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What to Do if You’re Not a Naturally Tenacious Person

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Throughout my life, when faced with adversity, I’ve often wanted to magically become either a cat or an Olympic athlete.

Cats are enviable because they’re immune to worry and striving, and feel no pressure to accomplish long-term projects. They are completely satisfied to bask in a square of sunlight on the carpet, or squat on a dresser like a Zen chicken, blinking slowly and indifferently. It would be nice to have such a close alignment between one’s natural desires and one’s capabilities.

I’ve envied athletes for similar reasons, although they approach life very differently than cats do. Top athletes have clear goals and a kind of inner drive that seems able to move them through vast amounts of pain and difficulty. On some level they must want to get up at 5:00am to throw medicine balls against a wall. They want to run or ski or pommel-horse until their bodies – not their minds – threaten to quit on them, if that’s the cost of a shot at a gold medal.

I’ve never wanted a gold medal, but I’ve always wanted whatever quality it is that makes people want gold medals – or anything — that badly.

Wanting to Want

Whenever interviewers ask an athlete how they endure training in the searing heat, or how they bounced back from a torn ligament last year, they always say, “You just have to want it bad enough.”

The follow-up question they never ask is, “How do you get yourself to want it bad enough?” I assume the athlete would shrug and say they don’t know, they just do. Whether a goal attracts you strongly enough to incentivize pushing through every obstacle seems more like a function of luck – some natural attunement to the goal, or some inherited trait – something you happen to be rather than something you choose.

Naturally attuned to his goals

I believe I was born with an unusually strong desire to eat sugary treats, for example. This desire has driven me to cross the city solely to obtain a certain Ben & Jerry’s flavor from a certain grocery store before it closes, and to eat it at 9:50pm even though I know it will give me horrible dreams about losing my teeth or my passport. I don’t have to drum up the desire to seek this ice cream, or to endure any costs and consequences it entails. The drive is intrinsic.

Meanwhile, psychologists tell me that my brain’s natural reward system is underactive, meaning that the prospect of conquering challenges and solving problems does not generate the same amount of motivating reward-juice it does for the average person. (It is also not uncommon with ADHD, they tell me, to react to that deficiency with dopaminergic vices like eating entire pints of ice cream.)

That’s not the end of the world because I do have other talents and advantages. For one thing, I’m pretty good at appreciating life’s ordinary moments (although I have had to work at that). I wouldn’t trade places with the billionaire who can’t set aside his desire to earn more money long enough to enjoy a week-long vacation with his family. But I sure do wish I was dealt a bit more of that trait we sometimes call drive or tenacity – the inclination to push through discomfort and adversity to the rewards beyond.

Appear to want something

The gold medalists and billionaires among you may not understand this particular conundrum. I’m sure some of you can relate, though. What do you do if you’re not a naturally tenacious person? How do you become tenacious?

“You just have to want it enough” is a common refrain but isn’t useful advice, and in fact isn’t advice at all, unless you’re able to control how much you want things. Essentially it’s another way of saying, “You have to be someone else, sorry.” If sufficient desire is there, it’s there, and if it’s not, it’s not. The discus thrower who wants nothing more than the time to throw discuses all night is in some sense lucky (or unlucky) to want that.

The Two Rewards

Recently I had an insight that might help you if you’ve always felt a similar deficit in the drive or desire to overcome challenges.

I was journaling about the conundrum of self-motivation when I found myself having typed the line, “One thing I do desire strongly is the feeling of relief I get after giving up on a tough problem.” I have never exactly realized this, but I love giving up. I love giving up like I love ice cream. As long as I feel like I can somehow get away with it, I can’t wait for that moment of releasing all effort and expectation, of unshouldering the heavy bag of grain onto the floor, of clapping the laptop closed and saying fuck it.

Looking back, I’ve been seeking this specific form of surrender-induced relief as long as I can remember, perhaps similarly to how Serena Williams seeks the feeling of winning tournaments and hoisting trophies.

