Published on: December 23rd, 2019
Starting anything new temporarily floods your brain with dopamine, and keeps you motivated for a period of days, weeks or sometimes even months.
This is why a young child can obsess over a new fidget toy or video game, and suddenly abandon the toy or video game as soon as they become “bored” with it.
The initial dopamine rush always wears off, and you’re ultimately left to make a conscious decision as to whether you want to quit or continue.
This is shiny object syndrome in a nutshell.
Shiny object syndrome happens when a person trains their brain to seek out the initial dopamine rush associated with starting something new. Like a new hobby, business, TV series, book, website, video game or a million other possibilities.
Starting something new is extremely addictive because it’s a reliable way to experience a quick hit of dopamine every time.
I have a background in entrepreneurship.
The entrepreneurship world has many “opportunity seekers” or “business hoppers” who jump from one “opportunity” to the next.
These people are usually focused on making as much money as possible in the shortest amount of time.
Rarely do these new entrepreneurs realize that you have to expend a significant amount of energy before you’re able to earn a significant amount of money.
It takes time to expend large amounts of energy.
When you expend serious amounts of energy in a meaningful direction, even the direction of your life’s vision, the initial dopamine buzz that you initially feel will eventually wear off.
Almost everyone is suffering from shiny object syndrome.
People are addicted to the initial dopamine rush of starting something new, which feels like taking a quick hit of a drug.
But rarely do people realize they’re hooked on dopamine, because it’s their own brain releasing the chemical.
Today, the most important concept you can takeaway is this:
The initial dopamine rush of starting your journey towards your life’s vision will eventually wear off.
You will eventually get tired of looking at your Attention & Energy Grid.
You might even lose the excitement associated with your life’s vision.
This is why you have to develop true mental discipline, take control of your attention and energy, and make sure you’ve chosen a life vision that’s worth pursuing now and 10 years from now.
There’s going to come a time when the dopamine rush wears off. And you’ll have to take action in pursuit of your life’s vision anyway.
Assuming you’ve decided on a great vision for your life, it’s very possible to overcome shiny object syndrome, fuel your brain with healthy and sustainable sources of dopamine, and basically “force” your brain to get excited about achieving your life’s vision every single day.
If you’re interested in this topic, you might read a book called Psycho-Cybernetics (Amazon).
How To Stay Committed to Your Life’s Vision With ADHD
You’re now aware of yet another obstacle you’ll need to overcome on your life’s journey: shiny object syndrome, which is classic ADHD behavior.
But to be perfectly honest, this may be the single most challenging concept to implement on this entire website:
Learning how to stay committed to your life’s vision with ADHD.
This is where a lot of people fall off the roadmap.
But this doesn’t have to be you.
I’ve almost ditched my life’s vision and roadmap with ADHD Boss multiple times, and yet I’ve always found a way to fulfill my destiny.
Internalizing my life’s vision, roadmap, and guiding principles has kept me going strong over the years.
All of the most recent articles on ADHD Boss are designed to help you commit to your life’s vision, roadmap and guiding principles over the long run.
None of this stuff matters if you give up in 2 months.
You must “sell yourself” on your life’s vision every single day. Otherwise you risk losing sight of what’s most important in your life.
Here are some easy ways you can sell yourself on your life’s vision daily…
Learn To Stimulate Your ADHD Mind Using Novelty & Excitement
By default, the ADHD brain doesn’t produce enough dopamine on its own.
But there is a great workaround for this besides just using ADHD medication.
I’ve always done my best work while traveling the world, frequently changing my environment, meeting interesting new people, and experiencing new aspects of life.
Long ago, I decided that my entire life needs to revolve around novelty, excitement, growth and continuous improvement.
I always maintain the same life vision, roadmap and guiding principles.
But continuous change and improvement is the #1 constant in my life.
I’m constantly changing just about everything else in my life.
I’m always trying to improve my situation in life, and make things better for everyone.
Constantly changing my environment has led to the most amount of novelty, excitement and dopamine in my life, which is incredibly healthy for the ADHD mind.
This is what I recommend to you as well.
Even if you aren’t able to travel the world at this point in your life, you can still constantly change your environment, seek out new life experiences, and add novelty and excitement in your life in small but powerful ways.
- Acknowledge that the initial dopamine rush of starting your journey will eventually wear off, and you will be forced to persevere on your journey
- Understand that the “ultimate reward” in life is achieving your life’s vision exactly as you imagine it, and this will always be worth pursuing, no matter what
- Continue to write down your life’s vision at least twice per day
- Understand that making progress towards your life’s vision today will feel uncomfortable in the present, and make you happy in the future
- Learning how to commit to a single life vision no matter what happens is how you end the vicious cycle of starting and stopping projects with ADHD
I never understood why I start something, become succesful and then throw it all away just to go back to the start of something new. I’m 27, lived abroad twice and recently left a 6 figure job out of the blue to open a business without having an idea. I got that business up to about 50k a month and then left all my clients and completely changed the business. I seem to keep doing this and I always thought it was because I like to take the hard route and thought that was a good thing but after creating 15 different businesses this year it’s becoming clear that its just manic behaviour and embarrassing.
I’m going back to my old job and will work remote so I can travel the world while working at what I love. If I get the urge to open a business I will on the side but I like your framework of constantly changing your environment to fulfill the highs on new starts! Cheers