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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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Dec 9, 2020

Today’s episode is a little bit about a shape shifting box named “Shashibo” and a lot about ADD + ADHD.  Kevin Daniels is a South Floridian, born and raised in Miami, FL, attended High School and College in Palm Beach, and currently lives in Fort Lauderdale. He spent a lot of his youth surfing and skateboarding. He graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a degree in Marketing which he put to use in the Pharmaceutical industry where he had spent most of his working career in Sales and Sales Management until he left that career to focus 100% on Fun In Motion Toys, the business He and his business partner Jimi Dennison built over the past decade. Both Kevin and Jimi never really intended to build a toy company and were simply motivated by the mission of spreading the physical and mental benefits of Poi through the Spinballs product they developed. However, one thing led to another and here they are with several award winning products including the two time Toy of the Year finalist Shashibo. One thing that all of the Fun In Motion Toys products have in common are the bonus of having physical and mental benefits as well as being fun. Both Kevin and Jimi have found these products to help them cope with their own stresses including things like ADD/ADHD in their own lives. They are big believers in the power of play at any age and even enjoy activities like Juggling, Fire performance and going to concerts and music festivals including attending Burning Man.

 

Jimi graduated with a CS degree and met Kevin while working in South Florida. Together they took a hobby, poi, and created the business Spinballs to share the activity with the world. Since that time the company has added several products and Jimi relocated closer to where he grew up, outside of DC. Despite the distance they continue to push Fun In Motion Toys forward. Today we’re talking about one of their awesome products Shashibo, as well as how their product line is helping folks who are Neurodiverse- Enjoy!

 

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter, Kevin Daniels & Jimi Dennison discuss:

1:20-  Intro and welcome Kevin and Jimi!

2:24-  Explain it in such a way that people understand why I'm so in love with your toy Shashibo

4:30-  So how did you guys come up with the, see your, I know one of you or both of your ADHD?

6:52-  At what point did your brain say: Hey, this would make a fun toy! How did it come to fruition?

9:40-  Have you received feedback from people with a neurodiverse brain, ADD, tactile, things like that?

13:50- What do you look for when you say, hey that's going to make a cool toy; we need this in our repertoire. Like, the Wandini looks pretty awesome too!

16:30-  Is there a ton of demand for Shashibo right now?

17:27-  On therapeutic toys. Interview Ref: More Play, Less Problems?? With Dr. Debbie Rhea

17:06-  How can people find you?  Via her website: www.FunInMotionToys.com and @FunInMotionToys on Facebook  INSTA and YouTube  #FunInMotionToys

19:30-  Thank you Kevin and Jimi! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials.

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

20:02-  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!

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. 

It is another episode coming to you live from my apartment because, well, it's almost the end of 2020, and no one freaking goes anywhere anymore. We all just sit at home and stare at a computer, which I suppose is. Not much different than what we did a year ago. We just did it somewhere else. Now we're here. This is everyone. Jerry Seinfeld, that a bit about that. Where, where, where, when you're out, that's out, everyone says, Oh, they went out. This is what they're doing. So I guess this is where we are right now. Anyway. Good to be here. 

We are talking to Kevin Daniels and Jimmy Dennison. They are the founders of Fun In Motion Toys, which is a really cool company I met them through an old friend; a guy named Barry Schwartz, who is my PR mentor all the way back in the day. Like we're talking like late nineties here, early, early back in the day. But Kevin and Jimmy built a company called Fun In Motion. I found out about them because Barry, who knows that I am ADHD, he said, Peter, I'm sending you something. You're going to love this. It's called the Shashibo, which I just found out a few minutes ago. Uh, Oh, I'll let I'll let them tell you what it is, but it's this really cool thing that I've been playing with them and literally can not put that out. It's sitting right here on my desk. I'm not gonna play with it during the interview because you'll hear it. It'll it'll, it'll take all the noise and, and you'll hear it. Anyway. Kevin and Jimmy welcome- glad to have you. 

Thank you. Thanks for having us. 

So explain first of all, what the sushi is and, and, and, and explain it in such a way that people understand why I'm so in love with this.

 

Okay, well, I'll try and do that. And Jimmy can cut in, but, uh, Barry, by the way, who you mentioned actually is the man who did the Rubik's cube. Oh, I love well aware. Yeah. So he launched a Rubik's cube. He came to us at toy fair this year and he was like, I got to work with you guys. And we were like, yes, you do. And it's been awesome. So basically think of a cube, but instead of trying to solve it, what this does is it opens up into over 70 geometric shapes. So it looks like a cube and you can open it up in a shapes, like an actual star where it has points six points. It can things we call the hive. It can create into a dodecahedron ball, which is the inverse of the complete outside of the cube and there's all this geometric, it's like, there's a little bit of math. It's, you know, people talk about STEAM and steam, right? Science, technology, engineering, art, math, and this has a little bit of all of that. It's got the symmetry of art. We even have an artist series working with the godfather, or the father of digital art Laurence Gartel. He made some limited edition. He taught Andy Warhol had a new digital art. So that's the kind of guy he's, he's serious. Um, so awesome Art symmetry. Then you have the math, which is the geometry. Uh, you also have the science of the magnets. There's 36 rare earth magnets in each of these, which are small, strong magnets that allow it to hold its shape; otherwise it would just crumble. And then the other side benefit is you learn about polarity of the science of the magnets, because you can combine multiple Shashibo’s to create larger structures. So it becomes infinite. Um, and it's really mind blowing when people it's unfortunate in this medium, it's all verbal, but it's like when you see it visually, it really is stunning and mind blowing. I mean, that's the common reaction is people can't believe it. And, uh, you know, there is the, I said the structural part, so that's almost like the engineering side. There isn't so much technology. And in fact, that's one of the benefits is it's getting people off of their technology for a change to do something creative, to work together or by themselves. So we're excited. It's been great. 

We'll uh, we'll put a couple of pictures and, or video if we can find it, um, into the, uh, Into the podcast. You'll see it, uh, on the, on the show host on the show notes page, [PICTURE HERE] but, uh, yeah, it's a phenomenal, phenomenal, uh, toy. I've been having a blast with it. Certainly a lot of fun. So how did you guys come up with the, see your, I know one of you or both of your ADHD? 

Well, I mean, I guess we both have our own little things, but in, in my particular, it was just kind of funny how this happened because you had, I don't think he had, we didn't work together, come on this podcast because of it, but I have to say, and it's not something I think about a lot, but I definitely have that adult ADD, ADHD. So when I was a kid, I even look back and I think it's probably, I don't keep up with the whole community of ADD ADHD, but I'm thinking there's a common, uh, acceptance that. Decades ago. It wasn't so known. And when I was the kid in school who threw the compass that stuck up into the ceiling of the classroom, going to the principal's office, I have a feeling that was my add ADHD acting up. And later on in life, as I had careers, I was in the pharmaceutical industry as a sales rep. And I was going to mention this, but, you know, I had times where paperwork would definitely overwhelm me. I did go see somebody about it. And he prescribed Adderall and I did it for a little while. And then I felt like, you know what? I don't know if it's, like you said, it's not necessarily a curse. Sometimes it's a blessing. I feel like all the things I've accomplished in my life are probably fueled by me battling with my ADD ADHD. And I don't know if I'd really want to change that I'm, I'm driven. I'm not as efficient as I could be, I stay up really late. But I get things done. So I've learned to work with it. And I feel like there are career paths out there for people who can actually harness this, uh, you know, this ability, it's almost like a superpower, even though some people may see it as a negative, but I think there's different ways to approach it. So I didn't know this was going to come up, but here you go. 

Well, the fact that you understand it, um, and that you understand, you know, how to take, how to use it to your advantage. Uh, you know, you mentioned that that the majority of your successes and things like that have to do with, uh, you know, your ADHD and that's a theme that you hear, uh, and almost every single one of our guests, this is that, you know, once we realize, Hey, here's our differences and we learn how to embrace them. You know, things got a lot better and, and, and, and our, our, our, our lights shown. Or shined as it were, they were able to, uh, to, you know, we were able to really come out of our shell and, and, and do the things that we were capable of doing. 

Um, tell me about one of the things I found really interesting. Um, when you. Decide to create. And I just, this fascinates me, right? I don't have, I have the design skills turnip. Right? I do not have any designs. So thank God. My, my daughter takes after her mother in that regard because I cannot, I couldn't drive here and saved my life. And you know, I, I look at, uh, Sashibo and playing with it. How did you come up with something like that? What, what, what, at what point did your brain say, Hey, this would make a fun toy. Right? How did it come to fruition? 

Yeah, I have to say it's a little different than you might be suggesting. It's, uh, I didn't invent it. Um, but what we did do is we have a connection of friends and people just along the way that at one thing's fallen into the, into place seat along the way, just as we met with Barry, as you mentioned, but. Uh, you know, Jimmy and I started over 10 years ago with a product called spin balls. That was our first toy. And it was just a ball on a string it's Poi, if anybody knows it goes back hundreds of years, the Maori people of New Zealand. So there was nothing out there that was really affordable, accessible. It had led lights that w you know, the ones I had would break, they were expensive. So it kind of started us down this path because we love the physical, mental benefits of Poi, and that's still a mission of ours, but as we got into it, one, two, our first toy fair. Just one thing led to another and we ended up with this other toy mosey. And then last year we launched a Sheba and Wandini and we have other products on the, in the future that we want to come up with ourselves, or we have, you know, connections with people. So Sheba specifically as an inventor, Andreas Hoenigschmid, he's from Germany lives in California in Venice beach. She's an artist mathematician. We just have a lot of things in common. And that's how we met was through our, we do fire performance. Uh, we've gone to burning man. We're in all kinds of weird stuff, you know? Um, but it's just so happens to connect it. He was working on this and just didn't have a way to get it out there and it fits so perfectly into what we were already doing. And I guess the rest is history, but it's his invention and creation. He's got even more things, uh, for the future that we're going to work on.

My daughter is, is fascinated with it. Um, she brought it to school today and I'm curious to see if she actually makes it home with it because, uh, chances are, you know, every kid is going to kind of wanna play with it. We had a play date. She's seven she's, seven years old, seven and a half. She had a play date last week and, um, they were supposed to have a pool in my building and they sat, you know, thanks to COVID you have to make reservations now right. And if they're five o'clock reservation, they were 30 minutes late to it because they sat. In, in my apartment that they would not stop playing with this then. And, uh, it was, you know, I'm like guys, cool. I've never had it. I've never had to convince my kid to go to the pool. But, um, I personally, I love it. 70 different shapes. Um, it's a lot of fun. The fun is trying to get, get it back to the square that it starts at. 

But, um, do you find that, have you gotten feedback from people, um, with a neuro-diverse brain. So ADD tactile, things like that, where they talk about it because I immediately saw. Uh, the benefit in it from my mind, just to keep it in my hands and have something to touch and to play with and to, you know, make shapes with, as I'm working, as I'm talking, as I'm doing whatever.

Yeah. Actually I want to, I want to get Jimmy in on the conversation, but if I can just start it, we've gotten numerous emails over the last several months. I mean, we had one that was like a 12 year old who said that she was in Northern California and was dealing with a lot of things, the anxiety, because of both the lockdown from the pandemic, and also the fact that there were wildfires in her, not from her home. So her and her kid, her, her and her brother and sisters were using the Shashi. No, I mean, they were just basically thanking us and saying how great it's been for them as a way to deal with the stress. And I mean, that's pretty powerful hearing it from a 12 year old and, uh, they wanted to, they were saving up money to get into another one. So we sent them one for free just for like, why not, you know, how can you not? And, and we were just thankful, but we've heard more and more of this anecdotally. 

So I actually, my background, as I said, it was in pharmaceutical. So I have friends that are involved in clinical research. So I've heard everything anecdotally from use in autism, uh, ADHD, as well as, um, Alzheimer's, I mean, we've actually heard and at the toy fair this year there were several physical therapists that deal with adults and, and, and, um, Alzheimer's that have seen benefits. So all of our toys, it's not strictly Shashibo, but that is our, our biggest best, but all of them have a little bit of a sensory therapy effect, which is why we're actually looking to launch a fund emotion, health website, which would allow us to pinpoint that once we have more clinical data to support it right now it’s anecdotal. But I think it's obvious in some ways, but if I could let me throw it to Jimmy, because he's really involved in that and I wanted to let him chime in a bit. If you don't mind. 

Yeah, thanks, Kevin. Um, well I guess the, that you mean is the fund emotion, health website, and that's a, a work in progress. Like he said, we were kind of gathering what anecdotal evidence there is to just maybe draw, um, a nice picture across all of our products and each one of them has a little bit of a different story. Uh, but specifically to the Shashibo, I think the one story that really hope to me and convince me that it was worthy of promoting the line, you know, we're, we're a toy company, so we're primarily focused on promoting ourself as boys the whole time we've recognized that there's a much bigger value in the type of play. And, and that's a, that's a big conversation, but. Um, running fund emotion, health as a, as a business was only, um, really apparent with the Shashibo or hearing. For instance, there was, uh, a lady working with a gentleman with Alzheimer's. She described that, um, as his functioning declined and I guess this isn't exactly the topic of add or ADHD, but in terms of therapeutic use, as  its functioning declined. His hands use declined to the point of very stopped using, um, pencils. They couldn't get him to engage with things in a useful way, putting them down. And after a couple of weeks of playing with the Shashibo, which is amazing unto itself that he didn't put it down. Uh, he, he actually picked up a pencil again. So there's just, I don't know. I might not have realized the full depth of it when I first picked it up, but there's a lot of people who have, and, um, it's pretty awesome. 

One of the interesting things I noticed looking on your website is you, you, it's not just, I mean, there aren't you, so glow toys, fidget toys, um, the glow toys actually look really cool. What happens? What are your, are your, um, what, how do I phrase this? What are your, uh, what do you look for when you say, Hey, that's going to make a cool toy. Like, I mean, the, the, the, um, what am I looking at right here? The, uh, the Wandini looks pretty awesome. Right. And it seems like a lot of fun. What do you look for when you say, okay, this is, we need this in our repertoire.

Yeah. You know, some of the things we have or just things that existed, but just were not made available to the mainstream. So we're into like a lot of like juggling Jimi and I juggle, we do all these,  we get access and exposure to things that not everybody sees. So, you know, with spin balls, which is the Poi, that's something that was more like, uh, you'd see at music festivals, there weren't that many people who are really into it, but we saw the benefits for kids and all of that and we were like, we really want to make something. So that's what we did is we created and we got patents on our design that made it so unique, but it's not the point in the existed had been around for hundreds of years, like I said, so the wand actually comes from the dancing cane magic trick that had been around for a long, long time as well. But as far as doing it in an LED fashion and also collapsible where you can break it apart, this has never been done. So this was our motivation, but the one thing that also ties it all together is the cost and the price point, like we have different toys. Like our things are premium, more quality. We don't just put out schlocky stuff like just to make money. It's like, these are things that motivate us that we like playing with ourselves when we go to a fair, like toy fair, or spending the day, just playing with these enjoying demonstrating. Cause we enjoy doing it. And it's awesome to see people's reactions. So, you know, constantly we're looking for things that fit that mold that we want to play with ourselves first off. And then we have to decide, is this something that makes sense? You know, just this weekend I had an epiphany that, you know, nobody's making a, an affordable led, juggling ball, everything out there is either garbage and, and, and, you know, you get what you pay for, or they're very expensive on the high end. So with our Poi, we can make a version of that simply and put it out there. Juggling is a big market so that these are there's things that pop into my head, but we have like unique can interesting new toys, like Shashibo that nobody's seen before. And we plan on continuing to add those. 

I would definitely suggest that you guys are a, uh, I, there's no question that you guys go to burning man. I can hear it in everything you say. I also think you guys would make great skydivers because there's always someone at the drops zone spinning the goddamn fire. Always, always someone’s.. but very, very cool. Um, so the, the website is, uh, www.FunInMotionToys.com Right? I do know that the Shashibo was sold out currently on your site. So I'm assuming that by the time this airs, that will be, that will be rectified and there'll be more. Is there, is there a massive demand for it right now?

Uh, I'd say so. It was, um, you know, we kind of expected it, but we're really only now finally realizing the potential. I mean, we, we, we went into it realizing at first there was a lot of people who, you know, downed it, who didn't realize, or didn't. I see, like, why is this not $7? And that's a common thing. This should be like all the other cheap cubes. Right. But they don't get the fact that this is, you know, the, the, the magnets without them. It can't, it wouldn't exist. And the magnets are not cheap. In fact, our costs just went up, but we're keeping our costs to the consumer the same, but our costs are fluctuating because rare magnets are kind of a commodity that are, you know, It's not that they're hard to find and that they're limited, it's just, it's a misnomer, but there is definitely some fluctuation in the cost and, and it makes it a little bit challenging. So, um, anyway, I think I lost my train of thought here. You were asking about, uh,

Haha, a little ADD there. No, it's, um, you know, the second you touch it, you feel that it's not, it's not just the cheap, uh, you know, it's not just something you get in a, uh, in a jack in the box , you know, to think, but no, I'm very, very cool. So, so fundamental toys.com. I really appreciate you guys taking the time it's we are just, just starting to learn, um, all the therapeutic, uh, possibilities that toys, um, allow for in, in add adult, add ADHD, uh, autism kids on the spectrum, uh, executive function. Y’know. we're, we're really starting to see more and more of that. We've had a couple of people on the, um, on the podcast, a couple of doctors who have, who have talked about, uh, the aspect of play and how we really don't have enough of it in our lives, especially, uh, when we become adults, there was a, we had a, we had a scientist [Dr. Debbie Rhea interview] who did a study, um, in Texas where they, they increased school district, they increased, um, Uh, recess from 30 minutes a day to 90 minutes a day. And they saw a massive, massive drop in ADHD outbursts from boys and also a massive increase in girls paying attention of wanting to speak out in class. So we were just, just at the tip of it. So I think you guys are, I think you guys are doing something really cool and, uh, you're in the right place at the right time. So we can definitely get you guys back on again. Uh, sometime the next six, six or seven months that we'll see how, how you're doing and what you're doing next that makes I'm looking forward to that. 

Yeah, we appreciate that, that’s great. One thing get dimension is that, you know, you're asking about the success of it. So this is last year. It was up for toy of the year, which is like kind of the Oscars of the toy industry. So it's a big deal. We were up against Mattel and Hasbro and all the big guys. Lego, et cetera. Um, we didn't win, but we were a finalist which was pretty exciting. And then this year we're up for toy of the year again. So, uh, the Artist Series is nominated. So we're hoping to hopefully win. That would be a big deal for a smaller toy company like ourselves. But that gives you an example. I mean, it's been recognized and that's, you know, that's awards, but then on the, you know, the other side, we just, I hate to promote Amazon, we do great on our website. Go to RunInMotionToys.com, but I'll tell you what, we can't even keep it in stock. I mean, we're in the top 100 of toys on Amazon and that's out of hundreds of thousands. So I was just like, that's really so shocking to us. Like, it's amazing how, uh, how well it's being received. So I appreciate your mentioning it and supporting it. That is great to hear. No, it's a lot of fun, uh, guys from the FunInMotionToys.com. Check it out. It's  so let me get it right. Wait. So I see both. It's actually about, and it stands for shape shifting box, right? I'm telling you just like Nolita. Awesome. 

Very, very cool. Kevin and Jimmy, thank you guys for taking the time to me and passing early. I appreciate it. Uh, it was great to hear from you guys, like I said, we'll have you back guys, listen to past the normal as always, if you like what you hear, you have to leave us a review because the more you leave us a review for more podcasts, we can produce have a wonderful week and we will 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 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. 

Dec 2, 2020

René Brooks has taken a late-life diagnosis and used it to uplift others. After being diagnosed with ADHD 3 times (age 7, 11, and 25), at 25 she was able to get the treatment she deserved. She is the founder of Black Girl, Lost Keys, a blog that empowers black women with ADHD and shows them how to live well with the disorder. In addition to Black Girl, Lost Keys, René has written for Healthline and is a Patient Contributor to TEVA Pharmaceutical’s Life Effects project. She has spoken at The International Alliance Of Patients Organization’s 8th Annual Congress. Today we’re talking about what led to her diagnosis, how she now uses ADHD as her super power, working with your brain instead of against it, and about what it’s like to be a gifted person of color who happens to have ADHD.  This is awesome- enjoy!!

 

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & René Brooks discuss:

00:54-  Intro and welcome Rene

2:07-  So you grew up in the 1990’s, and you’ve been diagnosed 3 times now. Tell us how that played out?

4:00-  So your diagnosis wasn’t really complete, or helpful in the way it was provided?

5:30-  On the testing gifted kids in the 90’s

6:05-  What prompted your third diagnoses at age 25?

7:50-  So when you got properly diagnoses at 25, was that a lightbulb moment for you?

8:30-  About the wrong labels… 

9:09-  What are you doing to make ADHD your superpower?

10:18-  Talk about ADHD and being black

11:00-  On stereotypes, race, and being neurodiverse

12:00-  What kinds of things are you teaching your readers on your GREAT blog Black Girl, Lost Keys

13:24-  On control versus being the control, and working differently

14:30-  Society’s way or working, is not often our best way of working

15:54-  Working with your brain instead of against it

17:06-  How can people find you?  Via her website: www.blackgirllostkeys.com  and @blkgirllostkeys on Twitter and Facebook  

17:30-  Thank you Rene! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials.

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

18:14-  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!

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: 

My name is Peter Shankman. You are listening to Faster Than Normal, and I have been told to change how I introduce every episode. So that is exactly what I'm doing. I hope you're happy, Steven, my producer. [Yes, I am & thank you- and your voice sounds better too now btw]. Okay. Welcome to faster than normal today on the podcast, we are talking to a woman named Rene Brooks. Rene Brooks took a late in life diagnosis and uses it to uplift others. She was being diagnosed ADHD at three times, age seven, 11 and 25. I'm guessing the first two didn't stick at 25. She's able to get the treatment she deserved finally. And then she went and founded Black Girl, Lost Keys, a blog that empowers black women with ADHD and shows them how to live well with the disorder and managed to say, this is sorely needed. In addition to black girl, lost keys Rene has written for Healthline, and she's a patient contributor to Tiba pharmaceuticals, life effects, project she's spoken at conferences. She talks about ADHD. She talks about ADHD and what it's like. For a black woman and I am so excited to have you on the podcast because this is a new, uh, uh, category for us. And I'm thrilled that you're able to lead it off and I'm thrilled that we can have you on it. So, Renee, welcome. 

Thank you. Thank you so much for the invite. I really appreciate it. I see. We gave you the long version of the Bio. I’ve yeah. I've had to tell my assistant to narrow mine down to about 140 characters and you know, nothing more than that as I'm listening, I'm like, uh, we gave him the long version.

So growing up, you were diagnosed at age seven. Do you mind if I ask how old you are? I'm 36. So you're about 10 years old or 12 years older than me. And they were totally young, younger than me brother. And so, um, you grew up in, in nineties. And by that time, they had a pretty, a bit of like a, you know, a handle of sort of, at least the name of what ADHD was.

It wasn't so much as, Hey, this kid's hyper sit him down or sit her down, you know, and, and, and hope for the best. So at least they had some knowledge because if you were diagnosed at age seven, you know, there was, there was an idea of what was going on. Um, why three diagnosis. So the problem is when you take someone's child and you test them without their permission, and you do that to a person whose community has been marginalized and experimented at one by people who are in charge of social services and medicine. They're not trying to hear it when you do that to their kid. Um, it really was quite a violation and they didn't do it once they did it twice. And so both times you get from when you were at the age seven age 11, now neither of those tests were sort of authorized by you by your parents, by anyone, right?

Wow. So where was this? 

Uh, I grew up in Pennsylvania in, uh, right outside of Harrisburg in, uh, in a little town called, uh, Carlisle. Okay. So, uh, actually you, you may or may not have heard of it. It's um, it's also the site of, uh, the army war college. Uh, there is a, um, just school. There was a school there for what we now call indigenous people. It was called the Carlisle Indian school and they brutalized indigenous people there. So it's an interesting place. Lots of history. Wow. I cannot, I can't complain about, uh, the schooling I received there or anything, but that was what happened and you were diagnosed, but it wasn't actually that it was, it was your parents or they just didn't listen because of, of, of what the expectations were to begin with. Well, you know, they, here's how I feel about it. They didn't give them the information that they needed to make an informed decision. They were basically attacked. So you, you can't. Um, when, when I tell that story, a lot of times people are like, Oh wow, your parents just didn't want to get you treatment. That's not what happened at all. What happened was a decision was taken out of their hands as parents and they reacted. And they reacted appropriately. I must say if I had been given the exact same scenario, although I have the advantage of the internet now, so I can do my own digging and my own research and find out things they didn't have access to information at their fingertips, the way we do. I imagine that it must've been so, so growing up there was obviously something quote, unquote, different about you. Right. And I don't, I don't see different. I don't say different is a bad thing. I've learned that this is not a bad thing, but no, the added sort of, sort of, uh, uh, you had to deal with essentially being black and, and everything that came with that. And then on top of that, you know, here's a hyperactive or, or a attention deficit type child showing all the classic symptoms of that, that must've been, it couldn't have been easy. It wasn't. And then you, you lump in the fact that I was like, me being tested was not unique because I was designated as gifted. And if you were gifted in the nineties, all they did was pull you out of class to test you for something. So, you know what I mean? It's like every other day it's like, let's throw some flashcards in their face. Let's ask them some questions. In their ear, constant, constant barrage of tests. So it wasn't like whatever they did to evaluate me for ADHD was not abnormal enough for me to go home and be like, Hey, they tested me for something today because I was always being tested for something. 

As you got older, um, the, the final diagnosis came at 25. Talk about that. What prompted that? And was it, was it about that?

I kind of had a, there's no such thing as a nervous breakdown. Right. But I guess, you know, that's what, when people get extremely depressed and kind of fall flat and like, I guess that's what we still call it. Um, so I was, uh, working for one of the biggest health insurers in the state, a lot of pressure in the job and I just completely. When downhill mental health leave from work. And, um, while I was out on that mental health leave, about six months into that, they were treating me for depression. And of course I wasn't getting any relief. And I just so happened to mention to my therapist one day, like, yeah, when I was a kid, they tried to say that I had Some kind of ATB, I guess, and put me on medicine and my mother be so bad and she stopped me mid sentence. And she was like, what did you say? I'm like, Oh yeah, you know, blah, blah, blah. And she, she was, she just picked up a notepad and started scrambling said, go down the hallway. Hey, uh, with my colleague, he's an ADHD specialist and then come back and see me after you've met the pen and send me away for the day. And I went down the hallway, met with him. I knew that I had ADHD and then kind of rolled me down the path to where I am today. 

So when you were finally diagnosed at 25 and everything, did everything make sense? Was this like a light bulb moment for you? 

Okay. So for me, it was a light bulb moment because, um, because I had an identifier when, when you have a lot of people, ascribed negativity to the word label, for me, there was freedom in the label because that label gave me access to information, resources, other people who were having the same experience that I had. And society slaps a label on you, whether or not, you know it. So the label that often gets slept on ADHD. People is irresponsible, lazy, unreliable, undependable. Um, so there's a lot more labels that come with undiagnosed, ADHD than just ADHD. I'll take the ADHD label, those other ones. Are pretty shitty. 

No question about it. It must've been a wake up call. Um, every everyone, uh, has, has, has said that, you know, when they find out they finally have a name yeah. That you said there's a name for this thing. And that that's what happened to me too, you know? And Holy crap, all my weirdest has a name. It was, it was a great feeling. Let's let's switch the conversation. So, so it's been 11 years since you got diagnosed. And what are you doing to sort of make ADHD your superpower? 

So for me, I, um, I still do therapy. I do meds, meds are not for everybody, but they work well for me. Um, and I have my own business, which allows me to shape my schedule the way that I need. 

You mentioned that you don't, you mentioned you don't own or run your own calendar. That's a trait with people that you see with other people do that. Cause we don't do it well. 

Oh, yeah, no. As soon as, as soon as I reached the level in business where I was able to hire somebody that I knew was going to be the first person I hired, like no more double booking. I mean, we still like, you know, there's human errors, so we still get it wrong sometimes. But for the most part, everything runs smoothly. Although I will say. That I wasn't doing too bad until I got really, really busy. And then once there were a whole bunch of moving pieces, it was like, Oh no, someone else has to go through this.

No, no, I totally totally understand that. Um, okay. So let's sort of talk about, uh, ADHD and being black because it's, you know, It's not something you'd think of as a, to be honest, truthful, I've never thought of the racial divide within ADHD, but you know, after, after reading your site and reading your blog is obviously there. 

It absolutely is there, there is nothing.. just like there's nothing that you can come to in life, no experience without bringing your ADHD. There's no experience I can come to without bringing blackness. So. That experience, that life experience, colors, every other experience that I have. And, um, when you're talking about ADHD specifically, there's the matter of stereotyping that's pushed upon us. So being late, uh, being considered lazy, being late all the time, being disorganized can look a lot like the stereotypes that people put on black people in general that say that they're that they're lazy, that they're unrefined. Um, so those things are very problematic, both within the community where it looks like are you feeding into this stereotype and making the rest of us look bad and outside of the community where people are going, ah, that's exactly what we expected you to be like. 

Wow, that's a really, yeah. I guess, so I never really thought about it. So, so what as, as you know, with your blog, which by the way, I love the name of it. It's brilliant. Um, well, tell us the kind of, of, of things that you're teaching your readers, um, sort of how to understand what they're going through and, and, and, and what they can do to utilize it. Not to, not to be demonized by it. 

