Join Jonathan

for a FREE 1 hour training seminar on how to dramatically improve your memory, reading speed, and learning.


Starting soon!



Enjoying Our Free Content?

Drop us some Satoshis to let us know!

(Please allow ~5 seconds for QR code to load)

Jeff Emmerson On Self-Compassion And Overcoming ADHD

  • Or listen in:
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

“Do not ever give up on yourself no matter what your age is, or what anyone else says, even if that is just you inside your head.”
— Jeff Emmerson

Greetings, SuperFriends!

Today we are joined by Jeff Emmerson. He is a new author who recently entered the self-help space and his book is called Beyond ADHD: Overcoming the Label and Thriving.

Now, you guys maybe know that I've been diagnosed with ADD, rather, informally, under-the-table diagnosed with ADD. We get into that a little bit in the episode. We also talk about this whole culture of diagnosing kids with ADD. Do they all really have ADD to such a large percentage of the population, or is other stuff going on?

In the episode, we talk about Jeff's own personal journey through depression. He gets very personal, which I always appreciate. He shares a lot of really hard stuff that he went through and ultimately talks about some of the things that he is doing and helps others do to manage and overcome this diagnosis, this black mark, that so many people carry around.

It's a great episode and I think you guys are really going enjoy it!

Join Jonathan for a completely free, 1-hour training seminar, where you'll learn the top 3 strategies to accelerate your learning and improve your memory!

This episode is brought to you by Organifi. Save 20% on their highly-recommended green juice products with coupon code “superhuman.”

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Who is Jeff Emmerson? [4:45]
  • How did Jeff Emmerson get into the field of overcoming ADHD (and ADD) [6:00]
  • What is the real percentage of people with ADD, and how many are being misdiagnosed? [9:30]
  • Does knowing what really is the problem matter? [12:00]
  • The importance of focusing on your own strengths and mindset [14:00]
  • Jeff's journey to get off his medication and the difficulties his ADHD symptoms brought [15:00]
  • The decisions that Jeff Emmerson made during this journey [18:00]
  • What should people that feel like they have ADHD/ADD do, and what should they think? [20:30]
  • The mindset that people facing difficulties like ADHD or similar should keep in order to thrive [24:00]
  • Jeff Emmerson's weekly and daily routines that keep his brain, his mind, and his soul healthy [25:45]
  • The importance of rest, and allowing yourself to unwind [28:00]
  • Being self-compassionate is one of the best things you can do for yourself [29:00]
  • The importance of having stability in your personal life and relationships [32:00]
  • Where can you find Jeff Emmerson? [33:45]
  • The key takeaway that Jeff Emmerson wants you to take with you [34:45]

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Favorite Quotes from Jeff Emmerson:

“I was infuriated with how quickly we rush to diagnose ADHD and ADD, without digging deeper.”
“We have to be careful on how quickly we put a label on someone.”
“Focus on your strengths, and growth mindset, and whatever you need to do. There is no shame in any of this.”
“I just felt this intuitive desire, ‘I've got to take my life back'.”
“You are just as capable, even if you have areas you need to be wary of!”
“We all have abilities, we all have hopes, goals, and it's just a matter of feeling supported along the way, and finding the right strategy.”
“I use a daily reminder to remind myself that all this is not a race.”
“I am compassionate with myself now, knowing that, at least, I've learned.”
“The darkest moments taught me the most, but I had to get through them to see those lessons.”


Introduction: Welcome to the Becoming Superhuman Podcast. Where we interview extraordinary people to bring you the skills and strategies to overcome the impossible. And now here's your host, Jonathan Levi.

Jonathan Levi: Before we dive into today's episode, I want to let you guys know about an opportunity to learn some of the most important skills in life, if not the most important skills, and those are the skills of learning and doing so rapidly, effectively and easily. You see guys, I'm putting on a completely free 60-minute webinar that you guys can check out where I will be going into my absolute best memory tips, learning tips, and speed reading tips so that you can immediately begin applying them and accelerating your learning of anything and everything, all you need to do to claim your spot in this free webinar is visit We have showings at many different times throughout the days for every time zone, but you have to log in and claim your spot. So that's And I really look forward to seeing what you guys achieve.

