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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: 2022
May 18, 2022

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

 

In this episode Peter and Miles discuss:  

 

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

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

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

6:09 - When were you diagnosed?

8:00 - upon joining the military

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

11:00 - Ref: FTN episode with Jack Walston

12:25 - on processing everything at the same time

12:33 - on processing speeds

14:05 - on hyper vigilance

15:10 - about the effectiveness of flash cards

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

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

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

18:55 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT:

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

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

Nice to meet you.Thank you for having me. 

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

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

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

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

Oh my God favorite show! 

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

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

Of course. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Of course, thank you. 

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

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

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

In this episode Peter and Camille discuss:  

0:57 - Intro and welcome Camille Roney!

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

4:18 - Ref: Yerkes-Dodson law

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

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

6:52 - On teaching students to be bored

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

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

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

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

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

15:23 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

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

Thank you for having me Peter!

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

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

 

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

No. Tell us.

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

When I’m on an airplane.

Gorgeous. Tell me more. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is there something wrong with being distracted? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s really good!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In this episode Peter and Kristin discuss:  

1:00 - Intro and welcome Kristin Wilcox!

1:40 - Cocaine for research whaaahht??

3:00 - Talk about inattentive-type ADHD?

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

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

9:00 - Tell us about the book!

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

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

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

12:15 - Is the book available everywhere?

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

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

15:15 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

Hi Peter. How are you today? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yeah, that totally makes sense. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yeah, of course. 

So, so he just got a one. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Uh, it does occur in girls as well? 

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

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

Yeah. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. 

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

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

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

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

Cool. Did you self publish it? 

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

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

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

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

So that's how he describes his ADHD.

Yes! 

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

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

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

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

Great. Thanks Peter. I appreciate it. 

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

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

Apr 27, 2022

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

In this episode Peter and Lissy discuss:  

1:25 - Intro and welcome Lissy Abrahams!

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

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

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

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

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

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

11:50 - A basic tip for better communication

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

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

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

14:29 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

Hi, thanks for having me. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Of course! 

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

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

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

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

A-hah!

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

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

I think it’s combined with the listening. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Apr 20, 2022

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

In this episode Peter and Corey discuss: 

1:40 - Intro and welcome Corey Berrier!

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

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

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

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

12:21 - On rejection sensitivity

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

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

15:25 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT:

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

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

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

you never put two and two together, right?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Apr 13, 2022

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

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

In this episode Peter and Nicki discuss: 

00:46 - A slider

1:42 - On traveling recently

2:03 - Intro and welcome Nicki Maher!

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

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

9:09 - Where did you grow up?

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

11:00 - On a mesh of parenting styles

11:58 - Parents have to grow too..

12:38 - Less perfection, more acceptance

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

15:13 - On handeling comment sections

16:20 - On the foundation of family

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

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

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

19:10 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where in Massachusetts are you from?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Apr 6, 2022

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

In this episode Peter and David discuss: 

00:48 - Intro and welcome David DeWitt!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

19:20 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

need money to live. Right..

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

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

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

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

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

Depressing as hell.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mar 30, 2022

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

In this episode Peter and Adam discuss:  

1:25 - Intro and welcome Adam Coutts!

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

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

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

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

8:33 - Stop telling me to “Relax!!” 

9:38 - Two main wings to meditation..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

19:20 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My pleasure. I appreciate you having me on! 

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

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

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

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

Feb 9, 2022

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

In this episode Peter and Stefan Hottel discuss:  

2:07 - Intro and welcome Stefan!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

14:17 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

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

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

Thank you happy to be here. 

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

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

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

Um, you mean socially speaking?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feb 2, 2022

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

In this episode Peter and Shelley Kenow discuss:  

2:10 - Intro and welcome Shelley!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

17:53 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jan 26, 2022

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

In this episode Peter and Miss America Emma Broyles discuss:  

2:10 - Intro and welcome Emma Broyles!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

21:28 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

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

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

Thank you so much for having me. 

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

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

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

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

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

Yeah, I can't imagine.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jan 19, 2022

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

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

 

TRAANSCRIPT

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

Jan 12, 2022

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

In this episode Peter and Bill Hamlen discuss:  

2:14 - Intro and welcome Bill Hamlen!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

19:46 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

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

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TRANSCRIPT: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yup. That's my drug of choice also. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alright Peter, thanks, Happy New Year! 

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

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

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