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12 Reasons Why You Should Love Having ADD

12 Reasons Why You Should Love Having ADD

Since third grade you knew you were different. One minute you were staring out the window lost in the trees and the next minute you were chewing an intricate wood carving design into your No. 2 pencil. Teachers didn’t know how to handle you even though they told your mother, “He has so much potential if only he could sit still, pay attention, and focus on his work.”

Years ago (before everyone was diagnosed with ADD), the child who was unlike the others was labeled creative. You knew that if school was too difficult for you, there would be several other fabulous, fun and exciting careers for imaginative thinkers.

Well, the time has come to improve your relationship with those three dreaded letters -ADD. They’ve haunted you for long enough. There’s been so much attention on how terrible it is to have “ADD” that you forgot how great it is to have the those “special” abilities and the super-powers that come along with it.

Yes, it’s true. Each trait has a positive and negative side to it.

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After one receives a diagnosis of ADD, you can only think about all the things that are wrong with you. “This causes feelings of shame, fear, and self-doubt,” according to Edward Hallowell, M.D.

Focusing on the negative aspects of ADD keeps you locked into feeling stuck or that things are just “too hard” to work through. But when you flip the focus and see that each (so-called) negative trait has a positive side to it, you will see just how beneficial ADD can be. Magic happens when you see the true mirror image of each trait.

If you’re not sure if you have ADD (or ADHD), check this out video

Negative labels are destructive to everyone, especially to the person who labels him/her self. Dump those negative labels and let’s see just how amazing you are!

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1. You see what others don’t see, you see more.

Your creative perspective gives you x-ray vision to see beyond  the surface. Some people see raindrops, you see sparkling reflective circles dancing on your window.

2. You’re a champion multi-tasker.

Pity those poor people who can only manage do one thing at a time. Not you! You’re a super-task-master. Maybe you’ve got three computer screens going on at once or you’re working two cellphones and a landline at the same time. No problem. You can handle it.

3. You’re philosophically deeper than most people.

Your conversations jump off the pages of a Dostoyevsky novel. Boring, you are not!

4. You are an artist, an actor, a writer, marketing expert, chef, Wall Street trader, a musician, or filmmaker.

You’re a comedian, a hairstylist, or cabinetmaker. Maybe you work for Google. Who else would be able to understand the detailed path of algorithms and coding? The world needs you.

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5. When you find something you love, you do it with passion.

Once your engine kicks in, nothing can stop you. Passion drives you to greatness.

6. Change doesn’t scare you.

In fact, you love it. You’re flexible and go with the flow, wherever it takes you. You’re a risk taker who will venture into new projects without a worry. No big deal. If it doesn’t work out, you’ll try something else.

7. You’re an out-of-the-box thinker.

You have innovative ideas most people would never think of.  Ingenious ideas fly into brain all hours of the day and night.

8.  Your awesome sense of humor keeps you optimistic.

You love to laugh. Like all great comedians you find something funny or look at the bright side of issues that would bring most people to a state of doom and gloom.

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9. You are resilient.

Not much knocks you down, and if it does, you wipe yourself off, get back up and never quit until you get it right.

10. You work great under pressure.

Actually, you work even better under pressure. You can stay up all night preparing a spectacular presentation and then deliver it the next day with an Oscar-worthy preformance.

11. You have a photographic memory.

Be it numbers, words, letters, or places, those digits stick. Your brain is a warehouse, a storage center, archiving memories and visuals since you were two years old.

12. You are compassionate, empathetic, and totally lovable.

Your loving heart lets you feel what is in someone else’s heart. You’re the sweetest boyfriend (or girlfriend), husband (or wife), friend, sibling anyboy could ever want.

Who said it’s so terrible to have ADD?

Isn’t it time to start loving your special gifts? Admit it, you’re fabulous!

More by this author

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system”.

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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The power of habit

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being six hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The wonderful thing about triggers (reminders)

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to make a reminder works for you

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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