The Journey Begins on the Brain Train

Thanks for joining me! I’m Laura and I am passionate about helping you live a life of achievement, and live it well.

So today is the day it all begins and I am excited to be bringing this blog to you. It is my goal that you will find at least one gem in each post to help bring your life into focus, in order that you may live your best life. However, I think before we get very deep into real solutions, we should talk about one of the problems that got me here – and I am guessing that maybe this applies to what you are experiencing or you would not be here. So how did I get here, a little thing called ADD. In the mid 1990’s when I was in the middle of nursing school and working full time I was really struggling to keep it all together. I was so easily distracted, I procrastinated, I lost stuff, I was kind of a mess! Then I discovered a book called “Driven to Distraction” by Edward Hallowell and John Ratey. So at that time I learned that I had this thing called Attention Deficit Disorder. (Yes, I saw a physician to get that diagnosis)
So while ADD can be defined in very clinical terms, and classified by the DSM-V, I explain it to my patients, students, and even my own child using this analogy: A train leaves a station with a specific destination it is supposed to reach at a specific time. All the “brain trains” should get there according to schedule. On the brain train teachers and bosses like to call that schedule “due dates and deadlines.” The non ADD brain train tends to follow a very straight line from destination A to destination B. However, the ADD brain train sometimes misses destination B because it took a side track, or sometimes more than one side track, along the way. Sometimes that ADD brain train arrives at Destination B, it just took it longer to get there and sometimes that ADD brain train never arrives at all. While that may seem “bad”, is it really? Look at all the extra things the ADD brain train saw or did on the way, I call those places creativity, curiosity, fascination, and wonder. Those are great places to see, visit, and explore, but not when your boss needs a report by the end of the business day! Or you have a big test the next day you are trying to study for.
So what can be done? How does the ADD brain train get from A to B on time? Well, conventional medicine uses a combination approach of medication with management strategies or behavioral therapy. All are important, and most work best together. However, not everyone can take, or wants to take, the medications. Also, it is important to note that other “brain trains” can be just as off course without having ADD at all. Sometimes the “life train” is just so full, with so many passengers or things on board that it has all these extra stops along the way. So what else can you do? What did I do? Obviously, I finished nursing school, I even went on to get a Master’s Degree, post Master’s Certification in Nursing Education, and to become a professor. I did this through a lot of trial and error of systems to help focus my brain train and keep it on track. Now I want to use this blog and the skills I have learned becoming a Certified Life Coach to help you.
The first tip I have is write things down. The ADD brain will need to be reminded where it is supposed to be, what it is supposed to be doing, and when it all needs to happen. So while I am aware we live in a digital age, I still keep an old-fashioned day planner. In fact, I will even tell you which one I like the most and where to get it. I use the Living Well, Spending Less planner by Ruth Soukup. It can be found at This planner, while a bit large has some great features like monthly goal setting, budgeting, meal planning, and of course monthly and weekly places to write things down. Following my “brain train” analogy, aren’t train schedules published somewhere? Can you not get a map of the subway or transportation system to help you navigate where you are going? For me, writing down my schedule and my destination was the first step to managing my ADD and making sure that my professors and bosses had things turned in on time.
While I know that seemed very “easy” or maybe even a little elementary, sometimes when we are off track it is best to go back to the basics. No complicated system is ever going to help anyone, if they do not even know where to start. So stick around, come back often, and even reach out to me at to learn more. Don’t have ADD, that is ok too because in this blog I will be sharing some highly effective tips that can benefit anyone stuggling with disorganization, time management, goal setting, and a plethora of other topics to help you acheive a life well lived. So stop back next Friday when we really dive into the treasure chest of gems I alluded to in the beginning of this post. Until then, may your brain train take you to some amazing and creative places.

shallow focus photo of train rail

Photo by Johannes Plenio on