How Intentions do not lead to Impact When You Have ADD

Martin Sheen on the West Wing

Since my last post on SPIN and SLIDE, I’ve come to learn quite a bit about myself and the work that is necessary when it comes to intentional impact.

See the problem with intentions and impact when you have ADD is it takes several extra steps to get there. Check this video from How to ADHD:

It’s like a bridge with lots of missing steps. So there are two rolling hills when it comes to the ADD spiral. The first is SPIN, which we’ve covered. Then there’s SLIDE, which is:

Self attack
Life attack

So one day in January, in my Morning Pages, I come up with a question that I ask: “How do I intend this [next action] to impact my wife, my children, my physical and mental health, and the story I want to tell about my life?” But the problem is that intention doesn’t always lead to the impact that I want it to have. And that usually sets off the SPIN and SLIDE spiral.

So the way I solved for this is to bust out my American College Dictionary and look at the antonyms for shame, pessimism, isolation, and no creative or productive outlet. Those are:

Creator Connection

I tried to make it into an anagram like SPIN and SLIDE and came nowhere close, except my brain–for whatever reason–changed proactivity to (m)otive and it became LOCOMOTIVE. And immediately, because I’m a comic book nerd with ADD, the Superman theme came into my head.

More powerful than a locomotive! It’s Superman. The thing that I’ve always liked about Superman is that he’s a writer. So the way to counteract all of that SPIN and SLIDE is always what it has been since I was 13-14 years-old—to write it out and leave it on the page. So, naturally, the way through is when I am doing the spin and slide it’s to remember the Superman theme which causes a giggle and then the question and sometimes I slide right out of it.

It’s a habit I’m working on building.

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