This episode is brought to you by Organifi you guys. One of the only things that every nutritional expert that we've had on the show seems to actually agree on is that we all need to eat more vegetables, eat more greens, eat organic, cut out all the processed junk. Well, who has the time, right? Who has the time to go out, do the shopping, make the salads, make the juices, make the smoothies?

And that's what I love so much about Organifi their product is an all-organic green juice. It has all of the nutrients that you need. It tastes absolutely amazing. And it's made by wonderful people who I consider to be personal friends. And as listeners of this show, you guys can actually save 20% on your first order. And all you have to do is go to That's O R G A N I F and use the coupon code superhuman at checkout.

Greetings SuperFriends and welcome to this week's episode, which is lovingly brought to you. Thanks to a five-star review from Jay Barsha of the United States of America, who says “Awesome show, highly recommended. Jonathan and his guests provide some incredibly actionable and compelling content spotlighting the absolute best tactics to help you grow. Both personally and professionally highly recommend listening and subscribing to the becoming superhuman podcast. If you want the knowledge and mindsets to become a better business leader and more importantly, a better overall person”. Well, thank you very, very much, Jay Barsha. I really, really appreciate that review for those of you who haven't left a review yet.

I'm not sure we can be friends anymore. Just kidding. We can be friends, but please leave a review. That would be super-duper helpful. And it totally cheers us up on to today's episode. You guys, today, we are joined by Jeff Emerson. He is a new author who recently entered the self-help space and his book is called “Overcoming ADHD”.

Now you guys know that I've been diagnosed with ADD or previously informally under the table diagnosed with, add, we get into that a little bit in the episode, and we talk about this whole culture of diagnosing kids with ADD. Do they all really have to add to such a large percentage of the population or is other stuff going on, we talk about Jeff's own personal journey through depression. He gets very personal, which I always appreciate. He shares a lot of really, really hard stuff that he went through and ultimately talks about some of the things that he is doing and helping others do to manage. And overcome this diagnosis, this black mark, that so many people carry around.

It's a great episode. I think you guys are really going to enjoy it. So let me present to you guys. My new SuperFriend Mr. Jeff Emerson.

Mr. Jeff Emerson. Welcome to the show, my friend. How are you doing today?

Jeff Emmerson: I'm great. How are you, Jonathan? Thanks for having me.

Jonathan Levi: I am living the dream. Thanks for joining us.

Jeff Emmerson: Excellent.

Jonathan Levi: So Jeff, I would love to hear from our audience. I try to cover it in the intro, but I always like to hear how people kind of describe their bio. Who are you? What do you do share with our audience?

Jeff Emmerson: I guess in essence, I am a pretty newly published author. First of all, I signed a book deal.

Jonathan Levi: Congrats.

Jeff Emmerson: Oh Thank you. Thank you. Yeah, definitely a labor of love as any other authors out there will know. And I'm essentially a, I guess, a mix between a mental health advocate speaker, social media person.

If you will, and someone who's also very into personal development. Yeah. So a self-growth, uh, all that kind of stuff through my own experience. So.

Jonathan Levi: Awesome. Well, congratulations on joining the industry. I think you got on our radar because you are the author of beyond ADHD. Is that correct?

Jeff Emmerson: Yes, that's correct.

Jonathan Levi: Awesome. Tell me the story behind that journey and I'll give you a little bit of background. I have ADD not ADHD and basically spent the majority of my adult life medicated to get through school. I talk about it a little bit in my Ted talk, but basically, all the memory and learning stuff that I do was late in my life and I wish I'd found it. So I know the struggle. I know the pain. I'd love to hear your story and your background with ADD, is it something you suffered from something your kids suffered from?

Jeff Emmerson: Actually, I have a little bit of a, I guess potentially different experience where I do deal with some of the symptoms of it.

And I was diagnosed with it actually after a suicide attempt in 2011, but we actually found that, and bear in mind, I'm in North America. So it may be a bit of a different situation here, but through long story short, after trying the conventional treatment, which is often just medication, at least in North America, here and thinking to myself, okay, there, there must be more to this. And I only speak for myself, of course. I began to dig deeper rather with specialists from areas like neuroscience, nutrition, vision therapy, ophthalmology, and others as well. Just trying to think of the top of my head trauma, PTSD, and see PTSD experts, that sort of thing.

