View Full Version : Choices, Obstacles, Responsibility


InvitroCanibal
12-03-15, 01:52 AM
They told me that success came from working hard, lowering my expectations, growing up and being responsible. It took me a long time to figure out why I have always hated that last word so much..."Responsible."

Responsibility justifies the hypocrisy of poor systems. I hear the word responsible tossed around again and again by politicians and media as an excuse for every social epidemic and societal oppression out there. "The poor are not responsible." "ADHD people are not responsible." I am positive that many of you have heard that said directly or indirectly to you.

You can not let other people make or determine your life and career decisions. If you let others dictate your life, you will be unhappy in the end because you are living a life not based on choices but on circumstances. "If I do well, then will they think well of me?" It isn't a life where your choices are your own.

Most linear people are able to mimic other people and feel happy by group acceptance but I believe for ADHD individuals, that cost is too high because our identity comes from our own choices. You'll never be happy with the choices you never make. This leads to procrastinating, self handicapping that is directly related to a detrimental fear of rejection. ADHD people are not just uninspired by boring things, we are also phobic of boredom. And what is more boring than a predictable life?

When we say what people want to hear, we get the response we expected but not the satisfaction that we hoped would come with it. The problem becomes accented when the two phobias of rejection and boredom come into conflict with each other. Self handicapping occurs when you set yourself up to fail to limit the choices that you have to make. Less power, pay, and position means less choices.
Illogical methods are often the only choices we have.

Our systems work illogically. You aren't dumb, you just aren't happy with the linear life you based on other peoples example or advice/opinions. So the next question is, if you followed your heart and passion to do art or music or write, or start a business or start any profession you are interested without a degree than I suppose your thought is that artists starve, poets die, and writers write about it without adequate pay.

It comes down to what Benjamin Franklin said, "Those that trade freedom for security deserve neither." Freedom comes from trusting in yourself and your own choices. If you make a choice and it turns out to be successful, than you can feel self satisfaction and self confidence. Your identity will flourish when the choices you make are only based on what you choose to do and not what you have to do.

We often really only have one choice and that Is to decide how to do what makes us happy. We don't operate well under the fake it to make it rule. We can't hide or suppress our emotions very well and we can't feel satisfaction with our failure to meet our illogical needs nor can we satisfactorily choose to fail. Success comes when you define it for yourself. You will know where you are going in life, what you are doing and why you are doing it. It won't make sense to others, either your methods or your goals but when we fight for what we love to do, we do it because in our heart we know we can do it well and see enjoy it because we can do it well.

We are motivated by self expression. We have spent our whole lives feeling like we are never good enough so when we find something we are good at, it brings happiness and it brings success. If you don't know what you are good at, start by looking at what you enjoy. The level of commitment is up to you, and you may not have to quit your job to be happy or follow your dreams. You can take small steps by first finding what you enjoy and then trying to do what you enjoy. Change itself can be addicting but not always fulfilling if you aren't ready to decide where you are going.

When we stop trying to do other peoples best, we will bring out the best in ourselves. You will know you love it when you do it, and you don't care what anyone thinks because you did it for yourself. It doesn't matter when you start, we have this amazing ability to learn quickly about what we love because we only have one choice in life that leads to happiness. As soon as you realize that, all other choices become obsolete.

Pilgrim
12-03-15, 03:51 AM
I always found that if my mind wasn't still it was always hardest to follow the right path.

Pilgrim
12-03-15, 03:51 AM
By the way great post. Awesome.

Delphine
12-03-15, 06:14 AM
(Another) Amazing post, and one that really speaks to me today. Thank you :)

Unmanagable
12-03-15, 09:48 AM
I had to change my way of thinking regarding the word "responsible" due to the heavy negative energy it carried based on how often it got used against me.

I now ask myself if I am response-able vs. responsible. It helps steer my brain back to the healthier translation and helps promote a healthier output.

Here's an old thread from a few years ago when I shared my internal struggle with it:

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=134176&highlight=response-able

PolaBear
12-03-15, 09:56 AM
Awesome post, one of the best Iv read on here, amazing how people can put into words on this forum things feelings and thoughts.

