming that people who... who use you, tend to come back. 

Oh, a hundred percent, yeah. It really becomes like a lifestyle. Um, yeah, I was just looking at some, some tweets, uh, in preparation for this of, of, you know, ADHD years who, who use Focusmate,  and, um, yeah, you know, people just, uh, it's like, I use this every day to start my day. All right. You know, I do two sessions a day every day, um, yeah, cause it just, I don't know, for me, it's like the metaphor I use, is it's like getting in an inner tube and floating down the lazy river as a way of getting things done, and, you know, if you have the right environment, it's really easy, you just float to your destination, hopefully. Um, so that's kinda how it feels. Um, I think it’s, you know, book…. book some  Focusmate  sessions when you want to be getting stuff done, and you can almost like relax into that, and know that you're going to get where you want to get to. 

It's actually an interesting concept, because I look at it as the other thing, you know, you're, you're when you're, when you're on, you're on and you compared it to the lazy river, I get that, I mean, I get that you're just going to get your…. I think the end result…. what you're trying to, you're going to get there, right?

Yeah. I think both metaphors, both metaphors are true in a way. 

Yeah. I love that. Now tell me, um, when you, how often are you on it? I'd be like, do you use it? Do you use it religiously as well? Now that, you know, I know when I was, when I was running my company, it's like, you know, I started it, because I needed it and then, you know, you're, you're running it and it doesn't help as much, or you're like, “Oh God, I have to do this now.”  But yeah, I could see that. It's still, I'm guessing it's still pretty useful. 

Yeah. Well, you know I’m  like in my job, I find that I have a lot of meetings and I have stuff like this, and yet I obviously want to get things done as well, and, um, you know, you can block us time to do deep, you know, so-called deep work, but nothing works for me the way that, um, actually booking a Focusmate appointment and saying this time is sacred. Um, so there's a few days a week,and, and at least a few hours every day, where I just block off time for Focusmate co-working and that, you know, and then I, and I schedule my meetings around that. So it actually really, really helps, um, yeah. 

I find that, um, when you have, uh, the scheduling, the concept of scheduling is, is without question the ultimate, um, sort of necessity for anyone with ADHD. If you're not scheduling things, if you're not putting things like for instance, one of the, one of the things about COVID is that, you know, I can give two keynotes, maybe I was giving five keynotes a month, um, before COVID hit, I was on a plane all the time. Now I can get five keynotes in two days. Um, you know, I can do one in Tokyo at 7:00 AM and one in Bangkok at, at, at 9:00 AM, and, um, you know, then I'm home and I haven't left my apartment, right?  Which leaves a lot of free time, and when your ADHD free time is kind of the kiss of death, right? Unscheduled downtime is... is kind of the kiss of death because, you know, scheduled downtimes is OK,, I'm gonna play with my daughter, I'm gonna go outside, I'm gonna go swimming, I'm gonna work out whatever, but unscheduled downtime as, you get it, I have an hour to kill, and nothing to do.  Maybe I'll start a company, maybe I'll try that. You know, it's like, there's no, there's no middle ground there, right? It's all or nothing. Um, when, when, when, when you're, when you're ADHD, and so I would imagine that unscheduled downtime could be perfect for, OK, you know what? I'm going to work on that thing I've been putting off and I'm gonna, I'm going to do a Focusmate session to do it. 

Yeah, I actually, I really relate, like I feel anxiety when I see unscheduled downtime, like, Oh, for sure. I'm going to screw that up. Like go way off the rails, and I'm going to alternately nap and eat pizza and watch TV and, you know, wake up, two days later. 

What is your, I have to ask, what is your, uh, what is your go-to, uh, OK, I just finished it and now I'm going to start again, uh, series on Netflix or Hulu, or whatever it is.  

You know, I don't, I don't, I haven't yet repeated any series. 

Really? Yeah, OK I mean, I watch a lot of new stuff on the bike. I don't allow myself to watch new series, if I'm not on the bike because otherwise I just won't ever work. I'll like, just that'll be my entire day, but when I'm, when I have some time to kill and I just want to lay on the couch and not think about things, I tend to go back to King of the Hill a lot. 

Nice. 

It's a classic, but, uh, so tell us, so, so how can, um, people can head over to www.focusmate.com, and they can just sign up. I see that, that you're given that you get three free sessions a week. 

Yes. We actually have a free plan that is forever free, no credit card. You can use it on the free plan indefinitely. Um, and our paid plan is to have unlimited sessions, uh, and that's currently $5 per month. Um, so, yeah love to, you know, have anyone who's interested, just give it a shot. Um, let us know what you think.  

Guys, I can tell you that, that, um, you know, I don't often recommend products on podcasts, but we will link to it. It is Focusmate, it is one of those things that it's just, it's such a no-brainer to use. It makes such perfect sense for people like us, because it's literally exactly the kind of stuff that we have to deal with, and this is an answer, a solution for that, so strongly recommend it. Uh, I can't thank you enough for coming on the podcast. This was truly phenomenal, Taylor. I really appreciate it. How can people find you? Are you, are you on the socials? Where are you where people can impart more of your wisdom? 

Yeah, I am, um, you can find me on Twitter or  https://www.linkedin.com/in/taylorjacobson/ My Twitter is https://twitter.com/taylorjacobson?lang=en. Um, so yeah, love to connect with folks, uh, on the socials. 

 Awesome, awesome, Taylor, thank you so much for taking the time. We want to know what you want to hear. Uh, do you have a guest that you think might be awesome? Could you be as cool as Lisa Marks and recommend someone as cool as Taylor to come on the podcast? Let me know, shoot me an email. Peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all the socials or @FasterNormal  We would love to hear your suggestions for who we should have on, um, wanting to give a shout out to Steven Byrom, who is our wonderful producer, who makes me sound good, which isn't necessarily the easiest thing in the world because as I'm interviewing people, I'm also doing a million other things. And so he gets rid of all that background noise, all of all the stuff you don't hear. Chances are, I'm doing construction right now and you won't hear it! Because we have an amazing producer named Steven Byrom @stevenbyrom on Twitter . {thank you Peter}  If you need a Producer, I know he's looking for more work. [Always! Reels, library samples and resume at www.byroMMusic.com]

Um, thank you, Steven and Taylor again. Thank you guys. We'll be back next week and we hope to see you. Then. My name is Peter Shankman. This is Faster Than Normal! ADHD and all neurodiversity is a gift, not a curse, we’ll see you soon! 

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

Mar 24, 2021

Dr. George Sachs is the co-founder and clinical director of Inflow, the first science-based digital program built exclusively for people with ADHD, by people with ADHD.  Inflow is an app-based program that is grounded in the proven principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and their mission is to help every person with ADHD reach their full potential by providing sustainable, accessible, and cost-effective support. Alongside their core seven-week program, Inflow offers a safe community space and a range of supportive tools, from ADHD-specific meditations to live events and personalized journaling. Dr. Sachs has committed most of his life to helping others with ADHD. He was diagnosed later in life and is a licensed child psychologist and adult psychologist. He is the author of four books on ADHD and the founder of The Sachs Center in New York. Half the team at Inflow have ADHD, and Dr. Sachs is passionate about promoting neurodiversity in both the workplace and wider society. Inflow will be available for download on the App Store or Google Play Store from April 2021. Enjoy!

 

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***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Dr. George Sachs discuss:

0:57  -  Intro and welcome Dr. Sachs! 

2:30  -  On trends, explosion of cases with ADD/ADHD in the past 10 years  Ref: Dr. Sachs’s practice.  Ref:  Executive function

5:15  -  On the concept of your app, InFlow.  What is it, how did you come up with it and what does it do? 

7:58  -  On technology being used as a helpful tool and not a hindrance. Benefits vs dangers

9:03  -  On the challenge of getting resources to everyone who needs help

10:10  -  On focusing on moderation w/ an ADHD mind that’s not necessarily wired for moderation

11:22  -  On finding balance/‘out-of-sight-out-of-mind’/meditation & mindfulness

12:58  -  On how people are handling the lack of rituals, habits, stability, consistency during this past year + of the pandemic, specifically 

14:21  -  Advice for restoring rituals, daily habits, and building back. “external motivation”

15:57  -  On replacing willpower with scheduled routine/built-in structure and accountability 

17:33  -  How do people find you and learn more and reach out to you? Get the App on April 5th in the Apple Store HERE or via Google Play. Find out more about and how to directly contact Dr. Sachs via his website https://sachscenter.com  His books are linked there too!

18:11  -  Dr. Sachs, thanks so much for taking the time being on Faster Than Normal, I appreciate it.  Guys, as always, Faster Than Normal, if you liked what you heard drop us a review.  We appreciate you guys being on the podcast, we appreciate people listening. We are, as far as I can tell, one of the top, if not the top ADHD podcast out there, so I love that, and that is all because of YOU guys, and I am eternally grateful. If you have a guest that you think might work, or maybe it's you, someone you know, 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. We would love to hear from you guys, uh, it thrills us to no end when we get notes. Also, one final thing, if you have the book, if you've read Faster Than Normal the book, go on to wherever you bought it https://www.amazon.com/ or https://www.audible.com - whatever, drop us a review, you'd be amazed at how those reviews really, really help. As always, thank you for listening. ADHD is a gift, not a curse. We are looking forward to seeing you next week, you guys take care.

18:29  -  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits!

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hey guys, Peter, Shankman welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal, I'm thrilled that you're here as always. It is a grey day in New York City here on this Monday, but at least it's not raining, so that is always a plus. Good to have you here, I hope you had a great weekend. I don't know when you're listening to this airs on Wednesdays, that doesn't really matter, but anyway, hope you're having a great day. Want to introduce you today to Dr. George Sachs. Dr. Sachs is co-founder and clinical director of Inflow, the first science based digital program for managing ADHD, and we're going to talk about that because some of our best guests ever, uh, Dr. Emily Anhalt, Dr. Rachel Cotton, all those people are all science-based and they usually give us the best interviews. So I am psyched for that. Dr. Sachs is a licensed child psychologist and adult psychologist, uh, especially in treatment of ADD,  ADHD, autism, spectrum disorders in children,  teens and adults. He did his clinical training in Chicago at Cook County Hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital, and the child study center.  He completed his internship postdoc work at Children's Institute in LA, where he supervised and trained therapists in trauma focused CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  TF, CBT,  see, every day there is another version of, of CBT that I am  forced to learn. All right. Cool. Dr. Sachs, welcome to Faster Than Normal, it's great to have you,

Thank you very much, it's great to be here. 

I was just saying in classic ADHD style, I didn't have you on my calendar and we don't know who’s at fault, but that's okay, that’s we do. 

Right, that is the challenge with ADD and having my own ADD, uh, sometimes I, you know, we never know who's at fault, but in this case, uh, we cancel each other out.  

We make it work, exactly. So, so it was funny. Cause I remember when, uh, when I first you mentioned, you knew Dr. Hallowell, when I first interviewed him for an episode #1 of the podcast all the way back, like, four... four years ago now, um, I remember that I showed up at his office an hour early, um, and he thought the interview was an hour late. And so it actually worked perfectly on time. 

