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Are These Puzzling Clues Trying To Get Your Attention?

Solving the mystery of inconsistency.

In this article I give you insights into 6 ways to understand and accentuate your gifts.

You see clues but don't know what they're pointing toward.

  • You have lists and lists and forget to use them.

  • Late seems to be your middle name.

  • It takes hours to settle into a project.

  • Paperwork is everywhere.

  • You're distracted by things no one else notices.

  • Patience is someone else's virtue.

  • Fire, aim, ready sounds familiar.

You know you're trying your hardest, and things are still not working well. It might be that you're dealing with adult Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD or AD/HD). The hallmarks of ADD are inconsistent focus, distraction, and disorganization.

I prefer to call it Attention Diffused Differently.

According to ADDitude Magazine, The World Health Organization estimates the worldwide prevalence of adult ADHD is 2.8 percent, according to a 2016 study. That’s a lot of people with mental processing systems that are not typical.

It’s not a choice or an excuse. It is a reason.

tiger standing in water looking at the viewer
Is it a threat or not?

It’s the way you’re wired, and there are creditable theories that diffused attention may have kept us from being eaten by advancing tigers.

In the industrialized world, though, ADD can pose significant problems.

Mainstream schools and businesses were created by, and work well, for folks that thrive in academic, routine-following mono-cultured workplaces and societies. But people that are made differently can struggle to find their place and contribute their intellectual gifts. It's like the fight of trying to get your point across when you don't speak the native language.

However, that doesn’t make our industrialized world wrong. Think of the positives. Large-scale systems create products and services that could not be possible in pre-industrial times. Cars, electronics, and financial systems are just a few.

People that have inconsistent focus also have places in industry. Many disciplines require hyper-focused, detailed concentration in complex subjects like engineering. Fields like design require broadly scanning horizons for new ideas and the brainpower to recognize their value. How many times have you thought, "That's brilliant! Why didn't I think of that?"

Our challenge is to find ways to bring folks with thinking differences into the near-typical way of functions by helping each other remove the barriers to inclusion without trying to erase the gifts of neuro-diversity.

We're not going to change the world to a new way of working. But we can accommodate those that struggle.

Inclusion starts by acknowledging there are barriers and identifying what they are.

6 things we can all do to support those with ADD and similar challenges.

1 Understand what ADD is and how to differentiate it from other challenges. Talking with a therapist or learning specialist can help with that distinction.

2 Identify it by taking freely available screening quizzes and share them with those around you.

3 Stop trying harder to do what you're not great at. Build on what's working for you and get help with what's not. Coaching helps with this.

4 Change what goes into your body and how you use your body. Assists like medication, meditation, high-quality nutrition, and physical movement can change the way your brain works by providing missing neurotransmitters and creating new connections.

6 Find consistent support. It takes a village to raise a child. For adults, it’s a success team. It can be challenging to find good people who understand what you need, but stay with it until you do. Once people know you and your life, they can help bring out your strengths, help you with your weaknesses, and see you for the bright valuable person you are.

Your success team might include

  • Compassionate family members who will share tasks

  • Interested workplace associates that can create ways to accommodate your uniquely sparkling thought process

  • Individual and relationship therapists to dismantle habits that don’t serve you

  • Medical providers for pharmaceutical support if needed

  • Home maintenance services

  • Bookkeeping and administrative task support

  • Professional organizers to move your stuff into order regularly or occasionally

  • Financial advisors that keep you on an excellent fiscal path

  • Coaches that understand ADD help you plan and stay on track, work with you to stay motivated, reduce self-sabotage, brainstorm improvements, maybe most importantly, celebrate your successes with you.

Remember, the clues are trying to get your attention. Follow them.


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