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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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Jul 7, 2021

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

——

Jessica Heimsoth is a life coach who helps Christian ADHD moms (and dads!) stop putting off their dishes, devotions, and dreams. Her 1-1 coaching practice, Every Thought Captive Coaching, utilizes a “triune” approach (get it?) to achieving any goal: faith, mindset tools, and structure/ADHD strategy. When she’s not helping clients build side-hustles, manage overwhelm, stop yelling at their kids, and deepen their relationship with God, she’s living a blissfully introverted life with her husband and two young daughters. When possible, she ventures out into the world to enjoy a good long run, a wine-tasting class, or a karaoke contest.  She loves German Shepherds, white chocolate, a liberal use of sarcasm, and anything caffeinated.  Today we learn what led her to coaching and how she manages her ADHD life. Enjoy! 

——

In this episode Peter and Jessica discuss:  

1:54 - Intro and welcome Jessica Heimsoth!

2:36 - Are you ADHD, or do you just help people who have ADHD?

2:58 - What made you decide to go to therapy & figure out what was going on? 

4:05 - What kind of problems are most of your client base having/what in common?  

3:38 - Therapy is never a waste; unless perhaps your therapist throws items at your head.

4:05 - What kind of clients come to see you?

4:45 - On having ADHD, the tendency to bucket things, and how not everything is wrong just because one thing might be heading in that direction.

5:52 - What are some of your client’s biggest issues when it comes to finances, etc?

6:51 - On the stigma of ADHD and the false picture of being broken. If your clients are believing they are, how do you make them understand that they are not?   

8:40 - On getting stuck down the rabbit-hole; the false belief that if you have ADHD there’s nothing you can do to make things better; how we are our own worst critics.

9:10 - On undoing years of mental programming/conditioning.

10:30 - On assisting/teaching clients to get out of their own headspace of being broken, or their worst critic and to leave that “all or nothing” mindset, and coming back from that ledge.

13:20 - Planning time to question during productivity/ to avoid paralysis via analysis  

14:10 - What’s your #1 piece of advice you give to those with ADHD?   

14:45 - How can people find you?  @everythoughtcaptivecoachinG on INSTA  Facebook and via her website https://www.everythoughtcaptivecoacH.com/ 

15:09 - Thank you Jessica!  Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love what the responses and the notes that we get from you. So please continue to do that, tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all, we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you can ever, if you ever need our help, I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

15:18 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

Hi everyone, welcome to the Faster Than Normal podcast. My name is Peter Shankman, I'm thrilled to have you here on another great episode, with another fun guest we're gonna be talking about and looking forward to learning from. Let's say, welcome to Jessica Heimsoth who is a life coach who helps Christian ADHD Moms and Dads stop putting off the dishes, devotions, and dreams. She has a one-to-one coaching practice.  https://www.everythoughtcaptivecoach.com/ utilizes a triune  approach…. and I probably said that wrong... to achieving any goal, faith-mindset, tools, and structure, ADHD strategy.  She…. let's see, when  she's not helping clients build side business hustles, managing overwhelm, stop yelling at their kids and deepen their relationship with God, she's living a blissfully introverted life with her husband, two young daughters. When possible, she ventures out into the world to enjoy a long run, a wine-tasting class or karaoke contest, and she's a fan of German Shepherds.  Okay, that’s good to know. Welcome, Jessica. How are you? 

I'm good. How are you doing today? 

Doing OK, so tell me, um, are you ADHD or do you just help them with?

I'm definitely ADHD. I didn't think I wasn't for a very long time, um, because I was one of those good students that flew under the radar. Um, but adulting was where I hit a very big brick wall and then, um, and then here's the events that made me, um, seek a diagnosis. So I definitely have ADHD. 

OK, and what kind of stuff was going on with you that made you decide to do it.

Um, almost every aspect of my life was at a really low point. I was struggling with my marriage. I was, um, I was not writing novels, which is what I thought I wanted to do.  I was, um, damaging my health with energy drinks and staying up late and a lot of risky behavior. Um, my relationships were crap. Everything was kind of in the toilet and my faith was as well. So, like if you do one of those little life wheels you've ever seen people evaluating a life, all of mine were at like a two.  Um, and I was seeing a therapist, so that is where I was when I found out about this, 

Yeah, most, most, uh, I find a lot of people who are surprised or at least who can  put a name to what they have, usually happens in a therapist’s office. 

Yeah.

It did for me having a ton of other people that I know it's like, okay, well this explains it.  I literally had my therapist throw a book at me and say, you should read this. I'm like, I'm like, okay. As I wondered if other people have therapists throw things at them, but you know, 

Mine didn't, but I, I wouldn't have caught it if she had, 

I’m special.  Um, tell me about the kind of clients that come to you, right? What are they…. what kind of problems are they having?  

A lot of the clients that come to me, it's their…. the general theme is I, I know what I want to do, and I just cannot do it, like, it's very simple what I should be doing with my life, and I can't make myself do it. And, um, that almost everyone thinks that... is there just something wrong with me?  Like, I know I have ADHD, the ADHD meds or articles are not helping me. Why??? Like…. am I…. am I just doomed to be doing this for the rest of my life. Am I doomed to be, um, feeling broken and unable to achieve what I want? So that's what I see a lot of.

And, you know, when they come to you and they're asking, you know, I get a lot of people who email me on a podcast or the book and they say, you know, I'm, I'm, I just can't do anything right  I think... I think that when you're ADHD, you have a tendency to bucket things, right? You know, it tends to, to, to put things into buckets and say, well, if this is wrong, uh, you know, everything is going wrong, right?  And I think one of the first things I've learned to do….explain to people, no, not everything's going wrong, right? This one thing is going wrong

Yeah, and, and, and like even looking at it as this one thing is going wrong, as opposed to this one thing is not going exactly the way I want it to, but there's a reason for that, and I could discover what that reason is and I could improve it, right? We label it as wrong, and then what happens beyond that deeper than that is we decide that  only is it wrong, but we are wrong, like the whole,...your whole personhood, everything about you is just wrong because that one part of your life you've decided as wrong. 

I heard a great quote once, um, that I've actually used on my daughter. I said…. she says I had a terrible day….Like did you really have a terrible day or do you have five minutes that was terrible and you're milking it. 

Yeah. 

24 hours. Which one? 

I like that.

But it's true. It's really, really true. What are the biggest things that, that your clients come to you with? I know that a lot of people with ADHD have serious issues with money, right? Saving, budgeting, planning, right? Not so much our fortes.

Saving budgeting, planning, not so much. A lot of my clients actually tend to have someone else doing that for them, like their spouses. And they don't love that. Right. They feel like the child in their relationship, they feel like their spouses carrying the bulk of the, um, unpleasant tasks and they want to change that.  Um, they will have, um, issues managing their household feeling like they want to do more tasks at home. Um, engage more with their children, maybe start a side hustle, um, or, or even just love their life. And they're just not happy, and they're wondering if that's, you know, the end, I just have to keep going like that. Um, so there's a wide variety of, of questions and just general, how do I get better at whatever I'm trying to get better at. 

Do you find that, um, a lot of your clients or all of your clients, some of your clients, when they come in to you for the first time, there's a, there's a stigma behind ADHD and is one of the things that I've been trying to change, you know, since I started this podcast and wrote the book, but it's still very much out there and it's still very much a, I am broken scenario and do a lot of your clients come in and feel that way, and more frequently, what's the first thing you tell them, how do you… work that, so that they understand they're not?

Yeah. I love that question. I think the, the way that I go about my practice is by showing each client, that what's...what's stopping them, what's impeding them from whatever they want, is not them, it is what, the sentences that they're thinking in their brains. Essentially, a lot of people are coming to me saying, I can't… and fill in the blank, right?  I'm broken or I can't do this. And what's super interesting about that is that when we offer a thought like that to our brain, when we say I can't, what our brains are designed to do is to take that and prove that it's right. Whatever you say, whatever you believe your brain is, is like, I got it. I'm going to go make sure that everything, all of the evidence that I find for you supports this theory. So everybody's coming to me and they're saying I can't, and what they don't realize, is that… that statement in their brain, which they believe is making them feel like ass. and then from that point, they're going, and they're not being able to follow through with things. They…. they're actively teaching themselves that they can't do things. And it's starting in their brain with this thought that they have. So that's where we begin, is we figure out what is it that you're thinking that your brain is trying to prove true to you, and how can we start to learn to believe something else about you? Because there are so many more wonderful things that are also true at the same time. 

Yeah, totally true. And I think that we know what the big thing is, is that it's very easy for us, especially because the majority of us have been told so long that there's something quote/unquote, wrong with us, right? I think it's so easy to believe that. and to sort of go down that rabbit hole and say, there's just nothing I can do. There's nothing I can improve. There's nothing I can make better. You know? And, and we sit there and we wonder, uh, you know, how is it that I'm so broken when in fact it's not as bad as, as it's never as bad as we see it, right? We're our own worst critics always.

Yeah. Yeah. And it's not even a question of good or bad. It's honestly just a, that's just an interpretation. And you nailed it when you said, like we've been told this for so long, because most of us have had somebody at least hint, if not directly tell us when we were very young,  like you can't do this, or you'll never amount to anything or why don't we not like maybe we should just do a tech school? Not that there's anything wrong with tech schools, but if your dream was to be something else, right? Um, and so somebody has told us a long time ago, you're disorganized, you're this you're that. And we started to apply that thought to the rest of our lives and that's all that we’ve…. that’s all that we believe since then, and it's  very automatic for us.  It FEELS true, it’s not true at all, um, if, if we start to look at what, like the skills that you actually have in your life, but because it's an automatic thing in our brain, it's difficult to change it.

Yep, it really is. And I, you know, how do you work with, how do you teach people to, to get that out of their brain? Because a lot of times, you know, again, being our own worst critic, we're, we're the worst… uh, person in our own heads and, and, and we sit there and we take up space in our own heads that could be used for good things, but you know, one small failure, one small back step, oh, wow, that's it, I blew it, I'm never doing anything, I'm done. You know, I gotta move. I remember what's the joke is the, uh, I once raised my, I saw someone across the street who was waving at me. I waved back, but it turns out they weren't waving at me, and I was so embarrassed. I just kept my hand up, hailed  a taxi, went to the airport and moved to Bolivia, start a new life.  [laughter]  Right?  But it's… you know, we tend to go out on that, out on that limb, we tend to go it's either all or nothing for us. It always has been when you're ready. 10:41 - So, so how do you bring people back from that ledge? 

You start, you actually start to look at the gray area, right? So you said we're, we're very all or nothing, which we are, and part of that is just because it's easier to be all or nothing, right? If, if you're one or the other, your brain doesn't have to work as hard. The grey area is harder to maintain, but what you want to do, is to start to investigate the grey, and you do that by asking questions.  Not like high pressure questions, like what's wrong with me, but questions that make you feel really curious about what might be going on or, um, where.. like where, if you're, if you're believing well, I'm super disorganized, well we might say, OK, well, which parts of my life are organized? Where is it that I actually reveal a lot of organization? Um, or no one likes me. Well, how is that true? Have I met everyone? I haven't met everyone and do.. I have... they all told me they don't like me, um, so you start to ask yourself questions and this actually changes your brain chemistry.  I Googled this. last week…. questions to release serotonin and dopamine in your brain. And if you spent any time on https://www.additudemag.com/...you know that those neurotransmitters are a little bit wonky. 

Have you ever listened to my Podcast? 

{laughter} 

I have. Yeah. 

I mean live on dopamine, serotonin and adrenaline. .every single way to get it….

That's it…. questions are like a very cheap drug for you, Peter. 

No question about that's true. It's fascinating when you think about it, because it allows you to get exactly, there are so many ways that you can get exactly where you need to be. in your brain, right? Understanding sort of what you have to do to get those chemicals in a positive way. And, uh, it's anything I could add questions to the mix as well. 

Yeah. Yeah. I'm guessing that you do a lot of that. Um, maybe consciously, maybe not, but when you're, when you are investigating a new business endeavor or, um, or even back in your past when you were like, I wonder what's possible for me, could I do that? And you've probably naturally gravitate towards questions for yourself and, and just allow your brain to explore. Would you,

I would say yes. I think outside of that is, you know, there's two sides of that. The first one is that I also tend to really go fast… uh, when I come up on, uh, you know, I want to run with it immediately, right? And so the questions tend to come later. Um, I find that the biggest issue I have is, you know, sometimes moving too fast.  For me. It's the, the, the problem is if I start asking myself questions, then I start going down rabbit holes.  Rabbit holes, then nothing gets. done.

Yeah, so that, that's a good example of, so the question helps you get into the grey area and then what we all need to do is have, have hard stops for ourselves. Like have, uh, um, one of the things that I'll use is like you get a certain amount of time to think about something and then that's it for the day, right? Like then.. then you get to plan for that thinking time tomorrow or, um, or that decision making time tomorrow. So we can set up our lives with structure. If we have a habit of running with something like that.

That's a good idea… that’s a really good idea.  Yeah, I mean I think the…. again, the  biggest problem is that you're sitting there and you're like, okay, this sounds really interesting, let me look at it. As I say, joke, you know, I’m looking up something about how to fix a toilet and it's been six hours and I'm, I'm still researching, um, you know, Roman sewage canals on Wikipedia and how they were started. So, yeah, it's, it's difficult to sort of let yourself think of that much. You have to have that, um, that ability to shut that off and then scheduling those a great is a great way to do that. 14:10 - Um, what's your number one piece of advice you give to people that ADHD? 

 

My number one piece of advice is that if you will just start with the possibility that you can change and improve, that is all you need. Um, it's just that belief..  it is, it is possible that I could get better at this thing that I want. Um, and, and then let that take you, like live that belief in your life and go after it, because what you will find is you don't always know exactly where your life is going to take you, but as long as you believe that improvement is possible, you're going to find something amazing.  I just believe that, and I want you to do that as well. 

I love it.  Jessica Heimsoth, How can people find you? 

You can find me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/everythoughtcaptivecoaching/ and you can find me at my website, which is https://www.everythoughtcaptivecoach.com/ you take off the “ing”on that last one. 

Awesome. Awesome. Thank you so much Jessica, for being on Faster Than Normal, we do appreciate it. 

Uh, guys, you’re listening to Faster Than Normal, as always, you know what to do. Leave us a review, shoot us an email, send us some guests or anything you want to do. We're glad that you're here and we'll see you next week. Thanks for listening, have a wonderful day. ADHD is a gift, not a curse, try to remember that. 

——

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

Jun 30, 2021

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/login/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/?campaignId=1f99a340-203f-498e-9665-24723a5f8b7a  make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

——

Today’s guest is a Gen-Z’er who has accomplished more in her short time on this planet, than most of us have by age 40! Myah Master has used her ADHD powers to fuel her creativity and ambition to become the Administrative Director, (before age 24), of a Non-Profit 501(c)(6) that manages four other non-profits all centering around:  access, research and education on/about Mental Health. She’s published 3 books and is working on her memoir which will become a guide for any other 20-something’s navigating their quarter life crisis, wanting to get their life together and be successful. Today we learn how she’s been using her ADHD superpowers. Enjoy! 

——

In this episode Peter and Myah Master discuss:  

2:00 - Intro and welcome Myah!!

2:51 - How old were you and what made you seek a diagnosis in the first place?  

4:06 - On the positive side of being diagnosed so early, and never having the idea of being broken enter your thought process, but using it as a way to move forward with positivity.

4:27 - On being a fighter.

4:55 - Have you ever taken a break?

5:54 - On now knowing how to relax and take personal time

6:30 - On finding joy

7:15 - How do you hit reset?  

7:57 - On taking the great advice you give to others and applying it to your own life.

8:28 - Do you have any particular triggers, that signal you to take a break?  

9:42 - Have you ever noticed a drop-off in work productivity when not taking time to take care of yourself? Tell us about what you’ve found, avoiding ADHD impulsivity and how you avoid burnout(?)

11:09 – Balancing goals versus time spent

12:20 – On physical setbacks sometimes being a needed wake up call 

13:07 – Advice for the younger demographic, being diagnosed w/ ADHD, or being neurodiverse for the first time; what is your advice, what would you say to them?

15:14 - Thank you Myah – real fast, tell us about your books?

I started writing my memoir, which is about, you know, a guide for a 20 something overcoming their quarter-life crisis as a means of therapy to overcome my quarter-life crisis. I decided to procrastinate and publish three self-published poetry and prose books. The first on anxiety, the second addiction and the third book on affirmations. The third is the most recent that I'm most excited about. It's essentially a short, maybe 35 minute read of poetry & prose that anyone can pick up on a hard day. They can read the words and let me do the work for you until you make it, and that's the title https://www.amazon.com/Until-You-Make-Myah-Master/dp/B08ZW3JPWH …so  affirmations is to read yourself and get you through the hard times.

16:04 - How can people find you?  @ChaoticGoodest on Twitter  myah_master on INSTA and via her website:  https://www.myahmaster.com/

16:28 - Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love what the responses and the notes that we get from you. So please continue to do that, tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all, we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you can ever, if you ever need our help, I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

16:53 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

Hey guys, Peter, Shankman welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal, I'm thrilled that you're here. It is a gorgeous day here…. it is…. we're recording this on June 16th, which happens to be our guest's birthday, also my Mom's birthday, so random, random birthdays today, but, um, it is lovely to have you.  Today is a Gen, I don't know, a Gen Z, I guess, episode... today's episode, we're talking to a 20-something, who has done more in her few short years on the planet than most of us have done by the time we're 40, so there's benefit in that. We're talking to Maya and Maya tells me that she's used for ADHD as a power to fuel her creativity and ambition to become the Administrative Director before 24 years old of a 501-6C non-profit, that manages four other nonprofits, all centered on access,  research and education on mental health.  She's published three books, she's working on her memoir. I don't know how big a memoir can be when you're in your mid twenties, but I'm looking forward to seeing it. It's a guide, and she’s working on a guide for any other 20- somethings navigating their quarter-life crisis… that's a thing - uh, wanting to get their life together and be successful.  Maya, welcome and Happy Birthday. 

Thank you so much,  I'm happy to be here. 

Glad to have you. So, so…. I'm guessing you're one of those people who, when you got diagnosed were like, well, shit, let's just use this and do everything we possibly can. But what was it like when you first…. well, first of all, why were you diagnosed?  How old were you and what were the sort of the negatives that brought you into the Dr. in the first place? 

Yeah, so, um, I don't have a ton of insight because I was actually very young. I was six. So the ADHD life is mostly all I've ever known. And I think part of that is why I have never really had this mentality that it was holding me back.  It was just always a part of me so I learned to adjust at a young age and I had, you know, I was taught different tools on how to organize and, and I had to learn that for me personally, I had to hyper-organize myself, just to  manage daily life without completely falling apart. So I instilled that from a young age and just, I mean, it was just such a part of my life that, uh, it wasn't until adulthood when I started...people really started talking about ADHD and the struggles that came with it, that I realized that the struggles I had, weren't actually personality traits necessarily, they were symptoms of my ADHD and I felt a lot less guilty for places I faltered, but also a lot stronger for the adversity I overcame through it.

Yeah. I mean, I think that one of the big things that happens is when people realize, um, you know, when they're first diagnosed, when they're a little older than you, their first thought is, um, okay, I'm broken, you know, and the brain is able to take that and turn it around. Usually it takes some time. So the fact that I guess that you were diagnosed that young, you pretty much grew up with, okay, here's who I am, and here's what I’m gonna do. 

Yeah. I mean, I've always, it's, it's kind of a fight or flight thing and I always was a fighter. I, I have never, um, had a moment without adversity, even beyond ADHD, so it never really occurred to me to stop going. I think part of that has just been, uh, I didn't... I didn't feel like I had a choice, so my entire life I've just been constantly running uphill and sprinting because I was afraid of what would happen if I stopped.  

Right, no, I totally get that. And, and... and have you ever, has it ever come to a point where you... where you felt comfortable enough to say, okay, I can relax, I can take a break? 

Uh, maybe one day, I don't think I've ever had that moment.  I mean, you know, I think maybe other people with ADHD feel this.  You’ll hyper-focus and you'll set a goal and you, your entire life, even momentarily revolves around this thing that you're focusing on and chasing, and then once you accomplish it or you get to that point, there's this one moment of…. of “cool, I crossed off the task.  I crossed off the thing on my to-do list.”  And then at least for me, I'm almost immediately like, okay, what's the next thing. Let's go. Let's go. Let's go. I don't know how to slow down and I think that's something that I should probably work on and, and enjoy the fruits of my labor. But I mean, so far it's really worked for me, you know, never-ending goals….

So it’s interesting you’re mentioned that because when I sold my first company back in 2001, um, I've said take a year off, and I went to Asia, and bummed around for about two or three weeks and then my third weekend or,  end of my second weekend, whatever, um, I went back to Tokyo airport and flew home and I called my Mom from the airport and said I'm flying home. And she's like, why {indistinguishable} you never taught me how to relax, and I think that was a good thing,  {indistinguishable}  okay, I'm getting really smart. But over time, I've really learned that I need to relax, I need to take time for me, whether that's, whether that's, you know, skydiving or going on a trip or doing whatever.  Even just being on a plane on my way to a business trip with eight hours of uninterrupted time on the plane is relaxing, but you gotta to do something. If you're not taking care of yourself, you're gonna, you're gonna drop. You're not gonna be able to do as well. 

Definitely.  I, I don't have big…. I think there's always these goals in my back of my mind, but I do at least probably in the last year, that's something I've been working on and actually finding things that bring me joy, and I think that’s part of my writing, which then turned into more of an ambitious goal, but, uh, my writing is my therapy. It's my place away from the world where I can put the jumbled mess of thoughts in my brain on paper. And that was a huge coping tool that I learned with ADHD from a young age. And I've been writing as long as I can remember, because it was the only thing that calmed the choas,with organizing my thoughts, whether personal or professional or whatever it be, and so one thing I do is I'll run off into the woods literally and, uh, take a journal and I turn off my phone and I, I just go out as far away as I can from society and write, and, um, that's one thing that just that I think allows me to take a step back from… the goal-chasing.

That makes sense. And are you, do you find yourself sort of rebirthed with that or, you know, reset I mean for me, my skydiving is my reset. 

Yes, it's, it's an, uh, being out in nature and just going back to my most authentic self, just me and myself and a pen and paper is an automatic reset for me, and, um, it definitely works and I should probably do it more often these days.  

It's, it's hard to, to, um, sort of what you teach other people is hard to teach yourself on occasion. I mean, it's, it's the monkey see me, you know, do, as I say, not as I do, but I've been in that same situation.  

I'm great at giving advice, not great at following it. Then I started realizing that your words have more weight when you lead by example.  So I've been trying really hard to do that with self-care and work-life balance and setting more boundaries, even with myself against myself. 

What do you find, um, do you have any triggers that sort of say, okay, you know what?  I need a break.

I think when the stress gets to the point, when my, when my stress turns physical, I'm used to mental anxiety and kind of all that that encompasses, but once I reach a certain level of stress, where it's physically manifesting and, you know, jaw popping, and my, you know, I have fibromyalgia, so with chronic pain, the worse my stress gets, the worse my body hurts, and I think it's rare for me to not go, go, go. It's so instinctual that the moment I feel myself unable to like... have that fire in me, I realize that I’ve very literally burned out. And so right now I've been practicing, um, being more mindful before I actually reach the point of burnout, because in the past, the only time I ever stopped to relax, is when I absolutely have to, when I can't possibly move another step and I have to go reset. And so I'm trying to keep myself from doing that because the highs and lows are just not manageable and, and aren't necessary. If you can be self-aware enough to just take a step back before it goes too far. 

 

That makes sense.  What about, um, you know, have you, have you noticed, has there ever been a point where your work has sort of tried to drop off or you're seeing it, you know, a, a, a, a lesser effect in your talents because you're not taking care of yourselves. I know that's a big deal for a lot of our…. a lot of our listeners.

Oh, yeah, oh yeah, and it's part of that burnout because I'll, I'll go see it. It's kind of like a it's part of the highs and the lows. I'll go so hard that I burn out and then there's a day or two or three even where I'm at half speed, and then I feel anxious because, uh, and guilty because now I'm moving much slower than I normally do, and I'm not even at regular power, but the week before I was at 150 - 200%, and so then it's this ebb and flow and then I'll kind of recharge. And then I go even harder to make up for the time I've lost and it's... it's definitely a balancing act that is a constant, daily, mindfulness practice I think, of learning your limits and I'm the type that works that, you know, 10, 12 hour days.  And sometimes that brings me a lot of joy, but then in the aftermath of burnout, it's kind of, I've been telling myself every day, make a decision today that your future self will thank you for, stop with the instant gratification with impulsivity, like ADHD. Impulsivity is huge, and I struggle with that a lot.  And so I'm like, I need to start making decisions that my future self is gonna thank me for 

No, that's a great line. That's, it's very true. I think alot of it, you know, a lot of times, especially in this world we live in, where everything's so go and go, and internet-connected and everything like that, it is very easy. It's much easier to think about, okay, what's going to give me the most joy in the next five minutes, versus what's that….in the next like five years.

Exactly. I've, I've always had like a 1-3-5-year plan, but I get, you know, and part of it is why I've reached the success that I have now, because I'm so impatient. I'm like, I mean, yeah, it's realistic to make, let's say VP or an executive role five years from now, just like last year, five years from now, that's a, that's a reasonable and still very ambitious goal.  Then I said, nah, I don't want to wait, so, I just, I fought and I fought, I fought and. I, I got myself so stressed out last year that I got a strep throat three times in three months, had  to get a tonsillectomy, which forced me to sit on my back for two weeks sick and recovering. And that was one of the first times I realized, which was that physical manifestation of this is what happens when you go too hard.  And now you've, you've set yourself back much farther than if you’d just taken two days off in the beginning. 

I think even, even, it's crazy how many people have realized that the moment they realized they needed to chill is that moment when they're like, okay, um, I have no choice. I have to sit on my back.  I'm I'm, I'm injured or I'm whatever, you know, and that's sort of their wake up call in that regard.  

It was I'm... I'm a very big believer in everything happens for a reason. And, you know, hindsight is 2020, and sometimes it's very difficult to see why things, why obstacles get put in your place. But I started realizing that more often than not the obstacles put in my place are gifts, and even though I don't always see it, it later on down the road, I realized that that slow down was so important for my health. And it's such a wake up call, like you said, to realizing that what would happen if I didn't take care of myself, 

 

What do you say to someone a little younger than you? Because a lot of our guests are older and, and you know, you have a voice now and you have a platform right now with, Faster Than Normal... to tell kids who are maybe 9, 10, 11, getting diagnosed for the first time, different than slash/broken.  Here's your, here's your chance? What are you saying? 

I would say that life is all about perspective and, you know, we create the world that we cultivate. So if you were only looking at the bad or even just looking at your circumstances in a bad way, it will always feel bad and you'll never feel encouraged to move forward.  If you can take the things that make you feel broken, and make them see, make you see them as uniqueness as something that sets you apart, and yeah, you're different, but all the greatest minds were not the typical people you'd meet in society and that your brain fires differently, works differently, and if you look at it as being broken, that's all you're ever going to see. But if you'll take these things and you self examine, and you go through the practice of mindfulness and just testing out your own strengths, you'll start realizing that those things are strengths, and what sets you apart is uniqueness can cultivate success when you set yourself apart from everyone else. So I learned, uh, I learned early on, that if I just allow myself to be beat down, I would only ever be beat down. The only option you have is fight or flight. I wanted so much for my life that I just chose to look at things differently. And it's an everyday struggle to make sure that you see things in a positive way, but if you affirm yourself and, and you take that gift of hyper-focus and you learn to guide your hyper-focus on positivity, then you will be the most positive person in the room. You’ll be that person that feverously chases happiness and true, genuine joy, and that hyper-focus that you have on the good. outweighs what a non ADHD brain would. 

That is awesome, what a great answer, I love that!  Uh, real fast, tell us about your books.  

Uh, okay. So, uh, ADHD, I started writing my memoir, which is about, you know, a guide for a 20 something, um, overcoming their quarter-life crisis as a means of therapy to overcome my quarter-life crisis, and, um, I decided to procrastinate and publish three self published, three poetry and prose books. The first on anxiety, uh, the second addiction and the third book of affirmations. And the third is the most recent that I'm most excited about. It's essentially, uh, a short, maybe 35 minute read of poetry and prose that anyone can pick up on a hard day, that they can read the words and let me do the work for you until you make it, and that's the title https://www.amazon.com/Until-You-Make-Myah-Master/dp/B08ZW3JPWH …. so  affirmations is to read yourself and get you through the hard times.

I love it, Myah, how can people find you?

Uh, you can find me on Twitter https://twitter.com/chaoticgoodest?lang=en, um, you can find me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/myah_master/?hl=en, and at my website, https://www.myahmaster.com/. 

Very cool, Myah Master, thank you so much for taking the time, we  greatly appreciate it and we're glad that you're part of our lives here. Um, we'll definitely have you back. 

Thank you so much. I hope you have a great day. 

Awesome, guys, you’re listening to Faster Than Normal, as always, we love that you're here. If you liked what you heard, leave us a review, drop us a line, let us know who else we should have as a guest, we would love to hear from you. My name is Peter Shankman. You can find me at  www.petershankman.com .  Steven Byrom is our producer, we love him, he’s awesome, and  anyone else who is listening to this podcast, and might not be having the best day,  let me tell you something, you're awesome, and it only gets better. Talk to you guys soon, thanks for listening.

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

Jun 23, 2021

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/login/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/?campaignId=1f99a340-203f-498e-9665-24723a5f8b7a  make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

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Sivan Hong's career spans over two decades in several industries and professions, including holding esteemed positions as a professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business and former partner at The Bridgespan Group. Today, Sivan authors and illustrates the children’s book series The Super Fun Day Books, including “Benny J. and the Horrible Halloween”, “George J. and the Miserable Monday” and “Emily D. and the Fearful First Day”.  Her inspiring books focus on neurodiverse children, who overcome their challenges with perseverance and bravery.  Sivan also occupies seats on the Board of several foundations and non-profits. When she’s not working, Sivan enjoys being a wife to her lovely husband and a mother to their two wonderful children.  They have a dog and cat and live a quiet and contented life in their home in Connecticut. Today we learn what caused her to make such a drastic career switch and the inspiration behind her newfound love as an Author. Enjoy! 

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In this episode Peter and Sivan discuss:  

2:10  -  Intro and welcome Sivan Hong!!

3:04  -  So how in the world did you go from being a Professor at NYU Stern and a partner at Bridgespan, to writing children’s books for neurodiverse kids?   

3:34  -  Why Sivan changed careers

4:00  -  What did Sivan do over COVID?

5:05  -  On the ever-changing definition of neurodiversity. Tell us how your experience has been getting the “ADHD is a gift! “message across to people, which is not always something people want to hear.

6:27  -  On the challenge of undoing ‘social programming’/branding

7:21  -  On Peter’s struggle when his book first launched. 

8:26  -  Though we’re trying, not everyone considers neurodiversity, or even being ‘not the same’ truly a gift, not a curse. How do you teach your children about it?

10:03 – On playing into your strengths and using them as superpowers, as opposed to focusing on any negative.  

11:05  -  Tell us about your books and more about how they were inspired? (Links to ref’s below)

13:28  -  Where can everyone find you, and buy your books? 

Benny J. and the Horrible Halloween  George J. and the Miserable Monday  Emily D. and the Fearful First Day. You can get them, [above], on Amazon and also via her website  https://sivanhong.com/  Sivan on the Socials:  sivan_hong_author on INSTA  and @sivanhongauthor on Facebook

14:00  -  THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH BOOKS LIKE THESE! Awesome work & thank you Sivan!

14:12  -  Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love what the responses and the notes that we get from you. So please continue to do that, tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all, we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you can ever, if you ever need our help, I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

14:29  -  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

Hey everyone, Peter Shankman here, and this is another episode of Faster Than Normal, but you know that, ‘cause you subscribed and you're listening, and what else would you expect?  Anyway, glad to have you here, great to be coming to you today, again from New York City in a rainy New York City, I don't think it's ever going to be sunny again. But either way, it is a lovely day when you're up and awake and you know, a little rain into every life, little rain must fall, so good to be here. We have a guest today who somehow managed to go from being a Professor at https://www.stern.nyu.edu/... to author and illustrator of children's books for neuro-diverse children.  So we're going to talk to Sivan Hong, and we're going to figure out how one goes from being a professor at NYU and a former partner at the https://www.bridgespan.org/?gclid=CjwKCAjwiLGGBhAqEiwAgq3q_tuyxlwvwXJvl6cltkhHAbTye-zgYPQfad_79-Fp8jqPIQ6QI4y0nxoCbDwQAvD_BwE to authoring and illustrating children's books, which is pretty cool.  She also sits on several non-profits and does a bunch of stuff and lives in Connecticut and says... says she has a lovely husband and is a Mother to two wonderful children. They have a dog and a cat and they live a quiet and contented life, in Connecticut. How…. uh, we’ll talk later about how it's possible to be content in Connecticut, cause I've never, I don't understand that, but either way, Sivan, welcome to Faster Than Normal.  

Thank you so much for having me Peter. 

So, okay, so, you know, just living your life, professor at https://www.stern.nyu.edu/ the partner at https://www.bridgespan.org/…. and one day you just wake up said, “Hey, you know, I'm bored, I’m gonna start doing children's books for neuro-diverse kids, sort of exactly how it happened?”

Exactly how {laughter} exactly how it happened. Um, no. I had this fast track career. And then I became a Mother of a kid who was diagnosed with Autism and ADHD, nd I realized that I couldn't have this fast-track  career and give him all the attention that I needed to give him. And then I had another kid with ADHD and so I set up, OK, I did the career thing. I was a professor, I was a partner. I did all of this other stuff, right now I'm going to focus a lot of my attention on being a Mom, um, which is very kind of 1950’s of me, but I'm totally at peace with that.  And over COVID instead of making sourdough bread and, um, and doing all those other things that people were doing, mm, my undiagnosed ADHD came out and I wrote three children's books about neuro diversity. And so my hyper-focus was on that, because I realized as my kids are growing up and they're still young, they're seven and nine, there weren't a lot of books out there that highlighted how cool it was to be neurodiverse and talked about characters with neuro-diversity and showed how successful they were in the problems that they faced.  And I felt like this was something that I needed to do. I am a big proponent of the fact that neuro-diversity is a gift, right? Like my kids refer to themselves as X-Men and that's what, um, I wanted to share. So that's how I went from professor to children's book author. 

I love that X-Men, that’s very very cool.  Tell me about, you know, it's interesting, so the concept of neuro-diversity it is changing, right, and podcasts like this and, and books like yours, things like that, we're starting to figure out, sort of the fact that it’s not so much a diagnosis, right? There's….there's a gift to it, um, if you understand how to use it.  What has been your experience, um, trying to get that message across, because it is a difficult message sometimes that people don't necessarily wanna hear.  

So it's interesting. I think you look at it from a couple of different directions. So in beautiful Westport, Connecticut, where I live, there is a separate PTA for special education parents. And you have a group of parents in this town who say, you know what, we're going to embrace the differences in our kids and we are going to do everything we can to advocate for them and to create this community where, when a parent get a diagnosis for their kid and it can be super isolating and really, really scary… this group of parents is there to kind of show them the way to be like, no, you know, there's a path to move forward and it's such a kind of cross to bear. What struck me as really interesting, and I'm fairly new to social media, which is embarrassing, but true. Um, when I started to post a lot about being, um, proud proud of your neuro-diversity and showing it as a gift, there were some people who really took offense to it. 

Oh yeah, I believe you.

There were people who were, you know, who are like, no, it's a disability or no, it has to be this deficit, and the world needs to view us as people with a deficit. And, uh, I'm so taken aback by that way of thinking, right? When you step back and you think about the incredible geniuses that we have in this world today, and then frankly, that we've had in the past, we could not be where we are as a society today without neuro-diversity.

No question about it… and it's so true what you say though... because, you know, for whatever reason, some people are stuck in this opinion that, oh my God, it's a curse, and you know, it's a negative diagnosis and it, it goes against, uh, the good and, and, and, and you're broken. I remember when Faster Than Normal came out, the book... when the book came out... actually wasn't allowed to post, I got banned from the ADHD https://www.reddit.com/subreddits/... on https://www.reddit.com/... because they don't look at it as a gift, and they're like, oh, well, you know, he, he thinks that it's positive and it's really not. And, and, and we don't want to, have this conversation. I'm like, you guys, you're being so obtuse, it's incredible. 

Well, and it's a huge disservice to our kids, right? Like I don't want my kids walking around feeling like there's something wrong with them, in fact, my seven-year-old said the other day, he's like, “Mom, I'm not telling a lot of people that I have ADHD because I don't want to brag.” And I'm like….

Ah, I love it!

…., that is the right attitude. That is what we want our kids to feel, right. Because that's the only way they are going to capitalize on the gifts they have.  If they walk around feeling terrible about themselves, because they're different, and that their brain is wired differently, they're never going to succeed. They're never going to be able to achieve all the things that they should be able to achieve. 

That is awesome. I love that. I don't want to tell people, cause I don't want to brag.  That's wonderful. Have there been…. talk about the negatives. Um, cause I'm, I'm assuming it hasn't been, uh, uh, you know,,,, perfect the entire time. So what is your, what is your kid has had to learn and adapt to? 

It's not perfect, because any elementary school kid, frankly, middle school and high school kids, they want to be the same, right?  Like... different isn't a good thing, and, um, my kids are bi-racial, so they look different to begin with, um, and then I'm adding this additional layer of complexity around their identity, um, and, and that causes problems right?  In the same way that my nine-year-old has said to me, I wish I was white. There have been times where he said, I wish I was normal, right?  And, and he's like, you know, his autism impedes his ability to be the kind of athlete that he wants to be, you know, like he dreams about being in the NBA and he'll say things like, I think my autism is going to prevent me from being in the NBA. And in my mind, I'm like, it's pretty much because you're half Jewish that's going to prevent you from being in the NBA… {laughter}  ..., but in that kind of mentality is, is the heart breaking part. But it's our job as parents. It's our job as a community, it's a job as society to turn it around and I'm like, you know, you may not be an NBA player, but one day you have the opportunity to own a team and that's way cooler. So like how do you turn it around and make it a strength even when they have those heartbreaking moments?

Yeah, no question about it. And you know, it's, it's, it's interesting because the, um, I mean, sports is never my thing either, uh, uh, but you know, I discovered acting right and then discovered singing, other things that I love to do. I'm being on stage. I mean, I get paid now to speak in front of thousands of people, and I'm amazed that every single time I do it, that, you know, that it works so well and I enjoy it so much, but it's, it's exactly that it's, it's playing into it, the strengths, right?  And not looking at the negatives, but focusing on playing into the strengths.  

Right, and the same way that there are differences across the board in people, you never want to focus on the negative side of those differences.  You recognize that it's there, but that's not what the focus is supposed to be on. The focus is supposed to be on, what do we do to succeed, right?  And if that means that you have to wear headphones because you have a sensory issue and loud noises is a problem, so you wear headphones, but then you move on and you succeed right? That's what we need to be focusing on.

No question about it. Tell us about the books.   

So, um, the two that are published already, one is called, um, https://www.amazon.com/Benny-Horrible-Halloween-Sivan-Hong/dp/B08W7DWJ8Z and it's a true story of, my now... nine year old being terrified of being in the Halloween parade in kindergarten., and, um, the true story is, is that he didn't actually go..  Like it, it felt way too overwhelming for him to participate in something like that and so the following year with the help of his special education teacher, we came up with a plan and he found a way to do it, and now he loves Halloween. And so it's, it's a book about kind of overcoming your challenges, and what I love about it, is that you do see a character in this book wearing headphones, right?  I have yet to find a children's book with that kind of illustration and it totally normalized the difference. And then the second book, um, is really kind of the story of my seven year old with ADHD who every Monday, hates school right?   And has this incredible school anxiety, because as we know, it can be overwhelming. It can be hard, everything could possibly change and the things that he does in order to overcome and turn those Mondays around to being a good day. And then the book that's coming out this summer, it's called https://www.amazon.com/Emily-Fearful-First-Super-Books-ebook/dp/B094S9RSJ3/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=emily+d+and+the+fearful+first+day&qid=1624048339&s=books&sr=1-1 and that one's about, you know, starting a new class and, and that character also is neuro-diverse. And now I have to kind of slow down writing and illustrating these books because my publicist is like, no, no, no, no, you can't release a book every 3 months, but, but I, for me, I'm in introvert and I meant, um, I'm fairly positive that I have dyslexia and ADHD and actually, today, I'm going for my neuro psych evaluation because my kids were like, we did it, you should do it, Mom….

… there you go….

and I was like, yup, I'm all in. I'm all in. Um, but it's really easy to step back and just hyper-focus on this. Um, but I realized that in order to be a, uh, an author that you have to take some time to market your books and, and talk about them and do podcasts like this, which are really, um, cool.  So that's where my focus is on right now. 

Awesome. I love it. So let's, uh, tell me, then tell us the name of the books again and where can people find them,,, I know one is https://www.amazon.com/Benny-Horrible-Halloween-Sivan-Hong/dp/B08W7DWJ8Z and then https://www.amazon.com/Emily-Fearful-First-Super-Books-ebook/dp/B094S9RSJ3/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=emily+d+and+the+fearful+first+day&qid=1624048339&s=books&sr=1

Right, and you can get them on Amazon and you can get them on my website at https://sivanhong.com/ and then, um, you can follow me on social media at https://www.instagram.com/sivan_hong_author/  um, on Instagram and then on Facebook as well. 

Awesome, Sivan Hong, thank you for taking the time to be on Faster Than Normal Sivan, I really appreciate you’re…. you’re you're doing great stuff that the, there are not enough books out there that explain to kids that they are not broken, that they're gifted, and so I love the fact that you're doing that and you're, you're filling it very, very needed uh, niche. 

Thank you so much for having me, Peter, this was a blast.

By all means.  Guys as always, you're listening to Faster Than Normal.  If you like what you hear, drop us a review note, uh, leave us a note, drop me a note, let me know you're out there. It gets lonely here in my apartment sometimes, so always happy to hear from everyone, but that being said, thank you for listening, we'll see you again soon. 

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

Jun 16, 2021

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/?campaignId=1f99a340-203f-498e-9665-24723a5f8b7a  It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/?campaignId=1f99a340-203f-498e-9665-24723a5f8b7a  make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

 

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Today we visit with the man who single-handedly brought the automobile industry into the world of social media, and the founder of Scott Monty Strategies. Scott Monty was the 2nd person we ever interviewed on Faster Than Normal and he and I go back many, many years now. With a voice that can still melt butter, he’s continued to do great things and we’ll catch up today, but for starters:  Scott Monty is a strategic communications & leadership coach and advisor who helps the C-suite embrace better communication with timeless and timely advice. A Fortune 10 leader whose background in classics positioned him to see through the shiny objects, Scott can drill down to understand the common human needs from throughout history that still drive us all. He was ranked by The Economist as #1 atop the list 25 Social Business Leaders and Alan Mulally, the CEO of Ford Motor Company, called him "a visionary." Scott spent six years as an executive at Ford, where he helped turn the company around with an uncanny ability to merge technology with humanity. He served as a strategic adviser across a variety of business functions, leading the company's global social media strategy. He also has a another decade and a half of experience in communications and marketing agencies. Scott's clients have included companies such as Walmart, IBM, McDonalds, Coca-Cola, and Google. He is a trustee of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, a past board member of the American Marketing Association, and has advised a number of tech companies. He writes the Timeless & Timely newsletter, to help leaders make sense of today with lessons from the past, and hosts the Timeless Leadership podcast. We’re happy he’s back to visit with us today. Enjoy! 

 

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In this episode Peter and Scott discuss:  

2:13  -  Intro and welcome back Scott Monty!!  (You can hear Peter’s first interview with Scott here)  Ref:  Our Storytelling/Public Speaking course is here

3:13  -  What have you been doing Scott?  Ref:  Chameleon’s Collective

3:49  -  So is all of your family back to “normal” now? 

4:10  -  What have you been doing to keep sane during the pandemic? How do you see public stages in the near future, do you see any of that coming back right away?

6:11  -  On being in the current post-quarantine mode of how/when will it all be back to some sort of normalcy and getting not only remaining vigilant health-wise, but getting our brains OK with things going back to the way they were pre-pandemic.

7:30  -  Let’s talk masks & vaxxs across the world

9:00  -  On trying to stay sane during throughout the pandemic, and methods you’ve used to keep yourself and your mind busy.  Ref:  Timeless & Timely newsletter. All things Scott Monty here

12:41 – On social audio content.  Tell us about where you see it going and your involvement in that arena. Ref:  What is Clubhouse?

14:21  -  Where do you see social audio fitting into our future?  (Large conferences vs. smaller but w/ extensions of virtual visits for after-conference discussions, breakout rooms, etc) 

17:17  -  If you’ve never been to a CES, or a Mobile World Congress show, it’s kinda an ADHD person’s dream!

19:14  -  On avoiding home distraction. What do you do, what are your steps and advice on keeping focus when you keep getting interrupted, etc?

