The #1 ADHD podcast

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The #1 ADHD podcast on iTunes, hosted by

Parents With ADHD for Kids- An In-Depth Discussion by Jessa & Peter Shankman

by Faster Than Normal

We are thrilled to be joined again by the makers of Skylight Calendar! Enjoy this podcast knowing  that we used it to get this one to you on time! 🙂 You can order yours by going to and using the discount code  PETER  for 10% off of the 15” device up to $30. 

Having ADD or ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Hear from people all around the globe, from every walk of life, in every profession, from Rock Stars to CEOs, from Teachers to Politicians, who have learned how to unlock the gifts of their ADD and ADHD diagnosis, and use it to their personal and professional advantage, to build businesses, become millionaires, or simply better their lives.  Our Guest today in their own words:  Enjoy!

[You are now safely here]

00:04 – Skylight calendar makes chores and scheduling easy. Use the code “Peter” for a nice discount!

00:40 – Thank you again so much for listening and for subscribing – Introducing and welcome TO EPISODE THREEHUNDRED!!

Today.. It’s my daughter who is asking the questions!!

03:48 – The Importance of Self-Care on Sundays

05:08 – ADHD and unintentional distractions. 

06:00 – On Imposter syndrome, fear of inadequacy, difficulty focusing

09:12 – How does Dopamine work and how do we get some?

11:21 – ADHD and Self-Perception

13:14 – The Impact of diagnosis on self-perspective

14:18 – What’s the most common question about ADHD

15:51 – Advice for Living with ADHD

16:18 – Thanks so much for enjoying with us this special 300th episode of “Faster Than Normal”! We appreciate you and your hard work so much! Onwards!

If you haven’t picked up The Boy with the Faster Brain yet, it is on Amazon and it is a number #1 One bestseller in all categories. Click HERE or via My link tree is here if you’re looking for something specific.

TRANSCRIPT via and then corrected.. mostly but somewhat. 

You’re listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast, where we know that having Add or ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Each week we interview people from all around the globe, from every walk of life in every profession. From rock stars to CEOs, from teachers to politicians who have learned how to unlock the gifts of their add and ADHD diagnosis and used it to their personal and professional advance edge to build businesses, to become millionaires, or to simply better their lives. And now, here’s the host of the Faster Than Normal podcast to simply better their lives. And now here’s the host of the Faster than Normal podcast, the man whose preschool teacher said he would either be president or in jail by age 40, Peter Shankman.

Peter Shankman [00:01:36]: Hey, guys, welcome to another episode of Faster than Normal. My name is Peter Shankman. I am your host. I am thrilled that you’re here. I have a very special interview today because I decided that who better to understand the ADHD brain of a parent than their child? So with that, I want to introduce you all to my daughter, Jessa Shankman, who has ten. I told her to come up with ten questions that she is going to ask her dad today. Add dad’s going to talk a little bit about ADHD from the perspective of what it’s like to have it when you’re a dad and what it’s like for a kid with a dad who has ADHD. So, Jessa, welcome to Faster Than Normal.

Jessa [00:02:14]: Hey, everyone. I’m really glad to be here. It’s super cool.

Peter Shankman [00:02:17]: It’s great to have you. So tell us a little bit about yourself. How old are you?

Jessa [00:02:21]: I’m ten years old. I really like music. I like coloring. I don’t know what to say.

Peter Shankman [00:02:27]: Okay, you’re going into what grade? In the fall.

Jessa [00:02:30]: I’m going into fifth grade in my school. It’s junior high, so I’m pretty excited for that. Peter Shankman [00:02:34]: You start in junior high this year. Very cool. And have you had a good summer so far? Jessa [00:02:38]:

Yeah, I went to sleepway camp, and I went to a day camp for a little bit, and I’m going to Paris in a few weeks.

Peter Shankman [00:02:43]: Paris, very nice. I didn’t get to go overseas until I was, like, 25. Very cool. Very cool. All right, so I’m going to start off and ask you a question first, and then from there, we can go into sort of your questions. I don’t know if you remember this bu when you were about three or four years old, one day I woke up, you were here, and I slept in that day, and I didn’t get on the bike. You know how I get on my bike every morning, right? I get on my bike to clear out my brain and all that. One day, you must have been, like, maybe four years old, and I came in the kitchen, and I woke you up, and I woke you up in your room. We went to the kitchen to have red goes, and I was just sitting there, and I was watching you eat, whatever, and you went, dad, daddy, did you get on the bike today? Did you get on your bike? And I said, no. I said, no. Why? And you said, because you’re not as happy. Do you remember this?

