Hit Submit

Ever wonder why you just cannot press that last button to turn in the assignment on time, even when it is done?

Here are some rabbit holes to explore if you’re trying to answer that question.

  • What’s the point? You could be experiencing ambivalence about turning in that assignment, flirting with the danger of failing to do so, because pressing the button means that you are one step closer to whatever is next. Do you know what’s next? Are you excited about it? Are you comfortable with not knowing? Maybe zooming out from the “submit” button will help get you some perspective that takes the hesitation out of pressing yes.
  • Are you a secret perfectionist? No, no, not you. Of course not. You are low-key, go with the flow, go along-to-get-along kind of person. Right? Well maybe but also maybe not. ADHD is a condition of often very bright people who feel their potential even in the midst of a lifetime of perceived failures. Now that you are finally performing, what if you hit submit and it isn’t a perfect score? What level of performance are you expecting of yourself when you do perform? What can you be comfortable with? Is there a good enough level that is not perfect? Recommended listening: Brene Brown on Vulnerability
  • Are you making this too dramatic just for fun? We all love the pressure of a deadline or experience the rush of it regardless. Is this flirtation with danger a game of chicken? What if you paired pressing the button with a better reward? A more welcome rush? What would you need to know or feel or check to be able to press submit? Could you make a checklist? Or set a timer? Recommended listening – Atomic Habits on Spotify
  • Hyperfocus much? Focus is such a precious commodity. Is there a bittersweet tension in sending that assignment off? Is the transition out of a successful focus session into the great beyond an emotional hiccup? Is there a mantra you could reassure yourself with to celebrate the end of a focus session and reassure yourself it was worth it and the next will surely come again? Recommended Reading: ADHD 2.0
  • Track your thoughts. Become hyper-aware of the circumstances of the moment. What happens inside your mind? What is happening in your physical environment? What thoughts and feelings are passing through? Write them down. Track the logic – however illogical it may seem when you write it out. Find the doubts or questions and create a tool to answer them. Quantify the moment and analyze it.
  • Get out of your head. Go on a short walk, do some stretching, down a glass of water. Then return to the button. Ask yourself, “What are you waiting for?” and if there is something specific, schedule when and how you’ll address it. If there is no specific, press send. You can set your criteria ahead of time, like a rubric or a checklist. “I will not submit until I have… X Y and Z.” Then, if you’ve prepared that and checked that, you can make it simpler for your mind to decide to send your finger to the button and apply pressure. Clear it up for your busy brain with your own pre-set metrics.
  • Daydream and plan your life. Write your obituary. “Here lies ___________, dead at age ______. They died doing what they loved: ___________. Known for being ____ and _____, they often were found with ______ doing _____. Their greatest achievements were ____ and ____. On their tombstone, they asked their favorite motto be written: ________” Include all your bucket list of what you want to be like, where you want to end up, and what you want around you in your environment or emotional or personal space. I.E. Address the main point of all this. Zoom way way way out until the button is so small and silly that you laugh at thinking about ever questioning pressing it. Recommended tools: Passion Planner

Quotes to ADHD by…

There is no way to peace, peace is the way.

A.J. Muste

There is no way to peace. There is only peace.

Mahatma Ghandi

“Mountains should be climbed with as little effort as possible and without desire. The reality of your own nature should determine the speed. If you become restless, speed up. If you become winded, slow down. You climb the mountain in an equilibrium between restlessness and exhaustion. Then, when you’re no longer thinking ahead, each footstep isn’t just a means to an end but a unique event in itself.”

Robert M. Pirsig

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

“Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said. ‘One can’t believe impossible things.’

I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

Lewis Carroll – Alice in Wonderland

They deem me mad because I will not sell my days for gold; and I deem them mad because they think my days have a price.

Kahlil Gibran – The Prophet

“[…]the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”

Jack Kerouac

“Laws of nature are human inventions, like ghosts. Laws of logic, of mathematics are also human inventions, like ghosts. The whole blessed thing is a human invention, including the idea that it isn’t a human invention. The world has no existence whatsoever outside the human imagination. It’s all a ghost, and in antiquity was so recognized as a ghost, the whole blessed world we live in.…Your common sense is nothing more than the voices of thousands and thousands of these ghosts from the past.”

