Vol. 2, Tip #16; Learn to be Dependable

It’s really ironic that I’m making a come back to posting videos after such a long hiatus and the topic is about being dependable! haha!! What can I tell you? You can depend on me to always be unpredictable? 😉 But seriously, I’m not even sure if anyone has noticed that I haven’t posted since last summer, but the point is that if you know that people are depending on you, there’s nothing worse for your reputation than to let them down…and even more worse, if you do it over and over. What’s going to happen is that no one will take you seriously, people will call you a “flake” behind your back, and important jobs or responsibilities that could have otherwise been yours, will go to someone else who understands the importance of being dependable.

I admit, dependability is not “a sexy” trait. I can see how dependable and boring might, for some people, be interchangeable, but the fact is that unless you want to spend your life as a chronic under-achiever, being picked last for fun projects and challenging tasks, you may want to take this whole “dependability” thing very seriously.

For people with ADHD, this is a really significant area of struggle. Our inability to stay on track, on time and properly calculate our resources means that more often than not, we are letting someone down. What can we do about that? Well, for starters, be very honest with the person who is depending on you about your challenges. Express your desire to do exactly what you say you’re going to do, but also ask for help and accountability to stay on track. While people without ADHD might not need micromanagement when it comes to getting things done, people with ADHD can definitely be helped if someone checks in with them on a regular basis to make sure progress is being made on the task or project. Does it feel slightly demeaning to have someone micromanaging you? Possibly, but the alternative is that things don’t get done and people are left frustrated and disappointed. Frankly, I’m to the point where I welcome accountability because I know it will help me stay on task.

If you are the kind of person that struggles with being dependable, how do you deal with it?

Put Your Heart into Everything You Do!

If you want to be enthusiastic, act enthusiastic, Dale Carnegie is credited with saying. What I get out of that is that we shouldn’t wait for our external circumstances to dictate how happy or satisfied we are going to be in our day-to-day lives. We have to make a decision to embrace life, to pour our hearts into every minute of our day, even if sometimes we don’t feel like it.

I’m a big believer that you get out of life exactly what you put in. And I will admit that I have those days when finding a reason to act enthusiastic about anything is hard. I think the key though is to not let a downhearted attitude become a lifestyle. I know that many people have very few reasons to look forward to their day when they wake up, but I’m convinced, through personal experience, that your day will be much better if you look for the positive in every task, and in every interaction. Today, the 4th of July, is as good a day as any to declare independence from a woe-is-me attitude and put your heart into living your best life!

Vol. 2 Tip #14 Humility; More than just an old-fashioned concept

In the era of funeral selfies (yes! Funeral!) and shameless self-promotion in every shape, form and size possible, humility seems like a quaint old-fashioned concept not designed for the modern times. I happen to think though, that humility is essential to the kind of success that is long-lasting and meaningful. Please don’t confuse “humility” with being a mild-mannered “yes” man or woman with low self-esteem, but rather think of it as a quality that allows you to spend as little time as possible dwelling on your own accomplishments, focusing instead on the accomplishments of others.

Your Past Can Fuel a Successful Future

I’ve been a public speaker for close to 20 years. Spoken to groups as big as 75,000 people and as small as 5. I’ve been all over the world and have maintained a busy speaking schedule consistently for almost two decades with no marketing save word of mouth. You might say I’ve done alright for myself. You might say that I fit the description of “successful”. Yet there are still days when I doubt my own abilities and question my calling as a speaker. I forget all the things that I have done and achieved and get caught up in feeling low. I’m sure it seems insane, but all it really means is that no one is immune to self-doubt. Not you, not I, not the very famous and very rich either. No one is exempt from those days when you wake up feeling like you’ve missed the boat and that you would be so much happier if your life was completely different. For many of us, this signals a downward spiral that could mean days or even weeks of lack of motivation, or worse, depression.

I’m not really sure why this happens, but I have noticed that for me, stress, not getting enough rest and lack of down time often precede episodes of stinkin’ thinkin’. Thankfully, I’ve learned that there are definitely some things that you can do or have a spouse, best friend or trusted partner help you do to minimize the impact of the days of doom and gloom and help you get back on track.