Will add to this later (if I don't procrastinate!)

KarmanMonkey
12-03-15, 12:58 PM
I used to hate the term responsibility, now I kind of like it. The change came in learning about mental health recovery and about personal responsibility vs imposed responsibility.

Imposed responsibility is the expectations other people place on us, and those are horrific! As soon as we make a choice for ourselves, in their eyes we're irresponsible.

Personal responsibility is almost the opposite; it's more along the lines of what you describe. Personal responsibility is about identifying what is and is not in your control, and making mindful choices rather than simply reacting to situations.

Example: Bus is late. That's out of my control, but what's in my control is planning for that eventuality, catching a cab, warning the person at the destination that I might be late, and/or learning from the experience. It's about finding power and choice regardless of the situation. It's about spending less time being angry at situations and people and more time looking for solutions.

PolaBear
12-03-15, 04:29 PM
Read this OP 3 times now, great words.

KarmanMonkey
12-03-15, 05:00 PM
Read this OP 3 times now, great words.

I agree; and rereading my post I realized it came across as being kind of against what IC was posting; Just to clarify, I love everything he wrote!

Delphine
12-03-15, 05:10 PM
I agree; and rereading my post I realized it came across as being kind of against what IC was posting; Just to clarify, I love everything he wrote!

fyi, your post didn't come across like that to me. It sounded more like you were taking one sunbeam from IC's incredible post and bouncing off it, from your own personal experience. I enjoyed reading it :)

PolaBear
12-03-15, 07:57 PM
4 times now, my goal tomorrow is to write the thread I wanted to.

PolaBear
12-03-15, 08:58 PM
Did it! Though not structured at all!

acdc01
12-04-15, 04:03 AM
I'm really glad things worked out for you invitro.

Whenever I read your posts like this one, I wonder if I should find a new career. I actually do like (not love) my current career to an extent. But my ADHD just makes it so I do ok but I'm probably losing years off of my life for all the extra effort I have to put in.

Problem is, I can't think of a single job I could ever love that much. I can't think of any job that isn't 90% extra crap and politics while 10% is what made me love the job in the first place. Add to that, I get bored of things quickly so my "love" for any job may dissipate in less than a year. Not enough time to even get over the stresses of learning any new job or advancing to the actual job I wanted to begin with instead of the entry level position I have to start at before getting what I want.

I think a lot of us ADHDers are in the same boat I'm in. So what do you and others here think about people like me. How should we follow our "dreams" if our dreams change so quickly and really aren't even reality as in reality jobs usually consist of 10% what you really wanted to do and 90% of crap/politics that just come along with the job?

Not trying to contradict your ideas here. I like your ideas. Just trying to figure out I could actually apply your ideas and produce real results.

InvitroCanibal
12-04-15, 02:15 PM
I'm really glad things worked out for you invitro.

Whenever I read your posts like this one, I wonder if I should find a new career. I actually do like (not love) my current career to an extent. But my ADHD just makes it so I do ok but I'm probably losing years off of my life for all the extra effort I have to put in.

Problem is, I can't think of a single job I could ever love that much. I can't think of any job that isn't 90% extra crap and politics while 10% is what made me love the job in the first place. Add to that, I get bored of things quickly so my "love" for any job may dissipate in less than a year. Not enough time to even get over the stresses of learning any new job or advancing to the actual job I wanted to begin with instead of the entry level position I have to start at before getting what I want.

I think a lot of us ADHDers are in the same boat I'm in. So what do you and others here think about people like me. How should we follow our "dreams" if our dreams change so quickly and really aren't even reality as in reality jobs usually consist of 10% what you really wanted to do and 90% of crap/politics that just come along with the job?

Not trying to contradict your ideas here. I like your ideas. Just trying to figure out I could actually apply your ideas and produce real results.

Once upon a time, when I was 8 years old, I started building a snow wall. It was in the winter, and my plans were to build a wall as high as possible. I did it myself and then other kids saw what I was doing and they joined in. It was a really interesting structure and a lot of teacher's had taken pictures of it. However, I don't think I realized that the undertaking I was trying to do, probably was architecturally impossible.
Then one day, some kid with a grudge against me grabbed a stick and broke it down. I never tried to rebuild it, but other kids did. I never tried to build anything after that for a long time because I felt like if I did, there would always be that one person that would tear down what I loved.