See, there you go.  

Um, but yeah, it happens. So tell us about, um, your, you focus, especially as an ADHD… tell us what it's been like over the past… let's say 10 years, right? What trends have you noticed in ADD & ADHD? Has it, have you noticed, I mean, a lot of people have said they've seen an explosion in new cases, an explosion in diagnosis. Tell us what you've seen from, from a clinical standpoint. 

Well, obviously, uh, okay. So, I’m a Clinical Psychologist. I have that practice on 78th, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, specializing in, uh, the, the testing and treatment of children, teens, and adults with ADHD. I also focus on Autism,  ASD and Asperger's, um, although that is not the term used anymore, but, um, uh, that is the one I prefer. So, yeah, so I've been working with ADHD for a long time. I myself have ADHD and have had it my whole life, uh, but only realized it in my thirties, I'm now 52, um, but I think the biggest change really is this focus from away... from attention problems or focus problems to Executive Functioning deficits.  And Executive Functioning, uh, really is, includes a lot of different areas, organizational deficits, time management problems, uh, self control, impulsivity issues, emotional dysregulation, uh, so those are just a few, but it, uh, decision-making and organization. So... it really affects a lot of areas of our lives. So I, I, I, I see that as a big focus and change that, uh, I'm working on and that's what we're working with, um, Inflow on, bringing, um, information and tools and techniques on how to overcome, uh, executive functioning deficits.  Uh, so yeah, so that's a big change I've seen.  Also, I have to say that another big change…. change is the, is the, um, is the interest in neuro-diversity, and I think this is wonderful, this idea that, you know, 10 years ago, ADHD was up, a problem to be fixed and a disorder and there was a heaviness to it. But now I see, you know, the culture and society moving towards an acceptance of neuro-diversity and that's wonderful because I think people with neuro-diverse, uh, minds can really add to, and change the world.

I totally agree. And you know, it's interesting because I'm, I'm a lot of the work I do is with companies and corporations and sort of how they're learning to, to embrace the neuro-diverse, uh, employee, they're realizing that it's, it's, it's a value. There's a, there's a value there, to hiring people with different brains and that they do benefit. So it's, it's nice to see that there's, that you're seeing that in other areas as well. Um, let's talk,  let's talk science, let's talk about, uh, the, the concept of Inflow. What is it? How'd you come up with it? What does it do? 

Well, um, Inflow is a science-based learning program on the mobile... on the mobile phone, it's an application to help people with ADHD reach their full potential and myself, and as the clinical director teamed up with two amazing entrepreneurs, uh, one from England and one's from South Africa, and together we have built this, uh, amazing program for people with ADHD. It's interesting cause it's for people with ADHD,  by ADHD, by people with ADHD and myself included, but the entire team really, uh, I would say 50% of us, uh, the greater larger team here has some form of neuro-diversity, so we really understand, uh, you know, the problems with ADHD and the, the learning modules are not just a formulaic, you know, information about getting another plan or things like that, it's really things that I've found effective with my clients , and….work for myself, so they're really creative solutions to managing some of the difficulties of ADHD. The program is based on CBT, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. So what's unique about the app is that we not only do we give psycho-education in this unique way, creative, unique solutions for people with ADHD, but we have, uh, challenges.  So each day you're…. you're provided with a challenge in, and you have to apply that in your real life. For example, we, we coach in the app, something called the launching pad and that's kind of a bowl or a dish or a place near the door where you put your keys, your wallets and things like that, so that you don't have to scramble for them in the morning, and then the, the challenge is you have to actually use it. And then come back on a daily basis to the app and swipe that you've, you've got it, and of course over time it becomes habitual… and  a new tool is learned. 

Interesting. What, how... talk about how you believe that technology has helped people with ADHD?  You know, for me, just before we started, I shut off my, my, my living room thermostat by, by asking, you know, my computer to do it, right automatically, and so what happens, uh, in a world where technology is so ingrained from kids as young as you know, birth, right? I mean, my daughter is almost eight, and she, uh, especially with everything going on with COVID, you know, is as, almost as computer savvy as I am right? And so, so how does tech, how do we make sure technology is a help and not a hindrance, right?  What do we say to parents who are saying, “I can't, you know, my kid is on Zoom all day, and then on his iPad,or his phone all night and you know, I, more stuff, you know, how do, how do we, how do we make that differential between beneficial and, uh, dangerous, for lack of a better word.  

Well, that’s  a good question, and I get that a lot in my practice, particularly from parents of teenagers and children, but adults, uh, can also struggle with this, this balance, and it really is a balance because I think technology can really be an amazing tool. Uh, I myself have grown tremendously with Google and Google calendar and Gmail and the integration of all those and in my phone, so I think for people, which by the way is amazing as well. So, um, my point is it can be an amazing thing with, uh, in moderation and, and, you know, I see, you know, uh, um, uh, not tens, tens, yeah, maybe a hundred people, um, you know, a year at my practice. I don't know. It's, it's not, it's not as many as we, as the app can reach. And so, that was one of the exciting things about doing Inflow, the app, is that now I can, you know, teach and coach as many people as download the app and that, and we're, we're providing it to all over North America, Canada, Australia, UK.  So, as you know,  you know, therapy and group therapy for ADHD and even ADHD coaching can be very expensive, and the research I've done, is that there's 33 psychologists per 100,000 people, and 9 psychiatrists per 100,000 people in the United States.  So, you know, the challenge is, I mean, technology offers us an opportunity to bring uh, real tools, ADHD learning, to as many people as possible, so I think in that way, it's very positive, but yeah, I mean, if you're taking your phone to bed and you're up until two in the morning, it's going to impact your life. 

Well, here's an interesting question because you said that, that, you know, it's fine in moderation, but yeah. ADHD, we're not known for moderation, quite the opposite.  We're known for, you know, all or nothing  you know, we don't, we don't moderate and eat two slices of pizza, we eat the pizza, right?  So we have to learn ways around that. So how do you focus on implementing moderation to a brain that isn't necessarily able to accept it as easily as, uh, you know, other brains

Well, these are things that, um, I coach in my practice and are also in the app and there's a couple of tools that we use, but I mean, I think out of sight, out of mind is one of the easiest and, you know,  if we see something we're triggered, so I think in many cases removing that from your eyesight is something that will reduce, you know, the, the, the trigger to eat more.   

 

So do you put a time limit on it, as it were?  

What’s that?  

Like, a time limit?  

No. I mean like physically removing it from your refrigerator or like there's foods that I want, but I can't buy, because I'll just say in the entire, 

But I'm talking about specifically... is electronics, right? If, you know, you mentioned that you have to put a, uh, put a sort of, uh, limits on your electronic usage, right?  But that's easier said than done most of the time. 

Well, um, I mean, it can be as simple as removing the app from your, uh, your home screen, you know, something like that. I mean, that's the way, at least for me, when I, you know, I may miss it for a day or two, but then it's like gone and, and I, and I don't miss it.  So, I mean, there's, there does need to be some boundaries set and, some um, um, you know, personal limitations put in, but I think you know, that concept of out of sight out of mind is really important. Um, the other one, which is harder to develop, but I think the best actual treatment for ADHD, is mindfulness and meditation.  And some people say, well, I can't do that, that's, you know, I can't sit for any period of time, but what we, um, one of the modules in the Inflow app is on mindfulness. And it's just, I mean, it's really just creating a sense of, of being in the present moment and slowing ourselves down so that we can make better decisions about whether to indulge in that thing or, you know, impulse buy that thing. So I mean, this, these are the two things that work for me is #1, is to, is to literally remove it from my site, and #2 to slow myself down and practice mindfulness on a daily basis, to...to be able to make better decisions. 

Yeah. That makes sense. I mean, the premise that, you know, it's, it's the, for me, if it's not, again, same thing with the food, if it's not in the fridge, I’m not gonna have it,, right?  If the, if the, if the app to order the delivery is not, on my phone, um, you know, it's gonna be harder to use, um, talk for a second about, uh, the last year, right? I mean, we've been in just a crazy time and, um, I know that for me, you know, all of, a lot of my rituals and a lot of the things that I use to sort of keep me, uh, focused and working and beneficial have really gone out the window, right? I'm not on a plane anymore, uh, three, you know, two or three times a week. Uh, it's been very tough to sort of build that back. Um, what have you seen. Uh, you know, between... with your clients and, and, and with what you've heard in the industry, you know, what have you seen in terms of how people are handling that?  Cause it's, it's, it's tough for anyone, but I think when you have ADD and ADHD, and you're very set on rituals and routines to just sort of be thrown into, not even, even now, right? I mean, you know, school is open for a week or two, and then someone catches COVID and it's shut down for two weeks, you know, there's no, there's no stability anymore.

 

 

Yeah. I mean, I, you know what, it's really interesting. It's been a year, I think, and about a month ago I started seeing people really crashing and particularly teenagers were really suffering because they need that social interaction, and kids too, um, but with ADHD, yeah, we need the, we need the, uh, the script, but we need the, the rituals, we need the… the outline of how we're going to go, and not have to think about it. 

Um, so any tips or recommendations on what, what kids or even adults can do to sort of get a little bit of that back when it's hard to find? 

Okay, well, this is a big, um, a big tool that I like and I call it “Externalizing the Motivation” and most people with ADHD struggle, uh, to get things done and to do things because as Dr. Barkley says, one of the gurus in the field, he says that the internal voice of willpower in people with ADHD is weak, so we actually have to externalize it. And for me, that means. I really put everything on, um, anything that I struggled to do, I externalized. Um, and so if I need to do some writing, if I want to do some creative writing, I'll join a creative writing class. And if I need to work out, I, I. I will, you know, there's a tennis court near me,  I'll, I'll take a class. So I, I I've accepted my ADHD, which by the way, is the first step. And if we accept it, then we realize we can't really do things by ourselves, and we have to find external support, a class, uh, an accountability buddy, a teacher, um, a program. And so anything like that, and you, you know, in your book, you talk about swapping, um, um, cleaning duties, which I thought was really interesting.  So I, I think if you're struggling to get things done, it's important to think about what can I do outside myself to get motivation. And that might, that generally comes from other people. 

So I think it also, I found for a lot of people that I've talked to with having the podcast, it also comes from sort of, again, those rituals, the concept of, you know, uh, creating situations that allow you to get up early or to start your day or whatever, that you don't have to think about. I think that the willpower is, uh, uh, a silent or, you know, a quieter voice, but when you don't have to think about it and you just do it, right?  So, you know, the concept of, of sleeping in your gym clothes, like I mentioned, right, we're getting up early and just, you know, you're on the bike or whatever it is. So I think there's a, there's a, a couple of, of, you know, I agree that I am more apt to get, uh, to the gym when I know my trainers waiting for me, but again, you know, not necessarily something we've been able to do recently, 

I mean in your book at, again, you talk about your running partner, you know, like who met you in the park at 4:30 in the morning?

Still does. Yeah. That's very true. 

