Dr. Hallowell on Attending A Teachers Service

On a sunny, unseasonably balmy Saturday in January I found myself sitting in a back pew of an Episcopal church in Exeter, New Hampshire. I had made the hour-or-so drive from my home outside Boston to Exeter to attend the memorial service of a man who had died a few weeks before at the age of 97. His name was David Coffin. I attended the school he taught at for decades, the Phillips Exeter Academy. He was the pre-eminent teacher of high-school level Classics in the entire country, or so said those in the know.

Mr. Coffin, “Mister” is how we addressed our teachers when I was at Exeter, never taught me. Although I did take Latin, I was never lucky enough to have the great Mr. Coffin looking over my shoulder as I attempted a translation.

Why then, you might ask, would I steal time from a precious Saturday afternoon to honor a man who never directly had me in his sway? I felt the answer to that question as I sat in the back pew listening to the organ prelude as the people filed in, filling up the church to capacity.

Feeling Immense Gratitude

I felt, sitting there, immense gratitude toward Mr. Coffin for all that he did for so many of us students, for devoting his prodigious talents to the development of young minds and young lives. When I knew him—I attended the Academy as it’s called—from 1964 to 1968 he was a swarthy, trim handsome man. He was a mountain climber and a tennis player, as well as a scholar of the first order. When I’d see Mr. Coffin walking the corridors of the Academy Building, I’d feel the combination of fear and awe such teachers—and Exeter had quite a few—inspire in young students like me.

Now 70 years old, I sat, listening to the organ, looking around at the people who’d come, including my 9th grade math teacher, Walter Burgin. He has as accomplished a mind as David Coffin, and made math as simple as pie. I would not have gone to medical school were it not for the confidence Mr. Burgin instilled in me by making math so accessible. That’s what these great teachers did; they drew us in without our even noticing how much they were getting us to prove to ourselves we could do.

I sat there, feeling gratitude to Mr. Coffin, now deceased, and to Mr. Burgin, very much alive, and to this great school that had so fortuitously come into my life, changing me forever. I went on to Harvard after Exeter, and while Harvard was a fine place to go to college, my years at Exeter shaped me more radically than any four years of my life ever have.

Sentimental Alums

I went back to honor all that, and for the minutes I sat in the church I basked in the feeling of gratitude and love. Fred Tremallo, my 12th. grade English teacher at Exeter, who changed my life more than any teacher before or since, told us never to become one of those sentimental alums who come back and sugar coat the years we spent at Exeter, forgetting the pain and angst all of us felt there some of the time.

But I’d grown so old that by the Saturday of Mr. Coffin’s service I even felt gratitude for the pain and angst. Also attending the service was another English teacher, David Weber, who’d helped me edit my last book, as well as a former Dean and history teacher, Jack Hearny, who’s still leading seminars, trips, and gatherings long after he’s retired. In fact, his favor that day was to transport to the memorial service the imperious but well-loved Jackie Thomas, wife of another deceased Latin teacher, David Thomas, who actually did teach me.

No, Fred, I will not be one of those sentimental alums. But there is a ripeness to the fruit age which imparts, an advanced taste that surpasses sentiment and taps into the subtle juices youth simply lacks the palate to appreciate.

Savoring the moment

Sitting there, I got to savor those juices for a while. Also while sitting there I got to see my past, and sense my death one day, while celebrating the life of a man who just did die, amongst those who knew him well and loved him dearly.

Finally, sitting there I gave thanks to whatever force it was that allowed me to happen upon the notice of David Coffin’s death, the announcement of the memorial service, and to get into my car that balmy Saturday and drive back up to my old school.

How did I know that it would mean so much to me?

I didn’t. And that’s just the point. We do important things governed by tides and winds we don’t understand, and yet obey.

My hope for all of you is that such a tide or wind brings you to a place you find as enormously important and poignant as I found that service for Mr. Coffin to be.

