Till Dig med ADHD,
Ibland när jag läser om hur du upplever dig själv blir jag glad för din skull, att du är stolt över ditt fokus. Att du känner dig värd något trots dina svårigheter, för du är naturligtvis lika mycket värd som alla andra. Men när du börjar tala om ADHD som nåt slags superkraft, något positivt och en källa till styrka. Då har du fel…
Låt mig först försäkra dig om att du är älskad, för det är du. Men du är inte starkare, mer värd eller bättre än nån annan. Det känns tvärtom som du är förföljd av din värsta fiende. Jag kan inte se ADHD som något bra, tvärtom. För mig är ADHD en förbannelse och en ständig uppförsbacke, och då är jag ändå bara en åskådare som lever i svallvågorna och konsekvenserna av din komplikation, jag ser inte den ständiga förvirringen som rör sig i ditt huvud.
Att leva med dig som har ADHD är som att leva med någon som är osams med sin egen skugga. Varje gång du går förbi något så plockar skuggan upp det, välter det eller kastar det. Varje gång du vill säga något lägger skuggan sin hand över din mun och talar åt dig. Skuggan säger det du inte får, det du inte vill och det som sårar. Hela tiden går han bredvid dig, din värsta fiende. Hela tiden sätter han krokben för dig och hindrar dig. Vi kan inte kan ta ut vår frustration på skuggan, förändra eller straffa honom. Vi vet att han finns där men det är fortfarande du som tvingas ta ansvar för honom, för han är din skugga.
När vi vill skicka in din skugga på rummet för att han alltför många gånger gått över gränsen, förstört något eller helt enkelt vägrar låta någon annan ta upp något som helst utrymme i rummet så är vi tvungna att skicka in dig också. Varje gång vi höjer rösten åt skuggan och tappar fattningen, skäller och nästan börjar gråta av ren frustration så är det du som får ta emot stormen. Skuggan gömmer sig bakom dig, ibland tror jag att han skrattar åt oss. Skrattar åt dig som tvingas stå där, troligen medveten om hela scenen och antagligen oskyldig till det som händer. Skrattar åt oss som maktlösa skriker och skäller på någon som inte har förmåga att styra situationen. Ibland använder han till och med din mun för sitt skratt, det är både surrealistiskt och sorgligt att se hur han med ditt eget skratt gräver gropen djupare under dig.
Det är klart att för en utomstående låter det naturligt att sluta skälla, att krama bort problemet. En utomstående har ingen aning om vad hon ber om, och hon har framför allt aldrig sett nån hon älskar bli kontrollerad av sin egen skugga. Det går inte skilja dem åt och även om den man älskar i nio fall av tio är oskyldig så är han ett barn, med samma drifter och längtan som alla barn. Barn är inga änglar, ett barn med ADHD är ett vanligt barn som bara haft oturen att födas med skuggan av en ond tvilling, en följeslagare utan samvete och konsekvenstanke.
Oavsett hur mycket man vet att man gör fel, för det gör man ibland. Så går det inte att värja sig från sina egna känslor, och även om man kunde det så kan man inte skydda sig från sitt eget ansvar. Vi är flera i familjen och dina speciella behov kan inte gå före alla andras rätt att leva ett drägligt liv. Du som har ADHD kan inte gå före alla andra i kön, inte få allt du vill ha och framför allt kan du inte räkna med att bli behandlad som alla andra, för du är annorlunda. Du är inte mindre älskad, inte mindre värd eller viktig än någon annan. Men att din skugga då och då gör dig tjänsten att fixera din blick och höja din koncentration när du läser, ritar eller bygger något gör dig inte heller mer värd eller bättre än någon annan. Tvärtom köper han nog bara din lojalitet och försöker blanda era personligheter. Din skugga försöker få dig att tro att du behöver honom, att han gör dig stark och speciell. Visst kan han nog hjälpa dig att lyckas på andras bekostnad, för han har ingen sympati och förståelse för de han sårar. Skuggan drivs av målet och reagerar bara i ögonblicket. Vi andra är kvar och städar efter honom, torkar tårar och plåstrar om. För mig är och förblir han din värsta fiende och det som driver mig bort från dig, trots att jag älskar dig. Jag hoppas att han lämnar dig snart. Älskade barn.
An Executive Bedtime Story
This is Bobby the Brilliant Baker Boy, and this is his Brownie Bakery! Bobby bakes the best brownies on earth.
Bobby runs his bakery with the help of his bestest friend in the whole wide world, Mandy the Mild Mannered Managing Director.
One day Mandy suggested that Bobby should try something new:
-Why don’t you bake some lovely loafs of luscious bread? He said.