On the blog. I talk a lot about how to get through everyday life with ADHD. We talk about cooking and how to clean your house and how to deal with your emotions. Like the real nuts and bolts of it, because I feel like. There's a lot of that information that's lacking. Like a lot of the information on ADHD is very clinical. Here are the symptoms. Here's how they can manifest, but you don't hear a lot of people saying no. Yeah, yeah. Like I have ADHD, but this is how I'm doing life. Like life does not have to be, um, some kind of .. combination of symptoms that you can treat.. you actually can learn and thrive and succeed in spite of whatever your symptoms there are. I feel like people think like I have this symptom it's ADHD, and then they're like, okay, well, you know, that's what it is. That's not what it is. You're it's whatever you say, what you're saying is your, you know, your, your you're turning it around, right. You're not, it's not the end of your life with ADHD. This is the beginning. This is a new way of looking at. How you're going to control your life. 

I I've liked it often to a cell phone in that, um, you know, or a smartphone in that, in that at the end of the day, we make the decision to whether or not we control our smartphone or a smartphone controls us.

Absolutely. Like I think, um, for me, like for me, Knowing that I had ADHD gave me the opportunity to figure out the way that my brain worked and not to try harder, but to try.. different because nobody can say that, like the stereotype about ADHD, people not working, it's not true. We're working 15 times harder than everybody else. We're just not getting results because that's not the way that we can do things. That'll be effective for us. 

I love that. I love what you just said, where. Oh, no, no, of course. I just forgot it. We're working. It's not about working harder. It's about working smarter and that's yeah, I think he's a hundred percent true because we spend so much time because we're, you know, we're brought into this world with the way that quote unquote it's always been done. Right. So, so we sit there and say, well, okay, this is the way they've told us to do it. Why is it working for everyone else and not for us? And we're never really given the thought that, Hey, we can think about how to work this differently. 

Exactly. And when you're able to do it differently, you can see results because you're told, you know, there's only one way that like, society is very rigid in the way they teach people how to do things. There's only one way and that's the right way. And if you don't do it that way, then it's just wrong. Why is it wrong? Because to me, if the job's done, it's done. I don't care how you got there. You could have done it standing on your head for all I care. I have that process. Is your business totally come to me with the job?

Yeah, I love, I love that. I love that because we don't get taught that in school, we have to show our work and if the work doesn't go, isn't the same way. As you know, the way we were taught, it doesn't work. My first job, working for America Online, they let us work whenever we wanted, however, we want, as long as we have the job done and I thought, wow, this is work? This is awesome. Then of course, my second job at a publishing company, we did not get to do that at all. And I'm like, this is Russia. And so it was like, that was, that was sort of the wake up call there. 

So yeah, I get that, you know, the concept of being able to do something because it works for you. I know people who work at four in the morning and stay up all night and work because that's better for them. Right. And you know, I get up at three 30 in the morning to start my day because it's better for me. And I think that if we get rid of. Making it sort of an all for one has to be done this way. We might see a lot better things happening. It's really about learning how to work with your brain instead of against it. Like people tell me that cause I coach on top of everything else. And one of the things that people often come to me with is I need to journal why. Why do you need a journal? And they're like, Oh, well, you know, as when people say that successful people do I don't journal. I don't give two craps about journaling, like in fact, trying to force yourself to journal when you're not a person who journals is a waste of time.

 

I I've, I've been told that same thing with, um, With meditation. I am sorry. I can't make him meditate. I just can't. I've tried it countless times. Every time I went to getting frustrated and going and having a pizza. And so what I've learned is that my meditation comes from like, you know, skydiving or running, or be on a bicycle or something else that gives me the same end result as other people get through meditation.

There you go. It's all about finding what works for you. You it's, it's your life. You get to make the rules and the rules or whatever you say they are. Amen. We're going to have people find more about you. Where can they go? Uh, they should go to www.blackgirllostkeys.com. They can find me on Twitter. They wouldn't give me all the characters I need to make my name. So it's actually, @blkgirllostkeys on Twitter. I don't know if you enter black girl lost keys in any search engine you'll find me on any social media platform or website that you want. 

I love it. I love it. I love it. Very cool guys. Rene Brooks- black girl lost keys. Thank you so much for taking the time today. I really do appreciate it. Give your dogs a big hug for me and for the rest of the team. And guys, thank you for listening. It's always a pleasure to speak with you. If you enjoy this, you can leave us a review on any of them. Where you download your podcasts. So I could, I suppose, iTunes or Stitcher or Google play or Spotify, or as far as I know, even Amazon Alexa is scared the heck out of my daughter the other day, when I played my own podcast on Alexa, my seven year old went, why are you coming out of the speaker? So that was pretty cool. So as always guys, thank you for listening. We'll see you next week. 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. 

Nov 25, 2020

Stefan Georgi is considered one of the top direct response copywriters in the world and his words have grossed over $700MM via 50+ direct response marketing pieces. This includes numerous direct response pieces that are actively grossing over $10MM a month for both Stefan and his clients. A serial entrepreneur with multiple multimillion dollar companies under his belt, Stefan mentors numerous entrepreneurs and freelancers and through his copywriting programs, Copy Accelerator and RMBC, and his call center business, Turtle Peak. Today we’re talking about how he uses his ADHD and hyper focus to his benefit, every day. Enjoy! 

 

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Stefan Georgi discuss:

1:52-  Intro and welcome Stefan! 

2:45-  So.. how goes the parenting while working form home going during this pandemic?

4:00-  On the deep zone of focus/work zone- how do you get back into it when interrupted?

5:00-  The daily routine

7:58-  On freedom through discipline 

9:18-  What do you suggest when it comes to staying active and staying at it, in this environment?

10:20-  ADHD in the winter and being diagnosed for a second time 

12:38-  What are some even more basic things you can do that help, say, if you don’t have a pool, etc?

13:34-  How are you thriving in this environment and how are you preventing distraction(s)? Ref:  Pomodoro Technique 

 

 

16:06-  How can people find you?  Via his website: www.stefanpaulgeorgi.com and @StefanPaulGeorgi on Facebook  @StefanGeorgi on Twitter  INSTA  Medium and LinkedIN

17:00-  Thank you Stefan! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials.

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

17:33-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hey guys, Peter, Shankman welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal. Thrilled that you're here. As I always am hope you're doing well in this glorious actually kind of rainy looking out the window. It's going to pour pretty soon, but you know what? Hey, still better than the alternative. So glad to have you here, guys. I want to introduce you to Stefan. I am going to screw it up. He just told me five seconds ago, how to pronounce his name and I already forgot. Say say your name- Georgi. I was, I was close guys. Welcome to Stefan. Welcome to step under dry. He is without a doubt. Pretty impressive. He's a father who has ADHD, right. He faces his own battles being, working dad during quarantine, but it's pretty impressive what he's managed to do, you know, I mean, look, we've all, we've all gotten screwed over the past eight months, right? I mean, I remember when this y'all a couple of weeks, hang out my daughter, yay it will be fun. And it quickly turned into- imagined Morgan Freeman saying; but in fact, it was not fun and it became sort of eight months of, of, of nonstop, constant. everything, right? I can, I was multiple interviews interrupted, dad, how do I get onto zoom or whatever the case would be. And it's, it's been, it's been a struggle, but you know what? We figured it out. And an entrepreneur and CEO is fun. He's a father who has ADHD. He's faced his own battles, being a working dad during quarantine. So he's even talked to us about sort of how he managed to navigate this time. And more importantly, what you can do to do the same. So welcome to the podcast. Good to have you, man. 

Yeah, thank you. It's really great to be here.

So you sent me a bunch of stuff about, uh, what's things. I mean, I should mention also that, you know, in your, in your other life, when you're not being a dad dealing with all this, you're one of the top direct response copywriters in the world. And the words you put on paper grossed, it was $700 million. Um, by a 50 direct response marketing pieces. How are you from me? Um, you've done God. I mean, numerous response because they're actually actively grossing over 10 million a month for both you and your clients. You got several multimillion dollar companies under your belt. You're a serial entrepreneur like I am, uh, pretty impressive. And you have a call center business, have a copy accelerators, not bad, man. So, but let's get back to what we're talking about. None of that matters, right? When you're dealing with, uh, uh, for me a seven year old kid, who's you know, who can't figure out why. Why her laptops off and like, well, cause remember I told you to plug it in and you didn't, that would be why, you know, all that stuff, everything I've done on TV, nothing really matters. What matters is the kid can turn on a laptop. Right. So you've been in that mode. 

Yeah, I haven't, yeah, my daughter's two and a half. And, um, so it's interesting cause she doesn't fully understand, you know, what's going on with the lockdown and, and it's kind of like a blessing in a way, uh, to be able to spend so much time at home and to see her so often. But, uh, you know, the whole, like daddy's working thing is, um, can only go so far. She, she actually. Yeah, bless her heart is now she's getting closer to three. She'll kind of go, you know, daddy's working and give me a big hug and a kiss. And, um, Kind of walk away, but, but even, you know, today I was trying to do kind of deep focused work writing copy for a client. And she keeps coming to the doors of my office and coming in and then wanting to like, look at pictures and like, you know, I love her more than anything else in this world. So like, I'm, you know, I want her to do that, but, uh, you know, it can be disruptive when you're trying to put your attention into something and then your kids coming in kind of disrupting that and trying to take your attention regularly. So that can definitely be a challenge. 

Well, I mean, from an ADHD perspective, you do you get into the zone. You're in deep work zone. You're you're, you're crushing it. And then something pulls you out of that. Getting back into it's a bitch. 

Yeah, exactly. Um, it's, it's, it's tough. And especially I think happening like once is bad enough, but when it happens sometimes like, you know, three or four times over a half, an hour or 45 minute period, it's it gets very frustrating as, as I'm sure you're, you know, you're very much aware as well. So let's, let's start with that.

I mean, you're looking at, you know, this isn't going away, right? I mean, my kid is in her second day back in, in real school, there she's actually in classroom, but you know who the hell knows how long that's going to last. Right. So I'm predicting two weeks and they're back. So, you know, what do you do? Yeah, for me, some of the things that I've been stretching strategies up into kind of like employing one is I like I'm an early riser and I like to wake up early anyway. And so really embracing that and in the kind of the first couple of hours of the morning, I'll wake up at between five 30 and 6:30 AM. And then right now, at least my daughter. And my wife both don't really wake up until like around 8:00 AM and then they may be up with they're kind of laying around and, and my daughter is again, very lucky. She's a pretty good sleeper and we kind of had our sleep schedule early. So, you know, if I wake up at five 30, uh, I'll have a cup of coffee or in the morning right away. But, uh, kind of actually jumping right into the most important stuff that I have to do for the day. Like focusing on that, uh, like kind of deep work is the term I use. I didn't talk about that term, but, um, the book by the way, Yeah. Yeah. I think I count Newport. Um, but yeah, it is. It's true. So, so cause, cause when I've previously, I would still have that morning time, but it's like, I'd go on Facebook and you would talk about, um, like an add or ADHD, like Wonderland, uh, going on Facebook and these notifications and things are popping up and it's like, the stimulus is great, but I think it kind of overstimulates you, uh, so I've kind of made this thing where I don't go on Facebook until like noon or one, even though a lot of my business, stuff, things I do for business are on Facebook. Uh, but so kind of minimizing that as a distraction. But again, having that, that morning, uh, deep time or deep work time has been really valuable. So that's one kind of really actionable thing that I've personally been doing, uh, is to jump right into kind of the big tasks for the day, like right away when I wake up.

You know, it's funny. Um, the trait of early risers is, is very common to those who are, are like you. And I, I actually start my day on 4:00 AM. Um, and I get you, I get on the bike for an hour and I lift for an hour or whatever. And, you know, the, the difference in who I am, uh, between the times on the days that I do work out versus the days I don't. Palpable. And I don't even have a noticeable, like my daughter now has no daddy, did you get on your bike this morning? You know, they know, I know you're not as happy. You know, it's, it's, it's dopamine thing, you know, that, that whatever we do that morning sets the tone for the day. And if it's about giving us that extra dope, man, you know, it's an entirely different world.

Yeah, a hundred percent. And I do, um, I do like a morning walk almost every morning, which is about like three miles. Uh, and then like I'll lift once or twice a week too. But, um, but yeah, so th and that's for me, the, the sleep schedule is actually so important because like, even right now, I'm, I'm from San Diego. Originally, the Padres are in the playoffs and they won a play off series for the first time since 1998. Uh, and so the games are kind of like the, I think the game ended at like 10 45 last night. So I went to bed at 11 and I woke up. At like 6:45 today, which is, if you think it's not a huge difference and my day has been fine, but it just taking, eating into those couple of hours is actually a huge difference. 

I think one of the things about us is that it also lends itself to a negative, um, uh, chain of events. You know, you do it once. It's a lot easier to do it twice or three times or two weeks or four weeks. Next thing you know, it's a month later. I haven't exercised. You're, you're, you're severely lacking in dopamine or gain 10 pounds, you know, it's not just, it's not a good place to you. Can't let it start. 

Right. Yeah. So I've really embraced. Uh, but you know, like freedom through discipline type thing. I really try to be pretty disciplined and, um, you know, to the sugar of even my wife sometimes, cause it's like, well, why don't you want to stay out longer and do this? And, and, um, I'm the, I'm not trying to be like no fun. And I, I think I do have lots of fun, but yeah. I just know when I stay on a routine and a schedule, I'm just not only am I more effective, but I'm significantly happier. I'm just like, I'm like a better person to your point. Right? When I wake up at five or 5:15, and I do my morning walk and then I go work on whatever big project I have and I have that time to sort of like, uh, feel like I'm really in control of my day. It just makes a huge difference versus sleeping in until 6:45 or 7. And then I know my daughter's getting up in an hour and there's pressing things. It's just a totally different, um, like those couple of hours, like can, can make your day feel twice as long in a good way. Um, it's, it's amazing, right? It's like two hours, but it's like an exponential increase in the amount of time it feels like you have in each day. 

I mean, talk about, uh, let's, let's reach out to this staying active, right? So, you know, my gym has finally reopened. I mean, they basically moved the entire gym outside to a vacant lot and it's it's to be able to get there is great, but I spend my time in, in quarantine and lockdown, you know, on, on FaceTime with my, with my trainer and being able to, um, you know, to, uh, to 22 pound kettlebells. Right. And that's it. Um, what do you suggest when it comes to staying active and staying at it? It's obvious that, you know, you stand up every couple minutes every, every hour or so for a few minutes and it vastly changes how your brain works. Right. But when all of a sudden we're surrounded by, you know, our living room as opposed to an office, whatever. 

Yeah. I mean, we were. I'm lucky that for our house in Las Vegas has like a pool and we're on a golf course. So, um, even in the height of lockdown, I was still doing the walks every single day. Cause you were still allowed to go walk outside. Uh, then we were swimming like pretty much every single day. So I'd work until maybe four or 4:30 and then it was full-time time for an hour, hour and a half. Uh, and then for a while you could go off. So I was trying to get on golf and you couldn't anymore, but we could still go out onto the golf course and then it was closed down. And I don't know if we probably weren't supposed to, but we did. And then there was like, um, like Roadrunners and quail and the different animals. So, you know, going with my daughter and like looking at animals and watching her chase bunnies around, uh, things like that helped a lot. Um, and, and, you know, fortunately the lockdown is not as bad now. I generally find from myself personally, I dunno if you're the same way that, uh, in summer, uh, it’s.. inactivity is less of an issue or a worry but as you start getting to the fall onto the winter, that's where I've had more issues. So for example, when I most recently got kind of redialed, I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was like, I don't know, 10 and, and kind of was like on, off medication and then in my early twenties and that kind of like stopped, you know, forgot about it for a couple of years. And, um, then I, I w I thought, I thought I was having like seasonal affective disorder because in the winter I start getting kind of like depressed and mood swings and things like that. And I went to see like a really good kinda therapist and he kind of asked me, he's like, all right, well, like, you know, during the summer. What does your routine look like? You know, you, you stop working at four 30 or five, like, what are you doing? And I'm like, well, you know, maybe I'll play golf or get with my family and go get dinner or go see friends, or we'll swim or we'll do this. And he's like, all right, cool. And like in the winter, when it's four 30 or five, what do you do? And I'm like, well, it's already dark. So I just go home and I sit on the couch and I want to have like a drink and I start getting kind of depressed and he's like, okay. So like your activity level is basically cut in half. During, like the winter months when the days are shorter. Um, and I was like, yeah. And he's like, and by the way, have you been like, diagnosed with ADHD before? And like, Oh yeah, several times. He's like, yeah, basically you're not being at all active in the winter. And then like, you know, that that's stressing you out and, um, it manifesting in these ways. And so, uh, just as a coping mechanism, For, um, for myself and staying active during the winter months, uh, trying to go out more. I mean, I know like, as an entrepreneur, we're able to go out and eat dinner out a lot. Um, you know, it's not always, I mean, we try to eat pretty healthy, but, but even like, like I know it can be kind of costly, but for us it's something where it's like, it's being able to leave the house and go out and do that activity or whatever um, really helps, but if you can't do that, you can do like a night walk or depending on the climate, but I'm pre-lockdown go see a movie, whatever it is, but really trying to be extra out. I have to kind of force myself to be extra active, uh, during the kind of the late fall and into the winter, but it makes a huge difference. And as soon as I started doing that, like the kind of mood swings and seasonal depression stuff went from like, get like an eight or a nine on the scale to like a two or three, it was a huge, huge difference. 

Yeah, no question about it. Um, what do you suggest? I mean, even like basic stuff, you know, for not, everyone's lucky enough to live in Vegas now pool. Um, I had to pull.. and I was all like, I've got a pool and of course they shut it down. And has it been, uh, what else can we do? How else, how else do we get through? 

I mean, even stuff like getting up, you know, getting up every, every, every hour is walking around your apartment. Yeah. Yeah. I think that's a huge one. I mean, I think physical movement, uh, it changing your environment even in like an apartment, right. If you can. Work in your bedroom, some of the time and work in the kitchen, some of the time and work in like your, you know, family room area, like stuff, area. I think even just changing your, your, even within the same, like an apartment, like changing the place where you are, things like that, I think can make a big difference cause, um, at least for me, uh, the same environment over time can kind of make me grow bored. So, um, so even just little things like that, like changing up your environment, um, and where you're working from, or that can be really valuable too. 

How do you, uh, how are you working in this environment and how are you preventing distraction?

Um, yeah, it's a great question. And it's funny because that this house in Vegas, which I love my office has like, um, like a glass door. So it's completely see-through and it's right by the front door of the house. So like whenever somebody comes in, um, you know, like I see it. And then for my daughter, she comes up. It's not like she comes in and even knocks on the door, it’s like, she literally just sees me as she walks by, um, So, you know, the, but the biggest thing for me is one of the communication, like with my wife, I mean, she kind of, she knows like when I'm working and when I'm doing deep work to kind of not, uh, I don't wanna say bother me cause it's never bothersome cause she's my wife and I love her, but, um, to kind of leave me be in that I'll take breaks and I'll come out and I'll find her. And then. If we need to catch up on anything, we can do it at that point. Um, you know, the other thing would be like with my daughter, just like having her doing different activities, having her, so she's not sitting around bored and trying to just go to the office all the time and ask what, you know, what's dad doing, um, and then I use like noise canceling headphones. You know, I, I use, um, those Bose noise-cancelling headphones I've been doing that for years, uh, before I kind of realized that it was ADHD related. Cause I, I would, I always thought I was crazy, but I'd be like, you know, man, if I could just work in like a vacuum chamber, with no sound. I'm like, that would be my perfect environment. Like some people like to listen to music and they do and stuff like that. I want just as quiet as possible. Um, so I don't have extra like stimulus kind of like assaulting me. Um, so going something like that wearing noise canceling headphones can be good. And then one of the things I've been really working on and, and using is a technique called Pomodoros, which I'm not sure if you're familiar with that or not 50 on 10 off or yeah. [The Pomodoro Technique] Yeah. I do like 25 on five off and, um, and then just while I'm doing that, like really minimizing things. Like, I don't keep email up. I don't have any like, like I never do desktop notifications, like out of like, we use Slack for some of my businesses and they're constantly trying to get you to enable desktop notifications. 

Noope. Never, never, never. 

It's like, that is just my nightmare. Um, so you know, the Pomodoros are nice. So if the 25 minutes on five minutes off, cause it's like, normally. I can get 25 minutes, right. Normally. And so it's a, more of like a micro-commitment than being like, I need to spend the next two or three hours, uh, without any distractions. Um, speaking of that, my daughter is now actually up here calling for me, but, um, yeah, 

Well it's okay. It's been about almost 20 minutes, so we'll wrap it up anyway, wants to make sure you get back to your daughter, but, um, tell us about how, how can people find you?

Yeah, I think if you want to go to my, um, my website, which is, uh, www.StefanPaulGeorgi.com. Uh, if you want to get my email list it's you can just go StefanPaulGeorgi.com/subscribe I do like a daily email, um, as part of my routine that, um, is like me talking about entrepreneurship, um, copywriting, freelancing. And then even a lot of personal stuff too with my family, or I've talked about my ADHD and it was just cool because it turns out a lot of entrepreneurs have it. 

Right. Totally, I write about that stuff all the time. 

Yeah, exactly. And so people have found that it's been rewarding for me to share that. And then more people. Uh, you know, kind of reach out with their own stories as well. So yeah, if you'll get my email list, it's not, I don't sell you that much stuff often. It's more of just kind of like me building relationships with people. Um, but I’m happy to share that stuff. 

So we'd love for anyone who wants to join it. It's like it's like sharing a brain with someone's hysterical. You say the exact same things. I said, it's very funny. Awesome guys. Thank you so much for taking the time to join un on Faster Than Normal. I truly appreciate it. I know, I know how busy your schedule is. I give the floor to your daughter, you have to go hang up, hang up with me on and deal with, but thank you so much. 

Yeah, man. It's my pleasure. Thank you so much for having me. 

Awesome guys. You listened as always best to normal. Like what you hear?? Drop a review. Leave us a note. Shoot me a note. Uh, you got any good people you thinking should be on? Leave me a note as well. We've got a huge list of people who we're we're slowly filtering through, but we're always looking for more! :-) We'll see you next week. ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Neuro-diversity is a gift, not a curse. Stay happy, stay safe. Wear the mask! Talk to you guys soon.

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

Nov 18, 2020

As an artist (Island Def Jam) and a songwriter (Sony/ATV) herself, Andrews is sensitive to the challenges that both up and coming and seasoned singers and writers face in music today, and she carries that knowledge with her in her work as a consultant for industry veteran Barry Weiss’ RECORDS label, as well as in her joint venture with Weiss, publishing company Twentyseven Music at Sony/ATV. The Calgary native has collaborated with some of the most renowned names in the market today, including heavy hitters such as Drake, Jennifer Lopez, Little Mix, Tori Kelly, Jessie J and Benee, as well as producers Noah 40 Shebib, Diplo, DJ Mustard, Max Martin, Illangelo and Stargate. Most recently, she has taken pop singer-songwriter Noah Cyrus under her wing, A&Ring her single “July” and writing the remix featuring Leon Bridges, which has garnered more than 160 million streams to date. She is also celebrating the stellar success of the hit she co-wrote with New Zealand-born singer/songwriter Benee, “Supalonely,” which has produced over 10 million TikTok videos and has massed over 125 million streams on Spotify alone. Today we’re talking about her passion and work towards the premise of mental health for Creative Professionals. Enjoy! 

[Read more about our guest today HERE]

 

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & The Jenna Andrews discuss:

1:10-  Intro and welcome Jenna!  Ref: Aliza Licht’s podcast Leave Your Mark

3:30-  So what prompted you to make mental health a passion? Ref: Emily Ratajkowski article in Harpers Bazzar  

6:28:  Talk about what resources there are or more importantly, what resources there should be for artists/songwriters for anyone trying to pursue a career in The Music Industry. Ref: Jenna’s new podcast The Green Room. Ref:  The Jed Foundation 

9:20-  Ref #SameHere started by my Eric Kussin (Hear Peter’s interview with Eric here

10:00-  On working to removing stigma, stereotypes, being honest, open and just not judging!

12:48-  What are you doing personally to take care of yourself? What are your sort of life rules that you put into place?

14:10-  Tell me how you reacted when you found out that your song “Tumblin Down” was going to be featured on Grey’s Anatomy?  Ref:  Imposter Syndrome

15:50-  And you were first discovered on MySpace??

17:30-  A couple of lightning round questions. Where's your happy place? Where do you go when you just want to be happy? What place is the happiest, the most creative, most confident?

20:00-  Since you've kinda got the RomCom thing going on then answer this: Awesome or Creepy: “Love Actually

21:30-  What is your most unhealthy favorite food?

22:40-  Ok, last question; what’s your favorite type of work out, if you work out?

23:23-  How can people find you? Where can people find you? Via her website: www.TheJennaAndrews.com and @TheJennaAndrews on Twitter  INSTA  Facebook  YouTube and  on Spotify Her podcast is The Green Room

23:40-  Thank you Jenna! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials.

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

24:10-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

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

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hey guys, Peter, Shankman welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal. Thrilled that you're here. It is a gray, disgusting day here in New York city, but we are hopeful. Um, even though we are looking at a 3% rise in coronavirus, because most of you mother won't wear a mask and it's pissing me off, but whatever, it's still great to have you all here. I am glad you are here. I'm glad you're I hope you're all healthy and safe and that wearing your mask. Okay. We're talking to someone today. I I've talked to her now for about three minutes before I started. And I'm already in love. This person is awesome. I love everything about this person. Let me tell you she's so Jenna Andrews. Okay. If you are in the music industry, chances are, you've heard of this one. As artists with Island Def jam and a songwriter with Sony ATV. She sent him to the challenges of both up and coming as well as seasoned singers and writers and what they face in music today. She carries that knowledge with her as a consultant for industry veteran, Barry Weiss, his record label, as well as her joint venture with Weiss, a publishing company called 27 music and Sony ATV. Okay. She's worked with Drake, Jennifer Lopez, little mix, Tori Kelly, Jessie, J Benny producers, Noah 40, Diplo, DJ mustard. Max Martin. I am not cool enough doing half these people are, but I, I know that she's worked with Noah Cyrus, um, uh, eight and her single July and writing the remix featuring Leon bridges, which has garnered over 200 million streams to date. I always hesitate to put streams or numbers in my bio because I have to update them like every week, 210 million, 20 million. Anyway, I was actually going to say that I'm sure it's in there. Tell your publicist, update the stream. Okay. Anyway, she is very, very passionate about, about mental health and mental health for creative professionals, songwriters musicians. And that's why she's here today. I heard her on my wonderfully good friend Aliza Licht’s podcast and Leave Your Mark, which if you haven't subscribed to that one, I strongly recommend that Lisa is the shit and I am thrilled that Jenna has taken the time to be here to gentle. Welcome. Thank you so much for being on Faster Than Normal.

Oh, of course. Oh my God. By the way, your intro is pretty spectacular. I was like, wow, this is awesome. You're really good at you're really good at that. I'm like, I'm like, yes, I am. I'm here for it. When people introduced me I'm always looking around like, who the hell are they talking about? It's really, but that's cool. Literally. 

I love it. So how tell us about, so I want to focus most of the mental health, cause you know, we only facet normal is only 20 minutes, 30 minute interviews cause you know, 80 days. But um, I want to focus on the premise of mental health, you know, Whether you're an entrepreneur or you're a musician or any kind of creative or whatever you're doing in life. We tend to push mental health to the side. We still tend to push it to the back burner. We don't think about it as something, you know, we'll go to the gym right, five times a week and we'll do this dumb ass juice, detox, cleanses, whatever. But the one thing that we don't focus on anywhere near as much as we should, as society is taking care of our brain. And so what prompted you to make mental health a passion? 

Um, it was funny because when, when you were, we were actually talking three minutes before, um, we started and you mentioned, um, your story and, and obviously how having ADHD, you know, back, you know, I guess what was it like 15, 20 years ago? It was totally something that wasn't, um, kind of okay to admit. So I actually have a similar experience because I, I feel like throughout high school people always were telling me, Oh yeah, she has a learning disability, dah, dah, dah, like all this kind of stuff. And I was so embarrassed about it. And, um, you know, at the time I didn't want to see anybody and it's it's um, yeah, it was like, it was shameful, which is so, which is so weird. I mean, that's one of the reasons, another reason is, you know, I was pretty badly bullied in high school as well. And, um, I went through an eating disorder and you know, I think a lot of young girls can relate and unfortunately way too many girls go through it. So it really made me feel one, you know, being a musician, it's been a way that I've been able to purge my emotions and feel better in a cathartic way, so I feel like in combination with that, and also just, you know, being able to be open through song. I was like, well, we do this every day in a song writing room. Like, why can't we open this up to the world for whoever's comfortable to talk about it, especially for the fans out there, you know, listening to these musicians or idolizing people that probably are going through similar things that they are, you know. 

