385 | The Self-Taught Lifestyle with Roland Tanner

385 | The Self-Taught Lifestyle with Roland Tanner

Listen as your host Eric Tivers and his guest Roland Tanner talk about how he procrastinated his way to success on ADHD reWired.

Roland Tanner has procrastinated his way through careers as a bookseller, Medieval historian, author, publisher, software developer, podcaster, and would-be politician.

He has sometimes been accused of being an entrepreneur! After a decade of battling depression, he scored top marks on an online ADHD test and was formally diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 50.

What will you find in this episode?

  • [00:01:29] – Eric introduces Roland as he procrastinated his way through careers as a book seller, Medieval historian, author, publisher, software developer, podcaster, and would-be politician & has been accused of being an entrepreneur.
  • [00:02:00] – Hear Roland’s voice!
  • [00:02:13] – Eric brings to light how Roland feels that what he has to share doesn’t have much value
  • [00:02:33] – Roland talks about having an unplanned career. He explains his life with ADHD is an “interesting” example and that his career paths have certain been varied.
  • [00:03:00] – Eric and Roland talk about how Roland wanted to be a politician, motivated by wanting an assistant to take care of his calendar & email, before he had any inkling of ADHD
  • [00:03:40] – Roland talks about the executive functions of running his own business
  • [00:04:03] – Roland really enjoys talking about politics & talks about his involvement and saw how others had their “executive function” minds externalized and handed to other people so they could concentrate on the conversations and people in front of them
  • [00:05:10] – Roland says it didn’t work out, but it was a fun process
  • [00:05:13] – Eric asks how close the political race was
  • [00:05:30] – Roland talks about the way the local politics work in Canada
  • [00:05:41] – Roland explains the jobs and roles he played in running for local office
  • [00:05:44] – He also talks about being a fairly shy guy and being described as introverted
  • [00:06:01] – Roland observed that people liked talking politics
  • [00:06:15] – Roland talks about being unsure if the job would have been very good for him because of the stress, but the “retail sales” part of it was a blast for him.
  • [00:06:30] – The Dam Busters Story comes up
  • [00:07:16] – Eric asks Roland about “Procrastinating the way to success”
  • [00:07:40] – Eric asks what Roland was behind on when he scheduled this podcast interview
  • [00:07:43] – Roland talks about debugging client websites & talks about his publishing company
  • [00:08:00 – He talks about how he was supposed to be translating Medieval Latin documents but learned how to write code instead, which turned into an added job
  • [00:08:32] – Roland talks about the challenges and being in a constant state of distraction
  • [00:08:50] – Roland touches briefly about being a musician, what he thought about fidget spinners before he knew about his ADHD, and how learning guitar was his own way of fidgeting
  • [00:09:45] – Roland uses playing instruments as his own equivalent of meditation
  • [00:10:10] – Roland talks a bit about his experiences in the UK and taking A-Levels and how he’d play guitar instead of revise his notes
  • [00:10:50] – Roland talks about his podcast for the “905” Telephone Code
  • [00:11:20] – Roland brings up how the area is growing exponentially, how his area was portrayed, and how it’s now one of the most ethnically diverse areas in Canada
  • [00:12:08] – Roland brings up some of the issues in Canada surrounding the First Nations and Indigenous community with the discoveries of the graves and bodies being uncovered around residential schools
  • [00:12:30] – Roland talks about working with First Nations involved with the Sixties Scoop
  • [00:12:44] – He feels, even in a limited way, happy to be contributing to more knowledge of where (he) lives sharing the knowledge of First Nations & Indigenous issues in Canada
  • [00:13:07] – He’s relieved that there’s something of an awakening of what’s actually happened and what is still happening [in Canada]
  • [00:13:33 – Eric asks Roland about going in deep into what he becomes interested in, and how that’s gotten Roland into a bit of trouble at times
  • [00:13:45] – Roland talks about being an “Accidental” entrepreneur and talks about not being very business-minded or driven like other people
  • [00:13:58] – He also talks about how running your own business is tough
  • [00:14:38] – Roland talks about the “boredom threshold” not being enough
