This Teen Is Harnessing His ADHD Superpowers

This Teen Is Harnessing His ADHD Superpowers

Akira is a 15-year-old ADHDer from Japan who just started his own YouTube channel in the hopes of becoming an “influencer.”  Akira shares how he’s harnessing his ADHD superpowers of creativity and hyperfocus to bring his dream to life.

Akira’s website: LilBitALife.com

Learn more about our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD. Distraction listeners can SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

Check out this episode!

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Life Will Never Be Stress Free, But We Can Manage It

Life Will Never Be Stress Free, But We Can Manage It

Nothing stresses Dr. H out like talking about stress, as you’ll hear in this episode! Our host shares several of the methods he uses to alleviate his anxiety in the moment, including the story of how our producer stressed him out while making this episode and what he did to get past it.

How do you de-stress? Share your thoughts with us at [email protected]

Learn more about our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD. Distraction listeners can SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

Episode photo by Retha Ferguson from Pexels.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:

This episode of Distraction is sponsored by Omega Bright CBD, formulated by Omega Bright Wellness, creators of the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. Omega Bright CBD, safe, third party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabrightwellness.com.

Hello, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell with a mini episode of Distraction? Last week in our mini episode, I asked for feedback on whether or not you minded if I talked about topics other than ADHD, and this was in response to an email I got from one listener who said, stick to ADHD and don’t go off into other areas where you’re not an expert. And so I thought I’d ask you all how you felt about that. And thank you so much for the feedback you gave me, which was uniformly, please continue to go into different areas. One woman wrote, “it would be painfully boring to avoid any conflict and stay on the beaten path by only discussing safe topics. Please don’t do that to us.”

Well, thank you very much. And then another one wrote, “the individual who wrote to you most definitely does not speak for me.” And another one wrote, “I like it when Dr. Hallowell talks about topics besides ADHD.” And then another one, “love all the different types of episodes on all topics.” And I really appreciate that feedback, because the last thing I want to do is lose listeners because they don’t like what I’m talking about. On the other hand, I really don’t want to bore people or bore myself, so that would definitely be a bad recipe. So our producer, I didn’t know what I should talk about today, and our producer, Sarah, said, why don’t you talk about ways of reducing stress in this very stressful period? Well, her request caused me stress, because I think stress reduction is about the most hackneyed, cliched, overdone, overworked, ridiculously everywhere you look topic in the entire field of mental health.

You can’t go through any mental health grocery store without getting bombarded by stress reduction. And it’s stressful for me to have someone ask me to talk about it for that very reason. And I get impatient and I want to say things like, life is stress, get used to it. Yes, it’s stressful. Okay. Do we really need to have tips on reducing stress? Life is stress. Your heart is beating against stress. You’re dealing with gravity every day, standing up pumping blood throughout your body. You cannot be alive without stress. You simply cannot. What you want to do is maximize good stress, like working out, and minimize bad stress, like my getting worked up over being asked to talk about stress. And then to make matters worse, just before the session began, our engineer asked me if I had a clock in the room that was ticking. Well, yes I do, in fact, have a clock in the room, and yes, it does tick. But I can’t believe he could hear it.

Well, I guess that’s why he’s a sound engineer. So, stressed out, I stood up and went and took the clock into the other room. And then as I was sitting down to do this mini episode, I was so stressed out by having had to move the clock that I went and pushed the escape button, which took me out of my connection with the sound engineer and the producer. So I had to go through the laborious process of logging back in, reconnecting with them so I can deliver to you this episode on stress reduction, totally stressed out. So, now, collect myself, take a deep breath. That’s a good stress reducer. And then I said, okay, Ned, now come on. Think of some ways, honest ways of reducing stress in your life. And so, I did that. I thought of what I did when I used to play squash better than I play now, before my hip replacements. And I do still do play, just not nearly as well. And I’d be in a close game, and it was coming down to the end and I would feel stressed. What would I do?

I would visualize my daughter’s smile. Lucy’s smile. And I would visualize it when she was about six years old looking up at me smiling. So that visualization of Lucy’s smile, I do it to this very day, visualizing Lucy’s smile. So visualize someone you love or visualize a place that calms you down, and you can do it in the midst of a competitive squash game, or in the midst of a stressful meeting, or in the midst of traffic. Visualize a person or a place that you love. Another is simply associate with pleasant people. Pleasant people are stress reducers. Just as obnoxious, annoying people are stress enhancers, stress increasers, stress creators, pleasant people, nice people are stress reducers. Nice people are not boring. When I tell my wife she’s so nice, she says, oh, that makes me sound so boring. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Nice is wonderful. Nice is spectacular. Boring is good. Boring is no stress.

Now it just so happens that we, people who have ADD, we can’t tolerate boredom. Boredom is our kryptonite, so we can’t stick with it very long. But try to associate with pleasant people. Another stress reducer is good news. Oh my gosh. How can we find good news? One way is by not listening to the news, which is almost entirely bad news. And then looking for good news. What’s a nice message that you may have had? I got some good news this morning when I discovered that my daughter’s dog came back with a clean bill of health. We worried she might have some serious illness and she doesn’t, she’s healthy as a clam, or healthy is a healthy dog. Good news. Cultivate good news. Save it and pass it along. Pass it along. We all are starved for good news.

Of course, the near mention of my daughter’s dog leads me to my favorite stress reducer, which is a dog, as I’ve said many times. It’s not for no reason that God spelled backwards is dog. Dogs are the angels God put on this earth to help us get through life with less stress. If you can possibly have a dog, get a dog. Another one of my favorite stress reducers is a shower. I love the shower. So I’ll just stand in the shower for long period of time just letting the water splash my back, and stick my head underneath it, and splash around, and make funny noises and just enjoy the feeling of being in the steam and in the pouring down rain of the shower. It’s a wonderful feeling. And often toward the end I’ll make it cold and it’ll just be so invigorating. Invigorating and refreshing.

And then of course, another favorite stress reducer that almost everyone loves, except people who are hyper sensitive, is a massage. Massage, oh my gosh. If I could get a massage a week, I’d be so happy. But I can’t for any number of obvious reasons. And a final one that came to me, being a writer myself I had to stick this in, a cup of hot chocolate and a favorite book, a relaxing book. The one that came to my mind was a Robert B. Parker detective novel. I happen to love Robert B. Parker novels. And it goes well with a cup of hot chocolate because Robert B. Parker is famous for putting food recipes throughout his books. So there you have a list of stress reducers, and I calmed down enough to do the thing that I hate to do, which is join the parade of tips on stress management. But to sum them up, pleasant people, good news, dogs, a shower, a massage, and a cup of hot chocolate reading a book by someone you really like to read.

Well, that’s it for the mini episode. Before I go, I want to take a moment to remind you to check out Omega Bright CBD. They’re our sponsor and they’ve been doing a great job with us. I’ve been taking Omega Bright CBD for the past three months, and I feel it’s really cut down on my impatience, even though I did get impatient when being asked to talk about stress reduction. You can get Omega Bright CBD online at omegabrightwellness.com. Distraction listeners can save 20% off their first order by using the promo code podcast 2020. that’s podcast 2020. Go to omegabrightwellness.com. Okay. Remember, please do reach out to us. We love hearing from you. Love, love, love, love, love hearing from you.

Reduce my stress and send me an email. Record your thoughts and send a voicemail as a voice memo, and send it to [email protected]. And maybe include one of your favorite stress reducers and we’ll add it to our mini episode next week. Distraction is created by Sound’s Great Media. Our recording engineer and editor is the brilliant Scott Person. And our producer is the equally brilliant Sarah Guertin. And I’m Dr. Ned Hallowell. Thank you so much for listening.

The episode you just heard was sponsored by Omega Bright CBD, formulated by Omega Bright Wellness, creators of the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. Omega Bright CBD, safe, third party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabrightwellness.com.

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Our Pets Get Stressed Out Too

Our Pets Get Stressed Out Too

Humans aren’t the only ones feeling anxiety and stress as a result of the pandemic. Our pets are too! And if you’ve been working from home for the past few months, it’s possible that your dog or other animal could develop separation anxiety when you return to work.

Veterinarian Dr. Sarah Silcox joins Ned for a conversation about the promising benefits CBD is showing in animals for conditions like anxiety, chronic pain and epilepsy. Dr. Silcox also reminds you to check with your pets’ vet before giving them anything!

Share your thoughts with us at [email protected]

Learn more about our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD. Distraction listeners can SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:

This episode of Distraction is sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD, formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

Hello, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell, and welcome to Distraction. Today, I am welcoming a guest, and you could guess all day long, and you would not guess what she does, a really unique niche in the helping profession. She’s in my favorite helping profession, namely, she’s a veterinarian. But she has a very special niche in the world of veterinarians aside from being a general veterinarian and treating dogs and cats and whatnot. She is the president of the Canadian Association of Veterinary Cannabinoid Medicine. Isn’t that something? I asked her, how many members does it have? Expecting her to say about four, 350 Canadian Association of Veterinary Cannabinoid Medicine.

And in addition, she’s the owner of Greenwood Veterinary House Call Services, which sounds like angels of mercy. They make housecall for hospice and palliative care to these little dogs and cats, and I suppose birds, I don’t know. But in any case, the idea of going in and delivering palliative care, being a dog lover myself, I know how much that must mean to the patients or clients, whatever she calls them. In any case, but I won’t keep talking. I want to welcome, I think, the most unique guest we’ve ever had on Distraction, Dr. Sarah Silcox, who comes to us from just East of Toronto in Canada. Dr. Silcox, welcome to Distraction.

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

Thank you so, so much. I’m speechless after that introduction. Thank you.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, I’m speechless to have met you. Really, you could have knocked me over with a feather. How long have you been doing this cannabinoid medicine for pets?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

So the association was founded… We just celebrated our third anniversary. So we founded in June of 2017, which was just more than a year before Canadian legalized cannabis for not only medical use, which had been legalized for some time, but also for non-medical or recreational use.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And why would someone give their pet CBD?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

I think, much like on the human side of things, CBD has been touted as a bit of a cure all. And I think that’s one of the things that we work to really clarify is that it’s not snake oil, there’s a solid basis to how it works from a medical perspective.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

That’s for sure.

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

But on the same token, it’s also not a cure all, it’s a very specific medicine that’s going to work for different conditions, and in different patients it works a little bit differently. But the most common things that pet families are telling us that they’re choosing to use it for include things like chronic pain, anxieties, behavioral disorders, general inflammation, skin conditions, trouble sleeping. So there’s really a broad range. And that’s understandable once we start to understand how CBD and other cannabinoids work in the body, that it’s able to treat a whole range of different problems potentially. We’re still waiting on some of those published studies to come out.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Interestingly enough, our sponsor, OmegaBrite, makes a CBD product specifically for dogs. Have you heard of OmegaBrite? It’s a wonderful American company. They started off with fish oil and Omega-3 fatty acids supplements, and then they just came out with their CBD supplement for humans and they also have one for dogs.

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

Humans, and then they’ve expanded that into the pet world as well. And I think we’re seeing a lot more of that in the US compared to Canada. Because in Canada, our regulations are a little bit different. So even though it’s technically legal, it’s only legally available through certain regulated channels. And as of yet that hasn’t included a market specifically for pets. In Canada, people are either purchasing a product sold outside that legal pathway that are pet specific, or they’re purchasing legal products intended for human consumption and then giving them to their animals.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, since most of our listeners are in the United States, although they actually are around the world, but for our listeners, if they wanted to get CBD for their dog or other pet, they could just go to omegaBritewellness.com, and there it would be. So why would they do that? You mentioned anxiety. How can you tell if your dog or cat is anxious?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

Well, I think there’s a wide range of things that can cause anxiety. We have situational anxiety. So sometimes it’s just a short term thing like thunderstorm, or a trip to the vets or the groomers. And other times we’re dealing with more generalized anxiety, and behavioral disorders, and separation anxiety, which funny enough is getting a lot of attention as in certain areas, maybe not in some of the states, but certainly here in Ontario, we’re starting to get some opening up of the economy and opening up of the restrictions that have been in place for the last several months. Our pets have gotten very used to us being around. And so, one of the concerns is, is that when we all start going back to work and resuming our more normal routines, how are our pets going to be affected? And for some pets, they may struggle with some separation anxiety.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

What a great point. I hadn’t thought of that. What a great… And of course they would. Of course, they would, they feel abandoned and anxious.

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

The cats on the other hand will probably be celebrating, “Thank goodness the humans are gone.” But our dogs, I think, a lot of them have really come to enjoy us being around a lot more.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, I’m a dog person, not a cat person, but I do appreciate the feline independence, but I’m drawn to the canine affection. But that’s such a good point, Sarah, that when we’ve been with them all the time and then we leave them, and of course they’ll be sad. I can see your dog standing at the door waiting for us to get home.

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

Exactly.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And you said pain is, so if they have arthritic hips or something like that CBD might help?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

Yeah. Chronic pain is probably the number one reason that people have looked to cannabis-based therapies, both for themselves as well as their pets. But it’s also one of the ones that’s been looked at most commonly in our published studies. So we now have a few published studies that have looked specifically at using high CBD cannabis products for the treatment of arthritic pain in dogs. We also have a published study that’s looked at the use of CBD for treating epilepsy in dogs as well.

And so, all of those studies have been very positive, certainly more work still needs to be done. It’s not cut and dry, there’s always lots of confounding factors. And it’s certainly not something that I would recommend people do without consultation with your veterinarian. It is still a medicine, even though you can order it online, you don’t need to go to your veterinarian to get it, but we do want to make sure that it’s a suitable product that will maybe not missing something else, and also make sure that there’s no possible drug interactions. And that’s something a lot of people don’t consider.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

They don’t consider drug interactions?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

That’s right. So if your pet’s on other medications for chronic health problem, and you decide to add in a high CBD product, there’s the potential, and again, we’re still learning, this area is so new to us from a medical perspective, but it certainly appears that there can be the potential for some drug interactions because CBD can affect the way our body metabolizes drugs.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And also, I’m very intrigued by your Greenwood House Call Services. What are the kinds of conditions like a dog who’s dying of cancer or something?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

I mean, really it encompasses a range going anywhere from those senior patients who are just struggling a little bit more, the focus has shifted away from finding a diagnosis and finding a cure to really trying to keep that patient as comfortable as possible, up to patients who’ve been diagnosed with life limiting diseases like cancer or those who have reached end of life, and the family wants to have that end of lifetime be at home where the pet is most comfortable, and where they’re probably more comfortable as well.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Sure. And that’s the one downside of having a pet, that they die usually before you do.

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

And I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people say, “Never again. I’m not going to do this, it’s too hard.” But fortunately, I think, given enough time, our hearts are able to see how much joy they brought. And in most cases, I think, families end up opening their heart to another pet.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

We’ve done it five times now. And every time it’s so hard, but-

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

It’s a testimony to how much joy they bring us when we’re willing to go through that thing all over again.

[SPONSOR BREAK]

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Okay. For the past three months I’ve been taking a new supplement called OmegaBrite CBD, and listeners, know that brite is spelled B-R-I-T-E. So it’s OmegaBrite CBD. As I’ve mentioned before, OmegaBrite CBD was created by my good friend, Dr. Carol Locke, graduate of Harvard Medical School. And her company, OmegaBrite Wellness, they’ve been making the number one, Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years.

Well, Carol and her team decided to break new ground, having set the standard for purity, safety, and efficacy in the world of Omega-3s. And they brought that same commitment to excellence to their new CBD supplement. I take it myself. It helps me with my reactivity, my impatience, it just puts a smoother edge. In no way, is it a buzz or a high, anything like that, it’s way more subtle. But it’s a very noticeable, subtle effect, and one that I’ve come to really appreciate as I take it every day.