And we actually, again, no, I do deal with symptoms for sure. I basically began to unravel a whole new world of reasons for these symptoms. And I thought to myself, okay, well, we have a better explanation for me because we realized that again, through dealing, you know, with psychologists and others envisioned therapy, and as mentioned earlier, we found out that I had undiagnosed vision issues.

And that childhood trauma was a much more likely root cause reason for the symptoms. So while I support everyone across the board, cause that's what I'm about, regardless of what your diagnosis ultimately is, I found Jonathan that in at least in North America, and it, it, frankly, it infuriated me as much of a positive guy as I am.

I was infuriated with how quickly we rushed to diagnose ADHD and add without digging deeper into a ton of root causes. And we haven't evolved frankly to that. Um, we have a long way to go, but I, I love and I'm again, all for, you know if you have it. Whatever the case focus on your strengths. But yeah, for me, it's a whole bigger approach that we take in the book.

So it's my story, my diagnosing journey. I was on like nine medications over three years, had a mini-stroke, not long after a hole, not because of the medications, but just the whole journey there, but also with. Looking deeper behind the diagnosis and reasons for the symptoms and the increased everything from education styles to, you know, again, to nutrition, screen, time trauma in the home potentially, or a lot of other things.

So as you can imagine, it was a mammoth project. Even get this book out to the world.

Jonathan Levi: Sure. I want to ask you, I mean, I think what you're saying is really, really important and, you know, I've started to realize that maybe I didn't need to be medicated. Maybe I needed to be meditated and maybe it was something to do with lactose sensitivity, which I've only recently realized.

And it could be so many other things as people in the audience probably know add is probably one of the most. Diagnosed things out there and Ritalin and Adderall are among the most prescribed and abused drugs in North America, where both you and I grew up. What percentage of people do you think actually have some form of add or ADHD versus the amount of people who are misdiagnosed?

Jeff Emmerson: Well, bear in mind too. I'll be the first to say that, obviously I'm not a physician, I'm not a psychiatrist or a, I'm not trained. And I'm again, very transparent about that. But I have again worked with top people in the field in North America, from neuroscience to just have to say that for anyone who might not know to the chair of the DSM four, Dr.

Alan Francis, to any clinicians out there, and many others I've worked with discussing this and digging deeper and. It's, you know, again, I don't know the exact number in essence, but I mean, what Alan Francis will say is he's on the lower side where it's maybe three to 4%, uh, I've heard, you know, in North America right now, it's on the way to becoming roughly 15% of boys.

For instance, I mean, there's a whole lot more to this where, and I try to show all sides. You know, I support, for instance, girls who manifest differently with symptoms, that there may be a huge under-diagnosis in that population. I would say from everything I've researched, I'm thinking it's on one hand, vastly over and misdiagnosed, but on the other also underdiagnosed in a lot of folks.

And I certainly do believe this. Cluster does exist for the record. That's my opinion, until we know better, we do realize that people are their lives are changed right through not just medication, but through other interventions. So I think while I don't know all the answers, I think keeping an open mind.

To every side of this is huge. And not just, you get some folks right. That you hear. And I, I cringe when I hear, while it doesn't exist at all or, you know, some other viewpoints which are you know, just meditate. You know as opposed to it's supposed to be a simple answer. Right. And I, I just try to stay open to every side.

So I'm guessing upwards of 10%, maybe, maybe five to 6%, but I don't just want to throw numbers out, like through the gospel. Right.

Jonathan Levi: I can respect that. And, and anything with psychology is always so many shades of gray, as you were talking. I was thinking to myself, ultimately, Does it matter if you actually technically have ADD, or if you have something that looks like add because it's, you know, an undiagnosed food sensitive, does it actually matter in, as you say, overcoming add to know if I have ADD or if I have, you know, a short attention span or if I'm in the wrong doctorate program, I mean, how much does it matter?

Jeff Emmerson: Yeah. You know, and I love that. I love that. And I have to say, Jonathan, that as I've gone along for the last few years, and my viewpoint has certainly changed for those who have the one or two of there who have having to follow me for the last few years, perhaps I was very harsh on the diagnosis at first, when I discovered my own like glee misdiagnosis, and then, you know, nothing's a hundred percent here, right?

Cause it's subjective to a large degree. But yeah, you're right. You nailed it. Wherever evolved to at this point is, you know, on one hand. Yeah. I want people, I want parents and teachers and others to know that there are, you know what, there is Jonathan, there are dangerous potentially to misdiagnosis and then medicating someone let's say, because that's the, yeah, there are pros and cons.

