Look First

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You know, one of the things about having Attention Deficit Disorder is that we have a tendency to be impulsive. Act first, think later.

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you about all the troubles it can cause in our lives.

My mom taught me something when I was just a little girl that she learned from her dad. Although I never got to meet him, my grandfather is an active part of my life because of this one little lesson.

When I was little, I got an allowance for doing my chores. I got paid on Friday and usually over the weekend, I would want to go to the store. Well, not every weekend - I did some saving, too.

Anyway, I would eventually want to go shopping with my “savings”. When I got to the store, there were all kinds of things to tempt me. But I had limited funds, and wanted to spend them wisely.

Mom told me what her dad taught her - she told me to get a shopping cart and fill it with anything I thought I might want to buy. Oh, what fun! I would throw several things into the cart and walk around the store looking at more.

But a funny thing happened. As I carried those things around in my cart, they began to lose some of their appeal. As I lived with these things a while - theoretically my things, for the moment - I grew tired of them. They didn’t shine as brightly or look like so much fun.

Many times, I would end up leaving the store with my money still in my pocket.

I try to use that same test now with anything I might want to buy or even do. Purchases for extras are given at least 24 hours thought; sometimes months of thought if it’s expensive. Ideas for businesses I want to launch, or projects to start get listed in a notebook for future reference. That way, I’m not starting something new before the last project has been completed.

I won’t guarantee that I’m still not impulsive; I am. I just do it more wisely now.

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