2014 has been an incredible and fulfilling year for me. It was so different from the drama filled year I had last year. Though it did not have as many memorable events, it has been given me one thing none of my other years as a slave teacher did –
No more slaving away creating lesson plans and marking papers. That’s out of the window. No more dealing with administration. No checking frantically my emails for work. Heck, it feels so weird not to bring any work home none the less have the whole day free!
I actually finally lived my “dream day” I had envisioned. “Take a walk, write a blog entry, answer some emails and work on my short story.” I was actually living it! The only drawback was I did not have a steady paycheck and had some money in the bank account. BUT I WAS LIVING IT!!
And to me that meant a lot of happiness I never had in my previous years working.
Money never made me happy, free time to live my own life did.
How did I get this free time?
This year I became an independent contract business trainer. That meant I can work intensely hard for a few days and earn enough money for the month. The rest of the time will be dedicated to my trivial quirky interests.
All this free time though led me to do a lot of leisure reading. And what I found was so shocking that it changed the way I do personal development forever.
I discovered I had ADHD.
With all this free time, I decided to target specific weaknesses I had to my personal productivity. When I googled them, my search took me to a Wikipedia page of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. And I sat there stunned. That was me.
These are some of the characteristics of the ADHD:
- often late. My friends have threatened me off their friends list for this.
- Impulsive and reckless decisions. Me:“Let me quit my job and move to Chile, South America. Have I been there before? No, but I want to spend all my savings and stay there for a year.”
- Poor time management. I have often struggled with this. And I would just do something impulsively because I feel like it no matter how impractical it is. My boyfriend would exclaim, “You’re making soup now?! We’re going out for dinner in 10 minutes!”
- Often loses things. Like, all the time
- Restless. I can’t sit still for a long time.
- Easily distracted. Every time something comes up, I abandon whatever I’m doing and just do it. “It’s Marion’s birthday today –I better give her a call. She’s in Spain now. Oh geez, I forgot to email that guy from BMW who I met in the airport in Spain. I better do that now. Oh look, I got an email from Marion with an Amazon link to a book she just read..”
When I learned that I have ADHD, I started implementing the strategies and tools to work with my strengths and weaknesses.
And they worked.
Why didn’t I do this before? From creating a morning routine to listening to soothing music for 10 minutes to curb anxiety. These simple ADHD tips and tricks were a godsend in helping me develop better productivity habits and get me closer to goals I couldn’t achieve years ago. There are so many of them that it can’t possibly fit in this blog. I intend to write a separate one to help others like me out there.
Another discovery I had in 2014 was the concept that you can pursue many different careers or interests. That it was okay for me to hop from one job to another because I belong to a group of people called Renaissance Souls, Multipotentialites or Scanners. They are the Ben Franklins and Leonardo da Vinci of their day. They are writers, entrepreneurs, scientists, inventors, politicians all in one (more about them in this post). It has led me to two incredible books about these people: Renaissance Souls by Margaret Lobenstine and Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher. The latter much better than the former (I wish I had read it earlier this year). Refuse to Choose has actually helped me create a lifestyle design where I can pursue all my different interests and maintain my contract job without burning out. And I did what I set out to do in my previous blog post: I managed to find a life coach who work with Scanners and found a community of Renaissance Souls.
With Refuse to Choose’s practical tools, I learned “I can do it all but do it small.” Do all the things I want to do but in a smaller way with lower risks. Don’t fall into your old habits of falling in love completely with a goal before trying it out and getting to know it first. Such common sense!
What does this mean for 2015? I’m still going to follow my advice on easing into the new year and trying things out for 30 days. The early months of 2015 will be spent brainstorming and narrowing my new year’s resolutions out and allowing them to organically take shape. I already have a few in mind. Creating them is easy it’s the commitment that’s not. As Susan Albers said, “Think of it as a marathon a marathon not a sprint.” I also need to figure out a more stable country situation as my current one isn’t. I also want to continue honing and developing more tricks and tools to combat my ADD tendencies.
I’m excited for 2015. Are you?