What’s the one thing I can work on that will make the biggest difference?
I’ve been asked that question in one way or another more times than any other and my answer is always the same:
I’m not saying it is easy, because it is not. But if you were to ask me what is the most important aspect needed of people today I’d say it is reliability.
If everything else were equal being reliable is the deal maker.
We need to be reliable in our jobs. Meaning we’ll do the job we were hired to do and show up every day on time. If we make appointments we keep them. If we need to call someone at 5pm, then we call at 5pm.
Reliability is just as important in relationships. Good looks fade with age, being witty only gets you so far and when it comes down to it, partners want reliability.
You want someone you can count on.
So do others. If you say you’re going to pick the kids up after school, you do it. If it is you’re turn to do the dishes, you do it.
However, the reality for people with ADHD is that being reliable is more often than not, one of our weaknesses.
We lose relationships because we thought we didn’t love enough or were not understood. Friends stop calling because we thought they didn’t like us anymore.
And yet, the bottom line all too often is that when we were being depended on we didn’t show up, we didn’t call, we didn’t do what we were asked and agreed to. The kids had to take a taxi, the client waited by the phone and finally used it to call someone else, someone more reliable (not necessarily better, but who can be counted on)… the list goes on.
So what’s the first step to become reliable?
My answer is to understand what reliability means and how it affects you when you are and when you are not.
If you want to improve your quality of life then make a concerted effort on one thing, becoming reliable – someone that can be counted on.
I’m going to write a series of posts about how to become more reliable and in each there will be an example of how to do it.
Today’s example is about a friend of mine who frequently showed up to work over an hour late, sometimes two or three hours late and he was fired. He deserved it. He didn’t dispute that.
Deep down he wanted to show up on time. He even had coffee ready in a thermos next to his bed and two alarm clocks, but those efforts failed. He wasn’t late on purpose. He mentally beat himself up about it and considered himself worthless because he wasn’t (you guessed it) reliable.
Now, in his latest job he has become reliable.
He shows up on time.
It turns out the solution wasn’t where he thought it was. He always thought he needed help ‘waking’ up in the morning, but that wasn’t the problem.
With help he found out that he usually needs about seven hours, eight at most, to wake up naturally in the morning. So he figured out that if he went to bed earlier with plenty of time to wake up naturally he didn’t need a thermos of coffee on his nightstand or two alarm clocks.
The answer wasn’t in his morning routine. The solution was in his nightly routine and making changes in his lifestyle so he would go to bed on time.
Even with ADHD we can find ways to become reliable; however, sometimes we look in the wrong place for the solution and give up.
Have you had a hard time waking up in the morning and getting to work on time? Are you going to bed early enough? You can only sleep so long before you wake up naturally. Maybe if you know how long you need to sleep and when you naturally wake up, you can do like my friend and change your nightly routine.
That’s today’s example. Maybe it will help. I’ll be posting more so stay tuned. I truly believe you can become more reliable and it is my goal to help you find ways to do that.
There’s not always an easy answer, but every now and then we find an overlooked solution because we’ve been looking in the wrong place.
Now I gotta go. A friend asked me to read her ADHD pamphlet, give her feedback and I am committed to doing that. I’m late, but I am going to do it. See, I’ve got to work on being more reliable, too.
How can you become more reliable? Share in the comments.
Check out my lastest post on Positive Writer: The Only Way You Will Ever Create Something Wonderful