So Many Interests: Curiosity and ADHD Tendencies

squirrel disco ball.png

Look a squirrel!!

How many of you know what I'm talking about?

Urban Dictionary actually has a definition for "squirreling" that looks like this:

1. referring to a sudden distraction (an A.D.D. lapse in time) mid thought, while another is talking, or when trying to accomplish any task.

People that don't deal with this tendency every waking moment, seem to think it's hilarious. While I'm all about some self-deprecating humor from time to time, but the struggle is real.

I'm sure you've also heard the term "shiny object syndrome" in regards to ADHD. Which is basically the belief that due to a shortened attention span, a lack of focus and a pension towards boredom, the person with ADHD tendencies will drop everything, lose interest in something and basically bolt to the next new thing in front of them. The "new thing" is so shiny and pretty it's lure is nearly impossible to ignore. 

I could never entirely relate to that. As I reflect back on my work, hobby and entrepreneurial life, I see a pattern of trying new ventures for a solid length of time before deciding that something had eventually run its course and then moving on. Sure I am curious by nature and I prefer variety over the same old same old, but mainly because it feels adventurous. There are so many different flavors of ice cream to try, why not try them all?!

While I DO consider myself an eclectic person of many interests, there is a difference between considering and choosing what to pursue next vs. jumping straightaway towards the new without regard for the old. I've learned to build in a bit of a pause for myself. 

A few strategies that have helped me do that are:

  • When I see that "shiny new object" I first allow myself just to notice it. To be curious about it. I ask myself what about it is intriguing to me and if I'm already doing something that meets a similar need.

  • I see if there's the excitement of learning a new challenge and what the cost will be to do so. Time, money, current passions? Some shiny objects are lower cost investments than others.

  • I also see if there are ways to dabble a bit, and try something on for size before diving head first into a "become the expert" type of a situation.

It's also not lost on me that by chasing shiny objects I could potentially self-sabotage my goals by not sticking with something long enough. At times this caused me to actually do the reverse, overstay situations to make doubly, triply sure I wasn't just jumping ship just because of this "shiny object" tendency that I may or may not have.

What about you? How do you handle the call of something new? Join the conversation over on my Revealed Path Facebook page by clicking the button below.