Goal Setting for Creative Geniuses: the Big WHY

By Linda Walker
This is the time of the year, after indulging during the holidays, when many of us decide to buckle down and set new goals or targets for ourselves in the coming year. Creative geniuses often set big goals. Big goals have the power to energize and inspire, especially when the going gets tough; however, big goals are usually long term goals and that can often spell trouble for you.

You see, Creative Geniuses, a term I use to describe people with out-of-the-box thinking such as entrepreneurs and people with ADHD, are interest-based performers who need the quick payoff of shorter goals to stay motivated. In addition, many ambitious creative geniuses think big but, faced with then taking action, don’t know where to start. Add to that a sometimes limited level of belief in your ability to reach your goal, and your stick-to-it-iveness will be tested many times. If your goal seems too “pie-in-the-sky” or feels too out of reach, only a strong belief in your ability to eventually succeed will keep you going, or not. You’ve heard the old adage: “if you think you can or you can’t, you’re right”.

On the other hand, many who’ve tried and failed too many times limit themselves by only setting small goals. The problem with this approach is that when you choose goals that don’t move you out of your comfort zone, even if you manage to reach your goal, it doesn’t feed your need for accomplishment. You know you didn’t have to stretch so you don’t respect the achievement. Of course, small goals aren’t very exciting and so don’t have the same power to motivate. So what should you do?

If you’re a creative genius who wants to aim higher and accomplish more, the first thing you need to do is to think about the change you want to make happen in your life and get clear on why it’s important to you. Keep digging deeper. Once you have found a first reason it’s important to you, ask why that’s important to you. Then ask why THAT is important to you and so on. Keep digging deeper until you reach a reason that really resonates emotionally with you.

Here’s an example: many people want to be wealthy and set a big financial goal for themselves. The problem is that, oddly enough, even if it’s a big number, the dream of being wealthy is not a compelling one. As soon as you hit some bumps along the way, you’re very likely to resign yourself to your current lifestyle. But go a step further and ask why it is important to be wealthy? “I want to be able to quit my job”, you answer. Then ask, why is quitting your job important? “I hate that my job takes me away from home”. Why is it important not to be away from home? “Because I want to spend more time with my spouse and kids”. And why is that important to you? “Because I want to be a bigger part of their lives”. And why is that important? “Because I love them and I cherish every moment I can be with them and I want to guide my kids through all the experiences life has to offer them.” Ah ha! Now we’re talking!

Once you have a reason that really resonates with you emotionally, when you face setbacks, and you will face setbacks if you’re reaching high, which is more likely to keep you going? The thought of having a lot of money? Or the dream of being present in your children’s lives and being able to share all sorts of wonderful experiences with them? So the real goal is to have more time and more freedom so you can be a bigger part of your family’s life. Your goal is really not be wealthy. The great thing is, there are ways to break that goal down into smaller steps with the possibility of spending more time with your family showing up as a reward much sooner than the time required for you to achieve sufficient wealth to quit your job.

The next time we talk, I’ll show you how to set yourself up to take action toward whatever change you want in your life.

The ADHD Blue Print to Your Best Year Ever

The beginning of a new year inspires hope for new beginnings and better outcomes. Many people will review their goals and chart a new course or make New Year’s resolutions. Other people, perhaps even you, have abandoned any hope that this year can be different than years past. While you may be motivated to change – after all, if you’re living with ADHD, you likely face major challenges in your life that you’d like to address – you’ve learned the hard way that maybe you’re better off avoiding setting goals and making New Year’s resolutions.

After all, your track record for achieving either has been poor and you can’t, or don’t want to, deal with the disappointment and guilt you feel when things don’t pan out. It’s true that one sure way to avoid failing is not to try, but unfortunately, if you want your circumstances to change, you have to change something you are doing. That change demands that you form an intention to change – that’s where the goals or resolutions come in – but it also requires effort and a plan, and that’s where things often go wrong for anyone with ADHD. However, there is another way.

