Faster Than Normal Book Summary - Faster Than Normal Book explained in key points
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Faster Than Normal summary

Peter Shankman

Turbocharge Your Focus, Productivity, and Success with the Secrets of the ADHD Brain

4.4 (87 ratings)
15 mins
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    Faster Than Normal
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    A blessing, not a curse

    Growing up in New York City in the 1980s, Peter Shankman knew he was different. He was always blurting things out without thinking, which got him beaten up or sent to the principal’s office on countless occasions. He couldn’t remember to tidy his room, but every once in a while he would clean the entire home to perfection and do all of the family’s laundry on top of that. He could focus for hours on a complex project, but in the middle of a basic task, he’d get distracted.

    The issues followed Shankman to adulthood, especially in his personal life, where he had a string of failed relationships. He was bemoaning yet another breakup during a therapy session when his therapist threw a book at him. Literally. Hit him right in the gut with a copy of Delivered from Distraction by Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey.

    Figuratively, it hit him in the heart.

    Shankman cried as he read their description of ADHD – attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. He finally felt seen as the book explained how the condition makes life a paradox; makes you feel laser-focused one minute but spacey the next; makes you ultra-confident one day but insecure another. Most importantly, the book helped Shankman understand his ADHD was a blessing, not a curse.

    For now, remember the book, Delivered from Distraction as we’ll come back to it at the end of this Blink. And remember the key lesson it taught Shankman, which is the foundational premise for his book and this Blink – ADHD is not a disease, it’s a power, and if harnessed correctly, it can be a superpower that leads to an amazing life.

    In general, people with ADHD are creative, eager, spontaneous, daring, inventive, and compassionate. Their brains work faster than normal – sound familiar? Some of history’s most famous thinkers exhibited traits that could have easily led to an ADHD diagnosis if such a thing had existed in their day. You may know some of the names, like Galileo, Leonardo da Vinci, Ben Franklin, Louis Pasteur, Henry Ford, and Albert Einstein. Many of them struggled with everyday tasks and in school. They were all considered different, they all had failures, and yet they all changed the world.

    Without getting too scientific, people with ADHD don’t produce enough of the chemicals that help us focus and feel happy – dopamine, serotonin, and adrenaline. Our modern understanding of ADHD has only started to gain traction in the last 25 years or so, but doctors have been observing and noting ADHD behaviors – such as wild swings in attention span and lack of a verbal filter – since the mid-1800s.

    If left unchecked, ADHD can be disastrous for people who have it. They can be forgetful, distracted, and unreliable. Their overactive brains make it hard for them to relax or sleep. They’re prone to addiction, anxiety, and depression. That’s why ADHD must be monitored and rules must be put in place to harness its power. And that’s exactly what we’ll cover in the next section.

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    What is Faster Than Normal about?

    Faster Than Normal (2017) explains that ADHD isn’t a disease to be diagnosed but a power to be nurtured and harnessed. If you follow certain rituals and avoid the triggers that lead to self-destructive behavior, you can utilize the full power of your brain to create an extremely productive and deeply fulfilling life.

    Who should read Faster Than Normal?

    • Anyone who wants to supercharge their brain and their life
    • People with ADHD who want to understand ADHD better
    • Anyone who loves or works with someone with ADHD

    About the Author

    Peter Shankman is an entrepreneur, CEO, international speaker, and author of six books, including the best seller, Zombie Loyalists. He also hosts the highly-rated podcast Faster Than Normal, which helps people understand ADHD.

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