Goal Setting and Execution with ADHD Examine Function

Ever notice that you do not always think in terms of words in order to figure out how to do something?

Well, let me introduce you to a first cousin to the previous blog about ADD Attributes, “Seeing the Big Picture.” There we talked about how we tend to see holistically before we look at the details of whatever we are focusing upon—such as a goal, a lesson, a question, a creative act  . . . anything.

Many of us with a majority of ADD attributes simply do not start with details (unless we are required at school or at work to construct an outline or a plan before we begin to write.)  And truth be known, many of us snuck in the writing of our school papers before we dreamed of writing their outline.

This is one of the biggest problems I’ve run into trying to write proposals in my adult life. I want to say to the recipient of my proposal, “Just trust me. I have a wonderful idea.” But can I write a detailed outline to  describe it before I create the object under consideration. Absolutely not. So, I fake it at first and then come up with something so “wonderful” they can’t turn it down.

Come on. Confess! Have you done the same things? I’d like to know. Leave me a comment so I know I have company. We’ll both feel less guilty if you do. And, I promise you I won’t tell your boss or your teacher or anyone else.

Why, when you and I are generally law-abiding citizens do we hide this trait that breaks the generally accepted “rules”?  The answer is simple: Because our brainStyle is primarily Analogue rather Linear.

So, what’s this function thing all about? To achieve a sense of it, let’s look at the goal we are trying to achieve and ask ourselves some questions. You can probably most easily do this by brainstorming and daydreaming. Look at the mental picture in your mind that shows the goal you have in mind.

  • What is it?
  • What does your mental picture of your assignment look or feel like when it’s completed? (Check your vision to discover this.)
  • What is it’s purpose? Sense the feeling tone of what you want to achieve or are interested in investigating. 

For example, you may be planning a trip to Alaska from Texas or seeking a job. Maybe your assignment is to produce an annual report, construct a children’s playground or create a holiday dinner.

The first step of daydreaming and brainstorming will allow you to consider the function that will be served by your completed project. That could be what is needed to get a good grade on a paper or a pat on the back from the boss. In these situations you have to consider what the boss wants and forget about your goals. Remember, the function of the paper is to get a good grade.

In contrast, if you have the freedom to make your own choices without paying a high price, listen to your feelings and watch what you tend to think about. Time spent this way will lead you to understand the function of your work. It may be to get you to Alaska in the shortest time possible or the opposite, to have a relaxing trip that allows you to see awesome sites along the way.

Maybe you want to solve a technical or mechanical problem that will help a lot of people make progress in their work, or find a cure for an illness that affects or compromises many people. Maybe you want to build both a safe playground as well as one that adds beauty to the environment in which it will be built. Each of these examples serves a different function and that function will guide you through your creation to the goal.

When we take the time to use the innate ADD attributes that drive our creative processes, we become efficient as well as happy. We become a part of our work because we are accomplishing it in a way that fits us, and I promise you the outcome will be a pleasure.

To summarize, let yourself follow through in a sort of trial run from beginning to end of your project. Live it! Listen to the words that play through your head. Watch the stage play or video that runs in your mind. Notice what works and what has a performance glitch that makes for a rough ride to your goal. Continually consider the function of both the project as a whole and each stage of it as you move through its unfolding. That way, you’ll find that you’re being guided from strength, not weakness.

Let me hear from you with examples that have reflected your gift of proceeding to a goal by knowing it’s function. Also, share times when you wish you had known to consider the function of what you’d been trying to do that ended up not working for you. We’ll get a dialogue going and all of us can become the stronger and more able by sharing.

Live from your True Self,

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