Backwards Progress

Who is to determine whether your actions are forwards or backwards? I feel that sometimes we need to take steps back to launch forward, like a catapult.

I’m curious about the difference between being patient and exploratory versus having ADD.


Based on the National Institute of Mental Health:
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a disorder marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.

  1. Inattention means a person wanders off task, lacks persistence, has difficulty sustaining focus, and is disorganized; and these problems are not due to defiance or lack of comprehension.
  2. Hyperactivity means a person seems to move about constantly, including in situations in which it is not appropriate; or excessively fidgets, taps, or talks. In adults, it may be extreme restlessness or wearing others out with constant activity.
  3. Impulsivity means a person makes hasty actions that occur in the moment without first thinking about them and that may have a high potential for harm, or a desire for immediate rewards or inability to delay gratification. An impulsive person may be socially intrusive and excessively interrupt others or make important decisions without considering the long-term consequences.

I identify sometimes as not being able to focus when I read because I get distracted by a thought and start going down a rabbit hole. Why do I perceive this as having ADD? Isn’t it a matter of perspective what I should focus my attention on? Who’s to say that because I began a task paying attention to something (e.g. a book) I should continue to pay attention to that something? If I’m reading a book, is the focus of attention the book itself and getting through it, or am I supposed to pay attention to provocative new thinking patterns and ideas which result in getting sidetracked?

After this writing, I don’t feel like I have “attention deficit” disorder. I am just very curious. Although, maybe to a fault because I am reading and re-reading too many books at once and should just focus on finishing one or two, maximum, at a time. Which of the books below will I choose to focus on finishing? One of my friends recommended one non-fiction and one fiction if I were to read two books at the same time.

  • Venture Deals
  • Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
  • Traction: The Entrepreneurial Operating System
  • The Little Schemer
  • The Pragmatic Programmer, 2nd Edition
  • The Checklist Manifesto
  • The Fifth Season

Oh yeah, my wife and I had a baby. Welcoming baby Miles to this world.