Right. So I know I've been if anything more. I don't want to say harsh, but more questioning of it because of the rampant rates and hearing and seeing how quickly off checklists were diagnosed. So I think we still have to remain aware of that and be careful how quickly we put a label on someone. Again, that can be, you know, due to stigma and everything else, perception in society.

That can be like a self-fulfilling thing where someone feels not good enough or they feel like, well, you know, I know for myself, I've had jobs where let's say I'm doing a polygraph test years ago for an armored car company, you know, to have a job, delivering money to banks and stuff, which was something I was into.

I had to mention all that. Or any type of job, let's say where your you're asked about this stuff and if it comes out right, is it going to be held against you or do you have a permanent medical record or as may be happening in the US and elsewhere, I'd have to check on that obviously, but there are concerns, you know, for that.

And at the same time, I think that you know, I love that, you know, some people say, well, whether I have it or not, you know, I'm, I'm gonna look at myself as very, whether it's gifted. Or whether it's focusing on my abilities and not worrying about, you know, having, uh, essentially the saying of the statement that maybe I have ADHD, but ADHD doesn't have me.

That's another realm. Another way to go or whatever someone's viewpoint. I guess my point is, yeah. Focus on strengths and growth mindset. Right. And whatever you need to do, that's all that matters. There's no shame in anything like medications or anything else. I, frankly, I, you know, I feel like. Hey, fist raised to anyone out there who's doing whatever they need to do to be their best.

That's the bottom line. So, yeah, you're right. I mean, it's like we're splitting hairs, right. But at the same time, I just, I, again, I cringe when I think of someone being wrongly diagnosed or, you know, some of the medications I was on, which were very heavy and I didn't need to be on, I wish there was an easier way.

Jonathan Levi: 100%. Uh, what was your personal journey out? Because you said, you know, you got tangled up with all different kinds of medications. You had health complications, you know, as you're sitting here with me, you're pretty clear with me. So what was your journey of getting out of this whole thing?

Jeff Emmerson: Well, here was part of the, and I hope, you know, obviously I'd love for no one else to have to go through this, but I know what's happening. Jonathan had to eventually because of some horrible reactions to medications, which are in a, I don't want to get too specific and start comparing medications or anything. Cause that's, again, that's a big no-no because we're all different chemistry-wise, but I was on medications for bipolar disorder. I was on everything from lithium to Latuda to others because I didn't have access at least in Canada where I am here.

We have a shortage of psychiatrists, for sure. Even then, I mean, I'm not a, I'd be the kind of person who would prefer having a whole team approach. Right. Instead of having one person try and diagnose and treat the body, isn't just, it shouldn't just be on checklists. Right. We need to be doing blood testing and other things.

But the point being that I was dealing with a. A family doctor who said to me, and this is just one of several stories from my past. She said, you know, Jeff, we have to experiment. We don't have access to a psychiatrist unless you commit yourself. Literally, that's how, how big the shortage is. And I'd already done that in 2013.

So there's a whole story there, but yeah, these are well-meaning people professionals obviously, or they wouldn't get into the field on one hand, but on the other, I just. You can imagine where the frustration and anger grew over several years, trying to get to the root of things and not just be sort of sloughed off, you know, in a hospital waiting room and actually have time to dig deeper with a team.

It just wasn't there. And I even, you know, I was approached by a neuroscientist in Michigan. Uh, Dr. Tim Royer is his name and he saw what I was doing on Twitter. He reached out and said, Hey, let me do some further assessment on you. EEG, brain scans, audio, and visual testing, you know, deeper stuff, digging deeper.

And then he essentially came to the conclusion that you know what, Jeff, this isn't what we call classic ADHD at all. You know, I was thinking, okay, this is the reason for all my past troubles. You know, it felt like a huge weight was lifted. At least I had a diagnosis at first. I felt great. Like, Oh, okay.

Now I can explain to people why I've been the way I've been. You know what I mean? Not an excuse, but being so determined on one hand and driven and yet constantly burning out quick. Trying a lot of things and then quitting and other stuff. But anyway, so it's been a whole like from specialist to specialist, basically, my frustration grew realizing, and then talking with people on Twitter and elsewhere realizing how quickly it's diagnosed.