So, all right. Get OmegaBrite CBD online at omegabritewellness.com. And now, Distraction listeners can save 20% on their first order by using the promo code podcast 2020, that’s podcast 2020. Go to omegabritewellness.com and order OmegaBrite CBD. You’ll be glad you did just as I am.

[SPONSOR BREAK END]

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

What do you have yourself?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

I have one cat named Marvin and I have a, let’s see, he’ll be 13 in the fall, a little Miniature Pinscher, and then a great big Argentinian Mastiff.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

What are their names?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

His name is Wallace, and the little one is Blackberry.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Wallace and Blackberry, that’s so adorable. Wallace, what a great name for a big dog, and Blackberry, what a great name for a little dog. And then Marvin, of course.

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

And Wallace is actually on cannabis-based therapy as well. So he gets a high CBD product every morning and every evening.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Wow. Do you have kids?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

I do not, just my furry ones.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

But a husband.

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

Yes.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Is he a vet as well, or is he-

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

No, he’s in corporate training. So completely different type of business. But thank goodness, he’s also an animal lover. He actually came into the relationship with Blackberry.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Oh, that’s wonderful, that’s wonderful, that’s really wonderful. And did you growing up wanting to be a vet?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

Yeah. I think when I look back through the little school day treasury books, it first hit the radar in grade two. Veterinarian was on the list of things I’d like to do.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

So many little girls say they want to be a vet, but you actually did it.

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

I actually did it. Well, I had an interesting background. My dad was very much an animal and nature guy, and my mum was a nurse. And so, I think I had both sides of things. So veterinary medicine seemed to be a pretty darn good fit.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And what’s the process in Canada? How do you become a vet?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

In Canada, so way back when I went through, you had to have a minimum of one year of general science, and then applied into the veterinary program, if accepted, there was then a pre-vet year and then a four year veterinary program. They’ve changed it up a little bit since then. So now it’s a two years and you write your MCATs and go through the application process, and then a four year program.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

You take the medical college admission test?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

They do now.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Just as if you were applying to medical school?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

Yes.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Wow. So you have to have a college degree and then take the MCAT, and then four, five-

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

So it’s a minimum of two years of science or equivalent, I believe, now.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

To get in? And then that school is four years just like medical school?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

That’s right.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Wow. And then do you specialize-

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

We’ve got a lot more species to cover.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yeah, you sure do. So do you get trained in all the species?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

We do. I believe that there are some veterinary schools now that are starting to stream a little bit, but generally speaking, most veterinarians have received training in both large and small animal. And then as they progress through the course and get into that final year, their elective courses can focus more heavily on the area that they feel like they’re going to pursue. And so certainly all of my electives were small animals.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

But nonetheless, you were exposed to how do you deliver a horse, or how do you take care of the pregnant cow. Do you get trained on how to take care of a snake?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

Briefly, yes. And birds and fish. I was actually going through the garage last week and found a whole bunch of boxes with my old notes in there, and I’m like, wow, we had a lot of lectures on fish that I don’t remember.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Fish, really? Wow.

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

Yeah.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And what about birds?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

So we do the full gamut. And circling back to today’s topic, it’s really interesting to see some of the science that’s coming out as we start to look at how CBD and other cannabinoids influence other species as well.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Really. Have you taken care of parents?

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

Parents or parrots?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Both. Obviously, parents, but-

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

Parents, not so much-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Not so much.

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

… But aging parents, yes. And both my parents, I also push to have them on medical cannabis therapy as they approached senior years and end of life, my mom still gets hers regularly. She has both dementia and arthritis and it helps to level out both of those, I think.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

That’s wonderful. Well, you sound like a dream come true of a veterinarian. I wish I lived near you and you could take care of our animals. You obviously found your calling. It’s wonderful. And you’re a pioneer, you’re breaking new ground, you’re staying young, that’s also impressive.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Dr. Sarah Silcox, founding director and current president of the Canadian Association of Veterinary Cannabinoid Medicine, and owner of Greenwood Veterinary House Call Services. What an angel of animals you are for sure. I can’t thank you enough for joining us.

Dr. Sarah Silcox:

Oh, you’re very welcome. Thank you so much for having me on and introducing your audience to some of the potential uses for those CBD products in pets.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Thank you indeed. What a unique and wonderful guest you’ve been. Thank you so much for joining us.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Now, I just have to read some credits. Please, listeners, reach out to us with your questions, comments, and show ideas, and we really do love getting them, by sending an email to mailto:[email protected]. Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media, our recording engineer and editor is Scott Persson, and our producer is Sarah Guertin. I’m DR. Ned Hallowell, your host, saying goodbye, until next time.

The episode you just heard was sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD, formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one, Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

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Should Ned Stick to What He Knows?

Should Ned Stick to What He Knows?

Should Dr. H avoid talking about politics, money, religion, sex and other non-ADHD topics on this podcast?

Ned reacts to an email he received from a listener who said he should stick to talking about ADHD in this podcast and reaches out to listeners for feedback.

What do you think? Share your thoughts with us at [email protected]

Learn more about our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD. Distraction listeners can SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode can be found below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:

This episode of Distraction is sponsored by Omega Brite CBD, formulated by Omega Brite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. Omega Brite CBD, safe, third party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

Hello, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell, and welcome to a mini episode of Distraction. As you know, during this period of COVID, each week we release a mini episode that in some way pertains to the experience we’re all sharing as we live through this unique period in our lives. And unique it certainly is. I wanted to reflect on an email that I was sent, but let me preface it by saying when I was growing up, and I grew up in a very Waspy family, where being polite was de rigueur, I was explicitly told and certainly implicitly told to stay away from certain topics in conversation, and those topics included politics, religion, money, and sex.

I can still remember watching my father shave one day. I must have been six years old. And I asked him, because I had just learned this word, “Dad, what is your salary?” And he looked down at me as if I had just uttered the worst curse word you could ever imagine. He said, “Ned, never, ever ask anyone that question.” And I got the strong message that talking about money, certainly in a personal way, like how much do you have, was completely off limits. And there are other instances where I got the same message regarding politics, religion, and as for sex, that was just so out of the question, unless the people in the room had been doing what they usually were doing, which was drinking, in which case sex would come up very easily.

In any case over the years, I’ve turned that advice in my mind over and over, and I’ve really decided it’s terrible advice. It’s good advice if you want to not make any waves, if you want to avoid conflict, if you want to be as bland as you can possibly be. Then yes, don’t bring those up, and for that matter, don’t bring up much of anything. Just talk about the weather and ask the other person to talk about themselves, and you’ll be safe. But of course that’s not my way. Having ADHD, I like to branch out, reach out, inquire, probe and try to find out what’s going on. And that’s what I encourage other people to do.

Well, I must have strayed beyond the boundaries of people expect. In one episode, I opined not overtly politically, but one listener took umbrage to what I said. It was not an opinion as much as it was, I guess, a intimation, but he emailed me and he said, “Dr. Hallowell, I enjoy your podcast, but stick to ADHD. If you go into politics, you’ll offend people, you’ll lose your listenership. We don’t like it. We don’t want it. So just keep that to yourself.” And I’ve been wondering, do all of you feel that way? I’d love to hear from you. Do you all want me to just keep this very G-rated and very conflict free and free of anything that I’m not a licensed professional to talk about?

I mean, I would much rather have an ongoing dialogue with you and it is certainly true, I will never turn this show into a Fox News versus MSNBC contest. I wouldn’t want that. I mean, I think you listen to this to get away from that. So I don’t want to join the haranguing and join the venting, and join the angry discourse that you can hear altogether too easily. And I do try to be a unifier. I do try to be a connector. But to me, that allows there to be availability of all points of view, listening to all points of view, honoring, as we say in my religion, to respect the dignity of every human being. That’s what I’d like to try to do and not to avoid hot topics, but rather cool them down by airing them out. You can cool them down by airing them out in a way that makes each point of view intelligent, responsible, and discussable.

To me, the minute you say something can’t be talked about, you give it power that it ought not to have. When a thing becomes forbidden, it takes on a secret power that tends to distort it and magnify it, intensify it in a radioactive kind of way. I’d like to get guidance from you all on this. So please email me, email us [email protected], and tell me, do you want me just to stick to the G-rated discussions about ADHD, which I certainly love to do, or do you like it if I go off that topic and get into politics, religion, money, and sex, and any other topic you might like me to bring up, like dogs and meatloaf, two of my favorites that are not on the beaten path? Let me know, give me guidance. Let me know if that man who wrote to me speaks for most of you, or if he speaks for a minority of you.

And let me thank that man. I’m not naming you at all and I don’t want to single you out in a negative way. I appreciate your giving me your point of view. You were trying to help me. You said I’ll lose my audience if I don’t stick to what I’m licensed to talk about, and instead if I offer my various thoughts, feelings, and ideas on other topics of human existence. As always, thank you so very much for joining us. We depend upon you. We need you. We want you. Please tell your friends about us, as we’re trying to grow and build a community of interesting and congenial listeners. And if you’re not congenial, that’s okay too. You can be whoever you want to be.

Before I say goodbye, I’d like to remind you to check out Omega Brite CBD. I have been taking this CBD supplement for three months now, and feel very much more calm because of it, not calm in a zonked out kind of way, but calm in an equanimous kind of way. Equanimity, Osler said, was the great goal of the physician. Equanimity is a wonderful state to achieve, and Omega Brite CBD helps me achieve equanimity. You can buy Omega Brite CBD online at omegabritewellness.com. And remember, brite is spelled B-R-I-T-E. Omega, O-M-E-G-A, B-R-I-T-E wellness.com. Distraction listeners should use the promo code podcast2020 to save 20% off their first order, podcast2020. Omega Brite CBD, safe, third party tested, and it works.

Remember, if you have a question, comment or show idea, we want to hear from you. Question, comment, show idea, or recipe for meatloaf, we want to hear from you. Send us an email at [email protected]. That’s [email protected] Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is the amazingly talented Sarah Guertin, and our recording engineer and editor is the almost as amazingly talented Scott Persson,  and I’ll catch hell for that. I’m Dr. Ned Hallowell. Thank you so much for listening.

The episode you’ve just heard was sponsored by Omega Brite CBD, formulated by Omega Brite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. Omega Brite CBD, safe, third party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

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Dr. H Answers Your ADHD Questions

Dr. H Answers Your ADHD Questions

Our host responds to listener emails this week about ADHD and…  medication and addiction, anxiety issues, sensory processing disorder symptoms, OCD and the pandemic, and more.

Thank you to all of our listeners who sent in an email! A special shout out goes to awesome Distraction listener, Gray, who shared his thoughts with us in a voice memo!

If you have a question, comment or show idea we want to hear from you! Write an email, or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to [email protected]

Dr. Hallowell’s books mentioned in this episode:

Delivered from Distraction

Driven to Distraction

Learn more about our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD. Distraction listeners can SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode can be found below.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

This episode of Distraction is sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega 3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD. Safe third party tested, and it works. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Hello and welcome to Distraction. I’m your host, Dr. Ned Hallowell. Thank you so very much for joining me. We have a growing audience and we hope it continues to grow. Please tell your friends about us, assuming you like what we’re doing. Today’s show we’ll be doing one of my favorite episodes, responding to your emails and questions. If you listen to these questions and enjoy them, please send us your questions. As we normally do in these episodes, my producer, the inestimably wonderful, Sarah Guertin will read to me your emails so I can respond. Without further ado, let me invite Sarah to read me the first email.

Sarah Guertin:

Hey. Happy to be here. All right. This first email says, “Hi, Dr. Hallowell. My son was diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD in September. He also has sensory processing disorder, but now I’m wondering what he truly has since his symptoms are very similar between SPD and ADHD. Since learning this, I’ve read eight books and changed his school. While he is better, I want to be sure to give him all the support and resources for him to navigate well through life’s journey. I struggled to know how to best help him in what he really needs. He has had three years of occupational therapy, but we’ve hit a wall. What is the best way to get them on a path of treatment that is right for him? He is attending a school for kids with learning differences though I’m not sure I can afford to keep him there as I’m a single self-employed mom. He’s a happy, amazing kid aside from the struggles he faces with the differences, but I don’t want to make things worse. I love your podcast. It has helped me understand and sometimes given me ideas. Any advice for the bumbling parent? LB.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, LB, first of all, you’re anything but bumbling. Any parent who reads eight books and changes the school and paying a tuition she can barely afford, I’d say is anything but bumbling. I would say you’re a candidate for mother of the year. As for your son’s problem, you didn’t mention medication. You said he’s had occupational therapy for the sensory processing disorder, I assume, but I didn’t see any mention of medication. Sensory processing disorder by the way is not the one I would put at the top of the list in terms of ease of helping to improve. You want to make sure you really go after the ADHD. Often the SPD, the sensory processing disorder, will follow. You’ve been doing the OT, the occupational therapy. You’ve kind of nailed that one. You said, “We’ve hit a wall.” I’m not sure what you meant by that.

I can guess he’s stalling out. He’s not doing well. The three hallmarks of the treatment of ADHD are number one, education. You want to know what it is and what it isn’t. I’d recommend my book Delivered from Distraction, which came out in 2005, but the information in it is still current. I’ll have a new book for you in 2021, but as of now Delivered from Distraction. Read that so you really understand what ADHD is and what it isn’t. For example, it is not a deficit of attention. It’s an abundance of attention. Simply need to control it. I don’t see it as a disorder. I see it as a trait. It can become a disorder or it can become a superpower depending upon how you manage it. You begin with education and letting your son know that he’s got a race car for a brain, a Ferrari for a brain, but the problem is he has bicycle brakes. We need to somehow strengthen the brakes.

You want to get him in a good frame of mind so he doesn’t feel like he’s being fixed. So he doesn’t feel like he’s being remediated. So he doesn’t feel like he’s fundamentally defective, which is what the term ADHD implies. Instead, tell him he’s got a Ferrari engine with bicycle brakes. There are many ways of strengthening those brakes. As I say, you start with education. Then a trial of medication makes a lot of sense, unless it goes against your brain for some reason. Most parents say, I don’t want to use medication, but they don’t really know why they don’t want to use medication. Their reasons are rooted in wrong information or lack of information or both. Talk with your doctor. I would recommend a trial of medication. Remember, a trial of medication is just that. It’s a trial.

If it does anything you don’t like… If he turns purple, you just stopped the meds. He’ll go back to his original color. You don’t want to proceed as if it were a permanent intervention. If it works and by work I mean he gets improved focus, improved control over his engine with no side effects, other than appetite suppression, without unwanted weight loss. If you get that result, which you can achieve 80% of the time, then it makes everything else so much more easy to do. People often say to me, why don’t we do a year or two of non-medication treatment before starting medication? I say fine. I’m happy to do that with you. I’ve written books about that, but it’s sort of like saying, why don’t we do a year or two of squinting before we try eyeglasses?

Why not go to the proven intervention that is safe and effective? Why wait because it makes everything else you do more effective. Then the third element… We have education. We have trial of medication, 80% of the time it will help. The third element is coaching, which includes everything from how to get up in the morning and get dressed, to how to make your bed, to how to plan your homework, to how to listen in class, to how to take notes if you’re old enough to do that, to how to hand in papers on time, to how to stop procrastinating. All that comes under the heading of coaching. That can be done by an ADHD coach. The de facto coach is you, the parent, usually the mother. The problem with that is as the child gets older the coaching comes to feel like nagging.

What a hired coach does or a hired tutor does is what a mom would do minus the nag factor. Those would be my recommendations, but start with the recommendation of getting rid of yourself designation as a bumbling parent. You’re anything but. Educate as to what ADHD is. I recommend my book Delivered from Distraction. Consider your pediatrician for a trial of stimulant medication. Then bring in the coaching, addressing whatever the target areas of need are. Hope that makes sense, LB. Please give us follow up. Love to hear how he’s doing as time marches on.

