I had a classic ADHD childhood, I had boundless energy that I channeled into serial passion projects; dinosaurs, aviation, World War 2 history, designing space ships, creating amateur action movies, writing science fiction stories, Tae Kwon Do, swordsmanship, Karate, breakdancing and even studying Islam for a little while.
Perpetually a starter, rarely a finisher. The only thing consistent was my bad grades. I was moved from Special Ed program to Special Ed program. I lacked social calibration though I constantly tried to ingratiate myself with the most elite social group I could find. I was constantly trying to upgrade my social circle, but I didn't have what it took to be one of the cool kids, and frequently found myself an outsider and a loner.
I was diagnosed with ADHD at age 8, and given Ritalin, it helped a lot. Without it, a younger version of myself found it nearly impossible to focus for more than 5 minutes on the lessons and educational material being presented by my grade school teachers.
In an age when ADHD (back then they called it ADD) was misdiagnosed and the pharmaceutical solutions were over prescribed, I think I was a legitimate case. In high school I switched to Adderall, which seemed to imbue a longer lasting focus, along with a more relaxed and tranquil mindset. I wasn't in such a hurry to impress people, which helped me make more genuine friendships
My medication is probably one of the main factors that allowed me to attain a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and actually graduate high school.
As a young adult, I was very ambitious and a voracious student of success, yet I had a nearly 5 year streak of none stop career failures. I had been fired more times than I can count on two hands; I just couldn't quiet cut it as a waiter, car salesman, a mortgage broker, a banker or in Yellow Pages sales. I had a lot trouble paying my bills on time, I was constantly late on rent, I even managed to get in some real legal trouble over some unpaid speeding tickets. While my social life was a whole lot more lively (thanks partially to my side gig as nightclub promoter), my dating life was inconsistent and I could not hold on to a girlfriend. I would occasionally get my hands on a bottle of Adderall, which seemed to make quiet a difference in my performance at work, but crushing personal and career disappointments were always just around the corner.
I was constantly reading inspirational books and trying to apply what they said about business ethics and providing value but it never paid off. I was perpetually a minute late and a dollar short; late to work, late to meetings, late on rent, not hitting sales quotas. While I was building a large social circle and social media friend count through my nightclub promotion, the relationships were quiet shallow. Also, being a nightclub promoter, I was hungover and under slept half the time which took a toll on my real career in corporate America. I was having fun and learning a lot but my prospects for the future were pretty bleak. My mediocre career and personal life was a case study of lack of focus, follow through and my equivocations of standards in every domain of life.
Fast forward to today and at 30 years old I'm really a different person; I'm one of the most disciplined and consistent people I know. I'm a long term strategist, not a short term opportunist. I'm more focused and motivated than I've ever been. I have developed a work ethic that's pretty rare amongst my generation. My fleeting obsession with passion projects has been replaced with a long term commitment to processes. I've really cured my adult ADHD.
There's four pillars that I have to thank for this transformationAdd a comment