Compulsive Novelty Hyperactivity Disorder

I have a condition I’ve been struggling with over a lifetime. I’ve noticed that I am not alone.

Symptoms include:

  • Faith that novelty and innovation are enough to surmount every social and environmental challenge
  • Head down focus on perfecting the invention
  • Disinterest in others who are working on the same challenge
  • Reluctance to build on what is already working
  • Belief that technology will save us
  • Distracted by the latest whatever
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Thanks for the great response tweet @AzfarRizvi “hah too familiar! thanks @aletmanski. Compulsive Novelty Hyperactivity #Disorder: #ADHD #NOT”

Possible Antidotes include:

  • Curiosity about why previous efforts never fulfilled their promise
  • Pausing, looking up and reaching out
  • Acceptance that the changes we seek may take a generation or longer
  • Learning to live with the possibility our efforts will not be enough
  • Choosing relationships over technology


Oh it’s delightful to have ambitions. I am so glad I have such a lot. And there never seems to be any end to them – that’s the best of it. Just as soon as you attain to one ambition you see another glittering higher up still. It does make life so interesting.

Anne of Green Gables courtesy of Lucy Maude Montgomery

Musical accompaniment “Old Mistakes” by The Fugitives. Listen here. Buy here.


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One Comment

  1. Debra Johnsen

    Oh hear you loud and clear….especially “acceptance that the changes we seek may take a generation or longer. It is recognizing that it is our curiosity and passions that help to unbundle our complex times. In living intentionally, we can always have one hand in the stars with the other in the MUD of real life. Vicki’s version – “in the sand” There is momentum, that tipping point as we share here.

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