Giving up, at least for the day, has always felt like salvation, a moment of release from the awfulness of having to do things you don’t know how you’re going to do. In my case this is undoubtedly a developmental side-effect of coping with undiagnosed ADHD for thirty-some years. Many of my memories of being a student or an employee were of being charged with an ordinary task that confounded me completely, and which most people around me could just do with no visible agony or trepidation. Escaping or delaying the task (while minimizing the fallout) often seemed like best achievable outcome, and I got very good at that.

An old friend

In other words, instead of learning to seek, as many people do, the glorious feeling of solving and surmounting problems, I learned to seek a related but different glorious feeling: the feeling of escaping having to do it.

Escaping vs Surmounting

These two rewarding feelings — that of escaping the burden, and that of overcoming it — are cousins, each a result of a certain shift in the effort applied to a stubborn task.

This “unshouldering the burden” feeling, the giving up feeling, comes from dropping the effort applied to the problem. You stop and surrender, releasing all mental and muscular tension, accepting that you are not solving this thing, not today anyway.

The “overcoming/surmounting” feeling comes from seeing the task beginning to break down as a result of effort – the exhilarating sensation of the knot finally loosening or the wall beginning to topple. It often comes after pushing harder than usual, trying several different angles, or drawing creatively on your resources, rejecting all scenarios in which you don’t solve the issue.

Unshouldering the burden

Both of these competing glorious feelings – escaping and surmounting — are known to all of us. Some of us, for whatever reason – learning disabilities, bad luck, bad mentors — have developed a much stronger taste for the former. Our routines, even our personalities, have become attuned to the escape feeling. Our hearts have ached for it and our expectations have been built around it.

For the chronic escaper, realizing the relationship between these opposing feelings creates an opportunity for recovery. The new game, as I understand it, is to stay as aware as possible of your fondness for the bliss of surrender, letting it remind you of the other, less familiar glorious feeling that is also available. You can begin to consciously develop a taste for surmounting, while consciously reducing how often you indulge in the escaping feeling.

What we need to remember is that both of these rewarding feelings are available at the exact same moments. Any instance in which you’re tempted by the dropping-the-sack feeling, you could instead go for the toppling-the-wall feeling. They both feel good, but one makes the future better and one makes it worse.

Always an option

This new taste for surmounting can be developed in small bits; you don’t have to throw yourself into a PhD program or sign up for an ultramarathon. For example, when I look at the clock and see there’s only eight minutes left until quitting time, I’m tempted to drop the grain-sack right there and begin thumbing through my phone, because it’s only eight minutes so who cares. But even this innocent move reinforces the taste for escape, for the backing off of effort. A small taste of surmounting is available in its place – I can instead dial up the effort for that last eight minutes, and knock off some small task I’d otherwise have to do tomorrow.

(This, in hindsight, is why a certain method of working has been so powerful for me.)

More importantly, these small reversals make me a little less inclined to unshoulder the grain-sack at the first opportunity. The taste of surmounting likewise becomes a little more appealing. The reward centers get a little more used to that taste, and more likely to drive me towards it in the future.

I believe this is the way for the self-motivation hard-cases among us: to gently but steadily tip the balance towards a taste for surmounting, by ramping up effort in precisely the places where we feel a craving to dial it back.

This process is what I now think of as tenacity. Even the word itself tastes good.


Photos by Graham Covington, Michael Sum, Jon Chng, Andrew Teoh, Simon Maage, Eduardo Flores, Leonardo Sanches, and Masaki Komori

Shar July 26, 2022 at 12:25 am

i think that adhd people also have a tendency to go too far in the “surmount everything” angle after months of surrendering. the whole “you must relax” advice never really works out because all we do is oscillate between extremes but also burnout is imminent if you keep trying to make up for your salvation. How do you tell if you’re approaching burnout?