23:00  -  Where can people find you?  Website: https://www.scottmonty.com/  Like myself, has has a crypto coin called the Timeless Coin: https://rally.io/creator/MONTY/ and the symbol is https://rally.io/creator/MONTY/   Our Storytelling/Public Speaking course is at: https://shankman.lpages.co/scott-peter-speaking-early-access/ and we’re talking about it here and on the Socials: @ScottMonty on Twitter  Scott Monty Strategies on Facebook and via Email: scott@scottmonty.com

24:09  - pon·tif·i·cate

24:55  -  Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love what the responses and the notes that we get from you. I got an email from someone just a couple of days ago, who said to me, let me see if I can find it, um, I probably can't of course, but I got an email from someone who said that they were just so incredibly thankful that of all the things that uh, and here it is. Okay.  “Hey Peter, wanting to click you a message to say thank you.  I don't know how I went through 24 years of my life not knowing I had ADHD, but listening to your new book and the podcast had me in tears. I knew I was different, never understood, why but I'm so excited to learn how to live my best life. Using my ADHD positively. I have an hour and a half to go, an hour and half into your book and can already tell it will be life-changing for me, thank you so much.”  Guys, we get these all the time and they just, they never stopped making me happy. So please continue to shoot us a note. Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you can ever, if you ever need our help, I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

26:02  -  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

You're listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast where we know that having ADD or ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Each week we interview people from 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, to become millionaires, or to simply better their lives. And now, here's the host of the Faster Than Normal podcast, the man who attributes a lot of his success to his inability to sit still, Peter Shankman, 

Hi everyone, Peter Shankman welcome to Faster Than Normal. We were, we were… turning on the…. zoom and got a recording in progress, I thought, which I've never heard a sound never heard before…. that was interesting, but it is lovely to be back. And it is a Monday morning here in New York City, almost almost Memorial, that is the week before Memorial Day… so people start, uh at a hundred percent, and by Thursday they just don't give a shit anymore, and then they go into the long weekend and they come back and that's pretty much it for summer.  So we should be, we should be good. So we'll see you guys in September. All right…. good show, anyway…. the person I have joining me today, I think it was my third or fourth interview back when Faster Than Normal first started, Scott Monty is an old, old friend. A great, great guy, I met him eons ago, about 400 years ago when he was working at Ford Motor Company, um, probably when I was still running heroin, uh, we stayed in touch. We've been friends ever since he is out on his own. Now he is a writer. He is a storyteller galore. He and I have put together a storytelling course. We launched several months ago, which has done really well. He does a bunch of things. He lives somewhere near Detroit.  I believe has a really cool family, has a pension for bow ties and he wears them with aplomb. Except today he's not, but anyway, it is lovely to see you, Scott…. welcome back. 

Thank you, Peter. This call is being recorded just for your awareness. 

Oh, lovely, lovely to have you back. 

It's been a while since I've been here.

Indeed. We've done some other stuff, but I haven't had you on a podcast in a while. What have you been doing, man? What's been going on?

Oh, you know, the usual just living my best pandemic life. Um, you know, this, obviously the speaking business shifted quite a bit, uh, so I threw myself in the more consulting, but then that's been fine, um, I recently signed up with a, a collective of individual consultants called the https://chameleoncollective.com/ and basically we all remain independent, but we have a bunch of a hundred or so people to call on if we need other people to round out projects that we're working on, or if we want, offer ourselves up to their projects, so it's a, it's a nice arrangement. 

Very very cool, so you're all back? The whole, family's all back, you're all set with that alright? 

No, every... everyone except the, uh, the seven year old, yes.  

Right.  Yeah. I'm in the same boat. My eight year old is a, apparently no one cares about the, about the kids from age zero to age 12. But, um, hopefully at some point in the next several months, that will, that will happen. 

Absolutely. 

So what have you been doing to keep up yourself sane? I mean, you had a, almost as crazy travel schedule as I did back in the day. Um, have you seen any of that start to come back or have you seen anything come back in, in... on public stages?  I mean, I did my first speech a couple weeks ago, what about you? 

Well, I was never quite as a travel weary as you, but I, you know, I, I probably spent at least a quarter to a third of my time on the road.   And I mean, did you just at a certain point in your life, you just, you get a feel for it and it's like clockwork and when it stopped, it was really, really weird.  Okay. The, the benefit for me is we, we have all sorts of routines here at home and the kids in particular needed to keep their school up, even though school was shut down. So, you know, there, there was a rhythm to every day. It wasn't completely random, so I think that helped. A great deal is having some sort of pattern, some sort of regular routine, uh, to go on. And now that they're back in school, you know, I drive them every morning. Uh, so it, you know, I get a chance to talk with them. I get a chance to unwind on the way home, listen to a couple of podcasts, so it's a nice rhythm and I'm having a real difficult time trying to imagine going back to the way things were back to... quote unquote... normal, before, because I think it's going to be really difficult to reclaim the world as it was, but we're not going to remain in this kind of limbo that we've been in over the past year, either.

I think, I mean, there will be definitely a point where we say, okay, it's as normal as it's going to get. I mean, I was at the gym this morning and they've relaxed the mask rule, right? I mean, I was still wearing one, but they, there were, half the people there with no masks on, so I think, I mean, I think we're getting there. I was in, you know, (indistinguishable)  last week or two weeks ago was in Texas, um, you know, fortunately, uh, the 300 people in the audience, no one was wearing a mask because, you know, I guess, you know, COVID never actually hit Texas, so that was good. But, um, it was a, uh, iIt was weird. It was weird to be in that, in that environment, and so I think that that two things have to happen is that, is that one, it has to be safe enough to do it, but the second thing, our brain has to be okay with that. It has to be okay with, you know, you don't realize 16 months, 18 months of hunkering down as it were. Um, it's kind of hard to fully open your eyes when they turn on that light. 

It really is, and for me, the first trip I went on after not having traveled for over a year, it was weird trying to pack…. for one, I'm like, I've lost my muscle memory, muscle atrophy, and I'm like, oh, okay. Do I have everything in my, in my toiletry kit? And have I packed enough underwear and all the rest, but, you get to the airport and it's kind of dystopian, you know, first of all, it's not as crowded as it usually is, you look around and everybody, alot, at that time, at least everybody was wearing masks and you're like, what hell hole have I just emerged from and into? And, and as we get back, as we gradually get back, we're going to see this mix. I don't think, uh, I don't think masks are completely going away. And you think you've traveled in Asia quite a bit, right? They... they've been wearing masks when they travel and when you see them in the airport all the time. Um, and to me, it's actually makes great sense because it's great hygiene. I haven't had a cold in the past year. I wonder why that is, you know? 

That’s the amazing thing that I've always said is America has no idea how unbelievably stupid it looks on the world stage, right? And the amount of times I've traveled to Asia in the past 15 years where everyone's wearing a mask to the point where they give them out at the hotels, right? And, and I remember in December of 2019, I was in Bangkok and I got sick. I got violently ill. I had been in Abu Dhabi and then came home for like two days to see my daughter and then flew right to Bangkok and just the travel has got me down and it was December of 19, and I walk into this hospital in Bangkok, um, uh, a phenomenal one of the top hospital in the world I walked in and I'm like, Hey, I think I just have some sort of, uh, bronchitis or something. They're like, oh, no problem, sir, to step right this way. But please put on this mask, right? And it was like the most normal thing in the world, right? And when you realize. I think the problem was that we, we made, uh, we made putting on the masks about helping others, we should have convinced people that it was about helping themselves. And then everyone would have worn one, right? If we just said, oh yeah, if you wear this mask, you know, people will think you have much more muscles and everyone, everyone would've worn it.

Have you heard the latest thing with trying to get people vaccinated? The, uh, somebody from the CDC or one of the government agencies and doing a public call, said people who write that they have been vaccinated on their profiles are 14% more likely to match with a date on Tinder and match.com and these other services.

Yet. It's just yet another reason I'm so glad I don't have to be on any of those dating sites. What have you been doing to stay sane? You know, for people like us who do a million different things, part of the way we stay sane is by doing a million different things. And for a lot of the time, I mean, you know, you and I, you and I combined it let's do a course together because, uh, what the hell else are we going to do, right?  So what have you, what else have you been doing to stay sane and how has it been working? 

So being able to create something that, you know, we're both passionate about that we love that we're pretty good at and being able to share it with others, people, you know, just that, that brought me a lot of energy.

Right? and, and, and focus, you know, because we knew there was something that we, there was a specific outcome we were going for and, and you, and I, you know, kind of pressuring each other on a, on a schedule and a timeframe, and, um, eventually getting a really nice course out, um, you know, I've been, I'm not a huge exercise fanatic uh, certainly not to the degree you are, but, um, I've been taking walks every day, particularly with my seven year old daughter.  She loves to go out and explore, and we live in this wonderful little neighborhood where there's... there's parks and ponds and wildlife and everything, and, and she loves to walk the dog, so we go out and we make that part of the ritual, okay? Aside from that, like professionally, um, I've been creating a lot of content when I do https://www.scottmonty.com/p/newsletter.html      newsletter, that comes out twice a week, once a, in the middle of the week for everyone, that's a free version, um, a Friday version that is just for subscribers, where they get extra content, uh, links and a recommended book and a recommended podcast, and then what I've been, I've been doing a couple of other things with audio, but before I get to that, I want to say, I, I always get these other ideas. You know, a lot of times when I'm out walking or when I'm doing other stuff, I have these ideas that I want to write about, but they don't fit into, the, the broader cadence of what I want in my newsletter, so I.... I created kind of a little branch off of the newsletter, so the newsletter again is called https://www.scottmonty.com/p/newsletter.html  and I've created this other little branch off of it called https://www.timelesstimely.com/s/bonus, and it's just random thoughts that come to me, things that I think are inspirational, things that I think people might want to read, right. Uh, and I just published one on Saturday. Now I normally, normally don't publish on Saturday, but it was about the, uh, the habits of happy and successful people. And that has been one of my most popular newsletters posts of all time. People have just gobbled that up. So I feel like I'm onto something there and it makes me want to do more, okay?

You should, yeah….

Um, no, I mentioned audio. So what I've done with, uh, the public newsletters, I've, I've done an audio version of it. So I basically just read it, into the microphone and distribute that to my, subscribers, because there are some people that just prefer audio, they don't have time to read or they don't like reading, and I don't know if they put me on double speed or one and a half speed or whatever, so I sound like Alvin and the Chipmunks, but hey, whatever... you know, I'm giving people options to consume content the way they want to, and I like audio. I mean, I've been doing a lot of stuff with https://apps.apple.com/us/app/clubhouse-drop-in-audio-chat/id1503133294 and moreso with https://www.firesidechat.com/ and https://racket.app/ you know, some of these social audio things, um, and I started a new podcast on https://www.firesidechat.com/  called https://firesidechat.com/scottmonty where I bring on a leader every week and I interview them about one virtue of leadership, one habit of successful leaders, whether it's humility or optimism or resilience or, you know, one of those kinds of big type things, and I explore with them how they actually express that virtue in their daily and professional lives. 

Very cool. Tell me about, so let's talk about audio for a second. I, you know, so many people I've been on https://apps.apple.com/us/app/clubhouse-drop-in-audio-chat/id1503133294 ... I've I've, I was one of the first people to get an invite. Uh, our mutual friend Serina sent me an invite back in like November of last year or something was still in beta, and, um, I remember getting on and, and my first thought was, this is great, I don't have to be on video so I don’t have to devote a lot of my brain power to it, I can just listen. And then the more I used it, the more I found it was actually the complete opposite. I had to actually listen, right because, you know, if you miss 10 seconds and someone calls your name, you're like, I have no idea what you're talking about right?  And so for me, for the ADHD side of me, it kind of drove me crazy. We're moving towards audio, there's definitely gonna be a part of social audio that will exist and continue to exist. I don't know if so many of the, of the, the apps that are out there now are gonna are going to survive. But, you know, I sorta think it's a step above podcasting, it's interactive, it's both ways. Um, but it really, you know, you come on, you have to do an hour on this thing. It really requires your attention, and I'm wondering, at what point people are just gonna sort of throw up their hands, and say okay, I can't do that, right? I can't give you, you know, right now, sure. It launched at the perfect time, what the hell else are we doing with our lives, right? We were sitting at home all day so of course I'll go and listen to a six….and getting bottled a six hour chat on audio why not? I don't have to go to the bed. I could be naked doing it, and I'm gonna have to, you know, put on pants. But I think that as we evolve, whether it's to doing more, getting outside more things like that, I think audio is going to have a place, but it's not going to be anywhere near as, Oh my God, everyone needs to write about https://apps.apple.com/us/app/clubhouse-drop-in-audio-chat/id1503133294  now for the next 30 years type thing that it was. Where do you see it sort of eventually, uh, fitting in. 

Well, first of all, when you mentioned being in a https://apps.apple.com/us/app/clubhouse-drop-in-audio-chat/id1503133294 room, and someone calling your name and you're not paying attention, you know, flashbacks to school for me, you know, where I'm just daydreaming and suddenly called on, I'm like I missed the last….

exactly….

….three minutes of what you were talking about and, and, you know, bright students like you and I um, know enough to be able to BS our way through and answer and sound like we know what we're talking about, even though we weren't listening. Um, you know, th th that, that happens all the time and, and your point is well-taken.  https://apps.apple.com/us/app/clubhouse-drop-in-audio-chat/id1503133294  and the live social audio platforms require attention.  Look at the show we're on right now, is, is this really right for this audience? Well, look, here's, here's the deal. If you're really interested in something, you know, this, you get hyper-focused right, you, you dig down and it works really well. And when you don't have a lot of other distractions around you, particularly in a pandemic, um, it's perfect, but when we go back to a more, uh, where we approach a more normal kind of life, what we used to know, um, I think this we'll see a bit of a slide off, and we've already seen the adoption curve waning on https://apps.apple.com/us/app/clubhouse-drop-in-audio-chat/id1503133294 where their, their installs have, have dropped, and I'm even seeing statistics that, uh, room numbers are lower, not as many people are participating. And here's the thing, for the majority of people, the vast majority of people, they would rather listen than talk. They would rather be an audience member than on the stage, and that's fine, that's completely okay. And not everybody has time for that. And to me, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/clubhouse-drop-in-audio-chat/id1503133294 has replaced the big conference, right?  All of these in-person events that we couldn't go to, where you see people up on stage where, whether it's a keynote or a fireside chat or a panel discussion, that's what https://apps.apple.com/us/app/clubhouse-drop-in-audio-chat/id1503133294 feels like. And as we get back to these in-person events, as we begin to open up more, I think a really strong use case for these social audio apps, particularly the live ones, are akin to breakout rooms or after conference follow-ups, where you can have a room of 20 people and it doesn't have to be this mass audience. You can have a room of 20 people and say, Hey, let's talk more about what we just saw at the conference. Let's take the sales team and make a custom presentation for you.  I think there will be all kinds of applications coming out of in-person events, where you go, let's grab a clubhouse room together and discuss this further. 

I think that that, isn't it, because in the beginning you said, you know, it's replacing the conference, which we can’t go to, and then you said no, it’s replacing sort of the... after-conference events, and that's the part I agree with. I don't believe in any choice of the imagination does the, the, uh, conference world is going away. Um, it'll shift, but I'm losing my (indistinguishable)  and I hope to God that it doesn't, because for people like us, you know, for those listening to the podcast, if you've never been to a huge event, like a https://www.ces.tech/ show or, or, um, https://www.mwcbarcelona.com/attend/registration?gclid=CjwKCAjw2ZaGBhBoEiwA8pfP_mkMO14toxgCeDnMzPaPdD0J4yqwK7PdpC6uE04-CwE_UMF4C6gbcxoCOJoQAvD_BwE in Barcelona or anything like that, it is an ADHD person's dream because you can go in and you can sit down for a two hour panel on, you know, why 5G-Level 14-AB spec one, is better than 5G-Level 14-AB spec 2.0, and get all the info you want, or, you can just walk the floor and collect t-shirts right?  It’s literally the perfect experience, so I don't see that going away, but I do see that our attention spans are going to have to be directed to other places when we can't get to all of you. I think that the concept of going to all of these conferences, right, is going to be put to the test. I don't think we're going to be in that many... as we used to be. I think there are going to be, you know, a couple that we still do every year, but I think the majority of them are going to be, um, are going to be either digital or virtual or in some cases audio. so I think that for people with brains like us, we're going to have to come up with a way to sort of understand and utilize those conferences or those, those audio rooms or those video rooms, wherever the presentation in the best way we can. I was talking to a company who's planning on doing a…. who's playing on doing virtual rooms at conferences, so you have a team of 200 people instead of sending 190 of them to the conference, you’ll send 10 of them to the conference and they will have their own virtual room where they can have meetings and bring in other people who can then meet with you back in your office in Detroit or LA or whatever…. virtual. So I think in alot of different ways that this is going to, this is going to evolve, but I do believe that audio, is one of the good benefits, is, is one of the good benefits. Um, what are you doing to avoid home distraction? Um, I mean, I saw just, even on the call, like at some point someone came into the room, I’m not sure If it was Katie, your wife, whatever, someone, someone barged in and, or you went on mute really fast. It's like, what, what are you doing to allow yourself those times when you’re like, when you have to write  https://www.scottmonty.com/p/newsletter.html   those are not.... small newsletters, those are like probably the longest newsletter. I don't subscribe to many long newsletters and is part of the longest newsletter I subscribe to.  I remember it's like, it's a Curb Your Enthusiasm, as (indistinguishable) you have to write that you can't just sit down and do it again, you have to sit down and commit to that, right. 19:39 So what are you doing to avoid the distraction? 

Well, first of all, the, uh, the reason I went on mute is because my seven year old came in here to use the electric pencil sharpener, homeschooling, uh, and God bless my wife for, uh, being a teacher for the last year, um, I couldn't have done it and I couldn't have done this without her either. Right. So, I mean, you learn to live with it, you know?  We make rules around here, you see the doors closed, then you don't come in. I've actually toyed with putting one of those neon on air signs. uh, up in the, I've got a transom over my, uh, my office door here, I was going to put a, a neon sign up there so people outside could see it. They don't care. They'll still barge in any way. So, uh, to a certain extent, you just kind of resign yourself to it, you know, OK, I need to live with this, um, but I find quiet times during the day when I know I won't be interrupted for me, uh, indelibly it's after everybody goes to bed, I do some of my best work at night, I'm kind of a night owl anyway, although I love mornings, I can be a morning person if I get to bed early enough. Um, so it's either getting up early before everyone is up. I don't like waking my wife up with my alarm if I get up early, um, or it's staying up late when everyone else is in bed. Um, every day on my calendar, I have carved out two hours of quiet time of writing time.

Now whether I actually write or not, you know, I could spend two of those hours doing reading, and for me, reading is a really important part of writing because it inspires me in terms of the ideas I get the source material I quote, and it's like walking right, you, you, you remove yourself from the thing you're supposed to be focused on and you end up getting more inspired along the way, and then you just find the time to, to jot something down.  I keep a notepad on me, or I put it in my One Notes on my phone, um, and I get back to it later when I can delve into it, right? 

No. I mean, that makes sense. I think as long as you have, I mean, for me, you know, uh, being a recent, newly, newly, recent dog owner, um, you know, the concept of taking him to the, to the dog run because it's New York City, I can't just let him off the leash anywhere, but I can take him to the dog, run a few blocks away and, and let him sort of, you know, go crazy, and, uh, I'll sit there with my, with my, uh, my phone or whatever, and I'll, I'll read or I'll even, I'll even dictate, you know, and get some ideas down and then come home and, and, and open the computer and write them down, so, no, definitely. Um, It's definitely, uh, it's produced new ways. I went to my, my office space the other day, you know, I kept an office, a Regis space, and I went there for the first time  in like two months, right?  And I had  one whole piece of mail and, um, you know, but I was throwing stuff out because I'm getting rid of the space when...when the lease ends in July, and it was just like, I remember when I used to have to come here and that was the only place I could work, right? I couldn't because my kid was younger and now my kids at school all day, right? So I have at least from 9-3 to be able to get stuff done, um, and, and I'm finding that…. as travel starts to come back, now, I'm going to South Africa, June 1st and I have, or July 1st,  (indistinguishable)  I literally have a, a list of 14 things I want to write over the course of a 14hr non-stop flight from New York to (indistinguishable). And so I'm, I'm, I'm almost at the point where I'm putting stuff off, so that I will have nonstop, uh, time, so I'm, yeah, I'm excited. I'm excited for what's to come and hell, you know, saving $1600 bucks a month on an office space is not a bad thing, you know? Um, so you're still at https://www.scottmonty.com/  um, you, as like like,myself, have a crypto coin, um, your coin is, uh, what is your coins name? 

Uh, https://rally.io/creator/MONTY/ and the symbol is https://rally.io/creator/MONTY/ on https://rally.io/

So you can find Scott’s coin on https://rally.io/ and I'm sure that if a few people reach out to you, you'll drop them a few points. 

Absolutely.

Scott's coin like mine, and like the rest of the cryptocurrency world is currently on sale and incredibly working like a lot cheaper than ever will again, with any luck, and should be, and go... go grab some, some coins from anyone on the, on the Rally network, but, um, Scott. Thank you. I appreciate, I appreciate the time and guys, you should sign up for Scott's newsletters. It's one of the few newsletters that I actually take the time to read. It is... it is a well-worth, worthwhile read and it comes out a couple of times a week and he has a free version of papers and I subscribe to the papers and it was worth it, so Scott… as always a pleasure to have you on the podcast, man. It's good to have you back. And, uh, you are a shining example, like many of us that, that ADHD can benefit.  One thing I love about Scott is that he's a shining example that ADHD can benefit you, and it doesn't… there are cases where you don't have to speak 400mph.  Scott is one of the calmest and most pontificational, that's not a word, but I've made it speakers I've ever met in my life. You sit down and listen to him, it’s like you're listening to a graduation speech, uh, produced by someone who was raised in the Taurian Era, and it's just amazing.  It's amazing to listen to you, Scott has a phenomenal speaking voice and a great storyteller, um, I'll put a link to the storytelling course in the, in the, in the, in the comments as well…. in the show notes as well, but Scott, thank you for taking the time, always a pleasure to talk to you. 

Thank you, Peter. And I think you and I are like the ying and yang to each other when it comes to ADHD because it's a great reminder, there is the inattentive type, and then there is the hyperactive type and both can be as debilitating as you allow them to be, but both can also be as foundational and constructive as you want them to be, if you know how to use your superpower. So thank you, Peter, for allowing me to use mine. 

A hundred percent ditto.  Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love what, um, the responses and the notes that we get from you. I got an email from someone just a couple of days ago, who said to me, let me see if I can find it, um, I probably can't of course, but I got an email from someone who said that they were just so incredibly thankful that of all the things that uh, and here it is. Okay.  Hey Peter, wanting to click you a message to say thank you.  I don't know how I went through 24 years of my life not knowing I had ADHD, but listening to your new book and the podcast had me in tears. I knew I was different, never understood, why but I'm so excited to learn how to live my best life. Using my ADHD positively. I have an hour and a half to go, an hour and half into your book and can already tell it will be life-changing for me.  Thank you so much.  Guys, we get these all the time and they just, they never stopped making me happy. So, so please continue to shoot us a note. Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, we’d love to know  leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts. And if you can ever, if you ever need our help, I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime at https://www.fasterthannormal.com/ or at @petershankman on Twitter and all of the other socials. We will see you next week as always, thank you for listening. We'll talk to you guys soon, stay safe.

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

Jun 9, 2021

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/?campaignId=1f99a340-203f-498e-9665-24723a5f8b7a  It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/?campaignId=1f99a340-203f-498e-9665-24723a5f8b7a  make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

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A little about our joyful couple/team today!

Shauna M. Ahern is a writer, teacher, and lifelong believer in people. She loves to help others find their joy. Shauna built a huge online community through her food blog, Gluten-Free Girl. She and her husband, Daniel, taught culinary getaways in a villa in Tuscany, appeared on The Food Network, and won a James Beard award for one of their three much-beloved cookbooks. 

After writing Gluten-Free Girl for 14 years, Shauna followed her gut to shift her writing work to something more vulnerable. She wrote a brave book about her childhood trauma and how she unraveled herself from it, to help others.  That book, ENOUGH: Notes from a Woman Who Has Finally Found It  was recommended by Brené Brown, The Washington Post, and thousands of readers who say the book has changed their lives. Shauna is humbled by the many awards she has won for her writing and teaching. But her biggest joy is helping other people to see the best in themselves. She has guided hundreds of people to see their place in the world more clearly, through her writing workshops and coaching. The best of all these experiences was the joy of creating and being in community

Daniel Ahern has spent his life working to give people joy in the belly.  Dan, along with his wife Shauna, created three much-beloved cookbooks. Their first cookbook, Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef, was named one of the best cookbooks of 2010 by The New York Times. Their second cookbook, Gluten-Free Girl Every Day, was awarded the James Beard award in 2014. And their third cookbook, American Classics Reinvented, was nominated for an excellence award in 2016 by the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Before crafting cookbooks, Dan cooked in restaurants around the United States, including Gramercy Tavern in New York and Papillon in Denver, as well as Cassis Bistro and Impromptu Wine Bar in Seattle. When he was 14, he found his passion in the kitchen, which was his place to serve others for decades. Now, Dan is cooking and serving in a new way, with a recipe newsletter called Joy in the Belly. Diagnosed with ADHD at 50, Dan is starting to understand his own mind and his quirks in the kitchen. No longer in the restaurant business, Dan is now sharing what he has learned about his ADHD and how he is working with it joyfully now, instead of worrying he isn’t good enough. He shares tips about working in the kitchen with ADHD, being kind to yourself when you forget to do the dishes, and some kickass recipes. Dan lives on Vashon Island, in Washington State, where he is happy and learning, with his wife, his two kids, two cats, and two bunnies. He thinks he might never cook rabbit now. Maybe.  

 

 

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In this episode Peter, Shauna and Dan discuss:  

  

1:42  -  Intro and welcome Dan and Shauna!!

 

3:14  -  On being diagnosed with ADHD at 50. Did it all just suddenly make sense?

4:23  -  The writing process when you’re ADHD and have a super spouse.

5:11  -  The importance of movement as relates to the creative process

6:00  -  To hell with “The Rules” post-pandemic. On finding the best solutions for what works!

 

7:00  -  On the importance of FUN / Shauna’s newsletter Finding Joy in Enough

 

9:21  -  On being married, and making the relationship work with living/working together. Do you ever want or need a chance to get away from each other; how does that work?

 

10:45  -  Their home is not on the same island where Michael Douglas lived in the movie Disclosure

 

11:05  -  When things get crazy, how do you prioritize and still make it work?  Ref:  Shauna’s book “Enough”

12:30  -  Peter is referencing a super interview we had with Chef Jason McKinney Thank you again Jason!! :-)

13:19  -  On dealing with the lure of drugs/alcohol/addiction within the food industry.  

15:18  -  On the benefits of living in a neurodivergent household.

16:41 -  What advice would you give your 15yr old self, just starting out in the restaurant business; that might help yourself find the right path?


19:22  -  Thanks Dan and Shauna - how do people find you?

Yeah, Danny has a newsletter now, which is all about having ADHD and becoming  a home cook after years of being a chef, and it's called https://joyinthebelly.substack.com/subscribe and mine is https://findingyourjoy.substack.com/s  Soon there'll be a website called Practicing Joy, that's really what I'm working on is reminding each other to find moments in the day to focus on joy, because that's really the whole point of life. You can also find the Ahern’s on the Socials Dan is at: @DanAhern68 on Twitter  Shauna is at:  @practicingjoy on Twitter  and at shaunamahern on INSTA

20:00  -  Thank you so much Shauna and Dan! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

 

Ref:  Peter references this episode with Siri Dahl  Also- we’re pretty sure his last name is still Shankman, not “Shenkins”, but if anything has changed, we’ll be sure to tweet about it right away ;-) 

 

20:56  -  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

You're listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast where we know that having ADD or ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Each week we interview people from 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, to become millionaires, or to simply better their lives. And now, here's the host of the Faster Than Normal podcast, the only man who squirrel??? (indistinguishable)  Peter Shankman

1:42 -Yo, yo yo what’s up guys? Peter Shankman here, thank you for being here. It is a gorgeous day in May. I don't know how the heck we're in May already, but it's a gorgeous day in May of 2021, where we are producing another podcast for Faster Than Normal, live on the 56th floor in Manhattan with a dog running around, under my legs, everywhere named Waffle.  We have some fun people on the show as always. We're going to talk to Dan and Shauna Ahern.  They've created three hugely great cookbooks. You might know the biggest one, https://www.amazon.com/Gluten-Free-Girl-Chef-Tempting-Recipes/dp/1118383575/ref=pd_lpo_14_t_1/136-2006629-0721943?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=1118383575&pd_rd_r=8e3aaf43-e37c-41e0-ba3c-6b5edaba1cf4&pd_rd_w=J2PrH&pd_rd_wg=jwtLB&pf_rd_p=a0d6e967-6561-454c-84f8-2ce2c92b79a6&pf_rd_r=P2KNSK8NDVM3NCC85XNQ&psc=1&refRID=P2KNSK8NDVM3NCC85XNQ ...which was named one of the best cookbooks, 2010 by the New York Times, excuse me, I live a block from the NY Times, they have never named shit of mine, uh, one of the best of anything, but whatever.  Their second book, https://www.amazon.com/Gluten-Free-Every-Shauna-James-Ahern/dp/111811521X/ref=pd_lpo_14_t_0/136-2006629-0721943?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=111811521X&pd_rd_r=8e3aaf43-e37c-41e0-ba3c-6b5edaba1cf4&pd_rd_w=J2PrH&pd_rd_wg=jwtLB&pf_rd_p=a0d6e967-6561-454c-84f8-2ce2c92b79a6&pf_rd_r=P2KNSK8NDVM3NCC85XNQ&psc=1&refRID=P2KNSK8NDVM3NCC85XNQ ... was awarded the James Beard Award in 2014 and their third cookbook, https://www.amazon.com/Gluten-Free-Girl-American-Classics-Reinvented/dp/0544219880 was nominated for an Excellence Award in 2016, by the https://www.linkedin.com/company/international-association-of-culinary-professionals/ I got up and worked out this morning. so, you know…. hey, we're, we're both great. Anyway, I am thrilled to welcome Dan and Shauna because Dan got diagnosed with ADHD at 50 years old, so we're going to talk about that, and we're going to talk to Shauna about what that was like, to sort of wake up one day and say great, everything I know has changed. Welcome guys. 

Thank you, Peter. That's pretty darn accurate actually.   

So, you know, obviously having ADHD and being diagnosed at age 50, obviously didn't, uh, didn't really mess you up if you were able to get, uh, three incredible cookbooks, um, you know, and all these accolades for them. So talk about, Dan I mean,  you started off, you were cooking in restaurants all around the US, you were at https://www.gramercytavern.com/...you were athttps://www.papillonbistro.com/  as well as (indistinguishable) to  www.impromptuwinebar.com in Seattle, which I've been to, um, you've been doing this for decades now, right?  So, I mean, when you got diagnosed, was it sort of like, okay, yeah, that makes sense, and that totally clears out why I do what I do, or was it, was it a shock?

No, it made total sense. It made me kind of think back, you know, restaurants are full of odd people and there's probably a lot of people in there with ADHD and they don't know it and it just it's an adrenaline fix and then I can really like hyper-focus on what I'm doing with cooking and getting into the whole groove of the bit, the job. 

It made total sense. I mean, when I, frankly, the diagnosis, this was the last part we both started researching, I started researching... I'm the researcher, sorry, um, I started thinking right away when he was in restaurants, he made total sense, but as soon as leaving restaurants, like when we started writing our cookbooks, there were parts of his brain that fascinated me, but also puzzled me. Um, in fact, when we wrote our first cookbook, the very first day that we sat down to write a recipe, we had a brand new baby, maybe three months old. Um, I said, okay, sit next to me on the couch with a laptop, and you talk, I’ll type... and let's talk about that chicken dish. And he was tongue-tied, and I kept thinking, wait, what, you know what, maybe he's overtired. Um, so let's leave it for tomorrow. And the next day I was working on, we used to write a website called Gluten-Free Girl... for many, many years. So I love those for that and said, Hey, what was that recipe that we yeah, and he was playing the Tiger Woods Golf game on the Wii, so he was moving and I, and he just went okay, ¼ C chuck, da, da, da, da,  immediately all came back and I thought, okay, wait, hope, let me get that recipe from last night, open up that file and said, tell me about... keep playing golf, and he had all of it as muscle memory in his head, and I realized at that point, everything he'd ever done in restaurants, he was moving. So you remember those things, if he was moving. So we wrote entire cookbooks with him, video games or cooking while he was talking. 

I love that story. You know, I, I will not take in-person regular, boring meetings anymore.  All my meetings, if I can, if I can help it have to be, um, walking meetings. 

 

Yep. 

I joke that I have a very Aaron Sorkin life right. In, in that I have to have a walk and talk at least once a day and they have to be a lot of corners and we have to make a lot of turns. And, you know, it's, it's phenomenal. It's literally the opening scene of the first episode of the West Wing.  And, um, uh, but it works, it works so well, and it's so much more productive than sitting down at a desk and trying to do whatever it is you have to do. 

Well, that's been the biggest lesson for both of us and especially for me, and I think special, especially this year of COVID, yeah, we realize now that all the rules that we were so host to follow, were all made up anyway, it all came tumbling down during this, and so the hell with success as is normally defined in America... for both of us, the idea of success is doing work. we love, feeling content while we're doing it.  And that's a completely different model than, you know, you must rise the corporate ladder, or you must do this thing and win these awards.  We love the accolades we got, but it was more that the people who wrote to us and told us we had helped their families and they had joy in their lives because they thought their four year old kid got diagnosed with celiac and he'll never have a normal life, and they started making our recipes and thought, oh, this is no big deal, and we helped them feel better. So for me and for Danny both, it's just what works. My motto is find a solution. I don't care what it looks like, just find a solution, so it works well, and you feel good. 

I think that, that you really hit the nail on the head. A lot of, you know, I've been an entrepreneur now for God….24 years and, um, that's really scary and, um, happens literally half of my life, and, um, I find that, that I am a huge fan. Not only professionally, but personally as well. If it's fun, do it. If it's not fun, either figure out how to make it fun or do something else. And I'm never gonna understand people who look at work as something they have to do so they can have fun when they're not doing…. I'm like you should be having fun while you're working as well, and if you're not, there's a problem there. 

Absolutely. I mean, a lot of my work now, I don't write Gluten-Free Girl anymore, and I do write, um, this newsletter called Finding Joy in Enough because my work now is all about joy. Especially after this last year, we survived this year. We have a 12yr old and a 7yr old, and we decided early on, like, let's just make sure there's just as much joy in the day as possible.  So we watched all of the Avengers movies, which were absolutely (laughter) we're also, um, you know, we just started eating in the  living room instead of the dining room, because everyone felt more comfortable, whatever tiny thing we could choose, they gave people some joy in this moment. That's what we’ve chosen now, it's the work I do.  And that's what I see is there's no joy in standard America. It's not a culture built for joy, and especially for those with ADHD or  neuro-divergent minds, you know... you're supposed to try everything you can to be neuro-typical, and this is boring as hell. 

Yep, and I think that also in that same vein, that makes it difficult for a lot of people to have personal relationships, you know, I know that that when I was married, it was very tough.. and we're great friends now, probably because we don't see each other every day, but it was, it was very tough, you know, I'd come home and I'd be wackadoodle excited about something I did, right? It was the greatest feeling in the world. Oh my God, that’s awesome, and of course the first thing I have to do, um, you know… OMG, I gotta tell her everything about that, oh my God. da-da-da-da-da-da,,,,and, and the ADHD in me, wouldn't let me think about, well, maybe she's had a shit day or maybe she's tired and maybe she's maybe she's feeding the kid or me, you're gonna, maybe she doesn't want to hear me come in and, and, and, you know, explode…..over everything, and that took a long time to learn and it took a long time to learn. And I think that, that…. when you're ADHD, it just seems normal. Why wouldn't everyone want to share everything amazing all at once in the first...brain debit in the first second that you get, you know? And, and no, that's really not how people work, um, not all of them, and so, so there's a lot of learning, I think, in, in the, uh, in the world of, of, of when one person has ADHD and the other person isn’t, um, yeah, I think that's really important. And so, and so the fact that, um, that you guys are able to play off of each other's strengths… 

yeah.

 It's phenomenal. But so here's the thing.  You, you are married, 

uh-huh….

you work together…

uh-huh….

 you live together…

uh-huh…

Tell me that you're able to get away from each other every once in a while. And how do you do that?  

Hotel nights in the city! 

(laughter)  

We live on an island off of Seattle, about a 20 minute ferry ride and every once in a while, we'll just look at each other and say, I think I need a night.  

Yeah….

….go book on Priceline, a cheap hotel or whatever the app of the day is, and then one of us will go and the other will take the kids. 

I love that. 

Last time we went, I took three books and I read three books in 24 hours. Really? We've got a 12 year old, a seven year old and there was no time to like, luxuriously read a thing I want to read, so yeah, and we don't care what the hotel is, as long as it's clean, we just do, but yeah, he goes, and then I go….

We order take-out, go back to the room.  

Oh, I love that so much. And, and I need to do….I need to do an ADHD segue here, completely unrelated. Do you guys live on the same island? That was, um, that Michael Douglas lived on... in the movie Disclosure.

No, no, we live in rural lovely place. It's the same life as Manhattan and two miles wider. And they're 10,000 people here. 

Oh my God

Yeah, it's pretty awesome. 

That must be beautiful, that must be incredible. I'm sure. So tell me about… it can’t  all be…. uh, sugar canes and plum ferries,,, there has to be some craziness.  How do you guys deal with it? 

Uh, Danny?  

(laughter) 

Danny, why don't you step into the minefield, go ahead. 

I just go into the kitchen and start cooking. (laughter)  

I think, I think we, you know, we've been together for 15 years now and I am astonished every day that we get a chance to do this. And for me, really, there are two points of life taking care of each other, and joy, that's it. And so for me, having a chance to really take care of Danny and my kids, while also at the same time taking care of me, I didn't get that as a child. Um, I wrote about it in my book enough, I had a very, very difficult childhood, and so I came out of it as a full grown adult thinking I'm going to do better, I'm going to have boundaries and I'm going to have kindness, and when we fight, which is very rare, it's always about the dishes.

(laughter) 

Yeah. So I'm so I'm just telling you, like, you know, to putting them in the sink, and calling it good and letting someone else do it.

 They're used to handing them off to the dishwasher at the restaurant….

I do….is doing kind of a half-ass job, at cleaning up,,, but 

 I want to ask you something. Cause I, I interviewed someone yesterday just randomly, because I guess there's like food week on Faster Than Normal, I interviewed someone yesterday with ADHD who worked at French Laundry and, um, and he started his career like tons of small restaurants (da-da-da) . And, um, one of the things that….that we were talking about is the, the, the, the less, uh, top level restaurants, like, but not that, not the Michelin rated ones, the diners or whatever, there is a massive, uh, from what everyone tells me, there's a massive drug problem in the kitchens. And did, I'm curious to know. If that ever affected you, Dan, in the respect of that, when you're ADHD, you tend to be drawn to things like that on occasion, right. Or until you learn about yourself, right. 

Oh yeah….

….anything that gives you Dopamine, and you're like, holy shit, I need this forever, right?  And so... I'm curious if you're comfortable talking about that. If that, if you ever saw that or that or affected you or anything like that? 

Um, well, the, one of my first, uh, restaurant kitchen meetings. I, I was 15 years old and I got to the meeting and thought, okay, this is going to be interesting. And the, the manager of the restaurant said, okay, guys, we've really got to cut down on the cocaine use this year. 

OMG,,,,, 

holy Jesus, here we go… this is going to be interesting. Um, I, I saw a lot of drinking in restaurants and a lot of drug use, but I'd never. And the restaurants…. that was my life, that was what I wanted to do, so I didn't want to affect it like that.

right….

You know, I'm, I'm, you know, I'm guilty as the next guy, of… you know, drinking on the job or going into the workroom really fast, but I had not, not to the extent that I've seen a lot of people just destroy themselves with. 

Yeah. There's no…. with Danny, I should say how proud I am of him, he's a recovering alcoholic. He has been so screwed up,,

God Bless….

Um, so, the willpower, you had to quit that.. and cigarettes, while still being in a restaurant was amazing.  Um, but we've talked about it a lot there. There's definitely a lot of, um, ADHD and Dopamine hits... the being on the line itself is an adrenaline rush. Yeah. Um, when Danny was at Impromptu, it was a very small restaurant in Seattle. And one time his, um, assistant step, you know, she didn't show up for work and he called me and I was pregnant, he was like, I’m sorry, can you step in? Cause I'm totally out of like, of course, and being on the line with him, just like, okay, we needed this and sort of preparing salads, little things, cause I know food, I wanted to have a panic attack. I'm like, but there are like 28 things, orders in, I have never seen him so calm for him.  He was just like, we're going to move here and we're going to do this and he didn't talk, and he just commanded it. 

Yeah, well, that's what they say about people with ADHD is that, is that... this is the person with ADHD is the person you want when everything goes to shit, because they will, now that being said on the flip side, you know, they're not necessarily the best at handling taking out the trash on Wednesday on one, on a random Wednesday afternoon.

(laughter) 

I don’t know what you’re talking about….

Oh sure, I get the trash out…

We, I mean, with, with kids, and knowing Danny's brain as well as I do, and then our daughter is also diagnosed with ADHD. She's 12, um, we think our son is too, but he didn't have enough school this last year….for a teacher to be able to write those evaluations. You know, I just, we just run a neuro-divergent house, and so I'm really good at making the schedules and the structures, and I know how important they are.  Our kids love routine, and so I'll say, okay, at 7:15 we're doing this, and it's 7:30, we're doing this and it's time to get going, and… uh, that helps a lot. Um, and I have friends who say, God, I would never be able to do all that, you do so much for them, but for me, I also know how much I love them, and I want them to feel at ease in the world and whatever his brains to make it muscle memory, so they don't have to think about it. 

I would, I would suggest also that, that you guys seem a little more self-aware than, uh, your average parents, so I think that's awesome. I think your kids are very, very lucky in that regard. Um, I will, I will close it with, with one question, cause I want to be respectful of your time, and every episode’s only about 20 minutes cause you know, ADHD, but, um, what….exactly…..squirrel, um, If you could tell... 15yr old you... who's just starting work his first time in a restaurant, what it's going to be like, or, or one piece of advice that would benefit him, or you as well.  So if you could give yourself one piece of advice, what would you say, to um,, sort of put them on the right path in the beginning. 

Um, stick with  it, if that's something that you really want to do, stick with it, there's going to be ups and down days, and you're just, there's one da  you're going to be feeling like everything is just ticket and everything's on fire, and everything's perfect, and then the next day, you, you, you, your heads so far up your ass, you don't know where you're going.  (laughter)  and….. you …. you have those days... where you look at the clock, like  oh crap, it's only 5:30, good times... but no, you just gotta work at it and stick to it and come up with a plan of how you're going to do things. When you start, when things start falling apart and come up with and just…. cooking is so you get, you get, you get in a tunnel and that's one, one of my problems sometimes, cause I get very hyper-focused profession, but you just got to stick to it and...

 follow your dreams 

and follow what makes you happy. 

And that's what, that's what I would say to my 15…. go ahead, sorry. 

No, everybody... I want to have you guys back, um, at some point in the future, because I think that we could do an entire show just on sort of the tips and tricks that you've learned from working the lines and things like that. And, you know, the concept of focus.  There's a, um, I've wanted to do this for a while and I'm actually excited. I finally found someone who's going to allow me to do it. I'm going to shadow, um, a short order cook this summer for a, for a week, um, for no other reason than I just really, I, when I asked the guy, the, the owner of the diner, he goes, uh, son, you have a good career, why the hell would you want to throw it away and become a short-order… I’m like , no, no. I'm like, no, don't I don't want to become a short-order cook, I just want to learn how to do it. And so I'm going to shadow someone for a week and I'm really excited about it. He said, you know, I said, any tips before I get started? And he goes, the one thing, you know, he goes, prep is everything, and so I would love to do an episode with you guys at some point in the future where we talk about, you know, the tips and tricks you've learned that from cooking that you can apply to your life. So we'll get definitely gonna have you guys back, and I really, really appreciate you both taking the time.

Absolutely, it's such a joy to talk with you.

 

 Guys let's, uh, give a shout, if it were….. to Dan and Shauna.  Cookbook authors,  chefs, parents, ADHD, neurodiverse, and this is….. it doesn't get any better than this. This was a phenomenal interview, we're definitely gonna have you guys back. Thank you so much.  Real fast, do you guys have a website? How can people find you? 

Yeah, Danny has a newsletter now, which is all about having ADHD and becoming  a home cook after years of being a chef, and it's called https://joyinthebelly.substack.com/subscribe and…. 

awesome….