And still does in this, this is the perfect example of externalizing, the motivation and something like that is really, uh, you know, focused on in our Inflow app. So, you know, You have to be creative in different ways to approach that, but back to the old whole idea of a morning routine or a schedule.  Yeah, we, it takes cognitive energy to, to think about what I'm going to do next and what I'm going to do next, and by having a schedule, a routine, you know, we can go on autopilot, save the cognitive resources for later in the day when we really need it to get things done.  So, you know, it is important to have a schedule and also the external accountability from a friend or some other support systems.

 

It makes sense to me. Dr.,  how can people find you if they want to learn more or reach out to you? 

Well, they can, uh, find me, you can download the app, uh, at the, at the GooglePlay store or the, um, the Apple store. You can look for Inflow ADHD, the app will be available in April, April 5th, and you can find me, uh, just Google me, George Sachs Physchologist, ADHD, and you'll find my practice here in New York City. 

Very cool, that's nice. Thank you so much for taking the time, I truly appreciate it, and, uh, we will, we will definitely have you back, I'd love to hear how the app's going and we’ll have you back in like six months or so, and then talk some more. 

Okay, thank you very much.

Guys. As always, Faster Than Normal, we appreciate you being here. ADHD is a gift and not a curse, as long as you know how to use it, use some of the ways Dr. Sachs has talked about, let us know what works for you, and doesn't.  Leave us a review, if you'd like to shoot me a note at www.petershankman.com or  Peter Shankman (@petershankman) • Instagram photos and videos  Peter Shankman (@petershankman) | Twitter all the socials, and either way, we'll see you next week, and we thank you for listening.

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

Mar 17, 2021

We’re talking about workouts & and how the pursuit of physical fitness strengthens your brain, mind-body inter-communication, re-defining your identity and the snooze bar challenge today! Layne Norton holds a PhD in nutritional sciences and a BS in biochemistry and has contributed numerous original scientific research publications to journals such as The Journal of Nutrition, American Journal of Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, and the International Journal for Sports Nutrition. He has been involved in the fitness industry for over 20 years as a competitor, coach, author, and entrepreneur. He has competed as a pro natural bodybuilder as well as pro natural powerlifter, winning nationals twice (2014 and 2015) and achieving a gold medal in the squat at 2015 IPF World Championships (668 lbs) and a silver medal overall. He has published various books including Fat Loss Forever and the Complete Contest Prep Guide. More recently he co-founded Carbon Diet Coach a nutritional coaching app available for iOS and Android. He also recently launched a new supplement line, Outwork Nutrition.  Enjoy!

 

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***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Layne Norton discuss:

1:05  -  Intro and welcome Layne Norton!

2:30  -  So, 668 lbs… dude.. let’s talk about that small elephant you lifted!

4:00  -  On “let’s work out right now, no, Now”

5:00 -  On the process of exercise and healthy habits/losing weight and keeping it off 

5:40  -  On the term “low-recency” and what that means for losing weight

7:00  -  On keeping your resolutions and what that means/all it entails

9:34  -  On mind-body inter-communication

10:34  -  On how ADD/ADHD tendencies can border addiction – how one skip day can spiral into getting off the repetition train. 

12:00 -  On cultivating confidence; setting smaller goals to achieve long-term & larger results and correcting setbacks

12:55  -  The one week, “no snooze bar” challenge

14:39  -   On rituals vs resolutions; breaking old habits & behaviors; re-defining your identity

17:00  -  On examininging your habits and behaviors 

18:35  -  On healthier outcomes via smarter choices and life hacks!

20:00  -  On the psychology of eating

21:09  -  On CBT & DBT and how it can be an extremely helpful tool

22:50  -  Tell people how they can find you and get more info on you?  @biolayne on Twitter  INSTA  YouTube  and LayneNorton on Facebook  You can find his books, products and services via his website:  www.BioLayne.com and his new App Carbon Diet Coach <—here!

23:50  -  Layne Norton, thanks so much for taking the time being on Faster Than Normal, I appreciate it.  Guys, as always, Faster Than Normal, if you liked what you heard drop us a review.  We appreciate you guys being on the podcast, we appreciate people listening. We are, as far as I can tell, one of the top, if not the top ADHD podcasts out there, so I love that, and that was all because of you guys, and I am eternally grateful. If you have a guest that you think might work, or maybe it's you, someone you know, 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. We would love to hear from you guys, uh, it thrills us to no end when we get notes. Also, one final thing, if you have the book, if you've read Faster Than Normal the book, go on to wherever you bought it https://www.amazon.com/ or https://www.audible.com - whatever, drop us a review, you'd be amazed at how those reviews really, really help. As always, thank you for listening. ADHD is a gift, not a curse. We are looking forward to seeing you next week, you guys take care.

24:09  -  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits!

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hi everyone,  you are listening to another episode of Faster Than Normal,  the neurodiversity podcast where we understand that ADD and ADHD, anything along those lines, is a gift, not a curse, and the more people we get to understand that, the better everyone's lives will be! :) We are thrilled that you are here today, my name is Peter Shankman, I am your host as I have been for the past 200 something episodes, and that will probably continue to be long in the future because I don't like change.  Anyway, great to have all of you listening today and I want to introduce a man who I've been following on Twitter for at least God, three, four, five years maybe now.   Layne Norton is a PhD in nutrition... nutritional science, and a BS in biochemistry. He has written numerous scientific research publications to journals such as the Journal of Nutrition, American Journalist Psychology, I'm sorry. Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, the International Journal for Sports Nutrition. He's been involved in the fitness industry for over 20 years as a competitor, a coach, an author, and entrepreneur,  yes, if you haven't already figured it out, this is a fitness episode. He's competed as a pro natural bodybuilder, as well as a pro natural powerlifter winning nationals twice in 2014 and 2015 and achieving a gold medal in the squat, at the 2015 IPF World Championships, 668 pounds. So repeat that, he squatted 668 pounds as I look over in the corner at my two 25 pound kettlebells, and I'm so inspired that I'm just going to end this interview and go and eat a pizza… Layne, welcome, it is, it is great to have you today, man. 

Thanks Peter. I appreciate that introduction and I love how you said that, uh, ADD and ADHD are, aren't a curse and uh, my Mother has actually always referred to it as the gift. 

Yes. Your Mother is a very smart woman. That is exactly what it is. It is, it is a gift   We look at it aligns or just because it's different doesn't necessarily mean it's wrong, and that I've been, I've been living that life for four years. Um, okay. I just want to get that away, 668 pounds? Dude, that's like, that's, that's damn that's impressive, that is pretty impressive. 

Yeah. I think, um, you know, it's funny when you, when you're doing it and you're, you're in there and you're training for it and the load kind of, you know, it's not like I woke up one morning.  It was just like, wow, that last workout was really good, I added  300 pounds on my squat. You know, this was, you know, a decade and a half in the works. 

Of course 

Um, and so you kind of lose perspective on it. And then now, looking back, I mean, I, I'm still lifting, I would still like to do another meet. I've kind of been battling a few different injuries and whatnot, but I'm looking back, I'm like, damn, I was bad.  I was bad. You know? Like, um, so yeah, it was definitely a very, very, very proud moment in my life.  was, was that one.

I’m sure. I think one of the reasons I hate Facebook so much is because it shows you the bad times and it also shows you the really great times. It's like, hey, look at, you, look at how hot you were four years ago, you f’ing fat ass now, you sit there and eat that pizza you know, four years ago, man, you looked awesome. 

So I definitely, definitely can be the unfortunate reminders, but, um, you know, it's, it's all everything we go through, uh, whether it's good or bad kind of shapes us and makes us how we are, so, um, I'm grateful for the good stuff, but I'm also grateful for the bad stuff because in the end, the bad stuff may be better.

Oh, Amen, I'm a huge believer in failure. I, you know, I won't hire anyone, I won't work with anyone that hasn’t failed before, you gotta learn from it. So we were talking offline, you know, just this morning… so I have a great trainer. He, he, he's an equal ops and I've been working remotely with him the better part of a year.  I turn on FaceTime and I have a mat and I have my kettlebells and I have my, my, you know, my foam roller and, and we've, we've had great workouts, and I've actually gained a ton of muscle this year because when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail, right. So, you know, kettlebells, that's what I got, that's what I've been using and, um, I was exhausted this morning and I, I woke up and I texted him like, you know, My daughter was up last night. She wasn't feeling that hot, so I didn't get a lot of sleep. Can we move this to this afternoon? Or maybe we could do this like tomorrow or something like that, and he just texts me and he's like, no, let's do it now. I'm like, “Oh, you dick, right? but he was actually 100% right, because it wouldn't have happened later right?   So, I mean, I think one of the first things I want to talk to you about is, you know, you to train for competitions, you don't just decide, Oh, I'll train, I don't even want to train today. That's, that's dedication, right, and I’m sure there are days when you wake up and you're like, man, I don't want to do this. I want to stay in bed or I want to eat that pint  of Rocky Road or whatever, talk us through that process. 

Yeah, so I think, um, I talk about this a lot actually in terms of fat loss.  Um, uh, one of my big passions is kind of looking at people who are able to lose weight and keep it off, cause they're kind of unicorns, to be honest, if we're talking about weight loss more than three years, um, for the most part, you know, 80 to 90% of people will not lose weight and keep it off over a three-year period.  So, um, one of the things that they found,  that the people who were really good at that, who were able to do that, uh, one of the biggest character traits they had was what they call it Low-Recency. Now, recency is basically a measure of how much you value, uh, short-term information versus long-term information.  Um, so for this, for the purpose of this, you can kind of look at like, um, delayed gratification, it's not the same thing, but for the, for this discussion, it kind of is. So it's like you just said, OK, that, that extra, you know, sleep in, you know, that extra bowl of ice cream or, or whatever it may be, that's going to make me feel better in the short-term, but what is my long-term goal?  And does that fit my long term goal? And I'm not saying that you should never sleep in, I'm not one of those people. I'm also not saying you should never have ice cream, that's not what I'm saying, but I'm saying, you know, if it's not going to fit within your calorie goals or that sort of thing, like, what do I value more?  Well, I value one thing I've always been really good at now. I wasn't always good at it, but I've gotten, I've become really kind of a bad-ass at it is,  I will watch a blade of grass grow in terms of my goals. I, I, I don't care if it takes me five years. I, if I am confident that I know if I have this process of how to get there, I'm confident that if I put the work in, I will get there.  Now that the problem becomes... is, you know, when we first started going, we talked about some resolutions, right? We're really motivated, like we're fired up, you know, this and that. Well, let a few weeks go by and some work stress creep in,  you know, um, you know, some emotions like breakups, all that kind of stuff, all of that stuff can derail you is actually you just talked about in a systematic review of people who lose weight and keep it off.  Um, and so... what, what, what does that mean? Well, you experienced it today, you didn't feel good, um, you didn't really want to do it, and I'll say this a lot to people I work with, or, or people my team works with, because I have a team of coaches now, or people who use our nutritional coaching app. Um, I'll say, you know, it doesn't have to feel good.  It doesn't always have to feel good, you just have to do it. Okay. Now, again, I'm not saying you can never have a day off, that... that's not it, but you have to be careful because the one day off can start to spiral. You know, if you're, if you've been hitting it hard and you know, you're a little bit more sore than normal and you feel like a rest day could be productive so that you can have better workouts later in the week, that's a productive rest day. But if you're taking a rest day, because you're just not feeling it, or you're just not motivated, that sort of thing, you have to be really careful because that can kind of start to spiral over time, and usually what happens is that once you get back into it, once you actually get through that, that barrier of, oh, I don't want to do this and you start, you actually feel fine.  So I, Peter, I actually had the same thing yesterday. I got like, I had some like, business stress and some other stuff, and I got like two or three hours of sleep that night. I just did not feel good, and. I thought about missing my workout. And then I was like, you know what, I'm just gonna, I'm just going to go in and just, just kinda go through the motions, right?  Like, I'm not going to expect you to big PR’s or anything, but I'm just going to warm up and we'll see what's there, right, and you know what happened? I actually had a pretty good workout and that doesn't always happen like that. But I think David Goggins says it like, you know, I let mediocrity think it's going to win.  So. I'll just do a little bit, you know, and then when you get into it and the blood gets moving and you get kind of in your flow, a lot of times it ends up being better so I always tell people like, don't rely on motivation to keep you going. Motivation is like nitrous oxide on a car, on a race car, right, it will help you go really fast over a really short period of time, but, uh, dedication and determination and perseverance, that's your gasoline. That's, what's actually going to take you places. 

