Shift Your Focus from Getting to Giving

Shift Your Focus from Getting to Giving

Bob Burg believes that providing value to others is the path to success. He joins Dr. H for a conversation about why one person is more successful than another, along with his 5 laws for success. And Bob would know, his book The Go-Giver has sold over 1 million copies and he is one of Inc. magazine’s 100 Great Leadership Speakers!

Bob;s book: https://thegogiver.com/

Bob’s website: https://burg.com/

Do you have a question or comment for Dr. Hallowell? Write an email or record a voice memo and send it to [email protected].

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

Click HERE to listen to this episode!

A transcript of this episode can be found below.


Bob Burg:

Don’t have making money as your target. Your target is serving others. Now, when you hit the target instead, you’ll get a reward and that reward will come in the form of money. The money is simply the reward for hitting the target. It isn’t the target itself. Your target is serving others.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Hello, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell, and welcome to Distraction. Today I have a very interesting guest who I am truly looking forward to interviewing because he’s expert on a lot of stuff. At the center of what he does is what we emphasize here, namely, the wonderful art of connecting and giving. He’s written a book with John David Mann called The Go-giver, great title, The Go-Giver. Not the go getter, but The Go-Giver. And it’s sold a million copies and translated into 28 languages. Wow, that’s a lot of languages, and he has a new go Give-Giver series called The Go-Giver Influencer.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

In any case, Bob is an advocate, supporter and defender of the free enterprise system believing that the amount of money one makes is directly proportional to how many people they serve, which I think is a great way of putting it. He’s also an unapologetic animal fanatic as am I, and as a past member of the board of directors of Furry Friends Adoption Clinic and Ranch in his hometown of Jupiter, Florida. What a wonderful overview, The Go-Giver. So Bob Burg, welcome to Distraction.

Bob Burg:

Well, thank you. What an honor to be with you.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Oh no, the honor is all mine. Let’s just jump right in. You have five laws that will bring you both personal effectiveness and professional success. Is that correct?

Bob Burg:

Yes sir.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, what are those five laws?

Bob Burg:

Before I even get to the laws, if I may, they’re really based on a premise. And it’s a fairly simple premise, and that is that shifting your focus, which is really the key, shifting your focus from getting to giving. And when we say giving in this context, we simply mean constantly and consistently providing immense value to others. When you’re that person who can take your focus off yourself and place it upon others, trying to bring value to them, make their lives better. They want to be a part of your life. It really results in a very mutually beneficial relationship.

Bob Burg:

So there are five laws, as you mentioned, and those laws are the laws of value, compensation, influence, authenticity, and receptivity.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Can you say something about each one?

Bob Burg:

Sure. The law of value is determined by how much more you give than you take. The law of value basically says when you focus on providing someone with an immensely valuable experience, everyone wins. Really money is an echo of value. And this is true in any business, and it’s also true in any kind of relationship because to the degree that you really place your focus on bringing value to another human being, whether it’s a friendship, whether it’s a relationship, whether what have you, that’s the degree that not only is that person going to feel great about it, but you’re actually going to go into profit yourself.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

The cynic might say, “What about these people who make gazillions of dollars and add very little value to the world?” Do you think the amount of money a person makes is in fact proportional to the value he or she adds?

Bob Burg:

Let’s put it this way, in a free market based economy, yes. And when I say free market, I mean no one is forced to do business with anyone else and that government’s legitimate function is to protect the marketplace, protect people from force and fraud, but otherwise leave people free to voluntarily exchange with one another however they see fit.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

How about a professional athlete who makes $25 million a year compared to the fifth grade school teacher who makes maybe $50,000 a year, works harder than anyone could ever imagine, dedicated to the children, who adds more value to the world, the professional athlete or the school teacher?

Bob Burg:

So there’s two issues there. One is, well, law number one is about the value you provide. Law number two, the law of compensation has to do with how many people’s lives you impact. So while that teacher who does a wonderful, wonderful job, we even have one of the people in the book, in the story in The Go-Giver, one of the mentors is a former school teacher and I’ll tell you about that in a moment. So the school teacher who does a wonderful job, they might touch the lives of 100 children in a year wonderfully with tremendous value, okay?

Bob Burg:

But this athlete who’s making $10 million a year, they actually touch the lives of millions and millions of people. And so it’s well worth it to the owners of those teams to pay them those kinds of salaries.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Now, when you say touch the lives, touch the lives, they don’t improve the lives. They provide entertainment. And it’s a pretty big stretch, in my opinion, to compare entertainment with the kind of gift a school teacher gives to the children.