Sarah Guertin:

This email is from Diana. She wrote in part, “Hello, Dr. Hallowell. First, let me say how much your work has personally and professionally impacted my life. Back in 2015 when I first started learning about how my daughter might have ADHD and that I myself might also have ADHD, it was your book Driven to Distraction that launched and guided me through this world of self discovery. Your book also enabled me to effectively advocate for the accommodations my own children need at home and in school, as well as giving those same tools to the students in my classroom, as a science teacher. In the more recent past and present, however, it has been your Distraction podcast that has opened up the flood gates to the multitude of other resources, which have skyrocketed my growth about ADHD since my diagnosis, and now too the diagnosis of my daughter, testing of my son for ADHD and navigating the most effective treatments for us all.

The reason for this email though, is not entirely to share my appreciation for you, but to ask for advice about, and possibly connections for writing my own book about my experiences with ADHD. Thus far, I have nearly an hour’s worth of voice memos with full pages of the book laid out along with ideas for more content and a broad framework for scope and scale of the book. Unfortunately, this is where I begin to flounder. Since I have no clue how to make connections in the publishing realm, do you happen to have any advice for this or contacts I could pursue in this endeavor to write my book? Your help and advice would be most greatly appreciated and valued. All my best, Diana.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, Diana, what a wonderful email. What a wonderful goal you’ve set for yourself of writing a book. That’s fantastic. One of the best ways to treat ADD is to develop a creative outlet. The reason I write so many books is if I don’t have a book going, I get depressed. I’ve found in working with people with ADD over the years, the ones who do best always have some kind of creative outlet, whether it’s writing or gardening or cooking or investing in the stock market. There’s some kind of creative outlet, an outlet that allows you to be spontaneous and access your unconscious and create. It is something that our brains really need to do. If we don’t do it… It’s like a cow that doesn’t get milked. We just get all stuck up, plugged up. Good for you. Wonderful goal.

Now what you’re going to need is structure. You can do that by hiring a coach. You’re also going to need an agent. It’s very hard to sell a book as an unpublished author if you don’t have an agent. It’s possible, but it’s extremely difficult. You can go online and Google agents and literary agents. The best ones or in New York or Boston, although there were agents all over the place. If you find an agent, you see, they’ll take on the task of helping you get the book written. Then selling it. What you can do once you have an agent is write, what’s called a proposal. The agent can sell the book based on the proposal. It has to be a fairly detailed, for someone who hasn’t been published, a fairly detailed summary of what the book will include.

Once your agent sells that proposal, then you get an advance. That’s a sum of money that you get to support you while you write the book. Now, if the book doesn’t earn back the full amount of the advance, you don’t have to pay it back. It’s called an advance on royalties, but it’s really a gift. You don’t get royalties until the book earns out as it’s called, until it earns back the amount of money of the advance. In the unfortunate case, it doesn’t earn that much money, you’re not on the hook. The publisher takes the risk, which is really quite wonderful. The agent usually takes 15% of the advance, but you don’t have to pay the agent anything if he or she does not sell the proposal. That’s in a nutshell the best way to get published.

You’ve done the hard part, which is gathered up your experience. Now you’ll have to sort through your voice memos and develop an outline, and a table of contents. That’s what usually goes into a proposal. Good for you for doing it. It’s a wonderful thing to do. You’ll feel very gratified and you will help an awful lot of people if the book manages to get published or you could self-publish. Now you can do eBooks on Amazon. There’s a whole way of doing that as well. You don’t have to rely on a New York publisher picking up your book. I hope that answers your question and good luck. You have to be crazy to write a book. It’s no way to make a living. It’s a good way to torture yourself. I’ve been writing them for many years now. I just finished my 21st book. I guess it’s a fine madness, if you will. It’s not a way to feel good, but it is a way to feel very fulfilled and satisfied.

Sarah Guertin:

“Hi, there. I listen to your podcast on Spotify to help with my ADHD, OCD, and insomnia, which is an ongoing issue. I think I have other underlying problems, but that’s another story. I’m constantly learning about it. I’m doing online courses to understand my brain and others and how it all works, but I’m stuck. As a result of COVID became isolated with all my usual helpers and I’m scared. I’m 24, female in Melbourne, Australia. I live out of home at the moment in a share house on a noisy street and can’t concentrate. I’ve decided to move back home because it seems to be my only option for a healthy and financially stable lifestyle. I am currently having a meltdown. My parents both obviously have undiagnosed ADHD along with my younger sister, but she has been diagnosed. The house is full of clutter. I’m slowly trying to organize my old room, which is full of the classic hoarding of old clothes from all people from my family.” She has another sister, too.

“I suffer from OCD and like things to always have a place. I love self-learning and love how my brain works most of the time. I think I’m a genius to be honest. I just cannot seem to understand what is a good decision. Do I move home where the clutter is never ending and don’t think it will ever be perfect? Will I be overwhelmed with a house full of ADHD? I can’t think. I’m trying to be positive. I help people often. I’m kind and actually enjoy organizing, but this is so much that I’m currently living out of my car because I’m stuck in between the two houses. I’m stuck. I’m anxious. I need help. What actions do I take? What advice do I listen to? Where do I look for help? Thank you for your help so far. Your podcasts make me feel safe wherever I’m sleeping at night.” She put in parentheses a different bed every night. “I hope you are well. I appreciate the work you do. Hailey.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, Hailey, what a wonderful email. What an amazing young woman you are. Gosh. I can’t remember the last email where someone said, “I actually think I’m a genius.” I love that you think you’re a genius because you are. Genius just means extraordinarily talented in some domain or another. I can tell just by reading your email, you are. What you need is what most of us with ADHD need, namely, some structure. You need to take all these wonderful ideas and images and thoughts and feelings that are ping-ponging around in your brain all day and most of the night and shape them, direct them, organize them. Like I say, ADD, you’ve got a Ferrari engine for a brain, but with bicycle brakes. Your Ferrari is zinging all over the place. You can’t decide on where to land. I think you need somebody to work with you, whether that could be a friend, if you can’t afford a professional help or a coach, probably it cost something, or an actual medical professional to take you on and help you construct a game plan so to speak.

It’s very hard to do it on your own. I would not. As for moving home, I assume the price is good. That’s an advantage. If you could create a space of the house that’s yours and if you could have it neat and tidy, then the chaos going on around you wouldn’t necessarily be a problem. If you all love each other, even if you’re a little chaotic, that’s fine. We can deal with chaos as long as there’s good feeling. You want to have good feeling. That force of connection is very formative as long as it’s positive connection. You say you suffer from OCD. It sounds like that can help you actually if you use that to get organized and have things in place. I think you really do need someone to sound off your ideas with and make some plans and set some goals. We really do well when we have goals.

Then someone to hold you accountable. That also helps if you could be held accountable. You have enormous potential, believe me for a 24 year old woman. I can just tell from your email, how much you’ve got going on inside that really zinging and zagging and zigging and zagging mind of yours. If you got some help and then I would certainly consider a trial of medication. You didn’t mention that in there, but you’ll need an MD to help you with that. When the meds work, they’re amazing. They really work wonders. If they don’t work, you just don’t take them.

The stimulant meds are in and out of your system very quickly. You can find out pretty fast if the meds will be helpful to you. If they are helpful to you and they help about 80% of people, then it makes all the rest of the interventions that you need so much easier. When you can focus, it’s like when you have eyeglasses. You can learn and do everything more felicitously. How’s that for a word, felicitously. Thank you so much for writing to us, Hailey. Please keep us posted on your progress. Let us know if we can help you in any other way. You are a genius. Don’t forget that.

[SPONSOR BREAK]

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Before we get to the next question, I’d like to take a moment and talk with you about our wonderful sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD. As many of you listeners know I’ve been taking OmegaBrite CBD supplement for the past few months. It’s the newest supplement from OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one, Omega 3 supplements for the past 20 years, which my wife and I have taken for quite some time now. We really swear by them. OmegaBrite’s founder, Dr. Carol Locke, graduate of Harvard Medical School, and her team set the standards for purity, safety and efficacy in the world of Omega 3s and have now brought that same commitment to excellence with their CBD supplement. I love the CBD because in my own case, it’s helped me with my reactivity, my natural impatience. I can be very impatient, reactive, peremptory. Since I’ve started the CBD, that’s sort of been blunted. I’m not like that. It hasn’t taken away any of my mental fastball at all. I encourage you to give it a try. You can find OmegaBrite CBD online at omegabritewellness.com.

As a special for Distraction listeners, the OmegaBrite folks have given you a 20% discount off your first order, but you have to use the promo code, podcast 2020. That’s pretty simple. Podcast 2020. Go to omegabritewellness.com. Order up some OmegaBrite CBD and some fish oil. While you’re there, you can also pick up some vitamin D. They also make that. Put in podcast 2020 and you’ll get 20% off.

[SPONSOR BREAK END]

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

All right. Sarah, what does the next email have to offer us?

Sarah Guertin:

“Hey, Dr. Ned. I don’t have a question. I just wanted to give my thanks to you. I’m a 28 year old from Australia who is only just diagnosed with ADHD late last year. I failed out of university when I was 21 and went through a lot of self hatred and depression, not understanding why I couldn’t cope. I decided to come back to university and subsequently found out about the ADHD and my whole life suddenly made sense. It was a rollercoaster of emotions. I spent some time feeling really down about it. Earlier this year, I discovered both you and Peter Shankman. Both of your perspectives on ADHD have completely changed my mindset and life. It’s allowed me to really appreciate my strengths. I’m now managing my weaknesses properly. I wouldn’t give my ADHD away if I could. I’m also getting nearly exclusively A’s on all my assignments as well and have regained a fire in my belly that had all but died out.

Anyway, that was a bit of a tangent. I was writing to you just to tell you that when I’m having a bad day or I’m feeling lost, I often go to your podcast and listen to an episode. I really like your short episodes where you give your thoughts on a topic. There’s something about the way you talk about your experiences that calms me down and makes me feel like everything is and will be okay. Thank you for doing what you do. I really appreciate it. Regards, TCM.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Oh my goodness. What a wonderful email. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much. I’m really glad that I’m able to help you calm down and think that everything will be okay. I think what you’re finding is the truth of my little aphorism, never worry alone. I was taught that by my teacher way back when I was a resident. Dr. Thomas Gutheil. He used to say to us, it’s okay to worry. In fact, it’s a good thing to worry. Just don’t worry alone. I think you must find in listening to the podcasts, a companionship, an affiliation that always makes us feel better. When we’re alone, we globalize. We catastrophize. We lose hope. When we’re in connection, it doesn’t have to be in person like the podcast isn’t in person, we feel the energy. We feel the whatever it is that has not yet been discovered, that happens when a person connects, even just by listening because you’re inputting even though you’re listening. You’re also adding to my words with images, associations, thoughts, feelings.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

If I started to describe the lake where my kids and I used to go growing up, you’ll think of a lake that you go to. That in and of itself will be calming and pleasant for you. You’re clearly on your way to doing wonderful things. I’m so glad you discovered Peter Shankman. I’m so glad you discovered me. Both Peter and I think of ADHD as something that if you manage properly can really enhance your life in a unique and wonderful way. I’m glad you’re discovering that. I’m glad you’re discovering the pot of gold at the end of this particular rainbow because it’ll be with you for the rest of your life. Thank you for writing in. I can’t thank you enough for your encouragement of me, which I need just like anybody else. Thank you again, TCM, from all the way from Australia where so many wonderful people live. Sarah, we have another one?

Sarah Guertin:

This next email is from Steven. He wrote in part “Dr. Hallowell, I’m 42 years old and was diagnosed with ADD at 39 by both a neurologist and psychologist. Before the diagnosis. I did well in college, earning three degrees, including a doctorate. I’ve been successful enough in the work world. Though, in retrospect, I see how strengths associated with ADD helps me and hindered me through the formal education process and how an earlier diagnosis would have been helpful. As I age my increasing difficulties with ADD correlate 100% with attempts to balance parenthood, my wife and I have three young children, career and related responsibilities. I’m convinced that I successfully self-medicated prior to marriage and children with long hikes distance running, long bike rides and time outdoors. That’s a bit harder to come by now. I need additional help. I’ve been taking generic Adderall for just over two years, either 10 milligrams XR, or single, or double dose of five milligram tabs as needed.

Overall, I’m satisfied with the medications impact. I tried generic Ritalin prior with a slightly lesser result. I find that when I skip a day of medication, I’m 100% okay, especially, if I’m not at my desk job. Self-medicating with exercise works better anyway, sometimes, but on the second day of not medicating, I become noticeably irritable, starting in the morning, far sadder than circumstances warrant and I’m generally a less agreeable husband and father.

One solution is to medicate daily, without exception.” Then he put this in bold. “But I’m hoping that my experience isn’t a sign of addiction. If it is what actions should I take? Finally, I’m otherwise healthy and fit. I rarely drink alcohol. I use no other drugs, recreational or prescription. I’m not prone to addictive behaviors. I take Omega 3 supplements per your suggestion. I do find that if I take an XR pill in the morning, I feel a drop-off late afternoon. I usually work through such or take a five milligram tab at onset of drop-off, especially if I plan to work or have meetings that evening, but taking medications too late in the day does affect my sleep.” It kind of goes on from there, but that’s the general question that he’s asking.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Steven, you’re obviously an incredibly talented person as so many people with ADD are. I’m really glad you got diagnosed and you got on medication. The fact that you feel funny after two days does not mean you’re addicted at all. It just means you’re suffering from some residual side effects, but you’re not addicted. If you were addicted, you would go into withdrawal. You’d have cravings. You’d become irritable. I do think it means you need to tweak the medications. What I would suggest is switching from Adderall XR to Vyvanse. Amphetamine is the active ingredient in both, but with Vyvanse the drop-off is smoother. I’ve found with most of my patients when they switch from Adderall XR to Vyvanse, they don’t have that crashing, as it’s called, period when the medication is wearing off. You’re managing it properly, by the way, to use the five milligram immediate release Adderall to temper that. I’m glad that’s working well for you.

Of course, exercise is the best of all in terms of self-medicating. Continue with the exercise. You might add in some meditation, which you can do five or 10 minutes once or twice a day. Don’t forget the vitamin C, vitamin connect. Stay connected with the people you care about. That all will help with these raggedy feelings that you can get. Push exercise. Push meditation. Push human connection. I would tweak the medication in the way I just suggested to switch from the Adderall XR to Vyvanse. Keep the immediate release Adderall toward the end of the day, but don’t take it too late or you will get insomnia as you’ve experienced. Thank you, Steven. Please stay in touch with us. Let us know what progress you make. Sarah, do we have any more?

Sarah Guertin:

This last one is a voice memo that we received from a listener named Grey. Grey reached out to us several months ago, Ned, when you did your meatloaf episode. He wrote to us and told us that he is a fan of meatloaf as well. Here’s what he recorded.

Grey:

“Hello, Dr. Hallowell. Greetings to you again. This is Grey, your meatloaf pal. I have a four year old daughter. We are working our way through classic kid appropriate music. We’ve been listening to The Sound of Music recently. After listening to Maria and I Have Confidence a few times, it dawned on me. Have you ever heard a better or more musical description of ADHD? Someone who has trouble following rules, but is a joyously good person and is determined to succeed despite repeated negative feedback. Perhaps you can name a future book, chapter, holding a moonbeam. I would love to hear your comments. Thanks.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, thank you, Grey. Thank you for continuing our meatloaf association. I hope you are experimenting. There are as many recipes for meatloaf as there are cures for hiccups. Sometimes meatloaf will give you the hiccups. One of my favorite meals. I love to pair meatloaf with a baked potato. I don’t know about you. Then a nice salad or peas, but I don’t often get to have the peas because no one in my family likes them. I love them. I don’t know how you feel about peas. They go well with meatloaf and a baked potato. Anyway. Yes. Holding a moonbeam. Yes. That’s wonderful. I’m so glad you’re introducing your daughter to the world of ADD in such a positive way, which is indeed how it is. I think that’s terrific.