It makes a lot of sense what you say. You know, the interesting thing though, is that again, it's not necessarily something that tends to be focused on. Um, long-term, you know, I remember, uh, a lot of my friends I was telling you before, and then I went to LaGuardia, high school, Performing Arts, and a lot of the kids who I went to school with a good handful of them, you know, they started out their musical careers and they were working on it and they were, you know, sort of, um, pushing forward and pushing forward. And it was a constant grind that constant struggle and a constant, you know, series of rejections and being told no, and being told to lose weight or gain weight, or dye your hair or change this, or change that and get a boob job, whatever it was. And this was in the nineties. I, I, by the way, I I'm, I'm madly in love with you about the fact that you said it must be 15 to 20 years ago, that was in high school. It's closer to 30, 35 years ago, but bless your heart. Anyway, I appreciate that. Um, but you know, the, the, the, the concept of all of these rejections and all of these sort of, you're not good enough, or you'll be better if you do this. Right. takes its toll. There was an article written by, um, uh, Emily Ratajkowski, the, the, the model. Um, I don't know if you read it. It was in, I think it was in New Yorker. It was in Harpers. I don't remember where it was published last month or so where she talked about what she went through as a woman and as a model and how she was basically just treated like a product and, and, and she could never, she was never get everything she did, you know, was fixed this change that do this and. Talk about, um, in the music industry, talk about, you know, sort of what resources there are or more importantly, what resources there should be. Um, for artists forcing us we're songwriters for, for anyone trying to pursue that career. Who's constantly told no. I mean, we're told to just, you know, I'll just keep pushing forward. Same thing and sales, I guess, in the business, keep trying and keep going, keep going, but they never talk about sort of what people can do to, to fix themselves and to get the help they need. 

Yeah. I'm actually in the process of trying to figure that out actually in, in doing this whole thing. I mean, really it's so it's so interesting because you know, starting.. I’ve started, uh, my own podcast called The Green Room about mental health. And obviously, you know, that, um, I, you know, in doing that, I think it was, it started as like, you know, an idea of being able to, you know, just be able to purge as I said, but then it really built into something that's, that's become just what you just asked is like, you know, being able to support people in the industry and outside as well. But like, I guess I'm working on that now. In fact, I spoke to, um, I spoke to somebody yesterday about potentially coming up with, you know, essentially making things like making some sort of program up or, you know, he writes policies. He was talking about ways that we can sort of come together and find ways that we can actually provide um, ways that people can or places people can go. Cause right now, you know, honestly, just speaking from the music community, it's like obviously writing songs is something that's therapeutic, right? That is, that is why people do that song is the feel better, right. In terms of actually solving some problems, like one thing I spoke to about my, to my friend or this, you know, this therapist yesterday is he basically was saying that he's trying to find a policy to like make, you know, have it be that people don't necessarily have to go to prison when they're, you know, abusing alcohol or drugs, because, you know, there has, there's such a deep rooted problem, like reason for that, for that. So it should be something should be there to help them rather than like, sort of punish them for it because it's really based on mental health. And a lot of times in music and entertainment, people really get. Um, get like a bad rap because a lot of times it will be like, Oh yeah, musicians are druggies or alcoholics or whatever, but it's really just because it's like, we're depressed in the same way everybody else is, it’s just that you're putting it out for the world to see. Right. So. Like going back again to your original question. That's I don't, I don't know that I have like the solution right at this very moment, but I guess what I'm hoping to do through The Green Room is to be able to, you know, talk about it. And obviously I partnered with The Jed Foundation, which is, um, a nonprofit for mental health. So we're giving all of that money back to the mental health, all the donations go back to mental health, which is the first step. Um, And yeah, and I guess there's just, you know, obviously, you know, providing hotlines and things for people to call, but I do think that there has to be a bigger. Being in that. So I feel like this is something it's a work in progress. 

There's a, a nonprofit called #SameHere started by my friend Eric Kussin and the whole premise there is, is just to sort of, to legitimize the conversation around mental health. I think that if we, you know, if the conversation around mental health to legitimize, it would, it would solve, you know, we're not gonna solve all the problems, but that's a great start, right. Getting people to open up and talk about it and know that, you know, One of the reasons that I, I, I look at my ADHD and I know that it's a benefit. And, and the reason I do this podcast is so other people can learn that and not be stigmatized for it. 

You know what, that's actually a really, exactly what you just said is a hundred percent what I am hoping to do through what I'm trying to promote in doing The Green Room and also just making mental health, such a, um, I guess an okay thing to talk about it with, within the music community, because I think. By coming out and saying, Hey, listen, I had an eating disorder and, and saying, Hey, listen, I was bullied in high school. Hey, I drink too much. Or just stuff like that where it's like, Hey, listen, not everybody can admit that. Right. But I feel like when you can, it helps you get through it because you're like, okay, you you're going through it, so you're not alone. And I think that's really. That's like the mantra is like, people don't want to feel alone. 

One of the things that I've noticed in my, in my spare time was I'm a licensed skydiver. I jumped out of airplanes for fun and yeah. Okay. Uh, we call it, FEMURing in, bring in, when someone lands has a hard landing, 90% of time, they land on their femur and they break their femur. Right. Which is essentially breaking their leg. It hurts like hell and, um, you know, they get titanium putting in, they get like rods in my leg or whatever, I think. There's actually, they're actually t-shirts that people sell that says, you know, I'm 90% metal or titanium or whatever we immortalize and embrace the concept. Oh yeah. I broke my leg. Look at how strong I am, you know, but we don't do that for mental health, you know? And, and I think that's really, what has to change is the premise that I'm not saying we need to go around and say, yes, I'm an alcoholic, but, but not to be. Um, not to be judged. That's not to look at it as a sign of weakness. Right. We break our leg. We don't look at someone with a broken leg. Hi, you fucked up. Look at you. Ha you broke it. You know, why do we still have that same stigma around mental health? And I think that is what a lot of you know, is sort of starting to sort of gain traction and become a movement where it's not stigmatized. 

A hundred percent. And by the way, you're so right about that. It's like people are allowed to make mistakes and it's not to say that you should say alcoholism is the way to live. It's not, it's not promoting that. And that's only one example of many different types of things. But I guess that I found that interesting in, in, in my conversation yesterday, because I was like, okay, yeah. I mean, that is a serious stigma, but you have to realize what, what, what, it's, what extend that, you know what I mean? Like why does that person have the addiction that they have. And, and, and I think that, um, the important thing is exactly what you said as well is just not judging somebody. And I think, um, you know, for example, I'll give you another example. A couple of weeks ago, I did a show, um, I talk with Teagan and Sarah and we talk about obviously, you know, you know, the gay community and coming out and what that looks like? And there's so much judgment in that too. Like even a lot of what they talked about is, you know, the stigma of like, Hey, if you know, even in the gay and lesbian community, it's like, if you don't look like you're gay and even the let's be in community, judge, you. You know what I mean? It's like, how crazy is that? I mean, I'm just thinking there's, it's such a, a broad, um, subject, I think for judgment all across the board on a lot of different levels. 

What are you doing personally to take care of yourself? What are your sort of life rules that you put into place?

 Um, exactly this, I really find the most healing thing for me is the talk about it and I think, um, therapy of course. Um, but I find that it's beyond just going to a normal therapy session. I find that just talking about it with friends or, you know, Instead of repressing feelings, just putting it out there. I find that as much as open as I am, the better I feel. Do you know what I mean? Cause if I'm going through something, I feel that if I, what I learned over my life is that when I. When I sort of like pretended it didn't exist or like, you know, just kind of like put it, put it away for now. I was always way more depressed. And I think that talking about it is just so healing for me. So I'm constantly trying to talk and challenge myself to get better, I guess. Um, yeah. 

Okay. Let's uh, let's move, move to a fun topic um, as well, we'll come back. We'll circle, we'll circle back to this at the end, but I, I gotta ask you a couple of questions and, you know, forgive me for this. Um, tell me how I'm hoping for a great story here. Tell me what happened or how you found out and how you reacted when you discovered, when you found out- when, I guess when your agent, whoever called you and said, Hey, “Tumblin Down” is going to be on Gray’s Anatomy?

Oh, well, it's so funny. I, I, that was, um, like that was so many years ago now. Yeah, actually it might've been like 2000. Yeah. Something like that. 2011. Um, you know, I mean, obviously I thought it was really exciting. Um, but it's, it's. You know, as an artist, this is another thing to say is like your, your, so you have this like, That nothing's ever good enough. 

Oh my God. Imposter syndrome. There we go. I was at imposter syndrome shows up in every single episode, every single guest talks about it. So congratulations for continuing for continuing the streak. We're good. We're I think we're 202 for 202. 

Haha! Awesome! I’m glad. Okay. This is good. I mean, we're, we're, we're artists out here, you know? Um, but it's a good sign. It means that you really, you know, I think the best artists and no ones that, you know, have the most pain and have. You know, I have something to say in a story to share, to share with people, um, all feel these ways, because I think that it's impossible to be satisfied and make good art, you know, think about it. It's like if you, if you fall into a place that's complacent, you feel like you've arrived, then there's like, like you don't want to, how could you still want to create? You know, so I guess that. That's how it feels. It's just like, okay, cool. That's good. What's the next thing. And it's not even like, not being grateful.

Right? Of course it's grateful, but it's just like, it's just the nature of the beast. 

Yeah. Now, if, if I'm, if I remember correctly, you were discovered, and this is, this is gonna, you know, as someone who grew up in the eighties with the era and the era of dial up modems in America, online, this continues to blow my mind, you were discovered on MySpace weren't you. 

Yes. And I it's so funny now because my face is, so it's such a dinosaur now, too. So it's like, it's so odd to think about because really my space was the first social network, I guess that really started this whole trend. Right. So, but no, I was exactly that. So I just kind of, I put up a song, um, For my parents basically than I, so I had moved out of my house, um, right from high school and, um, I, you know, didn't have any money and I really just wanted, had a lot of pride that I wanted to show that I could do it on my own and all these things. So I really wanted that. I like didn't have that to get back to where I was living, which was like, you know, an hour outside of the city. So I slept in my car by the beach and I wrote this song for my parents, um, being, obviously couldn't buy them a Christmas gift. And, um, and then I ended up just being like, Hey, cool, it's an acoustic song. Like I really like it. Let's just throw it on MySpace. And that was it. And I've learned now through my career as those things that happened the one, the times that you really just think. Absolutely not the times that you're just like, you know, if you're going in, you know, 350 days of the year being like I'm working today, I'm going to write a hit, I’m going to do this, or I'm going to do that. The other, you know, 10 days are the days that you'll actually accomplish something that you're not thinking about anything. It's like, those are always the times that you actually achieve the best things is when you're doing it for an authentic reason beyond any sort of specific like superficial goal. From my experience.

Couple of questions, uh, sort of, sort of, um, uh, lightning round questions. Where's your happy place? Where do you go when you just want to be happy? What, what place the happiest, the most creative, the most, uh, uh, carefree and confident. 

Well, okay. There's two that you just asked what makes me the happiest and what makes me the most creative are definitely two different things right now. Oh my God. You're gonna, you're gonna, literally, I don't, I'm scared to say this, but as a person that just says I have to be vulnerable and say everything, I feel I have to do it, but I freaking love the stupidest romcoms, like Hallmark movies. They make me. Like this time of the year literally makes me so happy. You guys don't understand. Like, I actually like have an obsession with Hallmark movies. Like I, like, after the day writing, I like look forward to being like, Oh my God, the Hallmark channel. And I'm like so excited. Um, and, but you're asking me during these, this December months, so this is definitely my happy times, right?

Yeah. Okay. And what about most creative? 

Most creative is. Um, like it's, it's either being like inspired looking out the window right now. It's like either being inspired by like, you know, what, something around you like where it's like, I can't even define it necessarily. It's like, it's, I feel like I get the most creative when I'm either like, so inspired by a thought or a melody or just something visual, I guess I'm a really visual person too. So I feel like, um, that really captivates me. So I need to feel like I, if I, if I all of a sudden see something or hear something, like if you said something right now, Like often the best songs are like, you could say it and I'm like, Oh my God, it's the best content I've ever heard. And that's so inspiring to me, you know, I was just like in conversation, having like the song, just write itself, and that's what a song is. 

So to follow up on the first point of your Hallmark movies, I saw a, um, an Instagram ad, I was at a certain Instagram and the other day that showed a person wearing socks. And the socks on the soles of the socks said, “if you can read this don't bother me cause I'm watching Hallmark movies”. So I'll have to get you up to get you a pair. 

OMG, Yeah. I'm actually dying right now. You have to! I will send you a pair. Yes. I'll get your address from your, from your, uh, from your publicist. 

Okay, so here's the same question. Since you've got the romcom thing going on, then answer this’  Awesome or Creepy: “Love Actually”. 

Awesome!

Thank you! Thank you! There's a, there's a growing movement that says it's creepy and like stalkery and all that I'm like, come on. It's Love Actually. 

Oh my gosh. How many times have you watched that movie? Hundreds. Hundreds. Okay. Actually I'm like, I'm like, shit. I bought that movie is iconic. It's wonderful.

What's creepy is the little boy chasing the girl. I mean, that's like, no, that's awesome. I think the creepy part is the guy stocking the, his best friend's wife. No, it's not, the science is like that, that scene where it's like, Oh, I get goosebumps thinking about it. 

I, I remember I, my, my ex wife, I'm still very good friends with, we were watching the movie and I was listening to the song. Um, Anywhere You Go, right? [[“Wherever You Will Go” by The Calling]] Anyway, you follow you. And, um, uh, No, no. Wherever you may go wherever you, um, the one that's playing in the bar when he goes to America and he meets the girls. Right. And I'm listening to it. I love it. So it's a great running song. And she says to me, my, my ex says to me, one day, she goes: ‘You just like that song because he ends up having a threesome’

That is such a, like, I, I, yeah, I could see that. I could see her saying that, but that's not why come on! That song. 

That's not entirely why. Okay. Couple more, couple more questions. Um, favorite, uh, or worst, I should say, um, most unhealthy favorite food. 

Ooh, what was that healthy, favorite food? I rarely eat healthy. Like, I don't even know if I, um, Oh, I don't even like that, like bad food. Like that's the truth. I mean, I'm actually being serious. Like, I mean, my cheat is like tomato, basil rice cakes, which I'm like obsessed with. And I know I sound insane. I know, but like, I'm not like a pizza, French fry, like person. I don't even know that that would be like my choice.

I’m really glad that I live in the other end of the country because just knowing that we'd never ever date- oh my God. I don't like pizza? What the hell is wrong with you?! Rice cakes are, are literally an affront to God. Okay. Whatever, they're an affront to God. 

Can I just say I do like pizza, but interesting, but I, but I just feel like. It's not like my go-to. Okay, fine. I put, I'll put cheese on a tomato basil rice cake and you're when we, when we, when we hang out, you're going to have it and it's going to change your life because it's so good. 

Only if I can I take you- I'll take you to Claudio's pizzeria on 10th and 43rd street. Oh, okay. Deal? Deal.

Last question. Tell us, do you tell us about what you work out? Do you work out? What's your favorite one? 

Pilates. I love Pilates. That's an easy one. Yeah. It's just like, it's so. Um, I feel like one it's like so refreshing to do right in the morning. Cause it's like, it's like, obviously you get all like stretching and you can like get all your muscles working. But it's also like a lot of like core strength, especially when you do it without, um, the reformer, like, cause we've been doing Pilates like this whole. You're just with, um, an instructor on zoom, which has been awesome. And it's like, you know, like I don't have a reformer, so it's just a lot of core strength, like weights and it's just like, you're kind of like working everything and it just, I love it. I just think it checks all the boxes for me. 

Where can people find you? Via her website: www.TheJennaAndrews.com and @TheJennaAndrews on Twitter  INSTA  Facebook  YouTube and  on Spotify Her podcast is The Green Room

Jenna Andrews. It's everywhere. You know, all my socials are the same, so that's when they can find me. And I'm behind the screen on behind the green wall.

Well, I was gonna say behind the, is the rest of your life, right? Don't take it down. And that's where the that's where the wizard hangs out. Jenna Andrews, thank you so much for being on Faster Than Normal. I truly appreciate your time. This was, this was phenomenal. I hope to have you back. 

Of course, thank you so much for having me! 

Guys, thanks for listening as always, if you like what you hear drops review, uh, stay safe, stay healthy. It is crazy out there and it looks like it's only gonna get worse. So until it gets better, I'm reminding you to wear the mask. Please wear the mask and we, if you don't do it for yourself, if you don't care for yourself, do it for someone you love and you should love yourself anyway, because we're the only ones we got. We'll talk to you guys next week on another episode of Faster Than Normal. Thank you so much for listening. Take care of yourselves.

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. 

Nov 4, 2020

Dennis Berry is a Certified Life Coach and has been working with people worldwide for over 15 years. With modern technology, he can work with anybody anywhere via Zoom. His expertise is in Addiction Recovery, Alcoholism, and Life Mastery. He has firsthand experience, having been sober since April 8, 2003. With his journey in sobriety and recovery from drug abuse, it helped him find his mission in life, which is to help others on their journey through sobriety and achieve inner peace and success in every area of their lives. Dennis knows what it is like to be helpless and hopeless with no positive direction. He was able to climb out of the gutter and transform his life and he spends his life helping others do the same. If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired and you are ready to make changes in your life, book your first FREE consultation today. You will see some light at the end of the tunnel.  Today we’re talking about how Dennis began his path to sobriety, which led him to coaching and how helping other’s remains his life’s calling. Enjoy!

 

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Dennis Berry discuss:

1:10-  Intro and welcome Dennis!

1:40-  A first-timer’s trip to AA; highs and lows

2:40-  What started you on your path to sobriety; what was the beginning?

4:50-  What led you to giving back, then to become a coach?  Ref: Peter’s interview will soon air on Dennis Berry’s “The Funky Brain” podcast 

6:30-  Things will get better. Everything is always changing.

8:30-  What is the top thing people do to self-sabotage, and what can they do to break the cycle? No pressure ;)

10:00-  Rituals versus Resolutions + the healthy, subconscious mind

10:14-  How can people find you?  

Via his website at www.DennisBerry.com and on the socials:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dennisberry1/ 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LifeCoach.DennisBerry

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dennisberry_ 

YouTube: http://youtube.com/DennisBerryfunkyBrain

10:39-  Thank you Dennis! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials.

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

12:04-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

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

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hey guys, Peter, Shankman welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal. It is great to have you as always. I got to change up what I say. I say the same thing every time I start a podcast again. Anyway, let's talk addiction today. Let's talk addiction. Let's talk some real hard grit, some real hard facts. You know, ADHD is a hair's breath from addiction. All neurodiversity really isn't. It's just these little tiny. Can't even see them. They're so small changes in the brain that take us down many, many paths, and we're going to talk to someone who's not only been down that path, but has come back and it helps other people get past that and back from that path. Dennis Berry certified life coach, he's worked with people over 15 years. He works in addiction, recovery, alcoholism, and life mastery. He's been sober since April 8th, 2003, which is freaking amazing. His journey for sobriety and recovery from drug abuse, helping find his mission in life, which is to help others journey through sobriety and achieve inner peace and success in every area of their lives. Dennis. Welcome. 

Thank you, Peter. It's so nice to talk with you again, as lot of talking with you, you're a wealth of knowledge and I liked the pace at which you move. 

Thank you. Yeah. You know, so one of the things I noticed when I decided to sort of get a handle on my ADHD and why I was drinking so much and things like that. I went to a AA a few times, right. In the very beginning. And, um, you know, we're all introducing ourselves just saying, hi, my name is whatever. And I remember a guy next to me, told a story and it was very brief, but it ended with, and I quote, um, fifth time getting arrested for sucking dick in Tompkins Square Park for crack. And then it was my turn to tell my story and it went something like I kind of had a hangover the other day, you know, and I didn't feel like I belonged and it wasn't that way for a while. And then someone one day introduced me to the concept of high bottoms versus low bottoms. Right. Which is the premise that you don't have to be in Tompkins Square Park doing exactly that, to decide that you've had enough. So why did you, when did you decide you had enough? Obviously, I believe 2003; what started it for you? What was the end result? 

Well, you know, my mind was leading up, mine was a bunch of horror stories. I did not end up sucking deck in the park. I did, uh, I do have some horror stories. Mine were like car accidents and being stupid and saying stupid things and getting in trouble. But that wasn't one of them. However, you know, it's interesting point that you bring up high bottom, low bottom. I was in a meeting. I used to go to a lot of AA myself early on, not as much anymore, but there was a woman there who was the speaker and she was there because, and I can tell you all my horror stories that went on for 15 years and they were crazy and bad and wild and like insane. Like you see in a movie, hers was, she was sober like 15 years because she drank two shooters of vodka every day. And to me, that was silly because I was like, that's like breakfast. That didn't make sense to me, but to her, it was a problem. So she had to make changes. I don't remember the circumstance. Maybe she likes me back their kid, after she had tutors or something that hurt her, it made her think I have a problem and I need to make changes for me. Mine went a lot deeper. I was bankrupt financially, spiritually my body, my mind, my relationships all broken. So I finally became willing to listen to somebody else and change the way that I was living. And, uh it's and it's been a long road. You know, one of the things I, that I talk about all the time and that I instill in my clients is like, you know, the drinking, the drugs, the food, the porn, the shopping, whatever your problem is, it’s not always the problem. It's what I'm using to cope with the real problem, which is my thinking. And so when I can work on that and, you know, clear up the past, see where all these. These issues originated from and work on those, then I can become more focused and, uh, you know, turn my life around for good. And, you know, it's when you get to that moment that you realized what it was all for, and while you're doing it.

Tell me about what prompted you from going from where you were to not only recovery, but then becoming a coach too, to teach other people, why the give back? 

Well, and that's, I love that question. I, I was helping people anyway. And I love it. It feeds my soul. And I think a lot of people, like, I know you're passionate about everything you do. Um, you were on my show and we talked about that and there's a lot of people and by a lot, I mean, most people, whatever the percentages are, do not do things that feed their soul. And they're the ones that they lay in bed in the morning with the sheets over their head, scared to get out of bed because they don't want to go do that job or whatever it is that they're doing, pay the bills, you know, pay for the kids or whatever it is. And I was helping people anyway. And I w I get fulfilled that way. Now along the way, in the last 17 years I've started businesses. Most of them failed, but some of them worked out really quite well. And I was able to change my health and I, and I've been able to live a life that most people dream about. And a lot of it was because I was pursuing my goal, my, my dreams. And, uh, every morning when I get up, I have clients that look to me for help, which at first I was like, they must be really screwed up if they're asking me for help, you know? But, um, at the end of the day, I'm just truly blessed, lucky, fortunate, whatever you want to call it to realize years ago that my path was to help other people that are struggling from anything to not have to struggle at the depth that I did, you know? 

I heard a great quote. Once it said that that people were broken or people have been down that road and struggled before, want to help people because they know what it's like to have been that hurt. And they never want to see anyone go through that again. 

Yeah, that's right. I know how painful it was. And I think that that's one of the reasons that I go and love talking to kids in schools and universities and things like that and you know, it's that.. ‘yeah, I've been there and it sucks ass, but it's, it's going to get better. 

It is. 

Yeah. And you know, when you're in that hopeless state of mind, when you're sitting isolating and your house or apartment or wherever you're living, and you think that the world, like the current state that you're in, it's always going to be that way. And it's not. 

And the tough times, never last, neither do the good times. Everything changes all the time. And it's, if you can figure that out on your own, that's great. But a lot of people, you know, need help, they need somebody to say it, you know what…I love that there was a cartoon where it shows a guy on standing on top of this big hole and there's a guy down in the hole and he's raising his hand out. And this guy on the bottom of the hole, he says, I don't know how I got in this hole. I'm going to be stuck here forever. I can't get out of this hole. And the guy up top, he's like here, give me your hand. I was in that hole last week. I'm going to help you get out. 

I heard it on the West Wing. It's a, the guys in the hall and, and the, and a priest walks by and he says, father, can you help me? And he throws down a couple of prayers. And then, uh, you know, a businessman walked by and said, can you help me get out of this hole? And he throws down some money. And then his best friend walks by. He says, Mike, can you, can you help me? And Mike jumps down in, he says, ‘nNow you idiot, we're both stuck in this hole!” Yeah, but I’ve been here before. I know the way out.’  I love that. It's so true. You know what I've found so many times that I can find inspiration from people who I watch a TV or movies, whatever, and the sure enough, lo and behold, I do my research and yeah. And they're in recovery. It's it's hysterical.

So let's talk, um, give me some, some, some, some help here that I could pass along. Um, top three things that. People do to self-sabotage and, or just give me a top, top one thing that people do to self sabotage and how they can break the cycle. Wow. That's like being on the, you know, not, not that I'm putting you on the spot or anything. 

No shit. Yeah. Well, One of the things that I tend to notice a lot is being unfocused or not feeling like they're worthy, that not feeling that they're worthy is one big thing. Um, but the unfocused thing I would say is trying to do too many things at once. And I say, uh, you know, I just did a webinar on this about a half an hour ago actually. But, um, you know, we all try to focus on too many, doing so many things and we really need to focus on just doing one thing. It's called the one thing. And when I'm focusing on the one thing, which for you, I think. I don't know how it works. I think you might be one of those people that I could focus on 20 different things. 

Yeah. That's not easy. 

Right. But I think it's so important. Some people are like, you know, they'll try to work on five things and then they get overwhelmed and then they quit and they end up drinking or eating or doing something to distract themselves from working on the one thing and getting to achieve their goals and their dreams. That's a, that's like the biggest thing that I noticed with all my clients and we spend a lot of time getting focused on that. 

One thing. I heard a quote once that said, and I've, I've, I've stolen at music, uh, liberally over the past years. Um, Resolutions fail rituals succeed. But if you can get yourself to do something over and over again, for a certain amount of time, it becomes a ritual and rituals tend to have a much higher success rate than, uh, than, uh, resolutions.

So that's how we reprogram our subconscious mind. Our subconscious minds were programmed. Over a period of time by doing the same thing over and over and over whether it was healthy or unhealthy. That's how our stuff conscious mind. There. Some things that are so conscious minds do that are healthy, like brushing our teeth. So we had to learn mechanically and mentally how to do that from a very young age. And we did it over and over and over again. You don't even think about it. We just pick up our toothbrush before we go to sleep. The moment we wake up and we brush our teeth, but we also get programmed to live in fear and we don't even realize that. And it happened by- it could have started at four years old when we got scared of something and we carry that into our lives every single day, over and over and over again for an extended period of time. So to change that we need to go back in and find the root cause of that, and then shatter that behavior over and over and over and over again, day after day for an extended period of time.

Awesome. Uh, great answer. Um, how can people find you? How can they get more info about you? 

Uh, well, everything my book, the podcasts, uh, uh, and schedule appointments and stuff that you can pretty much the best place is to go through the website, which is www.DennisBerry.com. And you can schedule appointments right on the site, or you can reach out and contact me and we'll have a schedule, a free consultation for a little while and talk and see if you don't feel better.

Dennis. Thank you so much for taking the time today. I really, really appreciate it. Um, you know, good stuff and I'm definitely gonna have you back at some point next few months. Thank you, 

Peter. I appreciate it, man. Have a great day. 

Thanks for listening. Definitely guys, as always you’re listening to Faster Than Normal. If you liked what you heard, leave us a review. We'll be back next week with a new guest, keeping it brief this week, but brief is good when you have ADHD or any form of neurodiversity. Stay happy, stay healthy, wear the mask, stay safe. We'll talk to you soon.

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

Oct 28, 2020

Dr. Tommy Black is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has been in private practice since 1998. Currently he serves as a member of the Georgia Composite Board for Professional Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage & Family Therapists. He also serves as the Chair of the Rules Committee and on the Advisory Panel for the National Board of Forensic Evaluators. Dr. Black has extensive experience and training in Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, REBT, and DBT. He works with a myriad of life issues but has particular expertise in ADHD, Grief/Loss, Depression, Anxiety Disorders, PTSD, Impulse Control Issues, Relationship difficulties, and Adjustment Difficulties. A veteran of the Gulf War (1990-1991) while serving in the U.S. Army, Dr. Black has years of personal and professional experience in understanding and helping others cope with the specific trials of military services for active duty individuals and their families.  Today we’re talking about how he uses his ADHD, wisdom and years of experience to help others. Enjoy!

 

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Dr. Tommy Black discuss:

1:14-  Intro and welcome Dr. Black!

3:30-  What’s your story. When did you begin pursuing your doctoral studies?

5:55-  On the issue of treating Neurodiverse, versus urgent medical care & resources available.

6:55-  On some of the improvements and areas of neurodiversity that are getting attention finally.

8:05-  On Esteem Therapeutics and the work Dr. Black & Associates are doing

10:45-  Rigidity. Let’s talk about how your service in the military helps individuals with ADHD or those who may be neurodiverse.

14:08-  Do you feel you attained much of the structure you currently use in your daily life from the military? 

16:05-  What do you say to parents who have just learned of their child’s neurodiverse diagnosis?

16:55-  On how he managed through his own childrens’ diagnoses’

19:22-  How can people find you?  Download the app App Store. Or via his website at www.chooseesteem.com and @ chooseesteem on INSTA and Facebook 

20:00-  Thank you Tommy! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials.

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

21:07-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

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

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hey guys, Peter, Shankman welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal. I hope you were having a great day. It is raining here in New York and foggy. Not so much rain but fog, but all as well. Uh, today is early voting in New York city. I voted, uh, it was on line at 6:00 AM. I was out by about 7:55. So that was pretty awesome. And if you don't vote, you're not allowed to listen to this podcast. So those are the rules. I don't care who you vote for, but you got to vote very, very important, democracy must survive. 

Anyway, on the podcast, we've got someone who has helped contributed to democracies survival. We have a veteran of the Gulf war, the original bill for 1991. Back when I was a freshman in college. I remember when we went, when the, when the, uh, CNN broke the news, that, that, that it was starting. And, um, we're talking to dr. Tommy Black, Dr. Tommy Black is a licensed professional counselor. He's been in private practice since 98. He currently serves as a member of the Georgia composite board for principal counselors, social workers, and marriage and family therapists. He also serves as chair of the rules committee on the advisory panel for the national board of forensic evaluators. He's extended his extensive experience and training in cognitive behavior therapy. CBT is I talk about always REBT and DBT, which is dialectical behavioral therapy. He works with a myriad of life issues, but his particular experience in ADHD, grief, loss, depression, anxiety disorders, PTSD, impulse control issues, relationship difficulties, and adjustment difficulties. So essentially everyone who listens to this podcast, as I said, a veteran to go for while serving in the U S army, Dr. Black has used a personal professional experience in understanding and helping others cope with specific trials of military service for active duty individuals and their families. First of all, thank you for your service. Second of all, dr. Black welcome faster than normal. 