Jessa [00:03:31]: No, I don’t remember it, but I probably did ask.

Peter Shankman [00:03:33]: Yeah, you said no because you’re not as happy. And so that’s when I realized the true meaning of what it means to get that dopamine every morning. So can you still tell the difference in me on the days that I work out before I wake you up versus the days I don’t?

Jessa [00:03:48]: The days that you don’t work out are usually Sundays, so you’re always like, okay, let’s get breakfast. And then after breakfast, you either take a shower or you lie on the couch.

Peter Shankman [00:04:01]: And the days that I do work out?

Jessa [00:04:03]: The days you do work out, after breakfast, you probably do some work or whatever, and it’s always like a weekday that you work out.

Peter Shankman [00:04:11]: You see the difference, and that usually comes from the exercise. Yes. Interesting. Okay, so you still see us. That wasn’t a one time thing. Cool. Good to know. All right, so Jessa has some questions for her dad, so you want to start it of yeah, sure.

Jessa [00:04:24]: All right, first question. What is your favorite thing about having ADHD?

Peter Shankman [00:04:31]: Question my favorite thing about having ADHD is that there’s always something new. Everything is a new experience. So everything than someone asks me to do or that I get to do or everything I get to do with you, I always look at as a new challenge and a new experience, and I find a way to make it not boring. Last week, we had to drive like 2 hours to get to the ranch, right? And then 2 hours back, and we were singing music, we were singing show tunes. We were just having fun, right. So, for me, ADHD really lets my brain work so I can always have a good time.

Jessa [00:05:04]: Yeah. All right. And you can guess the second question. Is your least favorite thing about having ADHD.

Peter Shankman [00:05:08]: My least favorite thing about having ADHD? I think my least favorite thing about having ADHD is worrying a lot that I’m not as good as I could be. So there’s a name for it. It’s called imposter Syndrome, and it means that you don’t think you’re as good as everyone else thinks you are. So people might say, wow, you’re doing really well, but in your mind, you’re like, no, I’m kind of a loser. Right. And I think that comes from having ADHD. So I think the worst thing about having ADHD is probably twofold. One is that fear that I’m not as good as other people think I am. And the second thing is, sometimes I lose my focus. And if it happens when we’re hanging out and you notice it, I always feel really bad. That’s fine, because I know it’s fine, but I want to give you my full attention. And sometimes, no matter how hard I try, ADHD kicks in, and I’m like, well, you know, that a squirrel. So it’s hard sometimes, but I try.

Jessa [00:06:05]: Yeah. And then the related question is, when you get distracted from your work, from me, what’s the best solution? Like, what’s the best thing that you could do to stop the distraction?

Peter Shankman [00:06:19]: It’s a great question. So we’ve talked about that, because sometimes you get distracted. And what do I tell you to do?

Jessa [00:06:25]: Bring a fidget, do some squats, add jumping squats.

Peter Shankman [00:06:28]: Add jumping jacks. Right. And the fidget, the squats and jumping jacks, they all have one thing in common. They make your brain produce what dopamine dopamine? Exactly. And dopamine is the chemical in your brain that people with ADHD don’t make enough of. And so when I take my fidget or when I do some squats or some jumping jacks, or even if I just walk up and down some stairs or get some fresh air, that gives me dopamine and lets me focus more than I could have if I just didn’t do anything. So, yeah, I think that for me, it’s always about getting up, add doing something, even if it’s just like, three minutes of going outside the apartment, walking up from our floor, like, to the roof and then back. Right. It’s just something to change that brain chemistry, really. Good question. What else what’s the next one?

Jessa [00:07:10]: Next question. Fourth question. If you could get rid of your ADHD, would you or would you keep it?

Peter Shankman [00:07:17]: I would never, ever get rid of it. So I think that my ADHD is very much responsible for most of if not all of my success. And even though there are some negatives to it, I think that the positives really outweigh the negatives. Having a different brain, having a brain that thinks differently than most people, I think is a gift. As long as you know how to use it.

Jessa [00:07:38]: Yeah. Keep it under control, obviously.

Peter Shankman [00:07:40]: Exactly.

Jessa [00:07:41]: Next question. What is the most common problem with ADHD where you have?