I love the image. Wanting to do well and do right, but not really inclined to be a conformist and paint within the lines. She’ll be carving out her own painting as the years go by. With a wonderful father like you and I’m sure a mother as well, it will all be coming up roses and moonbeams for you all. Thank you. Thank you so much, Grey. Please keep me posted both about your daughter and about your experiences in the world of meatloaf.

All right. If you have a question you’d like me to address in a future episode and it can be about anything including meatloaf or moonbeams or kangaroos in Australia, write an email or record a voice memo on your phone just as Gray did. Send it to us at [email protected].

If you’re on Facebook, be sure to like the Distraction podcast page. We post links to episodes, relevant articles and the occasional cute dog video, which I’ve got to make another one of those soon. It’s a good way to stay connected with the show and other Distraction listeners. We’re on Instagram and Twitter. Please give us a like and a follow on there as well. Now, if I knew how to do any of those things, I’d do it myself, but someone else does it for me. I’m too old this dog to learn those new tricks, but you are young and Instagram and Twitter savvy. Please do that. Like, follow, embroider and add to. Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our wonderful recording engineer and editor is Scott Persson. Our producer is the estimable, irreplaceable and always effervescent, Sarah Guertin. This is Dr. Ned Hallowell saying goodbye for now.

The episode you’ve just heard was sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega 3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD. Safe, third party tested, and it works. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

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Ned’s Short List of Good Distractions

Ned’s Short List of Good Distractions

Pandemic-life these days can be quite stressful, so finding ways to give your brain a break is key to maintaining a healthy balance. Our host shares a few of the things he’s been doing to take his mind off of the pandemic, politics and other upsetting topics in this week’s mini Distraction.

Reach out to us with your comments, questions and show ideas! Send us an email, or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to [email protected]

Learn more about our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD! Distraction listeners can SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Pat Keogh.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode can be found below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:

This episode of Distraction is sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD, formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third-party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

This is Dr. Ned Hallowell with a mini episode of Distraction. During the pandemic, each week, we do a mini episode that touches in some way upon this phenomenon that we’ve all been living within and today’s is going to be a lighthearted one. I want to talk about things that I have been doing myself to divert me from the perils of the day, to take my mind off of the pandemic, politics and other upsetting topics. I just thought I’d go down the list of what I’ve done either alone or with family members, not an exhaustive list, of course, but just a few things that came trippingly to my tongue or instantly to my mind.

One thing, I have been binge watching Schitt’s Creek. Now, if you’ve never seen Schitt’s Creek, it is funny. I really recommend it to you. My wife started watching it and she described it to me and I said, “I don’t think that sounds good.” It is terrific. It is uproariously funny. It is so, so, so, so funny. If you don’t find the show funny, something’s happened to your funny bone. Just thinking about it, with Eugene Levy, with the big eyebrows, it’s just hysterically funny.

I also made a purchase while waiting in line because we have to wait in line to get into certain stores, and the line outside of Whole Foods happens to have a bunch of hanging flowers for sale. So I bought two of these hanging flower pots, one predominant color pink, the other predominant color violet, and I hung them from hooks on our front porch. Now, when you buy hanging flower pots, you have to water the flowers. So that’s what I’ve been doing each day, and in order to water the flowers, I’m not quite tall enough to reach the watering can up. So I bought a little step stool. So I have my step stool on the porch, along with my watering can and I get up there every day or every other day and water these flowers. I’m telling you, it’s really rewarding to see them flourish and grow and they’re bushier, and hanging downer more, and just lovely to behold.

Also, someone left us a pot of pansies as sort of a gift during this time and I’ve been watering that as well and they are just flourishing. My gosh, there were a few stray strands of pansy in the original. Now it’s just like a pansy bush. So we’ve got the blue pansies, the violet flowers, the pink flowers and the porch, it just lifts my spirits. I also wrote a letter to David Brooks, the columnist in the New York Times. He wrote a column on Friday, the 26th, about five problems that we’re dealing with that I just thought it was a wonderful column.

I’ve also been cooking. I go online and I look for recipes and there’s a gazillion recipes online. They’ll have 32 ways of turning ground meat into a meal or 17 side dishes for the 4th of July, and I love these and I go download them, I print them out and next thing you know, I’m cooking them up. Like tomorrow, I’m going to make a vegetable chicken stew in the crackpot. Tuesdays is my day to make dinner, so I’ll put it in in the morning, and by the time evening rolls around, we’ll have this yummy, delicious stew. Online recipe shopping is another activity that I highly recommend.

Play with a dog. We’re lucky because my daughter is here and with her comes her a little Chiweenie named Layla. As you know, I think dogs are God’s greatest creation. Been playing with Layla every chance I get. Then when my son brings over his dog, Max, we had to play with both dogs and out in the backyard, the two of them rushing around.

Then one final thing I got for my daughter, because she really wanted this, a inflatable pool, above ground obviously, that it’s big enough for her to put a inflatable raft in it so she can lie in the sun, in the water, on the water and to see the smile on her face, when this thing arrived. It didn’t cost a huge amount. It was $300. I know that’s not nothing, but it was affordable and it was joy, joy, joy, joy. This is all along the lines of specializing. That’s my term for making the ordinary extraordinary. Turning what’s a dismal situation into one that’s a playful, fun, rewarding, interesting, engaging.

So that’s my little list. Binge-watched Schitt’s Creek, water the hanging flowers, write a letter to David Brooks, cook up new stuff, play with the dog and get something special for your daughter, in my case, it was this inflatable pool. Let’s try to do these things for one another. Let’s try to stay connected, even though we have to keep our distance. Let’s try to bring each other messages and vibes of goodwill, of joy, of understanding, of harmony. Let’s try to get along.

Okay, before I say goodbye, I’d like to remind you to check out OmegaBrite CBD. I’ve been taking the CBD supplement myself for nearly three months and I have noticed it’s definitely helping with my feelings of irritability and random anxiety. You can get OmegaBrite CBD online at omegabritewellness.com. That’s O-M-E-G-A-B-R-I-T-E-wellness.com, Brite intentionally misspelled. They have a deal for Distraction listeners right now as well. You’ll save 20% off your first order when you use the promo code podcast 2020. That’s podcast 2020. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third-party tested, and it works.

Please continue to connect with us. Share your thoughts, questions, and show ideas by emailing us at [email protected]. That’s [email protected] Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is the multi-talented and several voice levels, Sarah Guertin, and our recording engineer and editor is the impish and brilliant Pat Keogh. I am Dr. Ned Hallowell. Thank you so very much for joining our community and listening to our podcast.

The episode of Distraction you just heard was sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third-party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

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Gratitude And Pasta

Gratitude And Pasta

“Chris Schembra is a sought-after dinner host whose passion lies in facilitating profound human connection in a deeply disconnected world,” according to his website, Gratitude And Pasta. The connection guru joins our host for a lively conversation about his new book and how his “7:47 Club” dinners have fostered gratitude, empathy and human connection in his life and thousands of others.

To get a copy of Gratitude and Pasta click HERE. To learn more about Chris visit 747Club.org or email him directly at [email protected].

Reach out to us with your comments, questions and show ideas! Send us an email, or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to [email protected]

Learn more about our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD! Distraction listeners can SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Pat Keogh.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode can be found below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:

This episode of Distraction is sponsored by Omega Bright CBD formulated by Omega Bright Wellness. Creators of the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. Omega Bright CBD. Safe, third party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabrightwellness.com.

Hello, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell and welcome to Distraction. Today, we have a truly fascinating, interesting, and dare I say, unique guest. I only met him recently, but I feel like I should have known him for many, many years. He’s led a fascinating life that is still in its early stages, but he’s produced Broadway plays, he’s run businesses. He has really, I think, come into a very special place with his work on facilitating human connection. And as all of you listeners know, that’s my main squeeze in terms of what I feel most passionately about. Particularly in today’s world where we’re so disconnected and now, with the pandemic we’re having to keep even more distance.

And, and so the force of connection becomes even more important. He came up with a stroke of genius. He combined food with connection. I’ll let him tell you about these amazing dinners that he produces, but his book is called Gratitude and Pasta. And if you ever want to see a great cover for a book, get this book. It’s makes you want to go out and get a bowl of pasta right on the spot. But gratitude and pasta, and I will leave it to him to tell you about what it is. Because you’ve never heard of a program like this before, and you’ll want to sign up immediately. He’s truly remarkable. I’m sure he has ADD, although I don’t know that I’ve proved that. But I’m sure he does, because anyone who is as talented and multi interested and charismatic as this gentleman is must have this wonderful condition. So with that as an introduction, let me turn it over to my new friend, I hope. And certainly my new guest and acquaintance, Mr. Chris Schembra.

Chris Schembra:

Hey Ned, thanks for having me today and what an amazing chat we had on my LinkedIn Live last week. A lot of our guests wrote in saying how much they personally connected with your, not only message of connection being their vitamin C, but on the great work that you have done for so many years on the topic of ADHD. And my own mother who watched it, wrote in and said, “I don’t know if you knew Chris, but we pretty much based your entire childhood off Driven to Distraction.” And my mother ended up creating a lot of ADHD child and adult groups on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina when I was going through what I was going through. So first of all, thank you for doing what you do for the world. Your words and research means so much to so many. And I didn’t even realize you had impacted my life so much so, even from back in the day.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, thank you. That’s wonderful to hear, and it gives you an idea of how much older I am than you are.

Chris Schembra:

No secret there, Ned.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

So tell us this wonderful story about a bowl of pasta and a dinner party. It’s just a fascinating story, please.

Chris Schembra:

Thank you. You know, Ned, this story dates back to, really, July of 2015. And the story is still evolving even today with what’s going on in our country right now with this pandemic. But the story, to put into perspective, as you mentioned, I used to be involved in theater and show business and putting on plays and entertaining massive audiences, millions of people all across the world. And the tipping point in 2015 was that after five years of being in show business, everything looked great on the outside. But after coming back to New York City, after producing a Broadway play over there, I found myself feeling four things. Lonely, unfulfilled, disconnected, and insecure. Those are four feelings that have plagued me my entire life through my diagnosis of ADHD at the age of five, to be on cow tranquilizers for my entire young adulthood, to suicide, depression, rehab, jail.

I knew in 2015 that if I didn’t get my shit together again, I might as well end up back in that old habit train I had always walked down. And in that darkness, I thought back to, “I just got back from Italy. What did I love most about Italy?” Because Italy really changed my life back in 2015. I realized I loved the food the most. So in that darkness and that disconnection, I started fiddling with food in my kitchen and inventing different recipes and the [groany 00:05:23], amaretto and ice cream and gelato. And one day I invented a pasta sauce recipe and figured, huh, it’s pretty good, but I should probably feed it to people to see if it’s really even good or not. So one day I invited 15 of my friends over to our home for dinner and a ritual began. 6:30 p.m., cocktails began. 8:00 p.m., I wanted dinner served.

And so, at 7:47 p.m., we put the pasta in the pot. And because I was a lazy fella, I actually delegated 11 specific tasks, empowering the attendees to work together to create the meal. So we worked together. We sat down for dinner. And I’m a big fan of communal discussion, so I asked the simple question at that very first dinner. “If you could give credit or thanks to one person in your life that you don’t give enough credit or thanks to, who would that be?” See, I asked that question because for my entire life, I had watched people always asking the wrong questions. Usually when someone goes up and has a deep conversation with someone, they might ask, “What’s your biggest fear? What’s your biggest failure? What’s your greatest regret?” In my experience, those questions make people clam up. They’re very intimidating questions. So we asked the question that allowed people to tell story, not necessarily about themselves, but share gratitude of others.

And when you watch a storyteller telling a story about someone else, you learn more about them than you could have in years of knowing them. So at that very first dinner we witnessed the impact that pasta and working together and having simple conversations around gratitude had on that people. I mean, by the numbers, if less than six people cried, we would consider it a failed night.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

So your goal is to have everyone crying.

Chris Schembra:

My goal is to have everyone cry because then I don’t have to leave that night wondering, did I have an impact or not? Tears are the physical incarnation of transformation. And so, at that very first dinner I was hooked. I went from being a lonely, miserable, unfulfilled little guy in a bubble, to now starting to feel connection.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yes.

Chris Schembra:

When I realized the impact that the dinners were having on me, I knew I couldn’t live without these dinners.

Chris Schembra:

When I realized the impact they were having on others, I realized I had a moral obligation to serve my community and help create connection in this lonely, unfulfilled society that we live in. And we just continued and it became a movement. And now, 400,000 relationships sparked later, we’ve had a good time, seen some good things and heard some good stories.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And where do you hold the dinners?

Chris Schembra:

So we are… We hold the dinners all over the world. They started in our home. I mean, for that first year, we didn’t know what we were building. We just had one goal. And you may have heard this from many people with ADHD, is that I’ve done so many things in my life, but I was always bouncing around from idea to idea, getting people to finish my projects and picking up the loose scraps where I left off.

Chris Schembra:

And I said, “Let me just see these dinners through for a whole year. Let me see what these dinners would do for my life.” So in that first year, did 54 dinners every week, once a week for free in our home in New York City. We’ve had 808 people in our 350 square foot apartment in that first year. And then, they moved around the world and all that kind of good stuff. So we go into different towns and cities and countries, and we take over third party, residential venues and invite the people to have a nice family style meal. Instead of going to a restaurant where when you go to a restaurant you’re not treated special. They rush you in, then they rush you out. So we said, “Well, everywhere we do these dinners we’re literally going to take over an Airbnb or Peerspace or a Splacer for an entire night. And that is going to be the safe space for people to gather.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And you have a set number, correct?

Chris Schembra:

When you bring 18 people together, it’s small enough to where everybody… It’s small enough to where everybody can share, but it’s large enough where the power of community is what creates that transformation. But then, we got better at our model and then we started realizing that what’s even bigger than the dinner table is the thought leadership of gratitude. And when we dove into the thought leadership of gratitude, regardless of what food is being served, then we could scale to even larger dinners. So then we started producing 160 person dinners and 400 person dinners. And we were on track… If this pandemic hadn’t happened, we were on track to producing thousand person dinners. And so, really, just as long as you maintain the connection between gratitude, storytelling, connection, and food, you can do anything at any size.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And you have the same set schedule? You convene at 6:30?

Chris Schembra:

Yeah, pretty much. Of course, now that we’ve done everything… Now that we’re doing everything digitally, we’ve made 7:47… So, 7:47 p.m. at our dinners used to be the magic moment when everybody would work together and the pasta would go in the pot. And that was like, that became our brand. Literally, our company’s name is 747. But now that you don’t have to have that cocktail hour, the delegation of the tasks, now we do our virtual dinner starting at 7:47 to honor that part of eating together and sharing together without having to have all the early stuff.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And they still go around and answer the question, “To whom do you feel grateful that you haven’t told how grateful you are?”

