Drugs or Direction, that is the question….
Yesterday walking through the airport between an eatery and the wireless electronics store there was a big yellow sign that said something like this:
Are you distracted? Do you lose focus easily? Do you forget things? You could have ADHD, send us a text or find us on the web at (some website).
The website isn’t really their site of course. After reading the sign and looking around for a minute it hit me. What better place to try and convince people they have ADHD than an airport. Everyone is either in a hurry so they forget something, or bored out of their mind so they lose focus and are easily distracted.
Our entire society and system of marketing is based on these principles. Is everyone that buys a “keyfinder” an ADHD candidate? Who knows. What I do know is that like all things in life this was another organization looking to recruit candidates in an ideal location. Just about everyone with normal brain function is going to have some level of ADHD. If you have five Starbucks cards in your wallet or do like I do, and drink three 32 oz Diet Cokes before lunch, you might be a higher level of ADHD until the caffeine wears off.
We live in a society filled with distractions. iPods, cell phones, pocket cameras that film HD for You Tube and bright yellow signs with ADHD messages right when you are looking for your lost boarding pass all are designed to keep us distracted. Maybe they are just trying to keep us entertained and busy?
The truth is we live in a world where the absolute need for focus is almost zero. My generation and people younger than me rarely have any kind of dedicated focus. Our parents tell us “you can do anything you want to do”. If we pick something and change our mind, they just say “It’s OK dear.” To make matters worse we live in a “right now” information society. When someone calls us or texts us we are expected to answer right away.
The reality is, until we find what it is that drives us, we will always be a little distracted and out of focus. If we could each just find our true calling and put all of the rest of the distractions in a drawer we would be better off. Some of us get lucky and our parents instill that focus in us like Tiger Woods (sexting aside), and others get lucky and find their passion on their own or by accident..
After seeing a couple of pretty good accidents as a result of texting, I took a hard look at my own cell phone and texting habits in the car. Since then I have stopped answering calls for two reasons. First, I was going into autopilot when on the phone and would sometimes fly right by my off ramp or destination. Any time I saved by answering the call was then lost.
Second and more important I realized that I have so much going on, I couldn’t focus on what I was doing or what I was talking to the person on the other end of the conversation about. This is one where I needed to just take my own advice. Don’t take any calls you aren’t ready to take. If you call and I am on the road, chances are good I will forget any appointment we set or any thing I was supposed to order for you. If I take a your call in the office at the computer, then I am ready, and we both get more out of it.
While writing my book, “So, Now What?” I observed a lot of highly successful people. What I started doing was following the advice I was giving in my book as a result of those observations. I get way more done every day be being prepared to do what I am doing when I am doing it. Life is better this way. It feels slower and you have more time to do what you want to do.
Is it ADHD or lack of self discipline in a world of distractions?