Archives for Workplace
It is so amazing how organizations are popping up all over the world helping us join forces to tackle mental health diseases. I was privileged enough to speak in Athens, Greece a few years ago about iFred's rebranding depression work, and learned from countries around the world just how important it is we work together to solve our greatest challenges. I've just recently been asked to join their advisory board, and continue to be amazed and impressed by the work of all throughout the world. It was celebrated across the U.S. when we were able to get mental health parity law passed. I don't by any means intend to minimize this work - but do we realize that what we accomplished was to treat the brain in a similar fashion to the heart, liver, and intestines? Should we really have to fight that hard for that? Those that were involved in the legislation understand the intense work, dedication, and challenge this simple piece of legislation involved - and unfortunately the rest of the world is so far behind us in many different ways.
If you still don't believe there is major value to the disorganized, scattered, wayward way of the ADHD mind, let me share an example of how it works. Now, this may not be the best solution ever for solving the gay marriage issue, but it's something my ADHD mind came up with that I guarantee a person who thinks along logical, straight lines might never imagine. Our minds simply work in different ways. I came up with the thought in bed this morning, while reading Elizabeth Gilbert's new book Committed, about the entire marriage concept. She talks at length about why we get married, the failure rate of 50% that would never be tolerated in any other government run program, and our ongoing desire to 'get married.' It makes me wonder why on earth people don't scrap this institution, and come up with a new one that works.
I can't begin to explain how hard it is at times for me to focus. To sit down, and get going on what I need to do. But when I do - look out - because I can do a lot to make the world a better place. Unfortunately, it's so difficult to get to that place these days because there is an ongoing bombardment of distractions that seem to get greater by the day. Research has shown that if you work in an office environment you get interrupted about once every 8 minutes. And that it takes 4-5 minutes to refocus after an interruption. And those are just studies on the general population!
The discipline of Psychology has come up with some fairly simple rules to follow for fighting fair, and it amazes me how each and every day we ignore these rules and suffer again and again from their lessons. The recent shooting in Arizona has brought up a lot of this, but I am reminded when I hear of bullying, the divorce rate, and the constant battle of the media and politics. While Psychology is far from perfect, it is an evolving discipline (as are we) and I would think we would take at least what we do know, and use it to our advantage. Fighting fair is an art, and it needs to be taught in school and practiced throughout every relationship. Yet it takes a great deal of discipline, and it seems few have it. The amount of hurtful words we are constantly spewing out of our mouths, on an hourly basis, is creating a majorly toxic environment. Our kids are learning how to treat each other through the television, politicians, adults, and teachers - and what kinds of fighting are we doing every day?
I don't know how to say it any other way; society is overwhelming me. My brain and head has been spinning for weeks trying to get my hands around the problem, but it's so big. As I review the changes in the U.S. economy, technology, and communication, it makes my ADHD spin. I run a for profit company (technically) and manufacture light bulbs. When I attempted to get them manufactured in the U.S., I couldn't find anyone willing to do it. Everything was done in China or Mexico.
This topic has been really bothering me this week, primarily because of the story of the potential book burning in Florida that caused riots and outrage all across the world this past weekend. CNN's behavior, in one way, reminded me of the downfall in my ADHD in that I get fired up about something, get out there talking about it, and don't always think through the consequences of my actions. This impulsivity was really highlighted first with the balloon boy when I was trying to get a story published on depression but couldn't get word in because he was all over the screens. It literally shocked me that there was high drama about the balloon boy event, but it didn't have such catastrophic consequences. This weekend's coverage did.
A comment on a post last week got me thinking, when are we really taught the difference between healthy anger and abuse? How do we express our anger appropriately? Luckily, I have had many years of practice and learned from some of the best trained experts in the field, so while I definitely have not perfected it, I do know about it. The most amazing work on fighting fair is based on Imago Therapy / Imago Principles. It was developed by a man by the name of Harville Hendrix, and I have learned from a number of brilliant therapists trained by him including Rick Brown, who has appeared several times on Oprah. It is an actual type of dialogue, and while it is extremely difficult to get the hang of doing and you often feel silly doing it, the world of relating in business, marriages, and family relationships can open to you if you practice.
I'm not sure what prompted me to recreate this tool and put it out there, but it's something I learned in graduate school and think is indispensable. I find it difficult to make decisions at times, especially when there are a number of factors involved that are important to consider in the ultimate answer. Being ADHD certainly doesn't help, as it often speeds up the my thought process, creates more factors to consider, and is liable to make me act impulsively without thinking an opportunity through. So I use this tool when I have a big decision or one I am particularly stumped on and I hope you find it useful as well.
You might not first understand how it is possible someone with ADD / ADHD is brilliant. On the outside they may look to be a mess. They might show up late for meetings, lose their keys, forget your name, not catch a detail or jump from one subject to the next without you following. Working with them can be the most frustrating experience at times. Lucky for you, those with ADHD are also the most likely to come up with your next product line, provide a new solution to your customer service issue, think of a new angle on a legal case, introduce innovative laws that address multiple parties, or come up with an exciting PR campaign. The number of ideas people with ADHD have, and provide when their skills are appreciated and utilized, is simply staggering.