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Celebrate! Procrastination & Delivering 4 Videos about ADHD.

Getting everything ready for our PBS appearance was a real lesson in motivation and procrastination. Among other things.

There were hundreds of small things to be done. Small things doesn’t do it justice; they were crucial details.

One reason was that this time around there isn’t one video as there was with our debut. I refer, of course, to ADD & Loving It?!

This time there are 4 videos. That’s right, 4!

The main one, the programs you’ll see across the PBS network starting in August  is called ADD & Mastering It!

The other three videos are almost as long and cover, as their names explain, What is ADHD?, Embracing the Diagnosis! [and overcoming 13 challenges to getting a proper diagnosis], and Living With ADHD, about relationships, family and how to make them work.

This last one will actually resonate more with the partners, parents, children, friends and colleagues of ADDers.

What makes these so great is that there are 3 times as many experts as there were in ADD & Loving It?!

So producing four programs like this, with bonus material, well… there were 1000 little roadblocks, hurdles, challenges, tripwires, traps, scheduling factors, facts to check,  technical issues and more.

But we did it. And delivering everything on time felt more like a relief rather than a triumph.

But I didn’t notice that subtle difference at the time. It was more like a, “Phew!” than a, “Oh yeah baby, we did it, high-fives!”

Why? Why do things that should feel like huge successes sometimes feel simply like a reprieve?

When I was interviewing Dr. Anthony Rostain he talked about the idea that ADHD and ADD can be regarded as a deficit of ‘rewards’.  

In other words, we don’t seem to revel in our accomplishments, or appreciate our strengths, or get a thrill when we reach our goals.

Do you do this as well? You may not think you downplay your strengths, because you don’t believe you have any strengths.

So you’re not really sure what to celebrate.

So when you remember to pick up the kids, or you bring a boring party to life, or take care of an abused animal, or whatever, you don’t really appreciate what you’ve done.

How do we celebrate our accomplishments?

Do we have to stop and actually pay attention to them? Perhaps take a weekend to reward ourselves? Or send a thank you to everyone who helped? Or call someone and shout, “Guess what I did!”

Maybe that’s part of the value of a coach. Someone to actually stop us from jumping in to the next thing we should be doing, and have a look at what we actually have done.

Interesting, isn’t it? Motivation. Procrastination. Celebration. Acknowledgment. Rewards. Achievements.

When I’m in the middle of doing those thousands of little things that need doing, celebrating is the last thing I ever think of.

And unfortunately, sometimes when I’m done those thousand things I still don’t think about it. Just more doing, doing, doing.

The danger is life becomes a treadmill. Rather it appears to be a treadmill.

And of course, all of the people who work so hard to make something happen, as is the case with these 4 new programs, don’t get acknowledgment and the pleasure of, “Hey, job well done!” and “Wow, look what I did!”

So dammit- Wow!

We delivered 4 new full length programs about ADHD featuring dozens of experts, tons of information, and too many laughs to count. We did good!!!



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  1. anniea June 21, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    HIGH FIVE Rick and crew..
    I was just fussing about this in my head this morning.. well said.

  2. Larynxa June 21, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    The “Imposter Syndrome” may also play a role in this.
    If you have it, you feel like you’re just playing the role of an expert, instead of actually being an expert, and you’re terrified that someone will discover that you’re playing a role, and will expose you as a fraud.

  3. Deborah June 21, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! :) Looking forward to watching!! Thank you!!! :)

  4. ADDcoachCandace June 23, 2012 at 10:28 am

    “Why do things that should feel like huge successes sometimes feel simply like a reprieve? … when you remember to pick up the kids, or you bring a boring party to life, or take care of an abused animal”.
    Hi Rick, I’m quoting you above. It’s a good example of rising to the occasion to do what we believe ought to be done. Worthy for sure, but maybe not worthy of an after party of emotional celebration?
    Dr. Edward Higgins has an interesting theory on why we react differently to achieving goals.
    It goes like this:
    When we accomplish things from our “Ought Self”, we tend to feel relief. When we accomplish things from our “Ideal Self”, we CELEBRATE. Does this resonate?
    Do you think that since those of us operating from the ADHD Self are often racing to figure out what it is at any given moment that we “ought” to be doing, and then scrambling like blazes to actually do it, that relief is the most common reaction we feel to goal accomplishment?
    Even as an ADHD coach I confess I sometimes get irritated by the pressure to stop and celebrate, when really, I’m just glad a thing is done and done well. Relief and a quiet sense of accomplishment can be a pretty sweet feeling. For me at least, the best celebration is using that feeling to jump start the next thing!
    I am thrilled to bits for your latest accomplishments. Maybe that’s where the real excitement lays, seeing others do what we can’t ever imagine ourselves doing, and so grateful they did.
    You and the gang did real good! Maybe somebody else should throw the after party!
    With celebratory gratitude,
    Candace Taylor

  5. auntybb June 23, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    Excellent observation, Rick. I had never even considered the idea that we feel only relief when we’ve crossed another, or twenty, to-do’s off the mental list. No celebrating, no high-fives, just onward to the next task. I have never felt bad about not basking in success, but how could I? Until you wrote this I guess I didn’t realize that some things are successes and should be celebrated. I love this website. Congratulations on your completed programs and on pointing out the “only relief” idea.

  6. twitsme June 25, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Wow! Talk about hitting close to home! I’ve been pondering (a lot!) lately about living with guilt – guilt about not getting things done. After reading your post, Rick, I realize that spending all that time fretting about what I have NOT done, totally negates any of the positive accomplishments I HAVE made!
    I’m going to forward your post to my husband – both of us were diagnosed with ADD about 3 years ago. He feels he never accomplishes anything – I have suggested rather than making a list of about 300 items, and crossing off 5 – do the reverse – make a list of the things he DOES get done, and watch it grow.
    I work hard to be a glass-half-full gal – and sometimes you have to figure out how to help others see the sunny side of life!
    Finding Totally ADD.com has given us resources – and giggles – to help us navigate the sometimes choppy waters of the world of ADD! Keep up the good work!

  7. ADDcoachCandace June 25, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    Wonderful suggestion about keeping track of the list of things that DID get done. I do this and call it my TA DA! List. It can even be an incentive to complete more tasks, just for the joy of being able to add more things to the list.

  8. MonkeyBarb July 13, 2012 at 1:53 am

    I have difficulty celebrating my accomplishments because
    1. I have such a poor grasp of time that I only ever get done about one third of what I thought I could do in a day. This makes me feel as if I have failed because “in my mind” I accomplished so little.
    2. I am so distractable that I have a really hard time staying “on task,” which means that some days I don’t finish anything because I’ve started ten things. Then, again, I feel as if I have failed to get anything done.
    Now that I know what my problem is (ADHD Combined Type) and that I have a problem judging how long a task will take, I am trying to be more realistic about what I can get done in a day; this makes it easier for me to feel as if I have reason to celebrate.

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