Mine is https://findingyourjoy.substack.com/s  ...soon there'll be a website called Practicing Joy, that's really what I'm working on is reminding each other to find moments in the day to focus on joy, because that's really the whole point of life. 

Very very cool. joy I love it, guys, thank you so much for being here, we're definitely gonna have you back.  Guys, you’ve been listening to Faster Than Normal, as you know , every week we have a new episode full of really, really, really super cool people like Shauna and Dan and others, um, tune in next week.  If you haven't listened lately and you're just sort of coming back because you were, I don't know, you know, in quarantine for the past year or whatever, um, we had…. last week, we had Siri Dahl who is an adult film star with ADHD, and she's also a powerlifter and she talks about what's going on in her world. I strongly recommend checking that interview out, that was a lot of fun. And ironically, it took an adult film star… my producer let me know that, the adult film star interview was the first interview where I didn't curse once. So I don't know. I don't, I don't know exactly how it happened, but all of a sudden we didn't have to. He's like, yeah, we don't have to put the, uh, the mature themes, uh, logo on this episode. I'm like.. with the porn star, tThat's really strange.  So make sure you check that one out and we will see you guys next week. My name is Peter Shankman, thank you for listening to Faster Than Normal, take care.  ADHD  is a gift, not a curse, we'll see you soon.  

——

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

Jun 2, 2021

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/?campaignId=1f99a340-203f-498e-9665-24723a5f8b7a  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 XXXXX rab an episode, make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

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Named by TIME magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World,” Dean Karnazes has pushed his body and mind to inconceivable limits. Among his many accomplishments, he has run 50 marathons, in all 50 US states, in 50 consecutive days. He’s run across Death Valley in the middle of summer, and he’s run a marathon to the South Pole.

On ten separate occasions he’s run a 200-mile relay race solo, racing alongside teams of twelve. His list of competitive achievements include winning the World’s Toughest Footrace, the Badwater Ultramarathon, and winning the 4 Deserts Challenge, racing in the hottest, driest, windiest and coldest places on earth. A NY Times bestselling author, Dean is a frequent speaker and panelist at many running and sporting events worldwide. We’re thrilled to have Dean with us today- enjoy!  

 

 

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In this episode Peter and Dean Karnazes discuss:

1:42  -  Intro and welcome Dean Karnazes!!

4:32  -  On the concept of “the runner’s high” and what is Dean’s and how does he feel after he runs

5:46  -  On learning the chemistry behind the runner’s high and what do you have to do to obtain it

8:02  -  On the 100 mile races you’ve been involved in – tell us a little more about those. 

8:42  -  On training for such long runs,  what’s your process? 

11:36  -  On keeping yourself occupied during races that don’t allow headphones or music.  Do you do anything specific to pass the time?  

12:08  -  On whether or not you are literally thinking “step, step, step, step?” 

13:48  -  On what you tell yourself on mornings,  or even days when you get up and just aren’t feeling it?  What do you do? 

14:31  -  On confirming that it’s 50 marathons in 50 days?  

14:45  -  On the logistics of that kind of extensive race.  How do you prep for it? 

15:05  -  On what the 50th marathon city was. 

16:48  -  Dean, I'm so excited to have a chance to talk to you. I definitely want to get you back on here.  Guys, the book is called https://www.amazon.com/Runners-High-My-Life-Motion/dp/0062955500  but Dean Karnazes is the New York Times best-selling author of author of https://www.amazon.com/Ultramarathon-Man-Confessions-All-Night-Runner/dp/1585424803/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=ultra+marathon+man&qid=1622464092&s=books&sr=1-2 , and Superhuman…. [laughter] I love this, Good Morning America,  “a superhuman athlete writes love letter to runners.” This is, if it's anything like your last book, it's going to be inspiring as hell and I can't wait to read it. Dean thank you so much for taking the time to come on the podcast. I really appreciate it, man. It's great to see you again.

You can find deal on the Socials @DeanKarnazes here on Twitter  Facebook. @Ultramarathon on INSTA and via his website www.ultramarathonman.com 

Thank you so much Dean Karnazes! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

17:15  -  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

You're listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast where we know that having ADD or ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Each week we interview people from 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, to become millionaires, or to simply better their lives. And now here's the host of the Faster Than Normal podcast, the only man who goes skydiving to calm down and focus, Peter Shankman

Hey guys, Peter Shankman look, another episode of Faster Than Normal. This episode actually really is faster because we have someone on the podcast today who I have been fortunate enough to meet in the VIP tent of the 2006 New York City Marathon, and when I talk fast and when I talk, uh, determination, this guy always comes up in conversations I have with my running buddies, my travel on buddies, talking to Dean Karnazes.. And, and if you have ever run, or thought about running, or ran by pressing X on a joystick, you know, this guy. Uh, he is pretty incredible. He has written several books on running. His latest is called  https://www.amazon.com/Runners-High-My-Life-Motion/dp/0062955500 Um, but he's a New York Times bestselling author of https://www.amazon.com/Ultramarathon-Man-Confessions-All-Night-Runner/dp/1585424803/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=ultra+marathon+man&qid=1622464092&s=books&sr=1-2 , which I’ve got to tell you, Dean, what sticks out at me, always about that, was the time the part of the Ultramarathon Man, where you just decided you want to get back into running, and so on a whim, you ran something like 40 miles and called your wife and said, Hey, um, can you bring me a new pair of sneakers, some Taco Bell and my health and my, uh, my health insurance card, cause I think I have to go to the hospital. And that is totally something someone with ADHD would do, they just start and 40 miles later, they'd be like, yeah, that was, that was a mistake…. so well to the podcast, man, it's, it's amazing to talk to you again. 

Yeah, it's good to be with you again, I got to preface and say that I was drunk during that episode, so that got even better. [laughter]

Spectacular.. I love that. So, OK, so let's talk first about the book, uh, the concept of ,  https://www.amazon.com/Runners-High-My-Life-Motion/dp/0062955500 right? So I started running, I was taken out for a run by one of my employees back in 2000, and prior to that, I'd never run, right?  I ran... like to the store for cigarettes, right? I went to a performing arts high school, we didn't run, we sang.  We, we, we fulfilled our gym credits in, in, in, in, in other ways. And my, this woman who works for me, Rebecca, she took me out for a run. Somehow convinced me to go on a half mile run with her, like a five mile run that was only….but I only lasted a half a mile, but I remember going over to half a mile, probably took like six minutes or so I nearly died.  Like, I look at him like, oh my God, I'm gonna die. And then 15 seconds later, I had this feeling of euphoria that I've never had before I'd never had before in my life. And that was entirely my runners high, right? Now I know that your book,   https://www.amazon.com/Runners-High-My-Life-Motion/dp/0062955500 is about your entire life and as a runner in motion, and all that, but you know, for someone with ADHD or someone with any sort of neurodiversity, runner's high is one of the closest feelings to God you're ever gonna get, because we live our lives perpetually denied dopamine, serotonin and adrenaline. And when I tell people and when people learn that it is literally as easy as going for a run or a bike ride or a swim or walking up 20 flights of steps to get that back for a certain amount of time, they're blown away. And so tell us about your runner's high, tell us about what, what you feel after a run. Now, mind you, when I say after a run for you, I mean, you know, it's not the same as a run for me, which is, you know, five miles you go, you know, to the next state or whatever. But tell us about, tell us about how you feel after a run and, uh, tell us about yourself as well, I'm really excited to be talking to you, so I have to shut up now. 

Yeah, no, that, uh, what you just described happened to me when I was six years old. I mean, I'll never forget it. I was….I was in kindergarten and you know, I'm a young boy and they tell us to sit still and pay attention and whatever your six year old wants to do is run wild and not pay attention, right?  That's our, that's our, our nature as a six-year-old. So I, I just remember, you know, chewing the back of my hand off until the be…..the bell rang, and I was free and I would run home from kindergarten. I'd run a mile home from kindergarten. And that was the only time I felt whole Peter.  When I walked through the door, I just felt like a different person when I got home, and that's how I discovered the runner’s high and the power of running to really quiet the mind and just give you that peace and that, uh, It's profound. I mean, you and I both come from the same place, you were just a little bit older when you, when you learned about that place.  

At what point did you realize sort of the chemistry behind it, of what it was, you know, runner's high, the actual, uh, chemistry that produces it or, or, or, or what you have to do to get it?

You know, I mean, the chemistry is interesting, right? Because we thought it was endorphins. We always attributed a runner's high to endorphins, but they've recently done some experiments where they gave people a drug that blocked endorphins and they went running and they still got to runner's high, and so now they think it's Endocannabinoids that are responsible for the runner's high, and we, you know, just the name suggests, yeah… but, um, it's, I think it's profoundly chemical. And when I talk to other runners that say, I've never felt the runner's high, I look at them, that's it, you're just not paying attention, because that's impossible you know, I think it's your body's reaction to, I mean, you had this reaction to pain and a lot of way that, that half mile that you ran with your coworker back in 2000, it must have hurt like hell…

totally….

where your body responds, by numbing the pain in  a lot of ways.

Well the problem was, was that the first time, you know, the first, that first half mile, I joke about my running buddy now, David, that first half mile is a bitch. I’m gonnna be 49 this summer, everything hurts that first half mile, right?  But as soon as it's like, it's like a, it's like a, like a stopwatch, the first half mile ends. It's like I've turned a corner, boom, let's go through like, you know, eight, 10, 12 miles. And the crazy thing is, is that, you know, I'm a single dad here, right? So the only time I can really run is super, super early, and so fortunately, David is as crazy as I am and we do our long runs, we'll start at like 3am, um, actually you might know this story, I got arrested in Central Park for exercising before it opened several years ago, I was with that was that guy who was on the front page of the Daily News holding up a summons, cause I have to stop, stop, and he's like, what are you doing?  I'm like, what do you think I'm doi….? you know, I'm, I'm trading sexual favors or crack. What do you think? You know, wrong thing to say to a cop, but yeah. So, um, you know, but that early morning high translates for me. I'll hold that all day, right?. And I know people who realize that. 

Yeah, and you've done some of the longer races.  I mean, when I run an ultra marathon, so when I run a hundred miles nonstop, I mean that high, it can last for two weeks, Peter. It's amazing, yeah, you still feel it. And it…. it actually gets more pronounced after about four or five days. 

That's that's I mean, I'm just, I'm stuck on that, on a hundred. Tell us about the endurance races.  Tell us about the hundred milers.. 

Yeah. I mean, the first time I heard about this, I thought it’s just trickery, right? It's… no human can run a hundred miles nonstop. I mean, there's, there's hotels along the way, or, you know, you hop in a car, but then no one's looking. But, um, the guy said “ a gun goes off and you start running and you stop when you cross the finish line” you know, you try to do it in under 24 hours.  And I thought, I hate driving a hundred miles, like how, how is this possible? And I went out and did it, and it was just the most amazing, expansive experience I've ever encountered in my life, and I've been doing that same sort of thing now for almost three decades. 

How do you train for something like that?  Is it just constant long runs? 

 

I get up like you do. I get up at 3am I might run a marathon before breakfast, you know, fix breakfast for the kids and get them off to school and the same sort of thing. You know, you, you, you train when you can and I'm opportunistic any chance I get, I train, I don't do something that you're doing right now, and we got a camera on people. That's how I know Peter is sitting. You can tell him standing. I never sit down. I do all my book, writing all my emails, everything. I mean, I have a very profound case of ADHD. I've just never been diagnosed, but to quiet my mind, the only time my mind is quiet is when I'm running.

Well that's that goes without saying, but beforehand, I want to say the guys, I'm now proud to say I've been, I've been sit-shamed by Dean Karnazes, so I'm going to take that to my grave. Um, but you know, it's really true that the concept of quieting the mind, I mean, I do two things for that. I exercise and I'm a skydiver, right?  And, and I talk about the fact that when I know I have to run a 10 mile training run, or I know that I have to do 50 miles on the bike, either outside or on my Peloton, you know, that is, it's sort of a given that's what I have to do. And, and when my trainer gives me….  when my coach gives me my, my weekly plan, I can't deviate from that, and it's the same thing with skydiving. When I jump out of the plane, I have two options, open the shoot and live, or not open to shoot and die. I don't have any other choices. And I think that the great thing about exercise, about running... about, you know, is that, is that when you're tied to a schedule of, you know, Hey, the race is into, they're not going to move the race, right?  It's in 20 weeks and four days, and they're not going to move that. So here's what I have to do to be ready for that. It eliminates the ability to choose other things and that, and the elimination of choice is something I preach. Cause that's that quiets the mind more than anything else. If I only have A or B, I'm making a decision, but if I have A through M right… forget it. 

Yeah, no, and I think running an ultra marathon is very much a binary experience. I mean, you make it to the finish line and you succeed.  You don’t, and you fail. I mean, the rules of engagements are black and white and when you're running a hundred miles, it's so intense of an experience, it so commands you…

….that your mind can't wander. I mean, every thought has gotta be on, how am I going to get to the finish line? You’re very focused on the present moment of time, the here and now,  you don't reflect on the past. I mean, it, it requires that you be entirely present to get to that finish line, when you’re... you know, doing Ironman in Kona in October, you know exactly what I'm describing here.

Yeah. Well, it brings up an interesting question.  What do you do, um, to keep yourself occupied? I find that so on marathons, I can listen to my music. They don't, they don't stop you. They discourage it, but they let you wear your headphones? Right. And Iron Man it's, it's a, it's a disqualification if they catch you with headphones, right? So my first half Ironman I ever did, like 2008 or nine or something, I remember. I…. I literally recited the entire scripts to Back to the Future and Midnight Run, like word for word. and that got me through, right?  Do you do anything specific to, um, to allow yourself to, to, to pass the time? I mean, it’s a 100 miles.

 

I try to be in a present moment of time, so it requires a lot of discipline because our minds are active places. I mean, your mind is intensely active, and to come back to center and just be in the present moment, the here and now, really requires discipline and requires, uh, you know, you to make an effort because you can control your mind and it can wander very quickly, so I don't let my mind wander. I bring it back to my next step. 

Well that was my question, are you thinking... are you literally thinking step, step, step, step 

{indistinguishable}  it's almost like you're, you're meditating in a sense, and I can be there for six or eight hours where the only thought is take your next step to the best of your ability, take your next step to the best of your ability. That's all that’s going  through your mind. 

So I have a quote on my, uh, well, in several places in my life. I believe it's in my, on my Facebook quotes section, but I've also said it to myself countless times, and I believe it's attributed to you, uh, run… run if you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must, but never ever give up.  And I believe you said, yeah. And I have taken that. I've taken that. If you're wondering if your first book affected me dude, I've taken that with me for years now, for years. Um, 

I’m glad you’re still liking it…

and you know, I'm planning on, oh God, I'm planning on taking that into Kona as well. You know…..Tell me about so-so. How, how do I ask it?  So the past year there have been two types of people over the past, like 14 months. There's been types of people who say, okay, I'm going to use this, this virus, the virus, the shutdown and everything, and the quarantine as a way to get out and exercise every day and run. And there’s the kind of people that say they’re going to do that and they don’t do that, right. And so there’s two kinds of people, both of them say they're going to do it, only one of them actually does. Um, my rule is I have to exercise immediately upon awakening, or I won't do it. I'll come up with some excuse as to why it shouldn't be running the meteor around Pluto, Pluto might go out of orbit and it might hit the earth and, you know, whatever it is, I'll come up with a reason for it.  Um, so I, I get up super early and I just, I just don't think about it right?. I sleep in my bike shorts, I'm on the bike and I'm out the door. Done. Don't think about it. What do you tell yourself? Or what do you do or are you so super human that you've never had this experience? What do you tell yourself when you wake up and you just don't freaking have it? 

Yeah. I know, and people say… you know, it’s incredible you know, do you ever not want to run? And yeah, there's a lot of days I don't want to run, but I use this concept called Forward Projection. so I just project how much better I'm going to feel post run, than I feel now. And I know that I'm inevitably going to feel a lot better if I can go for a run, and the thing is, you know, once we get ourselves out the door…

Everything changes, right? 

Yeah. It's just, it's just putting your shoes on, getting out the door is the hardest part, but if you can get out the door, it's on, you're almost on autopilot at that point. 

 

Last question is only respect for your time… 50 marathons in 50 states consecutively, right in 50 days. 

50 day… yeah. 

So, I mean, I guess the first question is dude, what the actual F but I'll, I'll leave that, um, Logistically that must've been a bitch.  

Peter, I don't, I won't profess to doing logistics. I work with the agency that they coordinate the Olympic torch run across the country.

I let them do it because I was, I, there was no way I was going to figure that one out. Yeah. 

And what was it that…. remind me again, that culminated with, your 50th was New York or DC…. where was your 50th, I don’t remember? 

It was New York. We met each other in the…

…. that was when you, that was the last one of your 50 my God!

yeah, 2006, yeah. 

Amazing. Amazing. And I guess the, the, the concept of that is, I mean, I do a 26 mile 26.2 mile run and. I can't go down subway steps the next day. And you proceeded to do it for 50 days in a row. 15:35 How does your body, I mean, what, what do you do for your body to, to not, you know, I don't know, die the next day or the day after, or the day after.  

Yeah. I remember at Marathon 19, I couldn’t crawl out of bed in the morning and I'm like, I can't, I can't get out of bed, how am I going to run a marathon today? Let alone 31 more and 31 days on top of that. And I stopped counting at that point. I used that same technique as it just, just get yourself to the hotel sink and splash some water in your face. OK, just make it over to that. In-room coffee machine and have some  horrible coffee, put your shorts on one leg at a time. Just get to the starting line. Okay. You're at the starting line. Just take your first step of the marathon, and, you know, I finished New York… that was my fastest of all.  I finished in 3hrs: 30 seconds, which was pretty decent for New York. And that was with 49 consecutive marathons {indistinguishable} prior.

Jesus, yeah, I was a 22min, I was 28min behind you, I was a 3:58:03, my fastest marathon before or since. So now I'm kind of at the point where it's…..how old are you?

A little bit older than you. 

Oh, I hate you…. just, just on principle. I don't like you. I really, really dislike you... but that being said, Dean, I'm so excited to have a chance to talk to you. I definitely want to get you back on here.  Guys, the book is called https://www.amazon.com/Runners-High-My-Life-Motion/dp/0062955500  but Dean Karnazes is the New York Times best-selling author of author of https://www.amazon.com/Ultramarathon-Man-Confessions-All-Night-Runner/dp/1585424803/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=ultra+marathon+man&qid=1622464092&s=books&sr=1-2 , and Superhuman…. [laughter] I love this, Good Morning America,  “a superhuman athlete writes love letter to runners.” This is, if it's anything like your last book, it's going to be inspiring as hell and I can't wait to read it. Dean thank you so much for taking the time to come on the podcast. I really appreciate it, man. It's great to see you again.

Thanks for having me run by. Haaah-yeah!

——

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 26, 2021

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to  https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/?campaignId=1f99a340-203f-498e-9665-24723a5f8b7a 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 sha https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/?campaignId=1f99a340-203f-498e-9665-24723a5f8b7a grab an episode, 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!

Jason got his start in his home state of Georgia at the Sea Island Resort as Chef de Tournant before moving to Napa and working at The French Laundry. While working as Chef de Partie and poissonnier in Yountville, Chef McKinney earned the restaurant’s award for Chef of the Year. From a family of self-starters, Jason has always had the desire to start something of his own. Today we learn how an incredible chef recognized ADD in Jason and helped set his life onto an amazing path! This is one of the best stories, (not to mention success stories), we’ve heard in a while!  So glad to have Jason with us today- enjoy!

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***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

In this episode Peter & Chef Jason McKinney discuss:

1:42  -  Intro and welcome Jason

2:34  -  On Jason’s background and when he was diagnosed, when did the ADD come to fruition and tell me how you use it to your advantage.

3:37  -  On self-medicating, the importance of choosing correctly, as there are two -aspects of medication, a positive and a negative.   

5:59  -  On acknowledging how lucky you were to have such an amazing mentor and someone that recognizes your ADD/ADHD and supports and offers ways and solutions to succeed in what you want to do.

6:41  -  On taking advice of keeping personal items (phone/keys/wallet) in same place, as a good starting point to develop habits that would help you succeed in conjunction with your job

7:44 -  A chef with ADD walks into The French Laundry

8:09  -  On the chef term, training stage – tell us what that is?

10:43  -  On whether or not your plans worked out – did you get hired on the spot?

12:40  -  On the restaurant world, and are the stories of drug use/access to drugs, a true statement for the places you’ve worked in?  How did you cope with that?

14:13. -  On any experiences you’ve had that might attribute your ADHD that might have looked negative at the time, but you’ve learned from.

17:08  -  On the variety of knowledge and ideas in terms of things people can do in terms of utilizing their ADHD.  What’s going on with you now?

21:02  -  On taking the worst situations and making something positive out of it

21:36  -  To do a cooking class with https://www.truffleshufflesf.com/collections/live-experiences we have a website called https://www.truffleshufflesf.com/and we do basically live classes on Sunday, and then we also do private events, so if anyone has a company out there and they're looking for something to do with their team, we send all the ingredients. Join, then you get to cook with a Michelin trained chef, it's always a lot of fun.

22:11  -  Thank you so much Chef Jason McKinney! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

To sponsor an episode of FTN, head over to sha https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/?campaignId=1f99a340-203f-498e-9665-24723a5f8b7a It is a lot cheaper than you think!

22:52  -  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hey guys, Peter Shankman welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal. I'm glad you're here. I want to introduce you today to Jason McKinney.  Jason got his start in the home state of Georgia as a chef…. as the Chef do Tranauneant . I have no idea what that means, we're going to find out... at the https://www.seaisland.com/?nck=8888337235&gclid=CjwKCAjw-qeFBhAsEiwA2G7Nl0oyBQTdvOMQfU8yT36oj0wZs7ELGmmqACS0eUVSb5gSWjTRlsnvPxoC5vUQAvD_BwE, but the thing moved to Napa and he worked at  https://www.thomaskeller.com/tfl  If you've ever been to French Laundry, I don't need to tell you anymore.  If you haven't been to French Laundry, you kind of need to go to French Laundry. While he was working as a Chef de Partie, and I don't even know what these words mean… it looks like poisoner…. I'm sure you weren't a poisoner in Yountville, Chef McKinney earned the Restaurant's Award for Chef of the Year.  He's a family of self-starters,  massively ADHD, welcome Jason to Faster Than Normal... let's talk food. 

What’s up Peter, thank you so much for having me here today. 

Good to have you, man. So tell me about your background and tell me about growing up. When were you diagnosed when the ADHD coming to fruition?  Um, tell me that whole story and tell me how you use it to your advantage. 

Absolutely, so. you know, my Dad was ADD and, you know, he started his own business. And so it didn't really affect him as much as I think it affects a lot of people. Cause you know, he kind of did things on his own terms, but then in school there was always just very difficult for me to pay attention... for me to really get anything done, and so from a very young age I got diagnosed, but what was really kind of different about my diagnosis from what I hear from a lot of people is that, you know, God diagnosed, they prescribed the Adderall or Ritalin or whatever it was at the time, and I took it for about a year, and then at some point my parents were just like, listen, if you want to keep taking this, go for it.  If not, no problem. And so like, as like a seven year old kid, they'd put the decision in my hands and I decided to not take the medicine and always looked for ways to kind of figure out how to self-medicate. 

Tell me what it was like. Uh self-medicating because there are two aspects of medication.  There's the positive and the negative, and a lot of people find themselves going down the negative path without even realizing it, until it's too late.

Well, so up until I was about 16 or 17. There was really no self-medicating. I just did horribly at school and I had a lot of.. kind of hobbies, so I don't think my parents were too worried about it. But then when 2008 hit, my Dad literally lost his entire business. And so we went from, you know, a well-off family to truly completely broke, and so as a 16 year old kid, I got two jobs, I started going to alternative school and as soon as I got into alternative school, I started being able to work at my own pace. And I literally did all of high school in six months. 

Wow. 

So once, once I was in a position where I could really just hyper-focus on things, I was able to get through school a lot faster, and then I went to https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/ and then I worked at Disney for a little bit. I actually made a fake college resume to get into the internship program at Disney. 

Oh my God. 

And so I was there, but I really wanted to cook, you know, I loved cooking and I really wasn't cooking at Disney, so eventually I got this apprenticeship program and I was at https://www.seaisland.com/?nck=8888337235&gclid=CjwKCAjw-qeFBhAsEiwA2G7Nl0oyBQTdvOMQfU8yT36oj0wZs7ELGmmqACS0eUVSb5gSWjTRlsnvPxoC5vUQAvD_BwE  and I was working at their nice, the nicest restaurant they had there, was a five-star restaurant and there was one night where the Chef asked me to clean the freezer, right?  And in a really high-end restaurant, you'll have some pretty expensive items in the freezer, the truffles or,  the Wagyu items like that, the visually they have to ship in, you know, I was cleaning out the freezer and I literally only cleaned half of the freezer and I just got so excited and just stopped, got distracted, and stopped the job halfway through the chef came in the next day and was just pissed at me.

Oh my God. I can imagine. 

And he, he took me out into the dining room, which is where the really bad roastings happen, and he was like, listen, you have ADD, you have ADD very badly and everyone in the world is going to tell you that you have a problem. He was like, I'm here to tell you today that if you can figure out a way to manage this, you can be unbelievably successful.

Wow. How lucky were you to have someone tell it to have someone to notice that and tell you that my God. 

Unbelievably so, you know, and, and he, he looked at me dead in the eye and he was like, everytime I sit down, I put my phone right here. And then I was like, you know, what, where do I, where do I get started to really work on this?  Cause this was the first time that I truly was like working on my passion or my career, or I needed to figure out a way to manage it. He  was like, the first thing you do is every day you go home, you put your phone, keys and wallet in the same space, and until you do that, you don't shut off. You do that. You turn it off, you focus on your next thing.

That's really an interesting point. Cause that's kind of like, that's a, that's a trigger. That's almost like an off button for you, right? You do that, and you've switched environments. 

Yeah, and it, it truly, it helped me out a lot. And then I went from there and I went out to, I flew from, from Georgia to California and I was fortunate enough to get a position at the French Laundry, I literally just showed up with a bottle of wine that said “Relentless” and asked for an opportunity to work hard.. and they gave it to me. 

Wow. and this was in California...French Laundry? 

French Laundry,,, yeah. 

You show up at the French Laundry with a bottle of wine that said “Relentless” and said I want to work for you, and they gave you a job?

I had an, I had a resume done with golden bossed letters, and then I had a backup plan. Actually, my backup plan was that if they threw me out of the restaurant, because I literally just basically walked into the restaurant in the middle of service, I had a, a life-sized version of my resume that I was gonna torpedo into the restaurant, and I figured if I left that there, somebody would look at it. 

That is unbelievable. And, and, and in the middle of a service, they, they, they didn't kick you out. Walk us through exactly. Walk us through exactly what happened. 

Yeah. Flew out there. Uh, I was in California for about 11 days. I had seven stagiaires lined up, which are like what you do when you're trying to get a position at a restaurant. And I was on my second day in California. 

What is… what is a stagiaire/stage,? Tell us….

A stagiaire/stage is basically an interview, but it's a working interview. So you go stagiaire/stage in the kitchen and you can tell a lot from a chef on whether they’ll be successful or not. It's truly just from how they walk and work in a kitchen. And so I literally woke up one day and was like, if I don't drive up to the French Laundry, I was in San Francisco at the time, if I don’t drive up there, and try to get a job at this, I'm going to regret this for the rest of my life. And…. drove all the way up to Napa got to Yountville, which is where the French Laundry is and turned onto Washington street and was driving down the street, and. If you've never been there before every building, there's a couple of buildings that looked like they could be the French Laundry, and I got so nervous. I finally saw the restaurant and I literally just kept driving. I was so nervous. I couldn't do anything. And I kept driving and I, I got to the little store at the end of the road and I walked inside. I'm from Georgia, and so when I got inside that there's all this wine, right? And I've truly never seen this much wine in it, such a little store before, so I popped over and I was just looking at it and I was like, I was looking at all of this one bottle, just poking out, and there was a https://www.wineaccess.com/catalog/2017-shafer-vineyards-relentless-napa-valley_e90dfce7-146e-42cf-a893-81eace39129d/?rtype=s&chan=cpc&src=google&cmp=&grp=&ver=522290450879&kw=&gclid=Cj0KCQjwna2FBhDPARIsACAEc_UqwcZWX-Ml3IevgXqdOqc4UNVUViKyT7n6QJmkng83aLeAiZ5juIcaAhO6EALw_wcB   and it was $75. And I had about $106 in the bank and I still have to be in California for five more days. And I, I was like it’s now or never. And I, I bought the bottle of wine, I drove back to the restaurant and Plan A was walk in,  and ask to talk to the Chef. Plan B was, they kick me out. And then I, I had brought this life-size version of my resume just in case, you know? And so, I had the bottle of wine, I'm in a full suit, I got my resume, I walk in, I opened the door to the French Laundry and I, a server  walks past me, and my gaze... follows her, and then when she walks away, the Chef de Cuisine, David Braeden is standing right there and something in my head was like, Jason, you have to say something, otherwise you just broken, entered into the French Laundry, and I was like, yeah, and I was like, “Chef, may I request a moment of your time?” and he looks at me, he looks at the wine, he looks at the resume in my hand, he looks at my suit and I think he was just kind of curious, you know, he's like, “absolutely, follow me this way.” And I was like...

Unbelievable. 

What? And we sat and chatted, and what was crazy is that the chef that trained the chef that  that helped me with my ADD, originally actually trained the Chef de Cuisine in the French Laundry too, and I didn't know that at the time. 

Oh, wow. That's an incredible story. And, and so you hired you on the spot or how did that work? 

Basically, he said, come, come back Sunday at noon to the gold door in the back, and to be honest, I thought I was getting framed, but then I came back and there, the door to the kitchen at the French Laundry is polished gold, and I stagiaired/staged for the day and an official stagiaire/stage, and then at the end of the day, he offered me a position and I went back to Georgia. I took on two more jobs. I worked, you know, about 110 hours a week to save up the money, to move to California, and then moved out to California, spent, um, four years at the French Laundry. I got named the Core Award winner, which is like the chef of the year for the restaurant ….the whole restaurant group and that was a massive honor. And while I worked there, it was kind of the next phase of like, all right, either you can medicate, or you can figure out a way to self-medicate, and so for the four years I worked there, I literally, I listened to your book, right? I would ride my bike and I started doing like a hundred mile century rides, and then every Wednesday I literally went to a Zen temple and I would, Thursday was my day off, so I would meditate Thursday morning and then come back to the restaurant and the whole time I had this goal of not necessarily like rising to the top of the restaurant, but just being the best chef that I could. And I always wanted to be like a, I always wanted to be a chef that was calm, riight? That that could take on anything that was calm, and before the French Laundry, I wasn't that chef. I was like this sporadic chef when I first got there, the porters had a nickname for me and it was toques , which means like, like I literally just got like electrocuted. and at the end of it, I finally with some very strong mentorship from the people there. I finally achieved my goal…. goal of becoming a really calm chef and I was... I became proud of who I was as a chef and I never medicated the entire time I was there. 

That is an incredible story. I love that. Now here's an interesting question. I've read a lot. I have a lot of friends who worked in restaurants and I've read a lot about restaurants and I've been told that, uh, in the kitchen of the restaurant, it is basically almost every restaurant in the world. Probably not so much French Laundry, but almost every restaurant in the world, there's a drug problem there, right? In that it is very easy to get your hands on, uh, pretty much anything you want, and I would think that for someone, with ADHD, who is, uh, you know, we're sort of behind the eight ball to begin with, did you ever experience that at any of the places you worked and, and, and was the temptation ever there to, you know, to be able to sort of clear your brain go faster or whatever, and how did you, how did you deal with a place where, you know, the foods there, the alcohol…

You know, the French Laundry and honestly, Sea Island does a very good job at this, but the, the French Laundry truly operates at such a high level that you can't, there's no abuse there. You have to be so on point it's like the, um, you know, it's like truly like being like a Navy seal. And so my Dad actually was a drug addict that never recovered, and so I... oh, wow, he, he dealt with it very bad you know, it started as a….you know, cocaine and then into a meth addiction, and so I watched my Dad never recover from that, and so I, I always just completely stayed away from it 

That must've been…. I can imagine how that would just completely be a wake up call to you to, to, to be safe and to be aware.  14:13  Tell me about…. so you, obviously, the cleaning of the, of the freezer was a bad experience. Tell me about some other experiences that you might attribute your ADHD that might have looked negative at the time, but you've learned from. 

Well, you know, Peter, I'd love to tell you what I'm doing now. I think you'll be really proud.

We got plenty of time. So, so, so give us one story and then tell us what you're doing now. 

Nice, and so at the, what I, what I truly learned through practicing Zen and at the restaurant and the chef put me on a station called being there's a fish butchering station right? And the French Laundry is a really interesting restaurant. I mean, literally you can, one person can work, you know, like 15, 16 hours a day, five days a week to process all the fish, right? Cause they get so much lobsters, caviar, shellfish. And so I got put on that station and it gave me an opportunity and I was there. I was on the station for two years. Um, and. I, I learned how to utilize my ADD as a superpower by micro focusing on things like super focusing on it, but then writing down the key items in that moment to not forget, and then putting that somewhere where I could go back to. So almost like a great example is we went from being in the French Laundry kitchen and they did this massive renovation, and during the massive renovation, we're working out of these shipping containers and there's about a month period where I actually ended up being the fish butcher and in charge of all the AM… which is like all the prep crew. So every new person in the restaurant and, that was a big accomplishment and achievement on my end that I was always really proud of. And this is actually what led to me getting the Core Award, and I would go in in the morning, I'll get all the fish butcher stuff going, right? And I really learned to… take a project directly to the whole.  Never pretend like, Oh, I'll get the last five minutes of that project. I'll do it in a couple of days. Cause I knew I would forget.  I would 100%, 100% forget, so I  learned to just have that discipline to get a box of fis in,  break the fish down all the way, then put it in the fridge. Put a label on it. It's done. And then when I got put in charge of the —??—what I started doing. At first, I would tell three or four people to do the same thing, and then I would have everyone just running in circles, you know? And then I learned that if I broke it out, literally by the hour, right. And almost down to the minute I could take a list and literally put deliveries coming in at this time, dinner is at this time and I would write everyone's name on it and I'll give everyone direct projects where I could do my projects and then I could manage the entire brigade. And for a long time, we had trouble getting the commis out before 5:00 PM. And then after I set that system up, literally the commis always finished at 5pm, and that's still the same system that they utilize today at the French Laundry.

That's an awesome story. I love that we're getting, so this is probably one of the most powerful interviews I've done in a while in terms of just the amount of, of, uh, con you know, um, and the knowledge that we're getting in terms of what people can do to, to utilize their ADHD. Tell us what you're doing now.

So I left the French Laundry and I had a goal of, you know, rising to the top, but truly just becoming the best chef that I knew I could. And so The French Laundry is the kind of place where you kind of go in, you, you learn as much as you can. I love Chef Keller and he gave me an awesome opportunity. Have to have a reason, gave me an awesome opportunity, but I wanted to create something of my own and watching my Dad in business, I knew how much kind of power there was to being in business, right?  And so you take any restaurant in the world, no matter how high, how hard you worked there and how far you work up the chain. But then you leave that restaurant, you're literally at ground zero. When you start a business, you'll have equity that could be worth something and an athletic career, you have your kind of your, what you're known for, but in a, in a restaurant, truly like you leave and you either have to go get all this money to open up a restaurant. And then by the time you open it, you don't own the restaurant anymore, or you go run someone else's restaurant. And so watching my Dad build his own business, I found it very peculiar, you know? And so I was like, what if we start a business instead of a restaurant? What if we somehow figure out how to start a business instead of a restaurant, becomes successful than they are, and then use that money for one day, start a restaurant, and so I left the restaurant, I took a job working for a guy named Mitch Rouse, who I was on his ranch in Wyoming when we talked and I was, I was still trying to put the pieces together and what exactly I was going to do. And I ultimately decided to start a business called https://www.truffleshufflesf.com/collections/live-experiences . And so our goal was to help chefs source sustainable truffles. And so we started the business. I took all the money we had saved up, which came out to literally 10,000 euros and I got it out in cash, strapped it to my buddy's chefs and sent him to Italy, and had him start sourcing truffles and send them back to me. and then I would literally sell the truffles. And so I started it with my wife, Sarah, and then Tyler, who I worked with at the French Laundry, and we started basically the business hustling truffles to teach ourselves business, and we had this idea that if we sold like 500 pounds of truffles, right?  I don't know if you've ever sat down and done like the preliminary forecast on a business. And you're like, wow, this has been a, we're going to be loaded, and so we started out like that and starting 2018, 2019, we actually landed a deal with https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/ for our product line, and we're getting we're ramping up for this and all of a sudden COVID hits. And so when COVID hits, we had 20 pounds of fresh truffles on hand, we had our entire 1000 square foot apartment was stacked floor to ceiling with cases upon cases of truffle salt and truffle, honey that we had made by hand. If we didn't do something, we're going to go, we're going to literally go out of business within like four or five days. And so we launched a virtual cooking class,,, of black truffle risotto. And the first one we did when, uh,—?— within three hours, we completely sold out. And then by the time we did that class, we had thousands of people on. Watching us. And at this time we truly are e-commerce business. We only had like 40 customers and we did this live cooking class where we sent everyone all the ingredients, including the truffles, and we got to see people at home cooking together and in the past, since then, and since that day, that was in March and in the past 12 months, we've actually been able to go from a team of six individuals to now we're a team of 50.  We’re on track this year to do 15million and we actually, three weeks ago, got a deal with https://markcubancompanies.com/  on https://abc.com/shows/shark-tank 

Spectacular man. That is amazing. And you know, it's funny you took, uh, probably the worst possible time, and you turned it into something that really is a highlight of ADHD. That's awesome. And good for you. What a great story. Tell us, um, I'm sorry. 

I had to give you a shout out. Everyone that works with me, I give them a copy, of um, of Faster Than Normal, and I’m  like, this will help you understand what is going on in my brain. 

That makes my day. That's awesome. Thank you, man. That's great. Tell me this. How can people, how can people find you? Where can they go? 

Uh, to do a cooking class with https://www.truffleshufflesf.com/collections/live-experiences  we have a website called https://www.truffleshufflesf.com/and we do basically live classes on Sunday, and then we also do private events, so if anyone has a…. a dope company out there and they're looking for something to do with their team, we send all the ingredients. Join, then you get to cook with a Michelin trained chef,, it’s alot,and it's always a lot of fun. And we'd love to do one with you and your team and your company. And as a gift for me, Peter, just be an honor. 

 

Oh, wow consider it done, man, that goes without saying. Guys, this was an awesome interview. I'd love to have you back Jason, at some point in a few months, see how you guys are doing, how about that?

Absolutely, we’d totally love that. 

Cool… cool... guys, you’re listening to Faster Than Normal. I appreciate it as always. If you liked what you heard, drop us a review. If you have anyone as cool as Jason, let us know, we'd love to have them on the show. My email is https://www.shankman.com/ and don't forget, you can sponsor an episode of Faster Than Normal.  All you have to do is go to the link below that our wonderful producer, Steven Byrom will put in the show notes and you can sponsor using cryptocurrency even... you can sponsor an episode of Faster Than Normal. So we will see you next week. Thank you all for listening, thank you Jason for being here, guys, take care, stay safe. ADHD is a gift, not a curse… so always, always remember that. 

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

May 19, 2021

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to shank.mn/sponsor. 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 shank.mn/sponsor grab an episode, 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!

 

 

Eliza Orlins is a Manhattan public defender — the only public defender running for District Attorney. She is an outspoken advocate for New York city’s most vulnerable. For nearly a dozen years, she has fought courtroom battles representing over 3,000 New Yorkers who otherwise would not have been able to afford a lawyer. Every day, she sees firsthand how Manhattan’s criminal legal system functions one way for the rich and connected, and another way for everyone else. Eliza has earned a reputation as a relentless champion for the underdog. She has taken on the toughest of fights for the very people our system is most rigged against, including our Black and Brown neighbors and those in lower-income communities. In 2020, Eliza announced her candidacy for Manhattan District Attorney, running on a platform designed to take on the inequities in our system — transforming the criminal legal system in New York in order to make our city safer for everyone. And yes, you guessed it, she’s ADHD too! How does she keep it all together? That’s what we’re talking about today. Enjoy!  

[Eliza’s photo credit:  Juan Patino Photography]

 

 

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***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Eliza Orlins discuss:

 

1:42  -  Intro and welcome Eliza

 

3:06  -  On what prompted Eliza to take the not-so-easy path of running for office in NYC and championing those unable to afford even basic services that most take for granted

 

5:58  -  On working for the Legal Aid Society and handling the pace of doing 147 different things at any given moment 

 

9:38  -  On the secrets and advice of keeping your sanity when you’re being pulled into so many different directions, which for those with ADHD isn’t the most ideal situation 

 

11:35  -  On coping mechanisms on a more calm day/downtime.  How do you keep sane?

 

13:11  -  On understanding strengths and weaknesses and how that’s a sign of using your ADHD to your advantage

 

14:08 -  On taking control of helpful devices/tools at your disposal, (phone, calendar, Slack, texts), and which routines are helpful in preventing yourself from getting distracted/staying focused.

 

15:46  -  On the advantage of turning off Notifications

 

17:12  -  On whether or not Eliza is getting any sleep..?

 

19:03  -  How can people find you?  www.ElizaOrlins.com  @ElizaOrlins on Twitter  @EOrlins on INSTA  and @ElizaOrlinsForNY on Facebook

 

19:31  -  Thank you so much Eliza! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

 

20:02  -  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hi guys. My name is Peter Shankman. I'm the host of Faster Than Normal, I want to thank you for listening, and I also want to tell you that if you've listened to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well of Faster Than Normal.  We are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet and if you like us, you can sponsor an episode!  Head over to shank.mn/sponsor  - that's shank.mn/sponsor. It is 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 we've had... God, who have we had...we've had Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week, so head over to shank.mn/sponsor  grab an episode, make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks for listening.  Here's this week's episode, hope you enjoy it. 

——

Hi everyone, Peter Shankman here, another episode of Faster Than Normal is coming your way. Do you remember when we interviewed the mayoral candidate guy who was running for mayor in Boston? Probably in 2016 or 17, totally spacing on his name now, but he was in, like Episode like 5 or 6 or something like that, and he was really awesome, and he talked all about how he handles ADHD and, and, and managed to still mount a successful, almost successful campaign for, um, Mayor and I was shocked. Uh I'm like how can people, uh, who have massive ADHD be in politics? It must be so ridiculously difficult to stay focused and to stay organized, and as such, uh, we have another one.  We're talking to Eliza Orlins who is running for public defender from Manhattan District Attorney.  Eliza, thank you for taking the time, I appreciate it. 

Oh, thanks for having me, and thanks for talking about these issues. 

No, no question about it. So, you know, it's, it's fascinating because I was, I was doing my homework on, on, on you as I do on every guest, and you know, you as a public defender, um, you know, you've represented countless New Yorkers in a city that, for lack of a better word, and I say this as someone who was born and raised here, isn't necessarily the kindest and/or the fairest to those who find themselves in the position of being unable to afford the basic services that many of us take for granted.  What… so let's start there. What prompted you to take that track? Cause I know you…. I know you went to Syracuse and you did law school. What prompted you to champion issues like this to begin with? 

All I ever wanted to do with my life was to be a public defender. It was the reason I went to law school. It was the only job I applied for, and it really was something that felt like the most important job, you know, to really fight for people who were treated so unfairly by the system who were treated, um, you know, who were de-humanized to were,,,, just really had the least available to them, and these communities that I've spent my career representing are people who truly are predominantly black and brown people, lower income people, people who are LGBTQ, people with disabilities, and I've seen how the criminal legal system just disenfranchises and marginalizes them and treats  them so unfairly, as opposed to those who have wealth and power and connections. And so I've always wanted to stand up on behalf of people who couldn't necessarily afford to hire an attorney or, you know, even afford services or treatment or other things, and really fight to, um, change. 

One of the things that I've seen, uh, in New York City specifically, and, and then, and I want to get onto the ADHD aspect of this, but one of the things I've seen in New York City, uh, you know, growing up here, I remember I was in high school in the 80’s.  I went to Performing Arts on 65th street, and I remember getting mugged my freshman year or sophomore year of, of school, and um, It was, you know, it was by the kids next door, right. There was LaGuardia was right next to, or still is right next to a…. a lower income housing community. And it was, we were aware of it. And I remember that...I remember going back into school after it happened and, and, and finding the Dean and, and telling him what happened, and I needed to, they took my bus pass, I needed to get home or my train pass and stuff like that, and I remember saying to him, and that this will always stick in my mind for the rest of my life, his name was Mr. Cooney. He was the Dean at Le LaGuardia. I said to him, I said, you know, why didn't they just ask me?  I would have given him money to get home. And I remember he said to me, he goes, that's not what they were after.  They were doing it because they had nothing else to do. And I thought at the time being 15 years old, he meant they were bored. Oh, you have nothing else to do, right?  There's nothing good on TV. What he meant was that was the only lifestyle they knew, and I realized that years later, and it, that was really when I started taking a look at New York City in the light of I'm lucky to live here.  What can I do to improve it for those who don't have the same fortune that I do. And so I love the fact, I love your background, I love your history. Um, tell me about working for  the Legal Aid Society, I imagine, must have been incredible and insane at the same time, because it was probably, you were probably doing, I'm guessing off the top of my head,  147 different things at any given moment. 