That’s a great, that's a great thought. I mean, there's also the, the, the premise that what was the quote? Um, you can't wait for your body to say, it's ready. The mind has to be ready and tell the body it’s ready. 

Yeah. I mean, I tell people if you're waiting for the perfect time for, to go after your goals, there's never going to be a perfect time. And one of the things I always, I always fall back to is I'll say, listen, you know, a lot of people have different challenges.  You got three kids, you're a single mom. You’ve got, you know, whatever. Maybe you have, you know, some kind of learning disability or you have a physical disability  totally get that, you know, not everybody in an ideal world, we'd all start in the 50 yard line right? That's not how it works. Some of us start on the other team's one yard line and some of us start in our own one yard line, right. Um, but you have the ability to, to win, to score and no matter how bad you've got it, I'm almost certain that somebody came from worse and did better with it. So it is possible, 

Well I mean, I think that's an interesting point because you know, the, especially what you said earlier about the premise that, um, you know, it tends to spiral.  I, a lot of times ADHD. ADD and  things like that are, are, are very, very close to addiction, addictive personality  and things like that.  And you know, for me, I know I have to do what's… “I call it playing the tape forward” you know. You know, okay. I don't really want to get out of bed. How am I gonna feel in 12 hours, right? Let's say I do sleep in, and then I go to work and whatever. Well, I've slept in now. I don't have that dopamine hit that I was hoping for, and I'm a little slower I'm going slower. Probably haven't had the best meetings or gotten them the best work done. Well, I haven't got done. That's worked. I'm probably a little pissed off, and how do I usually rectify that? Well, now I've ordered a pizza. So that, that one decision. right, decided to sleep in when I didn't really need to,  has ruined a day, right. And now, well, it's ruined a day. Well, now I'm really pissed off, I might drink.  Well, if I drink what's gonna happen tomorrow morning, right?  And the next thing, you know, three weeks later I've gained 20 pounds.  

That definitely happens, and I think, you know, one of the things people ask, like, how did you, like, did you, were you born with this mindset or did you have to cultivate it?  And you know, I'll give credit to my parents. I really had great parents in terms of, you know, like believing in me and pushing me, and we didn't, we didn't have a lot of money or anything like that, but my parents were hard workers and I saw that, and I think that that was very important for me. Um, but I didn't have a lot of confidence growing up, and so how do you cultivate that? Well, cultivating, that was honestly just setting like little goals. and, and hitting those goals and then setting ones that are a little bit bigger and achieving those,  and the ones that are a little bit bigger, and then you start to hit some setbacks, cause when you, when you have small goals, you have small setbacks, but when you have big goals, you have big setbacks.  It's usually pretty proportionate, and so, you know, I was able to grow my confidence in proportion to those goals I was hitting. And then what really helped me gain confidence was overcoming setbacks. When I started overcoming setbacks. And especially when it was set, when there were setbacks where other people were telling me, Oh, you're not going to be able to get past that.  When I got past them, that started developing an enormous amount of confidence in myself, and if you asked my wife, she would say, I almost have too much confidence in myself because, you know, she's like, you think you could just get through anything. So, um, you know, but that takes time to cultivate. 

And one of the things I, I.  somebody asked me the other day, like, how do you know, how do you fit so much in like, what do you, what do you do? Like what's, you know, and there's no, there's no like true hack or anything like that. Like that, that doesn't exist. But one thing I'll say that I, I don't do, is I don't use the snooze button. I don't hit, I don't hit the snooze button once my, I... if I need to, if I need 10 extra minutes, I'm going to set my alarm for that 10 extra minutes, like I'm not going to hit a snooze button because honestly, the sleep you get during that extra 10, 20, 30 minutes is not even any good, and now you set yourself back in terms of time, and you also know deep down in your heart, I had the chance to get up and get after it, and I didn't do it. So I think one of the things that you can start out with for just like a little small, tiny win, like a micro win, is dedicate yourself to, you know, for a week, you're not going to hit the snooze button. You're just going to get up and get after it. And you know, when you do that, even if you get up and you feel terrible, you might feel terrible, but at least mentally you say, you know what? You got out of bed and you started getting it done.

90% of the time,  the, the mental breakthrough of, hey, I did that. I mean, look, I mean, I, I, you know, my, I, my trainer FaceTimed me this morning and I'm like, hi, he's like, all right, let's do it. I'm like, shut up. Just, just talk slow. I don't want to talk, you know, but by the end of the workout, I'm like, all right, you're right, thanks, whatever, shut up. You know, and it was, I mean, it's like, it's like, I turn into Archer when I'm with them. I'm like, “Hey, shut up” You know, but he's on it, he’s right? I did it. I felt much better, and my day has been that much more productive right?  It's a lot of what you're saying goes into the premise that I've set up, um, uh, rituals, not resolutions, right? You're not gonna lose 20 pounds the first two weeks of... you know, of a new year, but if the ritual is “get up and go to the gym four times a week,” that's accomplishable, right. 

For sure, like I said, I just got done reading a, a big systematic review, uh, ironically, uh, kind of, if I can pull up my own ego here, the, the researcher who published it actually said that my book inspired them to, to do their PhD, which I thought was really, really cool.  Um, They talked about rituals, uh, in terms of a, what are some commonalities amongst people who lose weight and keep it off. And part of that is reinventing their identity because part of their identity is tied up in their old habits and behaviors. And a lot of people want to still hang on to those, but transition into a new body, new health, and that's just not the way it works, you know, if you want to, if you want to shed your skin and go through a transformation, like it's truly going to be a transformation, because if you don't transform internally, any external transformation you make, is  just going to be short-lived. And so you’re talking about habits and behaviors, uh, one of the things that shocks people, when I tell them the data, there are no studies out there in terms of like meta-analyses, which are basically studies of studies, that show that there's one diet that emerges as superior for weight loss, all diets, in terms of long-term weight loss tend to be pretty similar in how much weight loss they produce, and they tend to be pretty similar in adherence level. But what does bubble up in terms of people who lose weight and keep it off,  is a series of habits and behaviors like cognitive restraint. Self-monitoring. exercise, uh, those sorts of things that low-recency, like we just talked about it’s habits and behaviors, because if you don't change your habits and behaviors, knowledge is nothing without habits and behaviors.  And I'll give a great example. Um, you know, so what ends up determining weight loss is calories in calories out, right? I mean, that's it. Now people will argue this, this and that,  alot of that's because, people don't want to take responsibility because that's calories in calories out. There's an inherit responsibility in that.  And people say, well, that's too simplistic to explain all this just because the answer is simple, doesn't mean the execution is easy. OK, like a great example. Is saving money. I don't think anyone's going to argue that in order to save money, you need to earn more money than you spend. Now you can say things like, well, but you know, interest rates can fluctuate and you know, your income can fluctuate if you're an entrepreneur and your investments can fluctuate and your expenses can pop up that you didn't plan for all of that's true.  That's all true, but it doesn't change the fact that in order to save money, you need to earn more than you spend. But why don't people like keeping a budget? Because if you keep a budget, if you have to actually look at what you're spending money on, then you have to admit the fact that dang, I spent $1200 bucks on eating out at restaurants last month, I could have saved that.  And people don't want that, a lot of people don't want that... kind of accountability, so it's, it's all about revamping your habits and behavior. So, you know, it is calories in calories out, but just telling people to eat less and move more, that doesn't really… that's not really helpful information anymore than it is to say, well, just earn more money or save more money or both, Or earn more, spend less, you have to change their habits and behaviors, right, because all that stuff, we are, we are governed by our habits and behaviors, and a lot of the stuff we do during the day is just completely autopilot, we don't even think about it. 

Yeah. It's very true, and I think that, that, what's... what I find fascinating about that is, that is that we not always tend to fall off the wagon for reasons that at the end of the day are kind of pointless, right. I look at it along the lines of, OK,  I was pissed off that X happened to me.  Is eating that pizza, going to somehow go back in time and prevent X from happening, right? And what else can I do instead of that? I remember the day that I got…I had gotten into a huge fight with my ex-wife and we were great friends, but whatever. This particular day, we had a huge fight. And I was walking home, and I was so angry, this is ridiculous, and in my head I’m imagining the meal I’m gonna order from… wherever, and i get home and just, I’m like you know what, let’s just go on the tread…. on the Peloton, let’s just get on the bike for 45min, and if you still want to order that meal, order the meal. Had one of the best... strongest rides of my life, right? Anger, anger, fuels rides with the best rides. And, um, you know, and, and, and sure enough, I get off, I have all the dopamine, all the serotonin, all the adrenaline, I'm not hungry and I don't do it.   I'm like, it was the same exact thing. Both of those would have led to my feeling better, but only one of them was healthy. 

Right, and that's, you know, that's almost like a cognitive rewiring right there. Just a different way of looking at things. I mean, if you want to look for it hacks, I mean, that's a hack right there.  Right? You, you recognized. Okay. And I,  this is huge. So I've talked to, um, a lot of people who deal in the psychology of eating, uh, because you know, people make a big deal about hunger, a hunger., you didn't mention it... hunger once in there. 

Right, right, right. 

This diet makes you feel less hungry, then I'll tell people.  Yeah, but you're assuming people only eat because they're hungry. That is a small part of why human beings eat. There are social cues, there are environmental cues, emotional cues. And especially if you've tied  you know, certain emotions. And it sounds like where you came from that stress emotion would be accompanied with, you know, some sort of food reward to try to make yourself feel better, right, so what you've done is actually re-wire that response to where, okay, well I can go exercise, right, and that totally changed it. And so it's kind of like, uh, you know, some people say people who talk about like spending and whatnot, uh, they say, you know, before you make any purchase or, you know, a big purchase, let's say give it 24 hours to sleep on it, and if you know, 24 hours later, you still feel the same way, then OK, go ahead and buy it. So you just did that. You said I'm going to give myself 45 minutes, and if I still feel this way, then I'll go do it. 