Bob Burg:

Now, when I say touch their lives, no, they didn’t do so in a way in which they personally got to know this person and encouraged them or whatever, but because value is in the eyes of the beholder and the viewing public in this case decides what’s of value to them, the market speaks, the world itself is not necessarily fair. The marketplace though actually is when you consider that the people in the market, the consumers are the ones who get to make the decision.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, what’s the second law of your five laws?

Bob Burg:

This is the law of compensation. And it says that your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them. The mentor in this part of the book, her name was Nicole Martin. She was the CEO of Learning Systems for Children, LSC. She started out as a teacher and she was very frustrated after a few years because as much as she loved teaching the children and as much as the children loved her and the parents loved her, she was very frustrated by the money she was making. She was also very frustrated by the bureaucracy with which she had to work.

Bob Burg:

So what she did is she had had a computer software system that she put together on the side that could teach masses of children how to learn different topics in a way that was much easier for them. So she developed this company and now she’s touching the lives of millions of kids through this software.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

What’s the third law?

Bob Burg:

This is the law of influence. And it says your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first. Simply understanding that the golden rule of business, of sales, of life is that all things being equal, people will do business with, refer business to, allow themselves to be influenced by, want to be in relationship with those people they know, like, and trust. And there’s simply no faster, more powerful or more effective way to elicit those feelings toward you and others than by moving from that, I focus or me focus to, and other focus.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And you know, Francis of Assisi, in giving, we receive.

Bob Burg:

That’s right. Very much.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And what’s the fourth law?

Bob Burg:

That one’s the law of authenticity. And this is the most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself. What really keeps a lot of people from living authentically and showing up authentically is that they don’t have the self-confidence to do so. They don’t recognize their value both intrinsically and the value they bring to the market. So that’s why it’s very important to really understand our strengths, our weaknesses as well, of course, but to understand our strengths and embrace them so that we’re able to lead with them.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

And being authentic does take courage. Of course, the cynics say sincerity is the key to success. Once you learn to fake that, you’ve got it made. And number five.

Bob Burg:

This is the law of receptivity. And the law of receptivity says the key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving. Giving and receiving are not opposite concepts. They are simply two sides of the very same coin and they work in tandem. So it’s not, are you a giver or a receiver? You’re a giver and a receiver.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

I love what you’re saying, but my experience as a psychiatrist teaches me some of the dangers. I have over my 40 years in this field, worked with a lot of patients who are unbelievably generous, incredibly giving, and they’re taken advantage of right and left. It’s like lambs to the slaughter and they’re taken advantage of by very shrewd mean-spirited people who end up making off like a bandit with a lot of money and the kind, generous person who has been the lamb led to the slaughter is left feeling kind of bereft and saying, “Why am I so good?” And the answer to why they’re so good is it’s just the way they are.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

They’re born generous and humble and some other people are born greedy and ready to take advantage of people. Do you acknowledge that that also can happen?

Bob Burg:

Well, sure, it does happen. But being a go giver should never, ever be confused with being taken advantage of. If someone’s being taken advantage of, it’s not because they’re a generous kind person, it’s because they’re doing things in such a way that they’re creating the environment to allow themselves to be taken advantage of.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Sure. There are people who set themselves up to become victims and they need to work on that. But then there are other people who are simply very deliberately generous and to the rest of the world, they may look as if they’re being taken advantage of, but as far as they’re concerned, they’re following their principles. They do believe it’s better to give than to receive. And they do believe if, I’ll give you the shirt off my back. And they do that. That’s in keeping with their basic core beliefs.

Bob Burg:

In that case, they’re doing something out of strength, not out of weakness.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Correct. Absolutely. That’s what I’m trying to say. That you can be a great strength to be a relatively impoverished generous person.

Bob Burg:

Well, okay. So here’s the thing. Let’s take Mother Teresa, for instance. Okay?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Sure. Let’s take her.

Bob Burg:

She was a woman, a saintly woman who lived in poverty, but she was a very rich woman. I mean, she could receive a lot of money. She just chose to give it all away because that was congruent with her values. My feeling based on my experience is of someone’s being taken advantage of possibly. It’s not because they’re generous, they’re being taken advantage of constantly because that’s what they do.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

I got your point there, Bob. I’m just saying there’s other people who are not in that category you’re talking about who are simply very generous because that’s what their principals have them do. I’m thinking of the school teacher versus the hedge fund manager. And they are two very different kinds of people.