Robert M. Pirsig – Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

If your mind is truly, profoundly stuck, then you may be much better off than when it was loaded with ideas… Stuckness shouldn’t be avoided. It’s the psychic predecessor of all real understanding.

Robert M. Pirsig

He who’s down one day can be up the next, unless he really wants to stay in bed, that is.

Too much sanity may be madness — and maddest of all: to see life as it is, and not as it should be!

For hope is always born at the same time as love.

Miguel Cervantes – Don Quixote

“We are fragmented into so many different aspects. We don´t know who we really are, or what aspects of ourselves we should identify with or believe in. So many contradictory voices, dictates, and feelings fight for control over our inner lives that we find ourselves scattered everywhere, in all directions, leaving nobody at home.

Meditation, then, is bringing the mind home.”

Sogyal Rinpoche – The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

“Devote the mind to confusion and we know only too well, if we´re honest, that it will become a dark master of confusion, adept in its addictions, subtle and perversely supple in its slaveries. Devote it in meditation to the task of freeing itself from illusion, and we will find that, with time, patience, discipline, and the right training, our mind will begin to unknot itself and know its essential bliss and clarity.”

Sogyal Rinpoche – The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

He who binds to himself a Joy, Does the winged life destroy; He who kisses the Joy as it flies, Lives in Eternity’s sunrise.

William Blake

“The secret is not to “think” about thoughts, but to allow them to flow through the mind, while keeping your mind free of afterthoughts.”

Sogyal Rinpoche – The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

“Nothing is so exhausting as indecision, and nothing is so futile.”
― Bertrand Russell, The Conquest of Happiness

“When you find yourself inclined to brood on anything, no matter what, the best plan always is to think about it even more than you naturally would, until at last its morbid fascination is worn off.”

― Bertrand Russell, The Conquest of Happiness

Ask not what you will do, but how you will do it.

Understanding who you are with ADHD is paramount. This is where I recommend all the personality tests, ADHD research, and tracking of energy, habits, and issues.

What comes next? What is designing a path forward? Yes, goals are important. They set directions and conditions for success. Yet goals cannot be reached without a method and structure, a plan, a map, supplies, preparation. In some way, it is less about where you are going than how you will get there. What is your method for succeeding each day? In each moment? In the best of times and the worst of times?

You may have lived your life in the spirit of “The end justifies the means.”

The model I propose is the opposite –

“The means are the ends.”

– Said by lots of smart people in one form or another

How you cope with life is how you thrive. Success in a moment is success in the long term. More important than the finish line is the starting line and each step. No one crosses a finish line successfully without success in each prior step.

So when I discuss the path forward, I am proposing you adopt a model for dealing with the promises and challenges of life. What is your process for enjoying a moment? What is your process for confronting a challenge? How do you respond to overwhelm? By understanding what we do we can move to how we want to do instead. We can plan for every scenario in a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style flow chart. We can simplify the executive function by anticipating the demands and programming our responses. We can free ourselves of our defensive mechanisms and their costly results.

So – When your relatives say that thing you know they are going to say, instead of going through the familiar trauma pattern you already do – what is your positive plan? Enact it. When the dog is acting up and you fear disciplining him – what pattern did you promise you would take? Do that. When the overwhelm of work or an enormous to-do list hits, how will you walk yourself through it to a place that is manageable?

You don’t have to wait. By now you’ve experienced every kind of stress. You can now calculate in analytical terms what your emotional response will be. Even if your immediate thoughts and impulse feel the same, you can override those old choices and consequences and follow your plan for a healthier, happier, more controlled choice and acceptable outcome.

Coaching is a space to do that work but regardless, it is positive potential for you to take control in a world that feels wild. You already know all the possible scenarios – Take charge and plan all your possible responses.

It’s as simple as having a method or routine. When something good happens – how will I enjoy it? When I feel overwhelmed, what will I say or do? What do I need at that moment? How will I give it to myself? When I’m stuck on a couch, feeling fatigued, how will I decide if I should stay put and if I should get moving, what needs to happen?

Plan the means. Mean the means. The means themselves define the end. If you define the means, you define the ends.

You’ve got this.