Motivational rituals: So. 4 months ago... - CHADD's Adult ADH...

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Motivational rituals


So. 4 months ago I was re-diagnosed as an adult with adhd. Originally I did what appears a lot of you have also done- I got myself hopeless over a stupid diagnosis. What’s silly is that I’ve obviouslt always had it and so have many of my ancestors. So why should a diagnosis change my outlook? It does not mean I’m doomed.

I’m in school currently trying to achieve a PhD. My wife is 7 months pregnant with our 3rd child. Stress is at an all time high in my household as I’m also the only income for the family. Throughout my life I’ve always struggled with self confidence issues- either I’m over confident or under confident and both of them are extremes.

So. Here’s the point where I realized I’m actually in control of who and what I am. I’m in control of my perceptions and in full control of my outlook. What we need out of the world is not to be eternally happy. Happiness comes and goes in every human and should be savored with it’s around. What we need is a sense of meaning and purpose. That can only happen when we give that purpose to ourselves.

8 months ago I found myself overweight for someone my height. I was 230 lbs, and I had realized I was no longer treating myself with respect because I felt I didn’t deserve it. But why? My dad died of cancer, I ruined my relationship with him a few months before I found out he had cander and I was spiraling into self doubt about decisions I’ve made in my life.

But that was all perspective. Fast forward 8 months. I’ve finally realized that I’m fully in control and responsible for giving myself a purpose. I’ve decided my purpose is to change the world. I’ve beeb getting out of bed each morning and putting on inspirational dance music (I can post some links here if there’s intrrest) and making my bed. I’ve lost over 60 lbs and recently was able to completely replace my wardrobe with clothes that make me feel happier with myself. The positive energy spreads to everyone around me, I can tell. All this just because I deciddd to give myself a purpose. As a result, my anxiety is largely gone for good. I no longer life myself trying to make everyone around me like me. I’m my own person, I’m mortal. I love myself and I owe it to myself and to the world to provide what I can do that when my time comes to become a part of the earth, I can feel that I helped the world become just a little better and rest peacefully without resentment or regret.

What we tell ourselves each morning when we get out of bed is going to be our reality. If we tell ourselves hopeless things and we aren’t being kind to ourselves, we can’t expect a good perspective. When the world sees us in a stAte of hopelessness, it’s not going to make it better, only you have the power to do that. I quickly realized that when I was walking around with my head down acting like I was a pile of crap, everyone around me amplified that feeling. However when I walk around with self confidence- standing upright with my shoulders kicked back and exposing my most vulnerable side; my heart, to the world, the universe amplifies my confidence and the people around me treat me like I have purpose and meaning.

I’m curious to know if you guys have ever gone through this process. I can’t see how someone could be continue day after day with feelings of misery when they know the world has given them a purpose.

I feel like my life has changed completely and IM the one who did it for myself, nobody else. The attached photo was taken last night. Finally proud of myself and the fact that I was able to drop 6 pant sizes and go from an extra large to a medium in 8 months. I haven’t even taken the tags off my new clothes yet.

9 Replies

Congrats to you, cjnolet! I'm am truly proud for you. First of all, you look great and after losing that much weight, I'm sure you must feel better physically as well. I think what you wrote about having a purpose is key to a lot of issues. I remember well a few years ago having a nagging feeling all the time as to why I was here. I'm a Christian so it was more like why did God put me on this earth? I have absolutely no real talents and I've made so many mistakes in my life. I guess I was searching for a way to kind of make up to God for my past and do some good so that at least the world would be a little better because of me. I started volunteering at our local Humane Society and it really changed my whole perspective. People always say to me, " oh I could never do that. I would want to bring them all home" and yes so do I. And some days I leave from there crying like a baby but at the end of the day, I know that at least because of me, someone got to go out of their kennel for a while and get some much needed attention and a little walk. There is a poem I love and I'm not sure who wrote it but it says "Saving the life of one animal may not change the world, but the world will surely change for that one animal". Spending time with them and loving them helps to make them more adoptable. It's a wonderful feeling when you're talking to someone about an animal and you're able to tell them what you know from being around them or how far they have come since being there and that person decides that's who the want to share their life with - it just makes me feel blessed to be a part of it.

Anyway I didn't mean to go on and on about that but I do understand exactly where you're coming from. When a person decides to put someone else's interest before there own for a little while. Do something for someone who will never be able to repay you and it's like something magic happens.

Good luck cjnolet. I'm rooting for you.

cjnolet in reply to Gabesmom594

It's a wonderful thing you are doing, and I'd say that certainly gives you a good purpose for being here! I think everyone was put on this earth to serve some purpose but many of us get beaten down by the world and, at some point, forget what that purpose is.

