The other day someone said, “A genius is someone who remembers what they learned.” While that saying resonates with me, it got me to thinking about learning and memory and ADHD. In this short I will explore how learning is informed by what we remember.
Being a horizontal thinker, I seem to have trouble recalling the accomplishment of difficult tasks. Faced again with a task that requires effort I am more likely to remember the frustration I felt last time than the steps I took to finish it successfully. It can take an exceptionally long time to gain confidence in myself, especially when doing things that require sustained effort. If only I remembered the steps of accomplishment instead of the anxiety!
I love talking with my coach. When she asks me “what strategies have worked for you in the past” I quite often am able to tap into prior learnings rather than the emotions. A moment to think about what I’ve done creates distance from my frustration and opens up new possibilities. I even think of new choices, and I get excited! Sounds like a simple solution – ask myself what strategies have worked before. Yes, it is simple, but it is not automatic. When my coach is not there, my automatic response to a difficult task may still be the feeling of associated negative feelings. I have an insight about that.
Is it possible to rewire feelings toward a difficult task by consciously celebrating accomplishment? Instead of feeling stress, pushing through, and moving on to the next task (because it is expected) I suggest pausing a moment and giving yourself a small gesture (or grand) of celebration. Does that sound self-indulgent? Who cares? It is called self-care. Yeah, maybe you do not want to hoot and holler at the company water fountain because you remembered to drink your fifth glass of water today. Ok, maybe your results were not perfect (nothing is perfect.) Maybe they were not even pretty. But if you finished a step, give yourself a thumbs up and a big smile for what you have done.
If we celebrated more often… well, that opens a lot of possibilities for more celebration in the future: That associates positive feelings, rather than frustration, with difficult tasks. Every time we face the task, we can feel the celebration again, automatically. Now, instead of being repelled by the effort, we can be interested in it. We all know that horizontal thinkers can accomplish amazing possibilities when we are interested. That is Celebration Earning Interest.
Next time you do something that requires conscious effort, how will you celebrate accomplishment?