Life Coaching: I'm not anti-Ritalin, I'm pro ADD

ADD has been my ticket to academic excellence, effective communication, and the ability to get waited on first in a Chinese restaurant.

ben goldfarb 88 (photo credit: )
ben goldfarb 88
(photo credit: )
Imagine going through life with a mind like a 32-theater multiplex, but without walls separating the auditoriums. This can lead to concentration issues, general chaos, and bad haircuts. When nurtured properly, however, this mental configuration can be a gift. ------------------------------------------------- A few years ago, my wife was waiting patiently for me to get ready for our weekly night out while I was busy looking through my 15 white shirts. I was unable to choose that special garment that would bring out my very best. The babysitter had already knocked on the door, and for some strange reason, I felt I had time to go online despite the late hour. By Divine Providence, an online ADD test popped up on the screen. This was my chance to set the record straight about my condition, which I felt was perfectly normal. I took the test and I'm pleased to say I got a really high score. Basking in the knowledge that I didn't have ADD, I went to the other room to give my wife the good news. She was reviewing standard operating procedures with the babysitter, and after she told me I wasn't wearing a shirt, she went to the computer to check my test results. Unlike me, my wife reads directions. The instructions clearly stated that the higher one's score, the higher one's degree of ADD/ADHD. As my wife was breaking the news to me, my eyes focused on a shiny object and I went into another virtual movie theater. She's used to this. It's difficult to carry on a normal conversation with me. Once I came back to my wife's film, I saw her lips moving and heard words coming out of her mouth, but I couldn't piece together the content of her monologue. I think she was telling me that I did, in fact, have ADD. After we submitted the test results to the website, we received 200 emails from companies promoting Ritalin or its generic brands. This made me wonder if the pharmaceutical companies might have had some small role in sponsoring the test. It's a good thing they didn't diagnose me with ADD as a kid and put me on that stuff. Ritalin, a first cousin of cocaine, would have destroyed my creativity, my sense of curiosity, and my deep desire to be a fireman. No one's going to take my ADD away from me, unless of course they distract me for a few moments. Over the years, I've learned to build walls to separate the theatres, turning this challenge into a gift. Look at other people in history who have the posthumous diagnosis of ADD. Go ahead, look at them - Leonardo De Vinci, Albert Einstein, and John Belushi. Ritalin would have robbed us of their accomplishments. Could you imagine a world without "The Blues Brothers"? With some mentoring, mind-mapping, and push-ups, I have turned my ADD into effective multi-tasking. I can't speak for everyone, because it would take too long, but for me, Ritalin would have been a chemical straight jacket. It would have closed the window of opportunity to attain above-average success and to dress in weather-appropriate attire on a consistent basis. ADD has been my ticket to academic excellence, effective communication, and the ability to get waited on first in a Chinese restaurant. Want to go swimming? Multiple windows of thought can lead to multiple streams of income if utilized correctly. If you or your loved ones have ADD, consider it a blessing. Embrace it. Give it a light kiss on the cheek. Take it out to dinner. Just make sure you put on a shirt before you go. -- -- -- Ben Goldfarb was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, and is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. He moved to Israel in 1988. He divides his time between his yeshiva studies and his coaching practice. His life calling is to help others understand their personal mission and accomplish it with humor, creativity, and spirituality. He lives with his wife and children in Jerusalem. His book Double Feature will be published in the winter. For more information about his coaching practice, visit Paradigm Shift Communications , or send an email to [email protected] © Copyright 2007 by Ben Goldfarb