How to Have a Better Year without Setting Goals

If setting goals scare you, there’s a simpler and just as effective approach. Create new habits that manifest the desired changes in your life. We’ve all heard that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, but there’s an even more powerful underlying truth here. A journey of a thousand miles, or even ten thousand miles, is made up entirely of single steps! Achieving long-term goals by creating new habits is extremely powerful, and ultimately, even more effective than traditional methods of achieving goals.

Your 6-Step Blueprint for Creating a New Habit

Here are a few steps to creating a new habit:

1)  What results do you want? Do you want to be more physically fit? More organized? On time? More focused? Less chaotic? Have better relationships? The sky’s the limit. Pick just one that means a lot to you. Once you master the process of creating new habits, you’ll be able to take full control of every aspect of your life, but choose just one to practice on first.

2)  What small but consistent actions would allow you to move closer to the results you want? Many people want to lose weight or get in better shape. They join a gym, buy exercise equipment and eat only salads. By the time they’ve been working at it three weeks, they’re exhausted and fed up! If you want to become more physically fit, start small. Create a new habit to always take the stairs instead of the elevator at work.

If you want to feel more organized, don’t start a major cleanup of your whole house; create a new habit to make your bed every morning before you leave your room. You’ll immediately feel more organized and that feeling will slowly spread to other areas of your life. Once you’ve established a habit of making your bed so well that it’s automatic, add another habit, like washing your dishes immediately after using them.

Every big change in your life starts with one step, one new habit. If you want to be on time for work, start by creating the habit of preparing your clothes and lunch the night before. If you want to improve your focus, create a habit that will help you sleep better. If you want to improve your relationship, develop a habit of listening instead of interrupting.

You may need to break some changes down to even smaller steps and work your way up, especially if you’ve never purposefully created and kept a habit. (You do have some habits; how often do you accidently forget and leave your house naked? Getting dressed is a habit!) Analyze the actions you need to take. For example, what steps would help you sleep better? You will sleep better if you turn off the computer at least two hours before bed. It also helps to dim the lights in the house after supper. Don’t do them all at once, but create a habit of first one, then the next, and so on, and before long, you’ll sleep better than you ever have.

3)  Improve your odds. You won’t remember to do what you’re supposed to automatically in the beginning – it’s not a habit yet! Set visual or auditory reminders. Find a buddy who is also striving to build new habits and encourage each other. Make a game of it. Anchor your new habit to an existing one. For example, when I wanted to write my first program for adults with ADHD, “Grow With the Flow” (now called “Thrive!”), I anchored the new habit of writing every morning by placing a pencil and paper where I sit to have breakfast, a habit I’ve now had for quite some time, and that has helped me create many programs for adults with ADHD, one step at a time!

4)   Determine how you’re going to track your progress. Even after repeating the action for what seems like a very long time, ADHDers often forget habits they’ve created. You get distracted. However, if you also make it a habit to use tracking software like HabitBull or a scorecard, it can help you stay motivated, especially if you reward yourself as you progress, and you won’t forget to keep up the habits you’ve put in place.

5)  Celebrate your progress. You need to stimulate the hedonistic part of the brain (right brain) by creating a positive experience of change. Make it fun to create habits, not something you dread. This will help you keep going and make future change easier.

6)  Be OK with occasional slip-ups. It takes an average of 66 days to create a habit – and that’s only an average – but the longer you maintain it, the more solidly it’s anchored. Aim for consistency but if you fail one day, just let go of the guilt and disappointment and recommit to your habit. Chalk it up to being human. Miss one day and all is not lost. However, we tend to see little slips as failures and actually help make that true. If you cheat on your diet by having a cookie, you can get back on track by not having any more cookies, but many people see that as a failure and say, “What the heck, I’ve cheated now. I’m a cheater! I might as well eat the rest of the bag!” That’s when the trouble starts. No slip up needs to be a major crash. If you lift weights every day but one day you miss your weight training, you don’t have to start over at the beginning the next day. It’s the same with habits.

Remember, start with a small, simple change and create one habit at a time. Build from there. And please share your new habit with us in the comments section (above)!

