“The Drummer and the Great Mountain is an informative, practical guidebook for those of us with the artistic or entrepreneurial temperament, offering a treasure trove of survival tools, personal growth techniques and coping mechanisms for a personality type that can often be at odds with our linear, rational society. Ferguson makes a strong case for ADD/ADHD not as an illness but as a hard-wired disposition with evolutionary roots — and potential advantages. Musicians, artists, writers, creatives, and all who march to a different drummer (and those prone to addiction) take note: here is a bounty of life-enhancing tools offered up with gentle, supportive guidance that may well tip the scales in favor of adaptability and success rather than struggle and despair. Ferguson, who has trod this terrain himself and clearly walks the talk, has created a unique and useful map of the hills and valleys, pitfalls and opportunities, highs and lows that are an invaluable aid to those on this path.”
~ Warren Goldie, Author
“This book seems to not only span the whole spectrum of the ADD/ADHD subject but pierces deeply, bringing into focus the essential value of each part of our lives to augment – even perfect – our given natures; no matter how unique, rare or misunderstood.
If only we had the right – or even just a better – perspective for which to embrace the ADD/ADHD spirit in our modern communities, let alone our intimate relationships, how much value we would find… even missing pieces to our own puzzles.”
~ Doro Kiley, Life Coach
“Michael has taken a deeper look at how the foods we eat affect our brain chemistry. He has done a beautiful job explaining this phenomenon in clear and understandable terms; offering a realistic roadmap on how to recognize and take control of detrimental dietary patterns.”
~ Jennifer Copyak, Nutritionist
“Reading your book has been really helpful for my husband and I to understand our son better and be able to support him in a more constructive way. Having a clearer picture of how the hunter brain functions and how exercise and diet can make a difference has been reassuring. We have been able to take positive steps to help him get through a difficult first term at university. Thank you so much for sharing your insights.
~ Fiona and John Meadley, Parents (UK)
“Michael uses wisdom, compassion, and his personal life experience to shed light on an important piece of our culture, allowing those with ADD/ADHD to embrace their journey with grace and courage.”
~ Joshua Canter, founder of True Nature Education
I learned about The Drummer and the Great Mountain at a Nonviolent (or Compassionate) Communication (NVC) retreat. At first I was not very curious or interested in yet another book about ADD/ADHD. When a colleague told me it included a section on NVC and spoke enthusiastically about it I decided to give it a look. First, I found an informative and accurate description of the NVC model, including Observations, Feelings, Needs and Requests.
Then I saw that Michael was incorporating the concepts of hunter and farmer which I had first seen in Thom Hartmann’s pioneering work. By then I was hooked.
I especially liked the tables listing strengths and challenges of the hunter type. This will be very empowering to someone who has been told he or she has a “disorder” that needs treatment. I also liked his approach to medication. He recognizes drugs can be useful for some people, for a time, yet advocates other approaches to reduce or eliminate the use of chemicals.
The Drummer and the Great Mountain offers a comprehensive and inclusive coverage of the topic. Michael deals with the five major dimensions of life: physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual. And while not specifically addressed, I see Ken Wilber’s four quadrants: inner subjective, inner objective, outer subjective and outer objective being evident within the narrative.
One aspect I did not see is a nuanced discussion of the area between the types. I believe most, if not all, of us have elements or aspects of the hunter type as well as the farmer type in our approach to life. There are no pure types. I would like to have seen some discussion of where one might fit along a continuum of the two types. It seems to me that we each have a “center of gravity” or habitual preference toward one side or the other yet we do not function exclusively from either. I have observed myself moving more into one mode when life circumstances call for it.
I am retired from my clinical practice so will not likely be using it with clients per se. I do supply books for our non-profit Rocky Mountain Compassionate Communication Network to sell at classes and events. The Drummer and the Great Mountain has been a best seller. People seem hungry for a perspective that is empowering.
I gave a copy to my twenty-something grandson who has been diagnosed with ADD. He told me it has been very helpful to him in understanding his type as a type, not a disorder. He has found much resonance, understanding, reassurance and empowerment in the material and the way it is presented. He particularly liked the tables of strengths and challenges. He has not put all of the recommendations in place but is working on it.
I highly recommend The Drummer and the Great Mountain to anyone dealing with ADD/ADHD whether the individual so diagnosed, family members, health care professionals or researchers.
~ Ken Rosevear, M.A. Evergreen, Colorado
I am about two weeks into the discovery and exploration of your podcast and already have connected with so many of the points discussed. It has been an eye opening experience for me, and I look forward to reading the book and getting much deeper into this so that I can make these changes and improve not only my life but the lives of those around me, especially those who rely on me (my wife & children, one of whom is also a hunter-type).
…I appreciate your help and insight and look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for what you have done in the book and what you continue to do in the podcast. It is much appreciated and I look forward to continuing to learn more about myself as a hunter-type!!
I’ve been diagnosed with ADD and stumbled upon your book last week, through your podcast, and every page has been an “aha!” moment for me…
After months of trying to motivate myself and succeed, and failing at both, I’m in a pretty unhappy place. But reading your book, I recognized myself in every chapter and found a lot of great suggestions for how to get control of things again and forgive myself for not being able to handle all of the challenges I’m facing.