Jessie July 26, 2022 at 2:56 am

Really appreciate the post – the subject has long been in my head.
Wondering is there any way to truly realize that “I’ve been tenacious enough and it’s time to escape, because it’s really not the right fit?”
Somehow for me, who is without strong desires in mind, the question comes to me again and again. And whenever I quit, I do feel the relief as you depicted. Most of a time it feels right and I did lots of analysis before quitting. However I just can’t help but feel a bit guilty about escaping.

Nina July 26, 2022 at 9:24 am

Yeah, I think you need both tenacity and strategic quitting. Refusing to give up on anything is unsustainable.

Reminds me of Jessica Abel’s concept of “idea debt”. Idea debt = the mental stockpile of projects you keep telling yourself you’re going to do “someday”. They weigh you down and distract you and make you feel guilty… even though, often, you came up with them years ago and they have nothing to do with who you are now. At a certain point you need to decide which ideas you *actually* want to pursue, and forgive the debt, i.e. consciously accept that you aren’t going to do those things. And yes, it feels good!

David Cain July 26, 2022 at 9:24 am

If you did lots of honest analysis before quitting, and it feels right in hindsight, it probably was.

0ax July 26, 2022 at 6:34 am

For me, burnout is close when I am not doing any mindfulness- journaling/cycling/meditating…whatever it is that allows me to relax and take my mind off the current projects. When I am nearing burnout, I force myself to journal – at least write the date- the first step. Then the other steps get easier, and I can take a break and relax before attacking the project again.
At least, its like that in theory :-/

David Cain July 26, 2022 at 9:25 am

One problem with the concept of burnout is that people mean different things by it. It can refer to physical exhaustion, or jadedness, or the consequences of neglecting certain important parts of life. I have moved away from the term because I never know what exactly people mean by it other than “I need to change something.”

David Cain July 26, 2022 at 9:21 am

I’m sure that’s true sometimes. For me, the resistance to doing is so strong for me that I don’t think I’ve ever fallen on the too-much-surmounting side of the problem.

We do need to have the ability to both back off and ramp up, though, for sure.

Shar July 28, 2022 at 8:59 am

honestly, i think the too-much-surmounting is less so “surmounting” and more “backed-into-a-corner-and-can’t-give-up.” if i think about it more, maybe going the other direction is actually me also giving up on a healthy work-life balance lol

Shar July 28, 2022 at 9:03 am

oops, hit reply too soon. i think there’s an opportunity for a classic raptitude experiment here in terms of tracking every time/when/why i feel like giving up on something/if i gave up or surmounted. a lil tenacity journal

Stephen McAteer July 26, 2022 at 2:50 am

“…How do you become tenacious…” — I think you’re right to say you’re either born with it or not. Like most traits.

David Cain July 26, 2022 at 9:23 am

I’m not so sure. The nature/nurture line is very hard to distinguish. There are certainly genetic traits that predispose us for certain behaviors, but environmental conditioning is also an enormous factor in behavior.

Calen July 26, 2022 at 3:32 am


I love that you deal with so many of the same questions that I do, in the exact same way.

I faced this question a lot when I was a smoker. I told friends that it’s not difficult to quit smoking when you want to. The problem is that it’s difficult to want to quit.

Even after the habit becomes truly disgusting, it’s difficult to muster up the raw *want* to finally stop. I’ve never managed to build up that want. But I did manage to quit smoking.

My insight – the one that works for me – is that the question “How do I become the person who wants something so badly that they pursue it tenaciously” is a misunderstanding of the problem. In my mind, I was always trying to work up a desire strong enough at the start of a journey (like quitting smoking) that I could guarantee myself I would see the journey through to completion.

Never worked. It might for some people. It just didn’t for me.

What did work for me is learning that while big actions need to be coupled to desire, small ones don’t. By simply showing up in small ways every day I can build something far more powerful than tenacity – I can build momentum. From the outside the two look the same to others.

