BED PICIn the 80s there was a hair band by the name of Twisted Sister that sang a song titled, “We’re Not Going to take it.” As the song’s music video starts there is a scene where a young boy, sitting on the bed is asked by a teacher, “What are you going to do with your life?” To which the boy promptly responds, “I’m going to ROCK!” Then the song begins to rock out Dee Snider, all in makeup and wild hair, sings the song’s themed anthem, “We’re Not Going to Take It!

While this was a fun song for many to pump their fist to and feel like they were in charge of their life, the question of “what are you going to do with your life” is anything but fun to many people today. There are those in their late 30’s, 40’s and even 50’s who are still asking that question, especially those with ADD/ADHD.


Of course this is the million dollar question. There are as many reasons individuals can’t find or connect their passions to some sort of actionable purpose as there are people. While each person has his or her own story, there are a few discoveries I have found that might help with sorting through the frustrating tears of wanting to have purpose, but coming up empty.


  • The ADD/ADHD mind can get overwhelmed when there are a lot of choices. Combine that with the fact many, if not most ADDers are perfectionist. He or she wants to make not only the right choice, but the PERFECT choice.  Being afraid of making a wrong choice paralyzes the person into make NO choice to where months turn into years and years into decades of wanting and but not doing.


  • The ADD mind demands stimulation. If it is not interesting, challenging or able to keep the person’s interest, then the ADDer will move on to the next thing that does. This is why many will go into a project or new career with enormous gusto, but fizzle out after a short while. It’s the “been there, done that” effect. The challenge draws them, but once they feel they have accomplished whatever challenged them at first, they move on to something new.


  • Even if a person knows his or her passion they often do not know where to start. Going hand in hand with being overwhelmed and wanting to be perfect, the person gets frustrated with themselves ending up doing nothing. There might be a lot of choices as to how to get started or it might be they know what the end-result is, but actually putting something into action is so daunting it causes an enormous amount of anxiety of which they feel is too painful and frustrating to deal with.


  • The excitement and stimulation is there; the focus and vision is spot-on, but one thing is stopping the forward movement…”I want all or nothing!” In other words, if the office building, with 10 employees and all of the latest and great technological equipment can’t be acquired, then there is no use in even trying. Much in line with perfectionism, there is the feeling of “if I can’t do it all the way, then I’m not doing it at all.” Again, the result is the same; the person is stuck and ends up never gaining traction.


All the above scenarios result in individuals living lives of frustration to where their self-confidence is destroyed. Parents and friends shake their heads and express their disappointment in seeing so much “talent” and “potential” wasted, which only adds to the depression and self-criticism that already plagues the person. It’s not that the ADDer doesn’t want to live a purposeful and meaningful life; they are not lazy. It is the way their brain is wired!


When coaching clients one of the first things we have to approach is narrowing the focus. To do this the client has to go back and discover gifts, talents and in general, find what excites them (and yes, everyone has them!). It is not always easy because the person has to sift out a lot of “good” things to make room for the “best” things. When a person still has the “I don’t know what”, they are encouraged to choose something that stands out, it is through doing ‘something’ that they are able to weed out the undesirable and discover new, more excitable truths about themselves and what is inside.

Once we get focused on a direction the next piece of the process is to determine reality from fantasy. In other words, what is a realistic start? It might require some education, certifications or getting together with experts in the field of choice to learn more. If it is a business where assets need to be acquired, realistic might mean purchasing used equipment off Craigslist to fit their budget instead of purchasing expensive new equipment.

As a realistic start is determined then it is time to layout the steps. Starting small is one of the hardest things for some, especially those with ADD. Their brain is spinning with ideas and excitement; they have the vision and are ready to jump in with both feet. That motivation is greatness and will be what carries them to be successful; however it is important to pace the energy with small baby steps. These small steps allows the person to methodically approach their plan, helps avoid feeling like a failure if mistakes are made (there are quicker recoveries from missteps if taking small steps) and allows them to be in control of his or her destination.

As clients slowly take this approach they begin to build self-confidence. Small victories turn into much larger victories. Lives that were once out of control with little to no focus, are now being driven with purpose and meaning! As things that do not contribute to the person’s ultimate goal are filtered out, it becomes easier to make choices and turn off the noise that distracts from what’s important.

Isn’t it time you had a little Twisted Sister in your life? Say out loud, “I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!”

You CAN know what you want to do with your life and you CAN do it! It’s time to ROCK your life; it’s time to get up off the bed, grab your gifts and sing your song. It’s never too late!



For more information on how coaching can help you reach your goals contact Coach Robert at info@coachrobertsimmons.com


Leave a Comment