However, I realized that I wasn't seeing the story as it was. I had somehow managed to inspire my peers. I thought because I never accomplished building the wall that I had failed. It was when I realized that this was the accomplishment of the story, and that in spite of how it ended, it's one of my memories that I am fond of.
Sometimes we get caught up in these titles, destinations and outcomes that we forget what it was that we were actually in love with.I realized a few years ago, that it wasn't that I wanted to build anything in life through my big dreams and goals, I wanted to help inspire other people to dream with me because I wanted their dreams to inspire me. What I realized what hurt so much about the kid tearing that wall down was that instead of dreaming big, he only wanted to tear down other peoples dreams because he couldn't see it. I think I realized that what we accomplish in our goals when we look back, isn't always what we set out to do.

So, I think the biggest question to ask is by changing jobs, what are you setting out to accomplish? More pay, more excitement/interest, or just a new field you are not sure about?

I guess it comes down to what is it you enjoy about your job specifically beyond breaking it down to percentages? What aspects, traits or reasons do you like it and why do you hate it?You also need to spend some time investigating whatever it is you want to do by talking to people in the field, asking to shadow someone or looking it up online.

I was hung up between psychiatry, logistics, and art a few years ago. I liked logistics because I was good at it, but it wasn't my passion. I appreciated art, but it didn't seem financially stable. I liked the idea of the mental health field, but I never wanted to be a therapist or case manager. It took getting to know psychiatrists before I entered in on that path that I got a closer look at the field. Baby steps will make or break your decision and offer you the safety to look before you leap.

I was told by a lot of people that I failed because I didn't meet the goals I had originally, but once again, I thought back to what I had done in the 3rd grade and usually just smiled as my response.Life leads us down funny roads, but everything I've learned along the way, both failures and successes have taught me something valuable that were reinvested back into my skills and allowed me to be better at what I love doing.

In my life, as I dreamed big, the one thing I keep on forgetting is that big dreams will always inspire more people to help you than to hurt you but it is always easy to let that one person or one negative aspect/uncertainty tear down your dream. Don't let them.

Hope it helps

Greyhound1
12-04-15, 02:35 PM
How we respond and deal with failure is the key to success.

They say the most successful people differ from the norm mainly in how they deal with failure. They get stronger from it and move on. Most of us get scarred from it and attempt to avoid it in the future.

acdc01
12-04-15, 03:32 PM
Wow! I absolutely love your extremely insightful response to me invitro. I'm super busy at this moment but when I have a chance, I'll try to apply your approach and see where it takes me.

Fuzzy12
12-04-15, 04:00 PM
In vitro your snow wall story is absolutely beautiful. Im still thinking about it and probably will for a long time.

Thanks for sharing.

Fuzzy12
12-04-15, 04:31 PM
Inspire you do. I can see that.

InvitroCanibal
12-04-15, 07:19 PM
How we respond and deal with failure is the key to success.

They say the most successful people differ from the norm mainly in how they deal with failure. They get stronger from it and move on. Most of us get scarred from it and attempt to avoid it in the future.

There was a story I once heard, about two farmers that bought a farm in south Africa in the late 1800's. When the farm failed and they had to sell the property. The brothers sold it to a business man and investor. The man had walked through the fields of the farm picking up rocks and smiling before he had bought the farm and after he had bought the farm. The brothers names were De Beers, and that business man was Cecil Rhodes, and from how the story was told to me, the De Beers brothers didn't know the land had diamonds on it because they weren't looking for them. They were only looking to see whether their farm was successful or not that they didn't see the diamonds below their feet.

The story may be true, I don't know, It was told to me a long time ago but it's always the meaning to that story that I like.

I don't think I will ever have the answers in life but I think that if I know how to find the ones that work for me, that I can be successful.

I think the way to receive failure in a positive way is to always look at what you accomplished from failure, instead of just looking at what you set out to do.

I guess all I was saying is that sometimes we don't always see what it was that we accomplished and we only see the dream or goal that we didn't live up to in our eyes because we are comparing what success means to other people.

