Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A New A.D.D.

By now I’m pretty sure that everyone who considers psychology relevant has heard of A.D.D.—Attention Deficit Disorder. It’s been the psych “flavor of the month” for a long time now just as hyperactive was back in the day. In my professional counselor’s opinion, it’s a catch-all diagnosis.

So, when I received my friend Barbara Winter’s latest newsletter, Winning Ways, with a new definition for the acronym, it made me laugh out loud! Her lead story is called “More Adventure, Please” and in it she diagnoses an epidemic of what she’s named . . .

Adventure Deficit Disorder!

The moment I read those words I recognized myself and a lot of people I know. We like our comforts, don’t we? It’s easier to stay put than venture out. It takes energy to have adventures! I’m too busy, we cry. Too tired. Too lazy. Too broke. Too whatever.

Dear one, there are all different kinds of adventures. All different kinds. I’d say I’ve been on a learning expedition ever since I left school. Oh, I learned in school, no question, but the real life learning began when I left the structures and strictures of academia and set one tentative foot into the realms where I wanted to learn. At 50, I consider a day when I haven’t learned something a waste.

Barbara says that her favorite definition is “an adventure is any undertaking the outcome of which cannot be known at the outset.” By this pithy wisdom, a new grocery store is an adventure! So is a new vitamin supplement!

I think we just need to be reminded that the people who have made the most difference in the world are people who venture into realms unknown to themselves. Then they live to tell the tale to others. How do you suppose trends are started? One foot out into the venture, one step, another step—soon you’ve crossed the Himalayas of your experience!

Humanity, as a species, are adventurers. We’ve just lost the thread of our adventuring souls. I double dare you to undertake an adventure in the next 24 hours! Any adventure, as long as it’s an adventure for you, will keep you young, flexible, learning and growing. That’s why we’re here!

P.S. I’ve been reading Barbara Winter’s newsletter for self-bossers, Winning Ways, for many, many years. It’s full of ideas for entrepreneurs and adventurers. Go to to subscribe.

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