CBT is an amazing thing.  a good friend of mine, an ex-girlfriend of mine is a CBT and DBT, a therapist, she's a psychologist, and, um, you know, she swears by it and she works with it, it’s  an amazing thing. Being able to rewire their brain and think differently. It's just, it's just a gift. No question about it. 

Absolutely. I mean, that's how they treat, uh, that's how they treat a lot of people with binge eating disorder is they'll they'll, they'll a lot of it is because, like we said, we're on autopilot a lot of the day, right? Because it takes some of us with our jobs, it takes a lot to do those jobs and then you have to like, for survival, you almost have to go on autopilot for certain parts of the day, right? Because being on and making decisions, I mean, there is such a thing as decision fatigue, so you have to rewire those autopilots because a lot of people, when they overeat, it's not being even glutinous or anything like that, it's simply, “I didn't even realize I was doing it.” You know, I've, I've been around people who had binge eating disorder so bad that, um, they, it literally was like a blackout episode, but, you know, they wouldn't really come out of it until they had finished, and boom, there's 3000 calories gone, you know? And so I, one of the first things is, and I'm not a psychiatrist...psychologist, so I don't want to, you know, this isn’t my area of expertise, but this is my understanding for what I've heard them say, is identifying those emotions, so.. you... that's exactly what you did. You identified the emotion first, and then you said, okay, “What can I, what can I do about it? All right. Let me, let me feel my feelings, let me, you know, do something to occupy my time and then let me see how I feel.” But that is… that's like you said, that CBT right there.  That is exactly how it works. No question about it. 

Awesome. Layne. I want to be respectful of your time. How can people find more and how can they find you? 

Sure, so on most social media platforms on Layne Norton, PhD (@biolayne) • Instagram photos and videos. If you follow me on Twitter, I use colorful language and I don't sugar coat., so, um, if your feelings get hurt easily, you might want to follow me somewhere else.  But, uh, and then my website is Biolayne  I have a, uh, you find most of my stuff there, but. I have a nutritional coaching app called Carbon Diet Coach, which is phenomenal. Um, again, you know, if somebody, you know, can't afford a trainer or a personal nutrition coach, it's an extremely helpful app that will literally coach you for nutrition based on your goals, your individual metabolism, eh, you know, lifestyle, all that kind of stuff and dietary preference, and then a few books out there,  https://www.biolayne.com/fat-loss-forever/  one I mentioned, um, you know, those sorts of things, but you can find most of the stuff that, uh, that I do and the stuff I sell on my website Biolayne. 

Awesome. Well, thank you so much for taking the time to come on Faster Than Normal today, I really appreciate it. 

No worries, thanks for having me.

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

Mar 10, 2021

So I use Brain.FM all the time and many of you do also! Today Dan rejoins us to talk about some of the new research they’ve been doing with the help of grants, benefitting those of us with ADHD/ADD/Neuroatypical, new studies exploring neural phase-locking and how business is going in general. You may improve your focus AND get 20% off by using this special link to BrainFM with the coupon code: FASTER  Enjoy!

A little more about our guest today:

Daniel has been in love with technology- and its potential to positively impact the world- for as long as he can remember. From building websites when he was 13, starting a design and advertising business at 18 and driving $2MM in revenue for multinational brands as a director for a boutique ad agency, he has truly been at the forefront of how technology can exponentially grow successful businesses. One of Brain.fm's first users, he called the company 12 times before they agreed to bring him in for an interview. When he did receive an offer, he jumped at it (even working for free for the first few weeks). He eventually moved up to Head of Technology, and is now the CEO. As CEO, Daniel is constantly striving to build a company that can not only change the world through music, but also be one of the best companies for people to work for and grow with. Daniel has visited over 20 countries across five continents, with plans to set foot on all seven (including Antarctica).

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

In this episode Peter & Dan Clark discuss:

1:10  -  Intro and welcome back Dan! 

2:24  -  For those who don’t know; tell us about Brain FM and describe what it does?

3:46  -  So since our last talk in 2018, how has the company grown, or changed? Ref: Checkout our first interview w/ Dan

5:10  -  On the studies Brain FM are conducting about using it for pre/post-op and how people are now able to wake up twice as fast from anesthesia – tell us more about that study! 

6:41  -  On how Brain FM is a tech company that respects & uses science, using it in the right way 

7:54  -  What has Brain FM learned to help people focus & stay calm, amidst the craziness of where the world is now?

9:15  -  On the benefits of using headphones, just in general 

10:00  -  On creating helpful habits for maintaining a good a mental state w/ the use of tech

11:12  -  On developing daily rituals

12:50  -  On the grants Brain FM have enabling them to use music for ADD/ADHD and Neurodiverse brains specifically

15:00  -  On the importance of music memory and its ability to distract the brain in one way, allowing better focus in other ways. Ref: for those of you too young to remember this song from “St. Elmo’s Fire”

17:53  -  On the importance of taking the time to learn your brain & how it functions, just like you take the time to learn how to use anything else important in your life & your pursuits 

19:07  -  Tell people how they can find you and get more info on you?  DClark on INSTA is kind of the only place and those are private so; it’s all about BRAIN.FM with Dan right now. You can find THEM @BrainFM on Facebook  and @BrainFMApp on Twitter and INSTA

19:50  -  Dan Clark, thanks so much for taking the time being on Faster Than Normal, I appreciate it.  Guys, as always, Faster Than Normal, if you liked what you heard drop us a review.  We appreciate you guys being on the podcast , we appreciate people listening. We are, as far as I can tell, one of the top, if not the top ADHD podcasts out there, so I love that, and that was all because of you guys, and I am eternally grateful. If you have a guest that you think might work, or maybe it's you, someone you know, 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. We would love to hear from you guys, uh, it thrills us to no end when we get notes. Also, one final thing, if you have the book, if you've read Faster Than Normal the book, go on to wherever you bought it https://www.amazon.com/ or https://www.audible.com - whatever, drop us a review, you'd be amazed at how those reviews really, really help. As always, thank you for listening. ADHD is a gift, not a curse. We are looking forward to seeing you next week, you guys take care.

20:13  -  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits!

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the first episode of the new year that I am recording here in my apartment, because we all know that Coronavirus does not respect a calendar, they don't have little day planners and say, “Oh, it's 2021, we can stop doing anything.”  But that being said, welcome to a new episode and a new year of Faster Than Normal.  Of course, now that I think about it, you're probably hearing this in March, so whatever, screw it. It's good to be back. It's good to see you guys. I'm glad to be here. I'm glad to be talking to you again. I'm glad to have my guests. My first guest, my first recording guest of the year, is someone I had back on 2018.  Dan Clark. Dan is the founder of Brain.fm and Brain FM. I, I use them religiously. I put music on, I put audio tracks on it my headphones, when I'm working, when I'm trying to sleep, um, it's been great. During the past year, when you know, you go to bed and, and something stupid has happened in DC  and you wake up and some more stupid shit has happened in DC.  So it is, it has been very useful to actually keep my sleep going. Dan, welcome back, glad to have you again. 

Glad to be back. 

You're still in New York, you’re surviving, and you're, you're still alive with the family?  

Surviving and thriving. Yeah, um, you know, we, uh, we're, we're not giving up on the city and, uh, you know, it's definitely coming, coming back stronger than ever.

I agree. I mean, being born and raised here, I could not agree more. Of course my, my upstairs neighbors have decided this is the perfect week to redo their floors. And so I'm, I'm, I'm questioning my, my, my decision to stay here, but I'm sure that'll stop as well. Anyway. It's good to have you mentioned, Dan, Dan has an interesting background, Dan, um, you know, he worked in advertising, he worked for multinational brands then.  He was one of Brain FM's first users. He called the company 12 times before they agreed to bring him in for an interview, and then when he received an offer, he worked free... for free for a few weeks, eventually moved to the head of technology, and now.. he's now the CEO. And for those who don't know what Brain FM is, Dan, tell us a little bit, cause I mean, I just, I'm a, I'm a huge fan, but I won’t do it justice, so tell us what it is. 

Yeah, sure, so at Brain FM, we make functional music to help you focus, relax, and sleep better. Uh, what we do is we combine science and technology into music you'd actually like to listen to, and we're putting in rhythmic pulses that create patterns that emulate, uh, the patterns that you naturally have in your brain when you're in certain mental states.  So focus relaxed or asleep and by listening to the music with these certain patterns, your brain starts to mirror the music, which allows you to shortcut into that mental state and then stay there as you’re using the product. 

And I can tell you as a user of the product, it is, it is hugely, hugely beneficial.  It actually helps me. Uh, when I sleep, I probably use it at least twice a week. You know what? I use a lot, I use it when I'm not sleeping in my own bed, which over the past nine months, it hasn't been that much because you know where the man to go. Uh, but other than, you know, when I was on planes and stuff like that, or when I was in airports or, you know, having to crash in hotels, whatever, you know, but you know how much I travel, I was using it religiously.  And it was, it was, I think it was something along the lines of it...it made me feel like I was home, right?  And it took any of the pressure of where are you, what you are doing, off, and I just, I was able to fall asleep and for someone with massive ADHD and sleep apnea, you know, that's a really good thing, so, I mean, I'm a huge fan.  Um, tell us about, so, so last time we talked to you was I believe 2000….I want to say March of 2018. So it's been almost two years, um, has the company grown? How's it doing? 

Yeah. Great questions. Um, the company has grown pretty significantly, um, we've probably grown over a 100% since we’ve talked. Um, but what we're doing now is really just getting ready, um, for, for growth. Um, we've done a lot of really interesting things which we can explore. Um, one is, you know, continuing our ADHD studies, um, which is, you know, we have grants for, to, to validate that we can be an effective treatment, um, to help, you know, other treatments that people are doing.  We've done other things where we're taking the same technology and we're doing it with people that are going through surgery. So pre and post-op, and we're finding through some of our pilot studies, um, people are waking up twice as fast from anesthesia. Um, and we're also, you know, creating systems for enterprise companies as well, so we're really, um, spreading the foundation to build and grow on. And, um, you know, it's been really interesting, especially with this pandemic where people's whole lives have changed to somewhat, and they've been really looking for tools to be able to help them keep their same level of productivity or their same sleep patterns, and like you were mentioning, and we've had a lot of people, gravitate  towards, um, you know, tools like Brain FM. 

So let's actually talk about that for a second. Cause you mentioned, you know, that it, talk to me first about the fact that people are waking up twice as fast from anesthesia, that sounds... like really, really awesome.  Talk to me a little bit about that. What kind of study? 