Bob Burg:

One reason a school teacher doesn’t make as much money as he or she could is because it’s really not a free market system they’re working out of. If education was a free market system, the real good ones would be making a lot more money than the bad ones, but it doesn’t really work that way. And I realize, again, that opens up a whole can of worms, but that’s why if someone’s going to be a teacher, if they can find another way to be able to add value to even more people, then they’re going to make more money if that’s what they choose to do. And of course, everyone does what they do based on their own principles.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

There’s another note here in your bio, one golden nugget of advice from a drive by mentor totally shifted your perspective and played a big role in your success. Can you tell us about that?

Bob Burg:

Yeah. It was after I had been in sales for a couple of years and I was doing pretty well, but I was in a real sales slump and I came back to the office one day, really discouraged. And I think he saw me as not coming close to realizing, and he said, “Burg, can I give you some advice?” And I said, “Yeah, please do.” And he said, “If you want to make a lot of money in sales,” he said, “Don’t have making money as your target. Your target is serving others. Now, when you hit the target,” he said, “You’ll get a reward and that reward will come in the form of money. The money is simply the reward for hitting the target. It isn’t the target itself. Your target is serving others.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Adding value to their lives.

Bob Burg:

Right. Exactly.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Boy, Bob Burg, I could talk to you for a long time. We’re running out of time. If any of our listeners would like to download chapter one of Bob’s wonderful bestseller, The Go-Giver, visit his website at thegogiver.com/join. And to learn more about Bob, go to burg.com. You must get a lot of ham jokes, huh?

Bob Burg:

Oh, are you kidding? Absolutely. Hamburger, iceberg.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, you’re spreading a wonderful, wonderful message that our world really needs. And you frame it in such a way that a person should be motivated to be a go giver because it’s how you get what you want. And it really is in giving we receive, a lot of people don’t realize that and they play it close to the chest and they don’t release anything. And it’s not a great way to live. But you are, I can just tell talking to you, you’re just right out there. You’re totally authentic. You’re totally enthusiastic. You believe in what you’re saying, and it really comes through. The Go-Giver, what a great message. And thank you so much for being my guest on Distraction.

Bob Burg:

Thank you.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Again, learn more about Bob. Go to burg.com. Get his book, The Go-Giver, and you can download the first chapter by visiting the website thegogiver.com/join. And please continue to connect with us. Share your thoughts, questions, and show ideas by emailing us at [email protected]. That’s [email protected] And again, our thanks to Bob Burg, a wonderful message that he lives out very clearly and has delivered to over a million people through his book.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. The podcast is recorded and mixed by the incredibly talented, wonderfully opinionated Pat Keogh. And our producer is the delightful Mary Poppins –esque, Sarah Guertin. I’m Dr. Ned Hallowell. Thanks so very much for listening.

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Managing Your ADHD in the Pandemic

Managing Your ADHD in the Pandemic

Based on the emails we’ve received, lots of our listeners are struggling with their ADHD right now. Dr. H addresses several questions in this episode including getting diagnosed while in quarantine, educational accommodations, impulsive versus compulsive, and the upside of being forced to slow down. And on a lighter note, Ned learns he’s not alone in his ADHD cooking misadventures!

Do you have a question or comment for Dr. Hallowell? Write an email or record a voice memo and send it to [email protected].

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

Episode image by Daniel Xavier from Pexels.

Listen to this episode!

A transcript of this episode can be found below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Hello, welcome to Distraction. I’m your host, Dr. Ned Hallowell. And I want to thank all of you who’ve been reaching out to us with your comments and questions. We love them. We love them. We love them. We really, really do. So today we are going to prove it by devoting the entire episode to responding to your emails and questions that we’ve received over the past few weeks.

My producer, the incredibly talented Sarah Guertin joins me now, virtually of course, and she will read to me your emails so I can respond. I have not seen these before. So what I will be offering is an off the top of my head off, the cuff, shoot from the hip immediate response, which I hope will have some sense to it. So Sarah, welcome and would you like to read me the first email?

Sarah Guertin:

Certainly. Thank you. It sounds like you might’ve just gotten another one too.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yeah, yeah.

Sarah Guertin:

Okay. This first email is from a listener named Maria. She wrote, “My eight-year-old son has been recently diagnosed with ADHD. His struggles were the same as me when I was growing up. As a 35-year-old woman and now professional accountant, I can see ADHD traits encroaching my everyday work life. Examples of this are having difficulty focusing on reading a long technical document and regularly interrupting coworkers. I’m fun to be around, but as I continue to move into more lucrative positions, I’m afraid my ADHD like symptoms will hinder my ability to learn more complex technical issues and to be taken seriously. With COVID-19 rampant, would an online ADHD specialist be able to give a proper diagnosis that can be used to start behavioral therapy and possibly if needed be prescribed medication? Thank you for your help. I love your podcasts. Stay safe.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

The answer is yes, an emphatic yes. And that’s something I’ve been learning during this pandemic. Pretty much every day I do just what you asked. I’ll make a diagnosis over Zoom on a new patient. Someone that I’ve never met in-person. The same principles apply. You take a history and you reach a diagnosis. So yes indeed and I would urge you to do that because if you do have ADHD and it sounds like you do, getting treatment for it can make an enormous difference.

