If I Had To Choose
I’m a Hyperactive Person. My hyperactivity has been turned inward for the most part. I manage to stay out of trees and off of roofs … most of the time. I am 54 years old after all. I really should try to stay on the ground more, right?
But my toe still bobs, my fingers snap, my pen tip taps on the table top. I’m always humming or thrumming and I whistle or sing. If I’m not making noise out loud, there’s a song playing in my head.
Warning, car analogy follows:
At the same time, my mind is firing rapidly on all sixteen cylinders, my carburetor is wide open, and my transmission is in all gears at once.
And as Dr. Edward Hallowell says, we have Ferrari engines, but bicycle brakes.
Some additional information
I’m not as “actively” hyperactive as I used to be, but I’m still active enough to be hyperactive. You know, physically hyperactive. I bop about from one thing to another, doing the exciting and “active” parts and then moving on to something else when the boring, less active parts of a job or project come along.
So I’m active, but it doesn’t show on my accomplishment record that I am. If you look down the “Things Completed” column, there are few if any checkmarks. If you run your finger down the “Time Spent Working On Project” column, the number of minutes in each row is small.
But if you look at the cumulative time spent “Doing Stuff” … whoa, where did all those minutes come from? Well, they came from the fact that a few minutes were spent on each of a multitude of things. Those minutes add up. I spend ALL my time doing things.
Okay, admittedly, some of the things listed under “Projects and Chores” don’t look like they were very important. I admittedly work as diligently on things that aren’t going to put food on the table or pay off the mortgage, as I do on things that will.
Now, the big question …
So here’s my question for myself today, and it’s one you may want to ask yourself also. The answer will give you a hint as to how to proceed with your life. Would you (or I) rather be the person who works with great focus on only the so called “important” things, and not be actively and creatively bouncing around from thing to thing of the hundreds of jobs and projects you (or I) have on the go?
If the answer to your question is “Yes! Yes indeed! That’s what I’d like to be.” – well, then you’ll need to stop doing just about everything and make a deal with yourself to only do one thing until it’s done or can be done no further. You’ll have to forgo trying new things. You’ll have to quit being the person who follows multiple dreams in order to be the person who chooses one single dream and works on that one dream alone.
But if you’re like me, then your answer is “No! No I would not! I would rather have the kaleidoscope of life, the stew of projects, the frittata of dreams that results in an eclectic banquet of life experiences.”
I’ve figured a few things out
I happen to know a secret. Success is being happy. I’d love it if I didn’t drop the ball on things I’m trying to accomplish. And I’d be thrilled if I could stick to one thing and see it completed and then enjoy that accomplishment. But I know that, on the few occasions when I’ve managed to do that, I didn’t enjoy the accomplishment all that much. My mind just skipped on to the next thought and that was that.
My enjoyment comes from being immersed in something in the moment.
My successes are small ones and fleeting. But they keep coming, and coming rapidly. That’s because I’m hyperactive, and my brain has bicycle brakes. If you see me coming … well, maybe just watch out.
And hey, I just finished writing another blog post. Another success … I wonder what’s for breakfast?
Babcock, K. (2013). If I Had To Choose. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 3, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/adhd-man/2013/11/if-i-had-to-choose/