Peter Shankman [00:07:49] I think for me, one of the most common problems is sometimes I’m too fast. When your mom and I were married, a lot of times I’d come home, right, and she might be home already, and I’d walk in the door and it didn’t matter what she was doing, it didn’t matter if she was with you, it didn’t matter what she was. I’d be like, Let me tell you about my day. And I would just sort of go from like zero to 100 miles an hour. And I didn’t realize because in my head, I’m like, wow, this is really exciting. I want to share this with the person I love. And it never occurred to me that I might want to just take a second, relax, say hi, calm down. So that was something I really had to learn. So I think that one of the biggest problems is that when you’re ADHD, you’re very fast, and not everyone is as fast as you, right? And so I think that one of the biggest problems is you have to learn that because everyone’s fast as you, you have to learn how to slow down. And that’s really hard because when you have a faster brain, all you want to do is go fast. So it’s hard to learn. I think the biggest problem for me has been learning how to slow down. I think I’ve done a much better job than I used to, but I’m still learning.

Jessa [00:08:58]: It like your new book. 

Peter Shankman [00:09:01]: Exactly. The boy with the faster brain. Very good.

Jessa [00:09:03]: That’s what he tries to learn anyway. Next question. When you get on the bike in the morning, how does it help you with your ADHD?

Peter Shankman [00:09:12]: Good question. So when I get on the bike in the morning, I am sweating out and I am focused on riding and the exercise that I’m doing. There’s something that happens in my body because I’m working out really hard. That tells my body to produce extra chemicals, to let my workout be better and to absorb what I’m getting from my workout. There’s a term called runners high, which means that when you’re running, when you go and do a marathon Add, you just run like a five K or a ten K. You get this sort of feeling of elation, feeling of happiness, right? And even though you’re running and everything hurts and you shouldn’t be happy, you’re like and you’re totally giggling and everything. And that’s what it feels like when I’m cycling, and that’s what it feels like when I Skydive. That’s what it feels like when I run or when I’m boxing. And what’s cool about that is that when I finish the workout, it doesn’t just go away. There’s so much of those chemicals in my body that the body has to take time to process them out. So I might feel that sort of energy for like three, four or 5 hours, which is enough to get me through my morning, right? To keep me focused, to allow me to focus on you and than take you to school and then focus on work. And then in the afternoon, maybe I’ll do another little exercise to get me through the afternoon. So that’s really what being on that bike does for me. Imagine. Remember how when we were in the car last month, in Grandpa’s car, and it stopped on the side of the road, and I pressed the start button and it went Add? It didn’t start right away, but it finally caught. So that’s sort of what having ADHD is like. When you wake up, your brain is sort of like but if you get on the bike, it catches, and then it catches and it starts and it goes really fast. So the bike sort of helps my brain start up in the morning, I guess.

Jessa [00:10:58]: Kind of like when you start a race car and it goes like and then when they say, like, Ready, set, go, you’re like, zooming off.

Peter Shankman [00:11:03]: Exactly. That’s 100% correct. Yes.

Jessa [00:11:06]: Okay, this next question. If someone were to say, like, wow, you have ADHD, or wow, are you okay? Like, is something happening to your brain? How would that make you feel? Would it make you feel good? Add make you feel bad, like, proud to have ADHD? Or would it make you feel sad?

Peter Shankman [00:11:25]: Well, I’ll tell you the truth. When I was growing up, Jessa, when I was a kid in school, ADHD didn’t exist. No one knew what it was. And so what I was told a lot by teachers and by other students, whatever, was really just to shut up, stop interrupting the class, stop interrupting what I’m saying, stop trying to make jokes, just sit there and be quiet. And that really hurt. That was really hard because I didn’t realize I was doing anything wrong in my mind. I was just trying to make a joke or trying to try to give an answer or whatever, but was constantly, even in my twenty s and thirty s before I met your mom or before you were born. I have friends now who I was friends with back then, and they say, yeah, you really calmed down back then. You used to try to make it all about you. Now you don’t. And so I think that back then, it really made me sad because I didn’t know how to control my faster brain. But now that I do know how to control it, when someone says, oh, you look like you have ADHD, I think that’s a compliment, because what they’re saying is, wow, you can do six things at the same time, or, I can’t believe you wrote that entire book on a flight to Tokyo, or things like that. So I look at it as a compliment. They’re saying that, wow, you have a real gift. You know what I mean? Yeah.