Thanks, Peter. I appreciate you having me. Um, and thank you for that. Welcome. It does sound like any issue you have. I can help you with this. 

You're pretty much covered everyone who's ever been on the show. Yeah, no question.

Yeah, those are all I think though, um, very typical of individuals with ADHD. We deal with all of those things, right? Well, I was going to say everything is so interconnected. Yeah. Right. And, and so, so, you know, a hair's breadth apart from each other, and that's really, I think one of the things that people don't realize exactly how interconnected and close all of these things are, whether you're looking at trauma issues or ADHD or PTSD, impulse control, executive function disorder, you know, all of these are literally a hair's breath away from each other.

Yup. Yup. It's very difficult at times to find differential diagnosis for those things, make a determination of what the primary issue is and what's driving the, um, frustrations or concerns. So that's where we have to turn to the professionals or look at data and try to figure that stuff out. So tell me your story. So you, you were in the army when you came back, is that when you, uh, pursued your, your, uh, doctoral studies. 

Yeah. So, um, I was actually enlisted, I was in high school, straight out of high school. I joined the military and went into that. And when I came back, I got a scholarship and I, my goal was to enter politics. I was a poly-sci major and hope to go to law school, but then I took intro to psychology. And I fell in love and it just spoke to me. Um, it resonated with me just in my personal life, as well as professionally. I just felt like I understood it and got it. And so I changed my major to psychology at that time, still thinking that I would pursue a law degree. Psychology degrees are great degree to have if you're going into criminal law. And then I went to grad school and decided I want to do, uh, do psychology and particularly school psychology because I, I foolishly thought that when my children were in school, I would take summers off and holidays off and be with them and hang out. And that didn't work out. I ended up opening a private practice and getting involved with military families, primarily dealing with. ADHD trauma and the special issues associated with that depression, anxiety. Uh, relationship difficulties and have really been involved with that since about 95, working with individuals who do that, I primarily do assessments because my background was in school psychology and that's what they primarily do. I ended up getting my, getting my PhD in psychology. Um, more generally speaking. But working in that field and working with families and trying to overcome those types of issues in a way that we don't often see, particularly in military families and where I'm at people just kind of get moved along. We don't have a lot of resources and in Georgia where I live now. And so it often takes several weeks before you get in for an appointment and then several weeks to get a diagnosis. And then several weeks. Weeks they get a treatment plan. So if you have an issue today, it might be six to eight weeks before you get any start working towards any resolution of that issue in the mental health field down here. And it seems to be endemic in the United States everywhere I've been working with national organizations. It seems like people are hurting and we just don't have the availability to get them the help that they need. 

No, it's interesting that you bring that up because I think that one of the most often overlooked. Uh, parts of sort of neurodiversity, um, is the fact that it exists and the fact that it is just as, uh, um, you know, you wouldn't, someone has a, has a bone sticking out of her leg, right? You wouldn't, uh, say, okay, in six weeks we can look at this, right? 

Yep. That's right. The same issue we have, we have decisions that this is, this is important. And, and just because you can't see, it doesn't mean it's not real. It doesn't mean it isn't drastically affecting. 

That's right. That's right. It's it's, that's very true. I didn't think about it that way. I was just thinking you were going to go a little bit different direction. The idea, not only do we have the, just the lack of resources, but then once you get to a resource you're just a bad parent, or maybe you should do this differently, or maybe your kid's just a bad kid, you know, they don't get the support.

You're exactly right. If you walk in with a bone sticking out of your leg, they don't say, well, maybe you should just walk it off. Come back in a couple of really hurt. That much could be in a baby. And, you know, it's interesting because I think that, that we've definitely improved, um, from where we were say 10, 15, 20 years ago. But you know, the flip side of that is that 30 years ago when I was in school, it didn't exist. I mean, it did, but in our world, it didn't, it was sit down, you're disrupting the classes. Right, right. You know, and yeah, there was. Good. I was just going to say it to build on that. There was a lot of different, um, avenues for that where sit down, you're disrupting the class or, or teachers seem to have a little more discretion as the classes didn't seem to be as crowded as they are today. I think, plus we are finding that because we're talking about it and because we're understanding it more, there is more of an acceptance that, okay, this is real, but I don't think it's, it's made at that point yet where it's like, okay, this is real. Let's treat it with the same level of respect and urgency that we would something that we've known for a hundred years. 

Right. And I think that it's going to take time, but I think it's what things like, you know, people you are doing that is it's sort of helping that move forward. Yeah, I think you're exactly right. And I think, um, kind of along those lines, if, if I could expand upon that a little bit, the idea that what we're doing now, I've been in private practice working with individuals, but my co-founders and I started esteem therapeutics with the idea of putting the parent or the individual with the, um, Neurodivergent um, uh, divergence in the driver's seat, so to speak of their treatment plan and their care by giving them the tools when they want it, when they need it at their moment of need, whether that's 2:00 AM or two, two in the afternoon on Saturday, and then giving them the data to see that if the things they're doing are working or aren't aren't working. So that's why we started esteem therapeutics. And it allows, it's an app that is really a super app that connects individuals with all the different, um, technologies and services and platforms that are available today to help with ADHD or depression or anxiety or parenting or stress or trauma. But it puts it all in one place and then allows you to check to make sure what you're doing. The interventions that you're using are actually working as opposed to, like we were talking about in the traditional sense where you come to my office and maybe, maybe you had a good day today. So all we talk about as good stuff, but then. Tomorrow you remember? Oh yeah, I'm really struggling with this, but now you've lost it in that moment of me. So applying technology in a way that every other field, every other professional field in the world uses it. But health and mental health doesn't we don't have a tele-health. Services like we should obviously COVID has changed that to a great extent as we were starting to overcome a lot of that resistance out of necessity, but we've taken that paradigm and shifted it to a way where the individuals in charge as opposed to the professional. Who it feels like a lot of times it's making decisions without giving you all the information, or sometimes you just feel like you're being pushed along, or sometimes you feel powerless or lost or confused because you get inundated with the jargon that we use. And the like me, I'm talking very fast. That's very difficult. So you get somebody in your office, you have an hour, you got to get through all this stuff and then, all right, see you later. Well, wait a minute. We didn't even talk about this, right? Well, we don't have time. Sorry. 

And I think that, you know, there's a, there's a second separate angle of that, which is that, you know, when we get excited about something that we really want to talk about, we lose track of time. Anyway, time, you know, ADHD, you have two types of time you have now and not now. And so if I have that ability to talk to you, yeah, next thing I know it's going to be 60 minutes. You're gonna be like, and I'm like, well, we touched on the half of one topic. Right. That's exactly right. Yeah. Um, I don't know, go back to your military service for a second because, you know, as I get older and I realized that, um, w what my ADHD actually requires is such a surprising amount of rigidity.

Right. And that's something I never thought that I was supposed to have as a kid. I hate it. I write, I hated rigidity. I remember my, the only job I've ever had, it was America online and they let me do whatever I want. As long as I got the work done, when I, when it was due, I didn't care what time I did at three in the morning. But then my next job after that lasted two weeks, because they had meetings 8:30 AM, this and that. And it was terrible. But the more I start to understand maybe HD and get diagnosed and really sort of see it. I realized that. My best days are when my calendar is solid and I'm scheduled, you know, from first thing in the morning until the time it's time to go home. And I don't have that time to sort of goof off and fall down a rabbit hole. Right. And the more it will is that the more sort of thinking that, you know, wow, the military might've been really beneficial for me, but I think what I was at that age 18, they did, I wouldn't have understood that. Right. Because we didn't know what I had or what was going.

Yeah, I think that's very true. I think we see, there are a lot of individuals with ADHD who thrive in the military and you see a lot of people there. It is very structured. Um, it's very interesting because it's, it's not like going off to college or going off to a job. It's almost like you move in with another set of parents. You have. The staff non-commissioned officers in cos the sergeants and first sergeants and whatnot. And then you have officers, so you have multiple levels of accountability. Um, and then you have in the military, in the army, at least when I was in, we had a buddy and everywhere you went and got a buddy and you didn't go anywhere without your buddy and you never left your buddy. And anytime you're in any training or doing anything you were with your buddy, So you have that, um, amount of accountability. The frustrating part about the military is one of the things. If you've ever talked to anyone in the military, one of the true tenants of the military is a hurry up and wait, right? So you have these, you have this mission, you have this job yet, whatever you have to do, you got to hurry up. Hurry up, go, go, go, go, go. Uh, for example, when I got deployed to the middle East, we rushed, I got the call on Wednesday at like 8:00 PM, 4:00 AM. We were all on a bus going around Stein air base to catch a flight to go. And then when we pitched a tent and sat on the tarmac for four days, played a lot of space. Yeah. So that part is extremely frustrating and difficult when you have ADHD and you're just kind of bouncing off the walls and you don't have the freedom to just get up and leave, but you're, you're a hundred percent correct having structure having stability having consistency is part of the key for overcoming those kinds of difficulties. When we, as individuals, don't mess with ADHD, don't necessarily fit in with how society is driven or saying we have to do things. And it's one of the things I've carried over, you know, everywhere. When I go home, my wallet, my keys, my watch, they all go in the same place every day. And lately with everything that's been going on, that hasn't been happening. So I'm freaking out every morning. Well, I took my wallet. Luckily I have a. What are these, these little things where you push a button, then it will find it for you tile. I have tile in my wallet, so, uh, so I can find my wallet and I hadn't used it for probably two years, but then the last couple of months I've used it at least once a week. So having that structure and that discipline is very important. 

Definitely. Do you feel that, um, you learned a lot of, sort of the, the, uh, structured tips that you apply to yourself today in the military? I mean, I know that. That I have a, a good, a good friend of mine passed away recently, but was a former Navy seal. And, um, You know, in just being friends with him. I learned so many things that I could do to guarantee my productivity and to guarantee that I wouldn't go down those rabbit holes. And I, he told me he learned, you know, all of them in, in, in the seals and in the teams. And I just wonder, um, you know, is that almost an advantage in some way?

Yeah, I think so. I definitely think it is. I mean, overall, the net net is a positive in the sense that you're learning, that kind of structure and that kind of self-discipline and basically self monitoring and self mentoring kind of thing so that you can manage those things better. Not necessarily because a lot of times with parents dealing and teachers and schools and the legal system, we punished individuals who have ADHD, you know, you didn't do this, you didn't do that. You didn't do this. So you're getting in trouble in the military. It's more structured in the sense that, uh, okay, you need to do this or you need to be here. What are you doing? We got to do this. Or, you know, it's a lot of looking out for each other and having those safeguards in place to make sure that you're able to develop those skills and use them. And then as an individual to carry those over in that sense, a lot of times with. Parents, the parents just do it for their kids. You know, they don't structure it. They just say, Hey, here's your lunch? Here's your school stuff. Here's your, because they get frustrated with the idea of having this time date every morning before school starts, so they just take it over. But in the military, you don't get it that way. That it's very empowering in the sense that they're. Teaching you the skills and then monitoring those skills, kind of an education. We call it scaffolding. You know, we, we, we build the scaffold, the safety net around you, and then we help you develop those skills as you go along.

What do you say to parents who are, you know, you're sitting there with them for the first intake and they're, they're, they're sort of coming to grips with their new. Type of child, right. They've just been told that, you know, it's ADHD, whatever the case may be, you know? And, and, and they obviously have a lot of things in way to their mind and they're not all positive. 

Yeah. So the first part of that is empathy, trying to have empathy and understanding. It helps that I have ADHD. It helps that I have two, I have twin 17 year old twins. It helps that they, I have two children who have ADHD, and I went through this process as a parent twice. I mean, it's interesting because they hit at different times, even though they're twins. And my daughter hit in like first or second grade and my son was a little older before his symptoms started becoming an issue. But, uh, having that kind of empathy and understanding, we've talked about this kind of at the beginning, instead of pushing along and forcing them along, having the patience to sit and listen to their frustrations and concerns, and then normalizing it, you know, a lot of times; well, he has this, and that's the end of it. No, not necessarily. There's a lot of people who have ADHD or neurodivergent who are very successful. And if you can turn this into a strength and use that strength by not putting them in a box or not making them do things exactly the same way everybody else does, then. Then there's an opportunity for growth and an opportunity to use those things in a more positive with that. The point of that, isn't a spinning, you know, aw, this was great. You know, it's not, but to put it in the proper context so that they understand and then allow them the opportunity to have a sounding board so that they can speak about how they feel about missing. I think. 

That point is a very good one because parents, a lot of times don't get that support. What they hear is you should have done this. If you'd just spanked your kid, he'd be fine. If you set better limits, if you did visit, you know, what they hear is you're a bad parent. 

Exactly. And that's not the case. And we're dealing with exceptional situations where the exceptional children with exceptional skills and abilities. So, so being able to overcome that idea that, you know, you screwed up or you're just a horrible person and then giving them the opportunity to voice that structured, not structured. Um, um, supportive listening is important to just letting them kind of vent; so that's kind of the key. And probably the biggest thing I like to reinforce to parents is that they're being too harsh on themselves when we talk. One of the things I think is important as for. Individuals to treat themselves the way they would treat other people. And that's kind of a flip of the common saying, but if somebody came to you and said, Oh my gosh, I'm so depressed, I don't know what to do. I'm a horrible parent because my kid was just diagnosed with ADHD. You would say, you know, it doesn't necessarily mean that maybe you can do this, or maybe you can look at that, but when it's your kid, Oh, I suck. I screwed up. I can't believe I did this. What's wrong with me. I'm a horrible parent. I'm a horrible person. You know, we, we tend to beat ourselves up way worse than we would someone else. So being kind to yourself in those moments, uh, when you don't necessarily feel as strong as you should, I think is important. And we forget that. 

Awesome. How can people find you? Because I know that I know that they're going to have questions, so what's the, what's the best way to get to talk to Dr Tommy Black. 

Chooseesteem.com. Uh, lots of owes, lots of E's choose of steam.com, um, is probably the best way or the next best way is if they go to the app store, the Apple app store and download the app or on Facebook, they can find us on esteemtherapeutics.com. Um, and then they can reach out to me. We're pretty active on Facebook. So if they have a message that you get to me, Or if they go to the website, we have a contact us there as well. So, and I'm always available. Sometimes it takes a couple of days to get back to emails. When I get it, the workload gets pretty heavy, but, um, But we love to hear from families and connect them with resources and work through the system because we understand and appreciate how difficult that is.

Yup. No question, man. Awesome. Very, very cool. Well guys, even listening to that timing like dr. Blake, thank you so much for taking the time. I truly appreciate it. This was a really informative interview and I'm going to have you back at some point, if you're cool with that, I'd love to love to see the conversation a few months.

Sounds great. Thanks Peter. I really appreciate you having me and having the opportunity to talk about these important issues, especially at this time. 

No question. Guys has always you’ve been listening to Faster Than Normal. If you liked what you heard, drop us a note, write us a review, let us know what you think. We'd always love to hear from you! We're always looking for wonderful new guests like Dr. Black or anyone else who might, you might think might work. On the show, let us know. You can find us on Twitter. Normal at petershankman that's me. Uh, our email is what's our email. Peter@shankman.com works just as well. And we look forward to talking to you guys again next week, stay healthy, stay inside, wear a mask that you can actually just wear a mask. That's not a new question and make sure you vote. We'll talk to you guys soon. Take care.

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

Oct 14, 2020

Coach Tony has studied Psychology, Clinical Counseling, Ontology, Spirituality, is a certified 

Gallup Strengths Coach and has a Master’s in Business Administration.  He owns several small businesses and is committed to making a difference in the lives of others.  Coach Tony believes that transformation is available to anyone that is willing to put in the work.  For more information on Coach Tony or to book an appointment or speaking engagement with him, please email him directly at: Tony@CoachTony.life or his website: www.CoachTony.life Today we’re talking about how to plant cabbage- if you happen to like cabbage, his ADHD, how and why he is a happy and successful coach who’s constantly helping others. Enjoy!

 

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Coach Tony Taylor discuss:

1:05-  Intro and welcome Coach Tony!

1:40-  Tell us about how you got your start, why you love helping other people- what’s your story?

2:55-  On how having a faster than normal brain helps, and how it can not help us if we don’t do the work.

4:20-  On setting boundaries and sticking to a list/accountability ref: Meditation for Dummies

5:17-  How do you meditate when the ADHD does’t shut off?

6:08-  Does cardio still work for your ADHD brain? How does mental conditioning work for you?

8:08-  On playing the tape forward/setting yourself up for success

8:28-  What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve witnessed via coaching during COVID-19?

10:10-  On helping to teach people the only thing we can control is how we’re responding to life

10:50-  On the concept of “forward motion is thrilling”. Ref: Seth Godin interview on FTN

12:15-  On making the best out of the cards your dealt

13:03-  How do you align your thoughts with what you’re creating and doing in the world. Ref: Mind Your Garden: The seeds you plant today become the realities of tomorrow (Live YOUR life!)

14:14-  If you don’t like cabbage, don’t plant cabbage!

15:20-  How can people find you?  Website at www.coachtony.life @tonyblisstaylor on: Twitter  coach_tonytaylor on INSTA  and CoachTonyTaylor on Facebook or via email: tony@coachtony.life

13:30-  Thank you Tony! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials.

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

16:07-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

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

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hey guys, Peter, Shankman welcome to episode two, zero one, the 201st episode of Faster Than Normal. I'm thrilled to have you here. If you missed episode 200, go check it out. It taught me why we take risks, why I like jumping out of airplanes, and I pretty much knew why I do stupid things sometimes, and I bet you're gonna fit right in and check it out.

Episode 201. I can't believe we're at 2-0-1! [editors note: technically this is episode 202, we don’t always air in-sequence]. Our guest today, Tony, you're the first person in the, I guess the two's, but isn't 200. So welcome. Hey, thanks. I'm excited to be here. Got it. Coach Tony, just going by coach Tom coach. Tony has studied psychology clinical counseling, ontology spirituality. He's a certified Gallop strength, strength coach, and has a master's in business administration. You know, in several small businesses, he committed to making a difference in the lives of others. He believed the transformation is available. Anyone willing to put in the work, which when you're ADHD, you don't really have a choice. Welcome to the show. It's good to have you tell us about you. How did you discover that you liked helping other people? How, tell us about your background. How did you start the whole story? 

Well, you know, coming through, um, a background of adversity, um, single parents, Abandonment from my father, child abuse. I really learned that I had to fight for what I wanted in life. And. I also learned that a life of contribution is the only fulfillment that satisfies me. Um, I created businesses and made money and went after the material realm and it just was empty and meaningless. And when I started coaching and I focused on helping other people achieve the breakthrough of their glass ceiling and getting a life that they love. It became a life that I can't retire from. You know, I say that when I started coaching, uh, six years ago that I officially retired from working because I worked seven days a week. Um, I have a lot of fun things going on and it's all around being a contribution to peace. Awesome. Do you find, I find that that when I help, it just makes for better life. Everything just becomes better when you're health. Well, and I mean, with the faster than normal brain taking the thoughts that I have and not giving them any energy, because I'm focusing on somebody else and what they're up to. It's relaxing. 

So tell us about, about that. So you coach people. So, so as ADHD and, and, and yourself and the whole thing, and having the festival brain talk about sort of the top, let's go with the top five things. And let's let's let's let's let's look at it from a negative perspective. What are the top five things that people that ESG or neurodiversity continually do to themselves that hurts them, that prevents them from moving forward? 

Well, I think, um, Addictive addictive behavior and certain addictions can get in the way. Um, I know I can find myself and have found myself in the past trapped in like a vicious circle of doing things that I know are good for me, but I need something to give that adrenaline or that boost to keep going. Um, you talk a lot about, uh, adrenaline junkie, right? Like I think that. Can be a negative, but also I think that is what empowered me to write, illustrate and publish a book in six months. So it's honing in that energy to do what you're up to instead of. I'm letting it get carried away and run yourself over. Um, yeah. Yeah. So I think that's a big thing. Um, I need a lot of boundaries and a schedule to follow, um, and it's not necessarily of listening to my faster than normal brain. It's doing what's on the list. No matter if I feel like doing it or not. Um, and being accountable to yourself and really holding yourself accountable to that schedule, um, has helped me out a ton. I have to get in cardio, um, because I have additional energy and if I don't use it in that kind of realm, um, it will sneak up and get in my way of being productive. Um, I'm a huge fan of meditation. Um, Stephan BoDean has a book meditation for dummies. It's just. It totally changed my world, um, to be able to take out 40 minutes of my day and be in silence and be able to sit literally in silence without getting run over by my thoughts. 

How do you do that when your brain, when the ADHD brain doesn't shut off?

Well, it, it doesn't shut off, but instead of experiencing the thoughts and feeling them and wanting to be an action around them, I just sit and observe the thoughts. Um, meditation isn't I think there's a problem in our society that says, Oh yeah, meditate. And just sit down and shut your mind off. And it's like, are you kidding me? Have you ever been inside my brain? They're shutting this off, but there is an ability to rise above those thoughts and just observe them with no feeling, um, or compelling need to be an action around them. It's just kind of like watching clouds go by. Um, instead of making it mean something, it's just, it is what it is.

Interesting. I feel that. So talk, go back to cardio for a second. You know, I used to be this huge cardio junkie. Oh my God. Cardio credit cards. And I still am. I mean, I still get my pellets on every morning, but I'm finding more and more. So over the, during the, during the, um, the lockdown, you know, I couldn't go to my gym. So I had my bike in my bedroom, but then I wanted to keep lifting. So I bought two 22 pound kettlebells and started just changing my life with them. And one of the things I've learned is that I think the closest to meditation I can get is when I say in a series of 20 reps of like shoulder presses, right. And by rep. 12 it's starting to hurt. Right. And what I've found is if I just say to myself in my mind, it doesn't hurt, it doesn't hurt. It doesn't hurt it. Opposite still hurts. But I came to get through the set with quote, unquote, less pain it's burning. You know how, when you do a set and you're just by 20, you're like burning, it just hurts. No, and it still hurts, you know, without question, but I feel like. It's the simple act of saying that the positive affirmation in my brain, this doesn't hurt. You're not in pain helps me go further. And I've never experienced that before. And I'm wondering if that is also somehow tied to the dopamine.

Absolutely. You know, I'm a, I'm a firm believer of what you think about you bring about, you've had the experience of getting on a treadmill or your Peloton in the morning being like, Oh, this is going to be an awful ride. Or this is going to be a tough run. My knees aren't into it today, whatever we, you know, those thoughts that we have, the run's going to reflect that, or the exercise is going to reflect that. But when you go in and say, you know, this doesn't hurt. And this is, this is exactly what I'm committed to. This is going to feel great. I'm going to feel so good after this is done. The exercise reflects that as well. So it's, it's finding that zone, um, and aligning your thoughts with an action. That's bigger than you. I find that that a lot of it, and I've mentioned this in the podcast, countless times, the concept of playing the tape forward, right? How am I going to feel something? If I don't, if I don't wake up right now and go to the gym or I don't wake up and get on that bike, like I said, I was going to. What's my day going to be like, and yeah, tonight and I come back to this bed, I'm going to be happy with that's awesome. And it works. Yeah. And tell me about some of the biggest problems that you're, that you see, um, from coaching, both from a, just in general perspective and from what we've experienced the past eight months of this year, Just don't be a nightmare COVID, uh, situation.

Yeah. Well, like I said before, I'm a huge believer of what you think about you bring about. And when I looked around society, you know, six years ago and I was in a transitional spot in my life where I could either go full time coaching or maintain some media buying businesses that I did. I saw the world resigned and I saw the world stopped by their own fears and glass ceilings and, and coming from the diverse background that I came from, I know that it wasn't easy and I know it took something, but I knew it was probably possible. And I just got called to talk to people and what's possible for them in their lives. Um, and. With the COVID situation and the lockdown, like the first two weeks, I was like, Oh, this is, you know, this is just going to blow over. It's going to be fine. Um, and after two weeks of me and my husband drinking, probably too much wine and staying up too late and getting out of our routines, it was like, okay, now what? I need to be an action around something. And. For people, I could feel their fear on the planet of like being in lockdown and not knowing what this virus was or what the future was gonna hold is what really inspired me to write my inner garden. Um, the seeds you plant today become the realities of tomorrow to put a little hope in the world in a time during perceived darkness. Um, I just. I think that for me, in my ADHD and faster than normal brain, I have to be an action. And this book a big part of it to help teach people that. Even no matter what's going on in the, in the world, in the universe, the only thing we can control is how we're responding to it and rise above the fear and stay in actions that you're committed to, to achieving in the world, whether it's a lockdown situation or not other ways, we spend too much time with our thoughts and it can be a downward spiral for everyone. If you don't have a faster than normal brain, but especially with a faster than normal brain, it can get defeating. 

Well, my mother used to always tell me that, um, when I was a kid that I don't like it when the grass grows under my feet. Right. And then I came to realize what she meant was that was, um, The premise of, um, being, I, I don't like not moving. I don't like not being in motion. And then Seth Godin, when I had him on the podcast, he, he quoted the phrase board motion is thrilling. Yeah. All right. And for people like us, we need that. And so, you know, I mean, March 8th, I stepped off a plane at Newark airport, 1130 at night. And, um, if I've known those me last time, I'd be in plain for seven months now. I, I probably would've stayed a few more minutes getting my bags down and, um, You know, so I went from 250 miles an hour to zero overnight. That was just a bitch. And so I had to learn how to create forward motion while not necessarily doing. And that was, it was a tough lesson, but it's benefited me in a lot of ways. I, you know, I'm up earlier now. I ever have been because doing the whole single dad, a homeschooling thing, the only time I really have to work out without being interrupted every 30 minutes was dad, how do I log out of this? How long did that. Is, you know, 4:00 AM 4:30 AM or whatever. And so if I still wanna be able to get work done and then be there for the daughter, it's it's even earlier. So, but, and so I've found ways to get that forward motion that it's totally going on a plane or skydiving, whatever, which the things I missed. But I could still figure out ways of doing stuff well, and that's just empowering and inspiring to hear, you know, it's taking the, the cards in the hand that life deals you and making the best of it and figuring out, you know, okay, these aren't the, the cards I would have chosen and how can I stay committed to what I'm committed to regardless.

I truly believe that. And I know the other thing is I think that what you said about not being able to control all you control is, is, is your reactions to things. I think that was a lesson when I learned that really changed my life. Like how do whatever. And so the question becomes, I think for a lot of people, what can they do too? 

Implement that it's one thing to say, Oh, I can only control it, but it's another thing when, you know, someone's slamming in your back. You know, I think that that if anyone's gonna win the Nobel prize this year, it should be Biden for not, you know, not going off and punching Trump in the face when he mentioned this dead set. Right. How do you create ways of staying in your own space and staying calm and staying focused? What kind of tricks can you, can you tell the audience, you know, when, when shit does go south. 

Yeah. So my book, Mind Your Garden is all about doing that. It's aligning your thoughts with what you're really committed to doing and creating in the world. And yes, we can get frustrated by ridiculous things that come out of people's mouth and in. Yeah. I mean, it can enrage us with like, I hate you feelings, or we can elevate to a level of observing. Like I get that's how I feel, but what am I really committed to? So for me in coach Tony, I'm committed to, co-creating a world that works. And what I see in the world that doesn't work is this constant. Belittling and fighting and name calling and negative energy. All of that stuff that we're seeing every day, isn't working, what would work. And I believe if we could all level a little louder today and be the expressive people and connected people that we came here to be and help each other out. Instead of just looking out for ourselves, we can create a world that works. So it's all about observing the thought. And before you react to that thought of, I want to punch you in the face, like, wait, does that align with what I'm creating in the world and what I'm up to? Yes. Okay. Go punch him in the face or know what would, and what could I, sir, there's nothing ever missing in the universe. So if you read that at least you thought you have to replace the thought. And my book talks about just like a garden. If you grow cabbage and you hate cabbage. Don't plant cabbage, plant broccoli, plant, whatever you want

Yeah. I totally agree with that statement. The concept, if you, if you don't, you know, why would you waste time doing something you hate and yet millions of people still do that. 

Yeah. And we're kind of addicted to it. It we're addicted to that kind of reaction in that ability to have revenge, but the only person we're hurting is us. You know, Gandhi saying, be the change you want to see in the world. Right? Like there is something to that and if you want more love, be more love. Um, so yeah, a hundred percent. I love it. 

Tell us how people can find you. Um, you know, I'm on the S all the socials coach, Tony Taylor, um, my website, www.coachtony.life Um, my new book, mind your garden is on Amazon and my website. And I'm here to inspire and help and do what I can to make this world work better than guys. The book is called mind your garden. I recommend checking it out. Tony, thank you so much for being on a normal day. I truly appreciate it. Absolutely.

Thanks for having me!

Guys, we’re back next week with a brand new episode; keep staying in touch, stay healthy, wear your mask, the pandemic’s not over, were your mask, just because we're used to it doesn't mean it's over. Okay. And, um, be safe. We'll talk to you guys soon. 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. 

Oct 7, 2020

Rich founded Revibe in 2013 to provide tools and technologies that level the playing field for kids with focus and attention challenges to allow them to reach their fullest potential. Rich spent much of his career working as a school psychologist specializing in autism spectrum disorders, serving on several school district autism evaluation teams. He has personally evaluated hundreds of children with various developmental needs and provided consultation and insight for over one thousand cases.  He is truly passionate about helping children with various difficulties overcome obstacles to attain success. 