So your story of helping people, um, and realizing that from a young age and why we kind of have these different privileges, um, was much more coherent than the one I just told, but it's, it's really true.  It's like, you know, from a young age, this was something that I did recognize. Like I remember, you know, my Mom, I grew up in Manhattan and my Mom would walk me to elementary school and I would see, you know, this was obviously in the, in the, in the early eighties, and I would see people, um, you know, who were experiencing homelessness on the street?  And I would say to my Mom, like, where... where's their home? I don't understand, like... why don't they have a home?  And she said that it was something that I would get so upset almost to the point of tears, that I didn’t get why some people just didn’t have a place to live, and it was something that impacted me from a young age, in understanding that even having a roof over your head, was just a massive, massive  privilege.  Then there were other things in my life, including  having an adopted sister, that made me understand the privilege of having white skin, um, and not, you know, my sister experienced a great deal of racism growing up and, and has throughout her life. Um, and so I recognize the privilege of even just being a white person in New York and in society as well.  Um, and I've seen that throughout my career as a public defender. So yes, working at Legal Aid was, was amazing and has been, um, you know, and that was my dream job, but  really, it's just seeing this system that is cruel, that's unjust, that's racist that doesn't necessarily provide, um, you know, the help and services that people need, but really also doesn't work for those who are survivors of crimes, it doesn't do anything to make people whole, again, it doesn't provide accountability. It doesn't, you know, all the, the, the system has, is a hammer, and so everything looks like a nail.

It's funny you say that. That was when COVID started on and the gym's closed down, II bought two kettlebells and that was my quote.  Uh, when all you have is two kettlebells, it's the same thing. Everything doesn't look, you know, you start doing exercises just because you have literally have nothing else, nowhere else you can go to do, let me, let me ask you this. My Mother and Father were both public school teachers, um, in New York City schools, my mom spent 30, ah, years, uh, teaching in the South Bronx, um, at a junior high school at a public junior high school, IS139  and from a very young age, he'd take me up there on days that I didn't have school or whatever and I would watch her and the one thing I always was amazed at was how she was able to do so many things at the same time. She clearly does not have ADHD. Um, she gave birth to someone who does, but she does not. And the one thing that I always noticed about her was she had a black book and she carried it everywhere she went, and this was, you know, pre-Palm Pilot, pre-cellphone, everything. She carried this book, and every time she finished a project, whether it was helping a student or teaching a class or whatever, she'd written it down in her calendar and she crossed it off with a black pen with vigor, like ripped the hell out of that, uh, you know, just crossed it off  til there was nothing there, and that I came to learn was her... uh, um, that was how she kept her sanity, right? When she had 50 things to do in a day, plus direct a chorus, plus give a concert, she would cross these things off when they were done, and that was how she kept her sanity.  As someone who is self-proclaimed ADHD as we just talked about, um, you are, you have always been in, in, in working for the public good. You are in that same situation, not only where you are doing 150 things, but you probably don't have all the resources you could need or all the resources  you could want, less than you need. What are your secrets? What are your, you know, to our audience? Who are everyone from adults to kids, to students, to, to teachers, to parents with ADHD?  What can you tell them? What advice can you give them for how to keep their sanity when they are being pulled in a million different directions, which is not necessarily the best thing for someone with ADHD. 

Well, I think I’m…. first of all, I, I would say that as these things go, I'm extremely lucky. I was, um, diagnosed at 16 and that is pretty young. I know a lot of people don't necessarily find out that they have ADHD until later on in life, and it's something that they struggle with. But there are still things that I'm learning on a day-to-day basis as to ways in which my ADHD manifests. Um, but I think that one of the most important things that I have found, and that really enables me to, you know, enabled me to do my job as a public defender for the last dozen years and enables me to be a candidate for office, is finding something that you have a passion for, because I think without that drive and desire, any task would be extremely difficult for me. And so really having something that I have, like this deep passion for, that my motivation and focus is there knowing that I'm fighting on behalf of the greater good and that this is urgent, that there are people's lives at stake. You know, I think I have friends who are, who have ADHD, who are trauma surgeons, who are, you know, who, who are in these high intensity, high paced jobs, but that ones that they feel extremely passionate about, and I think that that's something that, um, that works well for, you know, at least for me as, as a coping mechanism.  

I feel that... that I've heard that a lot.  We are...ADHD people are the ones you want next to you when the room catches on fire, but when the room is not on fire and it's just a calm, normal day, sometimes that's what screws us up. So what is your sort of go-to coping mechanism when you're not running around? What is, what does your Saturday look like?  What does your early morning look like? Are you, uh, are you a workout person? Do you get your dopamine from that? How do you keep yourself sane when you're not being pulled in a hundred million different directions? 

I don't know… what, what do you mean not being pulled in a hundred directions? Is that a…. I'm not, I don't, I'm not familiar with that phrase.  Um, if you could define, um, no, but I mean, these days, uh, I'm, you know, just over a month out from election day, so I am constantly being pulled in a million directions and the thing that has been so incredible about, uh, being a candidate, is that I don't have to do the thinking about certain hard things, like figuring out my schedule, Oh, when should I do this?  When should I do that? And I have other people who just make my schedule and it's like, Eliza, do this, do this, having something that's ultra structured is really helpful for me saying, okay, now it's time for you to work on this., now it's time for you to talk to this person, now it's time for you to do this interview, and I just have to be the person who shows up and does the thing I think is. Really actually, it turns out great for me with these clearly defined tasks, with a specific workflow, with a routine, um, that is, is I think a great way to handle it. 

Well, if you notice, you know, I didn't book you, right? I turned that over to Megan because 14 years ago she took write access away from me, from my calendar, um, literally I went to schedule something and it didn't work, and I said, hey, it's not working. She's no, no it's working for me and that was the last time I ever was able to put anything in my calendar, but you're right. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses are the sign of someone who, how, who... who's able to use their ADHD to their advantage.

Yeah, I completely agree and I think that, you know, being someone who has this creative, you know, my mind is always racing. I'm always thinking of ideas, but having people around who I can just  you know, Slack the idea to and they’re like, okay, we'll take it from here, Eliza. That's a great idea. But like, we'll now execute it.  um, because I think sometimes the... the challenge that I've had is like really, um, like I'll, I'll, I'll have a great idea. It'll take it to a certain level and then, It's that procrastination with actually completing projects. 

 

Last question, because this is... actually brings up an interesting point. You mentioned I'll Slack it to them and they'll take care of it.  Do you find that the, how, how do you let, how should I phrase this? How do you let the tools you have at your disposal with  phone, your calendar, your Slack communications, texts. How do you make sure that you are controlling those devices as opposed to letting those devices control you? For instance, you know, when I am sitting at my desk and working my notifications on almost everything are off, the only people who can get to me are my daughter's, Mom and my parents, right or, you know, at my daughter's school, um, I don't allow the dings and the, and the, and the beeps because I'll never get anything done. So in, in a completely on... 24/7 world that we are in, what's your, what's the routine that you use to prevent yourself from, you know, okay, I'm writing this piece, I'm doing this, I'm having this interview.  It's great, oh look, something shiny. How do you prevent the shiny?

Well, thankfully I have an amazing team and they, they are very protective of my time and they schedule it and they say, okay, you know, between this time and this time you can do X, but yeah, it's, it's completely true. There are things that pop up and I get distracted easily and, and, you know, really think about, I'm like, oh wait, I should, I really want to do this, or, oh, this message came in, and, um, so yeah, I do have the, I have all social media notifications off, um, on my phone, on my computer, I check plenty. Um, so I'm not actually going to miss something and I find that those notifications, even if it's a dopamine hit in the moment, are incredibly distracting., so I don't have any of those notifications on, um, and if people need to reach me, they can reach me. I'm still always checking everything, but, um, but really making sure that the time is protected, um, so that I can get the tasks done that I need to get done.  

And I would suggest if someone running for Manhattan District Attorney can do that... to my audience, there's absolutely no reason why you can't shut off your notifications. 

I know I, no, but listen, it is, it's certainly a challenge in being controlled by your device. I mean, this is something that now that it's work now that like being on social media sometimes is part of the, you know, being a candidate and making sure that things do get up and that they're posted and that I'm engaging, etc., is part of the job, it actually has become less, um, of something that's like a temptation to just sit there and waste an hour scrolling through Instagram, for example.  That used to be something that I found myself doing mindlessly, and now, because it's work, it's, it's like I don't have time to do that, and it doesn't tempt me as much, if that makes sense. 

No, it makes... it makes perfect sense, and I think that at the end of the day, you know, we have to set our own parameters because if we don't have those, we just, you know, there’s…. there's too many it's, it's elimination of choice in a lot of ways. There's, there's, you know, I have, um, uh, two, two sides in my closet, right?  One says office and they're literally labeled one, says ‘Office/Travel” and it’s T-shirts and jeans, and the other says “Speaking /TV, and it's a button down shirt, jacket, and jeans, and that's it, right? Everything else is in my daughter's closet, cause if I had to go every day, Oh, that sweater. I remember that sweater, I wonder….Michelle gave me that, how is she doing? I should look her up. Three hours later I'm on Face., looking on Facebook, naked, and I haven't left the house. So you have to sort of put those rules into play. So you're a month out. Let me ask you the final question then we'll cut it. Are you getting enough sleep?

No, no, definitely not, that's always been a challenge for me. And, um, now even moreso, and so I don't have good advice, you know, everyone says, don't sleep with your phone in your room. I've done that, but I've never stuck with it. Um, they say, you know, don't be on the screens for the hour leading up to bedtime.  Obviously I don't stick with that. Um, you know, there are a lot of things that I think I could be doing, which I am not. Um, so I am not the model on that. Uh, but I do think that, you know, for, especially in these short periods, um, even though I've been doing this for the last year or so, it's, uh, it's been very intense, but I do think that there are ways to, um, to do this for a short period of time, and then hopefully, uh, post-election, I'll get a little bit of rest, um,, before the general, but you know, after, after spending my entire career as a public defender and representing thousands of people charged with crimes, and I'm really seeing the way in which that.. who your District Attorney is, impacts the lives of so many people, I know just how important this is, and so, you know, I'm, I'm more than willing to forego sleep. Um, and I, you know, a lot of other things to make sure that we don't end up with another career prosecutor who's going to continue to lock people up with reckless abandon, um, and destroy families and ruin lives, uh, and just perpetuate this cruel unjust system.  Uh, so that's, that's what I'm fighting for and I know how important it is. 

So yeah, this last, this last little push is, is so critical. 

Understood listen, Eliza Orlins for Manhattan attorney. Best of luck in, in the last few weeks remaining.  I do hope you're able to get a little sleep and, uh, we will be following.  We'd love to have you, regardless of what happens, we'd love to have you back on after the election and talk about what you learned. 

Of course, of course, and people can, can, you know, make a contribution if they can, every dollar matters, we're running a grassroots campaign. Um, they can go to https://elizaorlins.com and if not monetary, they can donate their time. We need volunteers, we need phone bankers and tax bankers and people to join us, and we're doing virtual and in-person volunteering.  

Looking at the website right now.  Eliza, thank you again so much for taking the time. I appreciate it.

Of course, thank you!

Guys...Peter Shankman, Faster Than Normal... as always another episode every week, we appreciate all of our guests. We'll be making a donation to a charity... in, on her behalf, of the New York City Mayor's office for, uh, animal, uh, protection and help get some homeless pets off of the street. So thank you for that Eliza, and have a wonderful day everyone, we will see you all next week, very soon. ADHD is a gift, not a curse as is all neuro-diversity, try to remember that, see you soon. 

 

 

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

May 12, 2021

Siri Dahl is an AVN Nominated and multiple award-winning adult film star who has appeared in more than 200 adult films since 2012, and has been featured in publications such as The Atlantic, The New York Times and The Daily Beast. Originally known as just "Siri," she took a five-year hiatus in 2015, before happily returning to her adult film career in 2020. Siri is also a powerlifter, Twitch streamer, podcast host, and proud mom to two very spoiled black cats. She splits her time between Louisville and Los Angeles. Enjoy!

---------- 

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

In this episode Peter & Siri Dahl discuss:

1:41  -  Intro and welcome Siri 

3:32  -  Where you grew up?  When did you get into the industry and how did all that happen?

4:50  -  On what prompted your 5-year hiatus

7:45 -  On the increase in numbers of people being on Only Fan sites, and showing their own content.  Do you think it has democratized adult content in any way?  

9:25  -   On your income being 75 to 80% sourced by Only Fans.  Is that still accurate?

11:45  -  On legitimation of the adult entertainment industry

13:19 -  On any concerns of buyout versus traditional earning forms   

15:40  -  How did you get into NFT’s and what else are you looking at in terms of next steps 

17:00  -  On NFT’s (what they are, etc)

20:04  -  On back-up plans of how to reach your fans – another avenue besides social media, to get in touch with them

21:20  -  On what makes you the happiest in life?

23:00  -  On running your own business and staying on track

23:50  -  How can people find you?  Check out her After Adult Podcast here! Website: www.SiriDahl.com Socials:  @therealsirips on Twitter  @therealsiri.ps on INSTA  and SiriDahl on Twitch

24:06  -  Thank you Siri Dahl! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

25:12  -  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

You're listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast where we know that having ADD or ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Each week we interview people from 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, to become millionaires, or to simply better their lives. And now here's the host of the Faster Than Normal podcast, the man who usually can be found singing in the gym at 5:15 AM Peter Shankman. 

Hey guys, Peter Shankman here, welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal. This one is going to be a little different.  What I have found in my life of having ADHD, and then in the past five or six years of talking to hundreds of people who are neurodiverse, is that among other things, we are incredibly passionate. We are incredibly passionate about what we do. We are incredibly passionate about how we do it, and goddamnit, we are not going to stop until every single person around us knows why we're passionate about what we do and how we do it. So every once in a while, we bring someone on the podcast who is not ADHD or ADD or neuro-diverse, but all, but who is passionate in some way or another. And I find fascinating, so I am thrilled that today's one of those episodes. I want you to meet Siri Dahl. Siri is an AVN, and if you don't know what that is, that's adult video news...  is an adult video news nominated and multiple award-winning adult film star, who has appeared in more than 200 adult films since 2012, and has,  get this... has been featured in such publications as  The Atlantic, the The New York Times  and The Daily Beast. I came across her when I was reading The Daily Beast, one of the, one of the like five or six things I have a paid subscription to… get a paid subscription to, The Daily Beast their content is really good, and I was reading. I'm like, I happen to know her PR person. I reached out to her PR person, and I'm like, dude, you, you, you did a great job ghostwriting. And he's like, no, she wrote this. I'm like, damn, she's good. So she was originally known just as Siri. She did a five-year hiatus in 2015 before happily returning to her adult film career in 2020, get this she's a powerlifter.  She’s a power lifter.  She is a Twitch streamer, podcaster host, podcast host, and proud mom of two very spoiled black cats.  She splits her time between Louisville and we all know my thoughts on Louisville, thanks to the 2014 Ironman…. and LA. Siri., welcome to Faster Than Normal, it’s great to have you.  

Thank you for having me.  

Awesome, so I want to get into sort of the things you do and how you do them, but let's start with your backstory.  Tell us where'd you grow up? How'd you grow up? When did, when did you get into the industry? Tell us in, you know, your 20 words or less bio, how'd that happen? 

So I'm originally from Minnesota,  was born in Minnesota, lived there about half my life. Uh, well it's no longer half cause I'm 32 now, but I lived in Minnesota till about middle school age, then moved to the suburbs of Ft. Worth, Texas and I lived there from basically until halfway through college. Uh, and then in 2012 is when I moved to LA, started working in the adult industry, and I was active in the adult industry, uh, from 2012 to 2015, then I retired and moved to Louisville, Kentucky, um, which I was very, uh, I hid that for a long time.  It was like, I don't want anyone to know I live in Louisville, but in the past like year I've been like, okay, I, I just say it. Well, cause I'm proud of it because it's a great city and I like it here despite what you think Peter.

It was a great city, until I was there at 104 degrees, racing in an Iron Man, you know, I'm drinking a bourbon…... and……. bats and yeah, but no, it was awesome until, until, until the 140 degree day.  All right, so you took a five-year hiatus.  What prompted that? 

Uh, well, actually it's funny cause you, or your podcasts, you talk about neurodiversity and while I... I've, I've never been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD. I've had a lot of people close to me in my life, some who have ADHD be like, yeah, you probably have. Who knows anyway. Uh, but I, I was, I've always been a depressed person. Like I've always dealt with like clinical depression. It's a thing that just runs in my family pretty, pretty strongly. Um, and it was kind of a combination of things in around 2014 and early 2015 that led me to retire, and probably the biggest one was that I was, uh, I used to be married. I was in a very bad, like, uh, just like a toxic relationship, that I needed to get away from, and due to the stigma of choosing a career in adult film, my relationship with my family was really rocky, and I basically didn't really talk to most of my even like immediate family members for about three years. Um, and I really needed to figure out a way to like, fix all that. So it got, it led me to a place where I was very depressed and the only way I saw that I could really try to make things better was to just kind of like, hit a reset button. 

Yep. 

So I left adult, I got divorced and I moved to a totally different state that I'd never even lived in before all at the same time 

So did you just literally like, throw a dart at a map and say, oh it landed on Louisville, let's go?

Uh, kind of, like I had some family here. 

 

And I know, I know it’s Louisville. Not, not, not Louisville. Um, all right. So let's, let's fast forward. So. The past 16 months of hell that we've all been in, um, has given birth to several new industries, and I would even argue, legitimize several new industries. Um, you know, I can tell I, I'm pretty sure that there are thousands of people around the country who, four years ago said, there's no way in hell I would ever own a Peloton. And here we are, um, you know, on the flip side, um, Only Fans and they say, they say that they say that to build a billion dollar business. It's, you know, 1% a good idea and 99% being in the right place at the right time, right? Only Fans was in the right place at the right time, and it didn't originally start with adult, but much like much like everything on the internet, you know, it, it, it sort of gravitated toward where's the, where the money was. I mean, hell, JPEGs and animated gifs started because of a dog. So, you know, sort of shockwave and almost everything you can pick up,  um, you have been a very vocal proponent of Only Fans, and, uh, people using it. Now you are granted, uh, one of the top, whatever percent, I'm sorry. I don't know your... your rank on Only Fans, but I know that there is, there is a, there is a, uh, I know a couple of other adult stars who are in the top...

It’s pretty high, I don't advertise my rank….

2 or  3% or whatever it is, um, and with that, there are, there are thousands of men and women on, uh, joining Only Fans and using Only Fans and, and, and showing content every single day. Do you think, I guess the first question I'd ask is, has it democratized adult content in any way?

Uh, yeah, a hundred percent like, and, and it's, I have such an interesting perspective on this, I think because of having been retired and, uh, you know, I'm not sure precisely when Only Fans kind of became a mainstream thing as far as like adult performers wanting to use it. Um, but I know that it was popular among adult performers before COVID, you know, it's just that because of the nature of what COVID has been like for everyone it's really exploded a lot in the last year. Um, but I, I, you know, it's been crazy for me having, like retired in 2015 and I just like walked away from the industry and I didn't really like have anything to do with anything else. Like, I was very much not in the public eye and then just kinda like springing back into it in 2020 and seeing, uh, how much things have changed, and a lot of it is because of Only Fans and there are similar platforms to Only Fans that have a hand in it as well. But like Only Fans is definitely the biggest one. Um, it has essentially put the power back into the hands of the content creators who are, you know, the, the performers themselves, as opposed to us relying on some giant studio to hire us, right?  Like... I, yeah, it Only Fans is the reason that I can live where I live and I don't really have to depend on going out to LA for work. Like I do go out there, but it's when I choose to, right? 

Yeah, exactly, you told the Rab?? 75 to 80% of your income is actually coming from Only Fans.  Is that still accurate? 

Yep. So yeah, it's, it's accurate. It's exciting, but it's also scary. 

I mean, you're putting a lot of eggs in one basket for lack of a better term. Now what's interesting about that is that a whole series of performers, um, have launched their career on Only Fans, and I guess they're kind of at a point where it's like, okay, what's the next step from there, right?  So, I mean, I'm not talking about, I'm even talking about the concept of, of legitimizing adult entertainment. You know, I, before, before porn was put unquote free on the internet, one of my first PR clients in 2003, it was a company called, um, New Frontier Media. Um, they….

I know, remember that's an older company…

There’s, you know, and they were based out of Boulder, and I remember, uh, getting them under the cover of, of, of Forbes magazine, you know, and it was this, it was this phenomenal. So I was, I would go to the Wall Street Journal and say, hey, I have this client who's kicking the crap out of their biggest competitor and you know, like an 80/20% margin, you should really talk to them. Oh, wow. That sounds amazing. What do they do? They're an adult entertainer. Wow. We can't, we can't do that. You know? And I'm like, but if it was furniture you'd have no problem with it, so I'm not really getting the hypocritical vibe here. And so, I…. do you think that Only Fans and things similar to that has sort of even more so legitimized adult entertainment as a, not only a viable, I mean, because look, let's face it, adult entertainment's been around forever. It's it's, it's how it's talked about versus how it's used is an entirely, you know, unrelated. I used to have great stats back when they back when New Frontier would, would sell to hotels, right? Exactly what percentage of hotels, uh, what percentage of, of, of revenue hotels were making for a dollar entertainment and it was literally was more than room service, it's crazy. Um, you know, back then. So, so I think it's in a way Only Fans legitimized adult entertainment in, in more than anything else ever has because everyone has the ability to do it. You don't have to go to LA,  you don't have to worry about being taken advantage of by a shady producer, none of that no longer exists. So tell, talk to me about that. Talk to me about the concept of, of legitimization. 

Uh, it absolutely has legitimized it in a lot of ways. Uh, I know that for example, you know, just the willingness of people to join and Only Fans, like back in 2012, if you like Google, like Siri, Siri, pornstar like, I mean, you're going to find a lot of adult stuff, but like I did a lot of writing for the website Quora back in like 2013, I was actually one of their best writers in 2013.  A lot of the stuff that I wrote had to do with like, anti-piracy like, and the concept of like paying for your porn and back then in 2013, 2014, like that was just, I mean, you know, this is like at the height of like PornHub and tube sites and PornHub back then had no monetization options for models, so there's been such a massive shift in the mentality of even just fans or people who follow adult performers, or like, honestly, just content creators in general, because you've got, you know, a website, like Only Fans where it's like, people can subscribe to me for like, just over $6 a month and that seems a lot more tolerable than the old model of joining a porn website, and it's 20, 30 bucks a month. And like, you feel like you're giving your credit card information away to some trading company, a lot of the time, right? So it's absolutely like, made it feel more mainstream, you know, nothing about, and Only Fans is clever about the way that they advertise, like on a corporate level, they do not actually advertise or own the fact that they are an adult related company. You know, if you ask them, they would say, we're for content creators, we don't specialize in porn, but like, we also know that most of the people on there are right. 

So does Tumbler….

Right. 

So that brings up an interesting question though. Um, do you get concerned about the fact that one day, Only Fans might say, you know what, now granted it's suicide for them to do that, right, but assuming there's a buyout or someone wants to own them and build something else and they just come out one day and say, you know what? No more adult. What happens to essentially an entire economic ecosystem?

Yeah, I think that that's not only likely, but it's probably inevitable that that would happen because it's happened, And it, it, honestly, it happens just about to all websites that become super large, that do, at some point accommodate adult performers. It's like, it will, it will flip over to where they don't welcome sex workers anymore, and that it's, terrifying to think about. I honestly, I just bought a house with mostly... with my Only Fans income, so I'm trying to not think about it. Cause it's, it's a scary thing to think about. Uh, but you know, I've got to do it. All the other people who survive off only pans have got to do, which is, come up with a contingency plan, right? Um, yeah, like most of my eggs are in that basket, but that's not really by choice.  That's just cause that's where the money is and that's where the fans want to be, so until something else comes along, that's even remotely comparable, that's kind of where all my businesses, that being said though, like, I'm very mindful about the fact that like, Ooh, okay, this is great right now, but it probably won't last because the adult industry sees this type of churn constantly with like, you know, the new website that is great while it lasts and then either via legislation or like outside attack, you know, something happens. And sometimes it is just the company itself being like, Oh, we sold now, now we're kicking you off. Like, that's what Tumbler did, you know? 

But you're looking so, so what's interesting about that is that you've sort of, I guess in a lot of ways, you're, you're looking at this long-term perspective, like you did just buy a house, um, and I read that you, you moved into an NFT. So you're looking towards the future. What do you see as the future of adult entertainment Um, with the assumption that something like Only Fans or whatever, cause, you know, look when, when Only Fans does... decide to do that, you know, that 97% of the people Only Fans haven't even talk about what they're having for lunch today, let alone that far into the future, right? Yeah. So it would seem that you're sort of putting together those contingency plans to begin with.  So how'd you get into NFTs and what else are you looking at in terms of next steps? 

Um, well, crypto in general, I'm glad you brought that up because crypto, I think is going to be a huge benefit for the adult industry, like there's been a push a lot in adult to, start integrating crypto more since 2013, but it still hasn't really like fully taken off. Um, but I think the biggest reason for us as an industry to go in a direction more toward crypto is just because we're, we’re very discriminated against by financial institutions and that's not going to end any time soon. You know, we already saw the MasterCard and Visa halt their payment processing for PornHub back in December, that's still not back, like we still don't have that capability, which is that's about $2,000 a month out of my pocket. As soon as they stopped doing that, yeah. And that's not even what I like depend on to live, but for a lot of people, it was.  So that was a huge blow, losing, uh, PornHub payments, and at any point, MasterCard and Visa could do the exact same thing with Only Fans. So if Only Fans goes down, it might not even be because they sell to another company. It could legitimately just be because MasterCard just., and it throws the hammer down on them.

You have you, I saw the NFT for those who don't know, then an NFT  is a fungible token. It's essentially, uh, you're creating a digital piece of artwork of any kind and someone owns you can purchase the right to that. If you all know the, the, the meme of the girl looking behind and smiling at the fire. She sold that original image, uh, the rights, that original image for half a million dollars, so not bad for a four year old at the time. Now she's 18, but, um, 

She's an adult now….

 ...that brings it, that brings up a secondary question. Um, right now, there is a lot, you know, look you have, you have, you have Elon Musk go on SNL and don't get me started on Musk, but you have him go on SNL, and he, he, he makes a joke about Doge and the, the, the, the, the crypto currency drops, you know, 40%, right?  And then you having him say the next day, oh, but it's OK, because we're going to, self-fund a satellite by a Doge and send that to, to space.. and it blows up again. I mean, I, I own Bitcoin. I started buying it at a hundred bucks a share. We had a hundred bucks going, granted. I sold it a thousand bucks a coin I've yet to get over that, and I'm fine. But, um, yeah, thanks. But, um, yeah, I'm not looking for your pity, but on the flip side of own, like going for years, I'm going to theory for a while. So, I mean, I believe in it, however, If we're still even just what I said, right. I bought it at a hundred bucks a year and sold a thousand bucks. I'm still comparing it to, in order to compare it to anything, you have to compare it to the dollar, right? You don't say that I bought a thousand dollars and it's worth 14, uh, camera lenses. Right? You, you, you don't compare the dollar to anything. You have to compare crypto still to the dollar and companies or countries, Wall Street… they don't, they're not huge fans of people deciding to create their own economies, riight? They lose understandably. Yeah. There is. There's been talk, I've talked to several people who work, who deal in a lot of crypto, like I do with my own coin and you know, we're like, well, what happens if the US decides to ban it? Do we leave, right?  I mean, it's a global economy, you can't say, but what happens is, you know, what happens if, if, if you start accepting, you know, let's say you have your own coin, uh, your own creator, coin, uh, Siri, or Dahl or whatever. and all of a sudden you have X hundred thousand dollars in it, and you're no longer allowed to take it out in the US right? So I think the issue is, I agree with you, the crypto is the future, but I think it's as scary if not more so than what you're dealing with. Only Fans right now, because. It's, you know, I understand why drug dealers deal only cash. Right? I get that now, you know, um, 

 

a trust issue, 

 

it is a hundred percent the trust issue, and, and if, if all of a sudden that goes away, right. Everything you've worked for is gone. Um, I always tell people who, you know, they build up these massive followings on Facebook and Twitter. And I go, guys, if you don't have these people's email addresses, Facebook or Twitter can easily one day say we don't like you and you've just lost everything you've worked for for 10 years. Right. So, so in terms of a backup plan, there, you have a ton of fans and Only Fans. Do you have a way to get to them? 

Um, Only Fans doesn't really provide us that, so, yup. That's another, it's like Only Fans is a great platform, but there are some serious downsides. One of them is lack of data, lack of insights into….I don't know, who's subscribing to me, you know, I don't get it. I don't, I get way less insights than any other social media platform. And it's, it's one of those things where it's like kind of silly that Only Fans does it that way, but they do it that way because it benefits them, but not the creators. So, uh, and, and yeah, um, like, I feel the same thing when it comes to, it's funny that you mentioned that like the, the fact that like at any moment, you know, if your account gets deleted on social media, like I have, you know, 570,000 Instagram followers. and if I get deleted, what, you know, now the closest thing I have is like, I have, uh, my, my main website, Siridahl.com, which is really just like a merch store, but like I have a mailing list that people can sign up through, through there, and then I also have my own discord server that I started as a way to like keep in touch with my Twitch subscribers, to let them know when my streams are coming up and stuff. But now I'm just allowing anyone to join it because it's a fantastic, like fail safe in case I lose access to any of these other channels.

What makes you that... let's completely switch topics here because I want to be respectful of time, we have about four minutes. What makes you the happiest? Um, other than your two cats, obviously.

Yeah, um, just like being able to create my own daily reality. It’s what makes me the happiest, it’s one of the reasons that I really love what I do for a job, it's like, you know, it's I, you, you read my Daily Beast piece, so you know what I say in there, but like, a lot of people look at someone who's in the adult industry and they think, oh, you just have sex on, on, in front of a camera and then you get paid, and it's like, that's literally, I like almost never do that. Like, like the last time I flew out to LA and was on a professional set, was over two months ago. The last time I actually filmed like a sex shoot on my own even was about a month and a half ago. Like I, most of what I do is. More akin to like, um, just general content creator stuff, or even like customer service, like, cause I, I respond to a lot of messages from fans on Only Fans. So a lot of the time I feel like I'm just, you know, being paid to just like shoot the shit with people, which is fantastic. And I love it, but I love being in control of my, what I do every day. What time I wake up, what time I go to bed? Like my own schedule. It's all under my control, I'm a business owner, that's great. 

That being said. And as the last question, what keeps you, from going off the rails like for instance, if I don't, I have to I'm in the same boat as you. I can go do whatever I want today, right. I could go sit on this couch and watch 14 episodes in a row King of the Hill. I probably shouldn't do that, right? So I have rules in place that allow me to be productive. You know, I get enough sleep, you know, I try to eat healthy. I,...I have to work out every morning, things like that. 23:00  --  What are your rules that keep you from, you know, when you do work for yourself and no one's telling you, Hey, you have to do this or that. What's keeping you on track. 

Um, well, powerlifting is the biggest one. Uh, for me that's been power lifting is the biggest one. I started seriously powerlifting, powerlifting in general, about five years ago, but I got really serious about it two years ago when I hired like, like a, a really good coach. Um, and so I've done a couple of competitions, but that's something that it's like my, my, my week, it feels totally off kilter. If I don't have access to a gym, if I can't actually go do a proper, like, you know, training schedule. Um, so that's honestly like the biggest thing. And other than that, like, I. I, uh, I definitely have a huge issue with like procrastination. So it's very easy for my life to go off the rails if I'm not being extremely careful, um, I just, I just set reminders. I have so many reminders of, I have to like remind myself to like literally do everything. I love to set a reminder to take a shower, otherwise I'll forget, so technology helps. 

I believe it. Well, listen, Siri, thank you so much. Uh, siridahl.comYep. Siri, Dahl.com 

 

And you’re on Instagram, you're everywhere, follow her guys, she is phenomenal. The stories she tells, the content she creates is, is over the top grade. And I'm a huge fan and I love, I want to see more of your writing. I hope that you will continue to write op-eds, they are so good and they are so powerful. The things that you're saying are just so needed to be said. So I think it's great. Uh, stick around after we say goodbye. Guys, my name is Peter Shankman, this is Faster Than Normal. I really appreciate you listening as always. And as I mentioned it to you earlier, or you probably heard earlier on the ad, there is a way for you to sponsor this episode. If you go to shank.mn/sponsor you can pay for an ad in cryptocurrency, and it's actually a lot easier than you think, so I encourage you guys to check that out. We will see you next week as always. Thank you for listening. I love you guys, ADHD and all forms of neuro-diversity are gifts, not curses, treat them as such, 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 28, 2021

Will Henshall is a Los Angeles based tech entrepreneur, inventor and music producer. He was the founding member and main writer in the UK pop soul band Londonbeat. Their massive early 90s hit ‘I’ve Been Thinking About You’ reached #1 in the Billboard chart and was the top selling single in all major territories and won him BMI/PRS songwriter of the year. In the mid 90s, he founded San Francisco based audio tech company Rocket Network. The "DigiDelivery" media transfer system, now part of ProTools 12 Cloud collaboration, is a standard tool used everyday in pro audio production for TV, movies and music. He sold the company to Avid in 2003. His most recent start up is www.focusatwill.com, a science driven instrumental music streaming service (2m users) that helps people at work and study reduce distractions and be more productive. He holds 5 patents, and has a new one in the oven! Today we talk about how anyone who isn’t boring probably has ADHD! Just kidding, sort of, enjoy!

 

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***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Will Henshall discuss:

 

   :50  -  Intro and welcome Will!!

3:15  -  So you moved from the Musicbiz into Tech?  Ref:  Avid Cloud Collaboration

5:44  -  About how www.focusatwill.com came to be

8:40  -  Ref:  Dr. Ned Hallowell  Dr. Evian Gordon

13:05 -  On the percentage of users that are either ADHD or ADD or other?

16:16  -  Ref:  Left Field Labs 

18:35  -  How do we continue to prove to people that this works!? On next steps for Focus At Will

21:52  -  How can people find you?  Write to him! Will@FocusAtWill.com Website: www.FocusAtWill.com Socials:  @focusatwill on INSTA  Twitter  Facebook

22:39  -  Thank you Will Henshall! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

23:08-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hey guys, Peter Shankman.  Welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal.  I’m thrilled that you’re here, as always, we tend to make ADHD a gift, not a curse, and we want you to see that as well. You know, it's funny every once in a while, when someone asks, “Hey, can I come on your podcast?” Is it, they have a good story? And I say sure, that sounds great, and  I have my assistant collect their background, and their bio and their, and their headshot and all that, and because of ADHD, I usually look at it in about four seconds before the interview. And, um, I had, I'd known about my guests and about his project called  https://www.focusatwill.com/  I had known about him for a while. It's a…. it's a,  it's a science driven, instrumental music streaming service with over 2 million users, it helps people work and study.  It reduces distractions, and be more productive. But what I didn't know about Will Henshall, until I read his bio and literally, pardon my French lost my shit. He was the founding member and main writer of the UK pop soul band, London Beat. And if you don't remember London Beat, perhaps…. Will is going to play a little, a little clip of London Beats,  their number one song that you will, you will totally remember…. that blew my mind.  So at some point, at some point, Will,,, you will play?  

First of all, thank you for that fantastic introduction. Second of all, yeah. (plays clip of song…) I've been thinking about you too, Peter.  (plays clip of song…)  This was number one all over the world in the nineties. I was the guitarist and I was the white guy. 

I can’t… oh my God. I……

I wasn't even, so, I mean, that was the thing. I looked at your picture and I'm like, wait, I can swear everyone in that group was black and I watched the video again and surely enough, there you are. 

We always took photographs in a way that the skin tone wasn't particularly obvious. 

Oh my God. I mean, I remember that sounds like it was yesterday.  It's still one of my all time favorites. It's on my it's on my running mix.  I'm going to go out…. I'm going out for a run after this, uh, after this interview, and ...he's pulled out the guitar, here we go. 

Um, yeah, for viewers at home, uh, without, people listening (plays guitar) Yeah, it’s a solo, not particularly well played, cause it's early in the morning for me. 

 

It is indeed, and I appreciate you taking the time to come on this early. You know, it's funny. I, we, we could spend it if we don't, if we don't switch topics, we can talk all day about how much I love that song, but don’t,,,,, that was your thing, OK, you did that, and then, and then you went to, you went to tech, right? So you had a company also that you, you, um, uh, let me, let me, let me see if I got this right. You had Rocket Network. Yeah, was, was, became part of ProTools. 

Yep. 

And then Pro Tools was sold to Abbott... 

Uh, yes, not quite in that order.

OK, something like that.

Avid, done Pro Tools and then Rocket Network, which is a company I founded in 94. We raised just under $50 million in the 90’s, um, Paul Allen and Cisco, and a bunch of other investors, and we created something that is now https://www.avid.com/pro-tools/cloud-collaboration so if anybody knows Pro Tools or media editing tools, they're the kind of the standards in the entertainment business, for making media and, um, yeah, you're probably using our tech. The first projects that used the technology in the back in the day were Eric Clapton, Prince, and then, uh, Peter Jackson's new movie. Um, and, uh, I think Harry Potter's first….

So, no one's special is what you're saying...

Yeah, and it was very cool, it was a system that, um, shipped around the component pieces of professional audio, various securely, so that…

Unbelievable, if I remember correctly, Avid…. actually, it started out as a company called Diva and Diva was just Avid, uh, spelled backwards. And they had a group who started DIVA, started in Boston.

That's right. 

And I worked… I interned for them. I helped them, uh, create, uh, like their first logo, one of their first logos back in like 92.  Yeah. My RA, the RA, my dorm, uh, worked for them and, and he's like, Hey, you know, you know, computers, come, come make a logo. And yeah. Yeah, definitely. Ridiculously small world. 

Yes, I come from a, you know, yeah., you, you, you mentioned.  Yes. I was, uh, uh, a musician and we had, we had, uh, uh, many hits over the years as the best known one. Um, I quit the band in ‘94 and I come from a long series of British inventors.  My brother was an inventor….... my Dad's an inventor, my Grandfather, my Great-Grandfather and, um, so it's kind of built in. I remember always like my Granddad saying that door handles in the wrong place, or you know, that this is not yeah. who designed this can opener, you know? Uh, so it's kind of in the brain and because I was always interested in digital things early and particularly digital audio, it led me perfectly into a place where I met Matt Mueller and a couple of other guys, and we founded Rocket Network. Actually I've got five patents, my name's on five patents, which I'm very proud of. 

5:44 It is very cool. Yes, yeah. alright. I want to, I…. I can talk about this all day. Let's, you know, there's a podcast for the neuro-diverse let's talk about https://www.focusatwill.com/  because I'm actually a fan of it. Um, why don't you give us, for those who don't know what  https://www.focusatwill.com/  is, give us a description of it.  And, um, then I’ll tell you why I love it.  

Thank you, Peter. Well, this is a unique music service and it is a library of material you can't find it anywhere else. That is, uh, uh, delivered to each user in a very unique way and you... you could think of it as, um, you know, ADD by the way, is close and dear and close to my heart.  I am myself, most of my friends are, I find anybody who isn't boring and it just means... 

Steven, Steven there's, there's our subhead. Anyone who wasn't boring, has ADHD….

That's of course not. Um, It just means as my understanding of ADHD is it just means that you've got to be able to focus and concentrate you need to have a lot of stuff going on at the same time, so we are the people that are good in a crisis, right? We are the people that have got like a TV on over there, a game on over here, a talking book on over here, some music here, and then we're able to sit and relax. So I didn't discover this until I was in the band in, in, um, the Rocket Network company. And the reason why I learned was I went from running a band and being very active to inventing this kind of networking audio technology to ending up when we sold to Avid, to actually sitting in a cubicle  (laughter)

Welcome to the new world... 

And I tried to say, I was the boss before and now I sold my business, I was reporting to some middle -level managers and I was like, listen, “I….I know you guys have a policy of people being in the office, but I can't get anything done here.”   Well, you gotta be in the office. I'm like, where's your deliverable, William. I'm like, ah, I'm sitting here staring at the walls. So I started to try and find music that would help me block out the sound of everybody else, and it was impossible for me. It was not, I just couldn't find it. And then people would say to me, Oh, you're kind of hyper. Why don't you just find something to chill you the F out and be like, I've listened to this.  (plays music)  It's intuitive to the public. That if someone is kinda hyper, like all my favorite people, you play them something to chill them out, or maybe something like this. I'm playing some things on folks that will buy though in the background,  the answer is (buzzer sound)  that won't work at all, as you and your listeners know, umhttps://drhallowell.com/, who I'm assuming, you know...

I know Ned very well,  he wrote the foreword for my book. 

Yeah. Yeah, um, I met Ned in about eight years ago when he called me up. Now I’d heard of him and read his book called https://www.amazon.com/dp/0307743152ed  his bestselling book on Amazon., he's he's written a few best sellers, all about ADHD and why it’s the learning difference, not a disorder. And I get this call and this voice goes to “Hi, I'm Ned Hallowell. I can't do his voice, I’m Ned Halowell in that Boston kind of voice, and he goes, “are you Will from https://www.focusatwill.com/   and he goes, I'm Ned from Focus on Ned, and he said, I have been listening to your music to write my new book, which then was called, Driven to Distraction at work. And he said, I've put you in the book. And I was like, wow, that is, wow, this is from the horse's mouth, right? This is Ned himself telling me that. So we got...I invited him to be on our science, uh, board and got to know him very well, and with his help, and with another scientist that’s in our book,  Dr. Evian Gordon from https://www.totalbrain.com/about-us/   in San Francisco. With the two of them, we started honing into the idea in the same way that, um, stimulants such as Adderall and Ritalin and drinking so much coffee. Over clock, the ADHD brain and calm you down.  We started to work on the idea that there are energies in an audio stream that'll do the same thing. 5% of our users in folks that will 5% listen to this channel that I'm just about to play, it’s called ADHD Type 1, and they listened to this.. 8hrs a day, 5 days a week. It's actually just warming up. Here we go, so to anyone that doesn't have ADHD, that sounds like an incredible noise, but if you actually do have ADHD or ADD, right, this will help you enormously. 

Yep, no question about it.  

What it’s doing, is overclocking the brain, and, um, Ned explained it to me in a way that I've never heard it explained before he said, William, your brain... all of our human brains, it doesn't matter where you come from... gender, it doesn't matter. We're all wired the same, this clock, the back of your head, about every four times a second, it goes, talk to Peter, talk to Peter, talk to Peter,  talk to Peter. He said, it's like the cocks on the rowboats, you know, there's the person that’s like going “PULL!”, right? And you go pull like this four times the second. And so those of us with ADHD by the way, Hallowell himself is insanely ADHD. That's part of the reason why he does the work? I think he said, what happens is that clock is running slowly. So it goes, talk to Peter, and then my consciousness is like, Whoa, what's that over there?  And then, then it goes, talk to Peter, right?   And so what's happening is it's like the kids in the backseat are always going crazy cause they haven't got something to do. And so we, uh, we started experimenting with different types of audio that clock the brain to speed that clock up. I mean, the irony is as you and your listeners know, the reason that we have ADHD is that clock is running slowly, not fast.

Right? 

If you play some music slow, it's going to make it worse. 

Right. Right. It's an interesting…. it's an interesting take on it because I know that for me, uh, you know, we started this off by fanboying about how much I love that song, but the the fact that it is it's one of those songs with a fast beat, with, you know, powerful hook, powerful melody that allows me when I'm exercising to focus as well as I want and focus on the run and run faster and train harder, and music for me has always done that. Um, and so the concept of, of, of. audio as a whole to keep the brain focused is, you know, the funny part is, is that when we were growing up and ADHD didn't exist, it was sit down, you're disrupting the class disease. Um, when I was dealing with that, I remember I'd come home, I'd start my homework, I'd put on music, and my parents who were music teachers, that was the irony, they were both public school music teachers. nope, you shut it off, you've got to focus on, we're going to pay attention to school, and I was dedicating attention to the score. The music helped me do that, and now of course we know the difference.  So what percentage of your users, if you have any idea, uh, would you say are using this, are neuro diverse are ADD/ADHD, um, I mean, you said 5% listen to that track, but...