Edward “Ned” Hallowell

Festivity

Today I received in the snail mail a Christmas card from a family I hadn’t heard from in ages. I don’t believe they’d sent me Christmas cards in a while, but, with my ADHD, they may well have, only I didn’t manage to take note of them. I knew them pretty well when I knew them, well enough for them to take my sons and me skeet and pistol shooting, an exciting first for all three of us.

The family, which in addition to a mom and a dad, boasts no less than five of what were boys when I knew them, now all men. It—they—are one of the most wonderful families I’ve ever met. I lost touch with them in the way people inadvertently lose touch with people, by mistake, too much to keep up with, a relationship that receded, into memory as relationships not tended to, do.

But the Christmas card brought it all back as if we’d just put away the pistols and were piling into the car, all together. On the card there was a resplendent photo from the wedding of one of the boys, now a man. Gathered all together in one brilliant and jubilant shot were 17 people: mom, dad, the five sons, and the bride, four additional women, be they wives of the men or girlfriends I couldn’t tell. But they’d been prolific, as five children also populated the photo, ranging from what appeared to be about five years old to what seemed five months.

They were all beautiful, in the best sense of that word, full of beauty, both inner as well as outer. I am not being polite when I say that mom and dad looked exactly as I remember them, not having aged a day. All their children and grandchildren and daughters-in-law, all their flowers, formal attire, and gorgeous gowns and dresses popped out of the card like an organ peal of love.

“Festivity”

When I looked at the card, the word that came to my mind was “festivity”. What a festive event that wedding must have been. What a festival of all-things-good that family has turned life into, not only for them, but for their friends, their businesses, their community, their schools, and just about everyone they touch.

I kicked myself for having lost touch with them, and as I noticed the return address on the card, I determined to write to them asap. Of course, I don’t know what’s been going on with them in the years since I knew them, what difficulties they may have faced, what losses endured, what sadness, what grief. But, knowing them, they have turned whatever hardship into connection, generosity, and growth.

“Silent Night”

As Christmas draws nigh, I thought of “Silent Night,” the venerable carol we all know and sing, at least those of us who celebrate Christmas, but I also thought of the literal silent night, the night that descends upon the people who have:

  • no family,
  • who have nary a friend,
  • who have no Christmas goose or plum pudding or
  • anything that matters much at all.

I thought of that silent night, what I could do to make it better for all of those people. I’m sure you who read this newsletter often have the same thought, how can we include in our share those who have little.

What Can We Do To Make It Better For All People

Short of grand gestures—like practicing the radical philanthropy prophets like Jesus prescribed—we can do, well, we can do what we can do. I don’t know about you, but I always fall pitifully short of that bar. There is so much more that I could do. I don’t want to beat myself up for not doing it—that won’t help anyone—but I want to prod myself this year maybe into doing a bit more.

For some reason seeing that family I’d lost touch with, seeing them on that card in full festivity, so to speak, gave me a shot of love, big hypodermic to get me off my butt and reaching out. Because that’s the least I can do, and when I do that, more follows, almost always.

My Wish For All Of You

My wish for all of you is that you find festivity in this season, that you reach out, that you all follow whatever spirit moves you to a place closer to love in the silent night that surrounds us all.

Edward (Ned) Hallowell, M.D.

Happy Thanksgiving

Between my Junior and Senior year in college, I took a year off. I wanted to see what being on my own would be like, and I wanted some time to make a career decision between the two options that I was weighing. Should I become a writer while teaching high school English to support myself vs. going to medical school. I thought that by trying to write for a year, I’d get a taste of that life.

I worked during the summer of 1971 as a waiter in the evenings at a steakhouse called Pate’s in my home town of Chatham on Cape Cod. During the day I tutored whomever wanted my services in Math and English. By October I’d made enough money to pay for the rest of the year. So I packed up and headed off to London.