 

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION 

 

In this episode Peter & Rich Brancaccio discuss:

1:20-  Intro and welcome Rich!

1:40-  So what, what prompted you to become a school psychologist to begin with?

2:20-  On starting the company ReVibe

3:20-  Tell us about how the company came about to begin with.

5:00-  On how the new product “Revibe Connect” works in the classroom

7:20-  On how the data collected is beneficial and to whom; including how teachers can use it.

9:30-  What kind of feedback are you getting from the teachers? 

10:22-  What’s the process for parents or teachers to sort of get into this and start using it?

10:58-  Have you gotten any feedback from doctors at all on this yet?

12:03-  How many students are currently using this around the country?

12:15-  What's the price point on it?

13:00-  Some free resources for your homeschooling are at Revibetech.com! i.e. “How To Help Your Child Adjust To Virtual Learning or The New Classroom

 

12:37-  How can people find you?  Website at www.RevibeTech.com @Revibe_Tech on: Twitter  INSTA and @RevibeConnect on Facebook

13:30-  Thank you Rich! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials.

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

23:33-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

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

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hey guys, Peter Shankman here with another episode of Faster Than Normal, thrilled that you're still here. Hope you're safe and well and wearing your mask. Uh, we have a cool episode today. We are talking to a psychologist, former school psychologist and countless years, the school district in North Carolina. He specializes in autism autism spectrum disorders serving on several school district autism evaluation teams. He's worked with about 800 children with tons of different developmental needs, but a compensation and insight for over 100,000 cases, and is one of the most passionate people I've ever talked to about helping children with various difficulties overcoming obstacles to attain success, his name is rich, and I'm going to screw up your last name it’s.. Brancaccio? Is that right? 

That's close enough, Peter.

 Brancaccio, alright, good enough. Almost there. And in 2013, after you left the schools, you started a company called Revibe. And that goal is to provide tools and technologies that level, the playing field for kids with focus and attention challenges, right?

I did. That's correct. 

Tell us what got you in. So, so what, what prompted you to become a school psychologist to begin with? That's a, you know, not off the beaten path, but not something everyone does. 

So I really had a passion for helping kids and I was vacillating between, do I want to be a teacher? Do I want to be a psychologist and realize one day there was a profession called school psychology where I could do both. I could become a psychologist who worked with children in the school system. So it was just the perfect. Perfect job for me.

It seems like how long were you there? I was a school psychologist for about 10 years. Okay. And then you went out, you left and he's like, Hey, I could do, I could form this company and help everyone. 

Um, it was, it was somewhat in between. I, I did the, um, work 40 hours during the waking hours. And then I was also doing about another 40 hours, um, afterschool and deep. Into the nights. So I was sleeping about three or four hours a night for about four years until I actually went full time and took the Revibe as my only full time gig.

Crazy it gets, I can say, imagine it gets a little busy, huh? 

Yeah, it's, it's interesting. You, you learn just how little sleep you actually need to function. Um, but then, you know, I feel like years later it's probably taken some kind of a toll on me that I'm paying back now, but I wouldn't, I wouldn't trade it for the world. You have to do what you have to do when you're trying to get, um, a venture off the ground. 

Once I got older, I realized that, uh, all the sleep that I lacked in college and beyond most definitely caught up with me. So no question about that, that definitely does happen. Uh, so tell us about Revibe You started in 2013. What kind of tools technologies tell us about the company? Sure. So Revibe came about, um, at a parent meeting actually, while I was sitting in, in school. Uh, I had, uh, a mother I was working with, um, I had helped her dog butter gear before and her daughter had reading challenges. Um, but you get really frustrated with us as a, as a school. And she said, you know, you had, he's amazing. Um, you know, the collection methods and interventions that helped my daughter, you quickly figured out what the problem was and had these solutions for her, for her reading challenges. But for my son, with his focus, you guys have almost nothing. And I, I had to concur with her and I said, yeah, there's really not a lot of technology that's around for folk isn't for ADHD in particular. Um, so that's where revive started. It was just a, a lack of resources for the kids that I was working with. 

Interesting. And what, what, tell us about the company. What does it do? What kind of technology? What have you produced? What have you built?

sure. So I built. I built the first one by hand, I taught myself micro electronics and I, I wrote some algorithms that I went to radio shack, like 5,000 times to shrink these giant, uh, circuit boards that was building down smaller and smaller until they fit in the wrist. Um, but to fast forward a little bit, what, what we do now is we we're onto our second product. So Revibe Connect is our, our new products. Um, it's a, it's a smart watch essentially. And what it does is it sends vibration signals to the wrist of the user to remind them to focus and to get back to work. 

What is the, what is the, um, what is the tip off to the watch that they need to do that?

So we collect data from the person hearing it. We focus on children, you know, elementary, middle and high school. So we focus on getting data from the child. It's both, um, self reporting data. So we have the child give us feedback by just a simple tap on the device that they're on task or off task. We also collect movement data. So we're looking at how they're moving. Are they fidgeting? Are they being hyperactive? Um, and we, we take several different things into account and that's how we personalize these vibrations. We use something called machine learning. So we, we actually start to learn the child's patterns or needs, what classes that they're in when they tend to struggle in one class the most and so the personalized, uh, the algorithms actually learn the child's needs and send these vibrations accordingly to give them not too many vibrations, but not, not quite too few either; we try to hit it right in the middle so that they're getting just the right amount when they need them the most.

So a students in class he's, he's studying, he's learning, he starts to go off topics. Let's go off track and, uh,  so this sort of gives them a little tap, says, Hey, back to paying attention. 

Yeah, exactly. We're trying to empower the child. Um, a lot of kids when I was a school psychologist, a lot of kids with ADHD, um, and with focusing issues in general, they're they have a really tough time with self esteem. Um, you know, it's something I've heard some. Folks on your show talk about the for, um, you know, where it's, it's really hard to feel good about yourself when you have your teacher constantly having to call your name out in front of the other kids and remind you to get back to work. Um, so we provide something that just empowers a child, there's no one else hears the vibration or feels it, but you, so you can get yourself back on task. So, let me ask you this. 

So one of the things about ADHD is that essentially it's a lack of dope, mean serotonin adrenaline, those three things, which are the focus chemicals that allow you to sort of focus, um, in class. I know that, you know, the stuff that I used to get called out for by the teachers was, you know, stop fidgeting, stop, stop, messing around, stop making jokes that they would ever went. When in fact, you know, I was doing that without realizing, and of course, to give me the dope man and the serotonin and the adrenaline I needed so I could actually focus, actually wanting to learn. Right. So if you have a, if you have the kids wearing this, um, w where is there still a place for, you know, tremendous value in kids being able to allowed to stand up, being able to work from the back of the room while standing up or walk around or whatever, you know, is, is this, what do we do with that- is that still very much a thing that, that, that, that benefits the kids, right? As opposed to just saying, Hey, you're not paying attention, but rather giving them a, a way to pay attention, giving them that those chemicals they need(?)

That's a great question. Peter, one of the most interesting things for us, with our newer devices, the data that we collect. So we share it back with the child themselves. We share with the parent, the teacher, whomever, the caretaker wants to share the information. One of the things that we learned is as you mentioned, um, moving, and it is not necessarily bad thing. So what we actually do, um, inside of our app is we'll give you an alert and we'll say, Hey, did you know that we've come to realize that let's say for Adam, um, when, when Adam is allowed to fidget 15 minutes or more before social studies each day, he's actually 26% more on task than on days he hasn't had that opportunity. Or when Amanda's been allowed to walk 3000 steps or more before lunchtime each day, her attention span has been six minutes longer on average and foundation, hasn't had the opportunity. So we're trying to educate people and drive, um, proactive decision making by looking at, you know, the, the past behaviors of these kids, or. 

That's actually really interesting and cool- Can you share that with the teachers, you know, and explain to the teachers, Hey, you need to let the kids walk around or whatever the case may be?

Exactly. That's what we leverage it for. So, um, you know, most of most of the people using Revibe, um, are, are parents purchasing it? So they have the ability to, to either provide a guest login for the administrators at school for the teachers, or they can just to touch one button and they can send, uh, an automated PDF report to the school to give them, um, the information that they need to make better decisions for their child.

That seems really, really smart. I would think that that would be tremendously beneficial. 

Yeah, it's been, it's been popular where we're in some of the biggest school systems in the country, because they've all realized the same thing. We don't have any good way to collect data on these kids. And the school systems are now going towards what's called the response to intervention model, which, you know, when you and I were kids, Peter, um, a lot of decisions were made that were just kind of a lick your thumb, put it up in the wind right now, everything has to be data driven and it's hard to collect data on these kids. So, yeah. They're really focusing on, on, you know, new technologies, like what what's the Revibe platform. 

What kind of feedback are you getting from the teachers? 

So the teachers are really like the fact that, um, they're not having to stop teaching every couple of minutes to redirect all these different kids. Cause in a room of 25 or 30 kids, you probably have three four different kids or more who have focused and attention issues. Um, so they're having to constantly stop what they're doing to redirect these kids. Um, the teachers just wanted to teach, you know, they want everyone to learnl they're, they're wonderful people and they have an amazingly tough job, but they just want to be able to teach, um, fluidly and the kids conversely don't want to be reminded and be called out. So it's been a really good win, win for both sides. 

Sounds like it. And, and how can you know, what's the, what's the, um, The, uh, process for parents or teachers too, to sort of get into this and get them, you know, start using it?

So they can just go to our website, which is RevibeTech.com. R E V I B E T ECH.com. Or they can buy it on Amazon if you're impulsive like me, you're like a Roadrunner cartoon. You just want it to show up the same day. You can get it from Amazon, or you can talk to your school about it. A lot of schools are, are purchasing, you know, these, um, Smartwatches and providing them to students.

Have you gotten any feedback from doctors at all on this? 

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So we're, uh, we have a scientific and medical advisory board with some of the top folks in ADHD from a scientific standpoint. So our scientific board is extremely excited about what we're doing and where we're actually going towards, um, the world, uh, of the FDA pretty soon because it works. Um, you know, really well, and we're careful to not make any claims of what our device does. Um, but we're here, we've heard so much, and we've done so much research that now we've said, you know, this is a really strong tool that we need to, to bring to the next level. So that's where we're headed next, but physicians are excited about it as well. Um, so yeah, it's been a really amazing journey to go from something, you know, that started out as a part time venture, uh, from, you know, my, my, my workshop at home to something that we're not taking to such a high scientific-

How many, how many students are currently using at city around the country?

Um, we've got over 25,000 kids, um, you know, and counting that are, are using it. I think looking at both of our devices, we probably have close to 50,000 kids around the country that are wearing it right now. 

What's the price point on it? 

Uh, it's 120 bucks. Um, and then it's about, uh, Four or $5 a month for the data that we store, we keep it up in a cloud. And, um, you know, we share all this data with you, so we try to make it affordable and it's about at the same price as a FitBit.

Yeah, that makes sense. Um, what's the, what's the website? 

Uh, the website is Revibetech.com, R E V I E B E T E C h.com. And, um, you know all the listeners at home I certainly suggest checking out, uh, some of the free resources that we have. A lot of folks are having a hard time with, with COVID-19 right now doing a virtual school from home thing. Um, so we, we, we, we have a parent tool kit, um, to give people some, some advice in terms of what you can do to help your child with focusing issues with ADHD in particular, um, to have a better experience while they're doing this, learn from home,  uh, as someone who, uh, is handling the majority of his daughters, um, Homeschooling. I can certainly relate to that. As I've mentioned before, um, our teachers have all lied to me. She is not a pleasure to have in class, so, but that being said, revive sounds really, really interesting. And we'll definitely check it out. We'll put links on the, on the website and the, on the, uh, on the podcast links to it. And I really appreciate you coming on. Rich. Thank you so much for taking the time. 

Peter. Thanks so much for having me. It's a pleasure. I'm big fan of the show and it's been, it's been a real treat being there with you. 

Thank you. That’s very kind of you to say!  You guys are listening to fast than normal? If you like, what you're hearing drop us a note. We're always looking for new guests. We have better three or three or four weeks backlog at any given given time. So if you have anyone that you think would be great for the podcast, shoot me an email. peter@shankman.com. Let's find out who that is and let's get that person on the show. We will see you next week, ADHD and all neurodiversity is a gift, not a curse. Let us remember that and go from there.

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

Sep 30, 2020

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

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

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

In this episode Peter & Dr. Carter discuss:

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

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

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

6:20-  Peter about his first solo skydive

8:15-  On euphoria followed by  sustained calmness. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

23:33-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

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

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Yeah. Yeah. 

I know. I was told that all my life. 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me. 

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

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

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

 

Sep 23, 2020

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

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

 

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Alexander Hey discuss:

1:03-  Intro and welcome Alex!

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

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

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

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

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

4:58-  Alex’s sleep formula

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

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

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

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

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

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

10:30-  Tell us about your book!

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

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

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

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

19:40-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

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

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

Good to be here. 

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

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

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

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

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

So what do you do to find that balance? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tell us for a minute or two about the book. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yeah, thanks for having me! 

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

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

Sep 9, 2020

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

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

 

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Nick Seluk discuss:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

19:40-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

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

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

Thanks for having me, Peter. 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Awesome. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Oh, big time. 

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

Um, how do you experience it?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I really appreciate you inviting me on!

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

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

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

Sep 2, 2020

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

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

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

 

 

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Patrick J. Sweeney discuss:

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

2:11-  On not getting over your fears

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

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

6:15-  On overcoming poor self esteem

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

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

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

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

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

17:30-  About the courage center in our brains

18:50-  On activating our courage center 

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

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

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

20:05-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

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

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Aug 26, 2020

Andy J. Pizza is an American illustrator, podcaster and public speaker. His explosive color drenched illustrations have brought hope and smiles to clients like The New York Times, Nickelodeon, YouTube and Warby Parker. He is the founder of the Creative Pep Talk podcast, a mostly monologue show with occasional interviews with creatives like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson and Poet and Lettering Artist Morgan Harper Nichols.

Creative Pep Talk has been featured by Apple, BuzzFeed and Vanity Fair and has over 5 million listens.”  Today we talk about how he found his first artistic path, how he manages creative deadlines as a neurodiverse individual, and why sometimes red means green. Enjoy!

 

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Andy J. Pizza discuss:

1:00-  Intro and welcome Andy! Check out his great podcast www.CreativePeptalk.com

2:15-  So was Art always your thing; your way of ‘getting in trouble’? 

4:10-  On trying so hard as a kid to outwit or out-will his ADD/ADHD

5:00-  On lessons from his Mom, trying to pass as neurotypical

7:00-  On how/why he finally went into illustration

8:15-  On realizing you’re not broken, but also learning how to articulate that.

9:07-  Are you also colorblind or Red-Green deficient? Check out these glasses! 

9:45-  Peter found solace in computers; Andy found some control in Illustration… 

11:40-  Once you found your thing- how did you turn that into a career? What did your parents say?

13:15-  On strategic thinking and reverse engineering how to find your creative path/career. Check out Andy’s CreativePeptalk podcast

14:34-  Please talk about how you handle “creative deadlines” client retention, and your ADHD

15:38-  This is how Andy keeps his work week, happening, productive and on schedule! 

16:20-  On keeping it simple and keeping your creative SuperSelf healthy. 

16:54-  Knowing your power hours! Ref: Molly Fletcher’s book “The Energy Clock” here

17:32-  On knowing the things that set me at my best, at my worst, etc.  Ref: Jim Collins’ Study thyself like a bug. Other recommendations here also! 

19:00-  Find Andy’s podcast at www.creativepeptalk.com Find Andy @ AndyJPizza on INSTA Twitter and the podcast at @CreativePepTalk on Facebook and on SoundCloud

19:22-  Thank you Andy! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials.

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

19:50-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

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

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

 Welcome to Faster Than Normal, the ADHD neurodiversity podcast that is slowly but surely changing the world. We're also working on a cure for COVID. We're not actually doing that, but you never know. I mean, it can't be any worse than what's currently out there. It's good to have you guys back. Thank you again, as always for listening. My name is Peter Shankman. 

 

Our guest today who's illustrations you've seen. He works with clients ranging from NY times, Nickelodeon, YouTube, Warby Parker. I actually saw him in Scholastic. I think reading a book with my kid. I mean, his stuff is everywhere. He's brilliant. Brilliant. He’s massively ADHD and was diagnosed as an adult, he’s the founder of the creative pep-talk podcast as well. It's a mostly monologue show with occasional interviews with creators like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Broad City’s Rusty's Abby Jacobson, who I'm in love with, by the way, poet and literary artists, Morgan Harbor Nichols. Um, It is awesome to welcome Andy J Pizza.

Andy. Welcome. 

 

Thank you so much for having me Peter.

 

It's awesome. I love seeing brilliant people doing brilliant things. Um, and, and, and, and being able to try mean just some of the stuff I was looking at. Um, I mean, my God, you've done Nickelodeon, um, the book So Many Sounds, which, which I've seen. Um, I'm looking at some of the other stuff that I'm, that I'm familiar with coloring books, right.

I mean, it's just all of the charts and it's gorgeous. It's so brilliant stuff, mental floss, it's brilliant stuff. I mean, it really, really is incredible stuff. So it's great to have you on really appreciate it. Living proof that. That ADHD is a gift not a curse time. So tell us about where you are always attracted to drawing where you like.

Was doodling your, your, your, your go to, to get in trouble with, in school or, you know, tell us your story. 

 

Yeah. I'd love to jump in there. I am going to say real quick, uh, one warning is, and I'm sure you understand this. Anytime I, when I'm talking to somebody who doesn't have ADHD, I find myself able to sometimes, somewhat pass as neuro-typical. Uh, but when I talk to someone from who has ADHD, it's almost like when you put two mirrors in front of each other and it just goes on until infinity and refracts and tangents, like that's how that's what happenes. So I'm just warning you up top, this whole energy and everything is going to bring out my, my, uh, my weird self.

 

I call it ADHD-dar you can always tell the other people that have it as well. 

 

100%. Okay. So I'll tell you a little bit about. Uh, he may grown up and all that good stuff. Um, yeah. So, you know, ever since I was little, I was always doing creative things and I, uh, you know, honestly I think of it like, um, you know, I don't think a lot of people think of ADHD as a, primarily being those people are driven by boredom, but that's what I like just.

Obsessively not wanting to do boring things or mundane things. And I think creativity was really born from just the cure for boredom. How do we, how do I make any circumstances even now, today? You know, if I'm on a bike ride and I'm bored or I'm going, you know, have to take the kids to the doctor or whatever, I just find weird problems to solve in my head, be it for the podcast for a kid's book or whatever. I'm just always. I'm driven to do those things just to, at all costs, avoid being bored. Does that resonate with you or do you know.. 

 

Makes perfect sense. There are two roads you can go down with that, you know, as, especially as a kid is a positive road, a negative road.

 

Totally. Yes. You know, I was actually the kind of kid who really wanted to be a good kid. Like I really wanted to. I wished that I could do all of the right things. And I tried I really, and that was kind of probably part of why I didn't get diagnosed for a long time is that I was just always trying to perform. I was trying to out-will myself to do all the things and just beat myself up and shame myself into making all the deadlines and getting everything right. And all that. And it, you know, you can go so far doing that. Um, but you know, at some point, you know, I, I had a, I learned a really important, um, from my mom who I believe has undiagnosed ADHD. And, uh, she, you know, she gave me a really huge lesson by showing me not what to not do. And I, you know, when I was really little. Everybody in my life would constantly know my uncles, aunts, grandparents, whatever would constantly be like, you are just like your mom. And I'd be like, that's amazing. My mom was the coolest person, like, yeah, my mom wasn't around. Uh, I didn't grow up. You know, I didn't grow up in her house. She, my parents split when I was really little. So I didn't like that. You know, I didn't get to see her that much, especially because I was just totally, I just thought she was the coolest person in the world. She was always drawing.

She was loud, was weird, wwas funny, you know, all of that stuff. Um, and so when people would tell me, you're just like, did your mom, when I was little, I was like, yeah, man, keep it coming. Keep it saying that I love her. She's the coolest person I know. But then as I got older, her life just continually kind of unraveled over and over until things just become, you know, tragedies compounded on other tragedies. And by the time I was in high school and her life has just completely fallen apart. I bet those words that were told to me when I was a kid became this like prophetic a message of doom over my life of this is what happens to people like you you're just like her. This is what's. This is what the world does to people like that. 

 

It's like seeing as opposed to having a parent, an alcoholic parent. Right where you see that and you’re like I can't let that happen. 

 

And what I did it, maybe I didn't have words for it at the time, but what I saw was this is a person who has all of this, like everyone that meets her, she's there, she's charismatic and funny, and she's got all these talents and she's doing all this stuff, but she constantly tried to pass as neuro-typical she tried to just be a secretary, just be a waitress, just be, just be the thing that normal people are. And she never bet on her weirdness. And so I saw from early on, I was having, you know, she would be a waitress and she'd miss do the, you know, miscalculate the change and have so much shame that she'd like walk out on her first day and she, you know, she just could not hold a regular job. And when I started, my parents made me have part time work and I could just feel I was losing money. I was doing things wrong. It didn't matter how much I tried to be normal. it wasn't working. And so from that early age, I just realized that normal is never going to work for me. And I watched my mom. That's what I learned from her. I watched her spend a lifetime of going against the grain for herself. And so that was the thing, the plan I had for 99 or 99 people out of a hundred, like I just knew there's no way that going to work for me.

And so I started to think early on thinking about, you know, what. Kinds of things. Could I do with me weird stuff. And that's why I'm into illustration. 

 

And I think that, you know, what's interesting about what you're saying is that even at a young age, you knew, you know, something's not something's amiss.

Yeah. And the problem is, is that at a young age, it's hard to put that into words. And so you start thinking that you're broken.  

 

100% and I, you know, and also I grew up in the South of Indiana and there wasn't a lot of talk about mental health. Right. And they're, you know, there's just a lot of stuff, stigma around that.

And I think that the words that they had for my mom growing up. Uh, they weren't words like ADHD and kind of the same for me, they were words like lazy, you know, or a mess or forgetful, you know, whatever disease. 

 

“Sit down you’re disturbing the class” disease.

 

Yes. That, all of that. And so, you know, I think that, uh, um, I didn't have words for, it took me forever to even be able to articulate to my dad like, you know, kind of the perspective thing of like, you're seeing blue, I'm seeing red. I don't know how to sh I don't know how to show you that, you know, um, that's just a metaphor. I'm also color blind, but illustrating the story line. Yeah. I'm not fully colorblind. It's red, green colorblind. But I think that probably contributes to my weird color choices, 

 

Which is funny because a lot of the people I've talked to who have neurodiverse brains are also red-green deficient. I wonder if that.. sounds so weird I wonder if there's something there. 

 

I bet on it. I bet on it, but I, that I desperately want. 

 

They're very cool. They really, you really can see a difference. 

 

That's really cool. Yeah. I w I want to do that. Um, but yeah, I didn't have the language for it for a long time. 

 

Let’s talk illustration. So for me as a kid, I found solace in computers. Right. I grew up in the, the early eighties. I was, I was, you know, age 8 to 18 in the 1980’s. And so I discovered and I had an Apple 2E, and all of a sudden I code and if I coded and I made a mistake, it wasn't so stupid. Right. It wasn't because the kids didn't like me. It wasn't because I open my mouth and say, there's something wrong and I could fix it. Right. So I was able to get a, a level of control through that. I'm assuming you found the same thing through illustration. 

 

Yeah, I'm trying to, I, you know, illustration was weird because as you know, I've since kind of moved over into storytelling and illustration is serving that I think the 

 

Japanese arts or creativity, whatever, you know, the term being, I'm not forgive me for getting it wrong, but no, 

 

I call myself and that's primarily what I do, but it's just evolved over time.

And I think, you know, illustration, when I first started getting into band posters and stuff like that, for me, I think it was just the first path that I saw to not be a complete screw up. I've just like, I. That those are people that have, instead of like repressed their weirdness, they've crystallized it into a style and to a voice and, and, you know, and they did it through the medium of illustration and, and it was kind of just like a yellow brick road into a future that I actually wanted to go into. Um, so that was just the first one like that. But as any ADHD person can probably testify, I, that I can kind of see, like, those hyper-focused obsessions kind of last from anywhere from five years to a decade, like the full.. and I kinda, and I think at the end of, by the time I was about 28, I think I was like, okay, I have illustration. I can do that. It'll serve all my other things, but now I'm interested in storytelling. Um, I don't know if I answered your question.

So 

 

You most certainly did. I think that, you know, again, one of the things about ADHD, you find. That thing. Yeah. And you go full speed with it. The problem is not everyone finds it once you do, you know, then you really have to have something there. So how did you, how did you turn that into a career? And when you went to your parents and said, here's what I want to do.

What was the reaction there? 

 

Yeah, I mean, their reaction was, well, you know, my dad and my stepmom. Uh, they knew they didn't understand me. They knew they didn't like the path that I chose. Cause I was, I always had, I never planned on getting a job. Even when I went to college for illustration and design, I kind of told them, like, I'm not doing this to go get an entry level Graphic designer position, I'm doing this so that I can work for myself. And the truth is, is that that's really where that thing for my mom kicked in is just, it didn't matter what they said. They didn't like it. They didn't think it was a good idea that, you know, when I graduated, they were constantly telling me like, you know, the newspaper has a graphic design position and I was like, I'm not doing it. There was no part of me that has ever entertained the normal path ever, ever since I watched my mom's life go up in flames, I was just like; you can say whatever you want. I know if I take that path, it's going to lead to destruction. It's not gonna, you know, it's not gonna work. So, um, but how I turn into a career, that's kind of been uh, the second, the second half the, of my career has been talking about that on my podcast, Creative Pep Talk. And I, and I did it in a very strategic way. So I, you know, I have a lot of frameworks and strategies around how to break into your, uh, niche of choice and, you know, I studied a lot. I did a lot of strategic thinking, you know, first and foremost, one of the things that I talk to people about is we always. We always think that your talent is something to do with your ability. And I would argue that it starts before that, not things that you can do, but how deeply you can receive. And I have this whole spiel about that, that I guess I could go into if we want to go that direction, but essentially it starts with collecting all of the things that move you in the deepest way, you know, reverse engineering, both the mechanics of how they're achieving what you love and reverse engineering their career paths and looking for patterns, um, and that's kind of all of the things that I explore on my podcast, creative pep-talk, which is about building a creative career, but also it's for anybody that has to approach “career” creatively, where the normal path just isn't going to get you there. 

 

I do encourage you to subscribe, to CreativePepTalk. I like it. It's a, it's a, a very useful podcast. I strongly encourage everyone listening here, to listen to that as well. Talk about. So when you're on, when you were, when you were illustrating drawing stories on whatever, uh, for clients, you're obviously doing it on deadlines, talk about the secrets that you're using to keep your ADHD at bay or make it work for you, so you're not missing those deadlines and being fired. 

 

I've learned, you know, first of all, uh, I'm lucky enough to be, I was always looking for an agent. I was always good at; getting work. So I never needed an agent to go out there and get me work. Uh, but I was looking for an agent that would help me be a manager and help me to stay on top of that. So part of staying on top of all that is just outsourcing, you know, staying in your strengths zone and outsourcing your weaknesses. Um, now early on, I wasn't able to do that, but I got habits like, um, just some, you know, when I look at a calendar uh, Google calendar, Apple iCal or whatever. It just does not compute. I'm not exactly sure why, but it just is, um, it's it's information overload. It does not help me stay on task. And all of the, you know, all of these project managers, none of that works for me. I have to do a much simpler approach. So what I do, I use the calendar for the stuff that I knock it all in there, but then at the start of the week, every Monday, I create a little Monday through Friday schedule. I've start by adding all the days of the week. Then I block in all of the appointments, so I, you know, things like this podcast are in there and then I work all and then I put the deadlines in. And then I work backwards from there of like, this is how I'm going to spend my work week. Um, and that kind of simplistic approach to managing my time has been a lifesaver. 

 

I imagine that that keeping it simple, um, allows you to put your energy, your creative energy towards things that actually matter. 

 

100% and I, yeah. And you know, that's a, and then the other thing, yeah. On that topic I've learned, you know, I think a lot about like my creative self care diet, and I think about, you know, what are all the habits that I need to be doing in order to be my creative, super self?

What are the things that, you know, things like running, things like a quiet time things like, you know, there's I have all of the, I've also learned like Molly Fletcher. Yeah. This book called a what's it called energy. I can't remember if I, well, I hate it, but I can't remember that, but it's, it's all about, it's all about, um, knowing when your power hours are like, what, when are you?

Um, I think it's called THE ENERGY CLOCK. Yeah. It's all about knowing when are you at your best? Because for me, and even this has gone into my diet and everything. Just knowing that like my willpower just dramatically diminishes throughout the day. And so there'll be.. 

 

You gotta be aware of yourself.

 

You've gotta be aware. You've got it. You've got to be hyper aware of what are the things that I do that me at my best. And what are the things that diminish me? For instance, I, for the most part, during the workweek, I won’t eat bread for, for lunch because as soon as I do my brain's foggy. So just weird things like that, and it kind of, uh, Jim, I'm getting all my names are all over the place right now. Who's the massive business, uh, writer, Jim Collins, Jim Collins talks about, he talks about how one of his professors told him to study himself like “Jim the bug”. So it's just this idea. He has this massive Excel spreadsheet where he's over the years, studied himself like a scientist, studying a bug, just noticing all that, what are the, all the little things that you do? Oh, when I do this, it ends in that when I do that, I get this. And so, yeah, that, that hyper awareness of my ADHD, what triggers it? What helps it, when do you know there's times where I want the ADHD to just fly. You know, when I'm on stage, I want it to go let it go.