Greyhound1
12-04-15, 08:25 PM
I think the way to receive failure in a positive way is to always look at what you accomplished from failure, instead of just looking at what you set out to do.

I guess all I was saying is that sometimes we don't always see what it was that we accomplished and we only see the dream or goal that we didn't live up to in our eyes because we are comparing what success means to other people.

I agree, we often fail to recognize our accomplishments and dwell on what we didn't achieve especially when comparing what success of our accomplishments means to others.

My previous post I was just making a general statement. Successful people don't let failure hold them back. They use it for more motivation and experience and keep on going. I sure wish, I could handle failure much better for sure. I hate and dread that worthless feeling.

InvitroCanibal
12-05-15, 09:35 AM
I agree, we often fail to recognize our accomplishments and dwell on what we didn't achieve especially when comparing what success of our accomplishments means to others.

My previous post I was just making a general statement. Successful people don't let failure hold them back. They use it for more motivation and experience and keep on going. I sure wish, I could handle failure much better for sure. I hate and dread that worthless feeling.

Take the maslow hierarchy, flip it upside down, paste it to word, and write "the adhd hierarchy" below it. The bottom being the most fundamental and top being the least important to us. This is closer to how we operate and what motivates us then the traditional linear one.

It also will show you why we do not take rejection and failure well.

The linear world is basically the world series championship being given to the team with the most participation points. It is often one that prioritizes security above all else. So no one competes, confronts, or talks about what really matters to them.

Self actualization, I personally believe is an adhd individuals highest priority.

The problem is that the linear life lives by the rule that if you are not secure, safe, bundled up in a fetal position, then you can not reach that next step towards self actualization.

Because of this, we feel incapable of reaching what we needed most to reach security which was self actualization.

Failure looks common for us but we are actually figuring out what we do not need in order to succeed.

Success is not printed on paper for any of us.

One thing I found that worked was to set out to accomplish one objective Max. The focus had to be one objective that truly mattered to me and related to my overall goals in life.

It could be small or big but it had to be something that could be able to be done in a day

After that, anything else was extra. If that meant doing less because one goal a day wasn't enough then I took on less and this helped me figure out when I was overwhelmed and what felt realistic.

Hope that helps but it was just what worked for me.

Fuzzy12
12-05-15, 03:22 PM
Invitro stop. You might actually move me into taking action, into wanting more. :eek::scratch:

PolaBear
12-05-15, 04:07 PM
Awesome insight with your posts man.

acdc01
12-05-15, 04:32 PM
Invitro stop. You might actually move me into taking action, into wanting more. :eek::scratch:

Lol. Soon we'll all be quitting our jobs and just following our dreams, wherever they take us.

I'm someone that needs security though. Going with the flow isn't as easy for me. But yes, baby steps and testing the waters is a more secure way to follow dreams.

acdc01
12-07-15, 06:44 PM
I tried to follow your idea invitro. But I seem to run into a dead end.

I thought about what I wanted to accomplish. Decided that was just for me to stay happy. So what would make me happy in terms of a job? Something that keeps me having fun and not bored. Afraid I'm not as altruistic as you so don't feel the desire to help everyone - though I do think I'd like helping ADHDers or pets. I do not want a boss and I do not want deadline driven work. Money is unimportant (so long as I'm making something).

Problem is, when I come up with jobs that can meet my overall goals, well I start thinking about the details of the job and picture what my daily life would be with that job. Then I fall back to what I said earlier. Most jobs are 90% crap stuff I don't like or want to avoid while only 10% of it is what I wanted to do in the first place.

Like I thought I'd enjoy being an ADHD coach. But I'm too scared a patient who's emotionally disturbed may end up killing me - not worth the risk. Every job I think of has some fatal flaw to it or the little flaws add up to more than I can bear.

Am I doing this wrong?

I think Fuzzy and me are actually in the same boat. We both very much like some aspects of our current jobs but it's the crap that surrounds it - like the stuff that isn't in our official job description but is really what determines what's considered "success" at work.

I'm tempted just to continue thinking of ways to retire early but I'd much rather be able to do something else now than wait till I've saved enough to retire.

