Personal Life Philosophy

I do have a philosophy that is derived from my personal experiences. Those experiences
which have had the greatest impacts on me I will tell you about as a means of helping you know
what my personal life philosophy is and how I came by it. My life has been in large part
governed by a cause and effect system, so my paper will match it.

I do not feel the least bit reticent in saying that most people at the time I write this do not
understand ADHD. ADHD is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. I was diagnosed when I
was very young. I remember being in the yearly years of elementary school when I was
diagnosed by my uncle Ed (my mom’s, sister’s husband). I do not remember anything about it
except that I started taking Riddlin for it during second or third grade. But it is something that I
have dealt with my whole life. And can I tell you that it was the number one frustration of my
youth. It plagued my every action and caused problems in everything. Yet it was that fight that
shaped my life probably more than many other things in my youth.
My whole ADD life people have sent me the message of “just try harder.” And those
people were implanting into the mind of an impressionable youth the thoughts “you are not good
enough.” Because when I was told to try harder, I did, and it made no difference. I knew what I
had been told about how ADD worked, but over and over again people who I thought of as my
authority figures (teachers, parents, friends, church leaders) contradicted what I had been told
about my disorder. And people never understood what that did to me. One of the great truths in
life that I have learned is that it matters little what we say. What matters is what the other person
hears. And when it came to ADD, I was being told “try harder” but I kept hearing “You are
failing.” And when I was trying and giving it my very best, to hear that I wasn’t trying taught
me to believe that I was at best lazy at worst incompetent. I do not blame people for this. I am
sure I have done something similar in my ignorance. I am not writing this to blame anybody. I
am writing this to liberate myself. I have never felt that I have been adequately able to teach
others what ADD was like and what I felt. I experienced several years of depression and self
loathing. The greatest of many factors causing this was that I had a disorder and that I thought
that meant that I was broken or useless. I knew I was smart, but I couldn’t use all of the potential
mental power available to me. It was a lot like somebody with Dementia of Alzheimer’s. Their
memory is fading, and they know it. They know that things aren’t right and that they forgot
something, but no matter how hard they try there is just no changing the fact that they can’t
remember. It is exceedingly frustrating.
Now that I have said all of that, I want you to know that I am not a casualty of my
disorder. The system worked. I sure as heck do not mean the system of man, but the system
God worked. But I did learn a great many things from the world.
Very few people with ADD are ever actually cured, I would guess that non are. The
symptoms don’t ever completely go away. Most people learn to adapt their style of thinking and
functioning to make up for the disability. In some people that process is very natural and to them
they will not even notice that they are compensating, when in fact they are. On the other and
some people never fully learn to cope. Coping does not mean that the problem goes away; it just
means that they have learned to work around it. It is this need to adapt that has taught me a love
of learning. It is ironic to me that the thing which hindered my learning ultimately taught me to
love learning.
Let me tell you that while the inattentive type of ADD that we have been discussing is the
most common type of ADD, it isn’t the only one. There is also the hyperactivity and the
impulsive types. Very few people just have the one type. I happened to be predominantly
Inattentive, but I actually had all 3. Hyperactivity is the one most parents will and usually do
complain about to the doctor. My parents certainly had a hard time with me over it, but for me it
was never that big of a deal. I certainly had a lot of energy, but I felt I have managed it fairly
well. I especially started doing well with it when I started playing competitive volleyball at
school. Having such a very effective outlet taught me a great deal of control. For me the
hyperactivity always seemed to be rooted in my inattentive symptoms. This is how I have
always thought about it. Because I was never able to fully engage my mind in anything because
of my distractibility, it seemed like all of the energy that would have gone into that concentration
spilled over with no outlet. So my body compensated. If you notice that is generally true of all
people. When do you fidget the most? When you have lots of nervous energy of course. The
more nervous you are the less you are able to focus. And when people use calming techniques to
smooth over the nervousness and excess energy, what are they doing? They are pulling back
enough to refocus their mind and in turn they are physically and mentally calmer. That is how I
have always seen my hyperactivity. Now that I am older and adapted, I have decided that I like
to live with high energy. So I do. The excess of energy is still there, but I control what to do
with it.
The impulsivity is the one that I had the hardest time learning to compensate for. There
is no easy answer. All of us have moments where we do things before we think them through
completely. And unfortunately it does little good to think after you have done the act. The only
way that I found to compensate is that I have to make myself into the right kind of person. I am
still compulsive, but I control that impulse by redefining myself. I am a naturally affectionate
person, and I compulsively show that by touch. Some people do not like to be touched, and that
makes it difficult to be their friend. So the way that I compensated was to become the type of
person who always reads peoples emotions. If I am now, or if I become, the type of person who
first looks at others emotions and second at my own, than my mind will notice whether they are
in a mood where touch is ok or not. Than my impulses follow my perceptions. I have learned
that I can’t be the kind of person who lets myself get easily enraged because if I get enraged,
than my impulses are such that I will act on that rage. So while I struggle to not lash out, it is far
easier to try not to get angry. I have learned that most people (especially men) are far more
impulsive than they realize, and so the solution is to learn what our impulses are. Another of my
natural impulses is to play as soon as I have free time. So to compensate, I have to try to be the
kind of man who wants to spend time with his kids more than video games. I have to be the
person who wants to keep the house in order, or my natural impulse will be to play instead of
clean, and so I would never clean until the mess was just too bad to live with. Like I said,
Impulsivity is the hardest to cope with, because coping requires so much internal adjustment.
When I interviewed my mother on my birthday this year se emphasized that one of the
major teaching points that she tried to drill into me was that I was capable of living as normaly
and happily as I wanted. It was important to her that I learn my own strength, and she taught e
that I was mighty.
Now that I am older and better able to see the bigger picture, I am thankful that I had
ADD as a child. Yes, it completely altered who I became. And yes I was embittered for many
years. But I like who I am and so I am glad that this disorder has led me to who I am. I have a
way of living that is so different from other people that I explain things differently. Having such
a different perspective on life allows me to better help others figure out what they might be
struggling with. Just as our weaknesses create us, they also empower us. What doesn’t kill you
makes you stronger, both spiritually and physically.
I guess you could condense my philosophical learning gained from ADD down to these
ideas: patience, passion, control, love of competence, knowledge of who I am.