I've been working really hard to eliminate my reliance on approval from others and I'm finding it's just adding to my ability to think for myself and accomplish the things I really want, without holding back for fear of what others might think.

We only get one chance in the series of "nows" that we refer to as our lives and I refuse to spend mine in misery. Though my wife & I definitely give to charity when we are able, I feel like my calling is in being a public speaker and in building technologies that will inspire and empower users to look at life in perspectives that may challenge their beliefs about the world for the better.

I've been telling myself for years that I need to keep pushing and be my own business owner. We seem to be instilled from birth with the idea that we need to "be careful" and "work for others" and that there are 2 types of people- the capitalists and everyone else (us being the latter). I call bullshit. The only thing stopping me from pursuing my dreams of running my own business and inspiring the world through my technical skills is the narrative I give to myself. I've definitely worked hard enough to earn the technical chops, it's the story I play out in my head that determines the rest.

Rather than allowing those artificial barriers to control my future, I'm removing them completely. If I want to be a business owner, it means treating other business owners as peers and telling myself that there's no difference between them and myself.

In reference to your quote, I always loved the following:

"I have found that, among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver." ~ Maya Angelou

Gabesmom594 in reply to cjnolet

As to your quote, I couldn't agree more. As to you starting your own business, I think you should go for it. I've always heard that at the end of ones life, people have more regrets about things they never tried to do than things they did, even if they tried and didn't succeed.

Hi cj-

I'm very happy at your renewal of faith! Keep growing and learning!

I would like to suggest a minor adjustment of your attitude that requires threading a needle of subtle understanding that I hope you can incorporate into your attitude. There is a spiritual truth contained in my proposition that I think is worthy of consideration.

The issue is control. The reality, in my opinion, is that control is an illusion. We can exert our will toward and end goal. If circumstances support or, more likely, fail to affect our efforts. that is our good fortune. But it is no way within our control. The effort is within your control, the outcome is not. Let me explain why keeping this perspective is useful.

It is a very human belief that whatever we can control, we should control and, for the sakes of our families, careers and futures, must control. As long as we maintain the illusion of control and circumstances cooperate, everything is fine and dandy. We are blessed with prosperity and success. But when, as they say, "the worm turns", it can completely unravel our plans, or worse, cut right through them. If we try to maintain our illusion of control over outcomes, we are forced, by definition to disconnect from reality. To expect ourselves to control the effects of an economic downturn, an illness or injury or even another person's will is unrealistic and anyone who demands that you do is being cruel. The fact is, no one ever controls anything beyond the reach of their fingertips. We can adjust our efforts but we cannot control their effects. We can predict probabilities of success but such predictions can be wrong.

The reason for holding this perspective is, simply, mental health. Failure to recognize and accept reality is, by definition, psychotic. It is arguable that people suffer unfortunate breaks with reality every day, Thus, we are all a little bit crazy. In order to maintain our personal sanity, it is important to stay grounded in reality, solidly in control of what is ours to control. By doing so, we maximize the probability of moving forward and remaining effective in our lives.

So I would plead with you and everyone to remain detached from outcomes. Put your best efforts into everything you do but never fool yourself into believing you have it all under control. The fact is that you have ADHD symptoms that are assailing your brain every second of every day. There might be competing forces against your efforts. You might fail. Do not confuse the failure with yourself or what you control. Adjust your attitudinal controls and move on. The less invested in outcomes you remain, the more real control you maintain.

So who or what IS in control of our outcomes? That is the purview of religion, my friend.

cjnolet in reply to DAVIDkd


Very well said. I'll be completely honest- I read your response a first time, began a reply, and deleted it. Upon a second reading, I think I get exactly what you are attempting to say and I do agree wholeheartedly.

One thing that's been very prevalent throughout my life is my ability to inspire others around me and my energy tends to spread positive change. I don't say this out of arrogance; it's something I've been told by people throughout my life as well. It could be my ENFP personality or it could be my ADHD.

In the past 5 or so years, there have been several times when my software engineering and data science skills have put me in a position with my peers where I'm suddenly leading them into the beginnings of what appears to be a company. The thing is, while many others have often been open with me that they see opportunities to increase their salaries, I don't pursue my goals for such reasons and I never have.

In fact, contrary to that, I've found much abundance in my life as a result of working my ass off because I'm passionate about something rather than just trying to build a means of getting rich. Im not a trust fund kid, though I've been called such things before. My father never gave me much for money as an adult and I'm thankful for that. My mother has her own money issues and never learned how to properly save. I, myself, shared my tireless efforts with the world as a young adult and I've never had to worry about money since.