KarmanMonkey
12-08-15, 10:16 AM
I'm really glad things worked out for you invitro.

Whenever I read your posts like this one, I wonder if I should find a new career. I actually do like (not love) my current career to an extent. But my ADHD just makes it so I do ok but I'm probably losing years off of my life for all the extra effort I have to put in.

Problem is, I can't think of a single job I could ever love that much. I can't think of any job that isn't 90% extra crap and politics while 10% is what made me love the job in the first place. Add to that, I get bored of things quickly so my "love" for any job may dissipate in less than a year. Not enough time to even get over the stresses of learning any new job or advancing to the actual job I wanted to begin with instead of the entry level position I have to start at before getting what I want.

I think a lot of us ADHDers are in the same boat I'm in. So what do you and others here think about people like me. How should we follow our "dreams" if our dreams change so quickly and really aren't even reality as in reality jobs usually consist of 10% what you really wanted to do and 90% of crap/politics that just come along with the job?

Not trying to contradict your ideas here. I like your ideas. Just trying to figure out I could actually apply your ideas and produce real results.

I'm willing to bet that the 10% you describe in your job are aspects that align well with your values, while the 90% don't.

I'll echo Invitro a bit here, and say that a lot of what makes for a great job has everything to do with who you are, and the values you hold dear. If you can figure out what your core values are and find a role that speaks to them, you'll look forward to going to work.

As for getting bored in a role, it depends on the role. Some jobs are constantly changing, some have a very loose job description so you can make it the type of job you want. The big thing is to figure out what environment would suit you, then go looking for a job that fits.

Volunteering is a great way to start. Not only do you get an "easy in" to trying a new type of work, but you get to do it in an environment where people are genuinely grateful for your time and effort. I also know people who hate their day job, but make up for it by finding meaningful volunteer roles.

I wish you luck in finding your path; I was nearly 30 before I even stopped to ask the questions you are. Now I'm in a job I love (most days, anyway) and haven't looked back, except to marvel at how much better my life is now.

acdc01
12-08-15, 01:43 PM
I'm willing to bet that the 10% you describe in your job are aspects that align well with your values, while the 90% don't.

I realized something. The percent in my current career is probably more 60%, 40% of what I like versus what I hate - with like being higher.

I think if I didn't have ADHD, I would be happy with my current career (though still want another job). But I can't even stand the 40% crap so much it makes it feel like 90%.

That's the problem. I don't think I'm at all tolerant of spending barely any time doing what I don't like doing anymore - used to be able to but not anymore. It sounds like you have to do some things you don't like in your job too karmanmonkey. But it's very little compared to what you love.

I'll keep trying to think of something. Just not too hopeful I can figure out what that something is as nearly all jobs have crap you have to deal with along with the good.

I'm glad you and invitro have figured out what you love. I wish I felt as passionately about something as you guys do.

InvitroCanibal
12-08-15, 11:03 PM
I tried to follow your idea invitro. But I seem to run into a dead end.

I thought about what I wanted to accomplish. Decided that was just for me to stay happy. So what would make me happy in terms of a job? Something that keeps me having fun and not bored. Afraid I'm not as altruistic as you so don't feel the desire to help everyone - though I do think I'd like helping ADHDers or pets. I do not want a boss and I do not want deadline driven work. Money is unimportant (so long as I'm making something).

Problem is, when I come up with jobs that can meet my overall goals, well I start thinking about the details of the job and picture what my daily life would be with that job. Then I fall back to what I said earlier. Most jobs are 90% crap stuff I don't like or want to avoid while only 10% of it is what I wanted to do in the first place.

Like I thought I'd enjoy being an ADHD coach. But I'm too scared a patient who's emotionally disturbed may end up killing me - not worth the risk. Every job I think of has some fatal flaw to it or the little flaws add up to more than I can bear.

Am I doing this wrong?

I think Fuzzy and me are actually in the same boat. We both very much like some aspects of our current jobs but it's the crap that surrounds it - like the stuff that isn't in our official job description but is really what determines what's considered "success" at work.

I'm tempted just to continue thinking of ways to retire early but I'd much rather be able to do something else now than wait till I've saved enough to retire.