So to finally answer your question. After a major, almost becoming suicidal again because of being on the wrong medications again for mood disorder, bipolar disorder, and my wife witnessing just some horrible mood swings I decided to, and with doctor supervision, may I add go off of my medication? Very cautiously.

Very slowly. And I just felt this intuitive desire. I was thinking, okay, I've got to take my life back. So as simple as that sounds or cliche, whatever. So I gradually went off and I think that was 2014. And then again, about seven or eight months later in 2015 ish. Again, because I don't remember the dates.

Exactly. I had a Tia or mini-stroke, but we believe that's completely unrelated, but just the whole, you know, going off of medications can be quite chair, you know, trying as it is. Uh, but then dealing with suddenly I'm trying to talk to my wife and jumbled words are coming out. I have what's called aphasia and that whole other thing there.

Anyways. So after all that and getting all the testing, all the tests are no negative. Um, I decided to lose 40 pounds cause I was quite heavy, started eating better, working out even more. I'm not working out with weights like I was and just making improvements, you know, because of the mini-stroke obviously, and I haven't looked back really.

So medication-free thriving. Realizing I have to say though, I don't belong in the nine to five world. That'll be a huge thing for a lot of listeners. I'm sure as well as herself, I'm guessing as an entrepreneurial type, perhaps. Yeah. And that's helped me thrive. Even just getting out of a 9-5 world and working on my own with my wife has been immense. So.

Jonathan Levi: Yeah. I had a friend who used to call it's often said in the EO entrepreneurs organization that, you know, we all suffer from the entrepreneur's disease, but everyone else calls it to ADD. And I think that's probably true. I think a large portion of entrepreneurs. Are people who just don't fit into the kind of template of either academia or working for someone else as a salaried employee.

I think that's ultimately what ends up driving us. So many of us to entrepreneurship.

Jeff Emmerson: Yeah, absolutely. I couldn't agree more. That was perfectly said. Totally

Jonathan Levi: agreed. Tell me if there are people out there Jeff, who are listening and are saying, you know, Hey, I'm not sure what's going on with me. I'm not sure if I have added, or maybe if they feel they do have to add what are some kind of words of compassion and encouragement that you could offer them as to what they should do next?

What would be the steps that you would take? And I know they should definitely pick up a copy of the book and read through that as

Jeff Emmerson: well. Well, I have to say. Yeah. And for me, as much as I get the odd cynic thinking, you know, Jeff just wants to sell books. I would love for them to spend five minutes with me and realize that, okay, this is not about books.

I mean, books are great. And I'm lucky to have even gotten a book deal. Frankly. I got to say because most publishers just wanted another conventional book from a psychiatrist and you can hear my disdain. When I say that almost like the entrepreneur mind trying to fit into the nine to five world, right.

That this thing. Oh, use that word, I guess, to put it nicely. But yeah, and I, I get it, you know, I was told that the publishing world is gradually evolve now with mental health. And fortunately my publisher, Roman Littlefield, I have to give them a huge credit and my agent, Dana Newman, and, you know, key folks who've helped me along the way.

Robert yelling, my co-writer masterful at it. As far as this goes, I have to say with all that said, yeah. This book from what I saw, and we did a comparative check on all the other books out there about ADHD that are similar. And this one, what I love about it is that it actually arms people with the knowledge into what to dig deeper into.

And a lot of the reasons why the diagnosis is increasing like lots of the pieces of the puzzle from yes, big pharma. To nutrition to screen time to, again, there are a lot of other things as well to society itself, but as far as the words of compassion that I would offer, I would say number one. And again, this is just for me and I'm looking at my window thinking, but number one is.

It's not the end, no matter what you've dealt with, whether it's addiction, whether it's suicidal feelings like I've had, I've been there. I attempted, once I lost my brother to suicide, I've worked in the hospitals, actually doing security, guarding, and caring for people who were suicidal. A year after I attempted, which might sound odd.

I know, but I just had so much empathy after that and moved across the country where they didn't know I had attempted suicide at your earlier. So that's how I got that job in the interest of honesty. But yeah, I would say, you know, keep going, you have strengths, you have as cliche as all this sounds cliches.

Stand the test of time for a reason I've learned, you know, do not, as far as what's called self-talk key terms, like self-talk growth mindset, things that we can research too. You know, if we don't feel like we belong or, you know, we feel shame and guilt for past mistakes like myself. When I was young, getting in trouble for law, even having a record, you know, having to prove myself again, this overwhelming feeling of.