While Bobby indeed was an adventurous boy, he still realized that he had a lot to learn in order to make a truly lovely and luscious loaf:
-Brownies are made with baking soda, and loafs are made with yeast, he explained…
Mandy however was not disheartened, because he was a very understanding and generous managing director. He reached into his Splendid Slacks of Serious Spending and grabbed a handful of gold coins. Such coins that all managing directors keep for when serious spending is necessary:
-How much do you need? He said with a friendly yet somewhat venture capitalistic smile.
Bobby began drawing numbers in the flour on the counter and counted out loud, talking to himself:
-For sure I know how to work the dough, because dough is dough and that I know! But to make it grow, I do not know…
-A box I must have for the dough to grow, a heated box for the yeast you know!
Mandy realized that Bobby’s suggestion was wise and precise, and thus he exclaimed:
-A box you shall have for the dough to grow! And I know exactly who will build it…
Willy the Wild Welder, he is our man, if he can’t build it, nobody can!
Mandy reached into his Couture Coat of Communication, pulled out his iPhone and placed the call. Willy responded and the discussion ensued:
-I need a box to grow a dough!
-A box you need for a dough to grow?
-A hot box you see, can you make it for me?
-For sure I can my dearest man, for when and for whom, what is the plan?
-In 30 days for my bestest friend, to Bobby the Baker Boy the box you must send…
-I certainly will and if that is all, in 30 days I will give him a call.
-Thank you my friend, I need nothing more! Please carry on, proceed with the chore…
Mandy closed the call, turned to Bobby and said:
-In 30 days and 30 nights the box will be yours. What else do you need?
Bobby didn’t need anything else and his mind had already started to sink into deep contemplation. He explained that in order to properly study the art of loaf bakery he was not to be disturbed. Not until he had unlocked all the secrets of the loaf, for he was indeed a waterfall developer at heart.
Mandy the Mild Mannered Managing Director was happy! The bakery was doing fine, the brownies selling well and he felt he would reward himself with a casual walk through the town. Just as he started to get a little hungry he saw a dazzling wagon filled with sensational things… Among them a most magical item clearly based on flour, yet still neither brownie nor loaf. This was surely something special. Mandy felt compelled to try one…
The soft and delicious creation was warm to the touch and sweet to the tooth, Mandy paused, momentarily overwhelmed by the taste. He then turned to the salesman and asked:
-What is this magical bread my friend?
Peter the Peddler of Precious Pastry, the owner of the dazzling wagon responded:
-Why Sir, this is the latest thing, straight from America. A donut it is called. Have you, an accomplished yet mild mannered Managing Director never heard of the donut?
Mandy looked down, partly in embarrassment and partly in contemplation. He had never heard of donuts, and he knew not where they came from nor what they were…
But Managing Director as he was, he immediately recomposed himself and concluded that he had to control and own them. If donuts can be made, I can make them myself, he thought. So he bid the kind salesman adieu and promptly scurried back to the brownie bakery…
Back at the bakery Bobby had devised a plan, a method for the baking of a perfect loaf, and for sure it would the best loaf in the world. He was just about to treat himself to a relaxing pipe when Mandy the Mild Mannered Managing Director came storming in. The half-eaten the donut still in his hand…
-Hi Mandy! Said Bobby the Brilliant Baker Boy. What is that in your hand?
Mandy paused, caught his breath and began to explain:
-It seems that in America they invented this fabulous thing, warm to the touch and sweet to the tooth. A most precious pastry he explained…
Bobby asked if he could try a bite and yes, it was indeed sweet and surely different:
-Very interesting I must say… perhaps in the future we could look closer at them and see how they are made?
Mandy took a step back, as he often did when he had something important to say and asked:
-Can we make them now?
Bobby felt a bit uneasy:
-Make them today you say? That we cannot, because all the prerequisites we have not got.
Mandy however was not disheartened, because he was a very understanding and generous managing director. Once again he reached into his Splendid Slacks of Serious Spending, grabbed yet another handful of gold coins:
-How much do you need? He said with a friendly somewhat over confident and almost investment banking-like smile.
Bobby once again started drawing numbers in the flour and talk to himself just like before:
-For sure I know how to make the dough, but how to cook the dough I do not yet know.
A donut must be fried in oil and to fry in oil it must come to a boil…
A pot I need for the oil to boil and then I will know how to cook the dough!
Mandy realized that Bobby’s suggestion was wise and precise and thus he exclaimed:
-A pot you shall have to cook the dough! And I know exactly who will build it.
Willy the Wild Welder of course, he is our man, if he can’t build it, nobody can!
Mandy reached into his Couture Coat of Communication, pulled out his iPhone and once again placed the call. Willy responded and the discussion ensued:
-I need a pot to cook a dough!
-A pot you need, for a dough to grow?
-To cook, not grow, this is a new dough!
-A new dough I see… Now I understand, what is the time frame and what is the plan?
-In 30 days the pot must be done, so that we a production of donuts may run.