Yaah, um, it's about 20% and, uh, I prefer instead of using terms of just neuro-diverse or I just say my favorite people. There are probably and objectively many, I mean, here, here's the real question. Peter, why to human beings? Why did we evolve to have a percentage of people like that? Well, the answer is we are good in a crisis. We are the kind of people that can do highly stressful work, such as, um, air, traffic control, battlefield surgeons.  Um, uh, how about, uh, how about fifth grade teachers? Um, right. Police work. These are all things that when this, a lot of stuff going on we’re very calm, and if you and I were back in the day, we're in the, you know, we are like thousands of years ago and we're in the, in the encampment with our tribe, and there's arrows coming over the top.  You or I, and people like us, the neuro-diverse people, we are the people that are going to go... I got this. 

Yep, exactly. 

As everyone is running around like a chicken with its head cut off and we're like, nope, I got this.

The problem is, is that, when there's a crisis, we're great. But for the now, for the… we have to sit there and focus on expense reports or in your case, sit in that office and get that work done, it's not as easy. 

So to answer your question about, uh, how, how many people are there, I can actually answer it with audio. I played you that, uh, crazy ADHD music, um, about 30% of the rest of our audience listened to uptempo.

I like that. 

So this is, it's kind of an, an uptempo transit channel. It has, it has thousands and thousands of tracks, but the tracks, they don't have DJ drops, right? they don't have, um, vocals of any kind, and there's some very specific things about the speed and the pulses within it. Um, it works for people who are kind of veering towards easily distracted, but not really. It kind of doesn't overlap. And then about another 30% or so of our audience, um, this is now as you can tell, nearly 70%, uh, listen to this. (plays music)  This is called Alpha Chill. And this is a typical track, speed is a little lower.  It still keeps you going, but it's not quite so intense, right? So to answer your question specifically, about 20% of our users are in that higher energy date they are. So we did a, I do a lot of surveys in the business and we have, um, we have, uh, an enterprise product where, you know, companies get this for their, uh, their employees.  And we just had a company called  https://www.leftfieldlabs.com/ in LA. They're one of the Google, internal Google, um, ad agencies, and, uh, they had like just over a hundred users and they bore out something that we found a lot. We… what we do is we give a hundred accounts to them and then they come back to us and tell us how many of their employees use us all the time... of that, how many are interested?  And the answer is usually about 25%, 20, 25% of any given company. You find this and go, wow. So that's part of our sales pitch. Here's the thing, I know the CEO and I called him up and I said, Hey, that's fascinating. Would you mind telling me who the 20% are? Is there a pattern then he laughed and he said, yes, it is my C-suite.  It is my most valuable players, it is my employees, the MVP, it is, uh, the people who are kind of difficult to deal with. And I said, If you looked at your kind of payroll costs, what percentage is this core group? He said, they're my most important people. And it represents 80% of my payroll.

I believe it. 

So we found this often that about 20% of the population who are usually the most talented, the most productive, the most valuable, are also the most easily distracted. Definitely.

My people. This is the entrepreneurs. This is the… there's the people who make things done. If you, I tell people who are not in this world who are not neuro-typical, who doesn't understand, you know, non-tibial people.  I go, Elon Musk. He defines someone who is hyper hyper, hyper. I mean, good brief. I mean, just watching him talk. I have to just go.And then you think about a lot of other well-known fairy capable, productive people, Steve Jobs, Oprah, Allen. 

I write about, I write about all these people in the book, the Faster Than Normal the book, and we interviewed a ton of them as well. I have friends all over the world who are the exact same brain as me. Um, tell me, cause I wanna, I wanna be respectful of your time. Tell me about, so, so it's Focusatwill.com, and it's, um, I mean, I, like I said, I love it. Um, where are you, where do you see it going? I mean, first of all, I'll take it a step back.  How do we convince more people that this actually works? Because I think that a lot of, you know, we're seeing, I think the pandemic has pushed us into being able to try new things and being willing to try new things, um, without as much backlash as there used to be. So are you, are you continuing to pitch for, um, for consumers or are you starting to look towards, uh, the enterprise aspect of it?

Actually, we have about half consumers, which is individuals purchasing and then half, um, enterprise sales. Um, the pandemic was, was interesting. We did well because if you are stressed, and under pressure remotely working for the first time, remember a lot of people with ADHD like this, we'd like to go into an office because the bustle that kind of helps us.  And if all of a sudden you're at home on your own delivering things, and this has been an absolute godsend for a lot of people. So our business went up actually, uh, during the, during the year., and. It's the new normal, right? There's a lot of people not going back to work. And what are, uh, what of I get a lot of mail from being artists.  I've got a couple of million users. And one of the things that they've said is that the system has a timer on it. So you can figure out how long your perfect session is. Most people it's about, it's between 25, which is one session minutes, and right through to quite a lot of people have set it at 80 minutes.  So you're doing 80 minute work sessions. You can get, you get a lot done. And they say, if you have a pair of noise canceling headphones, and you have this app, it becomes like your, blankie, it becomes like that’s what they do, to get...stuff done, right?

it  becomes like a cocoon

I mean, that’s the premise of most people with ADHD find, is that they get into some sort of zone, they figured out where that zone is. For me, it used to be on an airplane. I’d fly to Tokyo to give a speech, I'd write for 14 straight hours. Yes, it was, it was amazing. Um, and so, so having to find that new place, so no, you, you put those headphones on, you shut out the rest of the world, you shut off the distractions and you do that, whatever way works for you.  But what you're doing is you are allowing yourself essentially putting on horse blinders, and you're focusing on that, which you need to focus on without the ooh, what's over there. 

Well, yeah, something I didn't talk about yet, which I'll just mention quickly is that all music is not the same. If you listen to music with vocals….music that's designed to entertain you, which is pretty much anything out there, that's why it's successful, It's engaging. Um, it is gonna... you've replaced one problem with another. So. yes. You can't hear all the noise around or you're trying to get in your zone, on the other hand, you're singing it. 

You're singing the song, exactly. 

Snoop Dog,  whatever you like to listen to. 

It's very true. 

So the focus music is designed and the system has an onboarding, uh, quiz that if you take it at it's 17 questions and it has about an 80% accuracy of, um, determining which genre of music on the system will work best for you, and we find 85% of the people that use our system when they find their genre, each, um, each channel has a, a low, medium and a high setting., so there's really about 36 channels on the system, 85% of our users when they find it and they dial it and they go in on it, they never change because it just...works.

Yeah. That's awesome. So it's Focusatwill.com  How do people find you? Are you, are you online? Are you on Insta,  so what's your, what's your story? 

Hi, first of all, I'm fascinated with productivity and ADHD. It is my life, and I love to hear from people, so anyone listening, just, just write me, tell me how he found the system, what works, um, I'm at  focus@will.com.  That's and um, as I said, I'm, I'm always super interested and, uh, remember, there's a channel on this system called ADHD Type 1 which if you've got to get stuff done today, will really help you. 

I love it. Will, we're going to have you back again, we'll have you on the podcast in a couple months, again.  Thank you so much for taking the time. It was really, really appreciated. And what a pleasure to talk to it, to talk to you, it's truly great. 

22:40  Guys, as always Faster Than Normal is for you. Let us know what you want to hear, let us know who you want to hear, let us know if you want us to play I’ve Been Thinking About You, some more ‘cause we can do that too. Again, that has to be a cue, you’ve got to cue it up one more time. I'll just cue it up here. It is.

This is a very bad choice to listen to when you're trying to work. 

Oh, without question, but for exercise, you can't beat it. It's different, right? Yes. 

All right guys. See you next week. Thanks for listening. My name is Peter Shankman. 

 

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 21, 2021

JeffThe420Chef, author of The 420 Gourmet: The Art of Elevated Cannabis Cuisine is the creator of “Tasteless" canna-butter and canna-oils and the inventor of Culinary Cannabis, cannabis flower that mimics the smell and taste of familiar herbs and spices like oregano, rosemary, thyme and cinnamon. Using a secret process rooted in molecular gastronomy, Chef Jeff has been able to create cannabis ingredients that are simple to use and precisely dosed. 

Dubbed “The Julia Child of Weed” by The Daily Beast, and a legendary cannabis chef by Cheddar, JeffThe420Chef, works with cannabis in ways that no other cannabis chef in the world does. He has been redefining the cannabis consumption experience since 2012 with a mission “to make cooking with cannabis simple and easy for everyone and to bring the cannabis consumption experience into the mainstream”. In 2014, he pioneered "layered micro-dosing”, and created the popular "THC/CBD Calculator" app to help home cooks and chefs determine the approximate THC and CBD dosage of the edibles they make. Jeff is also a culinary instructor and teaches a series of classes called "The Art of Cooking with Cannabis" in medical and recreational states. The goal of his class is to help people understand the value of both cannabis and hemp as an ingredient, the power of THC and CBD as ingredients, how to gauge and manage the potency of edibles, and how to dose those edibles properly. JeffThe420Chef and his recipes are continuously featured in numerous high profile publications including the High Times, Cheddar TV, MerryJane, Emerald Magazine, The Forward, Culture Magazine and Edibles Magazine. He has also been featured on TruTV with Margaret Cho, Bakeout.tv, Vice, Business Insider, WeedmapsTV (soon to be released), Elite Daily, The Daily Beast, The Boston Globe The New York Daily News, The Huffington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle and more... I learned a LOT! I hope you do too- enjoy!

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***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

In this episode Peter & Jeff Danzer discuss:

 

   :42  -  Intro and welcome Jeff

 

3:29  -  How did this become something you wanted to pursue? 

 

5:25  -  On becoming a more accomplished chef/moving forward while learning to create tastes people like

 

7:22  -  On being ADHD and achieving acclaim & success. What type of systems did you put into place to partake and not fly off the rails? 

 

9:38  -  On scheduling while working on all different projects, keeping it all in line

 

10:45  -  On cannabis, and how it changed your relationship with ADHD

 

11:44 -  On certain situations where it made sense to work while high, and what to do when it’s time hyperfocus

 

12:53  -  On feeling in control of a situation and taking care of business as far as negotiating, doing what needs to be done, etc.

 

14:45  -  On advising people who might be fearful of partaking in either cannabis or hemp in the hopes of it helping with their ADHD

 

17:56  -  How can people find you?  Website: https://www.jeffthe420chef.com/  @JeffThe420Chef on Twitter  INSTA and a bunch of goodness on his YouTube page HERE   

 

18:56  -  Thank you Chef Jeff!  https://www.jeffthe420chef.com/ And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

19:41-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hi everyone, Peter Shankman here. Welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal. I hope you're having a wonderful Wednesday wherever you happen to be.  It is in fact, Wednesday here as well when we are recording this and it is a gorgeous day in New York City, a beautiful, beautiful day, uh, more and more people are getting vaccinated and pretty soon, we will all be able to go outside and start licking things again, as if there was no other care in the world.  Hope you’re staying safe. We’ve got a fun guest today who is going to talk to us about, well, I'm gonna let him tell you what we're going to talk about, but needless to say that it's going to be a lot of fun and it might make you change how you think of, well, cannabis and weed and who the hell knows. Let's just see. Jeff Danzer, otherwise known as https://www.jeffthe420chef.com/ He's the author of the https://www.jeffthe420chef.com/cookbook The Art of Elevated Cannabis Cuisine, is a creative tasteless canna butter and canna oils, and the inventor of culinary cannabis. Cannabis flower that mimics the smell and taste of familiar herbs and spices like oregano, rosemary, thyme and cinnamon using a secret process rooted in molecular gastronomy, which I've been to molecular gastronomy restaurants and  oh my God, that's so much fun. Jeff, Chef Jeff has been able to create cannabis ingredients that are simple to use and precisely dosed.  He's been dubbed the Julia Child of weed, by The Daily Beast and a legendary cannabis chef by cheddar Jeff.  The 420 Chef works with cannabis in ways that no other cannabis chef in the world does.  He's been redefining the cannabis consumption experience in 2012, with a mission to make cooking with cannabis simple and easy for everyone, and to bring the cannabis consumption experience into the mainstream.  He's pioneered something called Layered Microdosing, created the popular https://www.jeffthe420chef.com/calculator  It's an app that helps home cooks and chefs determine exactly how much to put into the edibles they make. He's a culinary instructor, he teaches a series of classes called... what else? The Art of Cooking with Cannabis in medical and recreational States. Jeff, you've been all over the place you've been mentioned in countless media outlets.  I am so thrilled that you took the time to be on the podcast.   Thanks so much, man. 

Thank you so much for having me. I love what you're doing and your podcast is pretty awesome. So you've got a fan on this side as well. 

Thank you. So, you know, over, over time, I've heard a lot of, we've had several guests on the podcast who swear that cannabis and edibles and things like that have really changed how they handle their ADHD and how they handle their ADD.  Um, it has, you know, it has benefited them in so many ways. Um, we're really sort of entering a new mindset in terms of cannabis and in terms of weed and pot and all that, uh, you know, especially in New York where, where last week we just passed a law to make it legal. So, you know, talk to us, first of all, but how'd you, how'd you get involved in this?  How, how did this become a thing that you wanted to pursue and then, and then we'll move into, uh, what it can do? 

Yes. I mean, I say, you know, uh, like many people, I also, um, have ADHD. I don't say I suffer with it because it's literally helped me get to exactly where I am today. Um, but I did, you know, way back in the day I used to smoke weed and it would totally calm me down and focus me.  Um, I didn't have to take any more Adderall, you know, I was literally able to focus with cannabis because it brought me into that state that I needed to, um, and it works for a lot of people in the same ways. And I was really just smoking for a very long time until, um, about 2010, um, a family member was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor, and, uh, another person, um, one of my best friend's mothers was diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer, and they both wanted to medicate with cannabis, but didn't want to smoke and wanted edibles. And at that time I was in the fashion industry, but I was always a really good cook and chef or so they say, and these people had asked me if I could maybe make them some infused, um, cookies or brownies or whatever, just so they could medicate with cannabis, you know, to make life a little easier, you know, towards the end of their journey here. And, um, first thing I did was go back to my college days and I made 'em brownies and cookies and they tasted terrible. Uh, they, in both of them said, well, it works, but it doesn't taste right. So, you know, thanks, but no thanks. Yeah. You know, it's like, they just hated the taste of the weed in their food. So basically I was challenged to take out the taste of the cannabis from the, um, uh, from the edibles.

Interesting. So, so... you had a whole goal of, okay. I know how to cook now. I'm going to make it taste like something that people would actually want. 

Right. You know, so, you know, it took me a long time, took me about 18 months to figure it out, and, uh, unfortunately neither of them really got to experience it, you know, they got to experience along the way, you know, uh, how far I had gotten, but at the point where I actually finally figured out how to remove the taste from my edibles, unfortunately they were not able to, uh, you know, to enjoy it. Um, but since then many other people have, and I cooked for a lot of sick people.  Um, that's where it really started this. And you know the thing that I realized that people that are seriously ill, terminally ill, is that, you know, they want to enjoy as much of life as possible, not knowing that they're medicating. And a big part of it was, you know, if you're going to taste the weed in your food, they know you're medicating when you're eating and that just makes it even worse.  So if you're already nauseous and feeling really bad, you know, from their medications or the chemo or whatever else that you're getting, the last thing you want to do is put something in your mouth, you know, it's a try to eat, that's going to make you feel even sicker. So, you know, we try to make, you know, great tasting food, that they didn't, they didn't have to eat a lot of that would, you know, make them feel good, maybe increase their appetite a bit. And, um, Uh, yeah, get them to that point where maybe they might have something that they would enjoy. So, um, like I said, it took me about 18 months to get to that place. I finally figured out how to do it, and from there on, um, just, I mean, uh, I met with a guy from The Daily Beast, gave him one of my cupcakes... a week and a half later an article came out, said “meet the Julia Child of Weed.” Newsweek did…. Newsweek did like a, I think a four-page thing on me in their Weed 2.0 Edition, and uh, things just skyrocketed from there, to the point where I literally left my fashion career in New York, closed down my business and moved to California to become a cannabis chef.  And in the interim, um, I got a book deal with Harper Collins to write The 420 Gourmet. And I had been approached by alot of really well known chefs out there through Facebook, because at the time that's all we really had to communicate and they're like, listen, can you teach me how to do what you do?  And I said, oh, sure, you know, but you would have to teach me some skills in return. I didn't charge them any money for it, but I asked for skills and before I knew it, I became an award-winning cannabis chef. And then the rest is history. 

Now, you're ADHD. So talk to us, talk to us about how you've managed to achieve this level of success.  Uh, success and still be ADHD. Is it, is it strict from cannabis or, you know, what, what sort of systems we put into place to live your life and do it in such a way that you're, you're not flying off the rails? 

Well, the crazy thing is that I was always all over the place with everything that I did, but, you know, I came up with this mission way back when, when I started... to make the cannabis consumption experience, simple and easy for everyone, and everything that I do, falls within that, but there's many different things that I could do. So instead of having to focus just on one thing, I was able to focus on the cookbook and I was able to do classes and focus on those. I was able to take small pieces and actually create little businesses around these small pieces.  So when we have catering, we have, um, education, we have, you know, the cookbook. We have, um, obviously all the PR stuff that I do out there, we have a new company called https://www.jeffthe420chef.com/scarborough-fair-market which as you mentioned earlier, we have cannabis, that's culinary cannabis, which mimics the order and tastes of herbs like oregano basil, thyme, cinnamon and, etc. Now we're doing the same thing with hemp, so I've been able to take all of that and create little, um, I guess, spinning a silos. And each one of those only takes a small chunk of my time every day. So I'm able to do all these different things that I enjoy and that I can focus on for a very short period of time before I move on to the next thing.  And that's always been, my problem is that, you know, I... I've, I can focus on something for a short period of time, but I can't focus on it for a long period of time. I could only imagine being ADHD, how difficult it was to write that cookbook, right? But again, I broke up the cookbook into different parts.  First, I did the recipes, then I explained, you know, on the head notes, what they were.  But then I went to a whole new, uh, version of it where I was telling you how many milligrams are in each serving of everything that you make within that cookbook. It was a whole different project that I was then able to incorporate into that cookbook. So for me, being able to take everything in small little pieces and then sew them together to meet that mission of making cooking the cannabis for the cannabis consumption experience, simple and easy for everyone was how I did it and how I used my ADHD to create all this. 

 

Did your schedule at all? I mean, was everything did you have to schedule the times like, OK, from 9-10 I'm going to be working on this aspect from 10 to 11 we're working on dosage from the, you know, how did you put that together? 

Yeah, loosely and I still do it that way, you know? So like, you know, I know that, you know, for example, in the mornings I will work from full. I started around 4am, 4 or 5am, so for 4 or 5am, I answer my emails, do whatever I can get all this stuff out of the way. And yeah, it's done. Then all of a sudden I'm like, okay, I have a dinner party coming up. So I've got, you know, an hour or two to start working on the dinner party, get those emails out of the way, get my list together, get my shopping list together. And then on to my next thing, you know, the next thing might be, you know, with the culinary cannabis, working on packaging, then we'll, you know, I'll call my packaging guys. I'll get my guys and say, Hey, let's do this. You know? And it's a whole different thing. We have a website business, um, you know, that's running on one side selling the culinary hemp now, uh, we have, I mean, all these different businesses and I've got some great people, you know, they're helping me, you know, spearhead this, but literally I'm able to do everything by taking my time and maximizing it in chunks.  So I do schedule, but I would say I loosely schedule because I know that sometimes I go over, sometimes I go under. 

How has cannabis in, in a few words, how has it changed your relationship with ADHD? 

Uh, I think it's calmed me down a lot. I will tell you that when I wrote my book, um, I was bong hitting on a constant basis and I started doing edibles just because it allowed me to just sit there and focus on what I was supposed to do. Um, but on the other side of it, you know, some of this stuff I really didn't want to be high when I was writing, for example, you know, the headnotes was fine, but when you're talking about a recipe, you really need to be focused on that recipe, and I wanted to make sure that I had all, everything, all the ingredients and all of the, um, the measurements, etc, needed to be precise, you know, so to do that, you know, when you're cooking, especially the equivalent weight, it's easy to just throw it over to this and throw a little bit of that, and, but in order to really be able to, um, uh, to focus on what actually the actual ingredients were, that's when I really didn't smoke or,,,, but I didn't have cannabis. 

I find it interesting in the respect that, you know, what was it, uh, what did Hemingway say? Write drunk, edit sober?  Yeah, that's very true, so the same principle, the same premise.  Um, tell me about, uh, situations where, you know, it's not necessarily prudent to be working while high, right? And what is, what happens when you need to focus or you need to do something about your ADHD?  Uh, you know, you can't. A microdose, do you can't, you can't eat an edible or something like that because you need to be always there.

Wait, you definitely don't want to be operating, um, any equipment or heavy machinery machinery, you know, that's for sure. Yeah. I also feel that, you know, if you really need to be engaged, um, a little bit, a little bit of cannabis  is actually a really good thing, you know, for me when I have business meetings and stuff, and I really need to be engaged a lot more on when I've taken an edible about an hour before my business meeting, and I can literally sit there and engage and my personality. It just, I think it, it, it almost like blossoms more when I don't have, when I, you know, when I don't have cannabis in my system, you know what? I haven't had an edible or smoke. Um, I'm a lot more tense. 

And you feel like, you feel like you feel like you're in control, you feel like you're not like you can go in and negotiate or do whatever it is you have to do?

Yeah. Yeah. You know, I feel like I'm, I'm in a lot more control as a matter of fact, let's say an interesting story. When we, uh, we, we got our license to open up one of the first cannabis edibles restaurants in West Hollywood. And, um, part of that process was also going up in front of the business license commission and speaking on behalf of the other, uh, lounges and restaurants that, um, wanted to open up and giving them, you know, the prompts and actually supporting them, and I remember right before one of these meetings, I was testing some of my culinary cannabis and I made a, um, uh, a dish called Stuffed Shells. Now I had had that, those stuffed shells at around three o'clock in the afternoon. And the BLC meeting was at 6:00 PM. I get there at 6:00 PM and I am flying. I mean, I was super high, I didn’t realize how potent this this edible was, I mean, that's actually one of the more potency tests. And I was like, Oh my God, like I should be done with this, but I just kept getting higher and higher. And all of a sudden they call me up to speak on behalf of this company. And, you know, thank thankfully, you know, I had written out my notes on my phone, so at least I had something to look at, but I literally looked at my phone, glanced at the notes, put my phone down and then just spoke on behalf of this company to the point where everybody who is in the audience, listening, you know, like in the, I guess they call it the, um, the gallery or whatever, just started clapping because it was that intense and passionate. It just came straight out. And like, as I walked back, my business partners, from the lounge were like “damn, that was crazy, I hope you do that for us.”  And I was like, dude, that was the culinary cannabis. So I mean, it definitely helps for me, you know, it definitely helps, you know, in certain business settings, other ones, you know, as when I'm creating, I love being high, right. But when I'm doing a dinner party for people, I'm not. 

What do you say, um, to someone who, uh, has maybe never tried or has tried pot once, like in college and, and has heard from people though, that it can benefit ADHD, , or you know, let me, let me rephrase that. What do you say to me….. who is someone who has tried pot like once or twice in his life and has never has never thought about it as a way to manage or control my ADHD?  Um, you know, there's a part of me that's a little scared to do it, right? How does, how does one start in that regard? 

Well, for starters, cannabis today is very different than it was back in the day. Right. So I've been smoking cannabis for God 44 years. That's a long time. I'm 58 years old. 

Yeah I was going to say, I assume you're not like 45, right?

Okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm actually 58, and although people think I'm a lot younger, cause I guess my, my energy is a bit younger. I blame that on the ADHD too, which is great. Um, but you know, at the end of the day I've been at this for a long time. It's different today. And there are a lot of, uh, we'll be called canni-curious people out there that either like yourself had tried it once or twice back in the day, and they're maybe afraid of it.  Now we're learning to what does he know with all the fuss is about now and they want to check it out. They may want to check out hemp CBD, but you know, they still want to feel what a high feels like, etc. What I would say is this, first of all, make sure you get clean cannabis from somebody. Also, you should try both, um, smoking and or vaping and also edibles, cause those are two different feelings and no matter what you do start very, very low and go very, very slow. What does that mean? So if it comes down to an edible, a low-dose edible, is about two and a half milligrams of THC. Most people who are new to this, they'll feel two and a half milligrams of THC, but it's going to feel like they maybe had half a glass of wine.  If you want to feel like you had more than half a glass of wine, a five milligram edible is probably the most that I would suggest for somebody just starting out. And that'll probably make you feel like you’ve had  about a glass. to a glass and a half, depending on how your body processes it.  Some people have five milligrams and they're like, Oh man, this is too much, so that's why I say start with two and a half, but you know, if you want to go higher, you can. Um, I never take anybody above 10 at our dinner parties, unless they've proven that they're what they called a decca-doser. So people are just starting out just a very low and very slow when it comes to smoking.  If you're going to smoke something to make sure you're getting clean cannabis from a legal dispensary, and I would only do one hit. And see how that makes you feel then about five minutes. So it's got a quick onset time. Something else you should know with edibles is that with the exception of the culinary cannabis, that we're now getting ready to put out there into the market, most edibles take about two hours to kick in.  So you can have a gummy or you can have a bite of a cookie and be like, Oh, this tastes good. If I'm not feeling anything, I'll try more. Don't do it. Wait two hours and see how you feel. You know, it's one of the biggest problems people have is like, Oh, I eat the whole cookie. Cause I didn't feel anything. And then all of a sudden, two hours later they're flying kite.  

You know, I've heard stories, you know, 

I always say go low. Yeah. So you've got to really go low. You have to abide by the rules until you understand what it's all about, how it makes you feel. But two and a half milligrams, you know, a bite of a cookie or, you know, a half of a gummy bear or something like that, you know, that's a five milligram, you know, make sure you know the dosage and get it from a legal, reputable dispensary. 

 Amazing. Amazing. What cool stuff. How can people find you, Jeff? What, where can they go? 

Well,it’s  https://www.jeffthe420chef.com/ anywhere you look.  So it’s https://www.jeffthe420chef.com/ that's our website, um, https://www.instagram.com/jeffthe420chef/?hl=en on Instagram, if you want to see all the fun stuff we're creating. Um, then we have https://twitter.com/jeffthe420chef?lang=en  for some, you know, some of my thoughts and comments and stuff, um, that you can reach out to me through  https://www.jeffthe420chef.com/  or you can also reach out to me through a DM’ing on Instagram. Um, so just, you know, and also https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4c5MriI1vcHd45S5O2ntbA, we have a really great YouTube channel, right? Teach people how to do things at home. Do-it-yourself became really big this past year. And this has increased five fold this year, our, in our online business, um, where we actually sell products having to do with cooking with cannabis, um, that business has increased five fold.  Um, my classesI do virtual classes, those have increased scale tremendously because people want to learn how to do things in home. And cannabis was an essential business, so they had the weed, but they didn't know how to, you know, how to, how to work with it. So, you know, things like that have been doing really well, and then you can reach me those ways. 

Very cool. Uh, all right guys, this, this was….. eye opening. I learned a lot about this. This is really cool. We're going to have to have you back. We’ll have to do a follow up on this side a couple of months. Most definitely. Guys, you've been  listening to Peter Shankman and https://www.fasterthannormal.com/ um, that was Jeff Danzer with  https://www.jeffthe420chef.com/  who, uh, yeah.Um, Wow. That was pretty cool. Thank you for that. I appreciate that. Um, guys, if you like what you’ve heard, drop us a note, let us know. Uh, Jeff came recommended, um, as a guest by someone and, uh, we would love more recommendations. So if you have anyone you think should be on the podcast. Please tell us we would love to have them on as well.  Shoot me an email atwww.petershankman.com   or @petershankman on all the socials. We will see you next week. Keep safe, stay healthy. And remember, your ADHD is a gift, it's not a curse. Thanks for listening, we'll talk to you soon.

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were 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 14, 2021

Jason Hsieh is the founder of LakiKid, a growing company who provides quality and affordable products that help neurodiverse children with their daily challenges. LakiKid is an eCommerce company that helps kids with special learning needs like Autism, ADHD, and Sensory Processing Disorder by providing support, education, and products. In 2013, Jason's son, Keanu, was diagnosed with Autism and ADHD at  the age of 2 while they were still living in Japan. They decided to move to Seattle, Washington because they just could not find the help their son needed in Japan. In the winter of 2017, Jason then founded LakiKid with a mission to help kids with Autism, ADHD, and Sensory Processing Disorder by providing support, advice and products that will reduce anxiety and improve attention span, improve sleep and inspire confidence in interpreting their senses. It is his mission to help neurodiverse kids live a life full of possibilities. LakiKid runs an online support group with 2400+ parents and weekly educational video podcasts. It has helped over 20K+ kids with it’s products since its inception in 2017. Their products are also being used in 300+ locations including NBA Arenas, Football and Baseball stadiums, Aquariums and Zoo’s across the United States as part of  KultureCity’s Sensory Inclusive Initiative program. Jason appeared on 6 podcasts (ADHD Support Talk Radio, SPED Homeschool, Become A Fearless Father, Silent Sales Machine Radio, Ecomcrew, and  Once Upon A Gene), and has also been a keynote speaker at the Selective Mutism Summit. Today we talk in-depth about what led him to start LakiKid  Enjoy!

 

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***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Jason discuss:

 

   :53  -  Intro and welcome Jason Hsieh!

 

1:55  -  On the difficulty of finding adequate resources in Japan to deal with any kind of neurodiversity 

 

3:11  -   On the stigma around getting help & support, then talking about it, especially as a parent

 

3:47  -  On an actual diagnosis at age 2 in Japan. What caused you to move to Washington, was there just zero help available in Japan?

 

4:50  -  Is Tokyo also progressive when it comes do neurodiversity?

 

5:47  -  On how Jason started https://lakikid.com/  and what prompted him to start it

 

6:56  -  On the company itself, the products offered

 

6:55  -  On the advantages of not only helping children in the home environment, but more of a global, general public service.

 

7:32  -  On the sensory inclusive movement like www.kulturecity.org is pushing, and response thus far

 

8:51  -  On the future plans for www.lakikid.com

 

9:05  -  How has the response been to your partnership?

 

10:38  -  On the possibility of partnering with other schools, or districts 

 

11:11  -  On how his son has adapted to the “new normal” w/ COVID, homeschooling etc.   

 

12:00  -  On more & more parents realizing that they too may have ADHD, after a child’s diagnosis

 

12:11  -  How do people find out more? Website: https://lakikid.com/ They have a monthly video block that they partner with occupational therapists, as well as different educational materials that people can check out. Lost of free materials!  Follow them at @LakiKid_Sensory on Twitter  @LakiKidSensory on Facebook and HERE on YouTube

 

13:14  -  Thank you Jason! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

13:42-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hi everyone. Peter Shankman and you are listening to another episode of Faster Than Normal, which is always nice. It's great to have you guys. I hope you're enjoying your day, wherever in the world, you might be. We're going to Washington state today and we're going to talk to Jason Hsieh, who's the founder of https://lakikid.com/ a small and growing company that provides quality and affordable products that help neuro-diverse children with their daily challenges.  They're an e-commerce company and Jason founded it. They help kids with special needs like autism ADHD, sensory processing disorder, and they provide support education and products. In 2013, Jason’s son Keanu, best name ever, was diagnosed with autism and ADHD at the age of two, while they were still living in Japan.  They moved to Seattle Washington because they just couldn't find the help their son needed back in Japan.  We're going to talk about that,  In the winter of 2017, Jason founded https://lakikid.com/ with the mission to help kids with autism, ADHD, and sensory processing disorder….processing disorder by providing support advice and products that will reduce anxiety, improve attention, span, improve, sleep, and embrace confidence for the kids.  It is his mission to let neuro-diverse kids live as full a life or a life full of possibilities as possible. Talk to me, Jason, welcome to Faster Than Normal, thank you for being here. 

Hey, good morning. How are you? Thank you for having me on your podcast. 

Definitely tell me about. So I've heard from other people that in Japan, it is very hard to get the resources needed to deal with any kind of neuro-diversity.  Is that true? 

I would say a 100% true and that it's not just in Japan... and I'm from Taiwan. My wife's from Japan after we got married, we moved to back to Japan, but that's also the case for Taiwan as well, because I think we, in alot of Asian community and Asian countries. There's a huge stigma around mental disabilities that people tend to avoid talking about it.  Pretending it doesn't exist. What does try to hide it?  So that's kind of that kind of mentality in the society lead to lack of resources and lack of openness to openly talk about those kind of issues. 

I imagine it would be difficult if there is a stigma around it that that getting help and getting support and then coming out and talking about it in itself would just be difficult.

Of course for sure, and that's something I also struggled with when I first learned about my son's diagnosis back then, and I actually went through almost six months of denial. I refused to accept that there's something wrong with my son because we, my family does not, no one else to have mental disabilities.  Like how can this happen to my son? Just doesn't really make sense, and I think that's a process that… alot of the parents, especially Dad’s, I think goes through a lot more than a Mom, because I think we don't interact with the kids as much as the Mom’s do, and that tends to kind of create some kind of barrier.  And also as men, we tend to try to fix stuff, but Autism, ADHD or something like that is not something you can fix. That's something you need to create. Well, I guess, make it better and make improvement, but you couldn't really fix that kind of thing. 

 

And you said your son was diagnosed at age two in Japan.  So when he was diagnosed, what did the doctor say? You know, I mean, he told you, OK, your son has, you know, a central processing disorder, ADHD. Um, did he…. was there...,  was there help available?  What... what happened? I mean, cause you obviously moved to... you moved to Washington, you moved to Seattle. Um, was there just nothing available?

So, um, that's actually a perfect example for this is we didn't even find out about it until my wife pointed something out was kind of strange because every time she would take our son to the playground, he doesn't play with any other kid. He tends to play in his own corners for the whole time, for like one or two hours straight.  He doesn't even look at any other kids during the whole time. So that sounds really strange to my wife and that's where she brought up, uh, the proposal. OK, maybe we should have to have him take a beat, take a look at, and the first thing we got half of after we talked to the doctor in Japan is like, OK, this is a potential issue.   But unfortunately in the area that we used to live in, which we live in Tokyo, one of the largest metropolitan areas  you can imagine you have almost as much population, as the city of New York, but we can only go to 2 therapy centers that provide any kind of services for our son with the kind of symptoms that he has.   So that is not a good situation to being in, to living in the city was population over 10 million people, but you can only go to two locations to find help. 

That's pretty amazing when you think about it, that that's all that. Um, is available at, out of, you know, you look at, uh, Tokyo and, and, and, and cities like that, and you think that they're so progressive, when in fact it's actually very the opposite. 

Unfortunately that's a 100%t true, even so, they are very technology-wise, they are very advanced, but when you come to mental disability and kind of services that you can get, I think they are of these 10 year behind the United States and a lot of the Western countries.

Hmm. So let's talk about https://lakikid.com/  You moved, you moved to Seattle and you realized, okay, you're just going to start a company that will help these kids because what, there was nothing available. I mean, there was obviously a lot more support available here. So what prompted you to start the company? 

I think it's really just by connecting with other families that also have kids with special needs, and also at that time, the biggest struggle we have, is the insurance that we initially got. When we moved back here, it doesn't cover ABA therapy, which is an intense one-on-one behavior therapy that a lot of the kids with autism will use. And I was also trying to find out additional ways to supplement our family income.  That's why the idea of creating a business and helping other families, kind of similar to ours, that's where the idea was coming from, and also by talking to other families that also have similar issues, but they couldn't really find a lot of affordable products and solutions that can really help their kids, that's... that's where the idea originally come from. And we have since grown to something a little bit bigger than that, which I can talk a little bit more. . . 

 

Yeah. tell me, so tell me about the company. Tell me about the products, tell me about what you do, talk about it. 

For sure. So https://lakikid.com/ as a company, we are quote “mission is to empower support and educate kids with, uh, different sensory issues.”  And we partner with, um, different non-profit organizations. One of the biggest non-profits that we partner with is called https://www.kulturecity.org/sensory-inclusive/….start with K.  Uh, they have, uh, one of the, um, they are an international non-profits. They have locations in both US, Canada, Canada, Australia, and UK. I see  right now, they have over... 500 different locations, uh, inside one of the biggest programs called https://www.kulturecity.org/sensory-inclusive/and I'm just honored that we are able to partner with the non-profit and by providing sign of our product into their program and what their programs do, is still go into locations like zoos,  aquariums, NBA stadiums, football and baseball arenas, and they'll do, they'll do three things  for all those locations.  First, they will provide staff training so the staff is aware of the sensory challenges for the kids that have ADHD or Autism will face when they go to a public arena like NBA stadiums.  Second, they will provide a physical tool that's free to use for the family, they call a sensory bag.  Inside the sensory bags,  we have noise-canceling headphones, fidget toys, and a weighted blanket, which we designed for  https://www.kulturecity.org/sensory-inclusive/ for them to use. Our weighted blanket is unique in the way that we make it.  A, the material is different that kids can write on the blanket itself, use a water pen, so it's a 100% interactive, and last but not least, is they also help those arenas and locations to build sensory rooms, which is essentially a quiet space that a family can go to in case the kids is having a meltdown now, uh, while attending those kinds of events.

Interesting. So it's, you're thinking more of a bigger picture in that regard, it's not just to, to help the child, you know, when they're at home when they have it, It's, it's, it's, it's more of a global thought. 

Of course. I think we, uh, at our core, we believe in the sensory inclusive movement that https://www.kulturecity.org/sensory-inclusive/ is pushing, and it's all about creating a more accepting environment, not just at home and classroom, but also in the public, in the public, the general public as well.

What's the response been?  

Oh, https://www.kulturecity.org/sensory-inclusive/ and us, um, I think collaboration has gone a long way and the response has been very positive and of course, um, like everything else, uh, we all get affected because of the COVID situations, because all the location, I just mentioned almost every one of them got shut down because of COVID and including our business, because we do a lot of, uh, um, transaction with  school, and as you know, majority of the schools, oh gosh, shut down at the same time last year when the COVID situation happened, so it has been a very tough year for us last year, and we are kind of struggling right now, trying to recover from, from the, from the fallout of that. But hopefully this year will be a much better year.

 

Cool. So tell me what you have planned for the future for https://lakikid.com/ ?

Yeah, so one of our biggest programs that originally were planning to launch last year, but because of COVID, we didn't happen, but we have a new program we're working on called Sensory Inclusive Classrooms, which the idea is to implement what  https://www.kulturecity.org/sensory-inclusive/ is already doing in the NBA stadiums and all the different locations I mentioned earlier, but inside a public school environment, by providing a similar kind of training for the general education teacher, for the parent educators, and also help them provide some of the tools, like sensory tool that the teacher can use in the classroom and also helps out of the school to build sensory room if they have the budget and the space to do so. 

Awesome. Are you... are you looking at partnering with, uh, other schools or districts or things like that?

That's one thing we're working on. We do have a pilot program here in Washington that, uh, implementing before COVID, but because of the COVID situation, everything kind of got shut down. We are kind of waiting to see…. some of the schools are already starting to reopen here in Washington, but not all of them. So kind of waiting to see what the situation is going to turn out and how the vaccination roll-out is going to be before we decide what we’re going to do with the school program again. 

What has, uh, how has your son, uh, adapted with, with COVID and with homeschooling and all that? 

I would say that was one of the biggest struggles.  That's very common for the parents in our community, in myself and my wife included because it's very hard to focus even in-person, I mean, let alone saying remote learning because you're just staring at the screen and that’s something my son definitely still struggles with, um, focusing and, um, like being able to pay attention in class because he has not just Autism, but  ADHD as well. 

So yeah, totally. I could see the... the biggest problem for me was the lack of movement, you know, running around, running around and around and everything just stops, you know, and move... movement is living for someone with ADHD.  So not being sort of just being stuck at home and not really doing anything has been brutal.   

For sure, and that's one more thing I want to share that I actually didn't realize I had ADHD myself until I was doing all the research and all the study for my son and the more research and the more study I was doing, I realized I was checking 9 out of the 10 boxes for…. that was ADHD myself.

More and more, more and more parents, more and more parents get diagnosed because their children get diagnosed and they realize, wait, this looks really familiar. 

Exactly. Yeah. It's, it's kind of, it kind of explained my, my childhood story because I went to five different high schools myself, because I sweat a lot during school and I couldn't really pay attention, and I didn't know why. Then I was just keep on being told that I was, I wasn't a very good student, but now with the diagnosis... is kind of explaining a lot of the things that happened to me when I was young. 

Yeah. Jason, how can people find more, uh, what's the website for https://lakikid.com/ ? 

Yeah, they can find more https://lakikid.com/  It's spelled as lakikid.com. We have a monthly video block that we partner with occupational therapists, and we also have different educational materials that people can check out our product. And most of... most of the, um, we have a lot of free resources that we're trying to provide to the families as well.

Awesome. Jason Hsieh, thank you so much for taking the time to be on Faster Than Normal, I really appreciate it. 

Thank you so much for having me. 

Definitely.  Guys, thanks for listening. If you like what you hear, drop us a review, leave us a note, we'd love to know more.  We'd love to have, if you have any guests you think should be on the podcast, tell us, uh, send us an email at https://www.shankman.com/ or   https://www.fasterthannormal.com/   or  @petershankman  ,  Peter Shankman (@petershankman) • Instagram photos and videos  Peter Shankman (@petershankman) | Twitter all the socials. We would love to hear it. And, uh, we'll try to get your guests on the show as well. This podcast is for you and it's about you. So thank you for listening, have a great day.

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

Apr 7, 2021

YK is unique business coach and strategy consultant who focuses on turning around the companies and help them with all round growth. He found his strengths and uniques strengths after working in corporates for 2 decades. He runs unique boutique business coaching and consulting firm called Neostrategy. Based out of India but serving Globally. Today we talk about his NeoPlanner and how he uses his ADHD to bring new and unique ideas and solutions to his clients. Enjoy!

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***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

In this episode Peter & YK discuss:

 

   :40  -  Intro and welcome YK

 

1:40  -  Tell us what prompted you to understand your ADHD, learn more about it, and discover ways to help others.

 

4:00  -  On growing up with ADHD, getting bored easily and your family dealing with those differences

 

5:14  -  On the corporate working world and learning how you didn’t quite “fit in”.

 

6:53  -  On taking the leap of faith to start your own business/path –  family pushback/support

 

9:58  -  On continuing issues w/ ADHD, adjusting to them & other things that might be frustrating

 

11:26  -  On the importance of a daily routine   

 

12:45  -  On getting off track and getting back on the right course

 

13:30  -  On explaining ADHD to neuro-typicals – a process that works 

 

14:35 – More on how to advise people who don’t understand issues with ADHD- 

 

15:53  -  On the Neo-Planner and what it is/how it works

 

18:45  -  How do people find you and learn more and reach out to you?  The best way to find me is in within WhatsApp  He’s on LinkedIN and YouTube His website is: http://neostrategy.in  His number in India is:  91-9949-211399 or via email: YK@neostrategy.in 

 

19:26  -  Thank you YK! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

19:50-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Okay, everyone. Another episode of Faster Than Normal is coming your way and it is sponsored by absolutely no one. I don't put ads on most episodes, so you can get the full enjoyment of the episode itself.  Welcome to Faster Than Normal, my name is Peter Shankman. I am happy to have you here, as always today, we are talking about ADHD, about productivity.  We're talking about how everything can be a gift if you just learn to use it well, and we're talking about it with a man who's calling us in from India. His name is Y K. Honestly, his initials for names, he's just like VIN diesel or XXX, Madonna. He is a unique business coach. He's a strategy consultant.  He focused on turning around companies and helping them with all around growth. His strengths come from working with companies internally for over two decades, and he runs a fun little business consulting firm called http://neostrategy.in/neoplanner/http://neostrategy.in/about-yk/ and he sent me something called the http://neostrategy.in/neoplanner/ which is a pretty cool planning and productivity book, we’re gonna talk about that. He comes up with unique ideas to help himself and his clients, that's his super power. Welcome to the podcast YK, good to have you. 

Hi Peter, thank you. 

Glad that glad to have you here, man. So tell us what prompted you to understand your ADHD and, and learn about it, in such a way that you realize you could actually help people with it.

Yeah, sure. This is a topic I'm really, really passionate about. Uh, so this goes back like, uh, probably a decade or even before. Uh, so I always, it's almost like, I would say since childhood. I felt that there is something different and unique about me, but I never could understand what is the difference, OK?  So growing up in the career, I worked in a lot of IT consulting companies, so I was doing all right, but, uh, the more and more, uh, you know, as I was growing up, I could see that there are some things, uh, are unique with me. Like for example, that I'm sitting in a group of people, um, the way everybody thinks versus the way I think used to be different, but then I always used to, uh, you know, uh, shy away, stay back thing, thinking that maybe what I'm thinking is not right. But apparently what were the thoughts that I was getting later? I could come out. Uh, I can see that somebody else is, uh, you know, bringing them as ideas. So I used to get a lot of ideas, thoughts, and try to be unique and even in, from childhood, right?  So I'll give you an example. So the subjects, which are very easy for everyone, I used to get bored. OK things like mathematics physics, which used to create a lot of interest in me. So I used to solve them and they used to get a lot of interest. So I was always curious, there's something wrong with me, or there's something different with me, uh, which is not usually with the group of people.  OK so that is what actually led me into more and more, um, and sometime, while I was in the US for around eight to nine years period, I’d  gone through little bit of a down period. That is when I started reading, I considered different people, like could not get the right answers. Then slowly I realized the whole game that I was going to is dopamine game.  OK, iIt took unfortunately a decade of time for me to figure it out, figure it out on my own. Uh, but then I'm glad that I found that. And, uh, later I realized after I realized that this is what I have and I went on and find my own strengths, what I'm to get. And that's where my journey started.