Lackings and so forth. Right. As simple as that sounds like I don't fit in and it needs voices. It's not the end. I say to people on Twitter, a term I use is you've got a foot soldier of support here in me because I've been there. I've put it all out online, you know, all the mistakes and, and I can't go back now.

It's all on the line. Right. But this gave me a new purpose. So for anyone dealing with these symptoms, Or any other symptoms or, you know, what coexisting diagnosis, whether it's, you know, mood disorders, the bipolar hypomania, BP to whatever it is, OCD to all these I'll call them labels, but diagnoses, you are just as capable.

And I feel like yelling this sometimes because I'm so passionate about it. You're, you're just as capable even if you've got yet areas you need to be wary of. Sure we all do myself included, but I guess the biggest thing would be, I just it's like, I want to hug people because I know that we all have abilities.

We all have, you know, hopes, goals, all these things, and it's just a matter of feeling supported along the way. Right. And then, you know, finding the right. Strategy, whatever it is, and it's different for everyone. So it's hard for me to have one message cookie-cutter message. Right. I would just say know that you're not alone.

As simple as that sounds, you know? Cause that's what helped me get through as a man when I was suicidal and men don't always open up. Right. Cause we have a lot of pride friends, at least I do. It's sometimes opening up is the greatest thing you can do. And it, um, even though it feels like the scariest, so I would just let people know, I'd reiterate that you are not alone in this and regardless of medications, or if you're in the middle of trying medications and you feel all foggy in your head or whatever it is, you know, people they belittle you or make you feel less than that's a lie and depression, the depression that can happen from the racing thoughts that we know all too well, that can spiral into anxiety.

That's depression is telling us lies. And I know it again, I've lived it and I continue to be gentle on myself as I go. So I know I've offered a whole lot there. I hope your listeners can take something from that one or two nuggets. Absolutely.

Jonathan Levi: I want to also ask you, what is your because as you said, you've talked to so many neuroscientists and you've talked to so many researchers.

What is your daily or weekly mental and emotional and brain health routine look like? I mean, what do you eat? Are you meditating? What are the things that you're doing to keep your brain? Because as you've so generously shared with us, you have a history of suicidal depression. It's clearly in your family.

What are the things that you are doing to keep your brain, your mind, and your kind of soul healthy?

Jeff Emmerson: Yeah, the critical questions and a few things come to mind, first of all, and again, everyone's different here. So find what works for you. Obviously, the only way to do that is from learning and trying different things.

But I know that for me, I know right off the bat exercise is huge and I was always into that exercise and creative outlets as well. I'll throw those two out. So for me, it's my latest thing is swimming. So that's usually three times a week. For about, you know, an hour, an hour and 15 minutes. I just do laps.

I'm not getting into numbers too much, obviously, because who cares, but just getting out there and getting active, everyone's got different goals, but for me, I'll throw it out there. I do roughly 3000 meters to 3,300 meters. For anyone who's into swimming, which for me, I'm 41. So I'm a little older. That's great.

Help keep the weight off and in conjunction with, I usually eat every three, roughly three, and a half hours. I enjoy food. I enjoy junk food the odd time for sure. I enjoy, you know, again, I know what works for me, but day-in, and day-out, I've learned to, you know, have. And eating plan where it's, you know, some protein, not a high amount of carbs, but some for sure.

And then some good healthy fats, but not too obsessive for me, again, that's me. But, uh, eating every three to four hours, I found helps keep the blood sugar regulated. So that mood swings. Are minimized. That's just, again, another key thing that's helped me in conjunction with the exercise, but huge with that as well.

Another piece of that puzzle, Jonathan has been just daily reminders, as simple as this is going to sound getting in the routine of reminding myself, Hey, Jeff, you know, Don't race. It's not a race, you know, put in the work, do what you gotta do sort of thing, but it's not a race. Be gentle on yourself.

Remember while everyone has different schedules and I used to be go, go, go, go, go, you know, hours and hours a day. Like a lot of us are, and you'll hear certain entrepreneurs. I think of Gary Vaynerchuk and some others, right. Obviously.

Jonathan Levi: Dan that approach. Yeah.