Chris Schembra:

When the pandemic started and quarantines, lockdowns began, and mind you, the interesting part about what’s happening now is that my life doesn’t look that much different than it did in 2015. Here we are in 2020, at the beginning of the year we had a book come out, and I was holding my book. And I said, “I need to bring this book to Italy, to show Rome what we’ve built because of her.” We built an entire movement and sparked so many relationships because of one city, Rome, Italy. So my dad and I, we hopped on a plane in February, and we brought my book over to Italy. Really wanted to show the good. Now, at the time, Italy was hurting. Italy was starving for connection. Italy, by mid February, it was already halfway in lockdown. The north was already fully locked down, and the virus started making its way down the coast to Rome. My dad and I left Italy, got back to New York City, and I had to put ourselves in a mandatory, two week quarantine.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

I’d like to take a moment to talk with you about the new supplement I’ve been taking for the past couple of months. Omega Bright CBD. That’s Omega B-R-I-T-E-C-B-D. Omega Bright CBD was developed by Dr. Carol Lock and her company. Carol is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and is a very smart woman. I know her well. And her company, Omega Bright Wellness, creators of the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years, which my wife and I also take. Carol and her team set the standards for purity, safety and efficacy in the world of Omega-3s and have brought that same commitment to excellence in their new CBD supplement. I like it so much myself, because I have a habit, as many of us who have ADD do, of being reactive, impatient, irritable. Not on purpose, not when I’m in a bad mood. I just can be that way. And there’s something about this CBD supplement that has taken the edge off of that. It’s really nice. I like myself better, I have to admit. Please get Omega Bright CBD online at omegabrightwellness.com. Right now, Distraction listeners can save 20% on their first order by using the promo code, podcast 2020. That’s podcast 2020.

Chris Schembra:

Before America even caught onto the quarantine, there I was, alone, isolated for two weeks, feeling lonely, unfulfilled, disconnected, insecure. The same things I felt in 2015. So in that moment, in that darkness, we knew we had two ways we could have gone. We could have crawled in a hole, done nothing, or we could have listened to the needs of the community, pivot it into a digital experience and started serving the needs of the people we serve. So we did that and we happened to find this model that helps solve one of the biggest a-ha moments we were hearing from our attendees. Is that people came back every night, the digital dinners, because they craved meeting someone new.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yes.

Chris Schembra:

In this world, now in quarantine, we just talk to our friends, talk to her family, talk to our coworkers. There’s no real opportunities to meet new people. And so, when people said, “That’s what we want the most out of it.”

Chris Schembra:

I looked at our digital dinners and said, “I don’t want to be just speaking on a stage digitally and having everybody listen.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yeah.

Chris Schembra:

I want to be the facilitator, as we do in our dinners, I want to be the facilitator for them to have the stage, them to tell the stories and create the content.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Right.

Chris Schembra:

So luckily, Zoom has the ability for us to bring our attendees and place them into breakout rooms. So two different times, through our digital dinners, we place people in small groups so that they can meet each other and I’m not even part of it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

That’s wonderful, yeah.

Chris Schembra:

I’m doing the dishes, I’m texting on Instagram or something while they’re in the breakout rooms meeting each other. And so, that gratitude question serves as the connection point for one of the big breakout rooms for 15 minutes. I mean, it’s like throwing them out to the wolves. I have no control over what they talk about in those breakout rooms, but this gratitude question keeps them on track, and teaches them to be present, be better question askers, listen, because the other person on the other end of the line is likely lonely and needs you to listen to them now.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yeah. That’s another title. You have chief question asker.

Chris Schembra:

Yeah. You know, we used to call ourselves… My job title at my own company, for what it’s worth, used to be founder and curator. And I always said, “What is a curator? Curating people or something? They sound like chess pieces.” And then, I was out in Los Angeles, I was sitting in a seat at a conference, a big summit, to my left was Jeff Bezos, to my right was Novak Djokovich, and in front of me was Kobe Bryant on the stage. Right in front of me, it was Kobe Bryant. And Kobe, at the time, was talking about his, Dear Basketball, which was the poem that became a short film, then would end up winning the Academy Award in 2018. And I wasn’t even listening to Kobe. I was watching this short, bowler cap, bowling shirt wearing, short guy named in Cal Fussman interview Kobe Bryant. I didn’t listen to a word Kobe said. I watched the style of which Cal Fussman asked his questions. In that moment I realized that was the true power in the room. That was the true opportunity for the audience to connect to Kobe’s messages, were well-placed questions.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

So you became the chief question asker?

Chris Schembra:

Yeah. So pretty much on the spot, Cal became a dear friend and mentor, and I changed my job title to founder and chief question asker.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

That’s wonderful. Now, if somebody wants to get invited to one of these dinners, what do they do?

Chris Schembra:

They email in [email protected] and either myself or someone from our team will respond. And we’re doing virtual dinners pretty much every night of the week between 20 to 100 people.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Wow.

Chris Schembra:

And it’s been a great joy and they’re completely free. So if you’re listening to this and you’re feeling isolated, you’re feeling lonely, you need somebody to talk to.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yeah. So let’s say it again, [email protected]

Chris Schembra:

Yeah. But if you come, you got to make two promises. One is, that you’ll show up on time at 7:47 p.m. sharp. And two is, that you’ll come with an open heart and a willingness to ask deep followup questions and create the safe space for others to have a voice. Because when you can allow others to have a voice, you’ve created true connection, as you call the other vitamin C.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Absolutely.

Chris Schembra:

So needed in today’s day and age.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Vitamin connect. That’s what we need more than anything. If you charge nothing for the dinners, how do you make your money?

Chris Schembra:

So for the first dinners we did back in 2015, we made a promise to ourselves. Give the people what they want. If it takes a year, it takes year, but give the people what they want. Serve the needs of the people, and you’ll do two things. A, you’ll have built and become as good at your product, at your service offering as anybody can imagine. And B, you’ll have built up so much goodwill and social capital by giving your gift to the world that people will come back for years to come wanting what you have. And in this time, everybody’s going through some sort of tough time. And if I can give those in need, and those in need has a different definition today. Those in need doesn’t just mean the poor person on the corner, the sick person in a hospital. Those in need means the person at the top of a company with 20,000 employees who has to lay off half his staff, or do something else to make sure nobody starves. Who knows what people are going through?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Right.

Chris Schembra:

We can give to those in need as Adam Grant proved in his wonderful, ground shattering book, Give and Take. He found that it’s the givers of this world who ultimately become the most successful. And we happen to have had a good run of success in recent years and are able to be afforded the opportunity to give in this time of need. Because the relationships you invest in when times are tough, will ultimately lead to great lasting loyalty for years to come. Loyalty is, we know is cheaper than acquisition. So if we have a client that’s struggling or a referral partner, or a friend, or whoever, serve them now, knowing that all it takes is a couple of those relationships to really support us for years to come. For us to have a productive and profitable revenue stream for many years to come ..

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well. If any of you listening want a quick dose of meaningful connection tonight, just email Chris, [email protected]. It’s such a beautiful concept in the way you have engineered it to work so wonderfully well. And then, yes, you’re supplying what I think, I know the world is starved for, meaningful connection. And that wonderful opening question that you, the chief question asker asks, “Who is someone to whom you feel grateful that you don’t usually thank?” And I remember when I was on your podcast, you asked me that question. And my answer was a dog from my childhood. So it doesn’t have to be a person, but I imagine it usually is a person. Is that correct?

Chris Schembra:

Well, the story you told about your dog is one of the most beautiful stories we’ve heard in all our history. But some people come in and share stories of personal liberation. They share stories of overcoming fear. They share stories of regret or shame. Some of the most beautiful things will happen. Some people will forgive their mothers. Some people will thank their ex-girlfriend for making them gay. Some people will… Two people have come out gay around the dinner table, the same night, one night. Amazing. Some people will thank themselves.

There’s no shortage of the different types of relationships that we often overlook, whether it’s on purpose or not. Some of the toughest relationships in our lives that continuously fail us or continuously criticize us or continuously put us in that deep, dark corner. We should thank those relationships because that fuels our want to be better, to be successful. The people who failed us, sometimes, are the greatest to thank because they gave us that chip on the shoulder. So it’s amazing when you give people the platform to share a story and not about themselves, but about others, but you really get an opportunity for connection.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Absolutely. This is just wonderful. Well, I have a feeling that you and I are going to be interacting for years to come. But today, if you’d like to get Chris’s book, Gratitude and Pasta, great title, you can find it on Amazon or at gratitudeandpasta.com. And as I said before, you can find Chris on the web at 747club.org. Or email him at [email protected]. When I first saw 747, I thought it was something about airplanes. But no, it’s because that’s when you put the pasta in the pot, at 7:47, precisely. Don’t be late.

Chris Schembra:

Yeah, don’t be late.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Go to one of these dinners, get Chris’s book. And most of all, open your heart to his wonderfully needed, compelling, and very exciting message of creating a connection. And please continue to connect with us, share your thoughts, questions, and show ideas by emailing us at [email protected]. Thank you so much, Chris Schembra. Thank you so much for being here and really, I’ll say to you what you said to me. Thank you for what you do. It’s a tremendous service that you’re providing this world and you visited the depths to find what needed to be said. And now you’ve risen to the heights and you’re delivering it to us all. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Chris Schembra:

And thank you, Ned, for being open to our connection in the first place. I mean, the email address you just gave your listeners here today for them to reach out to you, I must say to your readers, it works. My little cousin, Chris, Christopher Gayda, he reached out to you and you were kind enough to take the call and make the introduction. And here we are, so. That Chris is one a heck of a… He’s a budding, future superstar of our world. And I’m honored that he’s my little cousin and I’m honored that he brought us together because a lot of good’s going to come from this relationship, Ned. I’m excited about it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Me too, Chris. Very much so. Thanks a million.

Chris Schembra:

All right, my man. Talk to you soon.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. The podcast is recorded and mixed by the unbelievably talented Pat Keogh. And our producer is the equally, unbelievably talented Sarah Guertin. I’m Dr. Ned Hallowell and thank you so very much for listening.

The episode of Distraction you just heard was sponsored by Omega Bright CBD. Formulated by Omega Bright Wellness, Creators of the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. Omega Bright CBD. Safe, third party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabrightwellness.com. That’s O-M-E-G-A-B-R-I-T-E wellness.com.

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Stop and Smell the Roses May Be a Cliche, But It’s Still Good Advice

Stop and Smell the Roses May Be a Cliche, But It’s Still Good Advice

Dr. Hallowell reveals the details of a special day he recently shared with his family, as he reminds us that during the pandemic it’s especially important to take time to appreciate the small things.

Reach out to us! Send us an email or record a voice memo and send it to [email protected]

Learn more about our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD! Distraction listeners can SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Pat Keogh.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode can be found below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:

This episode of Distraction is sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD, formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe third party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

Hello, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell, and welcome to a mini episode of Distraction, another in our series of episodes during the pandemic. This time, I’d like to talk about savoring a day. These days we’re preoccupied, and anxiety is the order of the day. But I’d like to give you an example of a day I, myself savored. Talking from my own experience, because I know it firsthand, and it only occurred Father’s Day. But I think it could stand as an example for all of us, along the lines of savoring a day. Now, I had a lot of help, and I think that’s the main point. To savor a day, it helps if you have help. So, it was Father’s Day, and I was lucky enough that all three of my grown children were around. And so they started the day off, my daughter, Lucy and her brother, Tucker, by going out and gathering up groceries, and making this wonderful breakfast for me of hash browns, and Tucker’s special scrambled eggs with mushrooms and onions in them. And bacon and sausage, and strawberries and blueberries in a bowl, and coffee.

And just a feast of a breakfast. And it was a very hot day. What we had planned for the afternoon, was the two boys and Lucy and I, were going to go off and play a round of golf. Well, it was so hot, Lucy said, “I’m going to stay and work on dinner with Mom.” Because they were making this special dinner for me. So off we went to a little golf course, because it was Father’s Day, it had been hard to find reservations. And it was a little golf course, about 40 miles West. So we drove, and drove, and drove. And I was worried we were going to be late, but we got there and it was this charming little golf course in a small town called Lunenburg. And we were able to reserve two carts, and play the whole round for just $50 for a foursome, which is unheard of. And yet Tucker and Jack and I went out and started to play.

And it’s not that I love golf, I do love golf, but I’m very bad at golf. But what’s wonderful about it, is I play with my boys, mainly with my boys. But my two boys are good and they can just pulverize the ball. I’m 70 years old with two artificial hips, but I hit it, I get around, I complete the holes. Now and then I’ll actually hit a good shot. And yesterday I sank some long putts, 30, 40 foot putts, amazing that they go in. But most important was seeing my boys just exalts. They compete with each other, they rag on each other. They’re just having fun. They’re living life. They’re just the embodiment … To me every time I’m with them, my greatest wish in life was to give my kids the happy childhood I wasn’t lucky enough to have had. And Sue and I succeeded in providing them with that. It’s just always an experience of enormous satisfaction, unlike really any other. To see them grown up and happy, and healthy and just out having fun, luckily enough with me.

So we had our wonderful round of golf and came home, and there were Sue and Lucy working on, again, this dinner, which was going to be grilled halibut and swordfish, along with coleslaw and these very special potatoes, new from Ina Garten, a recipe. They’re roasted potatoes, they’re to die for, and asparagus with hollandaise sauce. We don’t usually have that, but I happen to love hollandaise sauce, so Sue made that. And then Lucy for dessert, made this delicious strawberry rhubarb tart. And all that food, along with some wine, the five of us, my wife Sue, and the three kids sitting at our new picnic table, which was their father’s day present to me. Again, it was for me a perfect day, a perfect day highlighting what are the most important elements of life for me, being with my family, loving them, active with them, golfing, eating, drinking, kidding one another, along with Lucy’s dog and Jack’s dog.

So we had two dogs in the fray, of course, Layla, a tiny little dog, Lucy’s dog, a Chiweenie, and Max, a 110 pound, enormous mutt, made of everything, but the handsomest dog you’ll ever see, two years old. And I went to sleep that night, just sleeping the sleep of good life. It was the sort of thing you say, “Well, if I die tonight, I will have had a wonderful life.” I guess that’s what I mean by savoring. You’re at peace, not to say there aren’t problems. Yes, of course, there’s always problems. Life is problems, life is loss, life is struggle, life is difficulty, but it also is an experience to savor, if you give yourself a moment to do so.

Real quick though, I’d like to thank our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD. I’ve been taking the CBD supplement for about two and a half months now, I truly have, and I highly recommend it. OmegaBrite CBD is safe, third party tested, and take my word for it, it works. In my case, it takes the edge off my anxiety. Get OmegaBrite CBD online, at omegabritewellness.com. Distraction listeners save 20% off their first order, by using the promo code podcast2020. That’s podcast2020.

And remember, please, to reach out to us with your comments and questions. We love hearing from you. If you have a question, comment or show idea, record your thoughts as a voice memo, and email it to us at [email protected].

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is the beautiful, talented Sarah Guertin, and our recording engineer and editor, is the well loved and beautifully talented Patrick Keogh.

The episode of Distraction you just heard, was sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD, formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritetwellness.com.

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The Sleep Benefits of CBD with OmegaBrite Wellness

The Sleep Benefits of CBD with OmegaBrite Wellness

Dr. Carol Locke, the founder of OmegaBrite Wellness, joins our host for a special episode about how CBD supplements have been shown to improve sleep. They talk about the science of why CBD works and discuss a recent sleep study that has shown very promising results.

This episode is made possible by our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness.

Learn more about CBD by clicking HERE for a list of frequently asked questions.

Shop OmegaBrite CBD online. Distraction listeners can SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Pat Keogh.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode can be found below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:

This episode of Distraction is sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness creators of the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

Hello, and welcome to the podcast Distraction, a special episode today. I’m your host, Dr. Ned Hallowell, and we are bringing you the brilliant, the amazing, the incredibly accomplished, Dr. Carol Locke, the founder, creator, developer, and all around guru of OmegaBrite and their special new product CBD. CBD has been hot on every list and it took someone like Carol to really drill down, and make it right, and play by the rules, and assure purity and quality, and all the things that OmegaBrite has been famous for with their omega-3 product.