My undergraduate tutor (at Harvard you get a professor to serve as your “tutor” in the field you major in: I was an English major, and my tutor was a legendary Professor by the name of William Alfred) had given me a letter of introduction to a poet in London by the name of Jonathan Griffin. He also introduced me to a young woman, Judith Thurman, another poet. She was living the life of a writer herself. Judith has gone on to fame and fortune, working as a staff writer at the New Yorker, as well as authoring several biographies, one of Isak Dinesen that was turned into the movie, Out of Africa.

She was also friends with a London playwright named David Pinner as well as an Irish writer/philosopher named Lawrence Pitkethly. That group, along with my college friend, Jon Galassi, who was studying at Cambridge University on a Fellowship, comprised a band of writer-friends who met regularly to eat, drink, and be merry. Jon has since gone on to be the head of the esteemed publishing house, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, as well as a noted poet and novelist in his own right.

However, Thanksgiving of that year found me all alone in the apartment –or flat–I’d rented in Barnes, just over the Hammersmith Bridge in London. All of my friends were doing something else, and since American Thanksgiving is not celebrated in England, the city treated that Thursday like any other day. There were no special places for turkey and stuffing, and even if there had been, I don’t think I would have wanted to eat alone.

Feeling Isolated

I felt weirdly isolated, an American with no family on the most family-centered holiday of the year. Of course, I knew I had a family across the ocean, I knew this day was exceptional to me and that back home others would be gathering for the feast I always enjoyed so very much.

But that feeling of being disconnected from the people I wished I were with on a day that usually was such fun, that feeling in an odd way taught me about Thanksgiving. It taught me—showed me viscerally—what I had to give thanks for, by, for the moment, removing it.

I got through the day, I don’t remember exactly what I did, and the year wound its way along. I took a side trip to Greece, to the island of Mykonos and took the Orient Express back to London, all the while wondering what I was going to do with my life.

For reasons that escaped me then and escape me now I made what was and is incontrovertibly the correct decision. I decided to become a doctor. As it happened, I became a writer as well, so I was able to achieve both goals.

For that I am thankful. But I am also thankful for that lonely Thanksgiving in London that taught me, in a new and different way, the meaning of Thanksgiving.

I wish you all the very best on your Thanksgiving holiday.

Warm wishes,
Edward (Ned) Hallowell, M.D.

Interested in studying abroad? I invite you to listen to my podcast on: Tips for Studying Abroad with How To ADHD and Landmark College.

Why I call Connect: The Other Vitamin C

Making Meaningful Connections

Making meaningful connections at their best involve your whole soul. Of course, not every connection will draw upon all of you, but if you give yourself honestly in all your interactions, you’ll make meaningful connections and lead a connected life.

If, each day, you resolve to make contact, if you resolve to reach out, no matter what the response, in a genuine way; and if you resist the urge to pull back, then you will connect. In short, if you try to draw pleasure from connecting, you will.

Why not try starting your day with family breakfast? Or breakfast with a friend?

Click here for Tips on Making Meaningful Connections

If you’re a parent and would like to know how to help your child make meaningful connections, Dr. Hallowell’s session in The Parenting AUTISM Summit on The Importance of Making Meaningful Connectionsairs Wednesday, November 6th.

About The Parenting Autism Summit:

The Parenting AUTISM Summit offers strategies in autism and parenting from 28 experts; including Dr. Hallowell, that work to help your child navigate the social world; some of the available treatment options and how to focus on your child’s wellness, and more.

The summit is online and runs November 4 – 7, 2019.  You can’t afford to miss this! 

You’ll Learn the skills, strategies, and mindset necessary to understand:

  • how to help your child feel safe, loved, and appreciated;
  • to figure out what is behind your child’s behaviors; 
  • how some people experience their autism; and more…

Register for FREE here. 