I used to write scraps of thoughts in one of the 150+ empty notebooks I owned and dreamed about actually being a writer who could produce writing without the terror of a deadline hanging over my head. Now I write hundreds of thousands of words per year, on everything from academic journal articles to blog posts, usually before deadlines (though those still motivate me) and with no need for prompting or reminder.

I have people tell me they admire my drive. But the whole thing started back in 2019 with the decision to write a sentence every day and then write more if I wanted.

Anyhow I’ve waxed poetic about mini-habits in your comments before so I won’t drag on any further. I do think that much of what appears to be tenacity is actually a result of joy, usually brought about by long familiarity and ease.

And a lot of what appears to be lack of desire is actually a sort of spiritual gridlock–our desire to do clashing with a fear of what we imagine “doing” entails. So, for me, the solution was to imagine a life where a choice didn’t require force at the beginning, but instead gained it over time.

David Cain July 26, 2022 at 9:37 am

This is a great comment Calen and I think you’re totally right.

Small actions don’t require the kind of compass-magnet desire that an Olympic athlete might follow to a gold medal. It doesn’t take all that much more energy to work diligently through that last eight minutes, or write one sentence each morning, and both have nearly immediate rewards.

I believe momentum can shift through those tiny habit changes. In fact, I think desire actually operates on more of a moment-to-moment basis than a “beacon in the distance” sort of way, we just find that makes a better story. The athlete that shows up at practice each morning is definitely acting on short term desires too, they just happen to be aligned with long-term outcomes.

0ax July 26, 2022 at 6:36 am

For me, burnout is close when I am not doing any mindfulness- journaling/cycling/meditating…whatever it is that allows me to relax and take my mind off the current projects. When I am nearing burnout, I force myself to journal – at least write the date- the first step. Then the other steps get easier, and I can take a break and relax before attacking the project again.
At least, its like that in theory :-/

Rocky July 26, 2022 at 7:52 am

David & Calen…..
I think there’s a lot to be said for deciding to just show up for work….
Every Goddamned Day!!
Great post David….
Great comment Calen….

David Cain July 26, 2022 at 9:40 am

For sure. Showing up works on so many levels. It’s not just a gesture of faith that you actually can get something done, it creates the immediate practical advantage of making work much easier to do. If I have to write an article, it’s agonizing to try to work it out in my head away from my keyboard. But if I’m right there, I get easily get some words down, which lead to more words, etc. Showing up, even without a strong long-term desire behind it, makes the work as doable as its ever going to be, and gets you past 90% of the resistance.

Calen July 27, 2022 at 4:14 am

To add a bit to what David said, there is another effect that I personally have found profound.

The first is actually tied to an article that David wrote a long time ago, where he pointed out that often times in order to change something all you need to do is commit to regularly observing it. Once you force yourself to see it, and don’t look away, you find yourself naturally thinking about the small things you can do to improve it. Because once it’s in the realm of your conscious thought it becomes subject to your desires.

In large part, I think that’s what the “momentum” I described is. Writing a sentence a day means that writing is on my mind every day. Given that it’s a constant feature of my life, it seems obvious that I’d shape it to my liking – and I do. I like it when I write more. Since I’m going to write every day I do it in a way that I don’t find frustrating. That translates to about 500-1000 words a day (many of which are junk. But at the rate I write I can now afford to write a lot of junk on the way to the good stuff). It becomes less on days I’m overwhelmed, and more on days that I’m feeling like challenging myself. But it’s always there. That’s why the daily commitment works.

About eight years ago I tried starting up a similar habit and I had a lot of enthusiasm at the start. I kept it going for about two months before I started to falter and fail. When I “failed” (i.e. missed a day) I started a downward spiral that led to me giving it up, since I couldn’t get back to the original high level of performance I was aiming for.

The thing is… for the next month or two I still thought constantly about that habit. And I still had the urge to do it. I just dismissed it out of my mind because I’d already decided I’d failed. And eventually I forgot and years passed before I came back to it.

