... and why you should care.
One of the idiosyncrasies of ADHD is that it's a neurotype primed to respond.
It thrives and excels on demand.
It's been called a "gene for certain behaviours" that has evolved to respond in the moment (Thom Hartmann).
In Hartmann's book, Hunter in a Farmer's World, he quotes physician Will Krynen, who, when researching indigenous hunting societies, saw -
".. the constellation of behaviours that we call ADHD… are highly adaptive.. [among people who are] constantly scanning their environment, quick decision-making (impulsiveness), a willingness to take risks. These same behaviours make it difficult for tribal children to succeed when we try to impose western [school] curriculum on them”.
This goes straight to the guts of the ADHDers' need for certain conditions.
Do you notice that when a certain amount of pressure appears, you're focused, present, attentive, creative and ready?
But when that pressure subsides, you may feel lethargic or inattentive, lost at sea even.
That's why there is a profusion of ADHDers in careers that have a high demand component, like emergency services (first responders, civil defence, firefighting), police, nurses and surgeons, criminal investigators, and of course the sporting arena (professional and amateur athletes alike). These environments have plenty of stimulus and demand (sometimes too much.. but that's for another post).
[... aand, why for children with ADHD, it's REALLY HARD in the sit-down, be quiet, and listen environment that school is, and why schools are not currently set up appropriately].
Knowing your Push and Pull
A useful distinction for understanding and managing our ADHD, is the Push and Pull framework.
Demands or activities that spark us into action are the Pull.
Activities that require us to generate action, are the Push.
Here are some common Pull & Push scenarios.
What would go on your list?
Have you ever considered that the items on your Push list have been your fault, are your fault, or are a result of some character defect?
Because, they 100% are not.
Identifiying our Push and Pull is important so we can appreciate that there's a very good reason we are challenged to do these things.
Our Push list is vital information, that we need to re-think how we approach these activities.
And if items on your Push list contain a majority of your current job description, then that's most certainly a red flag.