Finding your Motivation and Staying the Course

There are days when you just don’t feel like doing anything. What’s the point? you ask yourself. I’ve been slaving away at this job/project/idea/marriage for days/weeks/months/years and there doesn’t seem to be a pay-off in sight. I’m tired of this whole thing and it’s time for a change. Usually, this is the point where a lot of us ADDers (and lots of regular folks too!) do something impulsive and not necessarily smart – we quit and start looking around for something or someone else that gets us excited and captures our attention…leaving behind us a wake of unfinished projects, career starts and relationships that could have blossomed into something wonderful had we actually given them enough time and pushed through the hard times.

What’s enough time? Excellent question and I don’t have a precise answer because it is different for everyone, but here’s a little a little trick to try, to see if it really is time to pull the plug: Think about the victories, small or big, that you have experienced along the way with the project/person you’re thinking about leaving behind and ask yourself about the reasons why you got involved/interested in the first place. If the reasons are still there and unchanged, then focus on recapturing the feelings of success and fulfillment. Give it a few days, and maybe a few days more. Re-evaluate. You may be surprised to see your commitment to keep going resurface.


Find Joy in What You’re Doing

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a video about the importance of seeing the big picture. I talked a bit about how a lot of us feel like we’re being under-utilized, that our talents and gifts are not being used. This feeling can be really frustrating, leading to disappointment and discouragement, but I believe it is really important that you embrace instead of rejecting your circumstances. There’s just a really awesome dynamic that I’ve seen time and time again in my own life where changing my attitude about a situation that appears to be negative or even hopeless, actually has the effect of altering the situation itself.


Create a Culture of Positivity!

While I’ve been busy painting hearts for Sam’s and mine, “grungy” heart art project, I’ve been neglecting to post more regularly, so today, I’m going to share another little video from a conference I spoke at last year.

Creating a culture of positivity actually ties in really well with all this heart stuff I’ve been working on. I love the variety that the simple heart symbol has allowed me as I’ve exprimented with different paints, glazes, sprays, templates and techniques (pure ADD candy!), but ultimately the reason I’m attracted to this project is because the visuals tie in so well with the philosophy of living life from the heart. And with positivity.

In the video, I recall a teacher who made a daily effort to come into the classroom and energize us, her students. I can’t imagine where that energy and love came from, except from the well-springs of her heart.

Look inside your heart today and try to tap into the positivity that lies within and share it with other people. And if you look deep and find nothing but sorrow, do not give up hope, but get around people who can support and embrace you with their positive energy.

Living from the Heart

My brother Sam and I, are both public speakers. When we started our speaking careers almost 20 years ago, we ventured out together. He would do all the speaking and I would top things off with my Speedscape performance. Eventually, we decided that we could impact more people if we split up and took our own unique message and stories to the masses. To accomplish this, Sam helped me to overcome my fear of speaking and develop effective messages and I taught him how to Speedscape so he could continue to have the visual element that made our programs so unique.


Recently, Sam developed an interesting message centered around The Heart and wanted something visual to go along with it, so he came to me for ideas and help. As we brainstormed on both the visual and the story-telling aspect of his idea, I became more and more inspired by the concept. SO much so, that I have been painting tiny hearts, in my kitchen, since mid-December! Today, I have 327 hearts under my belt so to speak and that’s only after a month of painting. Unlike most artists who put out limited edition art pieces, it’s my desire to put out as many hearts a possible! And not because they are for sale either! It’s because they are an awesome reminder. A reminder that the heart is so much more than just an organ, but is at the very center of our ability to be passionate, committed and courageous as we face life with it’s many challenges.

As a visual learner, I love the idea of augmenting the message about the importance of recharging our spiritual hearts with a piece of beautiful art. If you’re interested, feel free to hit our Etsy store. And I’m more than happy to personalize and customize a heart if you have someone in mind who can use the reminder to not lose heart. 🙂

I’ve been a fan of Mike Rowe’s show “Dirty Jobs” for some time now. So much so, that I made a video trying to entice Mike to feature me on his show. I know, I know! My job’s not really THAT dirty, especially compared to some of the jobs featured on the show (Chinatown Garbage Collector, anyone? Or how about Avian Vomitologist?? Monkey Caretaker??)

So recently when I stumbled upon this interview with Mike Rowe, I had to watch it. It’s pretty long, 40 minutes, but it’s fascinating. He has some really interesting ideas and thoughts about entrepreneurship, success, the skills gap and why FOLLOWING your passion is a bit of a misnomer and that you should instead BRING your passion with you. Well worth a watch!