  • [00:20:50] – Before the break, Eric asks Roland about being a part of writing parts of speeches for the Queen (of England)
  • [00:21:28] – Roland talks about his first career after the bookselling was a PhD in in Medieval history and talks about studying the Parliament of Scotland
  • [00:22:44] – Roland brings up the speechwriting and how these experiences look good in a resume
  • [00:23:15] – Eric asks what he’s learned from all of these experiences
  • [00:23:25] – Roland talks about the most frustrating part of the rules involved with these particular speechwriting opportunities
  • [00:24:04] – Roland talks about his time at St. Andrews and the rules his friends had to follow
  • [00:24:30] – Eric and Roland talk about age, not knowing about ADHD until later, growing up, and how Roland didn’t do so hot in school
  • [00:25:05] – Roland talks about the 1970’s and how he was fortunate to have parents that didn’t believe the negative things his teaches had commented about him
  • [00:25:33] – Roland talks about being “spectacularly bad” at the teaching methods that didn’t suit him but still ended up with a PhD.
  • [00:26:13] – The subjects Roland was interested in were more like procrastination and fun, but other subjects felt like more work
  • [00:26:44] – Roland and Eric bring up dyscalculia
  • [00:27:15] – Eric talks about how people with ADHD don’t have the luxury of doing “work that just pays the bills” and how we have to be interested in what we’re doing
  • [00:27:28] – Eric speaks to how interest drives dopamine and feeds the executive functions
  • [00:27:51] – Roland also talks about how if he’s really interested in a topic, he can’t stop working on it, like staying up too late working on a task
  • [00:28:19] – Roland talks about how staying up too late is self-destructive behavior
  • [00:28:28] – Roland acknowledges that ADHD is still new to him, talks about getting formally diagnosed, recalls the first time he spoke with others who also have ADHD, and his moments of discovery
  • [00:29:15] – Roland talks about how he got introduced to someone with ADHD and getting help with homework
  • [00:29:35] – The thing that stood out to Roland was how a group of people talked similarly to how he does
  • [00:30:03] – Roland brings up having an absent-minded professor thing his whole life even though he’s not a professor
  • [00:30:16] – Roland talks about some of the incredible things he’s done because of a bad memory, and how moments of recognition can be powerful
  • [00:30:56] – Eric acknowledges the reactions fellow ADHD brains get when they tell each other their ADHD stories
  • [00:30:19] – Roland tells a story of one of his absent-minded moments with his at-the-time future wife
  • [00:32:03] – Eric asks Roland if the ADHD diagnosis brings things into perspective as Roland acknowledges but still finds himself, through force-of-habit, having negative self-talk and what helps
  • [00:32:41] – Roland brings up the first-time-wearing-glasses analogy
  • [00:33:15] – Roland talks about tidying a drawer being a wonderful (and relatable) achievement
  • [00:33:39] – Eric and Roland talk about the things that feel like big wins
  • [00:39:05] – Eric asks Roland what he’s been doing to address some of the negative self-talk
  • [00:39:15] – Roland acknowledges that it’s still a big challenge as a very transitional time in his life
  • [00:39:34] – Roland uses the analogy of wearing “grooves into your mind” by saying something enough times, including using self-deprecation as a defense mechanism
  • [00:40:04] – Roland feels lacking a sense of humor without it
  • [00:40:15] – Roland is learning how to feel good about being confident vs. embarrassed about being confident
  • [00:40:30] – He talks about how habits are difficult to change
  • [00:41:13] – Roland finds it challenging to change even the smallest things
  • [00:41:29] – Eric gives Roland a challenge
  • [00:41:56] – Eric goes in depth about how, no matter someone’s age, making positive changes IS possible
  • [00:43:20] – Eric talks about accepting “what is”
  • [00:43:30] – Eric talks about our itty-bitty shitty committee
  • [00:44:38] – Eric acknowledges that with ADHD, “we want progress yesterday.”
  • [00:45:35] – Eric brings up how our brains and bodies want homeostasis
  • [00:46:14] – Eric encourages Roland to keep connecting with the ADHD community
  • [00:46:24] – Roland continues to learn and says the experiences are huge.
  • [00:47:32] – Roland explains his next schemes for “world domination”
  • [00:47:47] – Eric and Roland talk about history, repeating history, and making new mistakes after we’ve learned from history
  • [00:48:46] – Roland shares his final thoughts

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