What is really important to me? Perhaps if I asked this question -- and stopped to really think about the answer -- more often, I could stop these dizzying ADHD-fueled thoughts.
by Linda Roggli
I've never resonated with the DSM-IV symptom of ADHD that says something like "feels driven by a motor." This week, however, I might take another look at that descriptor - I'm like the hamster on its squeaky wheel.
As is often the case, the culprit is technology. I'm troubleshooting a new webinar service for ADDA (the non-profit organization that supports ADHD adults). It's fun (after all, it's new!) but after hours of Problem-Solution, Problem-Solution, Problem-Solution, my ADHD brain begins to spin out of control.
So I visited my friendly, neighborhood psychiatrist, who listened for a while. Then, in a sage and measured tone, she said, "You need time to think." Think? I paid good money for someone to tell me to THINK? I am thinking all the time! That's my problem! I think waaaay too much!
When my brain stopped rebelling against such simple advice, I realized she was right (rats; I hate it when she's right!). Rather than being flung hither and yon by my intense, yet scattered thoughts, I would be better served by taking a breather.
And. Then. Noticing. What. Is. Really. Important. To. Me.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
What is really important to me? What if I showed up at my own funeral and listened to the mourners talk about my life? What would I be remembered for? The perfect webinar? Ick. That's not my highest vision for my life. I want more. I want my life to be rich with meaning. I want to make a difference in people's lives. My intention is to dig deeper, to get below the shallow surface of life and engage fully.
So, back to Part Two of my brilliant psychiatrist's suggestion: When I take time to think about (and remember) what is really important to me, then I can make better choices about how I spend my time. If my impulsive ADHD brain is driven by a motor, let's make sure I'm heading down a highway that moves me toward my lifetime goals, not a "putting out fires" side road.
Breathe in. Breathe out. What am I doing today that connects me to my vision of myself? I think I'll take 10 minutes to just think about it.
Do you allow yourself time to simply breathe? Are you so focused on the in-your-face goals that you neglect your larger-life purpose? Do you know your purpose yet? Have you forgotten it? Do you take time to think?