Well, today we have Dr. Carol Locke back, she is the founder of OmegaBrite Wellness. That’s O-M-E-G-A-B-R-I-T-E intentionally misspelled. And she joined me back in April for a conversation we called, Tools to Help You Stay Calm. Today, she’s going to talk more about CBD, and particularly about sleep. She’s going to share some of the research, but enough from me, let me turn it over to my wonderful friend and brilliant collaborator, Carol Locke.

Dr. Carol Locke:

Thank you, Ned, it’s a pleasure to be here.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

So tell us about CBD.

Dr. Carol Locke:

Well, one of the questions that comes up with CBD is CBD and sleep. So how CBD works. Our body has a signaling system called the endocannabinoid system, and we have receptors in our body CB one and CB two, as well as other nerve receptors that cannabinoids work on. And we have cannabinoids that our body makes, and those are part of our body and help regulate it. And we can also take cannabinoids by plant-based cannabinoids, which is what CBD is. And so, we’re looking at how people benefit from taking with a supplement CBD, and one of the benefits is sleep.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And how does it help you sleep?

Dr. Carol Locke:

Well, we know that CBD is very effective for decreasing pain and decreasing anxiety. So one effect may be that as you decrease pain and anxiety, you’re able to go to sleep much better and remain asleep, as well as wake up refreshed. We also know that CBD and the endocannabinoid system is part of our body’s regulation of mood, appetite, sleep, and our circadian rhythms, our day and night rhythms of sleeping.

So as we’re taking this and helping rebalance, and achieve a better homeostasis of our endocannabinoid system, it seems to be benefiting sleep. There’s one study recently in the Permanente Journal, which 72 adults with anxiety and poor sleep were studied, and they were given 25 milligrams of CBD at night in a capsule form. Those that had anxiety took the CBD in the morning. So sleep at night CBD for anxiety in the morning. After a month, 79% of the people had improved anxiety and had better sleep in 66% of participants.

Dr. Carol Locke:

So we see that it’s working, and after another month, the sleep benefits tended to decrease. And we’ve seen this in other studies. So it may be that they need a higher dose for sleep, it may be that they need to change the type of CBD they’re taking. If they’re taking full spectrum or broad spectrum, they’re slightly different, they may want to make changes. So those studies were encouraging, and we need more studies to understand how CBD helps with sleep. But we do know that people report significant benefit with sleep, as well as decreased anxiety and decreased pain, which affect your ability to go to sleep and remain asleep.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Before we had these supplements, where did people get their CBD from?

Dr. Carol Locke:

Well, our body makes it. And this is an interesting question that we have cannabinoids and endogenous cannabinoids that our body makes. And why is it that we benefit from more? We don’t know. Is it that right now, our life is so much more stressful than say, if we were hunter gatherers in our evolution? Is it just the overwhelming, if you think of it, the noise, the sleep cycle changes, the demands, the different things going on? Is it an increased level of stress that is requiring us to have more cannabinoids to bring benefit?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

I remember back when I was in medical school, I graduated in 1978, we were just discovering the endogenous morphine system, the so-called endorphins. And that was so exciting, there are opiate receptors we have throughout our body. And one of the ways you can get a surge of endorphins is physical exercise. That’s the runner’s highs, a surge of endorphins. Does a similar happen with endocannabinoids?

Dr. Carol Locke:

It does, and it also happens with exercise, and it also helps with the runners high [inaudible 00:06:05], which is one of our endogenous cannabinoids is called the bliss molecule. And so, part of the cannabinoid system in our body does give you the experience of bliss and relaxation. Isn’t that cool? So the bliss molecule breaks down rapidly, but taking CBD helps prolong that effect.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Really. So other than taking exogenous supplement of CBD and exercise, are there other ways of accessing the bliss molecule and other endocannabinoids?

Dr. Carol Locke:

There are bliss states. So you’re wondering about yoga, you’re wondering about meditation, and I think these are things that need to be researched.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, maybe when you’re in the zone, when you’re really-

Dr. Carol Locke:

Exactly. And that would be really a fantastic study to see if our levels are increasing.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

But meanwhile, your supplement, how many milligrams of CBD is in it?

Dr. Carol Locke:

Well, we have a variety of different CBD products. So you can take the full spectrum CBD 25 milligrams, we have a broad spectrum CBD 25 milligrams, we have different tinctures. One is a lower milligram tincture, and one is a 1500 milligram tincture of oil. And those are full spectrum.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

What’s the one that I take?

Dr. Carol Locke:

You take the full spectrum, 25 milligram capsule, which is really a favorite, because it is very rich in the different plant molecules, the terpenes and bioflavonoids, and as well as other cannabinoids that there are.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

What are turpentines?

Dr. Carol Locke:

Terpenes are a smell flavor molecule that can have different smells. If you smelled the cannabis sativa plant, it can have dramatically different smells, and they seem to be important as well. Many people feel they’re part of the entourage effect, the ability, those molecules help turn on the CBD and make it work.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

What’s the entourage effect?

Dr. Carol Locke:

That is something that people believe may be important that there are other molecules they’re part of the plant, they’re part of the cannabis sativa plant, the hemp plant. When they’re present, they help the body turn on the benefits in the cell. We need more research on that, and that’s where people are taking the full spectrum capsule that you have, which is so rich in these terpenes in these other plant molecules, and people have a huge benefit.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, as you know, I take four of them a day, so I take 100 milligrams a day, and I love it.

Dr. Carol Locke:

And what’s your experience?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

I love it. I didn’t really have a target symptom, but I use myself as my own experimental animal. So I started taking them and I noticed that I’m just less reactive, less impatient, less apt to snap if someone interrupts me, more patient when I’m on the phone with the annoying bureaucrat. But just a general stabilizing effect. So I love it. I take my four little pills every morning, along with my four OmegaBrite fish oils, and I’m off to the races.

Dr. Carol Locke:

That’s fantastic. Well, we hear a lot of people that’s their favorite, the full spectrum CBD capsule. It just gives a very good benefit of calming, people report like you do, that they feel better, they feel nicer. That’s one of the descriptions. It’s pretty great to see.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

That’s wonderful. Well, if you’d like to try OmegaBrite CBD, go to omegabritewellness.com. Remember brite is spelled B-R-I-T-E. So omegabritewellness.com. And Distraction listeners can save 20% on their first order by using the promo code, podcast 2020, that’s podcast, 2020. Thank you so much, Carol, you’re such a benefactor to the world. It’s been wonderful having you.

Dr. Carol Locke:

Well, thank you.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And listeners, remember to reach out to us with your questions and show ideas. Our email address is [email protected]. We really depend upon input from all of you. Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our recording engineer and editor is the wonderful, Pat Keogh, and our producer is the brilliant and beautiful, Sarah Guertin. I am Dr. Ned Hallowell, goodbye for today.

The episode of Distraction you just heard was sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

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What You Tell Yourself Matters

What You Tell Yourself Matters

Changing your mindset can take a lot of work, but it is possible. Today’s guest grew up thinking he would never be good at math, and went on to write two textbooks on the subject! It’s all about what you tell yourself and what you’re willing to do. Listen as Dr. H talks with Steven Campbell about how your brain is always paying attention.

To learn more about Steven Campbell’s virtual workshop go to StevenRCampbell.teachable.com. Use the code COVID49 to pay just $49 (regularly $297) for a limited time.

Making the Mind Magnificent by Steven Campbell

Reach out to us! Send us an email or record a voice memo and send it to [email protected]

Learn more about our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD! Distraction listeners can SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Pat Keogh.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode can be found below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:

This episode of Distraction is sponsored by OmegaBrite, formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third-party tested, and it works. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Hello, and welcome to today’s episode of Distraction. I’m your host, Dr. Ned Hallowell. Last week, we released a mini-episode where I talked about little ways to make each day feel special. I hope you’ve been practicing your own ways of making each day feel special, as a way to counter some of the stress and anxiety that we’re all living through these days. My guest today is here to add a few ideas to that list. His name is Steven Campbell, and he has an MSIS, that was new to me, we looked it up, master of science in information systems, MSIS. And his resume includes professor, author, educational dean radio host, and professional speaker.

He conducts seminars around the world on the subject of changing what we say to ourselves about ourselves. Boy, that’s a big topic and he joins me today to help all of us thrive in this new normal. Thanks so much for joining me, Steven.

Steven Campbell:

Well, thank you so much for having me, Ned, I appreciate that this is going to be fun.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

So, just have at it. How can you help us talk to ourselves better about ourselves?

Steven Campbell:

Well, psychology has been doing some amazing things in the last 60 years. I really like to start with the ’60s because that’s where changes really began. That was really the beginning of cognitive psychology. And a little book came out back in 1961, called The Guide to Rational Living by Albert Ellis, he was one of the founders of cognitive psychology. In that book he suggested, because the research had not been done sufficiently as it is now, so what I’m going to be sharing with you has been researched for years all over the world, is that everything that we can do today is primarily based on what we say to ourself about ourself, today. Now, notice I’m emphasizing the word today, when he suggested this, in his little book, psychology had an absolute conniption fit, they said, “No, no, no, no, no, no, no.”

The way we are today is based in our childhood, and unresolved childhood conflicts, of course, that was Freudianism. That was followed by behaviorism, Dr. BF Skinner from Harvard, who said, “No, no, no. The way we are today, it’s all cause and effect.” That was followed by, “It’s all in your genes.” Which is wrong because we’re far more than our genes. That was followed by environmentalism, it’s in your environment, your birther, your mom, your dad. And Dr. Ellis came back and he said something really interesting, he said, “You know what? They’re all true.” Wait a minute. How could they all be true? Here’s the point, when you say it, your brain’s job is to make true.

So, I think one of the most exciting discoveries that psychology has made is that our brain believes what we tell it, without question, no arguments. So, when I give my presentations to people, I like to always give personal stories because that’s what makes it real. So, let me share a little story that illustrates this. For the first 42 years of my life, I said to myself, “I am really dumb at math.” And guess what? I was because that what I said to myself, I’d see numbers, I would freak out. But then in the ’70s I began discovering computers and I began tinkering around with computers and eventually got a graduate degree in computer science and began teaching computer courses. And one day the dean came in the office at this one university, he said, “One of our math professors just quit, so you are our new math professor.”

“No, I can’t.” He said, “Do you want a job? Learn. There’s the book. Next semester.” Well, I needed the job, Ned, so picked up all the books I could on brain-based learning from my library. And I taught my curriculum based on how the brain learns. And students began saying, “Oh my gosh, Mr. Campbell, you are such a good math teacher.” And then, the Dean said, “All the students saying, ‘I will only take math if Mr.Campbell’s my professor.'” And here’s what I began doing, Ned. I began listening to what they were saying to me rather than what I’ve been saying to myself for 42 years. And I began saying, “You know what? I’m really good at math. This is really fun. I’m having a good time with this.” And what did my brain say? “Oh, okay. Is it true? Don’t care. All I care is what you tell me. You say it. I believe it.”

And I began enjoying math so much I eventually ended up writing two college textbooks. In what do you think? Math and computer science. So, here’s the point, everything we can do today is primarily based on what we say to ourself about ourself, today. We can change what we are saying to ourself about ourself, when? Today. And what will our brain say? “Okay. Is it true Don’t care. All I care is what you tell me.” When I began learning that, things began changing in my life, in my wife’s life and then eventually in our daughter’s lives and in my students’ lives. So, the first point is that our brain believes what you tell it, which is scary and wonderful. The scary part is when you’d say, “Oh my gosh, I’m so dumb for doing this.” You know what our brain says to that?

“Okay. Yeah, you’re right. You really are.” And then what it does is it looks for other ways in which we did bad things and makes us feel dumb. But the wonderful part is when you say, “You know what, that was really dumb, but that doesn’t mean I’m dumb.” Brain says what? “Oh, okay.” And then it looks for ways in which I’m really intelligent. When I say, “I can do it.” The brain says, “Absolutely.” And it becomes obsessed with finding ways of doing it. So, the first principle is that we are in charge. Our brain’s listening to us. People say, “Well, what about what other people say to us?” Listen, what other people say to us do not become a part of our mindset until we agree with them.

I’m a first year Baby Boomer, born in 1947, I was taught that you have a self-image that you have to maintain and flourish and all that. It turns out that’s only partially true. It turns out that we now know that we have millions of self-images. You have a self-image for every single thing that you do. I have a self-image for every single thing that I do. So, I have a self-image of how I see myself as a father, as a husband, as a grandfather, as a teacher, as a singer, as all this. So, I have all these self-images. In fact, I have a self-image for every meal that I cook. So, I cook really good scrambled eggs and horrible poached eggs. What’s the point? Well, if I kept two self-images for just two meals that I cook, you can imagine how many self-images that you have. Some of them are really strong and others are not, but here’s the point. Those self-images are learned. You were not born with them.

Now, all of us were born with certain natural dispositions. I was born a natural teacher. I’ve always been a teacher. When I was a kid, I used to put rocks in my backyard to pretend that I was teaching them. I mean, I was a weird kid, but we all have these natural dispositions. I don’t know you too well, Ned, but you have these natural things that you just love doing. It’s just a natural thing. Now, you had to learn how to do it, but the learning wasn’t hard because it was what you were doing naturally. So, our self-images are learned. Now, here’s where it gets exciting. Our self-images are learned from our self-talk. Our self images are based on what we are saying to ourself about ourself, today. Now, why is that so scary? Because according to your Shad Helmstetter in his wonderful book, What We Say When We Talk to Ourself, most of what we say to ourself is negative.

Also, what we say to ourself, I call the negative crap, because our brain’s believing it. And here’s what’s scary, we keep saying it and our brain rewires itself, this is called neuroplasticity. There’s a wonderful book by Eric Kandel called In Search of Memory, which I highly recommend people read if they’re interested in this. Neuroplasticity is basically the fact that our brain rewires itself and it’s doing that right now. And so, when you give yourself messages like, “I’m really dumb.” The brain rewires itself and makes you dumb, but when you give yourself [inaudible 00:09:02] messages, the brain rewire itself, and those messages not only become a part of what you think, they become your mindset and then they become who you are.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Why do people say these negative things to themselves?

Steven Campbell:

It’s what we do. When people become aware of the negative stuff they’re telling themselves, they hold themselves back and they say, “Wait a minute. I don’t think so.” So, when I began saying to myself about the math stuff, “Wait a minute, I’m really smart in this.” The brain says, “Yes, you absolutely are.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Steven, Steven, come on, I have to just gently challenge a little bit here because nobody would want to be dumb at math. So, why would someone say, “I’m bad at math.”?

Steven Campbell:

I was bad at math is because of the way I was raised. It’s the way I thought about myself. I was raised in a family where I always just felt … I was raised feeling really, really dumb.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Okay. But if it were as simple as saying, “Oh, I’m really smart.” Then you on the spot become smart. I mean-

Steven Campbell:

Yes, it goes more than that.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Okay. Or to say, “Oh, I’m good at math.” Then we could just fire all the tutors and the special educators and just have a course in saying, “I’m good at math.” And suddenly everyone would be good at math.

Steven Campbell:

Yeah. As you noticed, it’s not that easy, but to start-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, see, that’s what I’m saying. You make it sound as if it is. I mean, our brain believes what we say to ourselves, all we have to do is change what we say to ourselves and suddenly it’ll change?

Steven Campbell:

That’s where it starts. It starts with changing what we’re saying to ourself about ourself. Is it easy? Of course not.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, so that’s what I’m getting at. What makes it hard?

Steven Campbell:

Let me talk a little bit about self-image, a little bit more, I think that will answer your question. Our self-images are learned, which means they’re hardwired into our brain. They’re really, really hard to change because you’ve been saying these things to your life, some of these negative things all your life, and they’re hardwired in there.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

But Steven, you just said a little while ago, your brain believes what you tell it. Well, if that’s true, then why can’t you just tell it, “I’m good at math.” And on the spot become good at math.