 

How To Face Your Fears

When I first started speaking in public, I was terrified to speak in front of people. I had a phobia of public speaking. However, I had messages I wanted to share with the general public. I wanted to share what I knew about ADHD and other psychological topics.  So what was I to do? In my podcast on  How To Face Your Fears,” I describe how I overcame my fear of public speaking and offer ways you can overcome your phobia or fear.

As such, I invite you to listen and learn “How to Face Your Fears.”

LISTEN NOW! 

What’s the Difference Between Fear and Phobia?

Fear is an emotional response to perceived or real danger. It can be a wonderful ally as long as it goes off when it should. For example, when it keeps you from putting yourself in a dangerous situation.

When fear is of a specific thing, we call it a phobia.  A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder that describes an excessive and irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation. Such as, fear of flying, fear of heights and fear of public speaking.

Phobias involve intense fear surrounding an object or situation that realistically poses little or no real danger. They are different from common fears in that the associated anxiety is so strong it interferes with daily life and the ability to function normally.  People suffering from phobias may go to extreme lengths to avoid encountering or experiencing the feared object or situation. If you have a fear or phobia that is paralyzing and life-defeating,  in addition to consulting with your family doctor, be sure to consult with experts in other fields

How the Hallowell Center Can Help

Treatment helps most people with phobias. Options include therapy, medication or both.  When should you seek therapy? Generally when the phobia causes intense fear, anxiety or panic and it stops you from your normal routine or causes significant distress. Taking the time to get diagnosed and set up a treatment plan is an investment in your health and well-being.

Find out how one of our qualified mental health professionals can help you by calling The Hallowell Center:

Boston MetroWest at 978-287-0810

New York City at 212-799-7777

San Francisco at 415-967-0061

Seattle at 206-420-7345

 

Celebrating Neurodiversity, ADHD and Dyslexia

Recently I had the great pleasure of attending a conference in Liverpool, England sponsored by the ADHD Foundation, Britain’s leading organization dedicated to neurodiversity, which of course includes ADHD and dyslexia, both of which I have myself.

I was thrilled to see the enormous progress the Brits have made on this front. Not too long ago the “moral model” still prevailed there, in which children and adults who had ADHD were told to try harder, be more disciplined, and basically to suck it up.

Now, under the dynamic leadership of Tony Lloyd and the great team he’s put together, the foundation offers screening, testing, and treatment, as well as massive public education, symbolized by the Umbrella campaign. Children wrote their strengths onto umbrellas—red, blue, orange, green and purple umbrellas—and the symbol caught on so well that in Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport in London there is a section where you can see dozens of these colorful umbrellas hanging from the rafters, celebrating the progress and joy created by the ADHD Foundation and all the participants who’ve joined in.

It’s a beautiful sight, bright colors, bearing bright messages of hope, progress, and a new era in helping the neurodiverse population in the U.K. These (we) are the people who have changed the world for the better since the dawn of time. DaVinci seems to have had it, as do Mozart and Thomas Edison. We neurodiverse people are the ones who come up with the game changing ideas and the ideas that take the world to its next level. For too long we’ve been misunderstood and stigmatized.

But the new era is upon us at last.

At last this group of the world’s population is finding understanding and credit, validation and well-deserved admiration from the rest of the population who, for centuries, did not appreciate the amazing gifts wrapped inside the minds of this diverse group.

It was wonderful to look up and see these multi-colored umbrellas, hanging like Mary Poppins’ favorite form of transport should do, symbolizing triumph, joy, freedom and creativity for all the world to share.

Freedom at last for the tens of millions who’ve been shackled by misunderstanding, ignorance, and stigma for centuries. Freedom at last to give all that we have to give, to develop all that we can develop, and to share with the rest of the world the immense and unpredictable fruits of our diverse, creative brains.

Hooray for Tony Lloyd and his merry band of freedom-fighters in the U.K., liberators all, benefactors of the civilization that gave us Parliament and Shakespeare, the greatest literature the world has known and an enduring form of government tailored, fittingly enough, to preserve freedom.