Decisions, One of the Hardest Things You Do

One of the hardest activities you’ll undertake today is making decisions.  As our society becomes ever more crowded with options, and information about those options, the number of decisions we make, and complexity of the analysis required in making those decisions seems to grow daily.  Making decisions is hard work.  No wonder you’re tired at the end of the day.

Tim Ferriss, author of “The Four Hour Workweek,” theorizes that we all start the day with the ability to make a certain number of decisions, and that once you’ve reached your limit, whatever it is for you, the remaining decisions you make will be less than optimal.  You’ll be tired, less creative, cognitively impaired.  To use a modern metaphor, you have limited bandwidth, and each decision takes up some of that bandwidth.  Once it’s used up, you won’t have enough remaining bandwidth to pursue big dreams.

Some people have a greater-than-average capacity for decision making, just as some people have a natural advantage in certain sports.  Of course, others have a lower decision-making capacity.  Perhaps ADHD lowers your decision-limit.  You can still make decisions, but the more decisions you make, the more likely the quality of your decisions will suffer.

Save Your Decisions for Things That Are Important

If you have a limited number of decisions you can make easily and correctly each day, it makes sense to save your decisions for things that are important to you.  While eliminating frivolous decisions can benefit anyone, if you have ADHD, reducing the number of decisions you make unnecessarily gives a bigger pay-off.  This is why rituals, routines and systems are so powerful for adults with ADHD.

Develop Routines In Lieu of Decisions

Developing routines eliminates daily decisions by making them once rather than repeatedly.  Save your energy and your creative genius for decisions that count.  If each day you debate over going to the gym, you waste energy and some of those limited decisions you can make each day.  If instead, you decide (just once) you’ll go to the gym every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, you’ve eliminated three decisions per week.

Michael Phelps, the Olympic champion swimmer who happens to have ADHD, was born with bigger lungs than 99.9% of the population.  Some people are born better swimmers; perhaps some are born with more decision-making capacity.  But just as we are not all capable of Michael Phelps exploits in the water, we can’t all be gifted in decision making.

Systems Eliminate Unnecessary Decisions

Automating or systemizing activities to eliminate unnecessary decisions pays off big-time.  The rewards for adults with ADHD are extraordinary.  After all, if your goal was to cross the river but you could not swim, you would benefit far more from a canoe than Michael Phelps, who could dive in and be on the other side before you had your life jacket on!

If it can’t be automated, can you create a ritual or routine around it?  Do you decide each morning to brush your teeth?  Or do you do it automatically?  These are simple examples of an extremely powerful strategy, just one of the powerful strategies you’ll implement in your own life in the Maximum Productivity Makeover.

Eliminate Overwhelm

Many adults with ADHD overwhelmed by the decisions they need to make every day often despair because their efforts to create routines and systems have failed.  They tell me they’d love to become more productive by creating systems, routines and habits (and thus eliminating energy-draining decisions), but all their past efforts have come to naught.  In fact, they’re convinced this strategy can’t work for them.  Well, I have good news about that…

Stay tuned, because in my next article, “Routines and Habits: Yes You Can,” I’ll share some of the secrets adults with ADHD can use to establish routines and habits (even if you’re absolutely convinced it’s impossible for you!)

Make Like a GPS… Recalculating!

This week while coaching one of my Maximum Productivity Makeover groups, one participant mentioned that she felt ashamed that she had not completed something she had committed to the previous session.  It is common for adults with ADHD to feel this way.  After all, they have been punished, embarrassed, and put down for making mistakes all their lives.  They’ve been subjected to this for so long that they’ve now taken over the job and beat up on themselves!

I would like to propose a different option: pretend you’re a GPS, just say, “Recalculating!”  When you’ve made a commitment and have tried your absolute best (and remember that your best is “everything possible given what you knew at the time”) but you just weren’t able to pull it off, there is no shame in failing.  Instead of putting yourself down, consider what you have to learn.  Examine what went wrong; maybe you need a new system or you tried to tackle more than you could handle.  Whatever it is, you gain nothing from throwing your hands up in defeat, hanging your head in shame, or resorting to blame and finger-pointing.