So that being said- I'm in a new place in my life. I'm in my mid-30's, I don't have to worry about money, my family is well fed and my wife & I have a beautiful home that we own. I'm ready for the next chapter in my narrative- not because I want to "get rich" or because I'm expecting a specific result. Quite the contrary, like every other passion in my life, I'm along for the ride and I'm enjoying every minute of it.

One of the reasons my mission is to "change the world" is because this allows many different vague interpretations. What does it even mean to change the world? You want a taste of my current passions?

- I'm writing a science fiction story about time travel in hopes that I can pitch the story to investors in order to get the necessary funding to hire a team to turn the story into a video game. Why? Because I think it would benefit both kids and adults to have an immersive experience in which to learn history, science, philosophy, and mathematics. This has brought me to begin reasoning about how I believe time travel might be possible and I recently found that someone has put their life's work into a theory that's eerily similar to the one I came up with.

- I'm taking my PhD research on tensors, graphical models, and neural networks very seriously in hopes that I might be able to help pave some new ground in the intersections of those 3 approaches to reasoning about data and exposing latent patterns that "make the world tick". Essentially, these three approaches span many different scientific disciplines from quantum physics, to health, on top of providing the backbone for general recommender systems and robotics.

- I'm working with a good friend of mine on a non-profit that he's been excited about in order to provide instruments and instruction to under-privileged neighborhoods in hopes that kids can gain both a mentor and a skill in music.

- I'm taking on opportunities to beef up my public speaking skills so that I can gain a better presence in the tech community. This is also rapidly growing my professional network and putting me in contact with successful business owners.

- My wife & I have been working on a series of playing-card-shaped inspirational cards that we call Junto Cards after the famous club that helped build Benjamin Franklin into the curious, inventive, diplomat that we read about in the history books. We recently donated a bunch of the cards to a local human services conference and they seemed to be quite a hit. The idea behind the cards is to spread, without technology, inspiration to the world. The quotes are meant to both educate and inspire while providing a platform for people to inspire others as they pass from hand to hand in times of need.

If you've read this far, THANK YOU! My point in all of this is that I'm riding the wave that the universe placed beneath my surfboard and I don't have many expectations. You are very correct that we should not do what we do expecting specific outcomes.

What I've always done is to dive into my interests until they aren't my interests any more. The worst that happens is I learn something useful to take to my next interest. As i get older, however, I'm noticing that all the wisdom, skills, and experience I've picked up throughout the year have been positioning for bigger and better things as I've gained quite a useful intuition for obtaining knowledge very quickly and being able to be very pragmatic with it.

8 months ago, I decided I wasn't good enough. You know, sometimes when we're happy, we tell ourselves we shouldn't be and we get in our own way and ruin it. Last year, my wife was proud of me and standing behind me 100% in pursuing my passions and she was the happiest I've ever seen her. My kids were excited and interested in the things I was doing and I screwed it all up by doubting myself and telling myself "I shouldn't be having this much fun in my life." I became very withdrawn and reclusive and, quite frankly, I was miserable. I won't live a "normal" life and I never will. What I always envisioned as normal is only based on trying to please everyone around me who thought they are were better parents. My kids are amazing- they are smart, they have a sense of humor, and most of all, they get excited about their passions just like their father.

So fast forward to this post, which is the outcome of all the experiences and realizations I had during my journey through self-doubt. There doesn't need to be a reason behind why I do what I do. I play hard because I'm passionate, not because i'm screwed up. I'm resilient, I'm extraverted, and I'm smart. This isn't meant to sound arrogant- I'm just finally accepting myself.

I can only leave off with a quote I've loved since I first read his book back in my early 20's:

“In the long run men only hit what they aim at. Therefore, though they should fail immediately, they had better aim at something high.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

DAVIDkd in reply to cjnolet

Wow. Just, wow.

I think that's so wonderful!! You're definitely headed in the right direction. Keep up the outstanding g work!! You speak truth and are an inspiration!🤗

I need help with what you did that helped you. I don’t have a plan nothing sticks or has

cjnolet in reply to Lovinit

I'm not sure if I regard my approach as a plan so much as a perception. We all have control over our perception of reality. For example- an event could happen that is witnessed by two different people standing next to each other (and so having the same viewpoint) and yet if you asked these individuals to describe the event, each of their perceptions could be completely different.