Yeah, it’s really exciting.  So, so, you know, what's,...what's really cool is the idea of functional music has been around forever.  There's binaural beats and isochronic tones.  We’re a different approach called Neuro phase-locking, um, and the... the cool thing is that there's actual real science that is happening in your brain, right?  So, kind of like when you shine a light bulb in someone's eye, it contracts because of an outside stimulus... that's what's happening in your brain, when you’re listening to Brain FM. We're actually aligning the functional networks of your brain to communicate more effectively. And that is the reason why people are waking up from anesthesia faster, was because of the physical effect that we're having, um, on people. Um, so it's, it's really exciting because not only can we help people in their regular life, but we've stumbled across this possibility of helping people in, you know, alternative settings. Um, and it's very exciting because if we can help people, um, you know, wake up faster, there's a lot of really great stuff there, um, but there's even more really interesting stuff pre-surgery, where if we can lower your blood pressure before or during surgery, we might be able to, um, you know, help cardiac arrest and things like that. It's way too early for us to tell, um, but it's fun because we're, we're basically starting to see that the real science that we have in our product is, is, um, an effect that's not only effective in focus or sleeping, it's, uh, effective in much more areas. 

That is amazing work, and I love the fact that you're a technology company that's actually respecting the science and using it the right way, I think that's fascinating.  I remember when I first interviewed you, um, I was, I was, uh, good friends at the time, I still am, with a woman who I also had on the podcast who was a  PhD, um, at Harvard, she was getting her PhD and she couldn't stop raving about you guys.  She heard about you on the podcast and then immediately downloaded and was addicted because it's like, “oh my God, this calms me down as I'm trying to study, right?”  And that was huge for her because she couldn't, her focus was, was, was a big thing, so I love that it's, it's, it's moving on into more science.  Talk to me for a second, about the second part of what you said when it comes down to, um, uh, doing, uh, getting people calm or focus in this ridiculous dumpster fire dystopian nightmare that we're currently living in. Um, you know, I mean, literally they, they, you know, I can't, I have to, I've learned to shut off.  I mean, I always shut off my phone, but now I keep my alerts, my, my news alerts off most of the day, because I go down a rabbit hole, right?  10am,, it’s, you know, a CNN alert needs to forget the James Earl Jones, this is CNN. It needs to come with the tagline about “what now”  right?  And so let's start reading a story, so, so instead of that, talk about what, what, um, Brain FM has learned, and is doing to help people sort of, not only focus, but stay calm and, you know, not want to jump out a window every five minutes in, in this nightmare that we're living in. 

Yeah. Well, you know, it's really interesting. So, you know, our bodies and our minds are made to mirror the environment that we're in.  So I'm sure you've heard sayings, like, you know, the people that you, surround yourself with... the people you are, um, you know, what goes in your mind, uh, you know, where energy goes, attention flows and results didn't follow. I think this is a Zig Ziglar quote, right? 

Right. 

Um, and, and it's all, it's actually true, so what happens inside of your brain is, is, is where you know where your attention is, that's where things like your reticulated activate your RDS RAS system is, is, is looking for, so when you buy a car, and then you see everyone that has the same exact car, that systems like that in place, um, and when you're looking at negative things or something like that, it's sometimes helps us skew to be more negative sometimes.  So it's really important to control your environment, um, and what's really difficult sometimes is, um, you know, having that stuff in your mind and then still trying to be productive, right. One of the easiest things though, that we can do by maybe ... we can't physically control our environment, but we can control our environment through sound.  So, you know, putting headphones on from its own place without even Brain FM, you can really block out, especially with sound canceling headphones, the technology that we have today,  It’s really easy to put yourself in a corner in your house, put on headphones and escape, and then there's an interesting thing where if you add that and then Brain FM with all the science that we're creating, um, what we're finding is people are able to say, okay, no, this is my focus time. Um, this is my relaxed time, and, um, it's, it's very interesting. So when, when this all started, we started doing focus sprints together. so we created, you know, YouTube lives of a couple of hundred people coming together and saying, this is what I'm going to do today.  And from that, we started really learning about how to just develop really strong habits to make sure that we are maintaining healthy mental states, and just a healthy life.  So, you know, one of the things that I started getting into is every single morning, no matter how I feel, I have an iced coffee and I have Brain M playing, right?  Um, I also do a chill session throughout the day, soI'll do it like after lunch or something like that, just to make sure that I'm, um, you know, being able to like, like plug in, and then unplug, and, uh, when we started explaining this and sharing this with people, we found a lot of people were like,   “I don't know what I would do without Brain FM,” especially, you know, having, you know, their, their, their husbands in the same room or their kids, or their cats, you know, I have a cat running around right now, I don't know if you can hear him, um, and it's, it's things like that, that all combined, to creating this habit with technology, to make sure that we are really the ones in control. 

No question about it. I think that, you know, you said you mentioned something about habits and as, since we're at the beginning of the new year, obviously this won't air for a couple months, but you know, everyone says, resolutions, resolutions, resolutions.  I've always been in the opinion that resolutions fail, but rituals succeed and you create rituals by creating habits, right?  And so I'm not going to lose 20 pounds by tomorrow, right? and believe me. I've tried, but what can happen? Is that I can vow to get up a half an hour earlier every day and just try to do that for 30 days and, and, and exercise, right.  What will happen at the end of that month is that I will have created a ritual that will transform into the resolution that I wanted, right? And so music and sound plays a huge part in that, in my, in my experience, in that I know that, you know, I'm a Peloton junkie, as you know, and, and I, I took, um, I had my best output I've had in months the other day, ‘cause it was the greatest showman ride. And I know every song by heart, right?  And, um, well, top of my lungs, right. you know, dying, you know, and my, my, my, my organs are spilling out of my body, but because music can do that in so many facets and so many facets it's creating, you're creating habits and rituals.  And I almost look at along the lines of, I, I, told my daughter, there was absolutely no way we were getting a puppy, uh, during lockdown, which of course means I have a puppy now. And as I tried to train it, it really is just repetition, repetition, repetition, and you get the dog, you know, you get the dog in the habit of going out at 4:30 in the morning to pee... Talk to me about 4:30 in the morning to pee, right?  And so it's the same thing, you know, if that, if you hear that music, that specific type of music, it tells you it's time to chill, it's time to ramp up. So under that, and I think that that more than anything, it needs to be a lot more studies into that. And you have some grants. Well, you're learning.  And you mentioned that you're learning about, uh, what music can do for ADD/ADHD and neuro-diverse brains touch on that for a second. 

Yeah, sure. So we have a, a lot of grants that we've, um, we're currently, you know, waiting to hear back from as well as, um, some grants that we're executing. Um, it's very interesting.  So, you know, we...some of the adaptive technology that we talked about in the beginning with, as those rhythmic pulses and what we're doing is we're adding modulations to sound, um, and what's happening is it's kind of like, almost like a helicopter effect, like <helicopter sound>  and it's in a certain pattern.  That is, um, is aligning those functional networks. What we find in ADHD brains is that that pattern has to be ramped up significantly higher because of the hyperactivity, um, that, that, uh, people with ADHD have. And what's really interesting is when we combine that with this higher level of, um, modulations in the music, what we're able to do…  is help people unlock their flow state very quickly and faster in ADHD brains than we are in maybe normalized brains.  Um, you know, we've, I, and I love your podcasts because, um, you know, it's all about ADHD as a superpower. Um, I believe that with someone that has it as well, and it's very interesting because, um, we're starting to unlock why and, and starting to harness that. So, um, one of the things we just actually released in our app is this thing called the Neural Effect filter where you can actually say, I want high setting, you know, or low setting or whatever, and start taking the technology and control it yourself, and um, people with ADHD, um, click that high button all day because that's exactly what they need to help support them, um, and the really interesting thing is, is part of the reason why Brain FM works so well, um, is not only the, the, the biological component, but because it's actually distracting your brain just enough to help you be more effective.  It's kind of like, taking care of your monkey mind almost. 

Um, it makes, that makes sense. It makes complete, perfect sense. I remember before my parents knew I was ADHD, and I was just a disruption in class, I remember that they would never a punishment for me, it was, I wasn't allowed to listen to music while I worked, and that was the biggest mistake they ever conceivably could have made because I did so well once I had music going in it, even to this day, I mean, I, you know, we all have music memory, right. We hear a song and we think, “oh my God, I remember exactly where I was at that moment. I still remember. I still remember, uh, waking up, uh, I guess my alarm went off, but it was, I must have been like 14, 15, 16. Uh, my alarm went off and I was, I was, I was,uh, it was soft. It was like a Saturday, so they didn't have to wake up early and it was a radio clock radios, and it was, it was the song, um, uh, St. Elmo's Fire,  Man In Emotion by John Parr.  And I remember listening to the whole song sort of half asleep, half awake, and seeing it by the end of the song I woke up and I was like, this is going to be the greatest thing in the world. this level of focus and, and, and, you know, to this day, it's still pretty hard to get back. You know, it there's so much that that being able to take a certain percentage of your brain and just like you said, distract it to do something else, allowing you to focus on the stuff that matters, you know, when you, when you stop and think about it, um, uh, one of the, one of the things about ADHD is, you know, kids get in trouble all the time for speaking out of turn, I remember I used get in trouble for making the, the kids laugh, like being the class clown, and what I learned later in life was, that I was actually trying to give myself more dopamine. Uh, so I could sit down and focus, right? I was actually getting in trouble because I wanted to learn, right. I couldn't stay still. I couldn't because I wanted to focus, but I needed the ... And so, so it's the same thing, being able to distract the brain in one way allows you to focus better in another way, it's phenomenal. 

Yeah. And I think we're just starting to figure that out. Like neurochemically, um, you know, biologically, uh, there's, there's a lot of really interesting things, um, the more we study Brain FM, the more, um, and this sounds weird, but the more impressed we are with, with the, the kind of perfectness of, of the, the system, you can do similar things that, you know, these modulations, you can do it in light, you can do an Vibracoustic. So like by, um, you know, vibrations and things like that, um, you can do it with other mediums, but what's really interesting is your ears are one of the most sensitive parts of your body.  Um, and they can, they can, um, detect, um, frequencies and things way more intense than...than other parts right?  And it really allows you to not, uh, have to like pay attention. It's something that works well with, with what we're doing in our daily lives. So most of us sit at a computer and we have to sit down and work right, and you can't have flashing lights in your face and all that stuff, but you can easily put headphones on and it like aids you and supercharges you rather than taking something away. Um, and it's fun to start figuring this out and, and start making the product better. Um, while we learn about the human brain at the same time.

