Last updated on: December 22nd, 2019
Your future depends on the everyday decisions that you make in the moment.
The only problem is that when you have ADHD, planning for the future is really hard.
This article helps you connect the dots between the everyday decisions that you make in the moment, and the future life that your everyday decisions will lead you to.
If you have ADHD, you truly can’t afford to ignore what I’m about to share with you here…
A brief background history of ADHD
Very briefly, let’s talk about why having ADHD can be problematic when it comes to thinking long-term, and making long-term decisions.
As of today, the best data that we have on ADHD comes directly from the likes of Harvard and MIT.
These top medical institutions agree that ADHD likely stems from having an underdeveloped prefrontal cortex.
Your prefrontal cortex (PFC) exists in your brain’s frontal lobe.
Your PFC is responsible for moderating your decision-making ability, personality expression, social behavior, and other complex cognitive behaviors.
In essence, your PFC is what enables you to “think about thinking.”
This process of thinking about thinking is also commonly referred to as metacognition.
One late afternoon when I was still working as a waiter in a restaurant, the restaurant was almost completely empty.
Then a man and woman suddenly entered the restaurant. I was still a fairly new waiter at the time.
When the couple asked to be seated, I had trouble figuring out where to seat the couple in the restaurant even though the restaurant was completely empty and every table in the restaurant was available.
After seating the couple at a large table on one side of the restaurant, my boss asked me why I chose to sit the couple at that particular table in a strange area of the restaurant.
I didn’t know how to respond.
While I have many other examples of how ADHD has influenced my short-term decision-making ability, this is one of the clearest examples of a normal person (my boss) feeling completely confused by the ADHD decision-making process.
Years have passed since I was waiting tables at restaurants, and I’ve experienced an enormous positive change in my metacognition since that point in time.
After turning 25, I managed to build some awesome businesses, travel the world and enjoy some incredible success even with ADHD.
However, back when this particular restaurant situation happened, my boss essentially couldn’t comprehend how my “ADHD PFC” could come to such a strange conclusion.
These types of poor ADHD decisions are being made every single day in the millions, thanks to the ADHD brain’s PFC.
The ADHD PFC is a double-edged sword.
On one hand, your ADHD PFC is the reason why you’re attracted to spontaneous dopamine rushes and thrilling short-term decisions.
But the ADHD PFC is also the reason why people with ADHD are notorious for making risky short-term decisions in the moment that can lead to negative future consequences.
Unfortunately, prison populations are full of people with ADHD who made a series of bad short-term decisions.
In the case of a prisoner, their bad short-term decisions likely turned into bad habits, which turned into a negative lifestyle, and the vicious cycle continued on…
If you pay close attention to the above sentence, you’ll notice the flow of bad decisions that might lead someone with ADHD to arrive in a bad spot in life:
Bad short-term decisions > Bad habits > Bad lifestyle > Bad future outcomes.
I realize this is an extreme example, and I don’t expect anyone reading this article to end up in a truly “bad” position in life, as long as you actually implement the material in this article.
But this is a major aspect of ADHD that’s important to acknowledge, at the very least.
It is 100% possible for people with ADHD to make incredibly poor short-term decisions which lead to negative future outcomes.
On the flipside, it’s also possible for people with ADHD to make incredibly good short-term decisions which lead to excellent future outcomes.
Great short-term decisions > Great habits > Great lifestyle > Great future outcomes.
Many people say that life is essentially a series of decisions that you make.
This is especially the case with ADHD.
So much of living with ADHD comes down to developing heightened awareness of the tiny little decisions that you make on a day-to-day basis.
Then, you simply have to “connect the dots” between how your short-term decisions influence your future outcomes in life.
Just focus on “the 4 factors”
Factor 1. Your short-term decisions
Factor 2. Your habits
Factor 3. Your overall lifestyle
Factor 4. Your future outcomes
The goal is for you to become aware of how your everyday short-term decisions influence your future outcomes in life.
Stacking these 4 factors in your favor will allow you to live an incredible life with ADHD.
Of course, when you have ADHD, this is all much easier said than done...
But in life, there is so much at stake every day.
We ultimately have to become aware of the everyday decisions that we make as if our lives depend on it.
We can’t change what’s already happened in the past.
But we can change what happens today and tomorrow.
In fact, your entire future revolves around the tiniest of decisions that you make today and tomorrow.
Article Action Steps:
- Spend a few minutes “connecting the dots” between your everyday short-term decisions > habits > overall lifestyle > your future outcomes
- Answer the question: How do my everyday decisions influence my future outcomes in life?
- Know that having ADHD means your prefrontal cortex is inclined to nudge you into making poor short-term decisions by default
- Know that it’s possible to drastically improve your short-term decisions, habits, overall lifestyle and ultimately your future outcomes in life
- Understand that when you have ADHD, there is a stark contrast between the future outcomes you can create for your life (think ADHD prisoner vs. ADHD success story)