If instead, when you get lost you react like your GPS does, and “recalculate”, that is, allow your “mistake” or missed goal to become an opportunity to learn and to readjust how you do things, you need never feel that shame again.

This is not to say that you shouldn’t keep your promises and honor your commitments.  Instead, adopt a new “learning approach” to making mistakes.  Ask yourself, “What have I learned from this experience?”, “How can I make this work next time?”, “What do I need to do before I attempt this?” and “Do I need some help?”

And then simply recalculate… uh, recommit.

Taking Ownership of Your Life

taking control of your adult adhd may require helpI just returned from a long weekend with Duane in beautiful, romantic Quebec City. We stayed at a pretty inn near the old part of the city known as “la Basse ville” (the lower city). A working weekend, we spent hours each day working through an exercise I use for my clients, a planning process that helps you take ownership of your life. Hey, I practice what I preach!

While this may not sound like a romantic getaway to you, it motivates us for the future, reinforces our commitment to each other and ensures that we’re all “pushing in the same direction” toward living our best life.

We began this process a few years ago when we both realized we’d been drifting from job to job and career to career without really knowing what we wanted to do. I started businesses, many of which I didn’t really like, became a business teacher, went on to work as the Executive Assistant to the President of a pharmaceutical company, then was promoted to Project Manager and finally became a “drug pusher” (pharmaceutical representative promoting legal drugs)! I had originally wanted to be a doctor but I didn’t make it into medical school and had no plan B. As I drifted from one job to another, I completed my Bachelor of Administration, only to wonder at graduation, “Why did I want this anyway?”

From Pushing Drugs to Taking Ownership

I realized I had let life and circumstances decide what I would do for eight (and sometimes more, many more) hours per day. I only began to figure out what I really wanted to be when I grew up at age 40! Deciding to become a coach took me almost a year of soul searching, looking at what excites me in life and when I feel happiest. With this decision, I took ownership of my life.

Deciding to become a coach was both a difficult and easy decision. I worried about money, but I felt it was my calling and I knew it excited me. It’s funny how life sends you messages. I was well on my way to completing my coach training and building my practice when a neck injury left me unable to drive, a big part of the job description for a pharmaceutical rep.

When you take ownership of your life, you decide what you want life to be like in the future (your vision) and you choose the route you’ll take (the projects you’ll take on), and then you take action. Life will throw you curve balls, and your journey may be a bit of a winding road, so, like every project, you need to review your progress along the way. This past weekend is part of that process that Duane and I have been doing regularly to ensure we stay the course.

You don’t have to be in a committed relationship to take ownership of your life. You don’t need to wait until you’re 40 either! Or if you’re looking at 40 in the rearview mirror, it’s not too late! Now is the best time to start. You can create the life you want.

When you develop a vision of your future, you can enjoy your present life more because you now recognize it as a vehicle that’s taking you where you want to go. What does your future look like? What plans are you making that will share your gifts, your strengths and talents, your creative genius with the world?

How Can I Use This?

Here are the first few steps:

  1. Choose a day and time when you will take ownership of your life. If you’re in a relationship, share this with your partner. Commit to, and let nothing get in the way of, this very important meeting with the most important person in your life – you!
  2. Envision where you want to be in 5 to 10 years. Imagine the lifestyle you want, and consider the kind of person you will be when you arrive there.
  3. Select the first 3 to 5 projects that will allow you to progress toward your vision of your life.

Waiting to Have the Time?

PS: For those of you who are about to put this aside, thinking you’ll do this when you have time… stop! There are 168 hours in the current week. I haven’t been watching the news, but I think I would have heard of a plan to increase the number of hours in a week. That means you’ll still have 168 hours a week next week, and next year and five years from now. You can’t wait until you have time, you must make time. You don’t want to look back on your life with regret at never having lived as the true creative genius you are.