I think it's the best part is that, is that, you know, the more I start to sort of understand my brain and learn about it and, and I don't want to say biohackers God, that word is so fucking overused right?  You know, I, I don't, I don't need someone to tell me what macronutrients I need to be injecting in my eyeballs or some crap like that, but the premise of just understanding how your brain works, I don't think enough people take the time to realize that, you know, the, the best tools are the ones that you understand completely how they work. I mean, when I became a skydiver, I had to learn every single inch of my parachute because you know, it has that sorta job of, you know, saving my life. And I, you know, you don't want your last 30 seconds on this planet before you impact it, you know, to be what does that thing do? And maybe it should, you know, should they have done that? And, you know, and so you learn and, and, and you feel more confident and safe, right?  I trust my gear. I, I trust my training and my gear, and I think that we all need to spend a little more time understanding our brains and learning about our brains and learning what affects, what, you know, it's something as simple as why I exercise so early. I know that if I do have a better day, right?  I'm not, I'm not a PhD. I don't, I'm not, I'm going to do, uh, you know, a neuroscientist. I don't understand what the chemicals, uh, what their names are, but I understand what happens when I get off the bike, right… and how I feel. And so, yeah, I think more people need to do that. I love that you guys are taking the role in that.  Um, we’re running out of time. Dan, it's... it's Brain.FM, I know that we used to have a, a, um, a, a discount code for you guys, so I'm assuming I'll get a new one from... from you guys, and we'll, we'll hook that back up because I want to start promoting it, we'll promote it on the, uh, on the site and the podcast, but I really appreciate you…. you spending the time.  Do you have, like a blog or do you have a... what's your social so people can follow you and all your, all your exploits. 

Yeah. I mean, so I don't really do tons of socials. Um, you know, I have an Instagram, which is just the Clark, um, which you can find me, but, um, but yeah, I mean, I really putting all my heart and soul and Brain FM right now, and then, uh, eventually I'll have a social life again.

Awesome, I love it, and, and know you, I thought the same thing until I sold my company and no, you, you don't, you'll, you'll find something else to do and you won't have a social life again, it happens. But anyway, Dan, thank you so much for taking the time, guys, this is Faster Than Normal. We love what we do, do, and we love just as passionate as Dan is about Brain FM, we are just as passionate about what we do here. If you liked what you heard, drop us a review, leave us a note, shoot me an email. Let us know who else we should have on the podcast, we're always looking for new guests, we would love that. Reach out any time http://www.petershankman.com/  at Faster Than Normal at @petershankman.  We will see you next week with a brand new episode. Thank you again for listening. Have a great day.

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

Mar 3, 2021

Chris Doelle is a Marketer, Author, Public Speaker, Broadcaster, Game Designer, and Texas High School Football Historian. Chris was not diagnosed with ADHD until age 45. He simply thought he was just more intelligent and motivated than his cohorts. His doctor sent Chris for evaluation and the results showed the highest reading he had ever seen. When asked how Chris dealt with his ADHD, his lifelong need to make lists seemed to be the glue that has held it all together. He never goes anywhere without a half dozen notepads. Recently, Chris has created two tabletop board games that were both fully funded via Kickstarter. www.FridayNightLegends.com and www.SaturdayLegends.com When he is not working on one of his business ventures, Chris can be found on his property in South Texas clearing land, burning out stumps or working with the builder as they will break ground soon on the house he and his wife are having built. Today we’re talking about how he keeps it all together… Enjoy!

 

A little more about our guest today:

Chris was a class clown growing up and was always being creative. From writing action-themed short stories involving all his classmates and reading them to ever-growing crowds of interested students to singing contemporary pop songs to the pretty girls several years his senior, he was always up to something unique. He started his first company in junior high school - he built and repaired bicycles. This was quickly followed by a stint selling sports cards and comics. As the computer revolution began, Chris was instantly interested. He was writing code on notebook paper for a year before the first personal computers came out. At the same time, Chris began selling computer software to his high school and training the teachers how to use the machines as a Senior in their class. Chris was neither the most popular nor the loner. He flowed into and out of every clique of students easily. He played football but didn't get involved in any other extracurricular activities other than student government. He is notorious for being the only student to ever resign as Parliamentarian - stating his reason as, "It's a stupid position." His grades were straight C's because he would ace the tests with no studying but never turn in any homework. That balance left report cards showing him to be completely average. Just after high school Chris was ranked #13 in the world in Hacky Sack. He then put himself through college working four jobs at the same time. Before his schooling ended, he has found two people to do two of his jobs as less than he was being paid and became an employer - albeit unofficial. He studied Exercise Physiology and Psychology. In college he began racing bicycles - a love that has continued for decades amassing over 35,000 miles on the bike. Most nights during his 7 years of college however were spent playing Dungeons & Dragons where he was the Dungeonmaster because "his adventures were the most interesting" of their gaming group. Again, Chris did little school work while scoring 100% or better on most exams. If he did study, it was after D&D ended around 2am the night before a test. After college, he had a short stint in "corporate America" building the computer systems for the Greater Houston Area YMCA Association. This position allowed him to regularly support 35 different branch locations training staff, while installing and troubleshooting anything related to technology. The position was at the perfect time for Chris as the entire association, with his lobbying and encouragement, was transforming from just two PCs across the entire organization, to a computer on every desk all connected together by the high speed internet of the time - ISDN. This constantly-changing position was the only reason he lasted so long in a mainstream job. As boredom set in, Chris went back to his first love - self-employment. Chris continued to start, grow and run a wide range of businesses - a tech support company, a video production company, a cabling company, a photography company, a web design company. Most were either sold, closed or rolled into his current company Fresh Media Works - a full service marketing company he has run since 1996. With the exception of the 6 years at the YMCA, Chris has been "gainfully unemployed" for the better part of nearly 40 years. When podcasting came around Chris was already doing live internet radio and became officially the 5th person to publish a podcast. Since that time he has done tens of thousands episodes and hundreds of shows - spoken to business groups and universities about podcasting and it remains one of his great passions. Through his ventures in podcasting, Chris became a major player in the world of Texas high school football. His site Lone Star Gridiron has become the statewide leader in news and information on high school football in Texas. Happily (albeit bumpily at times) Chris married his high school sweetheart after being apart for years. They have four kids and recently become empty-nesters. 

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***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Chris Doelle discuss:

:40  -  Intro and welcome Chris Doelle! 

3:05  -  When you were diagnosed? Tell us your backstory and how what made you different growing up?

5:04  -  On trying a lot of different things, what worked and what didn’t

6:25  -  On lists, deadlines and their importance in his life

7:35  -  On situations where failure to organize w/ lists, etc came back to bite you in the butt. 

7:55  -  On what tech tools to keeping things organized i.e. followupthen.com

9:00  -  On the difficulty of staying busy/finding balance with work and personal life

10:21  -  On being an extrovert with ADHD combined with physical introspective tendencies

11:15-  What drew you to games, and board games?  Ref: https://lonestargridiron.com www.FridayNightLegends.com and www.SaturdayLegends.com 

13:16  -  Tips on working partnerships with someone with ADHD

14:14  -  On finding and maintaining balanced partnerships

15:02  -  On functioning successfully around neurotypicals/what kinds of things changed w/ marriage

16:36  -  Tell people how they can find you and get more info on you? @chrisdoelle on Twitter  LinkedIN  his books on Amazon and at https://boardgamegeek.com/ 

17:06  -  Describe yourself in 15 seconds? 

18:04  -  Chris Doelle, thanks so much for taking the time being on Faster Than Normal, I appreciate it.  Guys, as always, Faster Than Normal, if you liked what you heard drop us a review.  We appreciate you guys being on the podcast , we appreciate people listening. We are, as far as I can tell, one of the top, if not the top ADHD podcasts out there, so I love that, and that was all because of you guys, and I am eternally grateful. If you have a guest that you think might work, or maybe it's you, someone you know, 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. We would love to hear from you guys, uh, it thrills us to no end when we get notes. Also, one final thing, if you have the book, if you've read Faster Than Normal the book, go on to wherever you bought it https://www.amazon.com/ or https://www.audible.com - whatever, drop us a review, you'd be amazed at how those reviews really, really help. As always, thank you for listening. ADHD is a gift, not a curse. We are looking forward to seeing you next week, you guys take care.

18:49  -  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits!

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hey guys, Peter Shankman. Welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal, happy day, hope you're having a great day and hope your world is spinning the right direction. Hope things are chill. Hope you're enjoying life. By the time this airs, it should be,  I don't know, mid-February or so, and I'm hoping that everything by then has calmed down and we're all doing well.  It's the third week of January here, I guess, and we're moving forward here in New York, so I hope you guys are as well, love that you're here. Always very grateful that you've tuned in. I have another great guest, every week we have great guests, this, this week is no different. Chris Doelle is our guest today, and I will tell you all about him.  And if I seem pretty calm, and much more calm than I usually am. in these episodes, I had a ridiculously hard workout today and I'm not sure, but I think half my brain fell out, uh, I was on the Peloton and I had the best output I've had in about 16 months, so I'm frighteningly calm today to the point where I'm like, not really sure if it's, if this is the, I don't know what's going to happen.  Hopefully this returns, I return to normal, cause this is a little weird, but anyway… OK. Chris Doelle!  So Chris is a marketing expert. He makes marketing fun, he gets you more customers, but he's also an author, a board game developer, a podcast consultant, a producer.  Sounds like someone with ADHD who does a lot.  He was a class clown growing up. He was always being creative, he wrote action theme short stories involving all of his classmates and read them to ever-growing crowds of interesting students. He sang contemporary pop songs to the pretty girls, several years, several years, his senior. I'm dying to know how that worked out for you.  He was always up to something unique. He started his first company in junior high school. He got into selling sports cards and comics, and then he immediately hit onto the computer revolution. so I'm guessing he's about my age. He was writing code on notebook paper before the first personal computer came out at the same time, began selling computer software to his high school and then training the teachers, how to use the machines, which I love.  He was not the most popular nor the loner, he flowed in and out of every click of students easily, which is interesting…. children with ADHD, sometimes can't do that. One more fun fact about him, he was once ranked 13th in the world in hacky sack. Chris, great to have you on the show, man. 

Peter, thank you so much for having me, and I have to tell you that I hope you return to normal too.   

A little, little calm, little calm for too many people. So tell me about, tell me about your brain. When were you, were you diagnosed? How did this, how, what, what, what made you different growing up? Tell us, tell us your backstory. 

Sure. Yeah, actually I wasn't diagnosed til almost 50 years old.

Awesome. 

And I just always thought this is how the world works in, in, uh, you know, everything's going all the time with my head, uh, and getting bored and running off and doing something else.  I love that I came across your book and your show to realize that now is the first time in my life, I'm realizing, wow, I'm not all that different, there are people like me out there. So, so yeah, um, I guess, yeah… at a, at a young age, um, I was always writing.  Writing was always my release. I would write, um, and, and you talk about imposter syndrome. I, I would write in elementary school, I'd write my name a hundred times on a piece of paper and come home and hand it to my Mom, and she'd go, what's that for? And I'm like, so you don't forget who I am. Oh, which was insane. But you know, it worked. And, uh, I think, I think the, the big benefit that I had, you said that, um, it doesn't always work well to flow in and out of those groups. I think it worked well because of my Mother. Early on, she was such a supporter, always telling me you can do whatever you want, you're amazing, you're wonderful. So I believed it. I didn't have those doubts that a lot of people with ADHD have. Um, so,, between her and my father who was extremely ADHD, but again, not to diagnose, um, I learned there's nothing you can't do if you try, so I tried everything. 