Steven Campbell:

You can, but it’s going to fight you tooth and nail in the beginning.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

So, it doesn’t believe what you tell it, in other words?

Steven Campbell:

It does believe. But when I began teaching the math, I discovered that it was really fun. If I just said, “I’m good at math.” And stopped there, this never would have happened.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Okay. So, you had to do something, Steven, you had to do something to prove to yourself that you were good at math? It wasn’t enough just to say, “I’m good at math.”

Steven Campbell:

Oh, no. No.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Okay. So, that’s a far cry from what you said at first, at first you said, “Brain believes whatever you tell it.” But then as you tell your story, no, you had to prove to yourself you were good at math and then your brain believed it.

Steven Campbell:

Yes. Absolutely. But it had to start with a change of what I was saying to myself. If I had said to that professor, “I’m just dumb in math, I can’t do it.” It would have stopped there. I said, “No, I’ve got to teach this class.” And then, I began looking at how the brain thought and I began teaching the class. And that’s when I said, “This is really fun. I can do this.” And the more I did it, the more the math became easier and easier, and really fun, but it starts with what I was saying to myself. And then, when I began teaching it and my brain rewired itself, it became easier and easier.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

But I’m sorry, again, but I just have to push back a little bit. It didn’t start with what you were saying to yourself. It started by you’re accepting a challenge out of necessity because you needed the job.

Steven Campbell:

Yes.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Okay. So, you were still saying to yourself, “Holy bleep, I’m bad at math, but I got to get good at math. And how am I going to do that?” And then you set about accepting the challenge and lo and behold, you were much better than you had thought. So, you proved to yourself that, in fact, you had talent that you didn’t know you had.

Steven Campbell:

That’s right. That’s right. But it started with the decision to accept that challenge. I could have said, “I just can’t do it. I just cannot do it, and you got to get someone else.” Or it says, “You know what? I’ve got to do this and I’m going to.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yeah. So, you have grit. You have the ability to dig in, even when you think you’re at a disadvantage.

Steven Campbell:

That’s right. But it began with that decision, “I’m going to do this, I’m doing this.” And then when I began doing it, I discovered it was really easy and really fun. Does that make sense?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yeah, it does, but I’m glad to get it clarified. So, you’re not saying it’s as easy as saying,” Oh, I’m good at math.” And then, suddenly your brain will believe that?

Steven Campbell:

No, because I had been saying that stuff to myself for 42 years. It was when I began teaching it and I began seeing the responses from the students that I began saying, “Wait a minute, this isn’t bad at all. I’m having a really good time with this.” And then, when I began realizing I could write a book on this, it all validated it. But in the beginning it was hard and I had to make that decision, “All right, I’m really stupid in math, but I need this job, so I’m going to accept the challenge.” And at first it was difficult, but it became easier and easier.

[SPONSOR BREAK]

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

All right. Well, if you’ve been listening to the podcast regularly, you probably know that I’ve been taking a new supplement for the past couple of months and it’s called OmegaBrite CBD. OmegaBrite CBD is created by the estimable Dr. Carol Locke and her wonderful company OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. Carol and her team have set the standards for purity, safety and efficacy in the wild world of CBD. And have brought the same commitment to excellence to their new CBD supplement. What does it help me with? Well, I am less anxious since starting to take it. I’m getting better sleep and I am more focused on what I really want to be doing. Shop OmegaBrite CBD online at omegabritewellness.com. Distraction listeners save 20% on their first order with the promo code PODCAST2020. This is Dr. Ned Hallowell. Strongly recommend you try OmegaBrite CBD.

[SPONSOR BREAK END]

Steven Campbell:

I guess, that’s the point that I’m trying to make here. That it starts with, oftentimes, a decision that I can do it. Does that make sense?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Of course. I guess, the obvious question is why doesn’t everyone decide, “I can do it.”?

Steven Campbell:

Well, that’s a really good question and I don’t have the complete answer to that.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

It’s just it’s such an interesting question. I mean, when I was in the 12th grade, I wrote a three-page short story in September and I handed it in and my teacher handed it back with a note at the bottom that said, “Why don’t you turn this into a novel?”

Steven Campbell:

Oh my gosh.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And I said, “I knew this was a tough school, but I didn’t know I had to write a novel.” Well, I didn’t have to. And I was the only one, I was the only student he challenged to do that. And he said, “You know it’ll have to be on your time and you won’t get any credit for it, but I think you ought to try and do it.” And for some reason, I took up the challenge. And by the end of the year, I’d written a novel and it won the English prize and it changed my life forever because what it did was it got me to prove to myself that I could do something that I would have thought was impossible. If you told me at the beginning of the year, “You’ll write a novel.” I would have said, “Yeah, sure, and I’ll fly to the moon.”

But, the genius of this teacher was laying down that challenge in such a way that I accepted it. And to me, that’s what great teaching is. It’s getting people to prove to themselves they can do more than they thought they could do. But it was where that impulse comes from to say yes to the challenge, as opposed to say no. Well, in your case, you say it came from necessity. You had to have the job. In my case, I don’t know where it came from because I certainly didn’t believe I could do it. I suppose it was the triumph of hope over experience.

Steven Campbell:

That story just illustrates everything I’ve been saying. It started with the suggestion from your teacher and you had to decide, “I’m going to write this novel.” And your brain said, “Yes, you can.” And more you wrote it, I bet the more you enjoyed it because you were saying to yourself, “You know what? This is working.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

No, it was always difficult. Writing is difficult. I can’t say it became easy, but it became magnetic. I looked forward to doing it, I suppose, in the way someone looks forward to going to the weight room or something. I looked forward to the pain because it was in the service of trying to create something good. Yeah.

Steven Campbell:

And what happened is your brain was rewiring itself and it became a writer. You became a writer. Yeah. And that’s what’s wonderful about this. So, here’s what I tell my audiences at the end of every presentation I make, I want to give you two new ways of thinking. One, when you do something really well, one, when you do something really badly and the first one is from Stanford University, back in 1975 called the Effort Effect. What they discovered is that most of us pass over our successes way too quickly, too lightly, for them to ever become a part of who we are. So, oftentimes when people say to us, “Good job, I’m so proud of you.” Oftentimes many of us, not all of us, but many of us say, “Oh, not really. Oh, that’s embarrassing. That’s egotistical. Thank you very much. I could have done a better job. I was part of a team.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yes. It’s so true.

Steven Campbell:

“Well, no, no, not really.” Well, this comes back to the brain believes what you tell it. When you say, “No, no, no, really, not really.” The brain’s believing that, the brain says, “Yeah, you’re right, you’re right, you’re right, you’re right, you’re right.” So, what I tell people is this, “When people stop to say, ‘Good job.’ you look at them and you say, ‘Thank you for telling me that.'” And then you wallow in your success like a pig in slop. I love the work of Dr. E.P. Seligman out of University of Pennsylvania, who was one of the authors of Positive Psychology. I taught this to around 300 Kaiser physicians, a number of years ago, down in Los Angeles. And when I said, “Wallow in your success.” The whole audience just broke up and laughed at the thought of that, but they loved what I was saying. They just loved it.

And when I was driving back to LAX, I was so excited I almost drove off the freeway. And so, I stopped by a Chevron, got a tuna sandwich and a Coke, and looked at myself in there. I was alone in my little rental car. I said to myself, I said, “You are the most amazing speaker.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

So, in some ways, you’re repositioning Norman Vincent Peale.

Steven Campbell:

Yes.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

It’s the power of positive thinking.

Steven Campbell:

That’s right.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

What you’re saying is absolutely true. It’s just, I think the hard part for most people, the brain is a tough sell. I disagree with you-

Steven Campbell:

Yes, it is.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

… that your brain believes what you tell it. You have to really persist in telling it, but if you do, it’s a really worthwhile effort because you can change from being someone who completely doubts everything you do, to someone who has confidence.

Steven Campbell:

Absolutely. I have a wonderful virtual workshop that I’m doing, that I’m offering at a tremendous discount. It’s normally $297, I’m offering it for a $248 discount. It’s what I call my COVID discount. And it is nine separate presentations, including a workbook that you can watch anytime you want to. And the website address is stevenrcampbell.teachable.com.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

So, stevenrcapmbell.teachable.com.

Steven Campbell:

Yes. And go on there and write the discount code COVID49 and that will give you a $248 discount. So, the end price is $49.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And what is in the workshop?

Steven Campbell:

Workshop is basically the contents of my book. And it’s nine sessions that covers everything from self-images to goals, to affirmations, to why affirmations do not work, to affirmations why they can work and then it gets into feelings. So, it goes into all of it and people have really enjoyed it. And then, my book, Making Your Mind Magnificent, is on Amazon.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Wonderful. Well, you’re a very wonderfully accomplished and wise man. I really appreciate your joining us. So, thank you so much to Steven Campbell for joining us and to learn more about his virtual workshop, Flourishing in These Unprecedented Times, go to stevenrcampbell.teachable.com, enter the code COVID49, or get his book, Making Your Mind Magnificent. And remember, please, to reach out to us. We love hearing from you. Send a voice memo or an email to [email protected] That’s [email protected].

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is the wonderful Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer and editor is the irrepressibly delightful and brilliant Pat Keogh. This is Dr. Ned Hallowell saying goodbye for today.

The episode of Distraction you just heard was sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third-party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

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Homemade Hamburger Buns, Inflatable Pools and Making Each Day Special

Homemade Hamburger Buns, Inflatable Pools and Making Each Day Special

As the pandemic rolls on, many are growing weary of things like social distancing, wearing a mask, and endless Zoom meetings, including our own podcast host. Dr. H shares feelings that many will be able to identify with, and offers some ideas on how to find a little bit of joy in each day.

How are you getting by? Send us an email and let us know. Email [email protected]

Learn more about our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD! Distraction listeners can SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Pat Keogh.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:

This episode of Distraction is sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD, formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega three supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third-party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

Hello, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell with a mini episode of Distraction. I don’t know about you all, but I’m getting pretty tired of the Coronavirus. I think we all are. I mean aside from the tragedy that it’s created, it’s just been hard to live with, even for those of us who aren’t sick. It’s a really dealt a body blow to the routines of everyday life. So I thought I’d give you a few suggestions on how to deal with the emotional impact of what we’re living through.

Aside from Zoom fatigue, which is an actually recognized syndrome now… Being on Zoom is more tiring than face-to-face interaction… I have some other terms for what we’re living through. I call it COVID collapse or mask misery, or we get into quarantine quarreling. I’ve seen quite a bit of that at my house. We have dismal distancing. I’m so tired of keeping six feet away from people, but I know I’m supposed to, and so I do it. We have the stay at home blahs, just the feeling of, “Remember restaurants, remember movie theaters, remember sporting events. Do you remember all that that we used to be able to do? We can’t do it anymore.” We get to develop the stay at home blahs. We love each other, but, golly, there’s only so much excitement we can generate.

I wanted to give you a few little ways that I’ve been delighting myself or trying to. It’s all in line of my basic idea that one of the greatest talents in life you can have is the talent for specializing. That means making something, anything special, be it an event, a person, a trinket. The master of it all that I learned from was my grandmother, Gammy. She could make anything special. She could make the most ordinary rainy day into a Canasta tournament or she could take an ordinary hard-boiled egg, and peeling it, into the search for the golden yolk. She could take anything and turn it into something special.

That’s sort of what we need to do now. It’s the challenge to our imagination, what can you do with the bones that we’ve got, with the sticks we’ve got, to make each day a little bit special to beat the stay at home blahs? My daughter gave me an idea. We have a backyard and we can’t afford a swimming pool, but she said, “Dad, why don’t we get a blow up pool?” I said, “Well, those are for toddlers, aren’t they?” She said, “No, they have bigger ones.”

We looked it up and did the Google, the Amazon, entering in blow it up pools, and sure enough, we found one that’s big enough to fit in a corner of our yard. It’s got several layers, so it won’t break. It only costs $300 with free delivery. Not that $300 is nothing, but the big above ground pools can cost upwards of 10,000, and of course the real pools are 30,000, 40,000. So the blowup pool we ordered. Then my daughter, again… She’s working at home and she texted me saying, “Why don’t we grill a pizza tomorrow night? We’ll make one with cauliflower crust and the rest that you guys like to eat.” So we’re going to grill a pizza. There’s an idea.

Every night now, we’ve been having movie night. The challenge, of course, is to get… There’s four of us living together, my two grown kids and my wife, Sue… to agree on a movie. The ladies like chick flicks and my son and I go for more action, drama kind of stuff, but we work it out. I’ve been pouring through the recipes. You go to Google and there’s Allrecipes and Southern Living, some wonderful slow cooker recipes. I love those because you put it in and go away, do your day and come back.

Then one of the recipes I’ve found, I can’t wait to make this weekend, homemade hamburger buns. Can you believe that? Homemade hamburger buns and you don’t have to be an advanced baker? I looked at the recipe. It’s straightforward. Yes, you have to use yeast, which I never use, but it looks like I could do it. There’s some waiting time while it rises and all that kind of stuff, but I’m going to give it a shot. If I can make homemade hamburger buns, sesame seeds on top, well, those are just several ways of specializing this situation, which can bring on the blahs.

Now, of course, I’ve no right to complain. We’re not sick. We’re not in a nursing home. These, I guess, sound very self-indulgent to talk about it, but I think most of us… It’s like having a low-grade cold or a low-grade fever or… There’s a great term, failure to thrive. We don’t want to let this keep us from thriving. We don’t want to let this keep us from taking delight in life. Gosh, it’s really good to be alive, but it can seem pretty challenging when you’re walking around with a mask and when you’re hearing the dismal news that comes out every day, the latest death toll, the latest people who have tested positive. Try to you avoid the worst thing, which is to feel isolated and lonely. Stay connected, which is always my advice. Try your hand at the art of specializing. Find something that can specialize each day so it doesn’t feel blah.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Before I go, I do need to thank our sponsor. Otherwise, we couldn’t be on the air. Our wonderful sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD. It’s formulated by Dr. Carol Locke of Harvard Medical School and her company OmegaBrite Wellness. I myself have been taking their CBD supplement for about two months now, and I highly recommended it. It helps me with my irritability. I can be pretty grumpy. OmegaBrite CBD is safe, third-party tested and, best of all, it works. Get OmegaBrite CBD online at omegabritewellness.com.

Well, okay, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell with a mini episode of Distraction. Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. The podcast is recorded and mixed by the wonderful Pat Keogh. Our producer is the equally, if not more wonderful, Sarah Guertin.

The episode of Distraction you just heard was sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD, formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega three supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third-party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

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Now Is the Time to Rethink Your Plans

Now Is the Time to Rethink Your Plans

The Covid-19 pandemic has drastically changed the education system, and no one is really sure what school is going to look like in the fall. From higher education institutions to preschools, everyone is trying to figure out a way forward. Taking a “gap year” is one option many college bound students are considering. Rick Fiery of Inventive Labs, an entrepreneurial incubator, discusses the pros and cons of the gap year approach with Ned, who shares his own experience with taking a gap year!

Share your thoughts with us. Write an email or record a voice memo and send it to [email protected].

Learn more about our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD! Distraction listeners can SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Pat Keogh.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:

This episode of Distraction is sponsored by Omega Brite CBD. Formulated by Omega Brite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years, Omega Brite CBD, safe, third party tested. And it works. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Rick Fiery:

The college experience next year is going to be very, very different. And I don’t know what you think Ned, but I don’t think it’s going to be very conducive to people with ADHD. Online is really, really tough for folks to do.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Hello and welcome to Distraction. I’m your host, Dr. Ned Hallowell. Today, we have a guest who has been on the show before, and a guest whom we love and adore, who was an amazing entrepreneur himself. And along with his partner, Tom Bergeron, no, not that Tom Bergeron, but another Tom Bergeron, on some years ago, founded Inventive Labs in Amesbury, Massachusetts, and amazing place that takes kids and some older folks who are entrepreneurial, but don’t want to go to school or can’t go to school or have tried school and found they’re allergic to it. They go up to Inventive Labs and they find a place, an incubator, if you will, where they can share with other Inventives as they’re called, rather than students, other Inventives and learn how to develop and start a business, or build a boat or a design a dress or whatever might be the entrepreneurial creative outlet that they’ve found for themselves.