Related posts:

What It Takes to Break a Habit
The Best New Year’s Resolution? No More Running Away
Four Secrets For Making a Dream Come True

What Does It Take to Break a Habit?

how to break a habitSuccessful people tend to do the same things repeatedly (AKA habits and routines). As I gear up for year-end and New Year planning, I’ve been researching how we form habits for an update to tools in Succeed in a FLASH, a module of The Maximum Productivity Makeover. One thing is clear to me:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle.

To change your life, you must transform yourself and to do that, you must change your habits. If you have a habit of watching TV from the time you get home from work until you go to sleep, you’ve become a couch potato. If you want to run a marathon, you’re going to have to change that habit. You’ll need to choose a habit that allows you to progress toward this new objective… perhaps running!

Unfortunately, new habits can be difficult to form. Self-help gurus have been saying it only takes 21 days to form a new habit. Of course, you believe there is something wrong with you if you aren’t able to meet the 21-day deadline, but there is no evidence to support the 21-day rule.

The Real Deal About Habits

In fact, an article published in the European Journal of Social Psychology in October 2010 by Philippa Lally & al. who conducted research on how we form habits, states that is takes anywhere from 18 to 254 days to form a new habit, depending on the habit. Other studies show it takes an average of 66 days to form small habits. Though you have your work cut out with you, at least now you know there’s nothing wrong with you!

Our brains are wired with pathways of varying strengths. The strongest pathways are habits you currently hold and they are very difficult to break. Even that is good news, because once you form a new, more progress-oriented habit, you’ll be more likely to keep it.

However, you might feel discouraged at having to work this hard to break or form a habit. Take comfort in knowing that it won’t take that long to gain the benefits of making these changes. And if you focus on the benefits, you’ll find it motivating to continue.

So, let’s say you’ve decided to adopt a new habit because you’d like to run the marathon. You’ll need to break your bad habit of watching TV and start a new habit of training for the marathon. What’s next?


Breaking a Habit

You’re more likely to break a habit if you replace it by another one. However, it’s important when trying to break a bad habit to consider the need this habit was filling, and to address this need by finding another more positive way to fill it. If your TV watching fills your need to unwind after a long day’s work, you’ll need to find a different way to unwind or your efforts to change that habit are wasted. Read, play music, dance, or chat with a loved one; whatever re-energizes you. If you ignore this need, you’ll soon be mindlessly watching TV again in no time.

Make Sure It’s Important to YOU

It will take a lot of work to adopt a new habit. It might even be painful at times. You’ll often be tempted to slip back. So if you expect to stick with it, you really, really, really need to want it badly, very badly (is that enough emphasis!?) Your new goal and the habits required to achieve it must be for your benefit and not for someone else’s. If someone else is dictating that you create a new habit and the objective is not important to you, you will not likely make the change or, if you do, you won’t sustain the change. You must create a goal that is compelling, emotional or fun. Ask yourself why it’s important to you to run the marathon. Ask that question until you find an answer that moves you (in this case, literally!)

Journal about it, visualize it, act as if you had already achieved it. These activities engage your emotions and help you stay the course.

Make new habits easy to adopt

To adopt a new habit, you’ll need a reminder or trigger. You can use a reminder on your smart phone or better still, use a trigger. A trigger is an event that already happens consistently in your life. For example, every day you get home from work at 5:30 pm. Arriving home from work can be the trigger that reminds you it’s time to don your running clothes.

Other triggers can be other habits you already have, such as having breakfast, brushing your teeth or having lunch. Anchoring a new habit to one you already have is a powerful way to improve your chances that your new habit will stick.

How can I use this now?

  1. Set a goal and identify the habits that will help you achieve that goal;
  2. Identify the habits you currently have that don’t support this goal. Determine what need they fill and find different ways to fill that need that will allow you to change your habits to those that will help you progress to whom you want to become;
  3. Make sure your goal is something you want and is emotionally compelling to you;
  4. Change your habits one at a time. Start with one habit, and anchor it to a habit you already have or an event you live every day.

Related posts:

Attitude is Everything
ADHD Brainwashing First, Transformation Follows

Attitude Is Everything!