I have said that I learned much of God from my ADD. But I learned more from a
personal struggle in my youth. I have felt the pangs of Hell. This is an incredibly bold statement
I know. I will not tell you what I did, but I knew the pains Paul spoke of in the bible when he
suffered the pains of hell in his unconscious state. The most accelerated, and important, of my
internal growths came from this experience. I learned that I was a child of God and that I was
answerable for my sins. This pain I felt was not a measure of an addled brain. It was not
something imposed on my by others. It was my own feeling of horror matched with a
knowledge that my actions brought me under condemnation. I could feel the sadness of my
Father in Heaven. that feeling shook me to my core. It forced me to confront all of the
assumptions that I had made up unto that point. My 15 yearold brain wa hardly able to handle it.
I was not a happy person for several months/years. it took me some time to come to feel that I
had changed who I was and was again able to say that I was a righteous person.
My spirituality has been the major defining force in my life since that day. It has
influenced every choice and thought on many levels. Who I was trying to be fundamentally
changed when I was confronted with the future of my immortal soul.
I underwent another change when I learned that I was of worth. For over two years I
hated many things about myself. But eventually I learned to love me again. It took me a long
time, vut it was worth every painful moment. Years latter I found a quote that perfectly
explained what my new philosophy was. “I do not think it pleases the Lord when we worry
because we think we never do enough or that what we do is never good enough.” When I
learned these words from Elder Packer I realized that they were the words my soul had been
trying to say for several years. I have learned that I can only run so far and so long before my
body gives out. Thankfully God is of the opinion that we should move at an appropriate pace
matched to each of his children.

Outside sources of knowledge
I have many little things that I believe. Many of them are familure to most. I have been
working on writing a book for some time now. I titled it Grandma Knew Everything I Didn’t. it
is an expression of the many wisdoms that are being forgotten by new generations. I hope that
one day I can publish it. Here are just a few of the saying I put in that book:
 Preparation proceeds power
 Truth is truth regardless of our belief in it.
 Be careful what you wish for
 Life is what you make of it
 Patience is a virtue
 Knowledge is power
 Live like Christ is coming tomorrow
 Life is hard and then you die
 What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
 Pain is weakness leaving the body
 Slow is smooth and smooth is fast
 One man’s trash is another man’s treasure
 If it aint broke don’t fix it.
 happy wife: happy life
o if moma aint happy aint nobody happy
 Home is where the heart is.
 Life is too short
 The question is the answer
 Focus on solutions. Not problems.
 All things have an end. Make the most of it while it lasts.
Each of these is a philosophy that I live by.

Adele Austin interviewed 3/22/2014. Questions asked included: “What were the things you were
trying to teach me growing up?” And “how hard was it to teach me these things?”
Manwaring, L R. (1993). The life of Leo Ray Manwaring. (Personal publication within family)
Austin, P A. (2012). Grandma Knew Everything I Didn’t. (not yet a published book. Written
by myself.)
Packer, B K. (October 2004). “The Least of These.” Ensign Magazine.