And the treatment is not just medication. It begins with education and learning about it, what it is, what it isn’t, learning how it plays out in your life, in your relationships, and a number of different ways of dealing with it, which may or may not include stimulant medication. But the answer to your question, yes indeed. You can call my office in Sudbury or my office in New York, set up a Zoom session and I will get on the line and tell you whether you have this mysteriously fascinating condition or not and then take it from there.

If you want to know how to reach my office, just go to my website drhallowell.com.

Sarah Guertin:

Okay. Next up is an email from Jessica. She has actually reached out to us in the past, but this time she writes, “I love listening to your podcast and I truly appreciate all the different advice and suggestions you give all of us. You previously recommended me to find a job that best fits my personality and a place that I am happy. After juggling my finances and balancing my life, I took an opportunity and relocated from Southern California to Northern California and became a teacher.”

Sarah Guertin:

“I work with students that are in grade six to nine, with moderate to severe special education. I can honestly tell you that. I love my job. I am passionate about working with them. I learned something new every day. They love me and accept me with all of my disabilities. My struggle is standardized tests. I need to successfully complete my CBEST and CSET.”

Sarah Guertin:

And I looked those up. Those are California educator exams, but she says “I have failed the test and I have always struggled with all standardized tests. When I was in high school I almost didn’t graduate because of the same reason. I am constantly studying, but nothing seems to help me. What advice can you recommend?”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, if you have ADHD, which could very well be if you’re having trouble on standardized tests, medication could make all the difference in the world. So I would suggest you go get an evaluation. And again, as I just said, you can do that online during the pandemic and find out if you fit the profile.

Then if you do, you’re entitled both to extra time on the test, on the standardized test as well as if medication is helpful, medication to help you pass it. I had a patient this year, a wonderful doctor who had taken the board exam, which is sort of the equivalent of what you’re trying to pass four times and failed every time. And when we diagnosed her ADD and got her on medication and got her extra time on the test. This time, the fifth try, she passed with flying colors. And that’s not an uncommon story.

So we ADDers often have tremendous trouble with standardized tests, but the combination of extra time and perhaps medication could really make a huge difference for you. So I would get an evaluation and see if this would do the trick for you. Because this is a good chance that it would. Just go to drhallowell.com and we can set something up.

Sarah Guertin:

Okay. This email is from Chuck in Georgia. He wrote, “the instant pot story has me laughing and feeling better about my ADD cooking. I’m 55 now, and I’ve become a good cook and baker over the years, despite some failures.” So obviously he’s referring to that episode you released about your instant pot story.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Uh-huh (affirmative).

Sarah Guertin:

But he says, “In college, I was making Kraft macaroni and cheese. I boiled the water and put the pasta in the water to boil the pasta according to the recipe. After boiling the noodles for the time stated on the package, I opened the cheese packet, added the cheese and stirred. I waited a few minutes and the macaroni just wasn’t coming together like it was supposed to do.”

“What I hadn’t done was pour the water and pasta into a colander before returning the cooked pasta into the pot, and then adding the cheese. I had poured the cheese into the boiling water and was waiting for the cheese and pasta to, I don’t know, cook down.”

He says, “If you enjoy this story, feel free to ask about my chicken curry and the wok or my bean burgers. Thanks for your ADD tips, advice and encouragement. They helped me. Thanks even more for Landmark College. My step son is a student there and really developing academically and as a man.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Oh, that’s wonderful. I could see, in fact, I have made Kraft macaroni and cheese, and I almost did just what you did. I almost forgot that you got to drain the pasta before you put it in the cheese. So I could totally identify this. You’d pour in the cheese and then you’re watching it, hoping that it’ll turn into something that looks like macaroni and cheese, but all you’re getting is macaroni and cheese soup. That’s very, very funny.

I just did a little video I was talking about the downside of ADD, and I told the story on myself where I always have grapefruit juice and coffee for breakfast. And I take milk in my coffee. So I had the coffee cup there and I had the glass for the grapefruit juice and I had the grapefruit juice container and the half gallon of milk.

What did I do? I poured the grapefruit juice into the coffee and it’s just why would I do that? Well, I just wasn’t thinking as they say. But then I said the solution is structured. So from now on, I’m going to have the coffee cup and the glass for the grapefruit juice far enough apart, so that I’d actually have to think before I realized what I was pouring.

