Stick to Your Seed
I remember vividly hearing Dr. Mann say those words. They made me feel like disconnected from normality. They felt wrong. I didn't like them.
Unfortunately, Stephan has a moderate level of ADHD. This can be corrected with daily medication. I would suggest adderall.
If you don't know what ADHD means, it stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and it's a way for doctors and parents to label kids who they deem "out of control". I had been getting in trouble at school daily. Well, probably more like hourly. Ok...every 12 minutes is probably more accurate. I couldn't stay focused. What I know now that I didn't know then, however, was that I didn't have a disorder. I had a gift.
Love it or hate it, I'm smarter than many people. Not everyone of course. But, it's true. (Don't worry. I'm also not as smart as others.) I'm not saying that from a place of pride or haughtiness. I'm saying it because it's factual. This is a fact I had not realized that day coming out of the pediatrician's office. Parents, teachers, adults, friends - they had all said I was smart. But, here is a doctor and my parents saying I had a disorder. Which do you think the 12-year-old boy believed more? I was a disorder.
It wasn't until I had matured a bit in my early to mid-20's that I realized that what doctors had labeled ADHD was actually a gift of increased intelligence, and the ability to see things that others didn't. As a child, I was rarely challenged in the classroom. I learned quickly. I retained information at a high level. And, when after 8 minutes, the teacher was still teaching 99% of the class information located on page 62 in the textbook, I had already skipped ahead to page 108 to learn about mitosis. And in my brain I was already connecting page 108's information to the information I had just learned from page 62. Once that connection was made, I was bored. So, I did what any pre-pubescent boy does - I made fart noises, flicked paper footballs at cute girls, and distracted the kid sitting next to me by asking if he'd watched yesterday's episode of Power Rangers.
Everyone said I couldn't focus. But, in my mind I was focused. I just wasn't focused on what everyone else was focused on. I had moved on to something bigger, better, and I was exercising my intellect. Essentially, I just hadn't learned how to harness my powers for good.
In today's world where everyone is an expert on everything because everyone can create a platform for free, I've become aware of so many more people who have inherited an element of my gift. No, not intelligence. That's obvious from the dumb things people post daily. They've inherited the gift of distraction.
No longer is anyone called to something, because someone is calling us to something else.
Do you know why farmers don't change their crops month-to-month? Because their seed doesn't change. A farmer in East Texas grows tomatoes year-to-year because the growth from a tomato seed is conducive to the environment of East Texas. A farmer in the north grows spinach year-to-year because the growth from a spinach seed is conducive to a colder climate.
The East Texas farmer doesn't get on Instagram and see a spinach farmer in Connecticut harvesting spinach and immediately burn his tomato crops to try out spinach. And the spinach farmer doesn't do the same when he sees an ad on Facebook for an online course on how to make six-figures growing tomatoes right now.
But, you know who does that? You and me. Those labeled with an attention deficit. Those who choose to focus their attention on the next, biggest, better thing. We who get on social media and see that girl from college who now makes thousands selling essential oils, so we give up on our current career to go all-in because if that girl can do it, so can I, and I'll do it faster than she ever could! We who hear about how the real estate market is HOT, HOT, HOT, so we underperform in our current job so we can be forced out to focus our attention on being a real estate agent, with the expectation that we'll out-sell everyone in our region in 30 days or less.
Are these things possible? Yes. Are they probable? No. Why not? Well, it's not because you aren't capable. I believe in your ability to shine! I believe in your work ethic! But, there's a dark side to your notion that you can jump into a new idea, business, or purpose and become successful.
You're a seed killer.
Just like when I was a kid I couldn't stay focused on one thing because I believed I'd learned and mastered the information, and my brain would move on to something more challenging, your ambition does the same thing. You never stick to the seed you have. You don't learn the environment you're in now. You create the essence of dark, shadowy figures who are out to get you and want you to fail, as to create an excuse for you to shift your focus on the next, biggest, and greatest thing that will lead to your success. You let loose-tongued men and women who prey on the emotional void of the suffering convince you that they can be your savior. Or, you are just impatient. Every 12 minutes you look at your bank account and realize not a penny more has been deposited from the imaginary business that only exists in conversations with others as you create the facade of your own greatness. So, you jump ship to what you see someone else doing thinking you'll be successful in the next 12 minutes if you just do what they do.
You don't let things settle. You don't suffer. You don't fight. You incinerate. You're an arsonist who sets fire to the small sprouts of success because they aren't big enough to represent the work you've done. Selling essential oils will be difficult, and you will distract yourself with something else. Real estate sales is not as easy as your cousin makes it look. And, when your first 5 deals fall through, you'll scour the internet looking for a new investment tool that will offer you passive income without you having to do any work at all.
How do I know you? I've been you. I told you that the devices of ADHD were actually a gift. They are. Well, they are when you understand how to use them. I still see things differently than most people. I still jump ahead in the textbook. I still connect the dots while creating new dots. But, I changed something a few years back that allowed me to not get caught up in the rush of fanatical, albeit abbreviated success.
I prayed for wisdom.
The Bible says that God gives wisdom to anyone who asks for it. It's a unique gift. Even more unique than ADHD. Because wisdom is, at its core, applied knowledge. An elaboration, and a more succinct definition in my opinion would be that wisdom is focused, applied knowledge. It doesn't mean you can't skip ahead in the book. It means that once you learn the advanced knowledge on page 108, you apply it to the seed you've planted until it produces fruit.
Listening to podcasts daily has increased my knowledge greatly. I can learn about anything. LITERALLY. For instance, I listen to a weekly podcast all about creative marketing from a business owner who brings in millions of dollars a year providing creative marketing. I think I've learned quite a bit from him. Does that mean I need to shut down my church, quit pastoring, and start a marketing firm? Of course not. It means I use the fertilizer he's providing me that is full of informational content, and I mix it into the soil of our church's business practices so we can be more effective in our mission.
Never kill your seed because you see someone else's harvest. Stop killing your crops because they aren't growing as fast as someone else's. Learn what they've added to their fertilizer to make their harvest stronger, then ask God for wisdom on how to apply that to your own field. The day you initiate wisdom is the day you'll realize how to utilize the gift of distraction and stick to your seed.