PS: main focus on thumbRemember the experiment I invited you to do in the last article ( ADHD Brainwashing First, Transformation Follows ) about changing your point of view before you get the results you’d like to see. If you recall, the lesson is that belief in the possibility always comes before the results you are seeking. If you don’t believe something is possible, you won’t make it happen. Instead, as soon as things start looking as though they aren’t going your way, you give up, usually accompanied by an, “Ahah! I knew it wouldn’t work!”

If you’re looking for proof, waiting to see the results before you believe they are possible, you already have your belief… you believe it’s not possible.

Often times, you consider doing something to improve your life, saying:

“I’d like to buy that book….”

“I’d like to take that course…”

“I’d like to hire that person…”

The sentence continues: “…but… “followed by “…I can’t afford it” or “…I don’t have time”.

Actually, in your head (or hidden in your heart of hearts) is the real rest of the sentence… It is, “…because it won’t work for me anyway.”

If there was no question that the:

Book would reveal the secret to achieve your dreams…

Course would teach you exactly what you need to know to win your dream job…

Interviewee sitting across from you was exactly the right person to help take your company to the next level…

You’d do it in a heartbeat, budget and agenda be damned!

But you have proof that it won’t work, because nothing else you’ve started (with that same attitude) has worked. But imagine if the results depend on the attitude and not the other way around! What becomes possible? If instead, you believed it would work, you’d find the time, the money or whatever resource you need. You’d make it happen.

How You Can Use This?`

  1. Write a statement describing what you’d like to do, followed by “but,” and then followed by the obstacle you perceive.
  2. Consider what your real belief is about yourself. Is there any other underlying belief that could be stopping you? .
  3. Now consider, if you didn’t believe this, what could you make happen? .
  4. If you like what you imagine, change your belief. (Yes, it’s that easy.) .
  5. Related posts:

    ADHD Brainwashing First, Transformation Follows
    Sing Your Heart Out
    Who Are You Not To Be Great?

ADHD Brainwashing First, Transformation Follows

celebrateI’m sure you’re familiar with this quote:

“When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened.” – John Richardson Jr.

I’ve always thought there are really only two kinds of people: victims and victors. Either you’re creating a life you’re excited about (the victor), or you’re complacent, letting things happen and just hoping to survive (the victim). As a victor, you’re moving forward, ignoring or beating every obstacle, paddling upstream… or you’re the victim, caught up in the challenges of a difficult life you didn’t ask for, swept along by the current.

You can choose to be the victor, or you can choose to be the victim. I’m not judging… We’ve all played both roles. If you’re a Creative Genius “in the rough,” a struggling ADHD adult, artist, author or entrepreneur, my husband and I relate to what you’re going through. We have both felt like victims of his adult ADHD.

We’ve struggled as a couple with almost every aspect of our relationship. We fought about the distribution of household chores, his driving, his impulsivity and as a result, my nagging, to name just a few. I felt very insecure and our entire family was often destabilized as Duane quit job after job because he knew he was about to be fired and moved us across the country (and back) in search of the “perfect” career.

Financial problems created by impulsive purchases and forgetting to pay the bills on time added to this feeling of insecurity. The car broke down because he’d forget to get it fixed and I didn’t have the energy to take on one more task. Every day was a disaster waiting to happen.

Fourteen years ago I was seriously contemplating divorcing my ADHD hubby. The only reason I stayed with him was his quirky sense of humor and my belief that he was a diamond in the (very, VERY) rough! Today, we are more in love and more passionate than ever about each other. We overcame our financial problems, we learned how to work as a couple, and Duane realized that it’s easier to turn the career you choose into the perfect career (in fact, it might be the only way to have that perfect career.)

What changed for us?

The other evening, Duane and I were discussing what came first, the change in attitude (for lack of a better word) or a better life (a better relationship along with financial and job security?) Did we enjoy a better attitude because things were going better, or did things go better because we adopted a better attitude? We arrived at the same conclusion: a better attitude comes first. It was only when we decided we were meant to be greater than what we had been so far that we empowered ourselves to take control of our lives. It was this belief that led us to make the choices and take the actions that lead to success, and without believing it first, we never would have had the courage to act.