And now that won’t be foolproof, but it’ll be a step in the right direction other than my point was, don’t try to change yourself, change your system. It’s a lot easier to change your system than it is to change yourself. But thank you for your lovely story. I can just see the Kraft macaroni and cheese and turning into soup. Okay and thank you for your kind words about Landmark. What a great place that is. So do we have another one coming, Sarah?

Sarah Guertin:

We sure do. This next one is a little bit longer and I had to shorten it a little bit, but it’s from a woman named Rosemary. She wrote, “I grew up with a mother who was a hoarder and subsequently with the public attention to the problem of hoarding over the last 10 or more years, I came to understand that my grandfather was also a hoarder.”

“My sister and I grew up in conditions where the houses we lived in were always full of garbage, cockroaches, cat, feces, and mice when we lived in places where cats weren’t allowed.” Yeah, she says, “We moved to frequently due to evictions. Hoarding is treated as symptomatic of an anxiety disorder. I suffered from generalized anxiety disorder for several years following my husband’s death and cognitive behavioral therapy helped me a great deal.”

“More recently over the last two or so years, I’ve basically diagnosed myself as falling under the umbrella of what’s called ADHD. I haven’t been formally diagnosed. I am hyper-focused when it relates to my research or other things I find interesting, but I get years behind on taxes and paperwork is a nightmare for me.”

“I’ve always been very impulsive and extroverted, although I think I’m mellowing with age, currently I’m 49. In some, has anyone thought about a connection between hoarding and ADHD? I know that people with ADHD could also have other co-morbid problems. Maybe in my family, ADHD and anxiety have combined in certain ways that led to hoarding or problems that on the surface look a lot like hoarding, any thoughts?”

And then she followed it up with just another quick question. She’s also wondering about the difference between impulsivity and compulsivity saying she doesn’t quite understand the difference because when she gets an impulse, she often feels compelled to act on it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Hmm, that’s interesting. Let’s start with the last question. Impulsive is simply acting without thinking. So you see an apple on the teacher’s desk and you snatch it without a plan, as opposed to someone who has a conduct disorder, they plan to take the apple when the teacher isn’t looking. So it’s a question of volition and that’s contrasting impulsive behavior versus a conduct disorder, low conscience, that kind of thing.

Now compulsive, compulsive is sort of akin to an addiction and you are compelled. You feel compelled to not step on the crack or avoid the number 13,, or not open an umbrella inside as in obsessive compulsive disorder, OCD, the compulsions or these irrational feelings that you have to do something. They’re not impulsive. They’re not spontaneous out of nowhere. They just rise up and they’re usually irrational, superstitious like stepping on cracks or not stepping on cracks.

So you’re quite right. You, you do feel compelled and it’s against reason. You’ve you feel compelled not to step on a crack, even though “that stepping on a crack is no problem.” People step on cracks all the time, but in your mind, your imagination plays a trick on you. And you conclude that it’s extremely dangerous to step on a crack. And so you’re compelled not to.

Impulsive, you suddenly do something without thinking. Compulsive, you are forced to do something out of irrational needs. Now you can also not have it be OCD-like. You can have compulsions like compulsive gambling, which is close to an addiction, sort of cousin to an addiction. Compulsive gambling, compulsive drinking compulsive use of the internet, compulsive shopping.

If you’re on your way to developing what could be called an addiction. So a compulsion in that sense is like a bad habit. It’s hard for you to stop gambling. You’d like to, but it’s hard for you to stop, or it’s hard for you to stop drinking. You’d like to, you’re a compulsive drinker. Or you’re a compulsive user of the internet, which applies to an awful lot of people these days.

You would like to do it less, but you can’t seem to willpower your way to doing it less. And so you are compulsive in that sense. So there are different meanings of compulsive. Now, as for your possible ADD, yes, ADD and hoarding are often found together. And the good news is if you get your ADD treated, you might find it a lot easier to get past the generalized anxiety disorder.

And while the CBT, the cognitive behavioral therapy helped you after the death of your husband, which is very sad, by the way, it sounds like he was pretty young if you were only 49. I’m sorry to hear that. That must’ve been pretty tough for you. But if you are the cousin to hoarding, generalized anxiety disorder, sometimes it goes away when you treat the ADD. Because one of the reasons for anxiety is feeling out of control and people with add often feel out of control.