Hooray for their great work, and hooray for this world, so in need of good news, that the day is come at last where hidden gifts get recognized, unwrapped, developed and put on grand display.

Just go to Terminal 5 at Heathrow, look skyward, and get ready to fly.

 

The Pennies Are Everywhere!

The other day one of my patients was talking about her father, who died in 1981. “He started college in 1929, and we all know what happened that year. So college came to a sudden end for my father. He became incredibly tight with money from then on, to the point of putting locks on the rotary phones and picking up pennies when he saw them on the sidewalk as if he’s just struck gold.”

This patient, whom I’ll call Sarah, was raised Jewish but now follows a non-traditional spiritual path. She has strong spiritual views, but they do not fit any standard faith or religion. But she delighted in telling me how often she sees pennies all over the place, ever since her father died. “The pennies are everywhere,” she said, with an elated giggle, her red curly hair bouncing, belying her 60 years of age. “It didn’t take me long to realize it was my dad sending me those pennies, letting me know he was watching over me from the other dimension.” She sat back with a wide smile of satisfaction on her face.

As some of you who read this newsletter know, I, myself, believe in God. I’m an Episcopalian. But I’m not doctrinaire. I like the prayer that goes, “Lord, please help me always to search for the truth, but spare me the company of those who have found it.”

My version is that God is Love.

Where you find love, there you find God. Where there is no love, God is absent. Today’s world is painfully short on love. It seems that love is a really tough sell. Why people reject it beats me. Because there’s nothing better. And without it, we wither.

It’s there for the taking, love is. As Sarah said, the pennies are everywhere. Love is all around, if we will but reach out and give it, reach out and receive it, if we will but come out of hiding. Don’t hold back.

Pat a dog. Smile at the check-out lady. Help the mom with the crying baby. Forgive a friend you know you want to make up with. Think of three things you’re grateful for. Say “Thank you” to two people today and say “I’m sorry” to one. Stop and talk to the panhandler, whether or not you chose to give him money. Go a day without reading or watching news and use that time to give others compliments.

Look for the pennies. You will find them everywhere.

Doing What You Love To Do!

Greetings from Wellfleet, on Cape Cod. It’s a Sunday, the weather is generously beautiful, and I’m here for a week with my wife, Sue, and various relatives and guests to teach the course I’ve been teaching for how many summers now, is it 15?, to finish up the new book about ADHD John and I have been working on for quite a while, and to have fun.

This is as close as I get to what most people think of as a vacation.  The fact is, I don’t take vacations.  Sue goes away with girlfriends with some regularity for weekends or longer periods, and then we have two weeks, one our summer camp in Michigan in July, and one this course on Cape Cod in August, when Sue gets to read on the beach (her passion) and rest up (she works harder than anyone I know).

Why I Don’t Take Vacations

The reason I don’t take conventional vacations is that, for me, every day I’m doing what I love best.  I love my three jobs.  I see patients, I write books and I give seminars and talks.  Each one of those is a passion for me.  You might think I really ought to get away and go fishing.  Of course, I have many good friends who fish, and I love their stories about fishing, but the times I’ve tried it, I get bored pretty quickly.  Plus I have so little talent for it that I just get in the way or bring bad luck.

I do love golf, but that’s only because I play it with my sons, Tucker and Jack.  Whenever I can, I love getting out on the course with them, which is not very often, due to the schedules the three of us keep.  But when we can, we get out and ruin a good walk, as Mark Twain put it.

Doing What You Love

I once wrote about this in my newsletter and someone I respect a lot took me to task, telling me I should not model over-working.  I do not mean to do that.  What I mean to model is doing what you love.  I love what I do.  I’ve discovered the three things in life I’m good at, good enough so that people will pay me to do them: see patients, write books, and give talks.  So that’s what I do with my time, most of the time.

Sue loves to travel, and someday, if we can afford it, I’ve promised her we will travel to wherever she’d like to go.  I will bring my laptop so I can work on a book.  That’s the great thing about being a writer; all you need is your laptop and your imagination.  I just have to pray my mind holds up.