Jeff Emmerson: You know what? I went through that where he was, I found him incredibly motivating on one hand and, you know, I think he's a great, great person, all that stuff.

We've talked a couple of times, but his approach would literally kill me. You know what I mean? I would, yeah.

Jonathan Levi: Right. Yeah. Gary, I've met as well and he's so high strung. I think you have to be a one-of-a-kind entrepreneur, the rest of us like I got to rest.

Jeff Emmerson: Well, that's it. And rest is a weapon. You know, someone once said a rest as a weapon.

And if that's one way to look at it, it's just a quote. But I mean, an important quote, I think rest is about longevity, right? And I know when I was young, I don't know about you, Jonathan, but I, I was like, because of, you know, not feeling good about myself and always being very driven and trying to prove myself.

I was always in a race. To get to some certain goal. And as I actually tweeted earlier this morning, that man, I can't tell you how long this took me to learn. And I'm still, you know, I'm learning not to beat myself up for it, which is another huge thing. Self-compassion is a huge thing. But you know, when we don't achieve things quick being so driven, driven, driven, and you can burn out and then crash.

I dunno if that resonates with anyone out there trying to prove yourself in that it's like a cyclical, it's like a pattern, right. Of, you know, I'm not good enough unless I get to X, whether it's, you know, winning a gold medal or just because the Olympics are on or, or, you know, getting my book published or, you know, only then can I allow myself to feel good about myself and feel happy.

I tweeted something about that earlier. And I said, I won't make that mistake again, of wishing away all sorts of time, wishing away 10 years. Roughly of moments that I could have enjoyed more with family, friends, and people waiting for the day when I would achieve a certain goal that I had, which I talk about in the book.

And I just think, wow, I mean, you know, but I'm compassionate on myself now, knowing, well, at least I've learned now right better later than never, you know, always that glass half full. Approach, even if I feel like crap, even if I'm in the psych ward like I was from the mental health unit, some would prefer to call it, even if I feel about an inch tall.

And that doesn't mean that I can't still like honor myself, even if no one else sees me as any good, even if I was in jail, even if whatever, the worst-case scenario, I'm suicidal, whatever. And I know it's easy to say. You know, it's up to each person to hang on. Right? You can't save everyone. My friends will remind me cause it's, sometimes I try to, I want to say the perfect thing that will prevent anyone out there who's suicidal or anything else, or, you know, I want to try to save everyone, but then I got to remind myself.

Well, Jeff, you've got to also be gentle on yourself because if you burn out, then how much do you have to offer other people?

Jonathan Levi: So I love that. I love that. You know, I, I resonated a lot with a lot of the things you said, and the comparison between being a young man and an old man is my favorite quote. When I was 18 years old, was Archimedes.

Give me. But a firm place to stand in a long enough lever and I'll move the earth. And I used to focus so much on the lever, the lever being skills and money that you can invest into doing big projects and learning more things. And now I realize that the real genius, I mean, of course, that quote was articulating the concept of leverage, which are our committees.

If not discovered popularized, but I realized that the real genius of that is that the lever is an amazing, wonderful, brilliant invention, both metaphorically and literally, but the real genius is the from place to stand. The firm place to stand is a healthy family life and a healthy body and a healthy mind and a healthy soul so that you can then who's the lever because if you're not standing on firm ground, the lever is just going to sink you.

And it's going to push you into the mud. And, uh, I spent a lot of time just thinking about that, how the firm is the ground that I'm standing on? Wow.

Jeff Emmerson: I love that. I, I almost feel like we're in a therapy session from my past and I'm taking wisdom from you. Yeah. That's a huge compliment to you because wow. Yeah, beautifully said, wow.

Well, thank you, actually, I hadn't heard that one before, oddly enough, I guess, but yeah, it's so true. And as I think back. Really quickly I'll share this. My wife, Amy, who we met in, what was it? Late 2008. And my prior longest relationship ever had been about seven or eight months. And we've been together since anyway, she went through, you know, again, just after my brother had, had ended his own life.

We met about six months later. And she's seen me through all of this stuff. And you know what? She paid the bills for quite a while, for instance, like she was a real, she was my solid ground, I guess in essence you could say so. And I let her know that through the book and in real life here, you know, I tell her all the time, but you're right.