We created and are still progressing toward a life we love by investing in ourselves, even when we didn’t have the financial means to do it.

Was it easy? No… and yes. (I know, I’m supposed to say Yes and No but I’m a bit of a non-conformist.)

It was hard.

It was hard having creditors calling us, and it was no fun not having money to have fun! But we realized that if we were unwilling to sacrifice some short-term pleasure, we were sacrificing something much larger… the future we could have had. So we created a system to manage and eventually eliminate our debts (no we didn’t go bankrupt), we cut expenses – restaurants, concerts, etc. – and found creative ways to have fun inexpensively.

Our youngest daughter needed us to advocate for her in school – she has ADHD and learning disabilities – and our oldest daughter needed our attention. While we both worked outside the home, we soon found that by committing to our future, we were motivated to learn to communicate better and learn to manage the household as a team and create a better life for our daughters and us.

There’s more (a lot more!) but I’d have to write a book or a soap opera script … maybe I will one day. :

It was easy too.

Our newfound belief in ourselves, the new vision of ourselves we created, and our improved attitude, which was the result of our self-imposed and self-inflicted “brainwashing,” made it so much easier because we knew our struggles were only temporary… we were taking action to move out of that crappy life.

Hope backed by action was and is still an amazing aphrodisiac for life. I invite you to choose to see the diamond in the rough, the Creative Genius that lies in wait within you, take control and create a life you love, one that allows you to act powerfully in your areas of strengths and passion.

How Can I Use This Today?

Pick one thing you wish was different. To use a very simple example, let’s say you want the clerk at the store to be nice to you, instead of being rude as usual. Instead of being the victim of his rudeness, take a leap of faith and believe the clerk isn’t being rude. Provide yourself with a different point of view. He’s not rude; he’s just trying to serve you as quickly as possible. He isn’t purposely cold and unwelcoming. Now, believe this new point of view and act accordingly. Instead of glaring at the clerk because he’s so rude, smile and thank him for serving you so quickly. To push this experiment as far as you can, tell him you love coming to his store because you always get such efficient service (and that is true… you just wish he smiled while he was being so efficient!)

What’s your investment? You might have to admit you’re wrong and that the clerk is not actually rude. And what’s the potential payoff? You stop being the victim and become the victor. And there’s an excellent chance you’ll get amazing service accompanied by a friendly greeting (this visit and every time you return to this store!)

Related posts:

Sing Your Heart Out
Who Are You Not To Be Great?

5 Reasons to Unleash Your Creative Genius – Part 2

ADHDers aspire to more than they often achieve. Unleash your creative genius.Earlier this week I published Part 1 of the 5 reasons to unleash your Creative Geniuses. ADHDers and other Creative Geniuses spend so much time and energy at work, they have little left for anything but family, and even that’s on back order. We discussed the importance of working with your strengths and passion as a way of crafting an amazing life. Here are other compelling reasons why you must unleash your creative genius.

3) You’ll reach your full potential
“Be all you can be” is more than just a U.S. Army recruiting slogan. People have different strengths and talents. The truly successful discover their special ability and pursue that one thing with unerring diligence until they are the best at it that they can possibly be. Your potential for greatness lies not in struggling to improve your areas of weakness, but is found in developing your strengths, talents and passions.

Working to overcome your weaknesses saps your energy. Unleashing your Creative Genius energizes you, allowing you to make huge strides in your areas of strengths. The thrill of pushing the envelope of your own abilities and always striving to reach just a little higher is far more enjoyable than the nagging disappointment you feel when you suspect you’re capable of more.

4) The world needs your talents and strengths
The world is in serious trouble and we need your help. Right now, thousands of gallons of oil are spewing into the Gulf of Mexico daily, global warming is a dangerous reality, millions of people are without food, water or medical services and war rages in many areas of the world.

I’m not implying that you put on your mask and cape and save the world, but we need the strengths and talents of every Creative Genius to help find solutions to problems.