-A box I am making, we did set a date, if you want the pot first… the box will be late…
-I understand Willy, your point I concede! But I need both these things, how can we proceed?
-You must make a choice of what you will bake… What will it be, cookie or cake?
-But how do I know what to choose my good man?
-That my dear Mandy is why we make plans…
-Willy my friend can I call you back? I think I’m having a heart attack
Mandy closed the call and turned to Bobby, exhaled and said:
-It seems that Willy doesn’t have time to make both the Pot and the Box, what can we do?
We need them both, how will we pull through?
-Don’t worry, said Bobby, the problem is none, we wait 30 days and the issue is gone.
We have to have patience once in a while, let time make our choices and just reconcile.
And if we want donuts, in time they’ll arrive… The bakery is prosperous, it will survive!
People will trust us if we bake our things well, they judge us on merit, the bread that we sell.
Mandy realized that Bobby’s words were wise and precise. So they locked hands and walked together back into bakery to make a fresh batch of brownies. For brownies was not only their cash cow, but the foundation of their friendship.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a simple and near fool proof way of building professional networks full of influential and powerful friends, a selection of limitless resources easily available? Well there is… and contrary to what you first may think it’s doesn’t have to be that hard. Just remember that there are no quick, fast or instant ways of creating meaningful relationships. It may not be hard work, but it takes time, effort and faith.
The influential people of today already have friends, and more importantly they have an ever increasing stream of people lined up to become their new friends. Perhaps hammering down their door looking for a hand reaching out isn’t the best way to impress them. I suspect we are better off looking towards the future. The young talented people of today are the rich and powerful of tomorrow. And tomorrow is where we will have the most benefit when building our networks. Treating people with respect and giving them that little bit of extra attention is likely to earn you a lot of appreciation. This is especially true when it comes to younger people and the ones who are starting out building their network. It’s important to set a good example and a good rule of thumb is to show everyone the same respect as they show you. This extends to everyone you meet regardless of age or position, but pay special attention to new faces.
Let’s for a moment be blunt, honest, perhaps downright cynical about it. The people you already know have most likely already made their mark on the industry you know them from. Through their contributions, no matter how big or small they have found their area of expertise and level of recognition. The unknowns however have yet to carve out their own personal space in the universe you share. I will share an example from my own life. Two of the most influential people I know probably have no idea they will become just that, ten years from now. How I met them is unimportant, it was completely random. But what matters is that talent stands out regardless of context. If you take the time to listen you will notice when someone is doing everything right. You can’t always easily spot them in a crowd but given the time to shine the real gem stones tend to reveal themselves.
Raw unrestrained talent can be intimidating and is sometimes perceived as a threat or competition. But don’t be afraid to see people for what they are, and more importantly for what they can become. Realize that the young and currently insignificant someone you just met could very well turn out to be your new boss a few years from now, and that’s ok. It’s not something to feel threatened by; it’s an opportunity. You should strike while the iron is hot and build from a position where the two of you can still be equals. If you take the first step and reach out, your equality is more likely to stand the test of time. And when the day comes for balance to shift you still have a friend who respects you.
The precious few who will take us into the future are valuable. Not only because they will be our powerful allies in whatever undertakings we venture into, but more importantly because they often have good values, morals and discipline. They are valuable not only as business connections but as friends and it’s not uncommon that they eventually become both. You spend so much time at work and put so much effort into building your own personal brand that you have to find ways to enjoy it. Turning connections into friends is an excellent way of doing exactly that. Friends are also one of the best insurance policies you can have whenever you take on something new and unknown. Friends help each other out, even more so if you were the one to reach out, and showed them respect at a time when their title was perhaps a little less shiny than your own.
When it comes to professional networking I don’t think the window of opportunity is closing just yet. There is still plenty of time to build. But even if the window remains open there is a good chance that mosquito nets eventually will be installed. We need to accept that the art of networking is going to change. There are more and more people learning how to efficiently establish new connections, and there are more ways than ever to specialize in this field. As the number of friend requests multiply and the channels of communication become wider we will see an evolution in ways of automation. This is true in business intelligence and will become equally true within social and professional networking. With thousands of pings and requests each day you’re not going to be responding to everyone, but rather use some clever key-word schemes to filter out likely candidates for friendship. The era of “Social Network Optimization” may not yet be upon us, but be aware that it’s lurking around the corner.
The best prepared will be the ones with young vibrant networks already strong and in place. The road to success is paved with one’s own willingness to take in new talent without demanding immediate return on investment. And for those who still want access to the corridors of power where the big cats play, remember that everyone is looking for something in return for their affection. Bringing a rich plate of young brilliant minds ripe for the picking will give you a better chance of being welcomed inside. Because if there is one thing successful people recognize it’s talent, and bringing it to them is perhaps the greatest talent of all.