My wish for all of you is to do what you love as much as you can.  If people will pay you do what you love, then you’re lucky.  Or if you don’t need money, then you’re very lucky. I still need money, as most of us do.  But I have my three talents that God gave me, which I have worked hard to develop as I’ve grown older.

Family Time

In December I will turn 70.  Sue and our 3 wonderful kids, the stars in my sky, want to take me away to Aruba, an island I used to love to go to before I even met Sue, and an island I vacationed with—yes I took conventional vacations way back when—Sue on before we got married, to celebrate my 70th. birthday. 

Just their wanting to do it is plenty of present for me.  Believe me, to have reached 70 years—assuming I do get to December 2 intact—with Sue and those 3 kids with me will be, for me, to have reached the tipmost top of Mount Olympus.

So, as I think about it, I suppose what I’ve really been doing all these days when I’ve supposedly been seeing patients, writing books, and giving talks is doing whatever it is a person does to make sure a marriage burns bright as a bonfire for 30 years, and three children, one glorious girl and two fantabulous boys, grow into all that they ever wanted to be, still counting, still growing.

Whatever it is a person does to do that, that’s what I’ve been doing instead of taking vacations or doing whatever else I might have done.  Because that’s what’s mainly been on my mind.   

I can’t end without thanking whoever you thank for all the help I needed and got every day along the way.

A Celebration of Life

Recently my wife, Sue, and I, along with my niece, Molly, and her 11-year-old daughter, Josselyn, who dreams of becoming a star of stage and screen one day, went to see Hugh Jackman at Madison Square Garden. This is part of a five-month world tour in some thirty cities for this 50-year-old phenom who seems to get younger every year.
As we sat and watched his dazzling performance, backed up by a cast of over 150 musicians, technicians, dancers, singers, and stagehands, not to mention his beautiful wife, Deb, seated in the audience, whom he serenaded in the sweetest, most romantic moment you’ll ever see in a live performance, I had to wonder not only at the huge talent of this man—his range, from song to dance to stage to screen to drama to comedy to variety—but to the extraordinary goodness of him as well.
The theme that ran throughout the two hour show was a full-on celebration of life in all its dimensions, in all its variety, in its total and glorious diversity. Out came Keala Settle to sing a searing rendition of the song “This Is Me” which she made famous as the Bearded Lady in “The Greatest Showman.” It includes the lines, “When the sharpest words wanna cut me down, I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out, I am brave, I am bruised, I am who I’m meant to be, this is me.”
How much Hugh Jackman understands and loves all this, loves differences in people, how much he celebrates it in the show he put on that night—and night after night around the world—as well as his wish to bring all people, no matter who, together. He said, “When I was in Minnesota, they taught me a new term, LGBTQA. I said I knew about LGBTQ, but what’s the A? They said it stands for ‘Allies’. I said, Great, because I’m an ally for sure. Now we have a term that includes everybody.” But then he went on to add, But when I got to New York, they told me, “Oh, no, Hugh, the ‘A’ stands for ‘Asexual’. Well, I’m not asexual, but I am an ally for sure!”
Hugh is an ally indeed, an ally of us all, a man who, along with Deb, applies his tremendous talent and resources to unite people, spread understanding and good will, raise spirits, and fill people’s lives with song, laughter, and love.
He’s a friend to our cause as well, the cause of invisible differences. Those lyrics from “This Is Me” could just as easily come out of the mouth of a person who has ADHD or dyslexia as out of the mouth of a woman who has a beard or a man who’s mocked for being short, fat, or funny-looking.
As I sat there in Madison Square Garden, being moved to laughter and tears by the World’s Greatest Showman I thought to myself how wonderful it is that God gives us a Hugh Jackman to offset the guttural voices of hatred and division, of ignorance and bigotry and scorn, that God gives us a Hugh Jackman to inspire us as he tours the world tirelessly raising hope every night, lifting up the people who can’t see the stars.
As I listened to his resounding voice and marveled at the light step of his dance, I knew that this man who was once a little boy in Australia watching Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly on TV, had been plucked up by the spirits that look out for us all and sent on a mission, a special World Tour, in which he was to put to rout the evil-scaled demons and dragons that kill people’s dreams and replace them instead with this shining star, this astonishing Knight in Red Circus who cast a spell upon us all, from little Josselyn sitting next to me, her mouth agape and her eyes as open as her heart, to the entire hurting and waiting world, if it would only listen.