5) Someone inspired you – pay it forward and inspire others
It’s rare to turn on the TV or open the newspaper to discover good news. The media focuses on bad news in the form of disasters, crime and corruption. If you’ve been inspired to unleash your Creative Genius, please “pay it forward” and provide the inspiration for another Creative Genius who’s struggling to fit in rather than standing tall and standing out.

And because your deserve more, here’s a bonus reason you must unleash your Creative Genius:

6) The world needs more passion!
The world needs your passion. Nothing is more contagious than a smile on the face of someone passionately pursuing a dream they believe in. It seems each year brings the threat of some new pandemic, but imagine what would happen if this caught on instead!

So what are you waiting for? Unleash your Creative Genius!

You may be ready and willing to unleash your Creative Genius but lack the tools to manage the mental and physical energy required to get there. That’s why I created The 10 ADHD Productivity Myths, Busted! report, a free report with implementation email series to help you discover how to achieve this.

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Strengthened by Adversity

The Best Time to Have Adult ADHD

Sing Your Heart Out

Who Are You Not To Be Great?

5 Reasons to Unleash Your Creative Genius – Part 1

Surprised woman looking up with white backgroundCreative Geniuses (AKA ADHDers) often work undercover. Sometimes, you’re so well disguised you don’t even recognize your own inner Genius yearning for freedom. Of course, it can be hard to recognize your Creative Genius if you’ve spent many years ignoring it, tamping it down or covering it up so as to fit in with “normal” people.

As a Creative Genius, your brilliance lies in your non-conformity, but throughout history, non-conformists have been ridiculed, labeled as heretics, imprisoned or worse. Your parents, your friends and your school have invested tremendous effort to mould you, make you conform and teach you to do things the way everyone else does. Since the goal is standardization, they give no consideration to the effectiveness of this approach.

Little wonder many Creative Geniuses find themselves working in jobs they hate, doing things they aren’t particularly good at and expending enormous effort to overcome their weaknesses. You know (or at least suspect) you’d be much happier, and you’d probably be far more effective, if only you felt free to do what you really love and do it in a way that works for you, “acceptable” or not.

Many Creative Geniuses desperately want to explore and develop their talents, but find that when trying to keep up on the treadmill of life takes everything you have, there’s no time or energy left to even think about let alone make a change. Exhausted, sometimes it’s easier to blame your responsibilities and commitments to your job and family for your inability to pursue your passion or to explore and develop your strengths and talents.

But rather than blame anyone, consider instead that it is your responsibility to yourself and to your family to live your best life, to inspire, to motivate and to lead your family. And the best way to lead is by example. You will succeed when you pursue your passion, doing things your own way and creating in the way only you can. Even better, you will show (instead of just telling) your children that they too can live a successful life, not by conforming but by standing out, not by playing it safe but by throwing themselves wholeheartedly into life.

What better lesson could you teach your children, and who better to teach that most important of all lessons than a Creative Genius?
Here are five more reasons why you must unleash you Creative Genius:

1) It’s great to be great
You’re a Creative Genius, but when you don’t work with your strengths, you’re sapping all your greatness as surely as if you were Superman carrying a pocketful of kryptonite. Work with your strengths and reclaim your Creative Genius status. Instead of worrying about fitting in, you’ll shine, and when you shine, you share the best of yourself with your family and the world.

2) You can only truly be happy when pursuing your passion
Nothing is more motivating, energizing and inspiring than pursuing your passion. Little wonder since your passions are where your Creative Genius lies. No one is happier than a person striving for greatness while chasing a dream that ignites his or her passions. What’s more, happiness attracts happiness; your happiness grows exponentially, and your happiness rubs off on the people around you.

Many of my coaching clients struggle with the decision to strike out in a new direction in life. They fear leaving the status, perks and big money their unfulfilling career provided, assuming that pursuing their passion means abandoning those things. Passion and profits are not mutually exclusive, but while you may lose some of those things, you’ll gain a huge amount of satisfaction and joy in your life.

Continue to Part 2

Related posts:

Strengthened by Adversity

The Best Time to Have Adult ADHD

Sing Your Heart Out

Who Are You Not To Be Great?