They don’t know how they’re going to screw up next. They’re waiting for the next mistake to be made or the next reprimand to come their way. And so it creates a very anxious state to live in. And oftentimes when you get the ADD treated, you feel more in control, which immediately reduces your anxiety. Same thing, by the way, a lot of people are diagnosed with depression don’t really have depression. They’re just bummed out because they’re not doing as well as they know they could do.

And when they get their ADD treated, their performance improves markedly. And so what had looked like depression goes away because it wasn’t really depression. It was simply a feeling of bummed out because I’m not where I ought to be. You do that for a while and it can look for all the world like you’re depressed, but you’re not really.

Because once you get your ADD treated and your performance improves both the anxiety and the depression go away. This leads to one of the common mistakes that gets made is that someone goes to see a doctor who’s not familiar with ADHD and gets diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and gets put on a SSRI like Prozac or Zoloft. And that is not what they need.

It’ll help them a little bit, but what they really need as far as medication goes is a stimulant medication, which will help them focus, which will reduce their anxiety and reduce what had looked like depression. But wasn’t really depression.

Again, it comes back to how important it is to get the full and complete diagnosis and not treat symptomatically the anxiety and the perhaps depression.

So yes, go get yourself diagnosed and I hope the explanation of compulsive versus impulsive made sense to you as well. Thank you so much, Rosemary. Please keep writing to us. Do we have another one, Sarah?

Sarah Guertin:

We do. This one comes from a listener named Cynthia. She wrote, “My nine-year-old son and I are both ADHD experiencers. I have found your podcast to be excellent and wanted to respond about vitamin connection during quarantine. My hope is that society will appreciate the value of real flesh and blood interactions after this time. I am a musician and piano teacher and I’m hopeful people will appreciate music and making it with others more after this.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Oh, I think there’s no way in the world that we won’t. I think we’re all missing human contact. I think we’re all missing what you get face-to-face that you can’t get. I’m doing my whole practice now via Zoom and thank God for it because I couldn’t do it at all were it not for that. But it’s not the same thing as being in-person with someone.

The depth of contact as one of my colleagues said to me the other day, the depth of contact is so much greater in-person than it can be virtually. Still, the virtual connection is good enough to get the work done, but it isn’t the same. And I think you’re right, this a shelter at home and quarantine is teaching us the value of what I call the human moment, as opposed to the electronic moment.

The human moment is just so much richer and fuller. The electronic moment will suffice, but it’s not as full and rich as the human moment. We have another one, Sarah?

Sarah Guertin:

We sure do. Got a couple more for ya. This is from Lauren, who also happens to be an ADHD coach. She wrote, “Hi there. I just listened to your short podcast about how not being around people is tiring.” What we were just talking about. “My ADHD 16-year-old son was telling me this last week. He doesn’t have many close friends in high school so I trying to understand what he was missing.”

“He said, it’s just being around people, seeing them and interacting at any level. He has been more tired, yet not able to sleep very well. It is interesting and makes sense. The funny part is he also says his morale is better at home without the social stresses of fitting in, in school and whatnot. Such funny contradictions, yet they make sense at the same time. Thanks for your insight and encouragement of your podcasts.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, thank you. Thank you, Lauren. Yeah, it’s tiring. Not being around people is tiring. My wife said to me the other day, “Why am I so tired?” And it’s because we’re not getting vitamin connect. We’re not getting the human connection. She has me and I have her, but it’s just the two of us in the house. We connect. She’s a therapist also, we connect with our patients or clients over Zoom or telephone, but it is tiring.

I think it is because we don’t appreciate how important vitamin connect is. We don’t appreciate how important those human moments are. And it’s also interesting you said your son’s morale is better at home because the social stresses at school can also be a bummer. So you give with one hand and take away with the other. But when we come out of this, when we can get back to whatever we get back to I think one of the things that we’ll be celebrating and rejoicing, what a great thing it will be to be together.

I mean, an important part of my life and my wife’s life is the church. We attend Episcopal church in Cambridge, Massachusetts called Christ Church. We’ve been going there ever since we got married 32 years ago and it’s a big deal. I love going. People often talk about going to church is a burden.

No, for me, it’s a real replenishment. I loved the music. I loved the liturgy. I loved the stories from the Bible. I love the sermons and I love most of all the community. We don’t have that anymore. We have a virtual church, but I can’t on Sunday morning, go sit in that beautiful space and hear that beautiful music sung by living heart beating humans.

And my wife and I, we both really miss it, even though the church is continuing in its own way. We miss that community. And I’m also a big sports fan, season ticket holder to the Patriots. And we just lost our great Tom Brady, but I don’t know what it’ll be like if we have to play games with no one in the stadium.