Let me, let me ask you a question though, because wasn't that, um, you know, growing up, being different and getting bored, didn't that get you in trouble? Weren't you, you know, did you have, like, parents were like, why can't you just focus? Why can't you pay attention? You know, that's a lot of our, a lot of our listeners that talked about that, being a huge problem.

Yeah, that's interesting. But in my case, what happened was, um, I, I, I grew up from a very small village in India. And I was for that village. Uh, you know, I was the, in the school, I was the topper, but then what people never realized was let's say if my capability would have been a hundred percent for the effort I was putting, I was only getting, let's say 80 or 75.  OK, so obviously used to think that there is a, there is a, there is a gap between what I could do versus what I'm able to do that under it underachievement or the missing achievement part was there. But since I was, I came from a very small village. Uh, my standards there itself was very high. So people thought I was a super, uh, uh, I was doing very well, but then inside of me, I knew that I am a lot more capable than than what I was delivering. You see what I'm saying? 

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. That does make a lot of sense. So as you, as you grew, and as you became an adult and you started in the, in the, in the corporate world, you know, in, in, in, in getting a job and everything, were you at any point working for a company where you're like, I just don't fit in this doesn't work for me.

Oh, yeah, absolutely, absolutely. So that is the pull together, right? So actually this is what, so in United States for around  eight, nine years and the UK who is a UK Australia. And so while I was in the customer facing roles, while I was doing the more of a consulting sales kind of roles, I was doing fine.I was able to feel that I was fitting there, but then around 2010 ish, 10 time, I came back to India and once I came back to India, I was actually, uh, you know, uh, {indistinguishable} refers to do rules,???which are more like, uh, you know, near the more of a things which needs a lot of attention to details. And a lot of, uh, you know, uh, very detailed work, which is not my strength, OK,  I had to struggle a lot. That is when actually I started really, uh, you know, talking a bit, uh, saying that this is not, I'm not, I was, I was totally, every year I started feeling that I was not fitting into the culture, I was not fitting into the kind of work. And one of the other things was, I don't know if this is common with all the people with ADHD type of a brain. Uh, freedom is one of the top notch value systems for me so the more I was growing in the corporate world, the lesser I was getting the freedom, OK, so that combined with the, the misfit of my strengths with, to whatever the work was given and, uh, and the, you know, misalignment of my freedom, and that was completely knocked me off, that is when I actually discover my strengths and they started my own consulting firm called Use Strategy. That's been my happy journey or my real true self, uh, started, uh, coming out.

Makes sense. Um, when you went out on your own, did you receive any pushback? Um, I know that when I started and a lot of people who started realize they just had to do this, uh, if they didn't have a family that was used to that, or, you know, didn't come from an entrepreneurial family, you know, it, it was difficult.  It was, you know, how are you, how are you, what are you going to do? How are you going to survive? This is not what we do. Did you encounter any of that? 

Yeah, yeah, fortunately actually in my situation, it's the other way around because my wife is actually very, very supportive to me and she has seen me very closely and she always wanted me to be happy and she thinks that I have a lot of capabilities, but I never believed in, so honestly, uh, so she was very supportive. And, uh, and at the same time, since I kind of scientifically know about my strengths, I did a good amount of a piloting and experimenting before I jumped in fully, OK, one of my strengths is called strategic. So I used my own strategic in my career transition and I did a lot of pilots, before I actually made some money, uh, you know, I made some money before I took the final decision. So it was like a good, good amount of experimentation I have done. And I got the confidence. Of course I did go through a little bit of anxiety and stress, but from a family point of view, there is a complete support to me, so that was, I was lucky enough in that way.

Makes a lot of sense. 

And actually what I feel, uh, Peter is that, uh, I... I feel doing this is much easier for me now instead of continuing in  my corporate work. So I feel now because I'm playing to my complete strengths and then living my values of freedom am completely, you know, really cherishing every day, and I do a fantastic amount of, uh, I feel so, great work, at least I feel for my clients. So it's every day is a looking forward day. You know, I, I don't have any  {indistinguishable}or anything, so I'm really enjoying what I'm doing. 

Well, I think that's one of the benefits is that when you finally do find it, not only when you love what you do, but when you realize that what you're doing, um, benefits you and other people, it just changes everything.  It makes you feel so much better. 

Well, absolutely, absolutely the best. I think, see, this is one thing I will tell you, Peter, so lot of for ADHD people and, uh, you know, people say that know your strengths  per you have two strengths, but I think the challenge is most people do not know how to find the strength scientifically, OK In my case, I could go through the process scientifically. I really know what I'm good at. And I puts... it took a lot of time and once to latch on to your strengths, I think you'll supergift. So until then it could be struggled. So that is one of the, my key message. Uh, you know, the point I wanted to share with people is that, and I think for it specifically for ADHD, people, strengths is the only weapon they have, OK, because the moment you try to focus on the gender things, you lose the game. So you should, we all should know how to find our own strength scientific way so that we can play very, very powerful game.  

I think, obviously, as great as it sounds, you know, there's always, uh, it's never perfect. Right. So tell us about sort of the, some of the problems that you have or how you adjust them or the things that you know, drive... still drive you crazy.

Yeah, I think so. One thing I can tell you is that, um, I don't know about others, but I have figured out on my own, the whole crux of the, the formula. Okay. Uh, in fact, I'll share you sharing my one other . I have. I have found with this whole dopamine magic and the game a little ahead of the game. So basically I have a neat  a very nice diagram called Viagra.  There's a left side of the V and there is a right side of the left side of his V the destructive way of getting the dopamine through addictions and all those nonsense, the right side of the, uh, viz, the, all these good things like exercise, meditation, yoga, uh, you know, doing great work creative or problem solving those things.  So. I started, uh, you know, mass mastering the whole art of Dopamine very well. So. As long as I'm managing my Dopamine very well. I don't get into any issues. Okay. The days or times when I actually miss my document management, that is when I will, I will know that I've. So no, uh, I would say that I'm pretty consistent, uh, uh, Peter with my routine.  I know I do regular, uh, meditation and regular exercise, some form or the other. So these things will keep me my Dopamine, {indistinguishable} almost like this every morning I fill my Dopamine, and then I play my game. So the days when I don't feel my Dopamine, I know that it's not going to be great day.

Tell me about your, um, daily routine.

Yep. So I basically wanting it is almost like from last one and a half year been pretty consistent. I wake up at 6, and 6:15, I have online yoga, yoga. So it goes for, for, uh, one hour. Uh it's...it changed me in life really very well. The consistent yoga practice, then I do 45 minutes of, uh, meditation. I think I cost close to 550 or 600 hours of meditation now.  So it's, this is consistent. And during weekends I go for long runs, a little bit of weight training, but almost all seven days, the first two hours of my day, between six o'clock to eight, o'clock it just. Uh, goes into my schedule. Then I do my new planner. I sent you, right. I do 10 minutes of new planning, uh, because that, that really keeps me on the track. Then what I do is the basically divide the day into two parts. Okay. Two parts is basically one is the strategic zone. The other is the operations zone, the strategy zone is the zone where I create, like, basically I'll be working on business, like creating intellectual property or doing some design or creating some, offering, creating some methodology after that, the negative to my consulting and coaching calls. That's the way I divide my day. 

Okay, and what happens when things go off track? Because you know, like I said, it's not always perfect. So what happens when things go off track? How do you get yourself back on the right course? 

Yeah, it's a good thing. Right? So I have a lot of hacks, and one of the hacks  I follow is that I wear my shoes and go for a jog for a 5… 5K. So I know as I told you, right, my, the whole trick, is I know there is nothing I need to blame or look for or analyze that thing all I know, is that  the moment that things are not going well,, I know that my Dopamine is getting imbalanced, I just do some kind of an exercise and I’ll get it  back. How do you, yeah.

And I'm sorry, go ahead. 

Yeah, exercise is one of my hack. I get back, um, uh, to, to the class. So basically refill my, my Dopamine, either, it is exercise and meditation, and then I get back to my track.

How do you explain to people who might not have ADHD or understand the things that we go through? Why do you... do some of the things you do, or do you just simply not care?

No, I don't care, actually. So this is interesting, right? So this is in fact a frustration and I'm an, I'm a person I'm not so much keen on making a social moment on these things, but then I, what frustrates me, I'll tell you again, I it's, it may be different in different countries, except for example, in, um, in India or even not just in India, in some of the other places also, thatI speak about ADHD, right? Uh, in fact, I was talking to somebody, someone, one of my client today with ADHD. The first thing that they say is that, Oh, it's for kids, you don't have ADHD. They don't understand what ADHD is. Second, they think that, oh, this is some attention problem. The third thing they say is that, yeah, everybody's distracted.  So I feel, Oh my God, you can, you have no idea what you're talking about. So kind of what I realized, uh, Peter is that, it is very difficult to explain to a non {indistinguishable} person about ADHD. 

OK, so what do you wind up telling them? 

Okay. I mean, normally I don't tell them anything, so I just tell them that if at all, if somebody is that, why are you doing all these things? Uh, I mean, why do, why do you need to be so particular about rituals? You don't, I don't take certain things and all those things. I just say I have a different kind of a brain. I need to just manage it. Okay. It's not a disease, it's not a disorder, it's just the creative. It's the creative gene. It's like I say, it's a hunger gene, so that gene needs to be managed {indistinguishable}

I like that. It's not a disease. It's not a disorder. I like that.  

No, it’s not a disease, We can see the thing that what I, uh, what I always still I'm still trying to figure it out is I sometimes ask that by nature, the knee did, the nature has actually created this kind of a brain and structure. Or is it not… because it, if the nature has not created that kind of a structure, I'm not sure whether this much of this much innovation and creativity would be possible in the world. I sometimes feel like I take it as a by design. Some people are, are, are like this. I think we should accept it. Try to manage the simple metaphor I have is, it is today,,,, I call it, the roses with thorns. You need to manage how to, uh, you need to manage the thorns and appreciate about a rose. We are like a roses with thorns. 

That's a great, that's a great, I love it. That's a great analogy. Talk about your Neo planner. 

All right. So this new planet, I honestly, I had created because of my own, uh, this whole focus and, uh, you know, the, the distraction issues.  I was looking for a lot of, uh, uh, planners, uh, a to-do list, kind of a thing. Uh, Peter. So I bought a lot of, uh, general planners and they tried a lot of apps, these that, but no way, actually they did not know where they gave me a comprehensive way of managing myself. Okay. So what I meant is that. So then when we talk about the productivity data, right?  What is the people who will say it, say, Oh, you have a task and you do it. But I never build the concept because it's not about tasks, right? I can come, I can wake up and finish five tasks, but that's not just the complete thing, rght? So this is where I designed the concept. Okay. After researching so many of them, I got really frustrated because I was not getting what kind of planning planner I want.  Right. I went, created the framework. You can see that in the planner, it's there on pyramid. It is called neo-productivity. Neo-productivity is basically a full layer, uh, uh, you know, uh, productivity management tool. Basically you have to manage your life productivity. What is life productivity? Life productivity is about having the right values, right beliefs, right? Purpose for your life. Those things, all the other natures land belief system you should have because you... maybe you'll be doing a hundred great tasks. What if you feel that a value system is completely screwed up, right. That's... that's not productivity, right?  So you cannot just measure a person's productivity, just by a number of tasks.  So one, iis the life productivity then comes to the mind productivity, your ability to do deep work, your ability to create... to create, to work. All those things has pumped into the mind productivity. Right? How, how, how much might your mind is focused? We'll do a report. Then it comes to the strengths productivity.  This is where all of us, we are born with some unique talents. Right? So you need to basically see how much of your talents or strengths are you able to leverage? That's what strengths product with it. Once you attack in the life, productivity, mind productivity and strengths productivity, then comes to the task productivity.  If you manage the first three layers, task productivity become very natural. You know, subs and phenomena actually OK, to be taken care of, so, whereas the entire world talks, talks about only task productivity. So that is when I created this structure and they designed this. In fact, honestly, I created this for myself later on.  A lot of my clients, uh, used it and they found it very useful. That is when I kind of created as a product. So it is really beneficial. Um, it really, I would say it's, I don't remember the word, but definitely one of the, one of the first planet, which comprehensively oxable your life, mind strengths, task productivity.  It is a complete, uh, handle of your whole life. That that's the, that's the beauty about this planet. 

(18:45) I love it. I love it. Awesome. YK,  how can people find more about you? Where can they go? 

Yeah, the best way is you can WhatsApp me. I'm the most active person on WhatsApp. I'll you? My number it's I'm in India, so code is 91…. 91-9949-211399- a little bit again, 91- hyphen 9949--- 211399, or they can also reach me on yk@neostrategy.in, again, YK@neostrategy.in

Awesome. Very cool. Well, thank you so much for taking the time, I appreciate it. 

Thanks, thanks. Thanks for having me take care. 

Bye guys, you're listening to Faster Than Normal, thank you so much for listening as always. If you like what you hear, drop us a note, leave us a review. We'd love to have you, uh, if we can answer any questions, shoot me an email at https://www.shankman.com/ or Tweet me, Facebook, me, Instagram, me, whatever I'm everywhere. We will see you next week with all new interviews. Thank you so much for listening. And remember, ADHD is not a curse. It is not a condition, it's not a disease, it is a gift, we just need to learn how to use it. See you guys next week.

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

Mar 31, 2021

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

---------- 

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

In this episode Peter & Taylor discuss:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

19:15  -  Thank you Taylor! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

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

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

20:44-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

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

Thank you, Peter. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nice. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mar 24, 2021

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

 

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***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Dr. George Sachs discuss:

0:57  -  Intro and welcome Dr. Sachs! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

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

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

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

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

See, there you go.  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

What’s that?  

Like, a time limit?  

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

Still does. Yeah. That's very true. 

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

 

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

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

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

Okay, thank you very much.

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

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

Mar 17, 2021

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

 

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***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Layne Norton discuss:

1:05  -  Intro and welcome Layne Norton!

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

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

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

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

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

9:34  -  On mind-body inter-communication

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

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

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

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

17:00  -  On examininging your habits and behaviors 

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

20:00  -  On the psychology of eating

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

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

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

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

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

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

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

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

Of course 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Right, right, right. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

No worries, thanks for having me.

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

Mar 10, 2021

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

A little more about our guest today:

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

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

In this episode Peter & Dan Clark discuss:

1:10  -  Intro and welcome back Dan! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

11:12  -  On developing daily rituals

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

Glad to be back. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Right. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mar 3, 2021

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

 

A little more about our guest today:

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

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***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Chris Doelle discuss:

:40  -  Intro and welcome Chris Doelle! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

14:14  -  On finding and maintaining balanced partnerships

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

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

17:06  -  Describe yourself in 15 seconds? 

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

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

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

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

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

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

Awesome. 

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

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

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

And you discovered that when??? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interesting. 

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

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

Yeah. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You didn’t realize anything was different? 

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

It's about the little compromises, right? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh you bet, cool. 

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

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

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

Feb 24, 2021

Professor Esme Fuller-Thomson is cross-appointed to the Faculties of Social Work, Medicine and Nursing at the University of Toronto. She is also Director of the Institute for Life Course & Aging.  She has published more than 150 articles in peer-reviewed journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, and Cancer. Her research examines ADHD and mental health, the association between early adversities and adult physical and health outcomes, and disparities in health. Her work has widely cited in the media including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine and CNN. We’re talking about why the number of Women with ADHD are underreported, about the dark side of ADHD, depression, how to lookout for warning signs in your child, and strategies for making a positive difference. Enjoy-

 

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Dr. Fullerton-Thompson discuss:

1:12-  Intro and welcome Esme!! 

1:53-  Is it true that there is a big difference between males with ADHD and females with ADHD?  Ref: (requires log-in) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/cch.12380

3:07:  Ref: More Play, Less Problems?? Episode with Dr. Debbie Rhea. LINK Project

3:10-  How ADHD is looked at differently between males vs females and how they act and react with it?

5:38-  Without strategies to manage your ADHD things can go terribly wrong; women with ADHD have substantially higher odds for things to go wrong than men. How do we address this from early-on in a child’s life?

9:00-  On the need of structure and how it’s a key component of managing your ADHD

10:15-  Ref article: The Dark Side of ADHD: Factors Associated With Suicide Attempts Among Those With ADHD in a National Representative Canadian Sample

11:45-  As numbers of suicide are higher than before, what can parents, teachers, doctors do to be aware/on the lookout for signs, and how to move forward once diagnosed?

13:14-  On addiction and depression.  15:18- Ref: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy  Impulse Control

16:35-  Dr. Thompson, how can people find more of your studies of your research? Just type in Fuller-Thompson + ADHD, HERE on Google Scholar, or via https://socialwork.utoronto.ca/profiles/esme-fuller-thomson/

17:40-  Thank you Dr. Fullerton-Thompson! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials.

18:02-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits!

As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hey everyone, happy day, Peter Shankman here, welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal, I'm thrilled that you're here, as I always am.  We are going to touch on a subject today, we're going to talk about ADHD, um, it's not as happy-go-lucky as my normal episodes, but that's okay because sometimes they can't all be happy-go-lucky., and sometimes you’ve got to talk about stuff that is, um, a little disturbing to sort of get along and to make sure that people understand all aspects of ADHD, I highlight the good points all the time.  But you know, it's, there are times where they're not so good, and I think we all know that, and so I am thrilled today to be talking to Professor Esme Fuller Thompson.  Um, she's cross-appointed to the faculties of social work medicine and nursing at the University of Toronto, and she's also Director of the Institute for Life Course & Aging. She's published more than 150 articles in peer reviewed journals, including New England Journal of Medicine, at The Lancet and Cancer, her research…. examines ADHD and mental health, the association between early adversities and adult physical and health outcomes and disparities in health.  She's been quoted in New York Times, Wall Street Journal,  Time Magazine, CNN… whole bunch of others. And I'm, I'm, I'm really, I'm honored that you took the time to come in today professor. Thank you so much. 

Thank you so much for having me, I'm delighted to be here. 

So what I found... you, because there was an interesting article, um, that came to my attention and I think,, there were a couple of them.  One of them was in child health care, uh, development, and that was attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, casts a long shadow findings from a population based study of adult women with self-reported ADHD. We don't talk about gender breakdowns that much, um, I, I think no one does really…. does, um, in the ADHD/ADD world, but there is a big difference between, uh, males with ADHD and females with ADHD.

Well, I think women with ADHD tend to be under the radar screen. Most teachers and health professionals are not really thinking about women and ADHD, and you may present a little bit different, uh, in a different way, so the majority of people with an ADHD diagnosis are males, and for sure it is higher in the... among men, but I think because women often present more, um, distractible rather than the hyperactive, they're… they really don't get noticed enough, and our research is indicating that the women with the diagnosis of ADHD are quite vulnerable with respect to a variety of mental health concerns. 

Yeah, I, and I believe that, you know, we had a professor [Episode with Dr. Debbie Rhea] from the  University of Texas on the podcast who, uh, spent a semester in a junior high school, um, giving I think elementary school or a junior high school, can’t remember which one,  giving, um, they changed the, the workout schedule, the recess schedule from 20 minutes a day to 60 minutes a day. And they changed the lunch, the lunch, uh, options from, uh, primarily carb-based to primarily protein based, and they saw a drastic, not only decrease in ADHD outbursts from boys, but addressing increase in, um, girls who were willing to participate in class.  And that, that struck me, that's always stuck with me, you know, we don't, we don't look at ADHD as the same thing. And, and there are a lot of differences between... between male and female, boys and girls and how they, and how they act and react with it. 

Absolutely. So, I mean, there's two things. One possibility is that women with ADHD are doing more or doing less well, which is what our data seems to indicate, but it could also be that if anybody, there's a whole spectrum to ADHD, like there's a spectrum to everything… and it might be that the, only the women who are at the far, far upper end of the spectrum with the most symptoms, are the people that are being actually diagnosed. So these negative outcomes may be more true for men who are at the upper end, but it's just that men along the whole spectrum may have been diagnosed.  Um, the other piece of what you raised that… isn't particularly, um, from my data, but other research exercise,  is so key exercise structure, organization, it just makes life more livable for sure, for people who have, um, impulse control issues and, and, and disorganization, personal coaches, there's all kinds of positive things that can really make a difference because I think these mental health outcomes that we're looking at, are partly because there's a cascade of negative, um, outcomes, relationships, uh, income, uh, that all of these things, if you can't get yourself completely organized. So, um, being physically active, having lots of structure, having some, maybe some personal coaching, there's all kinds of strategies to minimize the negative, um, outcomes related to ADHD and also to be able to maximize the positives, which I know is your major emphasis on this podcast. 

Right. And it really is a question of getting those strategies in place. I mean, you know, there was, there was a study that showed that, um, a much, much higher number, and I wrote about it in, this, in the book a much, much higher number of incarcerated males have ADHD that are just not diagnosed.  And, you know, if you look at that from the, the bigger, the 50,000 foot perspective sure. You know, they do something wrong, they get in trouble, you know,  they, they, they forget about their court date. Well, now there's a warrant out for their arrest, they get arrested, they can't afford a lawyer, you know, and it just, it just goes on and on.  And so.. so looking at the concept of ADHD, um, you know, from things that we don't often notice, right, and, and ADD and ADHD do things we don't often notice is, is huge. And you know, this, the kind of research you're doing is, is, is so needed. Um, I want to read something that, that, uh, from the results on your, on your, uh, study about, uh, adult women, self reported ADHD, women with ADHD had tripled the prevalence of insomnia, chronic pain, suicidal ideation, childhood sexual abuse, and generalized anxiety disorder and double the prevalence of substance abuse, current smoking depressive disorders, severe poverty and childhood physical abuse in comparison with women without ADHD, even after adjustments for age, race, education, and income, women with ADHD had substantially higher odds of a wide range of problems. What does that tell you, uh, that we need to do? How do we start addressing this um, from the perspective of, of at a, at a younger age, teachers and, you know, moving forward. 

Well, I mean, our finding is that there was a very high link between childhood sexual abuse, childhood physical abuse,  and ADHD, both in men and women.  It's just that women were much even more vulnerable than the men. Um, certainly says at a minimum, we need to be protecting these children. So it, that ...that abuse may not have happened inside the household, but children, who are…  have impulse control issues, tend to be a little more vulnerable in the community as well.  They may not be quite as thoughtful about, um, you know, where they're at, what time they're out, those types of things. So there's a lot of concerns even right at step one about keeping children safe with respect to, um, almost all of these outcomes, if the young adult has made it through university or college, they're much less likely to be suicidal, to be depressed, to have anxiety disorders.  So anything we can do to provide an infrastructure, to keep children in school and, and, and, or, you know, in the trades or something, but getting something, um, post high school that gets them a good job because not my research, but others have indicated that the serious debt is associated with suicidality and those with ADHD as well.  So how do we, help people manage their funds, learn... learn basic financial management and organizational skills around that.  So basically from child on up, keeping them in school, having them actually get lots of exercise, um, to kind of keep them saying, providing as much structure as possible, personal coaching, uh, there's all kinds of ways to make life more livable and therefore allow people's strengths to come through.

That's a phenomenal point. I find a lot, almost always, it has to come back and focus on structure... it’s so much, I mean, this is the one thing I realized more and more, the more research I do on this. And again, you know, I'm not a doctor, you are, but the more research I've done on this and the more,...and the more I read and read studies like yours, you know, structure is just such a key component.  And, and I remember when I got diagnosed, I spent the next several years trying to figure out exactly what it meant, you know, I can put most of the times where I went to a bad place or a dark place or, or, or a period of time where it was, where I look at it upon that now as negative, all, a lot of which had to do with, I didn't have any structure.  I didn't have, um, you know, I wasn't focusing my days, it wasn't scheduled. It wasn't organized, it was, it was just, you know, things happen. And, and I guess there's something that, you know,  better scientific way to put this, but when you're ADHD, you know, it tends to be, uh, you tend to find things to do that most of the time or a good portion of the time aren't necessarily beneficial right, and, you know, it's, it's the joke I always make about, I won't do this and it's true. I won't do a speech in Vegas where I have to stay overnight, uh, because I don't, I don't want to be, um, I don't want to be unstructured for 12 hours in Las Vegas. Nothing good is going to come of that, and let’s move a little...  you recently published a study that came out in... I believe the end of December., uh, yeah, December 21st, 2020, um, the dark side of ADHD factors associated with suicide attempts among those with ADHD and a national representative Canadian sample and the results... ADHD, adults with ADHD were much, much more likely to have attempted suicide than those without. 14% versus 2.7%  That's a huge number….. That's a huge,

 

 It’s unbelievably distressing information. And when we divided it by gender again, what you started with as well, we need to think about women in particular, the women, 24%, one, almost one in four women with ADHD had attempted suicide. Now our previous research has shown almost 50% had thought about it, but luckily likely most people would think about it and never attempt.  So, this is a really very vulnerable population., among men, it was about 9% who had attempted, so we're very concerned. Um, you know, that's that, that's why we called it the dark side, but, um, I I, before we go on, I just want to say... flip that, remember that the vast majority of men, like 90% of that, of the men with ADHD never attempted suicide and 3/4 of women have never attempted, so it's not inevitable at all. I'm just coming at it as a social worker saying, what kind of interventions can we do to make these numbers go down dramatically? 

I mean, I mean, it is, you know, granted 75%, you know, of the, of the, of the population is not {indistinguishable}  There's just not looking at suicide, but it's, it's still, you know, a much higher number than, than those without ADHD, and I wonder as we move, you know, as you look backwards on that, is, is there, I mean, I know that that when I was a kid, I say this all the time, I wasn't diagnosed because it didn't exist, right?  I was diagnosed with sit down/you're disrupting the class disease and, um, you know, I remember some really difficult times for me in high school and I, it, it, never came to it... came close to it, but it never came to that.  And I wonder, are there, what can, what can parents, teachers, doctors do to be better on the lookout for this? And, and I mean, even to be aware of this, right? So say, oh your child might have ADHD. That should start a, a, a, a chain that says, let's look at these things. 

So, um, I think with both women and men, but perhaps even more with young girls, um, part of the problem with ADHD as it can make social relations difficult, right?  It's harder to fit in. There's more likely to be social rejection, and that is very tough, but particularly in your younger years, as people are trying to make their way in life., so the social rejections, so, um, you know, ADHD medication can help calm the symptoms down, but you, but there has to be a lot of guidance and training around social skills, opportunities to socialize and healthy socialization starting at a young age can make a difference.  Um, the other two factors that we found were pretty important, uh, with respect to risk for having had an a, um, an attempted suicide were addictions and depression. So as a parent, uh, uh, you know, as a parent of somebody with ADHD really cau… um, thoughtful and cautious approaches to minimize, um, substance abuse is really key because once people are involved in substance dependence or substance abuse, there is a cascade of negative, negative outcomes of social academic career, life, everything.  So, and then from that, uh, comes depression and suicide, so I think addictions, uh, or avoiding addictions, um, avoiding substance dependence is really key and parents doing whatever they can on that front to help, and as an adult, um, you know, not some people can drink or use substances in moderation and some people can't, and I'm guessing most people with ADHD are on the all or nothing kind of level about it.  

No question about it.

 

And the other piece is depression. So the rates of depression were very, very high  um, among women, um, just looking at my numbers, but I, you know, it was well over a third, had... almost 40%...  had major depressive disorder and lots of anxiety. So they're really good interventions for everybody, not just those with ADHD. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a calming talk therapy, but it's really designed to help you catch those dysfunctional thoughts.  You know, if you're, if you're giving yourself subliminal messages that I'm useless, I can't do this sort of really negative messages. Nothing that, uh, is going to change that until you start catching those thoughts and reprogramming your brain basically. So it's a very simple, straight forward, uh, intervention.  It can be given in a group setting and it is very effective basically, um, in the general population for every three or four people who take it., and it's eight to 12 weeks, not a big thing. One person moves from depression to, uh, to recovers from depression that wouldn't have otherwise. It is a solid investment of your time and energy.  So cognitive behavioral therapy is one particular type in general that short, and can work with depression and anxiety.  So obviously depression and anxiety are key risk factors for suicidality. The other piece, of course, is impulse control. So if you have a negative thought, which we all do or, uh, would in many people be a fleeting thought, uh, I just want to end it all kind of thing, you know, somebody with ADHD, they may not be able to put that aside, go on and see something better the next day, that.,,,,,,, that's where the impulse control issues come into play. 

No question about it. Um, I want to be, be mindful of your time. Um, doctor, how can people find more of your studies of your research? If, if they, if they're curious, I'm sure they're gonna want to read more. 

So I typically, uh, release sort of media releases on the information. So you can kind of get it all in one page, which works well for most people, including those with ADHD…  So if you just type in Fuller Thompson and ADHD, probably it'll all pop up. Um, we've covered a lot of the research I've done in this discussion with respect to early adversities, with respect to women in particular and suicide, and I have several more papers underway looking at anxiety disorders and also looking at resilience. So it turns out a lot of people with ADHD aren't just free of mental illness, they're actually happy and satisfied with their life. We're trying to figure out the flip of this who's doing well and why, and how can we help more people get there 

What a phenomenal way to end the conversation, because there's no question that we're going to have you back on to discuss that once that research is done.  So Dr. Fuller Thompson, thank you so much for taking the time today, I really appreciate it. 

My pleasure, thank you for having me. 

Guys, you’re listening to Faster Than Normal love that you're here. Tune in next week for a brand new episode. If you like what you heard, feel free to leave us a review on iTunes, GooglePlay, Spotify, wherever you listen to your, your podcasts. We will see you next week with a brand new episode on ADHD and neuro-diversity as a whole.  Stay safe.

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

Feb 17, 2021

Shawn was diagnosed with Asperger's at 42 years old.  After he got that diagnosis, he realized what was up with him, and that allowed him to achieve success in his professional life above and beyond anything he could have imagined. After completely rebuilding several hospital systems as CIO, he became an entrepreneur focusing on entrepreneurial healthcare, technology, around analytics, revenue cycle and clinical informatics. He left corporate America behind hiring nearly 150 employees to create his own neurodiverse workplace culture. He’s been granted multiple patents, created dozens of healthcare analytics platforms, is a well respected speaker and author. In 2019 he sold his company to private equity and is spending the rest of his life, embracing neurodiversity, and the powers in the logic of leadership, personal security, and self-esteem in one's uniqueness. I love that. He's currently CIO of Potentia and CSO/Founder of the Neurodiversity Foundation and that’s what we’re talking about today! Enjoy!

 

A little more about Shawn:  

Shawn Fry became a successful executive and entrepreneur after being diagnosed with Asperger's at age 42. He found success in his professional career only after he was afforded the opportunity as the CIO of several hospital systems to exercise a great deal of autonomy

 in his role.  Shawn's propensity for detail, hard questions, and divergent solutions produced millions in both new revenue opportunities and cost savings for his employer. His innovative approach to the complexity of healthcare data laid the foundation for his entrepreneurial healthcare technology firms centered around analytics, revenue cycle, and clinical informatics. Through these ventures, he left corporate America behind, hired nearly 150 employees, and created his own "neurodiverse workplace culture. Shawn found that by cultivating

 an environment-dependent upon open, honest dialogue, clear communication, and vulnerability, the workplace culture was more supportive and accommodating to everyone's needs. People were happier, more productive, and turnover rates were 0% after nearly 15 years.

 Shawn is a holder of multiple technology patents, which he utilized to create dozens of healthcare analytics platforms. He remains a well-respected speaker and author on critical healthcare issues. Shawn sold his company to private equity in 2019 and has dedicated the rest of his life to embracing neurodiversity and the powers it unlocks through thought leadership, personal security, and self-esteem in one's uniqueness. As CIO of Potentia and The Neurodiversity Foundation founder, Shawn continues to build pathways for others on the spectrum to recognize their ability. He is a firm believer in "Strengths First."  During COVID-19, Shawn created the Potentia Health Registry (PHR), an information management and communications tool used to mitigate risk and provide early detection of COVID-19. He is now bringing this highly customizable solution to school systems and communities looking to reopen successfully. 

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Shawn discuss:

 :40-  Intro and welcome Shawn Fry 

2:26-  So what were you doing up until your diagnosis at 42, and were you happy?

5:13-  On the others’ perception of Neurodiversity 

6:36-  Failure by assimilation. Neurodiverse “common sense” versus “we’ve never done anything that way before, are you crazy?” The highway is littered with great ideas that have been run over because managers didn’t bother to act on them for fear of what other people would think.

9:07-  On educating others on how neurodiverse brains work, leveraging strengths and breaking down stereotypes.

11:11-  The need to create an audience/creating the space & grace to allow us to DO what we do.

12:45-  Regardless of market research money is going to move the needle; if you understand how to work that system, everyone benefits.

13:30-  On using “reduction” to help neurotypical people comprehend. Ref: Cataloging research at The Neurodiverse Foundation

14:30-  On growing up neuroatypical 

15:11-  On out-gauging IQ tests / the “show your work” mentality of testing

16:27-  You have answers that people probably need to know about! But here’s the thing..

17:00- On Data Science

18:35- Tell us how people can find you?  Via LinkedIn email: Shawn.fry@potentialworkforce.com  www.NeurodiversityFoundation.org potentiaworkforce.org  and @shawncfry on Twitter  INSTA

21:30-  We’ve gotta have you back. This has been phenomenal. It's so nice to hear what you're doing and I love the fact that you're doing it for all the right reasons.  You guys are listening to Shawn Fry, thanks again, we're going to have you back in the new year. I appreciate you taking the time. 

21:44-  Alright guys, Faster Than Normal...as always, we want to hear what you hear. Leave us a review, let us know what's up. Talk to us about what's happening on the street, you name it.   You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. Drop us a review at any of the sites that you listen to podcasts on and let us know if you have any good guests.  Shawn is phenomenal one, if you have any as good as Shawn, we'd love to hear about them. Have a great week. ADHD and all forms of our diversity is a gift, not a curse.  We will see you next week. Stay healthy, stay safe, wear the mask, talk to you soon.

22:08-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits!

As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hey guys, Peter Shankman, this is Faster Than Normal, where ADHD is a gift and not a curse, and we love that you're here. It's been a week since our last podcast.  So it's always nice to see you guys back. We're recording a whole bunch of them the last week of the year, and so,  this is another one. It has been non-stop all day, we've been talking to so many brilliant people and our guest today is no exception. We're talking to Shawn Fry, we're going to entrepreneurship today.  So Shawn was diagnosed with Asperger's at 42 years old.  After he realized that, after he got that diagnosis, he realized what was up with him, and that allowed him to achieve success in his professional life above and beyond anything he could have imagined. The CIO of several hospitals systems... completely rebuilt them, redid them, then he became an entrepreneur, focusing on entrepreneurial healthcare, technology, around analytics, revenue cycle, clinical informatics. He left corporate America behind, hired nearly 150 employees, created his own neuro diverse workplace culture. He got multiple patents under your belt, you've created dozens of healthcare, analytic platforms.  You're a well respected speaker and author on tons of different healthcare issues. You sold your company in 2019 to private equity. Spending the rest of his life, embracing neurodiversity, and the powers in the logics of leadership, personal security, and self-esteem in one's uniqueness. I love that. He's currently CEO of Potentia and the Neurodiversity Foundation.  Let's talk about that, Shawn, welcome to Faster Than Normal man.

Thanks Peter, thanks for having me.

And now it's great to have you. So what were you doing up until 42. And were you happy?

That was a mixed bag, I wasn’t you know, I grew up...I grew up in Philly, you know, and there was no diagnosis back then, right, I was just a kid….very disruptive, uh, didn’t know how to socially integrate, uh, you know, I either had hyper-focus, or no interest whatsoever. I was voted the laziest person in my high school, which is so comical now to look back at it, you know, people have a tendency to cast dispersions on us when they don't understand, and, uh, what's interesting about my diagnosis with Asperger's,I was a CIO of a hospital system. I was meeting the Chief Medical Officer, he was a close personal friend who knew me. We worked together pretty regularly, even though I'm not really good with people, I'm really good with data so I was able to, there's a long story behind the pathway, of how I got there, uh, another person with Asperger's interceded and got me into the hospital where I could, where I could work and shine and show the skills that we have. Uh, but I, I asked him, I said, Hey, John, can I, should I take some medicine for my ADHD? And he goes, he looks at me.. we were sitting over,  lunch together, and goes, “you don't have ADHD.”  I was like, what do you mean? I said, I'm so hyper, I never slow down. He goes, Nope, you're an Aspbe.  I was like, what's that? He goes, you have Asperger's syndrome. I'm like, what's that? I was like, you know any, he said, Sean, you have autism. I'd never heard it before. And I was 42 years old, gone through the school system, gone through college with, and really struggled in life.  He didn't really know that because he only ever saw me more professionally where I could mask, like I think we all do, you know, we're always told to sit down, hold our hands together. not move around too much

Of course, we’re wearing different masks for different locations. 

Different masks for different locations, right. So I went home and I looked it up. I looked it up on Wikipedia and I tell you what, if you die, if you type into Google right now, what is autism? You will not find one positive thing. 

Right? 

I was pissed. sorry if that’s… you know. I was upset. I was mad at him. I didn't talk to him for two weeks until I started reading more about it. I, I, what my threshold to accept this about myself was, and then it just all started making sense.

Right? 

I was like, I refuse to let the standard definition, the clinical definition, the DSM definition of either ADHD or autism define me. I knew I was a good person. I had something to contribute. I had some success at that point, but I was so afraid to put myself out there, because I knew that if people saw me for what I really was, they would diminish you.  And now it was really the changing point in my life. 

Well, the second you... the second you, when you, I mean, of course, if all you're reading about is how it's a negative, right. of course, the second that, you know, you publicize it, (indistinguishable) The whole world will think that you're a negative because that's what you’re seeing.  

Right?  There's something wrong with me. I have, I have a learning disability, which is, which is, if you look at my history, it's the opposite. I think all of you, if you find one of our hyper fixations, or when (indistinguishable) u know, these are, we are the ones that change the world. I mean, I did it. I started working on problems, my patents were on mathematical formulas and telecommunications. Nobody paid me to do that, nope. I just decided, you know what, this is a problem we're solving. 

Right. 

And I started working on these uh, calculations and because of my, you know, my neurodiversity, I locked myself in a room for nine months and I would only leave on Wednesdays.  Nine months later, I walked out of there. Uh, had solved some of these groundbreaking telecommunications issues, then submitted those for patents. When they got to the patent office, nobody in the patent office knew how to do the math, because nobody's ever worked on the math this way before. and I was just starting to realize, well, because to me it was common sense, right?  How do we structure things? But I didn't do it because somebody paid me. I did it because it was a problem to solve, and... that's what we do. 

I think you struck on something there I'd like to touch on. You know, the premise of, to me, it was common sense, right? You know, I have everything I've ever done in my life, to me, it was common sense, right? But…. but I can't tell you how many times I've suggested something that sounds perfectly normal, and everyone's looked at me like I told them I was a spotted owl, right?  You know, it's that… well, it makes perfect sense, why wouldn't we do it this way? And you know, you get everything from, well, we never do it this way, that's never the way we've done it, we've never done it that way. You know, what's wrong with you? What do they think of us, whatever. But in our heads we're sitting there going, but it works 

Right, you are correct. 

And I think that that's, that's difficult because that's sort of, sort of like it's failure by assimilation, right.  And the respect that if you're sitting there and you're saying, okay, I know this works, but everyone's going to call me an idiot. I don't want to have to deal with that. I'm just not going to bring it up. The highway is littered with, with, great ideas that have been run over because people didn't bother to act on them because they were afraid of what people would say.

Uh-huh That was it, exactly, and again, one of the advantages I have of not being, and I want to talk about how neuro people.. who are neuro-diverse are treated now and to no longer take that stigma. One of the advantages I had of growing up in Philly is you kind of get that little edge to you, right? The people in Philly are tough, the people in New York are tough.  You kind of, you kind of let this stuff bounce off of you, so empowered with that and realizing that I was, you know, these ideas work. After I was diagnosed and realized that I think differently, and recognizing that had value, I started speaking up in meetings. I was afraid to do that before, because you know, first of all, a lot of people thought I was weird.  I don't go to lunches. I don't go to happy hours. I don't do things other people  like to do, but I'm super interested in my work. So I started speaking up about some of the issues both the administration was making in the hospital, and particularly…. what just drove people crazy, I started challenging the doctors… on their,  on the ways they were diagnosing patients, the way the care, the care plans, saying, listen either, there's one of three things, happened here with this patient. You either misdiagnosed them cause they weren't getting better, you provided the medication that can't metabolize, or they're not taking the medication.  Who’s going to follow up with this patient and figure out why this patient’s still sick?  Doctors don't have time for that. As I started analyzing the data, I realized this is a prolific issue. These are things that are still issues in healthcare today, and if you've ever gone to the doctor and he's put you on medication, you're still six, six months later, or things get better.  A lot of times people were put on medications that don't really work. They just get better naturally, these are, these are prolific issues that there's not a field of science  because it is a neuro divergent thought process, that neuro typically, simply don't synthesize. These are the kinds of ways that people like you and I, as you just like you, you're challenging the way people are thinking about, So many, so many issues, and there has to be a form to bring that to the market. And you're doing that and we need to create a louder voice. Our voices, our brains are not compromised. They do, they just run faster and they take more variables into consideration. It's the calculus that we're doing. Everything I do in my world. Everything is a math equation from the total number of times I brush my teeth, and in the weird pattern, which I do it, to how I organize my cereal and my closet, to how I organize my day. We're not just random people, but other people looking at us think we look crazy, but there's nothing wrong with that. It's actually, I, I, I, I'm a strengths first, everything from my foundation to the workforce, we're creating now is about listening. How do we leverage these strengths to people about their deficits? I talk about their strengths. And as they start to believe that, psychologically you start to see effective change.  

I think there's also a, um, a premise in there…. that… I remember everything I've ever started, every company I’ve ever built, and you know, people that, Oh my God, it just seems like I didn't even hear about it yesterday and now it's all over the place…. you might, you know, you got so lucky. Well, yeah, it was also 20 years of acting the way I act and doing the things I do and dealing with it on the says, you're ridiculous for doing this, that brought me to this very moment. Right? And so the things that we do, you know, you wake up, every step you take, every cereal you eat... all that stuff, that's who we are. And the benefit is there. But again, a lot of us are, are, are bogged down by the look of it. Oh, what are people going to think, right. But the fact of matter is, not that we're changing anything, it simply works and we embrace it. (indistinguishable)

One thing I think you're exactly right, but here's the thing. We have to figure out a way to create an audience for it.  have two children on the spectrum, so at least when they grew up, I had an idea of what kind of, what was going on and that began to manifest itself. So you start to develop and create a more creating space and grace for these people who have it, to see how they flourish.  Uh, the greatest experiment that I had, that I'd never realized it was the thing after I left, after I started speaking up in the hospital, I started realizing these, these data problems that were demonstrating how hospitals didn't click the document effectively didn't do follow up correctly. Sometimes they had poor treatment plans, everything that carried over into the revenue cycle, which is where I really made money.  When I started showing them, nobody listened to me until I showed them that these core client poor care plans cost us money. And I took the data and I showed them exactly how much money. And then all of a sudden people started to listen. It's sad that it got down to that, that being right and being truthful was not actually got me, uh, you know, constigated, a lot of pejoratives, but but showing him where the money was is what eventually, while people to listen.

Well, actually it makes a lot of sense because, I mean, I remember even when I was working in the .com boom, right, and then the social media boom, right? We, you know, these, these, these CEOs, they hire these 20 something year old kids to handle their social media, and they convince by how many likes you have, and how many followers have you got?  Okay, great, how does it translate to revenue, and they can’t answer, right, and they’re out on their ass.  It doesn't matter what industry it is. Money's going to move the needle. And so the smart people are figuring out ways to connect the dots. I did some, some work in neuro diversity for a huge, um, uh, uh, uh, fast food restaurant. fast food chain And, you know, they realized that people were coming in and looking at the menu and leaving and they couldn't figure out why. And I spent several days with them going to multiple restaurants. Guys, you have 200 items on the menu. it's,, it's digital display and ads are overlaying it, and I wanted to blow my brains out 30 seconds here. Right? Let's go to this other place down the street. oh look, hamburger, cheeseburger, fries, shake done, you know, and all of a sudden there's a problem that makes sense. There's revenue, right? So the second you apply anything to money. and look, Is that right or wrong? I don't know. But at the end of the day, if you understand how to work that system, everyone benefits.