I actually wasn't suggesting people quit their jobs but I guess I got carried away. I do that sometimes.

What does life mean to you today?

My perspective was only that you need to get away from trying to live life logically like everyone else.

It was the day that I told myself that I would live life by doing responsible things illogically that I started having fun and enjoying life.

You wont ever feel motivated until you learn to let go of trying to be like everyone else. If something bores you, find a new way to do it. Sometimes that challenge is all that is needed to enjoy a job you feel bored with.

How will you ever be motivated if you are just trying to be like everyone else?

That's slavery and any job will feel like slavery under those circumstances.

InvitroCanibal
12-08-15, 11:12 PM
In regards to adhd coaching.

If my car breaks down and I'm stranded, do you decide you don't want to help because I might be an ax murdering stranded lunatic or I might just need help.

Helpless people that are seeking and working on themselves do not hurt other people. They usually are very kind but they hurt themselves because they care about others so much.

Violent crimes rarely occur from anyone with a disorder. It is more often that they are victims of violent crimes.

Someone that reaches out for help and believes you can help them is unlike any trust I've yet to encounter. It isn't trust you abuse or take lightly and neither will they.

These are good people, they just don't always have hope.


I am not altruistic though. I enjoy the challenge of helping people. Its like solving a puzzle. I care about people but I don't baby them.

But I want to be very clear that I do my work for me, because I enjoy it. It doesn't come from anything noble. I can't do nice things if they are boring and I can't go into coaching thinking I am mother Theresa.

I like them as people though. The people I work with are very funny and interesting people but most people never see it because most people do not try to get to know them as people.

I generally teach them how to be selfish again because most selfish people do well in life. Altruistic people struggle to come to terms with the guilt of having more while others have none.

I found that misery in life often comes from a strong lack of selfishness. It isn't that you have to be a jerk, but you do have to do things for you and recognize that you chose to do it.

No one owes me anything and I don't feel like I owe them. Because of that, I live my life free, but it took me a long time to figure thatvout

acdc01
12-09-15, 08:49 AM
I found that misery in life often comes from a strong lack of selfishness.

Good point and I think there's a lot of truth in this. I also like your main point, to do things your own way in order to succeed. A way which might not seem logical to others but is right for you.

Maybe it wasn't the point you were trying to get across but I do think if people are not truly happy with a job, they should find another one and keep trying until they find happiness. And I do believe the way you suggested people do it was the right one. People should always work toward happiness in every aspect of their lives.

As far as the ADHD coach thing, I still don't think I'd feel safe enough. Wasn't it you that had a mentally ill patient attack their coworker? It might be extremely rare, but it does happen. Might seem a ridiculous fear but even the tiny risk isn't worth it to me. I don't really have a strong passion for becoming one anyway (I don't have a strong passion for any job)- it just felt better than my current job. I think your baby step idea might increase my passions though. Every job is so abstract to me. I can't really feel or taste it. But if I volunteered, job shadowed, etc. - it would feel more real to me and perhaps I would feel more passion for it.

I love the storytelling way you write by the way invitro. It's very inspirational and motivational. It also makes you think. To be honest, it takes me a moment to figure out what message you're trying to convey with your stories sometimes but I'm finding that because I'm thinking about what meaning you intend, I end up reading your message the way I do because that's what is truly bothering me at the moment. I sometimes not only get the message you were originally trying to share, but I get the message my own heart was trying to tell me.

PolaBear
12-09-15, 11:51 AM
I did leave my job btw.

KarmanMonkey
12-09-15, 05:05 PM
Invitro, I love your point about selfishness... I had a colleague challenge me on my language though, so I replaced it with self interest. Having self interest encompases more than just selfishness; it also includes all the ways we can act on our own behalf that costs others nothing.

An example from my university days:

A friend and I went to the same club thursday nights for over two years; I went along with it despite kind of being bored with it because he wanted to go.

Then one day I finally asked him "Hey, want to do something else tonight? I'm kind of tired of doing this same routine every week!"

His response: "THANK GOD! I was only going because I thought you really wanted to!"

Sometimes our lack of self interest does a disservice to others as well as ourselves :-)