Living with the inattentive type of ADHD isn’t easy…
But, I’ve come up with 10 laws that serve as a general guide for living an excellent life, even with inattentive ADHD.
The laws listed in this article will show you how to:
- Turn distractions into opportunities
- Dominate your mental and physical health
- Understand why you’re still one of the luckiest people on Earth
However, before we dive into the 10 laws of living with inattentive ADHD – let’s go over some of the basics of living with the condition.
The symptoms of inattentive ADHD
It’s best to chat with a licensed medical professional to determine if you have the predominantly inattentive type of ADHD.
But, this list of symptoms of inattentive ADHD should give you a clearer understanding of the condition.
Here are the symptoms to keep in mind:
- Frequently daydreams, skips over small details, and makes plenty of mistakes
- Has problems with focus (i.e. doesn’t follow along very well in classroom lectures or conversations)
- Introverted and finds it difficult to stay “present” (mind frequently wanders elsewhere)
- Has a difficult time with completion and/or deadlines (finishing assignments, showing up to work on time)
- Doesn’t like tasks that require mental effort (often considered “lazy”)
- Forgetful, and frequently loses everyday items
- Gets distracted easily
- Has trouble keeping up with ordinary tasks and errands (like paying bills on time)
Many people assume that everyone experiences the symptoms of inattentive ADHD to some degree.
And, this is probably true, given that we live in a technological age that’s loaded with distractions at every turn.
But, according to the DSM-5 criteria, people with inattentive ADHD will typically display a majority of these symptoms for at least 6 months, to a point that’s disruptive and inappropriate.
The problems associated with inattentive ADHD
The problems associated with inattentive ADHD are troubling.
This is because we live in a hypercompetitive world that rewards focus, hard work, promptness, organization, and many other traits that people with inattentive ADHD have a terribly difficult time with.
Many children with inattentive ADHD also develop all kinds of traumas as a result of feeling inadequate throughout their most formative years.
These traumas frequently carry over into adulthood, and can be destructive if they aren’t properly managed, or channeled in a positive direction.
The 10 laws of living with inattentive ADHD
Now that you’re aware of the symptoms and problems associated with inattentive ADHD – you’re in a much better position to understand why you must live your life differently from most people.
Because, the rules that apply to most people don’t apply to people with ADHD.
So, here are the 10 laws of living with inattentive ADHD that you must always keep in mind…
Law #1. Follow your distractions
Conventional advice says that you should cut out distractions from your life.
But, people with ADHD have a terribly difficult time with regulating attention – and are naturally drawn to distractions.
So, why should you run away from the things that you’re naturally attracted to?
Instead, you should take note of your distractions, and see where they lead you.
> If you constantly find yourself distracted by social media, then you should consider launching a social media marketing agency
> If you often research homes in a certain city, then you should probably bite the bullet and move there
> If you daydream about how amazing your life could be – then you should take the relevant actions that move you closer towards your goals
Start viewing your distractions as opportunities rather than time sinks – and you’ll get to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Law #2. Stop caring about the rules that society sets for you
You should obviously obey the laws of your country.
But, it’s time to forget about the rules that society sets for you.
> Luxury status symbols don’t matter all that much
> Living in a gigantic McMansion rarely makes sense if you’re financially burdened by your mortgage
> Getting drunk every weekend probably isn’t improving your quality of life
On the other hand, if you genuinely enjoy luxury status symbols, living in a gigantic McMansion, and partying every weekend, then that’s totally fine too.
The point is that your life is too short to be lived for other people. So, you should start doing exactly what you want today.
The less energy you spend worrying about what other people think – the more energy you’ll have for living life on your terms.
What life decisions would you make today if you didn’t worry about what other people think of you?
You have to start making life decisions that benefit you. Not your friends. Not your family members.
Ironically, once you start making life decisions that benefit you, you’ll actually put yourself in a significantly better position to help your friends and family members further down the line.
Take care of yourself first in order to help yourself and the people closest to you.
Law #3. Simplify your life
Having inattentive ADHD probably means that you daydream a lot, think way too much, and generally get stuck in your own head.
Unfortunately, this is extremely mentally draining. There’s a good chance that you waste a lot of mental energy as a result of living with inattentive ADHD.
This is why I recommend simplifying your life to the extreme. The less you have to think, the better.
To simplify your life, you can take the following actions:
- Take enjoyment in life experiences and self-improvement (inexpensive) rather than excessive material possessions (expensive)
- Set up auto payments for all of your credit card statements and financial accounts
- Avoid driving as much as possible (both mentally draining and dangerous)
- Shop online
- Outsource tasks that you don’t like doing (i.e. hire someone to clean your house)
- Prepare 10+ meals for the week in advance (meal prep)
Simplifying your life is so important for people with inattentive ADHD, because you need to use your mental resources wisely.
Luckily, just about anyone can simplify their life.
It’s just a matter of making some small adjustments that help you live a way less stressful, and more enjoyable lifestyle.
Law #4. Accept that most people aren’t going to understand your condition
I don’t usually talk about ADHD with friends, co-workers or strangers.
This is because I’ve publicly spoken about ADHD before, only to receive totally negative feedback.
So, what’s the benefit of doing that?
The reality is that most people aren’t going to understand your inattentive ADHD. Most people simply have a difficult time understanding how the ADHD brain works. They’ll assume that you’re lazy or unmotivated, while totally ignoring scientific research that shows people with ADHD have different brain structures.
Either way, none of this should matter much to you. You can’t control what other people think.