Tell me what worked and what didn’t, because one of the things about trying everything is that you have some great successes, but you have a lot of failures.

Oh, yeah. Yeah. I think what worked there was literally realizing that it's only a failure if you don't learn something. So I... I reframed everything and my wife now will tell me I have rose colored glasses. I always try to find the good in everything, the positive outcome, and it's annoying as heck to her.  But, um, but that, that, that's it, yeah. I would fail at things, but, at the end of the day, I would go, okay, is there something to learn from this? Is this something I need to work harder at and go back to, or is it something okay, I've done that move on?  Um, and I became a huge fan of lists. I have sitting next to me, as we talk, a stack of legal pads, uh, there must be 20 of them here each with a different subject, and so every time I think of something, I grab the right list and add to it. Um, without those lists, I'd be lost. 

And you discovered that when??? 

I discovered that probably junior high school, because I realized I can't keep all this stuff together, you know, it, it came and went in, and popped in and out, and I'd remember,  great memory, but there's too many, too much stuff there going on, as you know, to try to remember all of it. 

So lists are, I mean lists are just super important and just as much, they fall into the  same category…. as like having  a calendar, right, and making sure everything you do at any given point, is in the calendar, um, is that sort of, you know, you’re, uh, so if your default is lists, you also have like, does everything have to be written down and everything you have to do has to be like put together and all that?

Well, yes and no. I mean, if, if I want it, if it's something that, um, I absolutely have to do, it goes down the list and it goes on a calendar and gives me a deadline, because as many of your guests have mentioned, and I, I, um, I went through and listened to all the shows, you know, just burned through them, just trying to get it all in, uh, and, you know, the recurring theme I saw was yeah, if there's a deadline, it would happen. So, so that's what I always do. I write it down if you know, I didn't need it, if it was just something like, yeah, sometime I want to do this, then I wouldn't worry about writing it down... I'd do it spur of the moment, but again, if it's important, if it's for business, if it's for a client, if it's for family, it’s got to get written down. 

Right. Have you... had a situation,, tell us about a situation where you, you forgot to write it down or you didn't, or you look at it and, and it came back to bite you in the butt. 

Gosh, that's probably on a weekly basis and it usually involves my wife, sometimes she said just in a passing comment, that I would categorize  in my brain as, “Oh, that'd be cool to do” 

Do you have any (indistinguishable) tools  that you use. Like I said, I swear by https://www.followupthen.com/  Do you have specific  tools that you…. tech tools that you use to keep the stuff flowing? 

Well, I use Google for most everything. So I use Google calendar and I have multiple calendars. I have one for each of my businesses, one for, uh, my wife, one for, um, things...I just, you know, that I have to go to cause I cover Texas high school football. So I have my schedule of places I travel, so that's a separate calendar. I also use the Google to-do lists. Tasks List and it's got multiple lists. So yeah, I do a lot of tech now, but I still rely on these pads 

And you’re doing this all by yourself, no assistant, nothing??

Not yet, although I called Megan and I said, Hey, can you help me? I need, I need what Peter has, wasn’t trying to steal her… although I would in a heartbeat if I could.  

Alot of people have tried, she's very loyal, I’m very fortunate… very loyal, I should probably give another raise. Um, so tell me about, you know, one of the things I read about with you, is you are, you are  constantly on the move, constantly busy. How are you, and I'm sure... I'm sure that the busyness helps you and keeps your, you know, ADHD in check, like, like it does for me. How do you, um, find the balance between staying busy with all of the things you're doing, um, and making sure you have a personal life, I.e. with your wife and, and I mean, you, you, you recently became empty nesters.  You had four kids, you know, how did you find that balance? And, and, and what tips can you tell the audience for finding that balance? Cause that's not always easy. 

And I don't know if this is the right answer for everybody, but the answer for me is, if it involves my wife, It takes priority over everything, so, but she gets it, she understands where I'm at and that I am constantly bouncing here, there and everywhere and crazy ideas and I'm going to run off and do it. Um, and, and she... she's a nurse, so she deals with people all day. I work from home, so I do my marketing. I don't see people, so she knows I need to go out and see people.  She, on the other end, doesn't want to go out and see people, so she's like “go, go, go.” And I think, I think travel helps us. 

Would you say that you are… so you're an, you're an extrovert 100% ??

Yeah. In the Myers-Briggs I'm an ENT J yeah, very much an extrovert. 

Interesting. 

But, but again, I do get, I do get introspective when I'm physical, like, uh, we're working on building a house out in the country. I'm clearing land, burning brush, and I do that by myself and it is like a Zen thing. So yeah, I get very, this is my time.

Understandable. I mean, I think that we all have those moments where we have to do our own thing and only our own thing, you know? Um, I've had to explain that to people in my life in the past, like, Hey, you know, I'd love to see you this weekend, but I've been on for 14 straight days. I need a day.  I need to sit on my couch, for 24 hours, watch King of the Hill and just do nothing. You know, it definitely, it definitely gets to that. Um, tell me about, tell me about….um so we talked about the lists, um, you created board games, right? 

Yeah. 

Is that something that you, you found, you found? what drew you to that? And did you find yourself doing that in part because of ADHD? 

I'm sure I did because growing up when I was in grade school, I used to make up sports related games that I would do with dice and I would play entire seasons of these things. I would go to my Mom and show her the results, and I know it was boring to her, but again, she was so supportive, she'd sit there and listen, yes dear, that's so amazing, that's very cool. And so I've always liked games. Growing up... or not growing up, over the last 17 years, I've run a website called Lonestar Gridiron, which covers Texas high school football, and, uh, in that time have become one of the, one of the big players in Texas high school football media, uh, and so my partner who I've known since junior high school in that, uh, I've been trying to sell him on, let's do a game, let's do a game, you know, because let's take advantage of this high school football stuff.  And he was against it... against it. ‘cause we both have computer backgrounds, it's a lot of work.  And then I said, hey, what about a board game? Would you be up for that? And he said, sure. And it was on. And so our first game was Friday Night Legends, which is, it's a football board game that allows you to play the greatest high school football teams of all time against each other, based on their real stats, so it let's you coach them? Uh, and we sent ..since had….that was the Kickstarter, we, um, then came out with another two years later called Saturday Legends, which does the exact same things for college football. 

I love it, that's brilliant. Tell me how… so you said your partner, when you work with, how do you, what tips would you give someone for working with someone with ADHD?  What have you learned about yourself that you tell people you tell your partner or whatever.

Know your strengths and be clear about your strengths with each other.  Uh, Mike, the, the partner, he is a, he's a numbers guy. He can sit at a desk and crunch numbers all day long and he loves doing it, that would drive me batty.  So, you know, we, we, on our site, we have the most comprehensive list of statistics over a hundred years of Texas high school football. We have all their records, all their coaching records, all the team records, everything you can think of. I couldn't put that together, but I'm the guy that gets out there and goes, hey, this is amazing, come check it out. Yeah. I'm the Steve Jobs, he’s the Wozniak. 

Love it, love it, having met Wozniak I totally, I totally get that, we all need a Wozniak. I think it's fascinating because I think that a lot of people who are listening to podcasts have these great ideas and they do get stuck on that side of things where they're like, I don't know what, I don't have the ability to do the math.I don't have the ability to do the scheduling, whatever. And so yeah, you finding someone is, is probably the best thing you could possibly do. 

Yeah, and that's why I need the Woz for my regular business still. I have it for the high school football,  that's it. 

No question about it. Um, how long have you been married?

Uh, been married, interestingly enough, we've been married for 12 years, but we were high school sweethearts too, so we all, we each went off, had our own little lives, you know, I was the bachelor traveling all over the place and she was the steady one building her nursing career and we got back together.

How, before you were diagnosed, what was it like, you know, did you understand why you were the way you were when it came to, you know, your wife and how did you, how did you function? Uh, when, when we, when we're ADHD, we don't necessarily function the best possible way when we're with other people.  Um, what did you have to learn and how did you have to change? 

Well, yeah, I didn't realize anything was wrong, you know, and I say wrong, it's not wrong because I've always viewed it, thanks again to my Mom's influence… as a superpower. 

You didn’t realize anything was different? 

Different, correct.  Thank you, Yeah, and so I just thought this is the way I'm wired.  I thought maybe I'm smarter than most of the people I meet, but I didn't think anything was all that different, so I thought this is how I deal with things. And again, I created compensations.   My, uh, my office prior to getting married, three walls, were floor to ceiling dry erase board so I would just throw things up, being very visual.  When I’d think of something, I’d jot it down, it was, it looked like mad scientist scrawlings. Um, after getting married, realized I can't have that.  The wife wants the house to look nice, so I have a much smaller, dry erase board and it's more organized. 

It's about the little compromises, right? 

Yeah exactly, and it was worth it. It was tough at first because I'm used to being able to just reach to a wall and start jotting, but of course I can walk over there and jot. 

Tell me how, tell people how they can find you, uh, how they can reach out and get more info on you. 

Well, again, my name since it's spelled uniquely it's Chris, last name Doelle.  You search for that, you can find me anywhere. I'm... I'm on all the socials I'm on LinkedIn. I'm, you know, you name it, uh, really easy to find. You can find me on Amazon because I've got, you know, five books out. You can find me on Board Game Geeks because of the games, anywhere, you just search for me. 

One final question, um,  the Jack-of-all-trades thing, cause I get that right? I do this, I'm marketing ability, you know, how do you describe yourself to other people, right? If you, if you, if you, if your entire life is cats, for instance, and you have a cat blog and you do stuff with cats, I’m a cat person, I write about cats, you know, you do so many things that are not related.  How do you describe yourself in 15 seconds in the elevator? 

I literally just say I'm a marketer because everything I do involves marketing, uh, you know, because none of them would succeed without it. And, uh, other than that, I silo, I talk to people and say, if you know me as a board game guy, we talk about board games and we don't go off on Texas high school football.  We can go off on books. We don't, you know, I silo 

Very smart!  Chris Doelle, thanks so much for taking the time being on Faster Than Normal, I appreciate it. 

Oh you bet, cool. 

Guys, as always, Faster Than Normal, if you liked what you heard drop us a review.  We appreciate you guys being on the podcast , we appreciate people listening. We are, as far as I can tell, one of the top, if not the top ADHD podcasts out there, so I love that, and that was all because of you guys, and I am eternally grateful. If you have a guest that you think might work, or maybe it's you, someone you know, shoot me a note @Petershankman.com.  Follow us on Twitter at Faster Than Normal, @Petershankman, uh, or on Instagram. We're pretty much everywhere. We would love to hear from you guys, uh, it thrills us to no end when we get notes. Also, one final thing, if you have the book, if you've read Faster Than Normal the book, go on to wherever you bought it https://www.amazon.com/ - 

https://www.audible.com - whatever, drop us a review, you'd be amazed at how those reviews really, really help. As always, thank you for listening. ADHD is a gift, not a curse. We are looking forward to seeing you next week, you guys take care.

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were 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. 

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