It’s an amazing place, an incredible place. And we are thrilled to welcome its co-founder Mr. Rick Fiery, aptly named because he is indeed a fiery man. And he’s here to not only talk about Inventive Labs, but an idea that he has related to what he’s seen during the pandemic. So without further ado, let me welcome my friend and colleague, Mr. Rick Fiery.

Rick Fiery:

Well, thanks Ned as always, it’s amazing to talk to you and kind of share some stories and have a conversation. And that’s what I was kind of hoping to do today. I would add that we did start out as entrepreneurship as kind of a thing that we wanted to help people with. And that was probably… It’s hard to believe it’s about seven years ago that we started and we’ve also morphed quite a bit. We’ve listened to what people have wanted and we’ve added, probably about five years ago, what we call kind of career prep and gap year programs as well. Because we felt that… We saw that people really wanted to start a business potentially.

But they also realized pretty quickly that they needed to gain some more knowledge and maybe get some industry experience in a field before they jumped into the entrepreneurship group. So like good entrepreneurs, we listened to our customers and we pivoted and we’ve expanded and added those programs about five years ago. So I think that’s an important component to what we do. In fact, those programs have turned out to be very, very popular with people to where we have probably, interestingly enough, we probably have more people enrolled in gap year and career prep than entrepreneurship right now. That may change though, with the latest shift in the economy.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

What about your idea related to what people have learned from distance learning?

Rick Fiery:

Well, I think what has happened, interestingly, I think in the world, quite frankly, the whole world right now is on pause for a number of different reasons. And a lot of people, when they’re considering college, we kind of believe, especially with people with ADHD, they really need to know why they’re going to college. I would say that the number one question that ADHD-ers ask is always, “Why? Why do I need to do this? Why do I need to study English literature if I’m going to be an engineer?” That was my question when I was in college. Why do I need to do this? What am I going to get from it if I put forth this effort?

What we’ve tried to focus on with people is really identifying their strengths, identifying their weaknesses, and then based on their strengths and weaknesses pick a career direction first. I think when I was younger, people didn’t ask me where I was going to go to college. They asked me what I was going to do for my life, what I was going to do for a career. And then once you knew that, then you pick the college. I think right now it’s kind of a race to pick the best possible college that people can potentially brag about it to their friends at a cocktail party. And I think it’s gotten backwards.

So from our perspective, people have struggled in the past to take a gap year, but they’ve struggled in the past because they think they’re going to fall behind. That’s been the number one reason that people have said, “Hey, I’m not really comfortable doing this. I’m going to fall behind.” And our point right now with everything that’s going on with the pandemic, et cetera, the college experience next year is going to be very, very different.

And I don’t know what you think Ned, but I don’t think it’s going to be very conducive to people with ADHD. Online is really, really tough for folks to do. And we’ve seen that firsthand. We went online partly for our program and it worked, but it was very different. It was a different kind of experience. And for online and the colleges going forward, it’s going to be an extremely difficult environment for people with ADHD. So kind of our point is, if there was ever a time to take, not a gap year, but what I would call it a focus year. Where you can focus yourself, identify your strengths and weaknesses and take a break and figure out where you’re aiming before you go marching off to college or marching into a career and get it right.

And you’re going to save a lot of time, frustration, potentially failure, and many other bad things from happening if you just hit the pause button for a second. So I kind of, the thing that has struck us is that if ever there was a time to do it, now you have a great reason to do it. And there’s no reason to go marching off to college this fall, or even the next spring, with the way the environment is going to be for folks.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yeah. I think the experiment in distance learning, using Zoom and other tools has really taught us how much better live and in-person education is, not just for people with ADHD, for everyone. I think the experiment has largely failed. And I have a lot of… I’m doing all my seeing of patients over Zoom now. And, that’s a perfectly acceptable replacement, but I’m not teaching a course, nor am I trying to learn physics or chemistry or English literature for that matter. It’s really difficult for people to both teach and learn.

I’ve talked to teachers about this, many teachers and I’ve talked to many parents and I’ve talked to many frustrated students. I haven’t heard one person say, “Oh, this is really great.” Not one. I’ve heard people say, “I’m glad they’re able to continue the educational process in some way.” But it’s always followed by, “I can’t wait to get back to live and in-person schooling.” I think drives home the point I’ve always made about the importance of connection and in-person human connection is the best. Virtual electronic connection is okay. But it just isn’t the same thing. And certainly for folks with dyslexia and ADHD, both of which I have, it would just be torture.

It would be a real exercise in going backwards to head off to school in September with the expectation of doing online courses. And I think you’re so right to say this is a perfect time and it’s not a pause. You say hit the pause button. You’re not pausing. You’re just redirecting. You’re saying what is being offered won’t work for me. It will be torture. It will make me hate what I’m studying and hate school and hate life. And turn me into a very miserable human being.

So why in the world would I want to do that when I can redirect to something else? Inventive Labs is one distinct possibility, but there are so many others. Travel, get a job, look into areas of life that you’ve never seen before. Explore your city, your region, your family, your ethnicity. I mean, you could really do the equivalent of a Montessori education, which is follow your curiosity. So I’m with you 100%, 1000%. And I think this is the ideal time to redirect rather than paying a huge tuition for, at best, a second rate experience in college, if you’re having to do it.

Rick Fiery:

Exactly. And honestly, I think if you look at the college experience for most people, at least for me when I look back at mine, the big… Academics was certainly part of it, but a big part of it was social growth. I was totally introverted and shy and terrified about public speaking and getting up in front of people and doing presentations. And I didn’t have a whole lot of friends in high school, but I got to college and socially, I was able to blossom. And in the fall those opportunities aren’t going to be there. There isn’t going to be the team sports, there isn’t going to be intramurals, there isn’t going to be fraternity rush, there isn’t going to be sorority rush, there isn’t going to be the ability to exercise, there isn’t going to be the ability to isolate and study in a private area, in a library.

Again, it’s just, they’re going to be in a very difficult environment. Plus accommodations are going to be even harder to come by because the classes will be recorded, which is nice. But note taking is still a challenge and extra time is going to have to be negotiated. I’ve seen that with some of the folks that we work with trying to get that done in an online environment. And it just adds to the level of difficulty and stress and anxiety. And there’s enough of that in the world right now. So from our perspective, it’s a golden opportunity to say the time is right to find your focus, to find your drive, to find a direction that you want to head, that you can get excited about. And if you can do that, then the chances of you being successful academically or in a career that you choose, or if you can decide to start up a business right now in the middle of all this, the chances of success are just much, much higher.

So we just were frustrated in seeing that some folks are just saying, “Yeah, I’m going to go back to college in the fall.” And what we’ve heard from many of them is, for 20% or so, it’s going to be an in-person experience that they have things like labs or things that require hands-on. And for the rest, it’s going to be an online experience. And that just doesn’t make a lot of sense to us right now. So that’s why we’re kind of waving the flag and we’re seeing some people send some folks off with ADHD for their very first college experience in this kind of an environment. And it just seems like the wrong thing to do right now.

[SPONSOR BREAK]

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

I’d like to take a few moments to talk with you about OmegaBrite CBD, a supplement created by OmegaBrite Wellness. One of our wonderful sponsors of Distraction.

After 20 years of leading the industry in Omega-3s, OmegaBrite is now bringing those same processes to the busy and noisy world of CBD. OmegaBrite and Dr. Carol Locke, who created the whole thing, have set the standards for purity, safety and efficacy. And that matters a lot because the world of CBD is like the Wild West these days. OmegaBrite CBD is organically grown, research driven and the same commitment given to it and excellence as their Omega-3 supplements, which are the best around. I, myself, have been taking the CBD supplement for a couple of months now. And it’s worked wonderfully to help me with my sort of impatient reactivity.

Get OmegaBrite CBD online at omegaBritewellness.com.

[SPONSOR BREAK END]

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

When I was in college, I went to Harvard and I took off the year between junior and senior year. And I worked during the summer on Cape Cod. I lived on Cape Cod as a tutor during the daytime. I tutored high school kids in English and math. And then in the evening, I worked as a waiter at a famous restaurant in Chatham called Pates. And I learned how to carry trays on one hand. These huge trays that have six orders of lobster on platters. So I could walk around the restaurant full tilt, holding this huge tray with only one hand and negotiating corners, and then putting down the tray stand and putting the tray on it and serving it and many wonderful experiences as a waiter. It was a wonderful summer. I’ll never forget the customer. We would put the salad dressing on their salads.

They could either get a Caesar salad or a tossed salad. And for the toss salads we offered dressings. And this one diner said, “I want you to put the dressing on my head.” Well, he’d had a few too many drinks. And I said, “I don’t think you want me to do that, sir.” He said, brought out a hundred dollar bill. And he said, “How about if I give you this?” I needed the money. So I said, “Okay, if you really want me to.” So I put a big dollop of Russian dressing on his head. The old table laugh. The restaurant laughed. It was all… So, the summer experience was very worth it. And then for the rest of the year, I went to London and I had gotten some references from my tutor in college, William Alford, who had friends over there.

And my friend, John Glossy, was doing a fellowship over there. And I met this wonderful poet named Judah Thurman, who now writes for the New Yorker and wrote the book that Out Of Africa was based on. But I wanted to try my hand at being a writer. And so I started writing and meeting with these people and I’d saved enough money to not have to get a job over there. And by the end of the summer, I took an interregnum trip down to Greece and took the Orient Express back. And at one point I got off at the wrong train station and here I was in communist Yugoslavia with no passport. A whole series of things happened. And I fell in love and asked a girl to marry me. And she said, no. And, in retrospect turned out she was gay, but hadn’t told me that detail.

But anyway, it was a wonderful year that taught me so much that I wouldn’t have learned had I just gone college straight through. And, yes, it’s true, when I came back, I was out of step. I didn’t graduate with my class. I graduated a year later, but I’m still in the class of 1972. So you don’t lose that. And to the extent it did put me out of sync, it did me a great favor, a much greater benefit than any cost associated with it.

And I decided that as far as being a writer goes, I ought to have a plan B. And so I thought… Because I realized how hard it was to write and make a living. So I went to medical school. That was my plan B. So now I am both a doctor and a writer and having the MD allowed me the freedom, in terms of not having to worry about earning an income, to spend time developing writing.

And now I’m just finishing my 21st book. But this is the kind of experience a young person can have by taking a year off. You can work, you can explore, you can test out a career or you could go to Inventive Labs, which I think would just be a bang up solution for people with ADD. So say more, would you please Rick, about what a person would find if they went to Inventive Labs?

Rick Fiery:

Well, for us, it’s really important, and I think passion is an overused word, but it’s really important for us to understand the person and their strengths and weaknesses and build upon that. And we ask people when they come to take some tests and engage with us, do some group brainstorming. And we kind of learn from working with them kind of where they can fit into a work environment, the kind of work environment that they thrive in, the kinds of things that their brain is really good at. And then we collectively kind of brainstorm a bunch of different career paths and career ideas and directions they could go in their life.

And then the second phase of that is the important part, which I think you just hit on, which is the launch phase, as we call it. And that’s where you really just get out there and try it. You can’t Google your way to a career. You can’t figure out what it’s going to be like to be a computer programmer, writing code eight to 10 hours a day in a cubicle, unless you actually try it and do it. And that sounds glamorous sometimes, but then when the reality hits and the shiny brochure of the career wears off that can be a real challenge for folks. So the second phase, we take them through a launch process where they get out there and they meet people. They job shadow. Last time we did it online, which worked pretty well. You find that some of the higher end folks that we wanted to connect with were more willing to engage in Zoom than they were in-person, but we’ve been successful in both and just meeting and talking to people in the potential field and seeing what it’s going to feel like to have that kind of a role and that kind of a position.

And then once they do that, then we figure out, okay, well, that’s great. Here’s what you look like today. What do you need to make yourself look like to have that kind of career and that kind of job? Does it mean that you need a college education? Yes or no? If it does, what college should you attend? What company do you want to work for? Where do they hire from? Where do you need to live? If you want to be a musician it’s probably Nashville or LA and probably not in Nebraska where one of a potential inventive that we were talking to was living in, that wanted to get into the music industry. So you figure out really what you need to look like. And then the key activities that fall out of that are the things that you need to do. And now you know, “Hey, I think I’m going to love this career. I’m all in. I want to work for that company. I want to be a performer at whatever it is they want to do. And now I know why I’m doing all the different things, all the different work activities that I need to do to make myself look like that.”

So it’s really basic stuff, but we kind of say that you can’t just go to college and get the degree and then wave your degree around and expect that people are just going to hire you. You’ve got to make yourself attractive for a particular job or a particular industry. And college is only one piece of that. There’s lots of other ways to do it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

So I’ve hope we’ve enchanted the listeners enough if they have a child, a son or a daughter, or if they themselves are in school and thinking, “Do I want to take now and give a shot to a redirection, an experimental year trying out life and seeing how it feels?” This is an ideal time because distance learning has proven to be not as nearly as engaging and fulfilling as actually being on a college campus, attending live classes and going to live parties and going to real football games, whatever, and falling in love with real people, which is hard to do online and falling in love with real subjects, which is also hard to do online.

Rick Fiery:

Yeah. And it’s not just college. I mean, many folks are looking at careers differently now with the changes that have happened in the economy and things like that. And, instead of diving back into that same career, there’s an opportunity to kind of reset as well.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Absolutely. Well, as always, you have provoked a wonderful conversation. I think your idea is so perfect. I mean, talk about flipping. I’ve been listening to people complain about how bad it is and now I’ll have a nice idea to offer them instead. Say, “Well, my friend, Rick Fiery, points out, this would be the ideal time to say, okay, I’ll come back to college in a year, but for now I’m going to create my own learning experience. And one of the things I’ll take a look at is Inventive Labs.” So Rick, thank you for joining us.

Rick Fiery:

Thanks, Ned. I think it’s been a great conversation. And now the point of it is just to get people to think a little bit differently. With great challenges, sometimes come great opportunities. And I think right now it’s a greatly challenging time on a lot of different levels. And with that comes great opportunities sometimes as well. You just have to look a little bit harder for them.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yeah. But they’re right there. The way we’ve painted it, it’s right there on the horizons, right there for the taking. Don’t become the subject of negative thinking, just find that opportunity and we’ve described it to you pretty well. I think as my daughter said to me many years ago, don’t hold back on life out of fear. She was only 13 when she said that. I couldn’t believe it, but it’s such a good line.

Well, listen, thanks a million. I know we’ll have you on again soon. If you want to learn more about Rick and his wonderful group, go to InventiveLabs.org. It’s a unique and positively transformational experience for a person of any age, but particularly for people in their late teens, 20s, early 30s. And that’s it for today.

Please reach out to us with your questions and show ideas. We love hearing from you. Love, love, love. Write an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to [email protected]. And again, please be sure to visit inventivelabs.org, to learn about Rick Fiery, Tom Bergeron, and the amazing piece of paradise that they’ve created up there. Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is the beautiful, talented, and wonderfully blessed Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer and editor is the ever grumpy, funny, effervescent, Pat Keogh.

The episode of Distraction you just heard was sponsored by Omega Brite CBD formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness. Creators of the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years, OmegaBrite CBD, safe third-party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

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