“Recognition Responsive Euphoria,” or RRE

Over the past few years, Dr. William Dobson has helped multitudes of people of all ages who have ADHD by developing the concept of “rejection sensitive dysphoria,” or RSD.  The painful syndrome of feeling acute and profound dejection at even the slightest perceived insult or “dis” is common among those of us who have ADHD.

I’ve observed a sister syndrome of RSD in my 69 years of living with ADHD and my 38 years of treating the condition in children and adults.  This sister syndrome is, in my experience, even more common that RSD.  I call it:

“Recognition Responsive Euphoria,” or RRE.

Perhaps because people who have untreated ADHD are so accustomed to making mistakes and receiving criticism, they become positively giddy when they receive positive recognition.  The best way to get them charged up and motivated is to praise—legitimately, honestly—some element of a project they’re working on.  Compliment an outfit they’re wearing, or praise a proposal they’re developing or  an idea they’re hatching.

My friend, John Croyle, head of the home for abandoned children in Alabama called Big Oak Ranch, told me years ago that one of the best ways to instill hope in kids who have lost hope is to “be a dream maker, not a dream breaker.”  That’s all about providing recognition for whatever positive action a person might perform.  It helps everyone.  However, for people who have ADHD, it takes us to a whole new level.

Rife with Frustration versus Resilient and Spunky

The typical day of a person who has ADHD—of any age—if it is not treated is rife with frustration, rejection, and failure.  But it is also true that people with ADHD are remarkably resilient and spunky.  One of the best ways to get them going in a good direction, in spite of all the negativity they have to contend with, is to find something positive to recognize in what they are doing and notice it.  Go for it.  You will quickly see eyes light up, and the person swing into action like a whirling dervish of positive energy.

I’ve written a lot of books.  But I couldn’t have written a single one of them without frequent doses of positive energy—recognition, encouragement, doses of keep on keepin’ on—to keep me going.  Thank God my wife, Sue, seems to have an endless store.

How to Get Encouragement and Recognition

First of all, make sure you find people who have lots encouragement and recognition to give.  They are precious.  Some people are notoriously stingy with it, as if it were a valuable coin not to be parted with.  True, it’s not to be given underserved, for then it loses all its power.  But neither should it be withheld until a person produces achievement worthy of a Nobel Prize.

If you have ADHD, and you find that you are low on motivation, energy, and are not working up to your potential, a reason for that very well may be that you are not getting enough recognition.  Once you find the right person or better a still, the right people to give you that recognition, then you can tap into the tremendous power of Recognition Responsive Euphoria.

Remember if you need it, it does not mean you are weak.  I need it like crazy, and I am not weak.  Most people who achieve in creative fields need it like crazy, and they are not weak.  People with ADHD need it, and we are anything but weak.  People with ADHD are some of the strongest people in the world, emotionally, constitutionally, never-give-up-wise.

So know this about yourself and others with ADHD. Then plan how to tap into and get or give Recognition Responsive Euphoria!

If you would like to learn more, sign up for my Live ADDiTude Webinar with Dr. John Ratey on November 21, 2019.  We’ll discuss Recognition Responsive Euphoria (RRE), the sister syndrome of Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria which is characterized by soaring peaks of positivity and euphoria.  Learn more and register for FREE here!