I concluded later on that the habit was actually a success. My error was that I set my threshold for “good progress” to something way too high. Then when I fell below that impossible standard I decided I was a failure, and I gave up. But all the evidence points to the fact that my two months of effort actually did create a good habit; the urge to go back to it, repeatedly, was there for months after I stopped.

So it seems to me that the true killer of a habit isn’t the day you “fail.” It’s the day that comes a month or two after you’ve stopped, when you finally stop thinking about it. That’s the moment where you start losing years to your setbacks instead of weeks. Setting a low “entry barrier” to a habit like writing, or working out, or getting my meals in order, is my way of circumventing that vicious cycle. Every day I come back to do the small token effort is a day where I’m presented with the chance to do the large, useful effort. Since I never forget, I never lose years anymore. Instead, at most, I lose a few weeks if I’m in the middle of a tough time.

Jamey July 26, 2022 at 8:57 am

This post speaks directly to the deepest part of who I am and who I’ve always been. My whole life has been an unceasing litany of authority figures telling me about my potential and about how I just need to get up, get some backbone, stop being lazy, apply myself, figure out what I want.

But I knew what I wanted: I wanted not to have to stress out all the things I knew I couldn’t do.

“You have to want it bad enough” stopped being a motivator and started being a warning sign. “I have to want it? Well, that makes that choice easy, then, because I don’t.” And so my horizons got smaller and smaller and my ambitions withered on the vine because I didn’t have inside me whatever it was people said I needed. And so therefore that must mean those things weren’t for me.

I was diagnosed with ADHD just over a year ago at 45 years old (it was your post on the subject, David, that finally made me realize maybe my ‘backbone’ wasn’t source of 35 years of failure and misery) and, while the medication helps a little, the therapy has helped a lot.

So much of who we are emerges from the emotions that our childhoods attached to things without our knowledge or consent. Like you say, you learn that it’s pleasurable to let go. To let go of the feeling of failure. To let go of the feeling of imprisonment. To let go of the inevitable disappointments from the people you love. When my mother asks me to do the dishes later, it seems simple to her. But I know that I won’t remember no matter how hard I try. Just being asked is a recipe for unhappiness. So if later she says later says don’t worry about it? Tension + release = bliss.

I used to joke (it wasn’t a joke, but it always got a laugh) that my problem was that I had no follow-through. Which is the worse problem to have because how do you fix that? Make a plan? And then what?

At some point you decide you just CAN’T. And that’s just who you are. And if you just CAN’T, then the only act of human agency you have left is WON’T. And, over time, given a complex enough emotional stew, those things become really hard to separate. How much of my easy-going nature and lack of ambition is me? And how much is a tiny core of neurological deficiency covered over and over with layers and layers of trauma response? And if it’s the latter, how do I stop living the poisoned pantomimes of my own childhood? How do I move forward?

Anyway, thank you for this. It’s given me a lot to think about.

David Cain July 26, 2022 at 9:53 am

I can relate to all of this. The line between unable and unwilling is very difficult to see, and may not exist at all. Learning about ADHD makes it more obvious that that distinction is fuzzy at best.

So many of our common-sense messages place enormous emphasis on the idea that each person is their own prime mover. You can somehow make yourself do the things you want yourself to do. When you really think about it, that doesn’t make a lot of sense. Take any person, and remove some amount of dopamine from their system, and they lose some amount of agency and ability. If there are involuntary mechanical factors behind what we’re able to get ourselves to do, then how are we responsible for what we can and can’t do?

Yet motivational messages take for granted that action somehow originates in some inner moral center that we ultimately control.

The way I see it at this point is that we are all bounded in many hidden ways, but quite often we can find a different way to do things that gets us somewhere. We can tack back and forth across the wind in places where we can’t push right through it. We can also focus on getting the best possible inputs to health — prioritizing quality food, sleep, etc — to soften some of the limitations. I think that’s all anybody can do really. ADHD or not, people have limitations, but ADHD forces you to question many of our cultural beliefs around how much direct control we really have.