When it’s taken away, you really notice how much you appreciate something when you can’t have it. And I think the human connection with other people in a crowd, be it a congregation or a football game or a shopping mall for that matter, all of those were essential parts of my life. I’m a pretty simple guy. Those are my pleasures and I can’t do them. You just go down that list.

Can’t go to a football game, can’t go to church. Can’t go to a movie. Can’t go to a restaurant. Can’t go to a shopping mall. It’s like, “golly” and nothing against my wife and she has nothing against me, but it’s pretty thin gruel, when that’s all you’ve got. And she would say, “What do you mean I’m thin gruel?”

Well, I’m thin gruel put it like that. We need more, we need more sustenance. Then we can get just hanging out, the two of us. It’s hard. We go for walks, we do and we wave at other people walking, but can’t get too close and it’s not easy. And your point is a very good one. When we can get back to it, it’ll be pretty wonderful.

In the meantime, we’re making the best of it and I hope this podcast is providing you with some form of connection. That’s certainly our aim in doing it is to connect with you all because you are our reason for doing it. So Sarah, you have another, I think.

Sarah Guertin:

Yes, I have one more. We love all of the emails, but this one I thought was especially touching. So it says, “Hi, I’ve been listening to your recent podcasts in the current COVID world and how it has impacted our lives. I wanted to share my personal experience. I have a 21-year-old son who has been diagnosed with ADHD, depression, anxiety, social phobias, addiction, lying, et cetera.”

“You could use them as an example, in every chapter of a textbook on ADHD. We have been deep in the trenches for many years. A year ago, he returned home from an unsuccessful college experience and his mental health was very fragile. We doubled down on the therapy and other resources, but I didn’t see much improvement.”

“Then COVID-19 became our new normal, the world stopped. He lost his job and has been home for six weeks now. I’ve been so impressed with how much he has improved. To me, it seems like the world has slowed down to his speed and he can now function productively. He has been great. He keeps a somewhat normal daily routine takes his medication daily, does a little work around the house, has maintained his personal space, does his own laundry and exercises.”

“All of his therapy has moved to virtual sessions, including a weekly group therapy. We have been given the luxury of time to figure out that this is all he can handle right now. We will build on this, but this slow world has been a miracle for him. He was obviously overwhelmed before.”

“I’m a little wary of putting too much weight on his success right now, but it sure is a bright spot for me in a world that really could use some good news. Thanks for all of your words of wisdom. I really enjoy your podcast. Sarah.” Not me.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Not you. What a lovely, lovely story. That’s so wonderful that given a chance to slow down, all those problems could sort of leave him, drift away, move into the rear view mirror. He needed chance to slow down, have some structure, have some vitamin connect from you. He’s getting what he needs in terms of structure, love, attention, and a pace that he can handle.

And I think success does breed success. So now he’s learning some adaptive life habits that will continue and will strengthen and become durable and will serve him. It’s a great thing seeing how a change in environment, a change in pace, a change in demands. What a difference that can make. That’s a wonderful, wonderful story.

And those of you who are listening, that’s quite a list of problems. He had ADHD, depression, anxiety, social phobia, addiction, lying. That’s why I don’t like the labels because you bury someone under all those labels and the real health can often get lost because you tend not to identify, diagnose health.

We tend not to list strengths or potential strengths, but those are the very factors that have been able to emerge and carry him now that he’s been allowed to have some pressure off and live at a pace that he can handle.

Thanks so much for your email, Sarah. It’s a wonderful story and a very hopeful story as well. Thank you, all of our listeners and sending questions and comments. Please, please, please keep sending them. If we didn’t get to your question today, we will get to it in the next podcast we do on listener comments and questions.

And if you have a question or comment, please, please send it to us at [email protected]. We really live off of your suggestions, comments, and questions. And as you see today, we do take them seriously and answer them to the best of my ability.

In any case, thank you for listening. Thank you for joining our community. Please tell your friends about us as we really want to grow and reach more and more people.

Distraction is a project of Sounds Great Media. Our producer is the amazingly talented Sarah Guertin and our audio engineer and editor is the also amazingly talented Pat Keogh. I am Dr. Ned Hallowell. Thank you for listening.

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Tips for Learning from Home with How to ADHD and Landmark College

Tips for Learning from Home with How to ADHD and Landmark College

Jessica McCabe shares a ton of practical tips for making a successful transition to learning or working from home in this special episode brought to you by Landmark College in Putney, VT, the college of choice for students who learn differently. Jessica’s acronym, STACC, will give you the framework you need to get your work done at home, whether it’s for school or a job!

Check out all of Jessica’s amazing ADHD content on her website at HowtoADHD.