It's a spectacle. It doesn't matter if it's good or bad, at least people are like, what the heck is going on? Mmm. It's something to behold. So yeah. Yeah. That self awareness studying yourself like a bug. That's something I've been dedicated to for the past decade, at least.

 

We're coming up on 20 minutes on the podcast. People can find wherever you find a podcast probably CreativePepTalk but where can they find you? 

 

Probably the best place is Instagram at AndyJPizza. Um, I'm pretty active over there. 

 

Awesome. Andy, I think we're going to have you back cause I want, I want to dive more into sort of getting to know yourself. So we're going to definitely have you back on next couple months, but guys, Andy, first of all, thank you so very much for taking the time. I really appreciate this was, this was fascinating. We're going to have you back.  

 

Guys, you're listening to fast than normal as always. If you like what you hear, drop us a note. Leave us a review. Reach out to me on Twitter, Peter Shankman on Instagram, Twitter at fast and normal. Um, whatever you do say hi, have a great day. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay home. If he can wear a mask and we will talk again next week. Thank you for listening. And remember the ADHD is a gift, not a curse. We'll see you later. 

This has been Faster Than Normal as always, my name is Peter Shankman. I thank you for listening. Please leave a review on anywhere that you download this podcast, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher. We will see you next week with a brand new episode where we continue to press the notion of ADHD and all sorts of their diversity is a gift and a curse. Thanks for listening. 

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

Aug 19, 2020

I met today’s guest around three years ago when I was invited to join Adobe’s Influencers Group and I’ve been just in awe of her ever since! Rani Mani is the Head of Global Employee Advocacy at Adobe and helps teams with Influencer Relations. She's passionate about cultivating and nurturing communities and coaching others to do the same. She is currently working across Adobe teams to drive understanding, excitement, and advocacy among the global workforce in order to enable and empower all employees to be the company’s biggest brand ambassadors. Nicknamed “The Velvet Hammer” Rani’s mantra is to make the impossible seem possible through her humor, grace, and passion. When she’s not asking provocative questions and making declarative statements at work, Rani is making magical memories with her husband and four kids as they continue to visit the many wonders of the world. Today we talk about how helping others can be it’s own reward, the value of diversity in thought, and helping employees to embrace and believe in themselves, and so many other really great topics- enjoy!

 

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Rani Mani discuss:

1:11-  Intro and welcome Rani!

2:27-  So you have been an advocate for employees’ diversity in the workforce for as long as I've known you, what prompted that to become your passion?

3:18-  What is the biggest change that you've seen in terms of employee advocacy and how people look at diversity as a whole, not just at Adobe but like worldwide?

4:30-  Do you find that employees as a whole are starting to sort of embrace their diversity as opposed to some that used to have to be hidden?

5:48- In terms of diversity what have you sort of taught Adobe? What would you say the top things are that a company, big or small, should definitely be doing without question?

7:00-  On the concept of top down structuring/leadership

9:22-  On the diversity of thought

11:08-  It amazes me that a company as big as Adobe can have all that done so well; to the point where it seems seamless, and I'm curious as to why so many other companies have a problem following suit. I wonder what the different, secret sauce is…

13:50-  On employee advocacy and “how can I solve this by helping the other person win?”

17:00-  On the importance of leading with “how can I help you?”

19:20-  On how helping others can even become physically addictive

21:00-  What one piece of advice would you give to someone who you work with to understand the value of diversity? I mean, it seems like an easy question, but like I said, a lot of people don't get it.

23:26-  How can people find you?  @RaniMani0707 on Twitter and Rani Mani on LinkedIn

23:44-  Thank you Rani! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials.

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

24:09-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

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

 

TRANSCRIPT: FTN_195_Rani_Mani

Hey guys, Peter, Shankman welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal, thrilled that you are here as always, good to have you! Today's guest needs no introductions, but I kind of have to do it anyway because you know, it's a podcast. I first met Rani probably almost God, two years ago, no maybe three through an invitation I was given to join Adobe as part of their insider's group, Adobe influencers. And I have been in awe of her ever since. And I want to read your bio cause it is, it is pretty damn impressive. Ronnie Mani is the head of global employee advocacy at Adobe. Okay. What does that mean? She helps teams and influencer relations as well. She's passionate about cultivating and nurturing communities and coaching others do the same. She works across all Adobe teams, right? So all around the world to drive, understanding excitement and advocacy among the global workforce, in order to enable and empower all employees to be the company's biggest brand ambassadors.

I love her nickname. It's the velvet hammer. There's a lot of fun. So talk about that. Ronnie's mantra is to make the impossible seem possible through her grace humor and passion. When she's not asking provocative questions and making decorative statements at work, she's making medical memories of their husband and four kids.

One of whom I believe is somewhere on his way, back from India, as they continue to visit the many magical wonders of the world. Ronnie, welcome to faster than normal. I'm thrilled that you're here.

 

Thank you so much. So happy to be here. 

 

So you have been an advocate for employees, diversity in the workforce for as long as I've known you, what prompted that to become your passion?

People are my passion. Right? I feel like people are amazing and they need to know that they're in me willing to unearth their potential and truly be, I believe it's my calling in life. Pray to really help people understand who they are and what they have to offer and to draw that out of them and make them believe in themselves if you will. So it just seemed like a really natural fit. 

 

How long have you been at Adobe now?

 

12 Years at Adobe and 5 years in this role. 

 

Wow. And what is the biggest change that you've seen? I mean, in terms of employee advocacy, you know, I've seen a massive shift in how people look at neurodiversity, but diversity as a whole. What have you seen? Uh, what, what change have you seen since when you started? Not, not just Adobe, but like worldwide.

What change have you seen when you started and between them and now, referring to diversity or employee advocacy. 

 

Let's start with diversity. Well, so diversity now it's no longer about tokenism, right? It's no longer about just representation, but the concept that it's diversity and inclusion- I think people are catching onto the inclusion and that inclusion is not.

Something that can be really quantified per se, but it's a feeling right? It's do you feel included or not- and I think the focus there is the biggest change that I've seen. Whereas when I first started in the tech world, it seemed far more about, you know, what percentage of which underrepresented group do you have and is that acceptable and what are you doing to move those numbers, and there wasn't much talk about inclusion at all. I find. 

 

Do you find that employees as a whole are starting to sort of embrace their diversity as, as opposed to some that used to have to be hidden? I'm finding that at least from the, on the ADHD side, in the neurodiversity side, I'm seeing that, are you seeing that as a whole?

 

Very much so. I mean, I'm thinking that I think people are really recognizing that it is a superpower- much like to your preamble at the beginning here, you know, that the seed of the blessing, not a curse, it is a gift. And I think more and more of us are really believing that as we're invited to bring our whole selves to work. And more and more companies are realizing that they're leaving far much at the door on the table by not inviting people to bring all of themselves to work and encouraging them not to compartmentalize like we used to have to, right. It was considered unprofessional to bring your background and all of the glorious parts of who you are beyond just the professional to work. And now it's considered a, you know, it's not just in quiet, encouraged, but it was required for you to excel and succeed.

 

Well, let me ask, okay, let me ask you this. In terms of diversity, what have you sort of taught Adobe? What would you say the top things are that a company big or small can do one of the things they should definitely be doing the basic things they should be doing without question, that should be no brainers?

 

Well, so we get our pipeline and, and, and, you know, making sure that you are recruiting from these underrepresented areas of populations within the community, right. That you're actually going and seeking and recruiting from those buckets of people and keeping yourself casting as wide a net as possible. I think that that's first and foremost. Right. And, and, uh, I don't know that I would say much more than that, Peter, because I don't want to overcomplicate things. Right. It's like the right folks in the door first and foremost, just to have the conversation. And then from there. You're bound to find the right debt. But if you only go and look at the siloed areas, you're just missing out on a huge population of the industry of the world. If you will. 

 

One of the things that I've seen is it's something that has to be embraced from top down, right? If you don't have top down, buy in from this, all the hard work you do is irrelevant.

 

That's right. That's right. Absolutely. And it needs to come top down and bottom up as well. Right? I mean, the folks, your peers need to be bought into it as well. It's not enough for it to be a leadership. Embracing it, but the folks that report to you that are your peers, it has to be a three 60 kind of a thing for it to fully take a fact and to have traction, but you're right.

I mean, in terms of fundamentals, if it doesn't come from the top down, it's not going to go anywhere. Yeah. I've seen companies in the past, not see. Sort of they're sort of shooting themselves in the foot and the respect. They haven't seen the value, you know? Oh, we're, we're a diverse company. We, you know, we, they, they wind up being diverse as it applies to the, to the ADA, right. The American disabilities act. And they sort of consider themselves on point, but it feels more like it's course. And what I've found is that when that happens, it's you see right through that. 

Absolutely. I mean, if you're doing it to be a chapter and the buck to get appropriate funding to be politically correct, but so obvious.

Right? How long have you been at Peter for the outside world? So obvious for employees, right. And then not going to get any kind of passion. You're not gonna get any kind of retention. You're not going to get employees to actually advocate and be ambassadors for you because they know they know you're not being authentic.

You, they know that the words and the deeds are not matching. Um, and there's nothing more tragic than that, right? Because you're going to actually mobilize your employees to be your biggest brand ambassadors. You've got to be authentic and they got to believe in you and they got to believe in what you stand for.

And they want to, they got to want to be a part of it. 

Interesting that companies that, uh, the rewards that they reap from. Pulling pushing forward on diversity right now, even, not even just trying. Right. But when they actually do it, they find benefits and rewards that they didn't even know existed, but they weren't even seeing about.

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, think about the diversity of thought, right? If you, first of all, if you've got a group of people that are mirroring or a workforce that mirrors their customer base and the communities that you're trying to serve, they're going to be able to bring ideas to the table in terms of consumer buying habits are what, what experiences customers and community members want. Right? They're going to be able to problem solve, but make credit products be more innovative, right? I mean, the philosophy at Adobe is that if you feel appreciated and included you are going to be more creative, innovative, and ultimately more successful what we call our belief and we named that hashtag Adobe for all, right? But I tell you, Peter, it's not a hashtag. Right. It's not solely the lifeless, nameless hashtag. I've been at Adobe for 12 years and you know, that's unimaginable in tech. Right. But I stay there and I we're always tell people someone's going to have to really walk me out the door for me to leave just because the company embraced stays so fully and, and you see it pretty much in every action, right? Every summit, every product, every tough conversation we're having in terms of our numbers, in terms of complete employee surveys. It's a real joyful thing. I mean, by no means have we arrived. There's tons of more work for us to do as will be the case at any company but effort the actual passion and the commitment is unmatched. I have yet to see something like this. 

 

You know, at such a huge company like Adobe. I mean, you guys are, you guys are a monster you're massive. And yet it's almost second nature in that the diversity of inclusion within the company is automatic.

Right. And it amazes me that a company that big can have that done so well. Right. So to the point where it seems seamless, and I'm curious as to why so many other companies have a problem following suit. I wonder what the different secret sauce is.

 

It’s hard to tell Peter, but I would say from an inside out perspective, I think.

There's this like intimacy at scale at Adobe, for example, one of our MVPs recently retired. Here's this senior, senior sales, exactly who reports to our CEO and this gentleman, I mean, he's flying the world. He has a massive organization that he's leading and yet, Peter, there has not been a single day that he's run across me at the elevator or wherever, calls me by name knows something about my children, knows something about what's going on in life, you know, and of course you may feel like, Oh, that's specific to me, but then I've seen him do that to employee after employee. And I feel like it's that like small mom and shop feel that the company has continued to hold on to, even though we're 24,000 strong worldwide.

So there's that real, you know, there's that real investment in people and truly, truly believe that our workforce is our biggest asset. And so I think from that fundamental, like innate embracing of that, then you scale, right? Which is why I'm calling it an intimate at scale. Get into bed and get up close and personal first and then put the operational rigor in place to expand and scale, but start with that relationship first. I think it's the same in  our insider's program, right. We have a real tight knit group of people who would probably go through fire for one another, but we're doing things at a massive scale, but I think it's because we prioritize the relationship first.

 

When, I guess, I guess I'm trying to figure out how to phrase this. One of the things that I've always found interesting about you, and I want to switch over to it to employee advocacy for a second. One of the things I've always been thinking about you is that you, from the first time we ever taught, I found that you approach things from the perspective of how can you help, um, the other person win.  I’ve always seen that you look, you look for things in terms of how can I help? How can I solve this by helping the other person win. And think it's a trait that connects into advocacy in that if you are, if the employees believe that they are working at a place that cares for them and respects them and values them, they become advocates sort of by default. ]Naturally] I saw that at America Online when I was working there in the 90’s and that, and that they really let us work the way we wanted to as long as we got the work done and that translated into us having a better sort of work life quality. But the interesting thing is that it only takes one employee, who for whatever reason, isn't buying into that to ruin it, you know, for a lot of people. If there's one bad and if there's one employer, one manager who, for whatever reason, isn't on that same page that can trickle down and cause a tremendous amount of drama.

 

Yeah, but I also might.. that if it's indoctrinated into the culture, the community will course correct. And that individual will stick out like a sore thumb and will naturally fall off. Because they just don't fit. So I think that's the other secret thoughts of how we do it at Adobe that this notion of we care for you we invite you to bring your full self, we need, we appreciate you. We value you. We are looking at what they had for you like for employee advocacy. For example, I don't lead with. Here are five really important pieces of Adobe news. Please go amplify it. That's not how I started the conversation, right? I start the conversation with clearly in the 21st century, you need to have a social footprint. Let me help you develop your social personal brand. Let me give you access to tools that will cure rate, but high-impact content at your fingertips. Let me show you how you can grow your social network by 10x over a year. Right? Because all of these things are transferable, wherever you go. And you know, there's so much research out there that says that the more active you are from an advocacy standpoint, the more your career gets accelerated. Right. So I lead with, what's in it for them. And by the way, should you do this, the company benefits, right? So it's a total gift to get process. 

 

I've seen that a lot though. You know, I think that the smartest marketers, the smartest communicators, the smartest people are the ones who lead with, how can I help you?

Right. And it turns out it winds up being a, a, a, a win-win in that, you know, every email I send out my mailing list, you know, winds up becoming a, um, help, and not a sales pitch. 

 

That's right. If you, if you have that mindset, you will never have to sell at a single day of your life. Right. You will never have to sell. And it's just, it's unfortunate that so few people understand that the person who helps the most wins period, there's no like there's no conversation about that. 

 

It blows my mind. It blows my mind that people still don't seem to get that, you know, I can't tell you how many times I'll get an email from someone I haven't heard from in five years and, you know, Hey, how's everything going?

Listen. So I'm looking for a new job. I'm like, where the hell have you been? Right. Right. I told you two and a half years ago and you weren't looking for it to call and say hey, how are you doing? Right. Right. You know, and, and just, even in this day and age, I just don't, you never even really to convince people. Some people just don't get it.

And, and, you know, but that goes back to the whole concept of the customer experience is so low, right. In that, in that the bar is set so low, your interaction and it's things like that, the approval suck slightly less. That's right. That's right. Because that bar is so low. There's not a lot. You have to do.

 

That's right. That's right. But I would think for, for no other reason than the sheer gratification that you get from seeing somebody else's thing and knowing that you had a fingerprint on that, like you would think that that would be enough to drive, to drive people to do this, but I guess not, right? Like, I guess not enough endorphins have been released or how dare you try to bring common sense into this. What's wrong with you? 

 

You know, this is we’re currently in a country that believes that injecting bleach will cure coronavirus. So let's not, let's not start dragging common sense into these things, but I think, I think that, I think the interesting point though, is that it does become addictive. Oh yeah. Becomes a, a very, you know, you like helping people and it becomes a, a passion. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Right. And you want, you want more of it? It does release don't mean it does release a serotonin. It does become a physical thing and you want to keep doing it, It is. It's very addictive. 

 

Oh, yeah. I can tell you it physically manifests you, right?

If you are happy and you feel like you are contributing to other people's success, it just, it just boueys you up, you know, you're my word is singing, but someone goes a lot of physical challenges. I found. Peter, the more I lean into what have I done for someone today who say prayers in my answering? Like the more I make that focus, it's like all my aches and pains just kind of go away. It's pretty miraculous how that happens too. And now, you know, when you are in the service of someone else that you kind of take attention away from what's going on with you and that's been nothing short of life changing for me. 

 

That I've definitely found that. I think when I, when I, when I am upset, when I am like depressed and I'm going through some tough times, I tend to head over to the animal shelter I'm here for a bit.

And then that is not only a wonderful feeling, but I mean, let's also be honest. It's okay. Uh, just, um, uh, uh, You know, being surrounded by fuzzy little animals always makes everyone feel better. Well, oxytocin there for everyone. 

 

What would you, what one piece of advice now I'll close it on this one, I wanna be respectful of your time.

What one piece of advice would you give to someone who is, uh, in a position to either be able to help? Or what have you advice would you give to people that, who you work with? To try and get them to understand the value of diversity. I mean, it seems like an easy question, but like I said, a lot of people don't get it.

 

Yeah. Yeah, maybe, maybe it's, uh, saying to yourself, you know, maybe it's putting out a problem that you've been wrestling with for awhile and rather than go to your tried and true folks that you normally go get opinions from, or, you know, whoever serves as your normal cabinet of advisors, um, your lifeline, right, your call a friend. Really pivot and go tap folks to her fundamentally different from you who are fundamentally going to give you that other perspective that you normally wouldn't have any, we all have those people in our lives. Right? We all know if I, if I were to add the, as you know, if you have a bright idea, Who are three to four people hold that you kind of don't even want to talk to about these ideas, because you're a little afraid about what they might say, just because, you know, you fundamentally don't agree.

I would say, push yourself to go present whatever that is to those three to four people, because chances are that diversity of perspective and diversity of thought is going to just make whatever you're working on 10 times better. I I've seen that. I've just seen them play out time and time again. So, I mean, maybe it's not necessarily that you're seeking out diversity in the ethnic, religious, sexual orientation way that we typically think of a diversity. Maybe you just go down the path of just diversity of thought and people that you know, that you typically don't see eye to eye on and, and be humble enough to seek out their opinion. I think that would be a good start. 

 

Diversity of thought what a great phrase and what a great way to end that. I love it!

 

How can people find you? You know, Twitter, Twitter, and LinkedIn. So RaniMani0707, and then just RaniMani on LinkedIn. I think those are the two best ways. I love it. I love it. Guys, follow this woman. She is brilliant and she will give you brilliant advice and your life will be better for having her in your orbit!

 

This has been fast to normal as always. My name is Peter Shankman. I thank you for listening. Please leave a review on anywhere that you download this podcast, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher. We're pretty much we would love it. And we will see you next week with a brand new episode where we continue to press the notion of ADHD and all sorts of their diversity is a gift and a curse. Thanks for listening. You've been listening to the fact of the normal podcast we're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play. And of course at www dot  dot com. I'm your host, Peter Shankman. And you can find me@petershankman.com and at 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. 

Aug 12, 2020

Today’s guest Katherine Kendall, is an actress most known for her roles of Dorothy in Jon Favreau’s “Swingers” and The Counselor in the cult classic “Firefly”. She is also a photographer and an artist. She was one of the first women to come forward about being sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein in Jodi Kantor’s article in the New York Times on October 10, 2017. Since then she’s been interviewed on CNN and several other news outlets, as well as documentaries. She’s been a keynote speaker, and participated on panels about emotional and sexual abuse around the country. She is currently hosting her own podcast called “Roar with Katherine Kendall”. It focuses on stories of courage and resilience. Today we talk about the lessons she’s learned that enable her to run a busy & healthy life as an actress, and as an advocate. Enjoy!

 

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Katherine Kendall discuss:

1:03-  Intro and welcome Katherine!

2:20-  When were you diagnosed?

6:00-  On learning how to prepare for work and the benefits of hiring out for help

9:40-  On setting reasonable expectations and standards for your ADD or ADHD self!

11:30-  What advice would you give to someone who is trying to come forward about something, but is afraid of what other people are going to say?

13:50-  On “what other people think”

14:20-  On the importance of good friends

14:40-  Tell us about your podcast “Roar with Katherine Kendall”!!

17:00-  On keeping it real on Social Media

Speaking of which; find her podcast here: Roar with Katherine Kendall and @roarwithkk on Twitter, and roarwithkk on INSTA and on Facebook

17:20-  Thank you Katherine! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials.

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

17:45-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

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

 

TRANSCRIPT:

Hey guys, Peter, Shankman welcome to this episode of Faster Than Normal, thrilled that you are here as. Always good to have you. It is a hot and muggy day in New York city. It is early August. We're actually recording this the day before my birthday. Uh, I will be turning 48 years old tomorrow and could not care less. So with that said, we have a fun, fun guest on the podcast. I met Katherine Kendall. Probably two years ago, maybe even two and a half years ago, we were both speaking on a panel about, I believe it was right at the beginning of the, when the me too movement first started gaining traction. She's an actress most known for her, at least I knew her from her role as Dorothy in John Primroses’ “Swingers”

And she was also the counselor in the cult classic “Firefly”, which let me tell you, we got some Firefly people on the spot who love this podcast and they're going to freak right now. She's a great photographer and an artist. She was also one of the first women to come forward, being sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein and Jody Kanter's article in the New York times back in October of 2017, since then she's been on CNN, several other news outlets, documentaries. She's a keynote speaker, she's participated on tons of panels about emotional and sexual abuse around the country. Um, I, I follow everything she does. She's currently hosting her own podcast called “Roar with Katherine Kendall” and focuses on stories of courage, courage, and resilience. So live from LA.

Hello, Katherine. How are you? 

 

Hi, how are you? It's great to be here. 

 

I am so glad you're here today. It is great to see you again. Um, yeah, it's, it's, it's, you know, being a podcast with ADHD and ADD; I know that you have ADD as well, and you've had it all your life as well. And I'm curious let's let's just sort of kick this off- were you as a kid, you weren't diagnosed until you were older, right? 

 

Yeah. Not until I was a lot older. And I think that what helped me as a kid was I was a ballet dancer. So I had this place to put myself like physically is where I excelled. And, um, you know, I was always the kid that didn't want to sit down in a desk for very long. I never could sit at a desk and do my home and my homework, like I had to walk around the house, go, you know, just, I mean, you know, like even memorizing lines as an actor, I have to walk to memorize them. It's just, it's really hard for me to, uh, just, you know, sit, sit still and, you know, just be like a good student. Um, and it was, but I didn't know that it [ADD] was a thing until I was older, um and some of the ways that also gets it happens for me is I'll get like confused on, on dates or organizing things. I have to work extra hard, you know, my calendar. I have like reminders everywhere and I'm the kind of person they'll be like, no, it's Wednesday, it's Wednesday.

And we're like, no, it's Thursday. I'm with it. I'm just not, you know, always the organized part is not always, I think, I think online for me. 

 

That definitely affects a lot of people. I mean, we see that all the time. I can't tell you how many people I've interviewed or even myself, you know, when I absolutely positively 100% intend to do something it's in the calendar and 14 reminders. And the next day I'm like, crap. I think I was supposed to do something yesterday. 

 

Do you have that too? I know that it affected my confidence later in life. I was like, this is not me that, you know, because people think it's, it's something you're doing unconsciously cause you don't really want to do it or it means something. And when you're sort of thinking now it doesn't mean anything; I really genuinely forgot. And then you feel like you're not smart or something and that's the worst- cause then your confidence starts to spiral. 

 

There is and huge connection between ADHD or add ADHD and imposter syndrome, where you pretty much assume that the majority of the things you've done where you've been successful have, obviously you've just gotten really lucky. It's all been a fluke, right. And there's no way you'll ever be able to do that again, because look at me, look at who I am. 

 

Totally, that's so true. 

 

So I assume that as an actress, that must be difficult as well. When, you know, you're constantly going up for roles and, and, and, you know, there's always that, that potential that you're going to get turned down or, you know, and, and that, that must ha how do you, when you're ADHD, when your ADD a lot of times, you, you are constantly way too hard on yourself, how do you deal with it um, in that role where you con you know, you might get turned down into 10 times. 

 

Yeah. I mean, that's been a, I feel like being an actor has been some kind of life lesson to help me deal with, with exactly that so that I've had to teach just myself not to take things personally or what to take personally and what to work on and what to absolutely not take personally. I mean, with parts, you know, they're not always hiring the most talented person or, you know, There's sometimes they're hiring the person with red hair or blonde hair, or who's tall enough or who's the right age to be the mother of that girl, or, um, and you have to kind of know that there's so many other things that go into what gets you the job um, that have nothing to do with how well you did, you can only like- your part is that you can, you can control the work you do before the audition, but the rest of it, you have to learn to say it isn't personal and it's difficult, but it's a good lesson to learn. Cause it's a, it's a life lesson, like not taking things personally.

 

And is it something that you're constantly struggling with? I mean, have you mastered that or is it still..?

 

Yeah, I'm so much better. I mean, it is, it's really remarkable. Um, I don't think I had any concept of that when I first started acting and everything was personal, it always hurt and things still hurt don't get me wrong, but I'm much better at sort of having a Teflon sort of skin about things. And, um, I also, I think. Yeah. The, the, the way I talk to myself about things is better. One thing I do the ADHD part also for me is the memorizing of lines. I'm like, yeah, they're getting all that ready for the audition.

I, I, I really need to get myself more time than the average person, even if I'm in an acting class, I'll ask for my, my, my scene ahead of time so that I can really, I need more time to memorize, um, so that I can do my best job. So preparation-learning to prepare is so been the hardest part. Cause, um, if I think I can do it at the same rate that other people can, um, I'm kidding myself and I'm setting myself up to fail.

 

That's an interesting point because a lot of times. People in the workforce are afraid to step up and say, Hey, I need some extra accommodation here, but in the end, the extra accommodation allows you to do your best work, which allows the employer to thrive. 

 

It really does. I mean, I'm, I'm still learning it, but when I see other people do it and they do it effectively, I'm like, Oh, that makes so much sense.

I remember I did a job and this guy had, he had an assistant, which I had not even heard of at that time, who literally just ran lines with him. And I was like, you know, that's crazy! I didn’t know that you could do that! And I thought, well, that's worth it; I would pay to do that. Like if that's my issue and I need that once I'm on the, on the job that that has to be there, or you can't waste people's money and time by not knowing your lines. Yeah. Why not get an assistant, why not hire that out? And I was, so I kind of admired him for just calling it what it was and taking care of himself that way. So he could be awesome. 

 

One of the things that I've seen, um, that I've found to be just 100% true. Um, everything I've done lately, since, since I was diagnosed, is that if I can hire it out, if I can farm it out, if it's something I'm terrible at and I can pay someone to do it, who's better at it than me.

That is always good money spent. 

 

I think so too. I think there too. And I think it's fair to not hold ourselves to this standard of this person who can do everything themselves. Um, I don't know who that person is. Well in my life is my mom. She can do that, like a perfect person who can do everything. Like she's never, she doesn't have ADHD, she can read a book, you know, without having to put it down ten times, you know, she's just, um, Can focus. She can all those things that I've had a hard time with, but if you don't compare yourself to her and I joke with her about it, you don't compare yourself to someone or some, some person who has sort of abnormal standards. Like, the rest of the world is, is flawed in the rest of the world is doing what they have to do so they can do their best. Why are we so hard on ourselves? Why do we make it so difficult? Why are we trying to be like these wonder people that can do it all? I don't know what that is. Do you think that's like an old idea from, from our parents' generation or something that you have to do everything yourself?

 

I think it's partly that. And I think that it's also the fact that we look around us and we tend to only see everyone else's highlight reel. We never see their day to day struggles. Right? You know, you don't post the crappy really bad at you post the you know, the best parts and you have to learn that that's not reality. You know, it's what I heard a quote. Once don't don't compare your chapter two to someone else's chapter 10. Oh, that's good, right? Yeah.

I'm sorry. Go ahead. 

 

I was just going to say everybody has something that they can't do, you know, like even doing all these Zoom meetings now and stuff, my mom is like, wait, I don't know how to do my hair and makeup. I don't know how to, I have to lead a meeting and we're, I don't even know how to set this up and how, Oh, you know, she can't do everything, you know, it's like, you gotta remember, like, there's always an area where somebody is not their thing and you might have a thing where you shine and you can help them. I 

 

I'm I'm I, what am I really good at? I'm really good at like riding my Peloton bike a lot, but anyway, let me, yeah, throughout the past five months, this of his nightmare that we're all in. Let me switch topics for a second. When you came out in, um, uh, October of ’17 Jodi Kantor article about Harvey Weinstein, which was before his fall from grace, right. He was still king back then, um, perceived to be. And that was, uh, a really risky moment for you and, you know, personally and professionally, and, and, and I've read, I think I've read it somewhere where you talked about being scared to do it, but you did it, and, what advice would you have for people who are trying to come forward about something or just trying to tell their story and are afraid aren't doing it because they're afraid of what other people are going to say?

 

Yeah, that's a great question. Um, I would say that for me at that time, part of it honestly, Peter, is being the age that I am, that I was, you know, I'm.