Jamey July 26, 2022 at 10:02 am

Tacking across the wind is a great way to phrase it.

My therapist calls it ‘radical self acceptance.’ Your bodybrainmind is a system and it moves toward what it sees as reinforcement regardless of how how feel about it. So the better you can work with it, figure out what it wants and how you can piggyback what you want on that, rather than just waking up every morning saying “Today’s gonna be different!” and then feeling like you’re a bad person when it isn’t.

David Cain July 26, 2022 at 10:07 am

I like that way of thinking about it — the system has its desires, and they don’t necessarily correspond to the desires of the “self,” but we can harness the system’s drives to carry us some of the way to the self’s desires.

TAMI ELLIS July 28, 2022 at 4:14 pm

All of this–the original post and these superbly apposite comments–speaks to me so deeply. What David just said about being bounded in many hidden ways reminds me about something in Carol Dweck’s Mindset: it’s not valid to say “you can do anything you want to do” BUT we won’t know what we CAN do until we try. Just that last eight minutes. Thanks to all of you.

Ecoteri July 26, 2022 at 4:33 pm

Woah, loved the article, loving the comments, too.
My big ah-ha recently is that I have a helluva hard time sticking with a plan or project or whatever WHEN I TRY IT ALONE.
As @Calen referenced above re quitting smoking — needing to really WANT to quit — I had the same challenge with quitting drinking. I do so much better when I make commitments within a community that I respect, even if that community is only one or three people. So, quitting and staying quitted with the drinking has entailed the boring and totally do-able “one day at a time”. Which is done best while staying in the middle of the “we” part of my sobriety program. I couldn’t do it alone, I proved it over and over again, to my great anguish and self flagellation. I do really great when I have a bunch of buddies who cheer me on, and who I GET TO CHEER ON, too!
Currently, I am writing my will, Power or Attorney, Rep 9 (living will) and doing more personal advanced care planning. This has has moved along –incrementally, one day or week at a time — because I am one of three people who committed to a coffee group after we attended a course. The fact that I have become the de-facto leader of the group doesn’t change the reality that I would not be doing this hard and boring and scary work if I weren’t accountable to people I like and respect. I get to cheer on others and be cheered on myself
The piece I am coming to accept is that my need to be encouraged is so deeply ingrained, I might as well engineer my life so that I am encouraged to do the things I think I want to do, and am having trouble doing by myself.

David Cain July 27, 2022 at 10:28 am

Involving other people in your intentions really is powerful. When I need to get something done by a certain day, I give my best friend a wad of several hundred dollars, and I tell her she can keep it if I don’t get the thing done by my self-imposed deadline. Suddenly I’m able to do it :)

And I suspect this kind of interdependent accountability has always been a part of human society. We are not built to do everything on our own.

Robert July 26, 2022 at 9:36 pm

My dad always used to say, and sometimes still does, “If you want something badly enough, you’ll get it.” I would respond with “Yeah, but why do some people seem to get what they want without having to put in as much effort as I do?”
I’m pretty certain he was only referring to the work involved in getting from “wanting it” to “having it”. I now suspect that I, naturally, was also including the extra work required to get from “wanting it” to “wanting it badly enough”.
Perhaps that is the more difficult part for those of us with ADHD.

David Cain July 27, 2022 at 10:43 am

I always found that phrase frustrating, because it attributed success to desire, and ignored ability and happenstance as factors.