How are you making the transition? Share your thoughts with us by writing an email, or recording a message using the voice memo app on your phone and sending it to [email protected]

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

Do you know a student with ADHD or other learning difference looking for a higher education experience? Tell them about our sponsor, Landmark College, in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently. Find out more HERE.

Check out this episode!

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Unlock Your Potential By Finding a Creative Outlet

Unlock Your Potential By Finding a Creative Outlet

Overscheduled lives can be especially stressful for those with ADHD. That’s why carving out time to be creative is extra important for neurodiverse brains. In this mini, Dr. H responds to a question from a mom about her son’s busy schedule and whether or not it is inhibiting his happiness and growth.

Do you have a question for Dr. Hallowell? Write an email, or record a voice memo on your phone with your question and send it to [email protected]

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

Learn about our sponsor, Landmark College, HERE.

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Tim and Nancy Armstrong Tackle ADHD Falsehoods in New Documentary

Tim and Nancy Armstrong Tackle ADHD Falsehoods in New Documentary

Tim Armstrong is the founder and CEO of the dtx company, a former CEO of AOL, and former President of Google’s America Operations. Tim also has ADHD. This week he and his wife, Nancy, reveal details about Tim’s diagnosis (hint: their kids have it), and their new movie aimed at countering the misconceptions surrounding ADHD. They share insights about their struggles and offer sound advice for parents and kids who have “Ferrari engine brains with bicycle brakes,” as Dr. H puts it.

Do you have a question or comment? Reach out to us with an email, or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to [email protected]

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

Do you know someone who learns differently? Our sponsor, Landmark College, might be the right place for them. Learn more HERE.

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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective ADHD Adults

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective ADHD Adults

The start of a new year is a good time to reassess how you’re managing your ADHD. In this previously released mini episode,Dr. Hallowell gives his spin on Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, with a similar list for those with ADHD. From doing what you’re good at, to asking for advice, you’re bound to find a few nuggets of applicable wisdom for your own life. But as Ned advises, this is his list, so if these habits don’t resonate with you, add your own to the list!

Reach out to us at [email protected].

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

Do you know someone who learns differently? Our sponsor, Landmark College, might be the right place for them. Learn more HERE.

This episode was originally released in October 2018. 

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Special Resources for Lawyers with ADHD

Special Resources for Lawyers with ADHD

If over 10% of lawyers have ADHD there should be more resources available to them. That’s why attorney and fellow ADHDer Marshall Lichty created TheJDHD.com, a podcast, website and community for lawyers with ADHD.

CLICK HERE to sign up for Marshall’s FREE 10-day course, “Introduction to ADHD for Lawyers.”

Please reach out to us with your questions and show ideas! Record a voice memo or write an email and send it to [email protected]. Our producer is Sarah Guertin @sarahguertin, and our editor/recording engineer is Pat Keogh.

To learn more about how our sponsor, Landmark College, helps students with ADHD succeed click HERE. See their beautiful campus in Putney, Vermont at their next Open House on Friday, January 10, 2020.

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Taking Back Control of Your Crazy Busy Life

Taking Back Control of Your Crazy Busy Life

Being too busy is a problem for almost all of us. In this mini, Dr. H offers easy-to-follow strategies for handling the fast pace of life, like focusing on what matters most.

Learn more in Dr. Hallowell’s book, CrazyBusy: Overstretched, Overbooked, and About to Snap! Strategies for Handling Your Fast-Paced Life

Have a question or comment for Dr. Hallowell? Record it using the voice memo app, or write an email and send it to [email protected].

Distraction is a production of Sounds Great Media. This episode was produced by Sarah Guertin @sarahguertin, and recorded and mixed by Pat Keogh.

This episode is sponsored by Landmark College in Putney, Vermont. Support Distraction by clicking HERE to learn more about the college of choice for students who learn differently!

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Finding the Right Career for Your ADHD Brain

Finding the Right Career for Your ADHD Brain

As many listeners know, “find the right career” is one of Dr. Hallowell’s mantras for those with ADHD. Well, there’s actually a place that exists to help you do that! Rick Fiery of Inventive Labs joins Dr. Hallowell to talk about the space he’s created where those with ADHD can discover their talents and find the right career.

Watch Rick’s Tedx Talk mentioned in this episode HERE.

We want to hear from you! Record your question or comment as a voice memo and send it to [email protected].

Distraction is a production of Sounds Great Media. This episode was produced by Sarah Guertin @sarahguertin, and recorded and mixed by Pat Keogh. 

This episode is sponsored by Landmark College in Putney, Vermont. Please support Distraction by clicking HERE to learn more about the college of choice for students who learn differently!

Check out this episode!

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