I was 48, I think at the time or 47. And I had lived with this truth about what he did to me for so long. I really didn't care anymore. What Hollywood thought or what my friends thought. I knew that people that I knew in my close circle loved me and cared about me. And that's all I really needed to know. The rest was just the truth, which is that he did it. And if it was going to help other people that helped me, like, I don't know if I would have done it in a vacuum all by myself with the New York times, just me, Katherine Kendall, talking about it. But knowing that I was backing up other women that think my story was so similar to theirs and they needed it that did help me, but also knowing that, knowing in my heart that it was wrong, and then not caring, living too long to care anymore about where those pieces fall, because you know, if it's like, if you don't like me because of it, I just don't care. I know it's wrong and I can't make it right. I can't make what he did. Right. Um, I've tried to do that for 20 years and it's still wrong, so I can, I can have that courage to know that like, um, that kind of emptiness, that the quote comes to mind, like the truth will set you free. In that moment I knew there could be a lot of backlash and I knew that, but there was that feeling, that small voice within me was like, yeah, this is right, this is the right thing to do. 

It's interesting. It's kind of, yeah, no, go ahead. Just listening to that little voice inside the quiet voice. The one that actually says, yeah, this is right, you know, drowning out all the noise and all the things, because I don't always think that, you know, going to the press about everything is the right thing to do- in this moment with this situation, this was right. 

 

It's interesting that you bring that up because one of the things that I discovered about my own ADHD when I was going through it and realizing that I did things differently than other people is the second I stopped caring about what other people thought was the moment I was free. And it's exactly what you said. There's that trusted circle. I have my parents, I have my daughter. I have, you know, my daughter's mom, girlfriend, whatever, people like that, who are, whose opinions are important to me and everyone else, you know, I had someone, someone once told me: “Do they help you pay your mortgage? No? Then fuck’em”. 

 

Yeah. And with me, like, you know how people say like believer or whatever, I don't really care if people believe me, the people I know in love, believe me, you know? And, and I know, you know what I mean? So you have to be willing to let it go, I think. And, and like, yeah, completely just not care about what other people think when you're really standing in your truth, what other people think does not matter.

 

Incredibly brave, incredibly brave.  We have a couple of minutes left, please tell us about your podcast “Roar with Katherine Kendall” 

 

Yeah. So, uh, I, I kind of fell into it. Actually. One of the other women, her name is Louise Godbold. She runs a trauma center here in Los Angeles. She's also a Harvey Weinstein survivor. She was putting on a huge conference with a bunch of different experts and trauma survivors and she asked me if I would do a podcast interviewing like 12 of them. And so I started that and then I kept doing it and then I really found it to be so.. I love it. So I get so engaged and I, and I, I really find it fascinating. Maybe my ADHD thing is probably like my ADD, can I get for a half an hour? I was like super me, um, and I love bringing out and highlighting other people's moments of courage and other people's moments of resilience and think that, and there's so much still to learn on this subject. And so I want to, you know, I'm going to be interviewing someone who wrote a book on consent for addicts, teach it to children and teenagers, you know, I think these are important, these are important times because there are different times. It's not what we had when we were growing up. So we have a new framework and we all have to sort of learn some new rules of the road here. And it's just an interesting how if I can help bring that along then, it's, it's fun.

 

Very cool. 

 

It's surprising. But it's also fun to do during the pandemic; 

 

I would say that's a given, right? I think if I have, you know, let's talk on zoom and no, please, let's not, um, how do we find it? Anywhere we get podcasts?

 

Anywhere you get podcasts! “Roar with Katherine Kendall” and yes, I want you to be a guest too! 

 

That'd be awesome. 

 

And ask you your, your, your stories of resilience and courage and which I know you have a lot. I mean, it's, it's courageous of you that you put yourself out there on social media and the way that you do, like you're, you've done such an amazing job with all of that. I think that's admirable.

 

Thank you…

 

I don't think it's easy to put yourself out there. 

 

It's not, and it's also not easy to censor, you know, I don't want to share the things that bring people down, I just wanna, you know, again, hit the highlights, the good stuff, right? But you gotta be honest about that either, either honest or it's fake, you know?  You gotta be, if it's not real, what's the point. Right? 

Right! 

Katherine Kendall, thanks sooo much, [this has been amazing]! I really appreciate your taking the time! Guys, as always, if you like what you heard.. you've been listening to Faster Than Normal. Every week, another amazing story from amazing people like Katherine today! We will be back next week, stay safe and healthy. Just wearing the mask. Stop complaining, wear the goddamned mask, and we will see you guys soon. Thank you so much for listening, we'll talk later. 

Aug 5, 2020

Today’s guest Rachel says:  I was a distraction. I could be disruptive. I used to think this was the way it was always going to be.  I used to believe the labels that had been assigned to me through my life were who I was. My brain was like popcorn and would work at four million miles per hour. I really thought this was my identity and who I was. I had allowed myself to be defined by the labels and experiences, rather than using them to shape me. I believed I would never be good enough because ‘that’ was who I was, and you can’t change …. Or can you? Powered by a supercharged ADHD driven mind. I am sharing the motivation, inspiration and perspiration from the university of my life. 

 

I’m Rachel Young, I was put on this planet to make a difference to people’s lives and to get people moving, both physically and mentally. I am a highly motivated (and very easily distracted) character.  Simply put, I love the fitness industry and I love nothing more than helping others to become the best version of themselves.  I have over 30 years of experiences, stories, highs and lows from my adventures in the fitness industry. I am driven by people but results are key and that is what I deliver. I’ve worked around the world in exciting, high profile roles and love nothing more than meeting new people and enabling others to achieve their true potential. 

I am passionate about fitness, health and wellbeing; physical, mental and emotional - you can’t be truly ‘well’ unless you focus on them all. This passion is backed up by my knowledge and expertise in all things programming, training, education, products, member experience and retention. I am an innovative motivator who thrives on rising to any challenge; I love a challenge and the thrill of the chase. I am ferociously committed to sharing my experience of refocusing, rewiring & redefining myself, my personal development, my life experiences and my life in the fitness world, with the intention of making an impact on you. My videos and stories are underpinned by my personal story of self development, acknowledging my ADHD traits and how, by harnessing these, I have been able to make dramatic change in all aspects of my life. I have had incredibly dark times in my life as I am sure we all have. I have worked through these and have grown to understand and appreciate how our brains works, especially in challenging times. This journey has been an incredible roller -coaster; it hasn’t been an easy ride, but it certainly is worth it! Lockdown forced the extrovert to look in, there were no distractions or excuses to make - its was finally time to bring all the learning together and launch my website: https://www.areyousupercharged.com/ 

 

Today we’re learning about physical, mental and emotional health. Enjoy!

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

In this episode Peter & Rachel discuss:

:55-  Intro and welcome Rachel Young!

1:29-  Tell us your story!

4:08-  When you are labeled in school as “one of the naughty kids” it almost becomes a self fulfilling prophecy doesn’t it; let’s talk about that.

6:58-  If you could tell your 14yr-old-self something from what you know today, what would that be?

7:33-  What do you think we’re missing or leaving out when we talk to kids about neurodiversity today?

8:44-  On the ADHD “Now” and the “Not Now”

9:26-  How do you handle people in the workplace who are not neurodiverse like us; how do you handle deadlines, schedules and so on?

10:40-  What’s a-day-in-the-life like for you Rachel?

12:07-  How do you bring yourself back, if you fall out of that “zone of focus”?

14:52-  What is your other superpower?

Find Rachel on the web at www.areyousupercharged.com and on Socials @ChargedAre on Twitter, areyousupercharged on INSTA, @AreYouSupercharged on FB and on YouTube & LinkedIn

15:25-  Thank you Rachel! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials.

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

15:56-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

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

 

TRANSCRIPT:

Hey guys, welcome back to another episode of faster than normal. I'm thrilled that you're here. We took a couple of weeks off this summer when all around the world explore and had lovely dinners.  No we're not going any of that crap, we're still in a little pandemic. Wear your masks! But that being said is great to be back and we get a great guests. 

Today we're going all the way to Nottingham England to welcome Rachel Young, Rachel is a director of business development in the fitness industry, and she has had ADHD pretty much all her life and she realized what used to be a horrendous challenge has moved her to what she calls a supercharged, ADHD, driven mind, and she shares what innovation, inspiration and perspiration. From the university of her life. So welcome, Rachel. Good to have you. 

Thanks very much for having me Peter, I’m pretty excited to be here today and to be able to share with you.

Love it. I love it. Tell us your story. So you were never formally diagnosed, but tell us your story about how you discovered it, how you discovered it. You see, what was it like as a kid? Tell us the whole thing.  

As you said never formally diagnosed, but I was kind of mislabeled and misdiagnosed at school and fell into the naughty kid brackets and actually wore that incredibly well. Um, I was the one that was easily, easily distracted. Um, the one that I couldn't pay attention put outside class because you weren't in zone and you weren't focusing. So then you put outside of class, you're kind of hanging out with all the other naughty kids. And you almost fall into that category of, of misbehaving. Um, I always thought that, you know, the constant noise and chatter in my head was, was what everybody had. And there was journeys throughout my life where I'd been incredibly successful, but in spite of myself, and I didn't understand what was going on. And so I actually threw myself headfirst into. Lots of kind of self management and thriving on the stress, thriving on life, working horrendous long hours to almost self medicate, clearly throwing yourself into alcohol and the wrong things. But then finally sort of was able to appreciate that it was probably better than the circumstances, better than what was going on. And it was actually locked down and been on a bit of a journey, you know, throughout my life , knowing that I had to recognize this. But actually locked down is a, is a tiny I've actually thrived upon irrespective of, you know, the challenging circumstances. And as a, as a natural extrovert, I was forced to look in. There was no distractions. There were no excuses. There was no reason to focus on anything else. Apart from looking inward and looking at myself and going actually. How do I stop this noise that I intermittently stopped over the years? How do I focus on making myself the best version of me? And I have to admit, to be honest with you. I was pretty scared. I was pretty scared at the beginning of lockdown, not for health reasons, but I was actually scared what was going to what I was going to find by looking in. How I was going to be able to manage it and deal with it. And I kind of appreciated over the journey that the things that I've learned through my life, the learnings that I dipped in and out, all of them in terms of trying to study, I could actually leverage by just focusing a little bit differently. The first port of call I went to was kind of a meditation. 

Let's stop for a second. Let's go back to what you were saying about school. You know, it's really interesting when, when you are labeled as one of the naughty kids and almost as a self fulfilling prophecy, right? In the respect of, well, if you labeled that way and you're not in class, you're going to get into trouble.

Yeah, 100% and you almost, you wear those labels. So it was my, my identity and I, it was who I became. And during those times at school, you know, the rest of the group were. Almost looking to me to be the joker. And actually I became the cool kid. So I was, you know, I had loads of friends, but I wasn't, I wasn't very well popular with the family when my school reports would come home. And actually more recently I've looked at all my old school reports and I read them and I, it was a real eye opener, that things like a disruptive, the less said the better, um, I want those labels really stuck with me. I remember one in particular. I remember the conversation with my dad when my score report came home and it says, has not reached her full potential. And I was, I was devastated. I was very, very upset by it. But the funny thing was my dad was saying to me, this is brilliant. You're only 14. You know, if you'd reached your full potential, now I'll be quite upset then. But he can joke about it now, and I can make humor out of the most situations. But when you look back and see what was written, that had a dramatic impact because I wore them, I wore those tags.

That's the thing is that, is that you, you find that when you're labeled something, you have two roads, you either accept it or you fight against it. 

Yeah, I accepted those ones. And I would always use them as I kind of refer it, refer to them as my comfy pair of slippers. So when I was, you know, almost ending kind of as sort of throughout my career, I've been really successful. And as I have been successful, there was a part of me that was tapping away at the shoulder going. But you're disruptive, you're distracting. You're never going to advance a much, you know, and all of those reports would be almost my comfort zone that I would slip back into until honestly, until recently when I've had the, I guess, the courage to be authentic about who I am. my experiences managing my, my superpower, learning how to learn. I was always told that I wasn't going to be, you know, amount to anything because I couldn't learn, I couldn't pay attention. So I would almost have a fear of picking up a book or trying to learn because I didn't want to fail. I didn't want to be bad at it.

What do you think? Um, if you could tell your 14 year old self something now, knowing what you know today, what would you tell her? 

I would say that you're capable of great things and that the biggest muscle and the best muscle in your body is your brain. Don't be constrained by anybody else's hashtags and be accountable to the man in the mirror. You know, my dad used to always say to me, remember who you are and remember who you are. And the value of that is it's all about, it's all about you. 

What do you think we're missing when we talk to kids about ADHD and neurodiversity today, what do you think? What are we not telling them that we should be?

That it's okay. That it's okay to be able to talk and to speak out. It's okay to share your feelings. Um, you are not alone in this constant noise and brain chatter. Um, and. I think it also goes not only to the communication to those kids, but it's also to the rest of the kids, around them to get a bit of an understanding of who they're dealing with and how to, you know, my, one of my biggest learnings about me was being more accepting to other people and more, you know, it's a two way street, isn't it? So either you're on the ADHD side offense or you're on the senior, the path they'll roll parent's side of the fence. And that's a big understanding. You know, when they won't answer the phone and you've got something really exciting to share. Like I'm, I'm the most important person in the world, but you know, you've got to realize that perhaps that person's, you know, busy or doing something right now. And if they do busy, you, it's not because they're not interested. 

And that I think is one of the basic thing that people don't realize is when you're ADHD every day, there's two types of time there's now and there's not now, and that's it, right? The concept of waiting or taking time out either it doesn't really exist in our world. And we need to sort of come to terms with that and figure out ways to deal with it. 

So then when the now and the not now, sorry, the now and the not now is a big thing for me. And I think that's how I, I would never say no to anything. So throughout kind of my, my, my professional career, I would take on every single project and I would probably complete them not to the best of my ability, but I would just say yes to everything. So even in the middle of a project, someone goes, do you think you could consider taking this on absolutely. Now. 

What do you think about, talk about what you do in the workplace and how you handle deadlines. How do you handle working with people who are not all the way we are?

Um, made sure that my, my work station and my environment is set up well, so conducive to me being productive. So no distractions, I would have a windows shop. Sorry, curtain shut. So I can't actually look out the window. I made sure that my technology is tamed and my notifications are turned off. So there are no directions, sorry, distractions or incoming. Unless I'm in control of that. I find that when I go into a meeting, I have to set the room up and structure it. So I want to sit with my kind of back to the window and focus really hard on it. I'm paying attention to that room. I think. The biggest, the biggest thing has been the meditation and creating the brain space for me or the mind space, not to just react, just jump, just get distracted. And it is, it is a full time job. That's what I didn't appreciate managing, managing me as a full time job.  That's managing you as a full time job. 

I like that! “Managing me is a full time job”. I need have a tee shirt made with that, um, Talk about what, what kind of things you do at work or talking about, you're talking about your day. I mean, talk about, uh, you know, when you wake up, do you exercise? How do you get the dopamine? Things like that. 

Yeah, 100 percent. Fitness has always been a massive part of my life. I'm in the fitness industry because it's the fun business, it's the entertainment business. Um, and you know, I believe we're in a place where we can make a dramatic difference to people's lives, both physically and mentally. So I'm on stage all the time, irrespective of what we do wake up in the mornings and I will always work out. I have to work out first thing, um, because that gives me now the absolute clarity of thinking, um, and almost tired body for the rest of the day. Um, I work out work with my zone. I workout with, um, part kind of heart rate tracking that rewards your efforts and I've found that by using this, it really helps me focus on my, uh, my control, my discipline, uh, my ability to learn. So I can do a workout where you're lifting weights, um, but I can also do I call it brain training as well. So I'm sitting on the bike and I'm out of a podcast or a book that I'm listening in listening to and I get into a certain zone. I stayed at my body is occupied it's not going to get distracted. And my brain is focused on what I'm going to be doing and learning. 

How do you bring yourself back if you fall out of that zone? 

But that's really interesting because I'm now able to, or, you know, sometimes I go down a rabbit hole and then, but I'm aware of the rabbit hole and I'd go, I kind of go take it back to that sort of mindfulness. I'm very focused on what I'm doing. And then there will be a point and you go, I can actually say- you're getting distracted. Yeah. And, and that's something I've never been able to do, but that's with the consistent practice. This isn't just a, you know, you know, it's not just a book or something you implement for one day, you know, one on bicep pull does not maketh guns. You know, this taming us an absolutely relentless daily daily process. 

I think that's what a lot of people don't realize is that it's not something you just put into play and then forget about it. You have to constantly. Be aware of your ADHD or it will get the best of you. 

Yeah. And it's exhausting. I think it's exhausting.. And massively rewarding because my, I have no idea of my capabilities in terms of what I'm able to learn because I've, I've learned so much and being able to adapt recently, but it truly is a superpower because I'm not just reading these books, I'm able to read, understand, feed it back, process it, apply it to my life and that's where it gets really exciting. And, uh, that's probably the, the next stimulant is now I'm addicted to brain training.

Well, that's the thing, as you learn more and more about what works for you, it creates a feedback loop. Right. In that you enjoy it. You want to do more of it. There's negative feedback loops of positive feedback loops. It sounded like you found the positive feedback. 

Yeah, sure. And then the, the other great benefit of it is, you know, I started this all started to really come out to be visible during lockdown and as I said, I, you know, I started with a massive amount of fear about how I was going to personally cope and lock down. And I made myself a. Um, a Facebook live video just to hold myself accountable. And then, and as I started to do that, you know, people in my network and this one really was not the intention fed back to me and when now that story really resonates with me or God, I can't concentrate, do you, does that really work? I've tried to implement this. So it's been a real journey of kind of almost, you know, self-discovery on so many different levels. And accountability and tracking through, you know, videos or apps or anything has really helped, you know, what gets measured gets done. Yeah. As they say, as they say 

No question about it. Um, last question I have for you. What is your other superpower assuming you have let's let's assume we all have two. ADHD is one. What's your other one?

My super power is I have an innate ability to get the best out of people. And I have no idea where that comes from or how it happens, but I managed to get people to buy into an, understand the vision and get on board and to go with it.

I love it. I love it. What a great way to end. Thank you so much. I really appreciate you taking the time on fast to normal, and I hope you enjoyed it. Thank you Peter!

Jul 8, 2020

David is not only my best friend, he is my running partner, he's my triathlon coach and he was the one who got busted with me when we both got a summons for exercising in Central Park in the morning before it opened. He's been with me through thick and thin and I'm glad he was around to join us. Today we’re learning how things have been going for him during these weird days, his advice and perspective as a teacher, a husband, father, and an Iron Man coach who is also- you guessed it- ADHD. Enjoy!

 

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & David discuss:

:58-  Intro and welcome David Roher!

2:00-  How’s it going right now from your perspective as a Special Education teacher?

3:30-  How are the kids handling it?

4:22-  Why do you think elementary schoolers are having such a tough time of it?

5:04-  Does T-Pain have all the answers? No, just a wild-timed digital audio glitch!

5:32-  On a child’s mental process & adaptation during a pandemic

6:28-  How are you holding up?

7:40-  On acknowledging things out loud

8:00-  Have there been any particularly difficult elements of all of this for you?

8:32-  We’ve adapted many times before- we can do this!

9:00-  What percentage of your survival would you credit to exercise?

10:17-  Do you think we all get a “pass for effort” this year so far?

11:32-  Thank you! Hey how can we find you? @davidroher140.6 on INSTA or via www.tricoachdavid.com 

12:12-  David’s final thoughts for us.

12:58-  Thank you David for joining us today! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials.

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

13:20-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

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

 

TRANSCRIPT:

 Hey guys, Peter, Shankman welcome to the episode of faster than normal. You know, during the summer it gets tough to find guests.

I don't know where they all go. I guess they go outside of the country. They leave, they, they, they snuggle up, they avoid COVID, whatever it is, but, but fortunately. You know, at the end of the day, I still have people that matter. And one of those people is my very good best friend, David Roher. I have known David now more than, Oh my God, it's going to be 10 years in October.

And we met. On the run course of my first iron man, iron man in 2010, because we were both dying and both exhausted, but we still have both managed to finish the iron man. And David, we knew right away, we were massively ADHD. We knew right away. We were basically brothers from another mother, David. Good to have you back.

My friend. Good to be here. Peter David, you interviewed me God a while back. I think it was my hundredth episode. Something like that. Right. You're 100th was your parents, but I interviewed you a couple of years before that. And it was definitely a summer. It was the first time I met Ruth Carter.

Yep. So yeah, long time it's been a while, but David, David is my not only my, my best friend is my running partner. He's my triathlon coach. Um, we have done, we have, we have, David was the one who got busted with me when we got, when we got summons for exercising and central park before it opened, uh, he's been with me through thick and thin, and that seemed to have be back, man.

So. Tell me, you're a teacher and you guys went onto homes. You, you went to homeschooling not only for your kids, but for your, as a teacher back in March. That's correct. March 13th is when we were told today's the last day. You're not coming in on Monday, bring your iPads with you. And this is what we're going to do.

We're going live now from home. But what happened in White Plains is they said, we're going to use a website.

We all emailed our students and I would call homes and talk to parents and talk to students. But since the middle of March, I've not really seen my students. And that's a really difficult place to be when you're a teacher and you teach special education and being able to be one on one with them is a big piece of it.

No question about it. So how, how have you been handling that, you know, with the premise that, that, um, especially for you, it's kind of students you work with and what you, you know, the way you teach you're really hands on. Right? So that's, has that been tough? It's been very difficult, you know, when you teach special ed and you are a special ed student, as you alluded to, I understand the kids and we live in a world where you don't physically touch students, but you connect to them by making eye contact by understanding the nuances of physical movements.

And when you don't have that, it's really hard to read them. It's like an email. Where I can't tell the intent of an email, let me stick an emoji. And there's at least they know I'm there. I'll be trying to communicate a positive five, right? No question about it. What about, um, and how did the kids handle it?

Cause I know that, you know, all I know is, is, is, is from my, my, uh, my daughter that's been, she's been having a tough time. How did the kids been handling? So I teach high school. So my high school students, I had. From September til March to make that connection with them. And so they did phenomenally well, I was so proud of them.

You know, they got the work in, they reached out to me. If I hadn't heard from anybody, I reached out to them. We made sure that they had access to the website. We made sure that we were able to provide the supports for them. The teenagers adapted very well to this model. But these are high schoolers. Now I can tell you, because I'm a parent, I have a ninth grader and a parent of a second grader.

I think the elementary school kids had a much more difficult time with this. Yeah. Talk about why you think that is and how have your kids been helping? Well, you know, my son is a year older than your daughter and my son is on the spectrum. So he has, in addition to his add, he has other issues. Yes. What we call high functioning and you know what I mean?

He's just my kid, right. There are certain characteristics when you have students like that. And my wife has been home because she was asked by her job workshop down in the office. Nobody come in, she sat one on one with them. So he flourished on the environment, but he flourished because he had an adult sitting with them, refocusing him and being able to help him.

I think that's the real key here. When you're dealing with elementary school children. Yeah, I think there's a lot of that. You know, the, the, the concept of, if the kids don't know what's going on, all of a sudden they know they're not with their friends. Right. And you try to explain to them what the buyers is, but, you know, it's tough.

They, they thrive on, uh, they thrive on connection. They thrive, you know, their job as, as, as, as six year old seven year olds, eight year olds is to make friends. It's really funny to watch that first, second, third grade brain adapt to this. On the one hand they go, okay, it's COVID I have to wear a mask. I don't wanna get the virus.

I got to stay home. But on the other hand, they're now trying to process in their brain. How do I take the way I operate? And modify that. Right. And some from some kids from a psychological perspective, you know, I always say when you suppress something, it's like pushing a water balloon down under water, something's going to pop up.

So we see kids find this amazing adaptive skill, but for some kids, it's just, I'm getting bored and burned out. I'm getting fatigued, little kids fatigue faster on zoom. I believe. Well, I think it's also the premise that the kids have this thing about. Um, you know, they, they don't sit still cause they're kids, right?

So you, you show 'em, you show the premise of like, okay, and now we're gonna discuss this. And all of a sudden, you know, one of the kids is holding up their cat. Right. It just, it's harder when, when they're not in class and they don't have that same structure with the other kids. How are you holding?

Because I know that from, from my person, from my standpoint of ADHD is the brutal, you know, being able to try to, um, just be human, right. You know, and try to do the things I normally do has been tough for me. What about you? It's not been that difficult, to be honest. I mean, for me, my world revolves around the following things.

I'm an Orthodox Jews. So I get up the morning and I say, my prayers, well, I've never had a problem praying at home instead of going to services. Um, teaching, I get up in the morning and I look at the work hand in hand by my students. I programmed the next set of lessons for those students. Not difficult.

I'm an athlete. Well, I can't swim, but I can still bike and I can still run. And I desperately miss my swimming cause that's my love my source. So there was a certain adoptation to that. And then there was the, we have to go to the store. At some point we can't hide in the house and I know people who literally had their food delivered to them and I respect that, but we went to the store, we shaped steps, we stayed six feet.

We wear a mask, we wear gloves, you know, human beings are incredibly adaptable. And so for me, it was just. All right. I have to mentally make a note. Cause I have add, this is the change I have to do. And if I say it out loud and I say to my wife and she echoes it back at me now, many modal levels, this is a teaching thing.

People have conversations in their head. You never live in your head. You have often said, don't run space in your head. I say, don't live in your head. If you say it out loud, it becomes so much easier to become an adaptable you where you own it. And then you can adjust to the change. Has there been any parts of this that has been harder than others?

There were a couple of times where I've gotten out of the car and go, Oh, I've got to go get my mask and he'd go to the store.

just really swimming was my anchor to my sanity every Monday morning was I swim and it's my moment to vege and to let my mind wander because when I'm swimming, I don't have to think breathing becomes autonomous. And I miss that and it became a, what am I going to do? Just replace this. So I don't feel.

Something is lacking. You know, we've been through times in our lives here where our lives have been disrupted. This is not the first time we went through hurricane say, Andy, for hurricane Sandy. We went with the blackout of August. I think it was three. Yeah. We went through nine 11, you know, so we're adults who have learned to adjust to these things.

If we are on a. With ourselves. And we say, this is a change. Let me figure out how I'm going to approach it. I mean, maybe it's a teacher mindset where we plan things and we go, wow. Lessons go sideways. What is your B plan? If the lesson doesn't work or the technology goes down at what, what percentage of your surviving do you think, uh, exercises played a role.

50% of it. And the other 50% is talking to my wife. My wife, Janet is an incredible person who. When we started dating, I was in a bad mood and I said, tonight, I'm going to bed. And she goes, no, you're staying right here. And you're talking to me. Yeah, that was the moment I realized I'm marrying this woman.

So having that partner, having she does for me, what you do for me, what I do for you, you know, that echo chamber that will call you on your bullshit. Right. And that's been half of it. And we do that for each other. You do that for me. And such and such. Yeah. But the exercises you're alluding to is definitely a big, big component.

I'm going to get stir crazy. If I sit too long, ah, I got the bike set up in the garage. I'm going to go, I'm going to watch some Netflix episodes and you know, I'm going to binge it all pedal and I'll burn off the energy and I'll, it'll kick up the endorphins and yeah, I'll get the brain, make it its own serotonin and.

And I'm focused. I know that we've always thought about trying to improve every race let's get faster. Let's get faster. Do you think that we all get a pass this year? That as long as we just get out and do something it's okay. Are you asking your friend or your coach? Cause we get two answers. I'm asking you, I'm asking as a, as one human being to another.

Hmm. I think this has been an incredible opportunity for us. You know, there are people like losing their shit. Dude, my raise seasons. Oh my God. I'm looking at this. Wow. We just took a three month build up to Ironman training and turn it into another 12 months. How much stronger can we get? How much more mental break can we get between the workouts?

I always build in those gaps because life happens. How much more time. Can we remind our family, Hey, thank you for supporting me in this. And it doesn't have to be triathletes cause you know the joke about triathletes. I didn't know when one walks into a bar. Yeah, exactly. It can be anything you're passionate about this.

Get this moment gives us an opportunity to reflect step back and not be rushing to a place because so many people were furloughed or working from home that, you know what we get to remember why we got it. Into a relationship with the people we're living with. Yep. Well, I'll leave it at that. You know, David's, it's funny, your, your premise of, Hey, we were doing so much, we're trying, and yet you ran with me this morning at 6:00 AM and I noticed that you also did another 5k, uh, just, uh, just the 10:45 AM.

So, you know, I take everything you say with a grain of salt, but I am so glad that you came on and talked to us today. Thank you so much. I appreciate it. Um, you have a new website, don't you? What's the link. Ah, you can tell them, Peter, what is the link to Dave triathlon website? It is trying, I believe it's try coach david.com.

Correct. And you can go and see what David's doing and, and if you're ever thinking, Hey, can I do an iron man? Well, as I'm living proof, you certainly can. And David will get you through it from no matter where you are in the world's pretty good. So I'll leave you with this final thought for what you just said.

Yeah, it doesn't have to, you don't have to do an iron man. Did you ever want to learn how to run? Did you ever think maybe I just want to be comfortable in the water, not panic. Some of the things I do as a coach. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But I take, take people I'd make them into Ironman. I turn it into marathoners, but I also just take people who wants to learn how to ride a bicycle.

We want to feel positive about themselves, who is that? I've always been scared. I help you get through that fear by helping you in a comfortable situation, realized there's nothing to fear here. As the ancient Greek said, you already know everything. You need to know. That's awesome. What a great way to end it.

You already know everything you need to know. David. Thank you so much for taking the time, man. We'll talk to you again soon. Hi. Okay. Bye bye guys, guys. Thanks for listening. As always, you're listening to that's the normal. We appreciate it. We're here. Sorry about David's. Apparently he was, he was in the middle of the forest or something run.

Sorry. I missed the activity there, but we appreciate you being here. Thank you for listening. And as always be like, we heard these review on iTunes. Tell your friends. If you have any guests that you want us to join, that you wanna join us, let us know. We'd love to have them otherwise. We'll see you next week.

