We live at by far the greatest time in human history. Those of us in the advanced world can listen to ANY SONG we want to at anytime. The same with most books and many movies. A city-dweller can order food, alcohol, cannabis, sex, candy, just about anything you can think of at pretty much any time of day. This is a tremendous danger to people who lack discipline.
Thankfully my own indiscipline largely extends to eating junk food, not exercising, and wasting time on Twitter. For many, the indiscipline starts with how you look at the world and what you expect to come from it. It’s better to expect nothing and seek to create that which you desire.
In this era of instant gratification, a lack of discipline can ruin your life. Whether it is poor habits of self-care or not adequately maintaining order around you. Indiscipline makes every problem worse.
The inability to focus plagues a person with ADHD. In fact, I find that if something I’m reading doesn’t grab my interest within about 15 seconds, it is going to be a struggle to stay with it. That or I’ll have to reread it several times.
Mindfulness is not exactly a cure for ADHD, but a tool to help manage it. It can help you metaphorically stop and smell the roses and focus on the moment. By slowing life down and working to tame the blizzard of thoughts inside your head, mindfulness will help you stop and notice what you are feeling and thinking. It will help you focus on what is happening around you.
So how does it work? In short, by consciously slowing life down and orienting your mind towards appreciating or at least accepting the moment. This doesn’t mean you have to sit in silence for 30 minutes in a perfectly balanced position (though that helps). It simply means observing what is happening in and around you in a nonjudgmental way.
It’s helped me see firsthand the many ways I make my life harder by letting my thoughts run amok. Gain control of your mind and you will attain true freedom.
Growing up, my parents were always late. Late for every family gathering. Every Thanksgiving dinner. Every show or movie or event that was occurring. It was maddening and embarrassing. But I had no choice, I couldn’t drive myself to these gatherings.
As adults we often model our parents’ worst and best behaviors- smoking, committing suicide, being religious, being kind to our spouses, etc. So, for much of my adult life I was late to everything. Everything. It drove people crazy, put me in some serious binds, and made my life a lot more difficult and stressful. In my 40s, I’ve finally realized, I DON’T HAVE TO LIVE THIS WAY ANYMORE.
So I started radically simplifying my life- focusing on faith, family, and self-improvement- and started arriving a little bit early to appointments and dinners and meetings. And I couldn’t believe how great it felt to do so. I could sit there, take a few breaths, and be free to focus on other things.
Plan ahead and plan well. Makes life a lot easier.
From time to time each of us gets bogged down in negative thinking. It’s inevitable. We may be sick of our job or in a dying or stagnant relationship and uncertain about the future. Here are 5 things to do when you’re feeling stuck:
1) Go on a retreat. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia used to advise harried people to go on a retreat annually to make time to reflect and step out of the rat race.
2) Travel. It never hurts to get a change of scenery for at least a few days to get you out of a negative pattern of thinking.
3) Talk to a therapist or a life coach. Men tend to be hesitant to do this. It is expensive and it can feel like a waste of time, but it’s important to check in with a professional from time to time.
4) Take some tests. Aptitude tests and personality tests can help you figure out what is holding you back. A few that I’ve benefited from over the years are:
A lot of us on the ADHD end of the concentrational spectrum, have a hard time with reading. I mean, we’re not illiterate, it’s just that we get so bored and space out quickly and frequently have to go back and reread what we missed. It ends up taking forever. I recently started listening to audiobooks and IT HAS CHANGED EVERYTHING! Here are #5Reasons you should try audiobooks-
For some, makes it easier to focus. For whatever reason, I’m able to pay closer attention to an audiobook that I’m listening to than a book I’m reading. Hearing the words out loud makes it far more entertaining and stimulating than listening to my own internal voice.
They’re perfect for driving, commuting, or flying. If you’re like a lot of us you don’t have much time to yourself. So, if you drive to work (or commute or fly regularly), rather than listen to that commercial-filled garbage on the radio, listen to an audiobook you’ve always been meaning to read. And then another and another.
Increases productivity. Generally speaking, multitasking is bad for you. But listening to an audiobook while walking or driving or doing laundry is ideal for those with ADHD.
You can plow through books faster. Audiobooks have various speeds at which you can listen to them. With a slow talker- not to be mixed up with a low talker- you can speed up the pace as fast as you want and absolutely plow through books!
What a great learning opportunity. Think of all those classic books you avoided in high school or “read” using the Cliffs Notes version. Or countless other books you’ve always been meaning to read.