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I Ain’t Waiting For Jack!
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by Lisa Wills


mangostock / 123RF Stock PhotoI attended the ADDA Conference in Detroit in July 2013 and I continue to marinate in the afterglow.  Being in the presence of, in my opinion, some of the coolest people you could ever meet, we felt power in the gathering of like-minded (pun intended) people so full of vibrant energy and great talent as we witnessed from the Talent Show put on by attendees (Note to self:  Enter ADDA Talent Show next year!)


I want to talk to you about excuses and what to do with them.  As common traits of ADHD, rumination and procrastination can take hold in such a way that we often believe the excuses we keep giving ourselves, and those we love.  How’s that working for you?  Have your excuses ever really worked?


I’m not pointing fingers.  I’ve got excuses up my sleeve too.  When all else fails, we can always blame it on Jack.  Who’s Jack?  Think of Jack as the guy you’re waiting for to do the things you aren’t willing to do for yourself.


Perfect example. The children will soon be back in school.  But you were probably waiting for that to happen, right?  This time of year, everyone’s waiting for the children to go back to school.  We’re putting off projects, delaying decisions… Even if you’re an empty nester, or retired, even if you have no children… you’ve been waiting to dive into this next season of your life. 


Or perhaps you’ve been waiting for an act of God, listening for an all-powerful, Charleton-Heston-like voice (not a bad visual, right?) to speak from the heavens while you sip your morning coffee.  I’ve got good news and bad news – Jack is sitting at Starbucks sipping an overpriced cup of coffee, doing his own thing – probably waiting for Jill to come down that hill with her own excuses as to why she’s late.  Sounds ridiculous, right?  It kinda is, the more you think about it.  Excuses are just that, excuses.  Even the creative ones.


There is a difference between excuses and explanations.  We advocate for ourselves when we explain what’s happening.  We are not advocating when we are making excuses for why things are happening.  You’ve heard the experts say, "There are only two times for an ADHDer, NOW and NOT NOW.”  If you’ve been waiting for a better time, that mythical "Not Now,” it’s not coming.  It’s time to choose "NOW.”


So where do you start?


  1. ADDA’s Web site provides abundant resources to get you started.
  2. Connection is essential. Between conferences, if you don’t have a local support, start one. ADDA offers instructions and provides all the tools!
  3. Your foundation is important: If medication is part of your treatment plan, fine-tune it.  And since pills don’t teach skills, learn to manage your ADHD too.
  4. Exchange excuses for explanations as to why you are who you are.  It’s time to tell your story, the story of how you discovered the hidden treasures in your ADHD.


I was so inspired by one of the keynote speakers at the ADDA Conference, Rick Green, as he explained, "The Power of the Story.”  As you take charge of your life and set a new course, you’ll begin to write the brand new story of your life.  Next month, I’ll share with you how you can change people’s lives just by the way you tell your story.



Lisa Wills is an ADHD coach in Denver, Colorado where she runs ADHD Support Groups and Workshops.  She’s passionate about bringing out the strengths and talents of people struggling with ADHD.  ADHD herself, she has three children diagnosed with ADHD and co-existing conditions. She can be reached at


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