Understanding things in life often comes down to context and language. It helps us get our minds around things and put them in perspective so we can set up our minds to filter those things in ways that bring new insights. Simplicity is ADHD friendly, and I’ve found articulate quotes to be especially helpful. I’m grateful for quotes from my peers and for the few I’ve been able to derive myself. I’m especially grateful for the ideas, comments, and suggestions from clients and followers on social media. This page is dedicated to my favorites. I hope you’ll enjoy these quips and gain insight from them. Scroll down to read all, or select from this list to jump to that section:
Favorite Posts from Social Media
I simply won’t get the same dopamine boost from reading a textbook as I do from playing online games or watching YouTube videos, so I’m going to pick the latter every time. I’m not as motivated by having a reward at the end as I am by having rewards built into every moment of an activity.
I’m a chronic researcher and over-preparer… it’s my main way of procrastinating while appearing productive.
When I was 13 years old, I came home from school to find my neighbor’s house on fire, which was a very traumatic experience for me. I remember a window breaking and hearing all the alarms going off inside the house as I felt a sudden rush of heat and smoke, which I now know was a backdraft or flashover (smoke explosion). What was my instinct? DANGER!!! RUN!!! Put it out!!! That’s exactly what I did. I ran to the neighbors’ houses and told them to hose down their properties before running home to safety. The other day, I heard a loud beeping sound that was the same pitch as a smoke/fire alarm, and even though the fire happened 14 years ago, I immediately went back into that same fight or flight response, but was able to breathe and think, “What is making that beeping sound? My fire alarm isn’t flashing, so, it’s not that. Oh! It’s a backup alarm on the garbage truck outside. No big deal. Whew!”
Sitting still, reading a screen all while not clicking off into the oblivion of the Web is hard enough. I need physical textbooks and printed-out notes and papers. I miss the old Internet that was slow.
One of the frustrating things for me with the widget company was if I forgot like one step or needed to remember something, if I was in the office I could just ask the person next to me… hey, blah blah blah… and then they would answer me and it could be over in two seconds. But when I have to write that question in a Skype and she’s busy at her house doing work, and when I was asking because she couldn’t see what I was looking at, it was really difficult. She got very frustrated with me and I’d be frustrated because I know it would be something that she could just look at and help me in two seconds. So that’s just kind of the verbal bouncing back-and-forth thing that you were talking about… BTW, she felt I asked her too many times so she complained and I got in trouble.
Dr. Russell Barkley Quotes
“A good chunk of what you and I do is helping to convince people to buy in, to own this.” ~ Motivation
“If you’re telling me you don’t want treatment for ADHD, you’d better know what you’re asking for.” ~Life Expectancy
“Society has eliminated the obstacles we had that helped our self-control, and it places people who have weak self-control in a very disadvantageous position, because they’re the ones who are going to suffer more than people with really good self-regulation, because the hurdles are gone that had helped us with self-control.” ~ Life Expectancy
Tony Robbins: “There are some people – it isn’t the story – they just don’t have the right strategy. They’re running east looking for a sunset.” This Tony Robbins quote was taken from a talk with Oprah, where he was saying that success is not all about positive thinking. Even if you have a positive story, things won’t necessarily work out if you don’t have the right strategy. For example, if you are running east looking for a sunset, you aren’t going to find it. Are you running east looking for the sunset?
A ship’s engine failed. NO ONE could fix it. Then they brought in a man with 40 years on the job. He inspected the engine carefully. Then reached into his bag and pulled out a small hammer. He gently tapped a spot. Immediately, the engine rocked into life. It was fixed! Several days later, the owners got his bill for $10,000. “What?!” the owners exclaimed. “He scarcely did anything.” They asked him for an itemized bill. His response: “Tapping with a hammer = $2. Knowing where to tap = $9,998.” Lesson: Don’t ever underestimate experience!
Clever ADHD Remarks
Sobering Comments from a Viewer on Attention Talk Video
On a neurochemical and neuroanatomical level, it’s important to remember that addiction and ADHD both involve the mesolimbic dopamine pathway. Higher frequency action potentials in this pathway lead to increased dopamine release in the ventral striatum. This pathway becomes active when we perceive potential future rewards, and also when we earn rewards. The dopamine released is necessary to motivate, focus, and sustain goal-directed behavior. In drug addicts, almost the only stimulus that can elicit endogenous dopamine release in this reward learning pathway is the target drug. This produces extremely high levels of motivation and single-minded focus that I have heard people describe, but I can hardly imagine feeling it. It motivates people to break laws, lie, steal, and spend all their money. It supplants all other life goals with one goal — drug acquisition and consumption — that is near the front of the mind from waking until sleep.
A drug addict somehow has the motivation to hold up a gas station, then travel an hour across town and wait another hour to buy drugs. My neighbor has the motivation to get dressed, clear the snow off his car, and drive 20 minutes just to buy a light bulb so that he doesn’t fall down the stairs at night. I’m hungry and the Persian restaurant is only two blocks away, but it’s pretty cold outside. I can eat crackers instead, and YouTube isn’t going to watch itself.
The major parallel between addiction and ADHD, in this sense, may be that the stimuli that cause the most dopamine release are NOT WELL CORRELATED with the goals and behaviors that constitute a successful home life and career. There is also an aspect of learning and tolerance. A year of pandemic isolation has dramatically shifted my tolerance for video entertainment. I can’t even sit through a half-hour TV show anymore.
Favorite ADHD Quotes
If it was easy, you would have done it by now. ~ Jeff Copper
Many ADDers are poor at self-observation, which they find surprising because they are poor at self-observation. ~ Rick Green
ADHD is like erectile dysfunction. If you’re not interested you can’t do your business. ~ Patient of Dr. Thomas E. Brown
As the need for independent work increases, ADHD productivity decreases. ~ Dr. Thomas E. Brown
It’s convenient for society if you do it their way. ~ Jeff Copper
When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.