And my dad and other key people. So I hear you. It's the solid, you know, it's solid ground, especially for those of us who are very. Whatever word you wanna use, fill in the blank, driven, you know, we're reaching for the stars or whatever it is, right. We know we don't fit in or, or even if we do fit in, we have, you know, big goals and we want to do great things, whatever it is.

Sometimes we need that stability. As we go out. Right. You know what I'm getting at? I'm shorter as we go. Yeah. It's like having your child go off to school for the first time and you're so afraid you just want them safe. Right. So it's like, as you go and reach for the stars, you know, make sure there's that stability somewhere.

And I'm fortunate enough to have had that. Yeah. So

Jonathan Levi: Beautifully said. Absolutely. So, Jeff, I know we're running up on time here. I want to ask you where can people reach out and learn more about everything that you're doing?

Jeff Emmerson: Oh sure. Okay. A few places, if they're on Twitter, I'm definitely on there.

That's one Avenue at, I am Jeff Emerson. Yeah. If they just searched the words beyond ADHD, my account should come up as one of them. And also Jeff Uh, trying to think of where else I'm also for any, you know, any business-related folks I'm on LinkedIn and yeah, I guess those are the main channels Facebook as well, of course.

Jonathan Levi: Awesome. Awesome and we'll link all that stuff up in the blog post for people to check I wanted to ask you Jeff before I let you go. Our last question, which is if people take away one really big message and you hope that they carry it with them for the rest of their lives, what would you hope for that big message to be from today's show?

Jeff Emmerson: Wow. I've wondered about that third couple, but I mean, if there was one, I would say two, again, as cliche as that sounds cause I've lived it and I'm proof I really am. And I'm still, I have to pinch myself, frankly, that I'm still here doing this now what I'm doing, but do not ever give up on yourself no matter what your age is, because I'm a late bloomer myself later, bloomer.

Do not ever stop, even if, if I can throw on as well, no matter what anyone else, including inside your head, no matter what that voice says, if it's negative or down, it's not the truth unless you believe it. There are ways to change that over time. There are ways to change anything in your life. Again, I always feel like it's cliche, but when you refuse to give up as close as I came to suicide, I didn't.

Thank God, you know, and it gave me a new purpose that darkest, I guess I'm throwing this one in. If I may, the darkest moments taught me the most. But I had to get through them to see those lessons. I love

Jonathan Levi: I love that. And I completely agree with you.

Jeff Emmerson: And a huge love for all of you listening, you know, all that, just keep going. So thank you.

Jonathan Levi: Yeah. Jeff, thank you so much for sharing your time and such a personal story with us. I know people were inspired by it and I hope people, anyone out there who needs help is going to seek it and is going to be inspired to keep pushing on because of your words today. So thank you for joining us.

Jeff Emmerson: And thank you for listening for letting me ramble on and pour my heart out. So I appreciate that as well very much.

Jonathan Levi: Thank you to everyone. Keep in touch and congrats and good luck on the book launch.

All right, SuperFriends. That is all we have for you today, but I hope you guys really enjoyed the show and I hope you learned a ton of actionable information tips, advice that will help you go out there and overcome the impossible.

If you've enjoyed the show, please take a moment. To leave us a review on iTunes or Stitcher, or drop us a quick little note on the Twitter machine @gosuperhuman. Also, if you have any ideas for anyone out there who you would love to see on the show, we always love to hear your recommendations. You can submit it on our website, or you can just drop us an email and let us know that's all for today guys.

Closing: Thanks for tuning in to the Becoming SuperHuman Podcast for more great skills and strategies, or for links to any of the resources mentioned in this episode, visit We'll see you next time.



  1. Luiz
    at — Reply

    Thanks, I learned a lot of interesting things in past episodes.

  2. Shivaditya Purohit
    at — Reply

    loved th heart and the depth of the conversation. The way that Dr. Metivier shared from his enormous experience and insights was just amazing. Thank you Jonathan for doing this podcast!! 🙂

  3. Rob
    at — Reply

    Great interview with Dr. Greg Wells! He mentioned a doctor from Colorado around the 42:30 point of the podcast, discussing turmeric and black pepper. I couldn’t make out the doctor’s name. Can you provide me with his full name and maybe his website or contact info. Interested in his products.



  4. Muhammed Sani Ibrahim
    at — Reply

    I am new here, and learning really fast.
    Thank you.

Leave a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The Basics of Total Personal Transformation W/ Stephan Spencer