I think we can still cultivate desire, but rather than pining for a kind of “beacon in the distance” long-term desire, we can focus on habits that harness our short-term desires, to steer us to day-to-day choices with long-term benefits. For example, if you can find something you like about going to the gym every day (beating yesterday’s numbers, meeting a friend there, etc.) you don’t have to be driven by a long-term goal to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Lynne July 27, 2022 at 4:40 pm

Or…if solving unsurmountable problems and escaping both give you pleasure- why not let go more often? Or at least really question what “needs” to be done…a lot might be social constructs that are unnecessary- from making X amount of money to mowing the lawn.
Personally, my life has gotten exponentially better since I’ve decided that if a project doesn’t make me say, “Hell yeah!”; I’m not likely to do it.

David Cain July 27, 2022 at 5:09 pm

We definitely have to exercise some judgment in what’s worth pursuing, sure. One interesting discovery from having *not* done so many “must be done” tasks is that very little truly must be done. But there is a lot that is worth doing.

Steven SChrembeck July 27, 2022 at 6:26 pm

I’m putting this in the toolbox! And I’ll trade you one of mine.

Rule: When your motivation rope pulls you back, use that moment as your trigger to reframe the task. Find a way to make it interesting. Use the frame that makes you want to do it.

(Use the feeling of resistance as a trigger to emotionally connect with why this task matters. Find a way to care, rather than merely trying to apply more effort. It’s like walking around a wall instead of trying to punch through it)

Keep them coming. You’ve made a huge different in my life with articles like these

Dennis R July 27, 2022 at 10:10 pm

As Nike famously put it “Just Do It”. Don’t think – just do. That’s the secret to high-level achievement. If you give yourself enough time to consider not doing whatever it is, you probably wont. So, just do it, before you even think about whether you want to or not.

JB July 29, 2022 at 5:35 pm

This post and particularly Jamey’s comments speak so deeply to me. I know this craving for the feeling of surrender and relief so well… and I love it even though it damages my life in so many ways.
I’m going to aim to find that awareness of those tiny moments of surrender and see if I can resist them this week.
Thanks, David.

صب واي سيرفرس October 3, 2022 at 5:41 pm

very nice.

العاب كلاش October 3, 2022 at 5:41 pm

such a great post.

Susie B August 2, 2022 at 8:50 am

One thing that has helped me was an earlier post you wrote, David, on separating the decision-making from the doing. I found an exercise class I like, and I go three times a week—I just get up and put my exercise clothes on and know that I am going, because that decision was already made. It’s not a question of “Well, am I going to go to exercise today?? Or not??”. It’s a done deal. And if I miss one, no biggie, because the next day rolls around and I just go. Unfortunately, I don’t always have this follow-through in other areas, though! But in this instance it has worked well.
I find your posts so thought-provoking and helpful! Thanks.

Chloe August 11, 2022 at 3:04 am

Thanks for this post. It reflects exactly how I feel and how I’ve been “rewarding” myself. Gave me a real reflecting point to think about.

Lindsey September 14, 2022 at 7:13 am

I laughed in recognition with this one. The magical power of giving up. The devil inside likes the idea of ‘getting away with it. I have later-diagnosed ADHD, too, and used to think that this tendency to give up was some hard-wired, self-abdicating curse – an urge to torpedo myself. I would liken it to getting into a car accident and literally taking my hands off the wheel, hoping that some authority or angel would take over as I careered towards oncoming traffic (all in my mind, of course).
I think this kind of magical thinking is common in people with ADHD. And opting out, too. OOh – that looks hard/ I don’t like that/ – adults are crazy. I’m just gonna go over here and obsess about my very favourite collection and let them do the hard stuff (those weird, human-made constructions like money and work and investing and time). Add a pinch of anti-authority that comes with the diagnosis and – woof. Every time you sit down to do something, there is a party in your head saying “touch the spindle, touch the spindle”. I love how you wrestle with these things and offer new lenses through which to see them. Always compassionate and self-accepting. Thank you, David.

gta game October 3, 2022 at 5:38 pm

As Nike famously put it “Just Do It”. Don’t think – just do. That’s the secret to high-level achievement. If you give yourself enough time to consider not doing whatever it is, you probably wont. So, just do it, before you even think about whether you want to or not.

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