Thinking about the future

I realised something didn’t quite work with my frontal lobes when I read a book called “Stumbling on Happiness” by Daniel Gilbert.

A funny and interesting book about how we plan for our own happiness. As I read about our ability to imagine our future, using mankind’s relatively newly evolved frontal lobes, I kept thinking “but I can’t do that!”. I simply can’t imagine my future, it seems silly, unreal but after many serious attempts I know it is a function I lack.

I read the book some six months or so before I diagnosed my own ADHD and it was a significant contributing step in my figuring it all out.

But now I know it is not just me, many people with ADHD have a problem with this future thing!

I can’t imagine my future

Most people with ADHD have some difficulties imagining, planning or conceiving of their futures. I stress “their future” because paradoxically many people with ADHD are extremely advantaged in making connections and seeing patterns, so that they can predict “the future”: whether market trends, upcoming pop bands or to invent breakthrough solutions.

Nevertheless we struggle more with our own future goals and dreams, in part because of our low self-esteem, past failures and set-backs but usually because we do not imagine our tomorrows.

Talk about it

We do however like to talk, in fact the majority of people with ADHD are very verbal processors – we do our thinking “out-loud”. So find a buddy, a friend, relative, coach, partner or loved one that wants to help and “talk about tomorrow”. Talk about what you might achieve, where you might go, where you might live. Get your buddy to encourage you to talk big: optimistically, hopefully and positively about the future.

If we don’t dream, we don’t hope then we don’t change or make progress. As a coach, I always encourage my clients to “talk about tomorrow”.