Therefore, it’s rarely worth trying to change people’s opinions of ADHD. People either get it, or they don’t. And, it’s actually much easier for you to accept that most people aren’t going to understand your condition.
But don’t worry.
Because even though most people won’t understand the significant role that ADHD plays in your life…you’re still going to be OK.
There are still tens of millions of people around the world who understand the unique challenges of living with inattentive ADHD.
We’re here for you.
Law #5. Create the lifestyle that works best for you
People with the inattentive type of ADHD need to follow their strengths in order to live in alignment with their true purpose.
Read that sentence over and over again.
You have to follow your strengths to live the lifestyle that works best for you.
In order to follow your strengths, you might have to…
- Find a job that you’re great at
- Start your own side business
- Move to a city that vibes with your personality
- Start to invest in yourself
I can’t tell you how to live your life…
But, based on my first-hand experience with inattentive ADHD, I know that I have to follow my strengths in order to wake up feeling excited every morning.
And, I want you to wake up feeling excited every morning too.
So make the decision to follow your strengths. And make your life revolve around your strengths. This is one of the most important mindset shifts that’s required in order to create an amazing lifestyle with ADHD.
Law #6. Get creative with your career path
People with inattentive ADHD often need to scrape and claw their way into a career that works well for them.
Yes, I realize that this is extremely challenging to do.
But, this is exactly why you have to fight to find a career (or build a business) that aligns with your strengths.
You have to be willing to:
> Get extremely creative
> Find a line of work that allows you to channel your strengths
> Add value to the universe in some small way every day
If you’re willing to do these three things, then you’ll inevitably find a career path that fulfills you.
Law #7. Avoid the formal education system if possible (seek better alternatives)
More people are starting to realize that the current education system is quite a mess.
- Public schools are a poor fit for people with ADHD (sit down all day + forced to memorize useless information)
- American colleges are so expensive that students are graduating with an average of $37,172 in student loan debt
- ADHD is still stigmatized in many public schools
Public school is also where children with inattentive ADHD are often referred to as bad students, slow learners, and a number of other negative labels.
Anyway, the main takeaway is this:
You need an education solution that treats you and your child extremely well.
This is why I support personalized tutoring, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), homeschooling, and not going into student loan debt.
Of course, enrolling your child in public school is sometimes the only feasible option. And, college degrees are often necessary for some amazing career paths (doctor, investment banker, lawyer, neuroscientist).
But, it’s also important to keep in mind that our current education system isn’t doing children with ADHD many favors either. It should be obvious that the current education system isn’t working – and is due for a major correction very soon.
It’s ultimately going to be up to you to decide how you want to navigate the current education system (not an easy task).
But if I were you, I wouldn’t take out a single student loan. Trust me on this.
Law #8. Dominate your health
Your health should always be the biggest priority in your life.
Because, without your health, you can’t really do much with your life.
In the above video, Dr. Terry Wahls talks about how she conquered multiple sclerosis (MS) and escaped being bound to a wheelchair as a result of some changes that she made to her diet.
The above video provides some of the best insights into the power of raw foods and vegetables that you’ll ever see.
Dr. Wahls ultimately recommends eating a Paleo diet, because it’s the diet that most closely represents what human beings ate for thousands of years.
While I personally eat a Mediterranean style ADHD diet, I also acknowledge that eating Paleo (meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, and nuts) is equally amazing for one’s health.
Either way, eating a Mediterranean or Paleo diet works great for most people with inattentive ADHD.
Law #9. Consider yourself lucky
Inattentive ADHD is a serious issue that can cause plenty of pain in one’s life.
But, even if ADHD is one of your most significant issues in life, then you’re still incredibly lucky.
The odds of you being born as a human being, in the Western world, in the past century, are incredibly slim.
Think about how much you lucked out just by being born in a civilized country in the modern age.
The odds are one in billions.
If you weren’t so lucky, you easily could have been born as a peasant in some feudalistic society in the 13th century.
But instead, you literally won Mother Nature’s lottery system, because you live like a king or queen compared to people who lived on Earth even just a few hundred years ago.
Even with inattentive ADHD, you have practically unlimited options in today’s society…
> You have access to first-class foods, medications, doctors, and medical facilities
> All economic, environmental and societal trends point in a positive direction (don’t believe the negative media hype)
> You can do practically anything that you want (no feudalism to hold you back)
ADHD is obviously a challenging condition to manage. But, you’re still so much luckier than you’ve been led to believe.
You have some amazing freedoms and opportunities available to you. Make sure to take advantage of them.
Law #10. Only compare yourself to yourself
When you have inattentive ADHD, it’s really easy to log on to Facebook, look at how all of your friend’s lives are progressing, and feel like you’re being left behind.
But, the problem with comparing yourself to others is that you aren’t other people.
You have your own life to live, with an entirely different mission, and a unique set of circumstances to work with.
Therefore, you should only compare yourself to yourself.
For example, here’s a quick exercise that you can do right now:
- Think about your life exactly one year ago
- Think about your life today
Is your life better today than it was one year ago?
If so, then you’re making progress. And, progress is happiness.
If you didn’t make much progress between last year and now, that’s fine too. Everyone has bad years.
The most important thing is that you’re comparing yourself using the only benchmark that matters – your own life.
These 10 laws represent the core realities that I live by.
But, as someone with hardcore inattentive ADHD, I set very few limitations for my life.
I’m far from perfect – and I’m constantly on the hunt for new ways to thrive with inattentive ADHD.
So, I have to ask: Are there any other “laws” or “life lessons” that you swear by while dealing with inattentive ADHD?
Make sure to leave your comment in the comments section below.