My name is Peter Shankman. Thanks for listening. 

 

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 www.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? That'll leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews for more, the podcasts is 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.

Jun 10, 2020

New York native Eric D’Alessandro has always found his place in the spotlight. His passion for comedy is equally credited to his creative mindset, as well as his big Italian family which inspires his raw comedic sketches and uncensored,relatable rhetoric.  Having grown up with a camera in his hand, Eric created a YouTube channel where he developed his comedic skills from a young age. Through his sketches which feature original characters like “Maria Marie,” as well as impressions of celebrities like Drake and comedic covers of popular songs, his YouTube platform helped Eric build a loyal fanbase. The millions of views on his videos laid the groundwork for Eric to gain over 98k followers on Instagram. Through social media, Eric is able to share original, timely and relatable content for the everyday American. A pivotal moment in Eric’s career was when he moved cross-country to Los Angeles in order to pursue his passion as a creator. California has helped Eric generate a new fanbase that lies beyond the five boroughs, as well as provide him with a slew of new content, the major being the comparison of East Coast and West Coast lifestyles. Eric has sold out every show he has headlined, including 1,300 seats at New Jersey’s iPlay America and has been featured on multiple podcasts and TV shows. Most notably, Eric was featured in the 2016 drama/mystery movie Nerve, alongside Emma Roberts and Dave Franco, in part because the film’s directors added him to the script after seeing his viral videos. When Eric isn’t creating his comedic content, he is exploring the opportunities he once dreamed of, including acting, producing, writing and directing. Today we learn how he came to grips with his Generalized Anxiety Disorder, how he uses his platform to benefit the conversation on mental health awareness, and how he chose Comedy, Acting and being a Creator as his career, enjoy!

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

In this episode Peter & Eric discuss:

1:04-  Intro & welcome Eric D’Alessandro!  

2:22-  How and why did you start doing stand-up?

3:30-  What was school like for you and did your Comedy help you? 

5:00-  A lot of Comedians have discussed being neurodiverse; did you ever look back and question your choice of Comedy?

6:25-  On Robin Williams, Drugs, and live performing

7:30-  How do you feel after performing? 

12:30-  What’s the goal/your career goal within the Arts and Comedy?

13:43-  Mental Health has seen a little more of the spotlight in the last few years; especially due to folks in the Arts speaking up and sharing. Given your platform, do you now feel even more responsible to talk about stuff?  Ref:  Feels CBD Oil video on Anxiety

17:05-  What would you tell someone who realizes that they may be neurodiverse; but does not have the same, or even a similar support group and background to yours?

Ref:  Gary Gulman’s “The Great Depresh” special on HBO

19:00-  Thanks so much Eric! This has been great! How can people find you, and where can we catch your act?  @ericdalessandro on INSTA  Twitter  YouTube  Cameo  FB and via his website:  https://www.ericdalessandro.com  

19:55-  Thank you Eric for joining us today! 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.

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

STAY HEALTHY - STAY SAFE - STAY HOME.. until next time!

20:20-  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!

Jun 3, 2020

Deitra is a single mom from the Scranton area who’s living and loving life! Growing up, like most kids with ADHD, school was really rough for her. She was diagnosed with ADHD at around age ten after a lot of fighting her mother performed on her behalf. That experience instilled a drive and passion within her to help others. She currently works as a Certified Nursing Assistant at Wesley village in Pittston, PA. Now a mother to a 7 year old daughter who has a passion for the Arts, and especially for theater and singing. She is grateful for all of the support she receives from coworkers family and close friends- it takes a village! She says it’s good to know that people are seeing just how awesome is it to be Faster Then Normal! Today we learn about her journey and what all she’s doing to stay SANE during these historic times. Enjoy!

 

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Deitra discuss:

1:04-  Intro & welcome Deitra Banning! 

1:54-  You are a normal person- but you wouldn’t be without your daily routines. Tell us about your story with ADHD.

2:45-  Was ADHD even a “thing” when you were growing up?

3:20-  What kinds of push-back did your mother encounter when she wanted to get you tested?

3:52-  You are a Certified Nursing Assistant and a single Mom. How do you keep your structure and routines working, especially right now?

5:27-  How are you talking to your daughter about everything that’s going on?

6:05-  Have you and your daughter talked about your ADHD?

9:30-  What kinds of things are you doing other than your early morning workouts to keep your ADHD employed as a super power?

10:28-  What do you do for fun?

10:50-  What advice would you give to anyone who is feeling overwhelmed?

11:20-  Thank you Deitra! How can people find you?  @BanningDeitra on INSTA

11:54-  Thank you Deitra Banning for joining us today! 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.

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

STAY HEALTHY - STAY SAFE - STAY HOME.. until next time!

12:14-  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!

Jun 1, 2020

Lauren Comito is a cape wearing, ukulele playing, sword swinging, activist librarian in NYC. She is currently a Neighborhood Library Supervisor at Brooklyn Public Library, Library Journal's 2020 Librarian of the Year, and is founder and the Chairwoman of the Board of Urban Librarians Unite, a national c3 not for profit focusing on providing training, advocacy, and support for front-line library staff working in large urban systems. Lauren has spent the last 30 years figuring out how to make her ADHD work for her, and has done a pretty good job of it. She is creative, passionate about connecting library patrons to the services they need, and a true believer in the ability of the library to change people’s lives and communities for the better. Enjoy!

 

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Lauren discuss:

1:32-  Intro and welcome Librarian of the Year, Lauren Comito!  Ref: Library Journal

3:05-  So what happens at a Librarian of the Year awards banquet??

4:15-  What are the lion’s names at the New York Public Library on 5th Ave? What are the Muppet critics’ names?

4:48-  So when were you diagnosed with ADHD?

5:50-  How does someone with ADHD end up loving libraries?

7:14-  Would you say libraries are mm… like the last bastion of societal levelazation, if that’s even a word?

8:20-  On new and antiquated “library tech”

9:40-  How do you thrive with your ADHD?

11:53-  What’s the hardest part about having ADHD?  Also, what’s the hardest part about having ADHD as a Librarian?

12:48-  So how are you handling the quarantine?

14:00-  Sometimes the more you do, the less productive you are, or become. Have you hit any wall, or law of diminishing returns?

15:00-  How do you say “no” when we always kinda need to say “yes”?

16:00-  What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to our listeners, especially during this era of Covid-19?

17:18-  Other than being Librarian of the Year, what is the best, strangest, or whatever moment you’ve ever experienced as a librarian?

18:54-  How can people find you? @Librarianator on INSTA or via www.LaurenComito.Rocks

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

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

20:00-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

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

 

TRANSCRIPT:

Hey guys, Peter, Shankman welcome to another episode of faster than normal.

Coronavirus edition episode. I don't even know at this point, literally does it matter? Like every day it just sort of merges into days. We took a couple of weeks off to sort of get our bearings thought, we'd go away. That didn't work. So we're back and we're still here and we're still alive and we're still surviving.

And I hope you guys are too. We're me. The damn mask. I'm so sick. You know, if we just, if we had done what China did, which was the Steve Irwin side, threaten to shoot them and say walked outside three months later, we'd all be back at work. And now we have those stupid things called freedom. And for some reason, half American thinks that not wearing a mask or wearing masterpiece of their freedom.

So I'm not going to get that because that's on the show. It's not a show that we talk about that. Although it's driving me crazy where the DMS good enough. There's my rent. Thank you for being here. Good to have you. We have a guest today who is a librarian. She has an ADHD librarian. If there were ever

did not fit together. You know, ADHD libraries I think is one of them. Two of those words, without question Lauren Camino is a Cape wearing ukulele playing sword, swinging activists, library, activists, librarian. That's like a band named miss librarian. In New York city, she's a neighborhood library supervisor at Brooklyn public library, library, library journals 2020 librarian of the year.

All right. So I learned two things from that one. There's something called library journal, and they have a library of the year, which Lauren one, which I just think is freaking awesome. Lauren. Well, that's so cool. Librarian of the year. Welcome to faster than normal. I'm so glad to have you. Thanks. Yeah. The librarian of the year thing was a bit nuts.

Worst possible year to be it, but, Oh, I'll tell you about it. There's the joke about 2020, right? I'm I'm I'm I'm uh, you know, in Hawaii. No, you're not. No, no, no, no, everybody, all my, all my friends who've had it before or like, it's going to be great. You're going to travel so much. Well, is that, is it like the award ceremony?

I imagine I'm trying to imagine a librarian party. Is it just like, it's just like one big ass, like, can you not even talk about it? Is it like. What happens to the library, your library of the year awards. Yeah. So that was actually fun. Um, what they did was they put us up in front of everybody and then made us stand there and listen, as people said, nice things about us, which is.

One of the most awkward experience

that's about as low key exciting. I would expect a librarian of the award of the year award party. Yeah. That one is more official. There have been conferences where we have, um, drank out the bars, but that wasn't, that wasn't one of them where the bars ran out. I believe that for two days you would never expect, you know, I just, yeah.

I imagined like a whole bunch of likely 50 or 60 librarians. Shutting down the bar for you, ribbons fat lions and like, just get wasted on good quality tequila. I can totally see that. It's always,

yeah. The first time we hit it city for a conference, they're not expecting it. And the second time they know better. Alright, so, so let's talk. So I love libraries. I love to read, by the way, I got to ask you and you better know this, or it's gonna be, I'm gonna report it back to your boss. The name of the, what's the name of the lions.

Patience and fortitude and named them that after the depression. Yes, he did. Oh, that's my girl. Right? That's like that. I don't work for New York public library question. Great question. That's important note, patience and fortitude. And what was the other, there's a follow up questions that, which is the name of the, uh, name of the two Muppets who sit up in the balcony and complain.

Oh, that I don't remember because that's a New York thing to Statler and Waldorf. Yup. That makes sense. Very cool. So when were you diagnosed with ADHD? Oh, I was seven, seven years old, super early. I was like 1989. It wasn't really a thing. 1989. You were spent on it to fight for it. I was going to high school and I say, okay, yeah, this interview's over.

So here's my question. You young, young person. So I look, I love to read, I had a library card from second. I was born. I performed Staten Island st. George library, headache play series every year. And I acted in, I was crane. I think when I was seven years old, um, that's a library, which is awesome. But when it came time, like the Dewey decimal system, right.

Or card catalogs or things like that, that's where the ADHD kicked in.

ADHD.

So there's this sort of stereotype about librarians and libraries that we're all one organized, just not true. Uh, quiet bookish and like. That it's just about reading and that's not necessarily why I love libraries. Um, I sort of fell into libraries when art history seemed like a bad career path, but I really liked the people and there's so many different people, right?

It's like the last place in society where you can go and have like toddlers. Seniors for knitting program, somebody looking for a job and people who just need a place to be for the day. Cause there's literally nowhere else for them to sit all in one space and have to sort of navigate that the societal expectations of those people being together.

And it's just kind of, while also helping them find the information that they need to live their lives. And it's just kind of this fascinating mint miniature society that pops up in like every library building and. The country. Is it the last, um, is it the last, it's the last bastion of levelization?

Every you walk in the library and everyone there is on the same plane sort of, I mean, society goes into libraries. It's not, we do our best right. The all of the problems that exist in society also exists in libraries. People, you know, the differences in resources available to people on one block are vastly different than the resources of the people that live on the next block.

Like even. In New York city, you go from block to block and like the cost of the houses changes by like five times. Yeah. And like all of those people have to be in the same place and they, and they bring everything, lets them, you know, all of, all of this sort of societal inequality is come with you into the library.

I remember being in public school, how to be junior high and we would always have projects where we had to go to the library. It was, it was very close. Um, setting out library st. George Branch is very close to. My junior high. And we always had at least once a month had to go into the library and research something and do a project.

And I know that back then it was hard to know. Right. And, and back then there was no internet. Um, I had that when I was a kid too, I kinda missed the card catalogs. I do have a bunch of cards. I told my daughter once that it was just this morning, we were listening to 10, 10 wins on a, on Alexa. And I said, um, I said, your grandpa, grandpa, grandpa used to play this all the time when I was growing up.

And I hear it every breakfast as well as she just really, she goes. Where was your Alexa in your house? Yeah. Okay. We're done. But, um, you know, it was, it was always an amazing experience to me. The library was always, and I think the library was always a center of calm for me, which is something as ADHD. I didn't really have.

Right. Just go there and just know that I can read and not get in trouble for getting lost in a book. Right. Because that's the thing, when I would find a book mighty and she would kick into my game and I, you know, 14 hours that will be up till 3:00 AM sometimes. And then I'm like, Oh no again. And you're like, this is going to suck in the morning, but it was worth it.

Right. And so I think for me, it was the center of calm. What do you do for a bit? How are you, how do you manage it? How do you, um, so what's, what's sort of interesting about libraries is that they are large bureaucracies, right. And I have so many ideas. Constantly and larger accuracies tend to squash ideas.

Um, and so I've had to like over the last 15 years, figure out how do I make some of those ideas happen anyway? And a lot of that has been just figuring out how to not take no for an answer off the bat, how to talk to people in a way. Way that they can actually hear me instead of being so excited that I run on for like five to 10 minutes about this amazing thing that we have to do right now.

And then they can't follow me. And I sound like a crazy person. Right. So a lot of it's been like slowing myself down, making sure I'm listening to what you know, what people are worried about and then trying to move us forward anyway. But yeah, no, I mean, I have digital calendars. I have a sort of, um, modified bullet journal thing that I do where I just never put my notebook down.

Um, if I'm walking around yeah. For, for, to do lists and notes for meetings and stuff, it has to be written down for like appointments. It has, I need a reminder. So it has to go in the digital calendar so that it'll pop up and tell me, like, you have to be somewhere in 15 minutes, but yeah. One time. I actually was checking out board books to someone and accidentally picked up my notebook and handed it to this mom.

And she left with it. Oh my God. I managed to find her and call her and meet her off with her and get it back. But I don't know. There were like floor plans for things I wanted to do for a teen space in there. It was like I was going to lose. My entire life, because it was absolutely the worst day. Tell me about, um, what's the hardest thing about both having ADHD?

So two separate questions. So like when I can't focus on things, I like. You know, like if it was just that I couldn't focus on the stuff, I don't like doing fine, whatever. I'll just make it work somehow. But like, when I want to read a book and I can't, that's kind of the worst, right. Is that like working in a bakery and not being able to eat the donuts or the breads.

Yeah. I don't have time to read anymore. I've had times since I've been home, but I can't focus on reading because I've like, I'm really great in a crisis, but right now there's like a crisis that requires you to sit still. And that's true. I can't like, I feel like you can't do anything.

I am volunteering for too much stuff. Uh, I've been working on, um, mutually dispatch to try to help people get resources. Cause it's very much like my job. Uh, I'm also a manager, so I'm having to have meetings with my team and make sure that they have all of the information. They need to try to work like work from home and do trainings and things so that they can keep active.

Um, At some point, my building is going to reopen for holds pickup and I'm going to have to manage that. I'm doing zoom programming. Like we have a knitting group and there's a expecting a new parent support group that I'm hosting and helping one of my staff do this book club and doing the tech end because you can only access through him on his phone.

Um, it's, there's actually a lot. To do. Um, but none of it, well, you know, it was like one of those things where none of it feels like it's really doing anything. Like after Sandy, I was on the book bus in the Rockaways, helping people find food and prescriptions. I'd like, That felt like doing something. So what do you, what do you do in terms of, um, you know, this is our life for the foreseeable future, right?

And if people continue to not wear masks, they'll continue to be our lives for even longer. So what are we doing? How, how are you handling the premise of not being able to quote unquote, do anything when yet still managing to do so much? Is there, is there a limit where. It was a law of diminishing returns.

Right. Is there a limit where the more you do the more you volunteer or do this or that the less productive you're actually being? Yeah, there's definitely a bit of that. I have a list of projects I'm working on, like on my bulletin board at my desk. And it says stop volunteering for stuff like, so that I don't volunteer for anything new until the things that are on that list are done because otherwise I won't really be able to do any of them.

Well, I think one of the things I'm focused on focusing on is trying to help build community around the library, even though we're doing it online. What do you, um, how do you say now? How is it? It's not easy to say no, especially when you're for volunteering. There's a part of us, I think from an aviation perspective that wants to help.

We just, we liked being needed. We liked helping me like doing thing. So how do you say no?

Mmm. I've actually just been saying no or saying that maybe it's a good idea for some other voices to be heard in more working groups or like maybe, you know, Go ask like five people of color before you come back and ask me to be on this committee. You know, find somebody else I'm on it. I'm on a lot of committees.

My voice gets heard. It's not going to be quiet, but there's other people and other staff that maybe don't get to be on those. And they have something really important and good to say. So come back if no one else says yes, What's the best piece of advice you can give, um, either as librarian or some of the ADHD or both, uh, for people listening, whether they are productive or whatever.

Um, it's interesting. There's actually a lot of us. Um, there's a lot of librarians with ADHD and I, I talked to them a lot about like how to manage their work and make it so that they. Can get things done without being incredibly stressed out by expectations. And I think my. Biggest piece of advice would be to figure yourself out and then ask for what you need and don't wait.

Right? So if you need your boss to actually send your meeting invites as a calendar invite. Yeah. That's an accommodation that should probably be made and will benefit everyone else. You're not hurting anyone by asking for it. And in fact, everyone on the meeting will be better off because they will also get reminders.

Correct. You know, so like, Ask for things and then ask for what you need so that you can be super effective because otherwise nobody's going to make it and give it to you without you telling them what it is. What is the number one best moment, other than other than being librarian of the year? I just want to make sure I say that one more time.

What is the best or strangest moment you've ever had as librarian?

It was a long time ago, but there was this guy who was looking for work and the recession in like 2008 or not, well that recession. And he came in and I was helping him with his resume and he was a welder and he was just saying like, there's nothing. Special about me. I mean, in the meantime we're talking about like, he has a welding certificate, he has all of these skills.

He makes fire escapes. Right. And I'm like, and I just, you know, getting to see his face change. And I'm like, of course, there's something special about you. Not everybody can make fire escapes and you keep people from dying. Like your job's important. And having him be able to make a resume and then go out for looking for a job.

But this idea that like, no I'm important was kind of one of the best things I think I've ever run into. And I try to do that. I try to make it so that everybody can walk away from the library, thinking like I'm important, this library is here for me and it doesn't matter how much money I have or anything else.

It's just, this is for me, I'm important. They treated me like I was important. Come on. I love that. It's very, very cool. Lauren, how can people reach you? How can they find you? Um, so I'm not on Twitter anymore. I am on Instagram at librarian eater. Um, and then my website is my website is Lauren komeito.rocks.

I love it. Well, that seems like a neat top level domain. Very, very cool. All right guys, you've listed alarm Camino lights. Gotta say it 20, 20 librarian of the year. Okay. We are honored to have you thank you so much for taking the time. I'm so glad you reached out guys as always. We appreciate you listening to faster than normal.

We're trying, we're trying to get through this whole thing. I hope you all stay in safe. It is tough. It takes some of the ASU that was miles an hour and dropping to five miles an hour. It's brutal through it day by day, doing the best we can. I appreciate you taking the time to listen. We should be sticking around.

Tell some friends, leave a review. Anything you can do. As always. Thanks for listening. We'll see you next week with another interview, stay safe, stay healthy, stay home. And if he can see you guys.

You've been listening to the faster than normal podcast we're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play. And of course at www dot  dot com. I'm your host, Peter Shankman. And you can find me@petershankman.com and at petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice?

That'll leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews for more, the podcasts is 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. .

May 27, 2020

Dr. Anhalt was one of the first interviews I ever did on Faster Than Normal, and now she's back! Emily Anhalt, PhD is the founder of a new project called COA, an innovative mental fitness studio that is currently offering free therapist-led workshops on managing work stress from home, how to deal with anxiety, building mental health & mindfulness through routine, how to be a fit leader during this time, and more. We learn her advice for dealing with: anxiety, there being ‘no end in sight’, finding new structure(s), the 3 best pieces of advice Peter has ever received, and all around good mental health. This is a really good one, enjoy!

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

In this episode Peter & Emily discuss:

1:04-  Intro & welcome back Dr. Emily Anhalt!  Emily’s first interview on FTN <--

3:00-  Everyone’s talking about what happens when/if you get COVID-19 but what happens & what have you been seeing in Mental Health?

4:10-  On being forced into quarantine/not being able to travel

4:49-  We can only exercise so much; what else can we with ADHD/Neurodiverse do to manage?

6:18-  How long can you do a thing?

7:25-  On craving structure

8:00-  How do we deal with having no rules now with regard to “structure” & routine?

9:20-  On structuring break time and the right distractions for us

10:50-  What other trends are you seeing lately in your patients?

11:28-  Tips for dealing with anxiety, aka, ANXIETY!

14:00-  The 3 best pieces of advice that Peter has ever received

14:26-  How is San Fran doing during this quarantine?

15:20-  About institutional transference

16:40-  About how to deal with “no end in sight”

19:23-  Quote ref:  Mark John Clifford episode of 20 Minutes In Lockdown interview 

19:55-  Why are some people so damn hesitant to wear masks?!?!

 20:50-  Thank you Emily! How can people find you?  www.JoinCOA.com  DrEmilyAnhalt on INSTA  LinkedIN @DrEmilyAnhalt on Twitter

21:22-  Thank you Emily for joining us, again! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials.

STAY HEALTHY - STAY SAFE - STAY HOME.. until next time!

21:30-  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!

May 20, 2020

Tedi is a Fitness Coach & Runner, Public Speaker, Author, and Health Educator.  She is a Washington state native who calls the Utah mountains home for the past 20 years. A longtime advocate for outdoor adventure and physical wellness for ADHD. Tedi is a strong believer in building a healthy mindset which has helped her deal with ADHD and anxiety. She took up trail running during an especially difficult time in life and kept on running. Loves teaching teenagers and speaking to inspire positive changes in people’s lives. We learn today about what she’s learned to do in order to stay mentally and physically healthy, what works for her and why. Enjoy!

 

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Tedi discuss:

1:00-  Intro & welcome Tedi Searle

2:14-  You originally self-diagnosed, then again officially in your 30’s. Tell us your story!

3:25-  What problems was your ADHD causing after you first self-diagnosed?

4:09-  How did you find out that physical fitness actually helped you?

4:48-  What’s an average ADHD day-in-the-life like for you?

6:30-  Tell us about your positive affirmations and any other of your techniques.

7:24-  Does trail running calm your mind?

8:38-  Do you store your problems up until you can get outside/exercise?

9:20-  How do you make time for exercise?

11:11-  On making deliberate choices and about “free time”

12:10-  What else is important to you to make time for?

13:11-  Talk about a time when your ADHD got the best of you.

14:54-  How do you get out of your own way, and ‘out of your own head’?

16:52-  How can people find you?  TediSearle on FB  @The_Endorphine_Junkie on INSTA

17:26-  Thank you Tedi for joining us! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials.

STAY HEALTHY - STAY SAFE - STAY HOME.. until next time!

18:10-  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!

May 6, 2020

Can cannabis actually improve your focus when you are ADD or ADHD; what does the research say? Is it only misinformation and perception that keeps cannabis a Schedule 1 drug? Will we see more research in the US? What can cannabis possibly do for your community? Today we examine all of these questions with leading expert in the field, Max Simon. A bit more about our guest today is below. Enjoy!  

Max Simon, Founder/CEO Green Flower Media, Inc.

With the vision of building a media company that would change the world’s perception of cannabis, Max Simon co-founded Green Flower in 2014. Green Flower has since become the industry leader in cannabis education, producing thousands of hours of premium content; bolstering a network of over 700 top cannabis experts; and building the largest library of cannabis education content in the world. Today, Max leads an incredible 30-person team united around the mission of becoming the global leaders in cannabis education.

Max’s mission to educate people about cannabis and discredit misinformation reflects his work in bringing meditation and mind-body wellness out of the shadows in the early 2000’s, when he served as Director of Consumer Products ​for the Chopra Center. For seven years, Max built and ran world-renowned self-help guru Deepak Chopra’s products business; there, he rebranded the company; developed and launched 49 signature products; created their digital marketing strategy; and impacted hundreds of millions of people on- and offline.

Green Flower is also a personal mission for Max, who has successfully used cannabis for over two decades as an integral part of his wellness regime—and to aid in the treatment of his ADD.

 

 

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Max discuss:

1:11-  Intro & welcome Max Simon

3:00-  So why cannabis? How did you get into studying?

4:04-  What differences have you noticed in your ADHD and just in general by using cannabis?

6:40-  So can Cannabis actually improve your focus if you are ADHD? Ref: What is an endocannabinoid (EC) system?

8:30-  How long has this been your area of study?

8:45-  Tell us what you’ve head about other formal studies of cannabis and ADHD.

10:22-  What do you think it’s going to take to remove the Schedule 1 label in the US?

10:35-  What’s the difference between restrictions in individual States versus on the Federal level?

11:26-  Do you think the reason it remains a Schedule 1 is because of perceptions/ignorance?

13:15-  On the progress of the cannabis movement  Ref:  NORML’s “Smoke The Vote” campaign. 

14:56-  Cannabis’ affect on alcohol sales in most areas

15:34-  The story and evidence provided by the chief of Police after their city of Port Hueneme, CA legalized cannabis.  Ref: Municipal code

16:50-  How do you change the conversation on ADHD, kids and general perceptions?

18:50-  How can people find out more?  Via Green-Flower.com and Max Simon on LinkedIN. @GreenFlwrMedia on Twitter

19:38-  Thank you Max for joining us! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials.

STAY HEALTHY - STAY SAFE - STAY HOME.. until next time!

20:09-  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!

Apr 29, 2020

Investigative journalist and anthropologist Scott Carney has worked in some of the most dangerous and unlikely corners of the world. His work blends narrative non-fiction with ethnography. What Doesn’t Kill Us was a New York Times bestseller; other works include The Red Market and The Enlightenment Trap. Carney was a contributing editor at Wired for five years and his writing also appears in Mother Jones, Men’s Journal, Playboy, Foreign Policy, Discover, Outside and Fast Company. His work has been the subject of a variety of radio and television programs, including on NPR and National Geographic TV. In 2010, he won the Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism for his story “Meet the Parents,” which tracked an international kidnapping-to-adoption ring. Carney has spent extensive time in South Asia and speaks Hindi. He attended Kenyon College and has a masters degree in anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He currently lives in Denver, CO.  Today we welcome him back on FTN to talk about his new book, the concept of “control”, ask what to do about our reserves of energy from frustrating circumstances, and how to get stronger and stay resilient. Enjoy!

 

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Scott discuss:

:57-  Intro & welcome back Scott Carney!  Ref: What Doesn’t Kill Us  & The Wedge

2:36-  So what’s the premise of your new book? “The Wedge  Ref:  “the iceman” Wim Hof

4:20-  On the concept of “control”

5:53-  What to do with adrenaline and other chemicals we make when there is no physical output happening.

6:50-  On trying to use out body’s natural resources to fight unnecessary battles

7:00-  On acting/reacting in the moment

8:45-  On how ADHD gives us the general willingness to try new things, and to ask a lot of questions along the way.

9:46-  On saying “I wonder If I could…”

11:52-  On doing things that are uncomfortable  Ref: picture of escalator to gym

12:41-  Why should we challenge ourselves even if we don’t really have to?

15:53-  On kettle bells and challenges

20:32-  Where can we find you and your new book “The Wedge”? 

20:32-  Social Scott:  @SGCarney on Instagram  Twitter  scottcarneyauthor on Facebook. At scottcarney.com and via  foxtopus.ink

20:57-  Thank you Scott for joining us again! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials.

STAY HEALTHY - STAY SAFE - STAY HOME.. until next time!

21:21-  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!

Apr 22, 2020

Alex Shebar experiences all that life has to offer like it's his job, which, truthfully, it is. He is the new Director of Experiences at Culture Trip, one of the world's leading travel, media and entertainment sites. Previously, he was also the first Brand Manager for Bumble and Director 

of Community for Yelp. His goal is to try and make everyone's travel experiences just a little more interesting so if you're heading somewhere new, message him on Instagram at @AlexShebar or find him in person. He's always up for a conversation on how to travel like a local.  Today we talk about what it’s like to be a “breaking news journalist”, how it feels to be ADHD and always three steps ahead, how sharing is kind of our favorite thing, inspiration for The Hall Of Justice, how to list for success, and perhaps what to do after you get fired from your first job. Enjoy!

 

 

In this episode Peter & Alex discuss:

1:01-  Intro & welcome Alex Shebar!

1:50-  You weren’t diagnosed until your college years; what was young Alex like?

3:34-  Tell us about your college career?

4:15-  So how did your career in Journalism go?

5:38-  On “breaking news”

7:38-  On being ADHD, thus almost always being three steps ahead.

8:50-  The inspiration for “The Hall Of Justice  Ref:  Union Terminal, Cincinnati 

10:17-  On how sharing with others is one of our most favorite things! 

11:15-  So what happened after you got fired for the first time?  Ref: https://watchthisblog.com

12:55-  How did your ADHD push you to carry through on your idea?

14:50-  What were you doing to make a living at the time?

16:40-  Tell us a couple of ways you’ve learned how to use your ADHD to your advantage, and avoid the pitfalls.

17:36-  On the importance of having a deadline!

19:30-  What do you do to reboot your brain?

20:37-  Tell us about Culture Trip! Ref:  www.CultureTrip.com

22:18-  How can people fine you Alex?  @AlexShebar on: Twitter  INSTA  FB  or via email: Alex.shebar@TheCultureTrip.com

22:34-  Thank you Alex for joining us! 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.

23:19-  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!

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