Why is it that one person might have a tendency to put a negative spin on something while another would not? I say this is very strong evidence that reality IS perception. If we take this slightly more philosophical, our brains process our senses of the physical world before our senses are actually perceived. This means every sense you have is a memory. Memories are NOT reality; just your recollection of such. This means every instant of your recollection of reality is just a perception which has been distorted by other perceptions; like emotions, for instance.

So with this being said, I've literally spent the past year reading self-help books trying to learn more about life, reality, perceptions, myself, and how I can put all the aforementioned things together into a concoction for leading a good life. I say "good life" rather than happiness because one of the more important values I've learned is that happiness is an emotion, not a lifestyle.

A more concrete definition of happiness could look like this "instinctive or intuitive feeling as distinguished from reasoning or knowledge" or this "a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one's circumstances, mood, or relationships with others." So either knowing more information provides me with an emotion, or this "natural instinctive state of mind" is not really something that can be achieved, because we all go through emotions of happiness & sadness. Rather, what I find more important is that we have a sense of purpose. Purpose tells us that we are worth a damn. Purpose gives us the ability to persevere even when the odds seemed to be stacked against us. Purpose gets stuff done. Purpose also allows us to be ourselves and stop living our lives in fear of judgment from others. Nobody knows you as well as you know yourself.

So with purpose comes action. When you feel, genuinely, that your purpose is legitimate and that it defines your existence, you will not allow yourself to waste away. You will, at that moment and all moments thereafter, remind yourself constantly of how important you are because you have such a purpose and you will no longer allow useless external noise (judgments, nagging, etc...) to permeate through the toughness of your own inner-narrative.

I woke up one day and said "I'm here to change the world." That's purpose. I also said to myself "You are already changing the world because you have children that you are raising to be independent individuals someday that can thrive in this world with their own purposes." I also told myself "You have everything to be thankful for. You don't have to wake up and worry about your children being bombed on their way home from school, or worry about your house being bombed by a tyrannical government". Quite frankly, I am thankful that I woke up at all. Telling myself these things while making my bed and knowing that I have a purpose in this life makes everything so great. My anxiety problem is largely gone. What do I have to lose? I have purpose. I get angry and sad and happy just like everyone else. The difference is, I can get angry and sad without any longer feeling condemned or destroying my perception of myself.

Then comes the weight loss. When I have purpose, I want to take care of my body and be healthy. When I lost weight, I realized that I want the rest of the world to see that I'm someone with purpose- someone who takes care of their body. I hang my shoulders back and stand up straight when approaching the world. I push my heart out first, to show the world that I'm confident enough to put my most vulnerable organ out first. People treat me differently as a result, and it confirms further my belief that I have purpose and I'm no different than anyone else (because we all have purpose... some of us just have poor perceptions).

So with all of what I've said above, I feel like getting things done and feeling a sense of accomplishment from them is much easier when I know I have a purpose. To be honest, my purpose of "changing the world" isn't even really the point. Even if tomorrow my purpose were to change, I know deep down inside I'm here for a reason and I matter to me and to those around me. It's rather magical to persist your beliefs in this way because it really does make your reality become that much more fulfilling. I do believe in the law of attraction. I'm rather pragmatic about it, however, because I don't believe that thinking I'm a millionaire without putting in any effort will suddenly make me a maillionaire. I do, however, believe very strongly that the energy we radiate into the world is amplified and cast back to us. If we're putting out negative energy, it's going to be amplified and our world will be full of misery. If walk around with our shoulders back, confident that there's enough resources here for everybody and we're spending our time thinking about what we want rather than what we don't have, we will be giving off the radiating glow of possibility rather than scarcity.

Does that make sense? That's my thesis from a year of self-help books and experimentation.

I wrote a rather long post, again. The truth is, this topic is hard to explain in a couple of sentences and I've done my best to condense down what I could. Below are a bunch of better books I've read over the past year that have laid the groundwork for the reasoning that I've shared with you above.

[1] "Braving the Wilderness" Brene Brown

[2] "The Icarus Deception" Seth Godin

[3] "Man's Search for Meaning" Viktor Frankl

[4] "The 4 Agreements" Don Miguel Ruiz

[5] "The End Of Time" Julian Barbour (this is about quantum physics but presents some interesting ideas on how the mind perceives reality).

[6] "The Secret" Rhonda Byrne

[7] "The Velveteen Principals" Toni Raiten-D'Antonio

[8] "The Way to Wealth" Benjamin Franklin

[9] "Start with Why" Simon Sinek

[10] "12 Rules for Life: An Antidote for Chaos" Jordan Peterson

Hope this helps!

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