Right. So in that process and the gap between the time I was 42, I'm currently 56, I had to come up with mental processes, mathematical formulas. And one of those is called reduction. I had to take the thoughts that we think in naturally, and you and I have zero problems thinking up, I track everything you're saying, I track what you're thinking behind what you're saying, you know? So... but when we talk to a neurotypical, it's overwhelming.  They, they, they, they, they, it's just so fast and so furious that they can't follow. And a lot of times they don't want to follow it’s too overwhelming. So reduction means taking these complex thoughts and reducing them down to something…. somebody, something somebody can make a decision on. It's typically one, two or three points, that's it.  So reducing that menu down, is a perfect example of, uh, you know, allowing people to make a decision because you have to take, we have to think in the complex ways and everybody listening to this podcast does that, to translate back down to neurotypicals that you almost need a Rosetta Stone uh, breaking it back down to something they can assimilate and synthesize.

That's actually a phenomenal, a phenomenal way to put it, exactly.

Part of my work at the Neurodiversity Foundation, is cataloging how people think, Uh, I have been a guinea pig since the time I was a child, because as a child, even though I had a really high IQ, I really struggled in school, uh, and they, you know, what's wrong with your kid?  Why isn't he trying? And it got to ...so it  wasn't a problem. I was the first person in my grade...in my school to be able to read. And then, you know, when I was reading, you know, I was reading tech manuals, military tech manuals, and they're run, you know, I'm like, Hey, listen, let me know if you find something interesting.

I love it.

So, we want, there are people think differently and it's never been cataloged. These IQ tests they gave me, eventually, as they did, as they started giving me these tests, I started realizing as we got to the higher range of the score, I was, I was starting to realize in these patterns how they were trying to gauge my intellect.  And I was like, look, I can break it down for you that way, but I can break it down for you. these seven other ways are equally as valid, but you're trying to compartmentalize my thoughts and…

Exactly. I call that... I call that the show your work mentality. 

Oh my gosh.  it’s (indistinguishable) You know, I, I don't look at things like their grades or even their IQ. I mean, you have to look at the types of thought they're capable of. IQ tests are not even designed to measure divergent thought. They're designed to measure conversion/linear thought, like everybody else they're automatically prejudiced against us.  Even though we do exceptionally well, we still score higher, but it still doesn't capture our top end. Most of the great revolutions taken on were by neuro divergent individuals for,,, whether there's Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates. These people of course are all they're all just like us. A perfect example was the, you know, the study on valedictorians,  Valedictorians are generalists. They know a little bit about everything and they know a lot about everything, but they don't really have a hyper fixation like we do. So if you're sitting out there and you're listening to this and you said, you know, whole lot about something, I don't care if it's logistics or supply chain or anything, you probably have answers that people need to know about., and that's why entrepreneurship is something that I try to lead people on because... we are the great entrepreneurs, but we need help if I didn't have, if I, you have to learn to surround yourself with people that can make a difference for you. And one thing that I didn't realize was I (indistinguishable) Uh, and we went on and we just, you know, I never took them.  I never borrowed $1. I took zero seed capital. I just started doing the math once the math was right. I knew I didn't need money. I just wanted to start doing the math for other people. I funded the entire company, which went on to be very successful, you know, making $20 million a year, things like that. Uh, literally on, on something I wrote up in a notebook one day and just started applying it into our data  When I presented it to the CEO, he literally cussed at me and threw me out of his office and told me I was crazy, and don't meddle in that department. The chairs that originally hired me overrode it and said, Sean, go do it anyway. I'll deal with you. You can't be fired. I'll go deal with it. After, when they originally filed those claims, we collected $126,000 when they filed my restructured claims, based on the math, we collected that we kept the $126,000. and got $500,000 additional revenue, and I never worked in that department, but the math led me to the truth. Right... data, data changes everything. but there are people out there, they have these degrees in data science, and then you get these certificates and things. There was no data science when we started doing it, why would I need a degree in data science?  This is a field that we created the neuro divergence out there, you know, just like cloud computing, all these buzzwords. We’re  usually doing it 10 years, 15 years before people ever even try, but we don't get credit for our work simply because it's not… categorized and cataloged by.... we are so far ahead of the curve, typically... we are entrepreneurs naturally. So, how do we parlay that into more success for individuals? And I'd love to answer any questions anybody has on how to go down that road. 

I love that. I love that. Tell us how people can find you.

Uh, the easiest way to find me. I'm on LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/shawnfry/  on the Linkedin…. um, my email address, if you want to reach me for work, is Shawn, Shawn.fry@potentialworkforce.com  Uh, where we're leading a program that takes all neuro divergence, whether your autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and things like that. We're creating, we have contracts in place, our first client was Chevron, our second client was (indistinguishable)  so we, when we started telling people that neuro-divergence, this is not a nonprofit.  I do have a non-profit foundation, where we do all the research, but this is a for profit, you know why? Because we make money for people. We don't want sympathy. And there are people out there that were labeled us as abelists,  and things like that. I hate that, I reject that label. I know there are, there are people out there and listen... I work with people all across the spectrum, nonverbal, nonambulatory, I love them, they're all special people. I love them just as much, but we have, we have a resource that's there to harness, and we become exceptional employees.  Real quick… the first program we started... was my company, I had 150 employees, and when I went on to sell the company to private equity, these Wall Street, private equity firms, they look at everything. And one thing they asked me, he's like, Hey Shawn, where's your files? You know, the lawyers come in, where's your files on turnover. I was like, what do you mean? He's like, where are all the people that quit and you fired, and I was like, well, after 15 years, nobody ever quit. They're like what? I've never heard of that, I didn't even know it was a thing.  So what I did though, was I created a company that worked around my proclivities and inclinations and things like that. I built a company that was designed around me... around my neuro-diversity and my sensory issues. In fact, I don't like to be overwhelmed in meetings and I don't want meetings to last more than 30 minutes unless they absolutely have to.  And it turns out that that actually was conducive, not just for the neuro-diverse employees. And I include people in there with, uh, PTSD. There are other things that make you neuro-diverse people, even people with personality disorders, that don't have integrated brains,  still qualify under neurodiversity the way I define it.  I’m creating an environment that's safe for them, psychological safety being the first thing.  And the first thing I tell people, I invert every equation mathematically, and I reward people for telling me what's wrong for complaining or, you know, the faster you told me that you made a mistake, the more praise you get. And people started having psychological safety. What I recognized, is that their productivity multiplied.  Having that ability, because most of us have been told, slow down, shut up, sit still, you know, Shawn, this is a listen-meeting, not a talk meeting.

Oh, yeah. I've heard that one too. I heard that one too. Awesome, we gotta have you back. This has been phenomenal. It's so nice to,... to hear what you're doing and I love the fact that you're doing it for all the right reasons.  You guys are listening to Shawn Fry, Shawn. really, thanks again, man. We're going to have you back in the new year. I appreciate you taking the time. 

Thanks for having me Peter.

All right guys, Faster Than Normal...as always, we want to hear what you hear. Leave us a review, let us know what's up. Talk to us about what's happening on the street, you name it.  Peter Shankman (@petershankman) |Drop us a review at any of the sites that you listen to podcasts on and let us know if you have any good guests.  Sean is a phenomenal one, if you have any as good as Sean, we'd love to hear about them. Have a great week. ADHD and all forms of our diversity is a gift, not a curse.  We will see you next week. Stay healthy, stay safe, wear the mask, talk to you soon.

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

Feb 10, 2021

Mim Ochsenbein [Ox-in-byn] has been a practicing pediatric occupational therapist specializing in sensory processing for over 20 years. Her practice has focused on supporting children and families from birth through adolescence, in variety of settings including private practice, early intervention, schools, clinics, and mental health settings. She received a BS in Occupational Therapy from the University of Southern California. In 2012 Mim received her master’s degree in social welfare (MSW) from UCLA, providing new insights into how she can better support those she works with both at the individual and societal levels. She has advanced training in sensory integration and processing, feeding therapy and a variety of other treatment techniques. Mim has always been fascinated by the brain-body connection and the role sensory processing has on our development, ability to thrive, and the potential to derail it all. As the Director of Education for the non-profit STAR Institute for Sensory Processing, she has been gifted the opportunity to impact lives all over the world by providing education to other clinicians, educators, mental health providers, families and individuals who are addressing disordered sensory processing every day and thriving. Mim strives to always learn more and teach better. This is a fascinating episode, enjoy!

 

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Mim discuss:

1:10-  Intro and welcome Mim Ochsenbein

2:25-  So explain sensory processing? 

3:35-  So sensory processing does not “just work behind the scenes” for everyone?

4:04-  So, is sensory processing disorder a specific area of the senses that is not processing correctly? Or is it anything having to do with the senses that’s not working correctly?  

4:35-  So 16% is not a low number. Talk about the people you’ve mentioned that get affected by it

5:42-  That obviously makes it even worse in the respect that sometimes it's not just ADHD, you also have the rest of everything else to look at (?)

6:30-  What should parents be looking for? 

8:00-  On identifying sensory processing issues or ADHD within yourself

9:30-  What can people look for, and look inside themselves to realize “Hey, you know, this might be this… it’s not just me being a screw up.” 

10:54-  Is that from a chemical perspective? What is that? Is that Dopamine or adrenaline? 

12:10-  On praxis/developmental coordination disorder 

13:00-  Where can people find out more about your work and more about sensory processing? https://www.spdstar.org  

14:13-  Thank you Mim! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials.

14:59-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

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

As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hey guys, Peter, Shankman Welcome to Faster Than Normal, I am happy you're here. It is almost the last day of the year. Well, last day of December, we are waiting once the clock turns over to.. ah, next month, I'm assuming it's just gonna be the 13th month of 2020 that we're not actually going to be out of 2020 just yet.  There’s always people saying, Oh, well, you know, it's 2021, it’s gonna be much better. And I'm like, yeah, this is, viruses don't really know how to use a calendar, but that's okay. Anyway, I am going to screw up this person's name, Mim Ochsenbein. How was that? 

Close. It’s Ochsenbein.

Ochsenbein, Okay. I was close enough. We got a practicing pediatric occupational therapist, especially in specializing in sensory…. sensory processing.  Say that 10 times fast. I double dog dare you. Her practice has been focused on supporting children and families from birth through adolescents in a variety of settings, including private practice, early intervention, schools, clinics, and mental health settings. All right. She received a BSC in occupational therapy from University of Southern California at USC.  In 2012, she received her master's degree in social work welfare from UCLA. She's trained in sensory integration and processing feeling, feeding therapy, the variety of other treatment techniques. We're going to be talking about the brain body connection here on Faster Than Normal, which is kind of interesting because everything we do in our bodies when you're ADHD, is doubly centered on the brain.  Why'd you do that? What's wrong with you? I don't know. It was my ADHD. How many times have you said that? Okay, so we're going to talk about that. She's the director of education for the nonprofits star Institute for sensory processing. She's impacted lives all over the world, by providing education to other clinicians, educators, mental health providers, families, and individuals who are addressing disordered sensory processing every day of thriving.  Start off with this Nim. (1:51)  Thank you so much for being here. It is great to have you, explain sensory processing.   (in 20 words or less, hurry up)

Thank you for having me,,, yeah, 20 words or less, super easy. So sensory processing is really like, we all have sensory processing, we all do it. And it's just the process of our body and brain taking in sensory information.  Uh, sending it to the brain, the brain interprets it. tells us what's safe, not safe, important, not important and then we use that information, to have, you know, outputs to do things in the world to create memories, to create action, to be goal oriented. That is what sensory processing is. And it just like many other things in the brain and the body, it can go horribly wrong.

(2:36)  So this is everything from, Hey, that cup is hot, let it go…. to, that truck is barreling down the street and it's going to go through that red light, we shouldn't ah, cross  (everything in between)

Right. Exactly. And it's also like picking up the cup, like how much force to use to pick up that cup, and then, um, you know, how much energy to put into your muscles and which muscles to run across the street, so you don't get smacked by the truck. 

It's fascinating because we don't think about that. We just assume much like everything else. That's something that just happens, but it's not, it's not perfect for everyone. 

No, no, it's, it's not. And, uh, there's a lot of, um, people who experienced sensory processing challenges.  There's like 16% of kids who have sensory…. who have sensory processing disorder, and then there is a big overlap for people who have ADHD. 

(3:29)  Sensory processing disorder is, is a specific area of the senses that is not processing correctly? Or is it anything having to do with the senses that’s not working correctly?  

Yeah, there’s different subtypes of it. So you can have issues with, um, being sensitive...over-sensitive, under sensitive, really wanting more input or how you interpret input or how your body…. how you use your body to, with that input, so there's a lot of different places…. things can go wrong, I guess, yeah.  (3:58)  And so 16% is not a low number. Talk about, you mentioned that it, that it affects, uh, people that used to get affected by it more?? 

Well, I don't know about if they get affected by it more, but okay. So about 16% of the population of kids, has likely…. has sensory processing disorder and about 5% of kids have ADHD. And about 2.5% of adults have ADHD or something like that. If you look, like globally, but in terms of like how many people with ADHD also have sensory processing disorder.  It's really super interesting because what we know is that something around 40% of people with ADHD also have sensory processing disorder. And even those that wouldn't qualify for like sensory processing disorder, um, just because of the unique and amazing neuro divergent aspects of the ADHD brain, they just process sensory information differently than people who wouldn't qualify for a neuro divergency, um, condition.

(5:07)  So that obviously makes it even worse in the respect that, that it, sometimes it's not just ADHD. You have the rest of everything else to look at. 

Oh yeah. It can be, and it can be really tricky for, you know, from a child perspective, the way kids present is different than the way adults with ADHD could present, but it makes it super tricky for families, um, who are trying to figure out what is, you know, that was always a big question, what is ADHD? What sensory. Um, and usually the answer is yes to both like there's stuff going on that, um, gets in this kiddo's way for both, and then for adults too. Being told your whole life, you know, stop it, you know, knock it off when it's something that's happening at a very physiological neurological level that he can’t just turn off.

(5:55)  That brings an interesting question, what should parents be looking for? Because you know, a lot of times it is, will you just chill out or will you just calm down or stop it? That's not real or whatever the case is. 

Yeah, I think like there's aspects to ADHD that certainly stand out. But as it turns out, um, a lot of kids who have ADHD, um, they have a lot of sensory sensitivities or what we call sensory over responsivity to things and those sensitivities, those over, over responsivities  to movement, to touch in particular to sound a lot of the time, uh, for kids with ADHD, those sensitivities show up,, before the ah, the ADHD symptomology  does.  so if, as a parent, if you're thinking back on your child, and you're wondering if there's ADHD or you're wondering if they're sensory for that matter, like if you think back, was the baby particularly sensitive to certain um fabrics, was the baby particularly foods was the baby particularly sensitive to sounds, um, cause what they're, what research is showing is that those modulation issues or over responsivity issues are showing up before a lot of the ADHD signs. And so you can start, to help address those for our child, so they're more comfortable in the world.  That's not going to make ADHD appear or not appear, but it certainly might reduce some of the anxiety, which is another really common condition for those with ADHD, adult, and child. 

So I think it comes down to it always just comes down to a question, listening. 

Yeah. I'm paying attention. Yeah, right?  And that behavior isn't like looking at behavior as a form of communication, not as “I'm trying to piss you off.”

Right. Right. And that's important because a lot of times, especially even in relationships as adults, you know, the, the way that some people act versus the way that other people act is, is very difficult. I think that, you know, we've seen that in a lot of the people we've had on the podcast, people in relationships and, you know, married people and even, even, even people in the workforce, they talk about the things that they do.  Um, you know, oh, it just drove me crazy and I didn't know why it always affected me. And I always thought well you know, I think you also have to find the difference between “it drove me crazy” because, you know, you're, there's something sincerely wrong and it drove me crazy because, you know, the guys just being an asshole.

It's totally right. Totally. Cause you know, there's definitely that aspect of people you can't always put off that you're not a great human on like something else. Sometimes people just aren't great humans, but, but I think for like, a lot of. people with ADHD or, you know, and, or sensory processing issues. like if you don't know that about yourself, but there's this aspect to your brain/body connection that you really can't control, there is no controlling it. Like how much of what you experienced and the things you feel bad about. Like when, you know, when it comes to like the way you see yourself could, could be so different.

(8:56) What can people look for? You know, a lot of times I get emails all the time. People say, oh, I was listening to, um, you know, Faster Than Normal, and for the first time I, I saw myself and I realized that I'm not so weird and not such a screw up. What can people look for, and, and, and look inside themselves and see and say, Hey, you know, this might be this.It's not just me being a screw up. 

Yeah, no, that's such a good question because it's really hard. Like if you've been this way, your whole life, you know, how do you know that it's not, you just, you look around and you think everybody else is probably experiencing the same thing. They just are handling it better. Right?  But I think like if there's lots of different, um, things you can look at, there's actually, um, You know, like they're all over the place, but you can look up free, um, checklists and, and red flag lists and kind of go through them. There's some for adults and there's some for kids and you can just kind of like, um, online, you can pull them up and you can see like, how many of these things did I circle? Like, Oh, maybe, maybe this is me, or if you find like, especially for the over sensitivity stuff, like, um, how often did I experience that, and really felt like I had to flee, right? Like I had a fight or flight response. Like I couldn't stand it. It was not just a thought. It was a feeling in my body, like get the hell out.

And is that from a chemical perspective? What is that? Is that, is that Dopamine, is that adrenaline? 

No, it's not. Well, I mean, you, you have an adrenaline response. It's not dopamine or adrenaline, what it actually is is that literally your neurology when you are, when you have some sensory over responsivity, we know from physiological testing that the brain, actually, these people feel sensation either more intensely than other people do.  We actually have graphs that show, that how the brain is interpreting. They either feel it more intensely. They feel it for longer, right? or it builds over time. So literally their neurology is functioning differently, and this is coming in to the brain at the bottom, you know, like at your emotional and fear centers at no subcortical levels.  And is, is there before the frontal lobe, that judgment place, um, can actually make sense of anything you are already like your brain is, it's called the amygdala hijacking.  Like your brain is already gone. So it doesn't matter once your thinking brain makes sense of it, your body's already in full blown response.

Wow. Yeah, that's kind of fascinating. I mean, I, you know, you don't think that it, that it, I guess, yeah, everything starts immediately. 

Yeah, and it's, it's interesting because also a lot of kids, at least I don't think, um, I don't think there's been research on adults, but kids who have ADHD also have a lot of problems with what we call, um, Praxis or motor planning. It's also called developmental coordination disorder, and it's this connection between like your thinking brain. Like, I want to get this done and your body of how to, you know, sequencing things and planning and all those things that we always think is like this cognitive um, issue with kids with ADHD, there's a body component to it, that's coming from like… this ability to process tactile information and movement information, and body information. And so, they don't have those foundations to rest their cognitive thinking on, so they have great thoughts maybe, but because that brain body connection is so weak, they can't carry them out.

Very interesting. Where can….. people find more about you because this is, this is first of all, we're gonna have you back on, no question about…. after the new year, but where can people find out more about you? This is fascinating. 

About me or about what I do??..

About you, about the work that you're doing, not you specifically, your favorite colors, ...games.  [laughter]

I was gonna say hopefully not alot of people.. I'm doing my life right. But, um, about sensory processing. So Star Institute, I would go to STAR Institute and that's where we have those checklists for people to look at, there's information there. What is sensory processing? Um, 

all sorts of information on research, um, on education, on treatments, on, we have a blog, like there's lots of information out there in the world. There's tons, if you put in sensory processing or sensory integration is another term that's used, and you stick that in Google, there's all sorts of things. There's lots out there on ADHD with sensory processing. 

I have a feeling, a lot of parents are looking at their kids right now and going, hummm.  that's interesting. So I think you,,, I think you might have changed a bunch of lives there. might have a bunch of lives…..awesome.  Mim, ah, Ochshen….let me get this right, Ochsenbein? 

You’re close….

Ochsenbein?  

You’ve got it. 

Alright, Mim, Ochsenbein,  thank you so much for taking the time, I do appreciate it. Uh, this is a phenomenal episode. We will, like I said, we'll definitely have you back.  Guys, check out the starting super sensory processing, you can learn a lot more there. We will be back next week with another episode, as always feel free to send this to people you think we should interview. We would love to hear about them. That's how we found you and, um, reach out, have yourselves a wonderful day, stay safe, wear a mask, and we will talk to you soon. Thanks so much for listening. 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 performed by Steven Byrom and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Feb 3, 2021

Eric Clark is not your typical educator, and his career trajectory is about as ADHD as it can get. After marrying his college sweetheart in 2006, Eric started teaching middle school math at Central Middle School, located on Boston's South Shore. While earning his stripes in the classroom, Eric was bit by the entrepreneurship bug and launched a small tutoring company called Quincy Tutoring. Two years after starting this venture, Eric transitioned into higher education where he would become the Assistant/Director of the Center for Academic success at Eastern Nazarene College. One aspect of this role was to serve as an advocate for students with learning differences. It didn't take long for Eric to realize that he had more in common with his students than he thought. At the age of 27, Eric officially received an ADHD diagnosis.

 

After 7 years in higher education, Eric decided to go back to his roots and accepted a role at the Woodward School, an independent high school for girls. This transition would then set off a domino effect where Eric would eventually find himself accepting a teaching role at the Delaware Valley Friends Schools and moving his wife and four daughters to Pennsylvania in the midst of a pandemic. DVFS is an independent Quaker school that is dedicated to serving students with a learning difference and a school with a mission that Eric could stand behind 100%.

 

Even through Eric's career was humming along nicely, things were bubbling under the surface and would eventually overpower him and disrupt life as he knew it. From the death of a father, to unexpected DNA results, the emotional baggage that comes with these experiences were compounded exponentially when the underlying ADHD and anxiety went unmitigated. This interview is Eric's coming out story, he has never shared publicly before. Enjoy!

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

In this episode Peter & Eric discuss:

 :40-  Intro and welcome Eric Clark!

2:14-  So being a teacher w/ ADHD, your students must think you’re the coolest teacher in the world!

2:52-  Would you agree that people who have ADHD who have had it since birth and either haven't been diagnosed early, or were diagnosed later in life, realize that when they think about it, that they are kind, compassionate and caring even more-so than the neurotypical, because they know what it's like to be outcasts/different and don't want to wish that on other people(?) 

4:15-  Since you got diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, tell me what it was like for you as a kid. Ref: Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain

6:53-  You’re now a teacher at Delaware Valley Friends School, that’s a school that's dedicated to students with learning differences, right? 

8:44-  What are you telling the kids who are neuroatypical when they come to you thinking they are “broken”, “a waste”, you know, all the things we thought as a kid?  

9:59-  As you see these kids growing up, getting older and going into more advanced classes, what are you learning from that? You mentioned that you’re learning alot from them, what kind of stuff are you seeing in them?  

11:05-  How has it been teaching in this pandemic?  

12:25-  How can people find you?  Website: www.EricAlainClark.com and @EA_Clark on INSTA  Twitter  & @eac.socialmedia on Facebook

12:42-  Thank you Eric! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials.

13:00  -  Guys, you’re listening to Faster Than Normal,  I want to wish you a happy day.  If you know anyone who you think might want to be on the podcast, let us know. We're still looking. I’ve been doing interview after interview, so we are definitely going to be booked up for the first few months, but let us know who you know, and we'd love to interview them. Have them reach out to me at https://www.shankman.com/  As always… ADHD is a gift, not a curse. We will see you in a week, keep smiling even under the mask, we'll talk soon.

13:26-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

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

As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hey guys, welcome to Faster Than Normal. 

Hi you guys, Peter, Shankman welcome to Faster Than Normal background noise edition.  [producer squints eyes & boots up iZotope’s RX7].  I am recording this a couple of days before the end of the year. And we’ve got, let's see, we’ve got my daughter in one room playing with the new dog. We’ve got the lovely cleaning woman in, in this room, cleaning everything. We have a gorgeous day outside.  Um, everyone is, is, is, is betting that 2021 is going to be better. I'm sitting here remembering that viruses don't know how to read calendars. So it's going to be an interesting time, either way. Welcome to Faster Than Normal, my name is Peter Shankman. I am thrilled that you are here. We have Eric Clark on the podcast today, who is Eric Clark?  Well, Eric Clark is not your typical educator, although he is an educator. After marrying his college sweetheart in 2006, Eric started teaching middle school Math at Central Middle School in Boston’s South Shore.  While earning his stripes in the classroom, he was bit by the entrepreneurship bug and launched a tutoring company called Quincy Tutoring out of Quincy! I know Quincy well.  I went to Boston University and as a photographer or a Photo major, I got to photograph all these, all these projects at different schools and like Dorchester and Roxbury and all that. 

 I love it. 

I take that, take that, uh, that, uh, accent and bring it anywhere I want.  One of the interesting things about Eric though is after he started this venture, he transferred to higher education where he became the assistant director of the center for academic success at Eastern Nazarene college.  Okay. And he served as an advocate for students with learning differences, and that's when he realized that he had more in common with the students than he did with the other teachers.  At the age of 27, he received an official diagnosis of ADHD. (@2:14)  So being a teacher with ADHD, you must've thought ….the kids must have thought you were the coolest teacher in the world.

Yeah, I think so. Um, I think that's just a lot of my personality too. There's a lot of, a lot of love and caring and compassion that goes into, into the work that I do in the classroom. A lot of that was sort of established early on in my life... um, really having a positive outlook and, um, I think the students probably enjoy the, the ADHD mind, but, um, definitely needed to learn how to, how to hone it in, so  we can achieve the outcomes that we're looking to, to achieve. 

(@2:52)  I would argue that people who have ADHD who have had it from since birth, you know, and, and either haven't gotten diagnosed early or gotten diagnosed later in life, like.. realize that when they think about it, that they are kind and compassionate and caring more so than normal people, because they know what it's like to be outcasts.  They know what it's like to be.. um, uh, you know, the different one and they don't want to wish that on other people. Would you agree with that? 

Absolutely. And I think my experience as being called the lazy kid, um, feeling like I could never accomplish a task that I set out to do.  If I go back and I think of my, some of my childhood experiences where I set out to do these lofty projects, like painting a barn that was located on my property. I started it, but I never finished it. 

Painting a barn on your property? 

Um, my parents ended up paying for somebody to paint it- so it all worked out. Um, but I never was, when I think back, I never was lazy. I started working at 14, 15 on the farm. Um, did Masonry work and stuff like that, but I wasn't lazy. I just, I needed some help to figure out how to get from point A to point B. Um, so that executive functioning that, that inner space of, you know, the beginning and, you know, the end, um, really trying to figure out how to get there was the problem for me. 

Understood. I think a lot of it has to come down with the fact that, you know, when, again, the things we love doing, we do them really well.  The things we don't like doing, we sort of start and then we never sort of half-assed them and never actually finished. (@4:15) Tell me… so you got diagnosed as an adult. So, what was it like as a kid? 

Growing up, It was, it was interesting. I think, uh, I've read the book Spark, probably just the ADHD sections. Um, but there's a lot to be said about, uh, cardiovascular and the ability to focus.  So I played two, two seasons of athletics, both Fall and Winter. Um, in those seasons, I was, I was pretty spot on, I was, I was doing B work…. A work in some, some classes, but then come the spring when I wasn't in athletics, um, things sort of tanked. Um, so growing up where, where I grew up in Vermont, we didn't have a whole lot of access to, um, sort of specialized care.  And to be frank, I don't know if my family had the bandwidth, um, to process that ‘cause at nine years old, um, my, well, let me back... back it up a little bit. So when I was 18 months old, my biological father passed away, um, from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and then my mom remarried about a year later. Um, but then when I was nine years old, big Tim, my Dad was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  So a lot of our bandwidth and whatnot was focused on, on him and making sure he was taken care of. And we did well, we did what we did, what we needed to do. There was, um, I had three siblings, uh, I had two brothers and a sister…. have.. two brothers and a sister, so we did all that we could do to survive. Um, and we made it work.  Um, but I think fast forward to 27 and you see sort of the, the impact of all of the decisions that have been made... you have made throughout the course of your life, because you understand a little bit more how a diagnosis can be helpful, um, in establishing structures and systems that can help you to, to optimize and maximize your ability to be successful.

(@6:02)  No question. I mean, if you don't put those things together, it can ruin you. And I think that, um, I mean, from what I'm hearing, you kind of, didn't  have a choice, right? You sort of had to come out and have, have that immediately. 

Absolutely. And it was sort of, we did what we didn't even really acknowledge the trauma that we, when you go through with a sick parent, I think I started really processing that maybe four or five years ago.  Um, and a lot of that is credit to my wife. She's a saint, she's a, she's a, um, Boston University graduate with her Master's in social work. So she has a skill set to deal with my,  with my nonsense. I wouldn't, I wouldn't wish it upon her, but I'm very grateful to have, to have her in my life. 

It is great to have someone who can help you.  (@6:42)  Tell me about, um, so as you, as a teacher now, um, because you're at, I totally just lost the name of the school where are you … you’re at….

Delaware Valley Friends school. 

Delaware Valley Friends right!  (6:53) So, tell us, it’s a school that's dedicated to students with learning differences, right? 

Absolutely. So, um, my family and I decided to move in the midst of a pandemic from the Boston area to the Philadelphia area. 

Of course, as you do! (laughter) 

Absolutely, and I was, I didn't think it was going to happen. I didn't, I didn't, the job prospects were, were nil, um, because of the pandemic and it didn't seem like anybody was hiring, but I was presented with two offers within 48 hours of, of, of each other, which was, which was pretty crazy.  Um, so from what I gather, um, I'm very new to this sort of Quakerism, um, which I, wish I would've learned about a long time ago, cause it sort of aligns with their core values aligned with my own. Um, but with that being said, there's a lot of Quaker schools in the Philadelphia area, um, and about 30 years ago, they came together at one of their yearly meetings and said, look, um, we do it, we're doing all this great work, but we really don't have a school that focuses on this particular type of student and we want to make sure that we're serving the entire student and making sure that we're serving these students well., um, so about 30 years ago, Delaware Valley Friends school was established, and, um, I can tell you from being there just for a handful of months, it's a very, very special place. Um, they, they, they look at the students as, as an entire person.  They, one of the Quaker values is finding the, the inner lights. Um, so I think every person has an inner light, um, that is God within us. Um, and we try to seek that out and everybody, um, and it's. We, we're getting tangential here because, um, that's what we do. Uh, Quakers typically from what I experienced, they're not, um, evangelical, um, and it's more of a set of core values that can be assigned to humanists, to Buddhists, to, to whatever.  There's a lot of, there's a lot of alignment there and a lot of inclusivity, which is something that I, that I've really come to love and respect. 

(@8:44) What are you telling the kids who have those different brains that just like we do? How are you, you know, and they, they come in and they think my God I'm broken.  I'm, I'm, I'm a waste. You know, all the things that we thought as a kid. 

And, and I thought I was going to encounter a lot of that, but I'm finding that students that have been at DV for a while, they're really empowered to be self advocates. Um, and they know who they are as students and as people far better than what I do as a 36 year old.  And I'm, I'm inspired and they teach me something every day. But I think what I try to tell them is that you are capable of more than what you think you're capable of, and I want you to acknowledge the fear that you may be experiencing. Um, and with it,  I experienced a lot of fear in my, in my classes because I teach math whether or not you have a diagnosis or not just because that's the nature of the subject matter for a lot of students.  Um, so regardless of the fear that you're facing, um, I acknowledge it for what it, what it is, and then build systems to help you overcome that fear because fear is, is not forever. And if you can find a way to overcome it and work through it, you're going to be, you're going to be better off for it. You're going to be able to, to be the rockstar that we that know you can be. 

(@9:59)  I love that…..  that fear is not forever.  That's a really, really smart answer. It makes a lot of sense. When you think about it… how about, um, as you see the kids growing and, and, and, and sort of moving into, they're getting older, and they're going to more advanced classes, um, what are, what are you learning from that? You mentioned that you're learning a lot from them.  What kind of stuff are you seeing them do? 

I have ...I got, I'm thinking of one student in particular, he's coming at me with all of these crazy stories of historical references of, of these mathematicians, um, from, from back in the 1600’s / 1700’s.  and so on. Um, I'm finding that these students have a depth of knowledge and a depth of interests far outside of the scope of, of my content area.  And I need to find ways to tap into that. Um, to get them excited about the work that we're doing in house. Um, and also one thing that my students are showing me is that they're passionate for, for justice. Um, so in equity and, and, and things of that nature. So I want to find ways to incorporate those themes into the, into the curriculum that I present to them on a, on a daily basis.

(@11:05) How’s it been teaching in the pandemic?  

Um, I've learned a lot. I think I would, obviously I prefer to be in the classroom, but if I focused on all of the negative aspects of it, it would become overwhelming and I wouldn't be able to do anything with it. Um, so recognizing this as just a moment in time, and we need to do our best to weather the storm because we will get through this, um, one major thing is, is really taking away the technology that we use in the virtual classroom and finding ways to incorporate that into, um, the, the face-to-face learning environment.  And I mean, just really ramping up my empathy and my caring and my compassion. I felt like I was pretty empathetic before, um, but really giving students the benefit of the doubt when they come to me saying that they don't understand it, or if they just don't hand in an assignment. The, the immediate reaction for me is going to be okay.  Let's figure out why this is. And not assume that the student is slacking off intentionally because there's a lot going on. Um, and we really need to focus on sort of the whole student and not get caught up in our own ego that the students aren't getting the coursework done. Let's figure out why they're getting the, not getting the coursework done and come alongside them and help them overcome these tangential obstacles that, that could be impeding their success. 

(@12:25)  Wish I’d had more teachers like you when I was a kid..  How can people find you? I think, I think that you’re probably gonna get some questions throughout answer and definitely some of the kids, Eric.

So, on Twitter and Instagram, Eric Clark (@ea_clark) | Um, my website is being revamped. It's http://ericalainclark.com/, but that's with the French spelling, alainclark, but find me on the Twitters or on Instagram, and we can, we can connect on, on other, on other  platforms. 

Awesome. Eric Clark, one of the best teachers I’ve ever had on the podcast. Thank you so much for taking the time, I truly appreciate it. 

Peter, thank you so much. It's truly an honor. Thank you so much. 

Guys, you’re listening to Faster Than Normal,  I want to wish you a happy day.  If you know anyone who you think might want to be on the podcast, let us know. We're still looking. I’ve been doing interview after interview, so we are definitely going to be booked up for the first few months, but let us know who you know, and we'd love to interview them. Have them reach out to me at Petershankman.com.  As always… ADHD is a gift, not a curse. We will see you in a week, keep smiling even under the mask, 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 performed by Steven Byrom and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Jan 27, 2021

Raven Baxter, also known as Raven the Science Maven, is an award-winning and internationally acclaimed science communicator and molecular biologist who works to progress the state of science education and culture by creating spaces that are inclusive, educational, and real.

Raven is an entertainer and content creator known for her unique style of combining science and music that teaches and empowers those in STEM and beyond. Raven speaks about innovation in science education and social change in STEM.

Raven is the founder of Science Haven, a non-profit organization that operates at the intersections of science, education, and the public. Science Haven houses STEMbassy, a live web series that connects the public with science and technology professionals, and Black In Science Communication, a group that works to build relationships in the science community, equipping others with the knowledge and resources necessary to share science with the world in their own flavor. Raven has quickly developed a reputation as a strong voice in science education and has been recognized as a global influencer in several publications, including Fortune Magazine’s 40 Under 40 list for 2020.  Enjoy!

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Raven discuss:

:41-  Intro and welcome Dr. Raven Baxter 

2:47-  So tell us about your background?

4:45-  Where did you go to college?

5:17-  So tell me a bit about when you first got diagnosed with ADHD?  

8:45-  So when you decided to pursue your career, how did that counter with your ADD/ADHD in the premise that it requires so much focus? You can’t sort of round-up in science, so how do you make that work and keep that focus and immediacy that’s needed?   

11:05-  Tell us about what you do, specifically? For kids listening that might want to go into Science, and have that fear they might not have the capacity to focus. 

12:40-  Tell us about what you’d say to kids who may have been told by teachers that science isn’t for them?  

13:54-  So, what would you say to kids about where to go next?  You know, you might get a seventh grader that says, “Hey, I want to do more of this!”  

15:10-  Tell us what you're doing now?

16:20-  How can people find you?  Website: www.scimaven.com and @RavenTheScienceMaven on INSTA  Twitter & Facebook YouTube and @Sciencemaven on TikTok

16:32-  Thank you Raven! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials.

17:26-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

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

As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hey guys, welcome to Faster Than Normal. My name is Peter. I am your host today and I'm thrilled that you're here. It's a gorgeous day here as we get close to the end of 2020, everyone's assuming that 2021 is just going to be that much. Like we're going to flip a switch and all of a sudden everything's gonna be better.  And, uh, you know what, I'm too tired. I'm too tired to argue with that. So I'm going to say, yeah, sure. That sounds great. We are talking to someone who will tell us all about how crazy that idea is because this woman is involved with science. Her name is Raven Baxter, Dr. Raven Baxter, otherwise known as Raven, the science Maven. which I love.  Okay. She's an award-winning and internationally acclaimed science communicator and molecular biologist. All right. So right here, I can tell you this woman's four times as smart as me, which is great. She works to progress the state of Science, Education and Culture by creating spaces that are inclusive, educational and real.  I love that so much, I'm sitting here staring at my seven year old daughter, and I'm thankful that people like Raven exist.  Raven is an entertainer, she's a content creator, she's known for her unique style of combining science and music, that teaches and empowers those in STEM... and beyond. Raven speaks to that innovation in science education and social change in STEM, she founded Science Haven. Science Haven has this STEMbassy, I love that name, which is a live web series that connects to the public within science and technology and the connection with science, technology professionals, and Black In Science Communication, a group that works to build relationships in the Science community, equipping others with the knowledge and resources necessary to share science with the world in their own flavor. She was one of Fortune Magazine's “40 under 40”, this year. She has a job,  she has a project in progress called Nerdy Jobs with Raven the Science Maven, which I think is awesome. She's had a TEDx talk,  she's on the STEMbassy season finale, she’s all over the internet…. welcome Dr. - welcome Raven. It is great to have you. 

Hi, thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited to be here. I hope you're doing well. 

I always know that my introductions have gone too long when the person like falls asleep and has to come back and say, Oh yeah, Hey, but no, it was a great into,  wonderful to have you. I'm thrilled that you're, that you're a part of this.  (2:47) Um, you're doing some amazing, amazing things first and foremost. Tell us about your background. Tell us about how, how, how Science sort of picked you, as it were. 

Yeah, I mean, I think, you know, a lot of people listening to this podcast can relate. But potentially to having ADHD and like being, perhaps being a child and being into everything and wanting to explore everything.  And, um, I feel like with ADHD that was amplified in that, you know, I really felt like I was unstoppable. If I wanted to learn about the clouds I was in the library, like trying to get my hands on every single cloud book and. You know, when I got to the point where I felt like I knew everything about that, then I wanted to learn about space and I went to space camp, and I found that I was afraid of heights..  Yeah, I did it. Have you ever been??

Hey you know what's funny. I never went as a kid. As an adult. I got invited to Media Space Camp, and so I spent three days doing the same thing that they did in space camp and it was incredible. 

That's awesome. So you know how cool it is? 

Oh yeah

Just imagine being a little kid. 

Oh, I can't even imagine, plus I went . I saw the movie, like the second it came out. Right. I was all about Jinx the robot. I wanted that robot, jinx. I was like Jinx and Max friends forever. I totally wanted that robot. 

Yeah, and I also, well, I guess not to be a downer, but I found out I was afraid of heights at space camp. So, you know, my dream of being an astronaut totally wiped down the dream, but I luckily had already been exposed to in part due to space camp, all of the different types of science careers you can have.  So, you know, I just dove into everything and eventually ended up into molecular biology. And that's where I’m focusing now,  and, um, kind of parlayed into science education after having a career as a corporate scientist. 

Amazing amazing. Where'd you go to college? 

I went to SUNY, well, I went to a couple, a couple different colleges actually.Um, I started at SUNY college of environmental science and forestry also known as SUNY ESF. Um, and then I went to community college for a little while, and then I transferred to, um, Buffalo State College where I graduated with my bachelor's and eventually my master's. And now, um, I'll be finishing my doctorate in May at a university at Buffalo. 

Very cool. (5:17)  So tell me a bit, so, you know, science, when you were, when you got ADHD, what was that? When did that? Okay, well, first of all, when did you get diagnosed?

I was diagnosed when I was about six or seven. 

Oh wow really?  OK, and did, get that at that age… it  probably, it probably didn't really change much for you. You just knew, you know, here's, what's up, like it wasn't like you're diagnosed in your thirties or anything like that. 

Right? No. Well,  so when I was diagnosed, um, ADHD medications were very new on the market, right?  And so it was really up to my Mother to say, “OK, she has this okay, she has this diagnosis, what do we do now? Um, being that the medications were so new, she really didn't feel comfortable putting me on anything, so, um, I essentially just… freestyled it, sorry, my dog is sneezing in the background. are you okay?  Um, yeah, so she just kind of freestyled it with me and just, let me, let me be me.

That's awesome. You know, it's interesting. Um, when I was, when I was growing up, it didn't exist. Right? It was the sit down and interrupt the class disease and, um, you know. 

Oh yeah, that was me. 

So here’s the interesting thing,,,,the, the, the, the stuff that you liked, right? The, the, you know, like science, whatever kind of subjects you liked, I'm sure you were great at. 

Oh yeah. I was, I was naturally gifted at pretty much everything that I did, and I think that's. That's probably what frustrated my teachers the most is that I couldn't sit down and do my work. I'd get up. I'd be spinning around during class while the teacher's teaching. And while literally everyone else is seated, I just be up like twirling, twirling around like a tornado.Um, but my work would be done, right? Like acing  everything. So. I mean, I was, I was also bored, but I also was hyperactive, but it was also very smart and getting my work done. So teachers really didn't know what to do cause they couldn't really justify putting me in time out because I wasn't white, like misbehaving, you know?

Yeah. So, but they were putting me in time out. Um, that's the, my mom stepped in after that. 

It's good to have parents that’ll have your back. That must've been tough. You know, here you are getting all this stuff done and it's just that you were too fast for them. 

Yeah. Yeah, I didn't, um, I remember them putting me in, um, a gifted and talented program, uh, at the same time that they put me in a special education program, which is a little confusing for me.Um, because I was going to like three different classrooms where most of my friends weren't moving around. Like they just stayed in the same classroom. And, um, the, in the gifted and talented program, I, I was smart enough to do the work, but those kids were really self-disciplined. Um, they could sit down and do the work, and I felt very out of place because I couldn't, you know, it was a smaller group of kids and I realized I was the only one, like, couldn't stop moving around. Um, but I, I felt home in the special ed classroom. I really did. 

Yep. I believe it. And you know, what's interesting is that, is that you go, you know, I remember, I never, my grades were… in  New York City, there was something called a resource room where you could get extra time and to do all these things, but my grades were too good. I, you know, I had great English skills and my math wasn't great, but my English and science, all that was enough that you're like, oh, he doesn't need that, but he won't shut up. 

Right. 

So you couldn't, you couldn't really win when you, (8:45) so when you decided to pursue science as a, as a career, you know, how was that, how did that sort of line u…. uh, how did that counter with your ADD/ADHD with the premise that, you know, you have to focus, right? You're looking at things that, you know, I say, what is that great, uh, that great quote, when, uh, when, uh, you know, when, when a nuclear physicist screws up the world explodes, one of geologists goes up, rock breaks and that's about it, you know, but you, you're, you're sitting there with like, you know, you're doing stuff that matters and you're doing stuff where you have to be completely on point, right?  You can't just sort of round up. In science. Exactly. What, tell us, tell us how you are… um, how do you make that work? How do you, how do you keep that focus? How do you get that sort of, uh, immediacy that's needed? 

That's a very good question, and that's something that I honestly struggled to answer myself.  Um, because as a student, um, being a scientist as a student, and when you're learning the science, there's really not a lot of pressure. Like you're, like what you were saying, you know, you’re just enjoying the subject, you're mastering the subject. But when you're working as a corporate scientist, the script is completely flipped.  You know, when you're working in drug discovery, where I was working, um, it was very difficult, to work in that high pressure situation, um, where you know that every number matters, right?  There's barely any room for error because you're working on a million dollar project and every test tube that you waste is $10,000 down the drain, literally.  And you're also making things that will potentially go into somebody's body down the line. And so you really want to make sure your work is the best it can be, which is possible with ADHD. But, um, I personally don't feel like professional environments, such as like, a corporate scientific environment... I don't think that they've quite come up with the resources needed to make that a comfortable working environment for somebody like you or me.  Um, I do think that like there needs to be special accommodations just like there isn't school for people with, um, you know, learning disabilities and attention disorders. I think I would have had a much more comfortable working experience had that been in place. 

(11:05) Tell us about what you do, specifically…. right?  So give us like your top three. So you have a lot of kids who listen to this podcast and they're, you know, if any of them wanna go into science and they're afraid, well, I don't have the, the capacity to focus. Tell us what you do. Cause it's, it's obviously you've proved that it's possible. 