Jessa [00:12:33]: That’s really cool. Okay, when you were diagnosed with ADHD, when you were, like, 35 or something, what was the first thought that popped into your brain? When the doctor said, okay, you have ADHD, what was your immediate thought?

Peter Shankman [00:12:51]: Like, wow, my first thought was that everything makes sense. All the stuff that I used to get in trouble for, all the things I used to do that I didn’t understand why I did, they all made sense. Now they all seem to have a reason for why I did them, and now that I know what that reason is, I can control it better. That was the first thought I had yeah.

Jessa [00:13:13]: Than makes sense. Because in school, you’re like, what is this? What do I have? I think it’s just normal. But then when you got diagnosed, you’re just like, wow.

Peter Shankman [00:13:23]: Imagine if you had a big eyelash in your eye, and it was constantly bothering you and hurting, whatever, but you cold.

Jessa [00:13:27]: Never know what it was.

Peter Shankman [00:13:28]: You could never find it. Right? And one day you look in the mirror and you see the eyelash, and you get it out, and you’re like, oh, that’s exactly what it’s like.

Jessa [00:13:36]: Yeah. Or, like, something like, I don’t know, a good example. Let’s say someone was teasing you because you had, like, a pimple on your nose, and you’re like, what is happening? What’s going on? Why is everyone laughing at me? Then you go to the mirror, and then you’re like, oh, let’s get that off.

Peter Shankman [00:13:56]: Yeah. It’s hard when you don’t understand why things are happening, but once you’re able to figure out the reason for them, you can start figuring out what to do about it. Yeah.

Jessa [00:14:05]: All right, next question. What’s the most common question you get asked about ADHD? From your viewers or from people that you speak to about something? What’s the most common question you get asked? Like, wow. Is it okay? Are you good?

Peter Shankman [00:14:21]: That’s a good question. I think the most common question I get is probably, how did I learn how to use my ADHD for good? How did I learn to use it to my advantage? How did I learn to make it so that it’s not a negative in my life? And the answer I usually give is that just took a lot of time and a lot of practice, add a lot of effort, a lot of working with my feelings, doctor, my therapist, and a lot of sort of understanding that if you break your leg right, you have to put a cast in your leg to heal it. No one’s going to say, oh, you’re stupid for breaking your leg. No, it just happens, right? So it’s understanding that, hey, I’m not stupid, I just have a different brain and I need to learn how to work that brain better. And I think that was the biggest thing. So people ask me, people will tell me they don’t think ADHD is good, they think it’s terrible. And I’m like, well, you have to learn how to use your brain.

Jessa [00:15:18]: You have to learn how to use it right differently.

Peter Shankman [00:15:20]: Exactly.

Jessa [00:15:21]: Or to keep it under control and not get it all crazy and stuff. Okay, and this is the final question. This is a really interesting one. If you could give any advice to anyone who has ADHD, kids, adults, teens, what would it be?

Peter Shankman [00:15:39]: Embrace what you have. Understand that you’re not broken, you’re gift and find ways, whether it’s through therapy, whether it’s through talking to friends who you trust, whether it’s through talking to your family or your teachers. Find ways to challenge your brain and use your brain to the best of your ability. Because you really do have a much faster brain than normal people and as soon as you learn how to use it, you’ll be much faster than them.

Jessa [00:16:03]: It’s really good and it helps you. And yeah, those are all the questions and I love all your answers.

Peter Shankman [00:16:10]: Well, Jessa, you are a wonderful interviewer. I’m going to have you start doing more of my shows. Thank you so much for taking the time.

Jessa [00:16:15]: {kisses} Goodbye, everybody.

Peter Shankman [00:16:18]: Guys, as always, you’ve been listening to Fast Add Normal. This is a special episode of my daughter, Jessa. Thank you so much, Jessa. Guys, we will see you again next week with another fresh new interview. As always, if you know anyone who should be on our podcast, shoot me an email. [email protected]. I’m on threads at Petershankman. Like me, I’m on Instagram at petershankman and you can find us at Faster Normal or anywhere you find podcasts online. ADHD is a gift, not a curse. We will see you next week. Thank you so much for being a part. Take care. 

Again- We are thrilled to be joined again by the makers of Skylight Calendar! Enjoy this podcast knowing that we used it to get this one to you on time! 🙂 You can order yours by going to and using the discount code PETER for 10% off of the 15” device up to $30.

Credits: You’ve been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We’re available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at I’m your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you’ve heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We’ll see you next week! 


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