 

Yeah. Um, I think that for me, having ADHD is definitely about recognizing where your superpowers work the best, right?  Um, and asking for help when you need it. So, for me personally, I feel like, um, my excitement and my love for science really is best used when I’m teaching about science and sharing that with other people. Um, and so I'm able to take everything that I learned about as a student and share it with people that want to learn about science who are around me.  Um, and that's what I do now. As a science communicator, I use music, I use videos, I use music videos and, uh, I communicate science through all of those things to help people learn about science and teach people about new things. 

I've never heard that  term science communicator, I love that. And what I'm going to love, is that you've managed to take what you love, combine it with what you do, and here we are.  

Right? Yeah. I love it too. Um, there, I'm sure you've heard of Bill Nye, The Science Guy, Neil Tyson… those are all science communicators. I just don't think people know what to call them. 

Yeah. I'd never heard the term. That's so cool. (12:40) Tell us about, um, so. What do you say to kids who don't believe that, you know, oh, they've been told by the teachers and you know, mistakenly that yeah, you're ADHD. You're not gonna, you know, science isn't for you. I mean, I, I, I, had a teacher that actually said I should pursue accounting, right? 

Oh my gosh. I think that science is perfect for people with ADHD. And the reason is because there's so many questions to answer. And if you're anything like me, you want to bounce from question to question to question.I mean, one day I'm thinking about. Oh my gosh, how did the universe start? Whoa. Now I'm looking into quantum physics and yeah, quantum physics...documentaries, and trying to learn about the big bang theory and different, different theories that exist that, um, that are talking about where the universe came from or where did life come from on planet earth, right?  All of those different theories. And it's really exciting. There's, there's really no one way to love and enjoy science. And there's so many different questions to answer, that it's perfect for somebody with ADHD, because there's something new all the time to focus on and learn about.

I love that. I love that. So the premise that you'll never get bored?

You'll never get bored. I can almost promise you that. 

(13:54) So, what do you say to, uh, where, where should the kid go next? You know, you're going to get a seventh grader or something that says, Hey, I want to do more of this. 

Ah, gosh, that's a really good question.I think that what's worked for me when I was a young kid is just not getting too worked up about following a particular path. Like really just follow your natural instincts and pay attention to what's interesting to you and just get lost in it. Right? Like I, some of the, I would've never become, I would have never become a molecular biologist if I didn' decide that I could learn anything I wanted to learn and do whatever I wanted to do to learn that. So like going on Wikipedia, and clicking on Wikipedia to different articles and just getting lost in the articles, because everything's linked to each other on the website, um, that's one way to do it or watching documentaries. Um, going on, you know, asking your parents to go on to Netflix and picking up documentaries,  that’s appropriate for you to watch, to learn more, asking your teachers interesting questions, because they might be able to teach you something new. Um, those are different ways to get into it. 

Yup. I love that. Very, very cool. (15:10) Tell us what you're doing now...

So now I am working full time as a science communicator while finishing my doctoral research.  Um, and I'm hoping to start a couple of new series with a major network next year. Um, all of this is pretty much under wraps, which is why I'm being a little vague, but, um, it's a network that everybody loves and enjoys. That, um, we're working on two shows together and both of those shows are science shows.  One of those shows is focused on biology and learning everything there is to know about biology. And, um, the other show is me exploring different jobs in science, technology engineering, and that the medics. 

All right. Very cool. So stay in. So it's good that you're not busy or anything like that. 

Yeah. Yeah.

Right. Well, this has been very, very cool. (16:09) Tell, tell people how that they can find you, cause I have a feeling that you get a ton of followers and a ton of questions off this interview. How can people find you? 

You can find me um anywhere on the internet, if you Google  “Raven, the Science Maven.” I'm on Twitter @Ravenscimaven, and everywhere else at “Raven the Science Maven,” except for TikTok, where I am @Science Maven. 

I love it. I love it. Raven Baxter, Raven the Science Maven, thank you so much for taking the time to come on the podcast. This was a lot of fun and I think you're going to give a lot of kids a lot of hope because let me tell you someone who has a seven year old daughter, who is currently playing with her brand new rescue puppy that we got. Um, it's pretty awesome to watch her get excited about things. We've been doing science experiments, we've grown a crystal. Um, what else have we done? Done lot of fun stuff and, and it's, it's fun to watch her eyes light up when we do it. So, you know, go--- go science!  I'm always, it's funny. I haven't, I haven't said this yet, but I always want to quote the line every time she does something gets excited about, I want to teach her to say the line from um, um, from Breaking Bad where they cook their first batch of meth and is “science bitch,” but don’t wanna do it.  Raven, thank you so much for taking the time, we will definitely have you back at some point in 2021, stay safe, stay healthy, and we'll talk with you soon. Guys, you've been listening to Faster than Normal. We love it when you're here, we love it that you're here. We love it that our numbers keep going up and the more people are learning that  ADHD is a gift, not a curse.  Please stay in touch with us, shoot us an email, let us know who you want to hear. Raven came to us… uh, from a user, from a listener who said, “Hey, you should have this person on your podcast.”  And we did. That's how it works. It's really simple, so if you want more, give us some names, we will make more easily.  Otherwise leave us a review, stay safe, stay healthy, wear a mask, we will see you guys next week. Thanks so much for listening, my name is Peter Shankman.

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

Jan 20, 2021

Tunch Diptas is an accomplished executive & coach, a master of combining the discipline of the mind and body, turning the previously unobtainable goals into self-fulfillment and success stories. Post graduation, Tunch mastered in International Economics. He has cultivated advanced relationships with wealth advisors, private bankers, business bankers, insurance agents, trust specialists, advanced financial planners, and mortgage consultants, as a Certified Financial Planner. As a result of the long time interest, he set his heart on the consultancy. Tunch has worked with executives from Fortune 500 companies including, Wells Fargo, Northwestern Mutual, Chase Manhattan, KW Inc., guiding them to get outstanding results. So far, Tunch has worked with soccer teams to reach championship status; early career executives to obtain leadership roles; and successful professionals to accomplish their dreams. He is a Senior Leader with the Tony Robbins Leadership Academy, focusing on Business Results Training. He believes that “Leadership begins with an ability to persuade and connect. Engaging and captivating any audience from beginning to end for a powerful, lasting impact can be learned!”

Tunch provides a rich set of practical and life-tested ideas, concepts, and frameworks that will help those who want to change; to be the best that they can be. His ambition is to make people better in their focus area, discover their purpose, make a strategic plan, and finally get measurable, quantitative results with a significant improvement in leadership and team building skills. With the ambition of inspiring people with impactful ways so that they can all have authentic and meaningful lives, Tunch is always glad to connect with new people!  Enjoy!

 

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Tunch discuss:

:50-  Intro and welcome Tunch Diptas 

1:26-  So what’s your story?

2:15-  What prompted you to get tested for ADHD?

3:22-  What were the medications the put you on first? How did that go?

6:10-  Tell us a little about how you took control of your happiness after your diagnosis?

7:20-  On defining purpose

8:45-  On focusing on what’s important and what’s working

9:25-  What do you advise on negotiating the downsides of change and embracing the positive?

12:20-  Let’s talk about emotional fitness; how do you deal with anger, anxiety and communicating with your partner/family/co-workers, etc?

14:50-  How do you find a middle ground/balance with your work and life?

16:20-  How can people find you? At www.TunchDiptas.com and @TunchDiptas on INSTA  Facebook and YouTube

16:54-  Thank you Tunch! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials.

17:26-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

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

As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

PS: If you're looking for that special gift this holiday season for someone in your life who has ADD, ADHD, or any kind of neurodiverse brain, how about a conversation with me? I've finally been convinced to join Cameo, where you can request videos, shout-outs, birthday greetings, even a one-on-one talk about how ADHD is a superpower! You can find me on Cameo here!​

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hey guys, Peter Shankman... happy to have you here. As we enter the world of ADHD, ADD everything that are diverse, for another episode of Faster Than Normal, good stuff going on. We're gonna be talking to a coach today who I love his bio. The guy seems to have done everything. Um, his name is Tunch Diptas and I want it to tell us it tells us his background because it's, you're gonna find it fascinating, but I can give you the highlights.

He mastered the International Economics. International Economics, right? He's worked with companies, Wells Fargo, Northwestern Mutual, Chase Manhattan. Um, he led soccer teams to championship status. So I want to hear about that. And then we're going to talk.. I want to focus a lot on managing stress change, conflict of crisis, which is his big thing.

So welcome Tunch, good to have you. 

Thank you. Thanks for having me. I'm excited. 

Good. So yeah. Tell us, tell us your backstory, cause you're not from this country. Tell us where you came from, how you got here… and you said you weren't diagnosed with ADHD until you were in your thirties. So tell us that, that as well, start at the beginning.

Sure. Uh, I'll be happy to. Um, so I actually grew up in Turkey and, um, when I was growing up, um, I didn't know anything about ADHD and my family didn't either. And, um, I grew up with so many challenges, um, family challenges and then also challenges at school. But, um, I was able to make it happen and I moved to the United States actually with no money, no English and no contacts.  So, um, that was my journey from Turkey to the States. And, um, I was able to overcome the challenges and  I'll be happy to talk about all of those. 

Yeah. Tell us, so tell us when you, what, what prompted you to get diagnosed with ADHD? 

So I, uh, after moving to the States and one of the things that I've done is I wanted to grow and learn the language and improve myself.  So that's why I start growing and then going to libraries. And, um, and then later I, um, I started working in corporate finance world because my background... education background was economics, and, um, I became successful.  Uh, I was so hyper-focused with success and, uh, I made it happen. And one of the meetings about six, seven years ago, um, one of my colleagues told me that you have ADHD. And I said, I don't think so. And he said, no, you're bored in every meeting. And, um, and then also you're easily distracted. So you got to go see a doctor. And I said, sure, because. I was successful, but I wasn't happy. So I was looking for answers. 

That's actually, that's actually a trait, the concept of being tremendously successful in it, but still feeling like something's wrong and you haven't been able to accomplish a thing. 

Exactly. And I didn't know what ADHD was because I grew up in Turkey and when I was growing up, it's still a developing country and nobody told me anything about it, but I was always feeling the symptoms. And like one of the stories that I remember from my childhood, that, um, I was always falling down. Always like, um, had wounds on me. And once I had an accident and I fell, I fell down and it just, um, I had a big wound on my face and my chin and, um, and then I went back to the, uh, the class and my teacher looked at me and, she said it's….  still developing countries,  so, uh, she said, why'd you do that? Why do you keep falling down? Why do you always, why are you so clumsy? So she looked at me and she said at in effect, she called my Mom, and my Mom came to the school because it had to, um, I had to go to a doctor for a stitch for stitching my chin and, um, my Mom looked at me, and she said the same thing. Why are you so clumsy? What's wrong with you? And that story is just, um, got stuck with me and I asked the same question all my life to myself. I said, what's wrong with me? And, but that was my primary question until I realized what I'm asking. I was asking myself and that's when as soon as I realized, that's when I stopped, I decided to change. And I went to doctor, uh, after, uh, hearing from my friend, and he said, uh, the doctor said you have high ADHD. Um, constant boredom was the highest thing that he said. And I said, okay. So they start giving me medication. And I used it may,  be short, maybe two, three months, and I decided that it’s not for me, and I made a choice. (4:51) What medication were you on? Um, Ritalin,  Conserta,  um, Adderall,  they tried everything and it was, it was interesting because I'm like, am I, why am I taking all of these things? Because I have more anxiety, I feel more depressed. I was feeling down and, um, and I was like, I was happier before. So, and that's when I decided that I need to come up with steps to make myself feel fulfilled and happy., and if you want, I can go through the my steps, no, that makes perfect sense, but tell, yeah, tell us a little bit about what you,  how do you, so when you decided to take control, you know, a lot of people say, God, I need to be able to feel happy through it. And then they can't put it into sort of actionable items.

So in a nutshell, you know, in a minute or less, tell us what you did. 

So, um, I looked at my background, my history, as I mentioned, I came to this country with no money, no English, no contacts. So how did I do it? How did I do it? Because I had a belief that I came to this world for a reason. And I knew that my purpose is to grow and discover myself and learn what's going on in this world, explore myself and explore everything else, so that was my purpose when I was, when I came to this country and that's what made me going. And then that's what I know now, if I am so clear with my purpose, that keeps me going. And then also, um, It makes me progress. That's what makes me happy. So that was the number one thing that I put it down. I said, I got to know my purpose, be clear with it, and, um, I need to align with every day. So that was my first thing. 

 I think, a lot of what happens, uh, when, when you, I mean, in general, but certainly when you have ADHD, you have this feeling like that if you're not moving forward, you're going backwards, right?   And so not having a purpose and not having really anything to keep striving for is probably the worst thing in the world for someone with ADD or ADHD.

Absolutely because, um, I mean, I have worked with clients and then also the colleagues that I noticed when someone who has ADHD, they, um, it’s just easily get distracted and easily, um, critique themselves so much that they go into depression mode.  Instead, what I came up with, I said, I got to remind myself my purpose every day, and that will give me the juice to move forward, to get motivated. So that was the first thing, but the most important to that, I figured out about five, six years ago and cheesy enough, but easy to say it embraced who you really are. And, um, embracing is like loving yourself with who, who I am, and loving I am, and um, why is that so important, because I used to, as I mentioned my, in my story with my mom and my teacher, I came up with that question to myself every time I'm forgetful, I, I used to say to myself, um, why am I like this? What's wrong with me? Or every time I'm clumsy. 

 Well, that's always the question. What's wrong with me. Why aren't I like everyone else? Why am I getting in trouble? Why am I the one being picked on?  Right, exactly.   So, and then I made a choice. I said, I'm going to love myself as who I am, and I'm going to reframe... that's the third step.  Re-frame everything. So instead of saying I'm forgetful, I actually start telling people and myself first myself and telling people that look, I only remember what's important only. And, um, I can, I can hyper focus on what's important and I can make things work. Um, that way the other things, yes, I forget, but I remember what's important. The question you get to keep that to heart. 

 

No question about it. In terms of, so, so one of the things that you, you focus on is managing stress and, and sort of change, you know, people want ADHD, we can do very, very well at change. If we have the tools to do that, you know, if not, if things like, for instance, when COVID started and, you know, all of a sudden I was home every day, instead of being on the road, you know, 300,000 miles a year, that was brutal for me, and that took a lot of changing, to get sort of under control and a lot of, a lot of work to make sure that I was okay because you know, all my creativity came from being on a plane and that was taken away from everyone, um, almost overnight. So in terms of a change, because 2021 is going to be just as insane, hopefully a little less, but you know it’s still going to be crazy.  What do you advise, especially someone with ADHD, you know, in a few minutes, tell us what they can do, and what anyone can do, to sort of negate um, the downsides of change and, and embrace sort of the positive side?

 Yeah. Um, so we gotta stay in house. That's the challenge. That's what you're saying, right.

Well, just not being able to travel, not be able to do what I normally do. All of a sudden they have to, you know, I'm a home, but my, my, it was a massive change for me to start being home versus to be on the road all the time. I had to change my entire system of how I lived. 

Right. And that's one of the things that I was my fourth step is, um, team up, teaming up with people, um, who can help, who can compliment you to overcome stress, and in also to make you successful is so important. And that's why I took this time to build the daily habits, which will help me get motivated every day. And it kept, I kept doing the daily habits. Even though there's no routine because I have a chaotic brain, creative brain I say it instead of chaotic brain, I said creative brain. And, um, I have a creative brain, so, but I still need to remember my purpose and then keep doing the activities, which help me get going. And then the other thing is this time is perfect to connect with people at a deeper level and also, um, help, help, it will help you get going. If you find the right people to team up, like right now, I am teaming up with people who can help me with organizing, who can help me with details, who I'm a, why person I'm a visionary person. If I find the right team, right person to help me right now, it's even more important.  So, what I will say is connecting and then cultivating deeper relationship, deeper relationships will help us get going right now, get motivated, and in also coming up with the daily positive activities, which will align with your purpose, 

That makes a lot of sense. Um, you know, if you have, if you have accountability buddies that were, that tends to, uh, that tends to help.

So no question about it. Um, in terms of, um, uh, emotional fitness, right? A lot of time, we have a hard time expressing how we feel. I know that in my world, uh, and, and a lot of the guests you've had on the podcast, when you have ADHD, you need to feel heard and you need to feel validated. And if you're in an argument with someone that's not always the easiest thing to do. What do you suggest, in terms of dealing with anger and, and, and anxiety, um, either with a partner or on your own, what can you do to sort of, you know, top, top things to do to prevent that? Anxiety. And, um, what else do you, uh, anger of, you know, w with a partner or a friend or whatever. 

Okay. so what I would suggest is again, um, the connecting with people at a deeper level, and then also as far as the anxiety, um, my suggestion is, is, um, taking time to, of course, to meditate and doing something, which will make me, that's what I do, which will make me get present. First. I get out of the state that I am in. Right now  it's so important to get out of the house, um, do something which will make you present again. For me, it's walking just to get out of the house and whenever I feel down, and then I start looking at where I, where do I focus?  Do I focus on what I have or what I don't have? Do I focus on, um, what I can control or what I can't control? Do I focus on, um, what's present and what can I do? What can I learn? Or what's what's in the past. So I look at where I'm focusing on and then also, um, also doing something to get me out of a comfort zone. Couple of weeks ago, I was, I wasn't feeling like top of my game. And I said, I got to do something to get me out of comfort zone, which I see your picture. I did go skydive to get out of my comfort zone. And right after that, what can I do to control my focus? That's what I think the two things getting out of the comfort zone by changing the state, and the second thing is where's my focus. And then also a third thing is how can I be optimistic about the future? Where do, what am I focusing on in the future, right. 

Yeah. No, that makes perfect sense. Tell us, um, in terms of establishing a balance, you know, a lot of times, when you’re ADD/ADHD, we're really all or nothing, right?  We go in and do everything or we do nothing. How do you find that middle ground? Because middle ground is really, really hard for people with neurodiverse issues. 

Actually, I don't. ha OK -  Here’s why. Um, I used to, um, try to, I used to try to do like, uh, how can I find the balance? How can I find the balance?  Now what I do is, okay, I found what I love doing, which is coaching. And when you do that, and I just get obsessed with what I do and I love it. And then people around me are integrated with it, so, um, it’s just, I believe that work life integration. And I just, do my work, and then people around me. I just integrated it in it.  Um, and that's, that's my solution to it. And it, because I love obsessing. What I love and what I love doing. And that's the, um, that's the formula to success. If you want to be successful in anything, you gotta be obsessed with it, which we have that, as ADHD people as a gift as that's what makes us unique.

Great answer. And I think that's a great place to leave it right now. Definitely want to have you back on again, Tunch, thank you so much for taking time. How can people find you? Give us your website. 

Um, it's um, I can find me on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and, um, it's Tunchdiptas.com. And they can find me, uh, with the same thing,  any, any social media. 

Awesome. We'll put that all into the show notes. Tunch, thank you so much for taking the time to spend some time with us today on Faster than Normal, we truly appreciate it, guys, if you're listening and you've listened this far, leave us a review. Ah, reviews that show up on the, on the site and on Amazon or Amazon or Spotify, or wherever you download your podcasts, they do tend to help and they do tend to get more people interested and more people can then know that ADHD is a gift, not a curse, been saying that for going on four years now, so we appreciate that you've been listening, we appreciate that you've been here. Any guest ideas, feel free to shoot me a note. Peter@shankman.com. We would love to have them.  Thanks again to our guests and to all our guests, and guys, ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Stay safe, wear a mask, we'll see you next week.

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

Jan 13, 2021

Rach McBride (they/them) is a professional Ironman triathlete and three-time Ironman 70.3 Champion, with numerous podium and course record results. Known as the “Purple Tiger,” Rach is known for racing and training with grit and resilience: having run half Ironmans on broken feet, raced an Ironman with food poisoning to qualify for the World Championships in Kona, and is an undefeated beer mile champion.  Deemed "the most interesting [person] in triathlon" by TRS Radio, Rach is also the first professional triathlete to be out as gender non-binary. It's not surprising that Rach was recently diagnosed with ADD: They hold two graduate degrees in genetics and are an accomplished cellist, having toured the US and performed in Europe with various bands. Rach loves being a minimalist, continues to hone their fire spinning skills, and currently works in sexual health education and advocacy in beautiful Vancouver, Canada. Enjoy!

 

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Rach discuss:

1:30-  Intro and welcome Rach McBride 

Ref peter’s video about training for an Ironman 

4:05-  So why triathlon? What got you into it to begin with? Let's start there. 

5:40-  When were you diagnosed with ADD? How much of a part did ADD play in your decisions to compete?

7:55-  On self-medication, switching addictions and the benefits of Sport & hyperfocus

9:14-  Is Competitive Sport a trait of people with ADD, ADHD or otherwise neurodiverse?

10:29-  Tell me about how you approach training/your daily routine/motivations, etc?

11:30-  On staying disciplined/not letting yourself talk yourself out of what’s next on deck

13:35-  Why doesn’t working out feel like forced or grueling ‘work’?

16:40-  About COVID and readjusting our weekly routines. How have you been surviving?

18:30-  How did the race in, and at Daytona International Speedway go for you last year?

20:14-  More about Challenge Daytona and how the loop works with the psyche

22:10-  The ‘tricks’ of competing in triathlons 

23:20-  What’s the one piece of advice you have for when people say: I can’t exercise, I just can’t!?

24:30-  LIGHTENING ROUND!  

What’s your fav piece of tech you just can’t do without? What’s your resting heart rate? If you had to live in ONE place for 6 months, with only 3 items, what would they be?

26:07-  Peter’s story about his first Ironman experience. 

[You can get in touch with Rach McBride via https://www.rachelmcbride.com]

27:55-  Thank you Rach! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials.

28:45-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

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

As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

PS: If you're looking for that special gift this holiday season for someone in your life who has ADD, ADHD, or any kind of neurodiverse brain, how about a conversation with me? I've finally been convinced to join Cameo, where you can request videos, shout-outs, birthday greetings, even a one-on-one talk about how ADHD is a superpower! You can find me on Cameo here!​

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hello everyone. My name is Peter Shankman. You are listening to Faster Than Normal. We believe that ADHD is a gift, not a curse and that all forms of neurodiversity are valid. We're glad you're here. 

Oh, You are listening to Faster Than Normal. How do I know this? Cause I am currently doing the interview. My name is Peter Shankman. I am thrilled that you are here. It is a gorgeous, it's just become a gorgeous day. We had a massive snow storm here about three hours ago. Now it is gorgeous. It ran all night. There's tons of, well, now it's all brown snow on the ground. This is New York city, but it is now the sun is out. The clouds are fading away. It is a, if you, if it wasn't 12 degrees out, you think it was just a beautiful day to go for a run. It probably means that I will not be doing that. So instead, I'll be doing an interview. Today’s interview is with Rachel McBride. We got a professional Ironman triathlete, and three time Ironman, 70.3 champion on the podcast and I’ll give you a hint, it's not me. It's Rach.. because when I do. My Ironman. I occasionally finished. I occasionally wind up in an ambulance. It really depends on the day, but the person we have right now is professional Ironman triathlete. I'm very excited about that. 

Known as the purple tiger, Rach is known for racing and training with grit and resilience. Having run half Ironman on broken feet, racing iron man with food poisoning to qualify for the world champions in Kona and races, an undefeated beer mile champion. I want to hear all about that. Rach is deemed the most interesting person in triathlon by TRS radio. Rach is also the first special triathlete to be out as gender non binary. That means that we do not call Rachel, we call each by the pronouns that Rachel prefers, which in this case is that I'm going to try really hard to say they, and I apologize in advance if I, if I subconsciously go back to she, but I'm going to work really, really hard on that. Um, I have a couple of friends who are non-binary and it's something I'm constantly trying to get better at not surprising that Rachel was recently diagnosed with ADD. Two graduate degrees in genetics and an accomplished cellist. Very interesting. Having toured the U S before in Europe with various bands, Rachel has being a minimalist nice continues to hone their fire spinning of course, you're a fire spinner. Why not? And currently works in sexual health education advocacy in beautiful Vancouver, Canada, Rachel, welcome to Faster Than Normal. What an awesome bio! 

Oh, thanks, I am super excited to be on your podcast. I'm a big fan. I, I, you know, I'm a huge, the more I learn about your, the more my God, three times 70.3 champion, we're talking about that you, you were deemed the most interesting person in triathlon by TRS radio, and we have something in common. I was deemed one of the funniest people in triathlon by traffic magazine. So Hey. You might not know a little secret. I made the video that I have no doubt that you saw about 10 years ago after my first iron man, 10 years ago, this past October, I made a video called I'm training for an Ironman where these two guys or a guy and a girl talking to each other and the girl goes, Do you wanna go get some dinner? And the guy says I can't. I have to go to bed at 6:00 PM. And she goes, what the hell is wrong with you? He goes, I'm training for an iron man. And it wound up getting picked up Lance Armstrong before we knew he was made of chemicals, tweeted it and it blew up and has several million views. And if you've been in racing triathlons, as long as you have, I'm sure you've seen it. 

So can't believe that I'm talking to the person who created that video! 

It was based on an actual conversation with an ex-girlfriend who would help, who helped me. I trained for Kona while we were dating. And is that not going to Cozumel while we're dating and as soon as the, um, as soon as the, uh, triathlon ended, you know, we broke up and then that was, that was, uh, uh, a combination of all the conversations we had. 

So, yes. So I love it. 

So why triathlon? What got you into it to begin with? Let's start there. 

Well, so I, um, basically spent most of my adult hood, uh, not as an athlete at all. Um, and I was actually doing my, I had really changed my life a whole lot gone from like being really involved in the Toronto music scene, uh, to doing my first masters in Ottawa, Canada, where it is freezing cold in the winters. Yeah. Um, and I was really hating life and not super happy with what I was doing and where I was. And so I decided to run a marathon and I trained for a marathon. I qualified for Boston. Um, I had done a little, yeah, I had run until I was 15. I had done like back in cross country. Um, and uh, after running Boston, I, a mentor of mine was like, Hey, I think you could be an elite triathlete. And I was like, well, I mean, this person knew me as an athlete, as a runner, but, you know, I, and I swam when I was a kid.

So I had a little bit of that and I had been a bike commuter all my life. So first of all, for some reason I took that idea of being an elite triathlete. And I was like, yeah, I'm going to do it. And so I started training really hard. I did my first triathlon, uh, 13 years ago and almost won it and just like it just took over the state, took, took over my life. I just, I couldn't, you know, the smile I had on my face when I came out of the swim and got onto my bike, I was like, Oh my goodness, I'm doing this. I'm loving it. Hm. What do you, so, so when were you diagnosed today? Um, I was diagnosed with add earlier this year.

Wow. So it's brand new to you. How much of, how much of a part do you think A DD played in. You deciding? Yeah, let's just run a marathon. Oh, here we qualified for Boston. Let's run that. Or, Hey, let's do a trip, you know? Do you think that when you said you were very unhappy, right? You said he used to run as a kid and then you stopped.

Do you think that the running helped you up until you're like 15 and 16 and you stopped running? And when you, when you lost that sort of that you probably didn't even know you were having. Do you think that had an impact exactly like this is the thing with the, this is what's been so profound for me is that this recent diagnosis has made all of these like puzzle pieces of my life finally fit into place and like why, for why I have gone from like career to career, to career and then found triathlon and have been in this now for I've been a full-time professional for 10 years. And I can't believe that I've stuck in this for 10 years, because usually I get bored and I move on what I have and what I realized when I became a full-time athlete. I'm like this, this doesn't feel like work to me. This doesn't feel like a job. Like I love my life. I love waking up every day and doing this and didn't realize that like a quote unquote job could feel like this. And I think what is so special about me finding this as, um, as an athlete, is that as a person with ADD is that it is absolutely self-made at medicating. You know, all of the things that I'm learning about, like how to cope with ADD symptoms is like exercise, exercise, exercise, and structure, and it like, this is checking so many of those boxes, plus it's three different sports. If I was just in one sport, I think I would be so bored. I would not have lasted this long, but because I have to get to swim, I get to bike, I get to run. It's like super varied and I get to travel all over the world and I get to, you know, explore so many different places, even mine in my own neighborhood. Like, you know, it, it keeps me super entertained. And obviously for the past decade. 

I think one of the interesting things you said, um, is pretty awesome. The concept that it is self-medicating. And I remember when I quit drinking and I started focusing on my health and getting in shape and working out, I would, there were times where I was probably like, you know, five years ago, it has been go to the gym two times a day.

Right. Or I'd go out for I'd wake up at 3:00 AM because it was the only time I'd do a 10 mile run, you know, before I had to lift at 7:00 AM, be in the office by eight and. I remember I had a friend of mine. He goes, dude, you're self-medicating, you're just, you just switched one addiction for another. I'm like, um, yeah, where's, where's the, where's the downside there, you know, and I really didn't see it.

I still don't see it. Right. Absolutely. I think, and I think what, what sport helps me do as well is, and why I'm so successful as it added is because it's a way for me to, I can hyper-focus in there. So I, because of how my brain works, I can, in my Ironman swims, I'm literally singing the same, like verse of a song over and over and over and over and over for an hour. And that helps me, like calms me. Focuses me. And then, you know, the same thing on the bike and the run it's like that I'm able to like be in, in that. And it's super hyper-focusing. 

It has to be an ADHD trait because my first half iron man in 2009, um, to get through that, you know, you're not allowed to wear headphones and music has been my life in any extra that I've ever done all my life and so. The first race I ever did. First half Ironman. I'm like, Oh my God, I can't wear headphones. How am I going to get through this? And I found myself, I sang the entire, I recited the entire on the bike, the entire script back to the future and on the run, the entire script to midnight run. And, you know, I mean, there were times when I'd be, I'd be passing people more like if people were passing me, but you know, I remember passing one guy and, and, and he hears, and looks at me strangely cause out of my mouth comes, “you guys are the worst bounty hunters I've ever seen. You couldn't bring back a bottle of milk!?” And he looked at me, he goes, like, “yeah, just have a good race”. And you know, but, but, but that works right. And, and, and the premise of being able to do something in our brain that gives us after four minutes gives us those chemicals for as long as we want for as long as we can, you know, technically sustain it. Right. Is, is I just think one of the miracles of the human body and the human brain. And I don't mean to be trite by that, but it really, you know, I'm upset. I'm frustrated, I'm angry. Let's get on the bike. Let's go for a run. Let's go for a swim. Um, tell me about, so tell me about training because a lot of times when I talk to athletes with ADHD, one of two things happens. They wake up and my God, they love to train on certain days and they wake up and, Oh my God, I, this the last thing I want to do, I'll I'll murder 14 people and eat ants before I have to get on that bike or go for that run over that one. 

Yeah. I mean, for me, I am definitely the person who wakes up and is like pretty excited to train. It's tough. It's obviously not every day. And I do what keeps me going is the accountability of like having coaches, um, who I know are paying attention to what I'm doing. And also, um, having sponsors and fans and supporters who are. They're behind me. And so it's, it's like this level of accountability that keeps me going every day. 

How, I mean, I do wake up in the morning and it definitely takes me a couple of hours to, to get ready to go. Um, and I'm really good at procrastinating too. So I, I have to, if I don't work out first thing in the morning when I wake up, I simply do not work out. And I have had, um, uh, you know, if I, if I have to do it. You know, in the evening, um, I will think of a reason, you know, I've, I've said this in the podcast before I'll be walking to the gym, you know, from my office, like, you know, I read an article in the news, there's an asteroid orbiting Pluto, you know, just to be safe and I figure out a way not to do it. And so, so, so, you know, the question becomes, um, what do you tell yourself? How do you sometimes when you don't want to do, but you have to, what do you do. 

Um, yeah, I mean, I'm, I'm really in that same boat of when I, so I work, um, once a week at, uh, in sexual health and it's basically a seven hour or eight hour shift in front of a computer and talking on the phone and at the end of that shift, I am completely wiped. And I, if I, it is really challenging for me to, to get in that workout. And I really just for me, I just, I can't think about it. I just need to, like, I need to have a plan and a time. So it's like, if I have a swim then, okay. My swim is scheduled for like five o'clock. I've got to be there or a gym session. It's like, it's on the way home. So I can't hesitate basically. Um, And, you know, when I first started triathlon and I, when I first started, I was, I was really quickly at an elite level and training at an elite level and still working full time. So I was like up at four 30 in the pool at five, working from seven 30 to three 30, doing another workout in the afternoon and evening, and then like getting up and doing it all over again. And. It was basically, I felt like I just wasn't thinking, I just like had to keep plowing forward. Um, and I think that's kind of one of those super powers that I have as a person with a brain like this is, um, is just that ability to just like keep moving forward. 

You know, you mentioned something interesting. I want to go back to, you said that you, you, you don't mind this and you don't mind the workouts because it doesn't feel like work. Right. And I think that it's really important that our audience understand that and that we bring a little bit more into that because a lot of times add ADHD. One of the biggest issues with that is that we are as human beings. We are forced into doing things that are, uh, considered normal by everyday standards, but aren't necessarily normal for people like us, for instance, a nine to five job or some kind of work that, uh, You know, we don't necessarily love. Um, and it starts when we're really young, um, as, as, as kids, right. You know, in school where we have to sit there and not move and, and, and, and be told to pay attention, it's difficult for us. But what you said is pretty awesome, because what you mentioned is that if you love it, it doesn't feel like work. It doesn't feel like you need to, you know, you have to do this. It doesn't feel like you have to do this. You're, you're happy to do this. Right. And that's the thing that I'm noticing. Um, And I think we should touch on, because a lot of kids, adults who are just diagnosed ADHD, they haven't realized yet that the reason they're quote unquote not good at school or the reason they're quote unquote, not happy with, with their job, whatever it is because they're being forced to do something that isn't necessarily normal for them, even though it is for many other people, you know, along the premise of I became an entrepreneur because I didn't play well with others.

Right. And sitting in the office from nine to five, wasn't my thing. Precisely. And this is why I'm like, when I figured this out, it really made everything click into place of like, because I had spent my, the majority of my twenties trying to do that, like Trump, when I'm wondering what was wrong with me of like, why do I hate sitting in front of this, like computer being at this.

 

Like going to the same place every single day and having to be there from nine to five, like, why is this so torturous? And I, my brain is not there. Like I'm incredibly inefficient at work. And, um, and so when I discovered triathlon, it totally took over my brain space and then I was getting nothing done at work. And, uh, and so. It. Yeah, it really was. It has now given me permission to, to, and I think this is what I, from listening to your podcast as well, and, and hearing about all of these other folks who have made these incredible careers, um, out of like, yeah, doing, having their own schedule, being their own boss. And this is one of the biggest things that I've been saying throughout my career. Now, when I, when I, now, when I'm thinking about like, what am I going to do when I'm not able to perform at this level? And I have to. It's figure out a new career. I have these now stipulations. 

Absolutely. I cannot go to the same place every day. I probably can't have a boss. I absolutely can't sit in front of a computer for eight hours a day and I definitely cannot work nine to five. I can't have a set schedule. I need to work on my time. One of the things about COVID, um, has for me anyway, has gone, has me, has been me going from 250,000 miles a year on the road on a plane to zero and it required a lot of readjustment, because it's been a very tough ride for me to sort of get to that point where I'm like, okay, I'm not going crazy sitting in front of a computer because that's deliberately what I carved my life out to not do. Right. And all of a sudden, you know, here I am doing that and it's been tough, but I think I've managed.

What are you, um, how has, how has COVID impacted you? I mean, obviously you went, you said you went to Daytona a couple weeks ago to race. I wanna hear about that, but how did you, how have you survived, been surviving the last nine months? 

Well, truly, um, I live in an incredible place. So BC is so beautiful. And in my, in the recent years, I've gotten a lot more into gravel writing and really I have just, I basically pivoted. So, you know, it took me out of the really structured training, but that, but now I was able to like, kind of do some of the things that I I'd always wanted to do. W, you know, athletic, you basically use my fitness to go and have adventures. So I went and spent a week in the riding gravel in the Rocky mountains. I went up to Northern BC and did a bunch of gravel riding and, um, basically just. And then exploring the trails here, um, in, in our, in, in my neighborhoods, like we have incredible mountains here. Uh, and so it was really about creating a structure in a different way and tapping into some of those, like, I love adventure and I have like these huge goals of, of doing ultra distance things in my future and so it was a little bit of a, you know, starting to explore a bit of that. 

Well, we'll talk about Daytona. What was it like? And it was the first, I mean, I haven't, I haven't done it yet. God's been well over a year now. I was supposed to do Kona this year and that obviously did not happen so hoping for 21, but yeah, I finally get to meet you.

That'd be great. And well, well, if you want to hang out, I mean, I guess if you want to hang out for like another eight hours after you finish, you know, you'll eventually see me cross the other side as well, and then that'd be fun. Um, what, tell me about the experience with, for you. 

Um, Daytona was really incredible. I mean, talk about having something to inspire the world of triathlon into 2021. Um, you know, the, the, the race was such a unique format. It was an incredible field of full of, you know, short course Olympians and long course world champions. And it was an incredibly dynamic race and really unique, I mean, being at the Daytona international Speedway and having the whole course on that, it was incredibly spectator friendly and you got a whole lot of spectator, uh, support and, um, and B it was like, you know, you're going around in a circle 20 times. Of course, uh, it is, uh, it is a really different animal than anything I think that any of us had ever raised. And so you saw, you saw the carnage on the run that, that bike had the toll that it had taken out on all of us. And, um, it was, it was a very, very cool experience even to just like connect with the triathlon community again. You know, we were all socially distanced and masked, but you know, you still felt that, that connection. And I think the response afterwards, I have heard from all over the world of people, just like, I'm so glad that that happened. Um, because it's been really motivating to, to take us into 2021. 

Well, the interesting things about that race, I'd be curious about your opinion, you know, most, most uh, Ironman, most, most half Ironman. You, you, you write a course outside and it's, you know, a set map, right? Like, um, when it, last time I did Atlantic city, it's, you know, you start by the boardwalk and you ride through the streets and you get onto the highway and you read the highway for a while. And then you repeat that three times. And there's your six miles. Um, this was 20 times around, uh, a race track, as you mentioned. And as I was watching it, I was, I was chatting with a bunch of my, my, my triathlon friends. And they're like, Oh my God, it's so boring. I'd kill myself this way. My first thought was. Actually that's awesome because my ADHD brain looking at it that way is able to count down. That's okay. 20. Okay. 19. Okay. 18. And to me, my God, I feel like every track I'm going to be that. 

Yeah. I mean that, I was actually, I loved that aspect of it because I mean, that's what you have to do with those big efforts is like, you know, take them down into smaller blocks and it was so easy to do. And exactly like, it was basically just like having that song on repeat just like going, going, you know? And, and so it really allowed me to do. But a hyper-focus and that those two hours on the bike went by in a flash. It was incredible. 

Yeah. And that's, like I said, that's probably, to me that would have been the best part because, you know, I remember Cozumel full Ironman and even that was three times a week around, um, the Island. Right. And it was flat, but it was still three times. And so even. Even with the headwinds, which were just, Oh my God, I wouldn't wish on anybody. Even with that. I remember thinking, okay. Three, okay. Two. Okay. One, but it was still 33, 30, six, 33 miles a piece. I feel like 20 times around would have been a lot. Cause it's a much less mileage. It would have been easier for the brain to break down. Cause that's really the first time we ever start running. Right. And so, okay. I just wanna get to that light post right. The second time. Okay. I just want to get to that tree. Okay. I just wanna do a mile and you know, I, I think that as human creatures, we just do that. And when you're ADHD, it actually benefits you that much more because you in your head it's, I mean, how many times have you run a race where you're trying to calculate what your time's going to be? Okay. If I could do this X mile and X, X minutes, then the mile after that would be nine minutes and that, you know, and then if I do the run right every time on the bike, I'm like, okay, if I can get this time with a bike that gives me.

 

You know, I could say I could walk X hours. Right. But yeah. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And I mean, I would argue in Cozumel too, I've done that race twice. Uh, that those three loops you can actually divide those loops into four bits, like jungle part. You've got the bottom part. You've got the windy part. You got the town part. Yeah. I am. I'm scared to death about Kona. I'm gonna have to get, I'm going to get there a week earlier and do exactly that like 10 miles a piece. Okay. This is 10 miles of this is the 10 minutes, you know, just to make it through, but. Tell me, um, what would you suggest? 

So, so it's obvious that that, that, that exercise is, is sort of the best potential fixer for ADHD, add and ADHD, the best thing to keep it used as an advantage. So knowing that, what do you, what's the one piece of advice you'd give to listeners when you, when they say it, uh, you know, I just, I don't exercise. I'm too fat. I'm too thin up to this. I've never done it before, whatever, what's the first, the only, the best advice you can give to them that says, Hey, here's why you can do this. Or how to start it or whatever. Yeah, yeah. 

Yeah. I mean, I think first of all, um, you need to choose something that you, that you enjoy. Like if you hate running, don't start running, like find something that you find interesting. Like whether that's like, maybe you love to dance. So like, you know, doing the Zumba classes or whatever, um, and setting a setting a schedule, like having something accountable. And so, you know, and. You know, really that breaking it down into that smaller bits of like, okay, let's just do this for three weeks. Or like, let's just do this for a week. Let's do two workouts this week. And then, you know, two workouts this week and try and set that structure and set that accountability. I think those two, those three things are the most important something you enjoy having a structure and having accountability. 

That was a great quote, quick left, final question. Um, make this a lightning round. What is your favorite? Your one piece of tech that you can't train or race without? Um, you know, honestly right now, it's my Loop. Uh, my heart rate, variability monitor. I live and breathe by this attracts everything attracts my workouts attracts my sleep, but yeah, everything. What's your resting heart rate. If you comfortable telling us, uh, my resting heart rate, it's usually around 54. 

Crazy. Okay. That's that's I, all of a sudden, I don't feel anywhere near as out of shape as I should be. Cause that's, that's the same as mine, so I feel pretty awesome right now. I'm not going to put an Ironman. That's okay. Um, final question. Uh, if you had to, if you were forced to live in one place by yourself for six months, with only three items, what would they be? 

Three items. Um, Pair of running shoes. Um, Oh gosh, three items, a pair of running shoes. I mean, I have to say my bike and, um, coffee. 

Hah! Great answers. I like that. Very, very cool. Thank you so much, guys. Listening to Rach McBride, a phenomenal interview. I definitely want to have you back before Kona. If nothing else would talk me off the ledge. So I'm looking forward to that. 

I will repeat really fast. My favorite, um, story that came out of my first time. And I was, uh, I had been running, uh, an internet company that had gotten some. President was pretty popular back then called help a reporter out. And, um, people that used it and thousands, a hundred thousand people use it. One of the people that use it was, was the head of, um, uh, public relations for jelly belly. Um, and Joey makes sport beans and I'm sure you've, you know, sport games. And so they, I, I mentioned in one of my emails, my love of scorpions, and they sent me a jersey, um, that said, um, that all of it had pictured jelly beans all over the other. It's gorgeous. I've worn it for like, everybody's sort of done it. So. Um, I'm sitting on the docks because it has, I'm a waiting for the race to repair like 5:00 AM. I couldn't sleep. I got up early, went down there, you know, and I'm just sitting, watching the water, the chilled water, I see a Manatee. I'm like, Oh, it looks like me. And, um, you know, I'm just watching, watching any, uh, a German triathlete, obviously a pro, um, comes over to me and says, ah, he sees my shirt. He goes, I see you to a sponsored athlete. Um, Yeah, they gave me a shirt and he goes, well, you know, this is, this is good. This is good. This is it'd be good. Good to race against other professionals. Are you, are you, are you hoping to place? He actually looked at me and asked me if I was hoping to place. Um, and I looked at him and of course it's wearing a shirt, says D’avella. Yeah. Right. Obviously sponsored by sir. Um, I noticed from your shirt, you're sponsored by D’avella one of the, obviously the fast triathalon bikes in the world. Sir, if you look at my shirt and then see I’m sponsored by fucking candy, and I'm not hoping to place, he goes with, what is your time goal? I go, it's the same day. I need you to just go over there. And that was how I started my first iron man German guy asked me if I was trying to place in the race. So it was, it was, it was a fun experience. But, uh, thank you so much for taking the time to come out today, to talk to us. I'm looking forward to chatting with you again, and we got so much more. We need even get to talk about your, your, your other skills, all that stuff. So that's going to have to come up next. We'll definitely have you back in like a month or so. And then we'll, we'll do this again. Amazing. I love it. Awesome. Thank you so much. Happy training and stay safe guys, Faster Than Normal is here for you. We want to know what you think as, as, um, I'm recording this probably like 13 days. So the end of the year, we're hoping that 2021 is a better year. I want to know who you want to hear. Um, you, uh, Rachel actually came suggested to us from a mutual friend. So if you have anyone you think who has ADHD or just an interesting person, has a story to tell about diversity. Do you think they should be in the podcast? I'd love to hear from them. Should have them shoot me an email. peter@shaman.com or shoot me an email. Introduce us whatever the case may be. We're looking for great guests in 2021. Like we've had for the past four years. Thank you all for listening. I appreciate it.

Stay safe. Stay healthy. Wear the mask. ADHD is a gift, not a curse. We'll see you soon.

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

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