Just wanted to say thank you so much for this book, the podcast, and all of your insights. I found your podcast on a podcast app called podbean and purchased the book shortly after. I spent years of my life feeling that I was somehow different than my peers, but could never put into words what was going on in my mind. Teachers would simply comment about the need to apply myself more in certain classes. I figured they were right and that I would one day get it together. I had always felt that the traditional learning environment was not somewhere that I could thrive. It wasn’t until recently that I wondered why my levels of focus were either 0 or 10. The same applied to any emotional situations. It’d be either no reaction or outburst. Any hyperactivity I experienced was in my mind more so than externally as I was very shy growing up. I was always one of the quiet ones. I’ve noticed that over the years, dietary improvements have made a significant difference as far as my energy and moods go. Increasing protein intake has done wonders. Same goes for having a consistent sleep schedule. Thank you so much again. This has been a life changing experience for me. There’s a great feeling of peace that has come with having a better understanding of what it is to be a hunter-type and how to manage the symptoms without medication. At this time, I have not been diagnosed nor have I contacted a professional but it is a thought.
I found your book incredibly helpful. Your approach resonates with me, including the holistic treatment…
I really appreciate the work you have done.
Hi, as I have said before; thank you so much for writing a Haynes Manual for my rather odd model. I am a bit stunned that at 48 I have only just been diagnosed with ADD and realised that the majority of my problems are classic ADD Hunter type issues…
~ Zac, UK
I have been listening to your Podcasts and find them to be extremely helpful. I wish I found them 6 months ago! They are really tying together and backing up all the research(and my own conclusions I’ve come up with) since being diagnosed with ADD @ 39yrs old.
My diagnosis and treatment can be summed up in the following statement I’ve read somewhere(perhaps one of Dr Hallowell’s books?) “Its like being given a scuba mask and then being dumped in the great barrier reef to go figure it out” Your podcast’s really give the framework I felt I needed to tackle this effectively…
Thank you for your time, and well done on your work. I think you are going to make a huge positive impact in people’s lives. Bahman Sarram’s contribution to the podcast is fantastic as well.
First, I can’t tell you how much I appreciated being told that you don’t see this as an illness. It runs in my family, and just about every website pertaining to ADD/ADHD refers to it that way. People were posting about their “chronic illness,” and that is very self defeating, in my opinion. Your book and podcasts are so uplifting and hopeful. I feel like I can appreciate myself instead of feeling constantly frustrated or that I’m a failure.
The first thing I addressed was my eating habits. My biggest problem is low blood sugar, and that can happen even after a meal that works fine for my husband! You mentioned Kind bars so I got a box, and now when I start to feel tired or shaky, all I often need is a bite or two from one of those bars. I’m also sensitive to caffeine. I can drink a cup in the morning, but after that I have to be careful. Now, I’m drinking teas, and that’s usually a green or the Yerba Mate you suggested.
I still wake up most nights, but I’m much more relaxed, and usually go back to sleep fairly quickly. One thing that helped me a lot was adding a foam topper to the bed. I’m 64 and kind of thin, so often I’d wake up and be very uncomfortable. Of course, that made getting back to sleep difficult, but the extra padding had made a huge difference. If, for some reason, I’m still having trouble (and my mind is too active), I listen to a podcast or audio book at a low volume that somehow interferes with other thoughts. I have a couple I enjoy, that don’t draw me in too much, and I just set a timer for it to play for 15-30 minutes. Yes, I fall asleep and miss some, but easy enough to listen again during the day!
Thank you so much! Finally, I’m feeling some energy again. I’m getting things done (gTasks works great for me) and just maybe I will be able to accomplish some goals that keep getting away from me. My husband doesn’t have ADD, but you’ve brought up things that he feels are helpful for him. And, of course, he’s seeing how much better I’m doing.
I’m very grateful,
Hey guys, I just listened to a few of the podcasts from your series. I just wanna say big thanks for giving a new perspective on ADHD-ADD and putting aside the negative stigma by using the terminology Hunter-type…
Also I wanna say big thanks for trying to push for a lifestyle without ADD meds without making anybody that uses them feeling guilty or foolish. I have used the meds in the past and I was able to put them aside, but I know it can be really hard for certain people do function well without them.
I’ve been listening to your podcast sporadically for about a year. I relate to a lot of things you guys talk about and find the podcast very helpful. I really thought the podcast on overcoming disappointment was excellent…
Thank you and I appreciate your work on this podcast,
I’m not lazy let me tell you lol I listen to every podcast love you guys . Can’t live without you.
Thanks a lot for the info!… Also many Thanks for the podcast, really really valuable and helpful information. And gives me a much more positive view about myself and my behaviour.
The podcasts actually encouraged me to buy the book, but I’d like a printed copy as it will sit on my desk as a reminder to actually read it. This book sounds like it was written for me as I’m in the creative field.
Thanks for the work on this project.
Hi Michael, I recently listened to your podcast about the importance of the discipline of completing projects, and have finally completed enough preliminary sketches to know I will have enough illustrations to publish “A Rat Named Cheddar” as a CreateSpace kid’s book and ebook on Amazon. I plan on doing the final art digitally, but needed to make sure I had enough sketch ideas to fill at least 24 pages before I started. Thanks for your wonderful work in helping us hunter gathers!
Other than my doctor, my best resource has been The Drummer & The Great Mountain Book Adult ADD ADHD podcast & book, which I extremely recommend.
I hope you are well and happy today. I just wanted to say that I stumbled across your podcasts on TuneIn Radio and they have changed everything. Recently I have self-diagnosed as ADHD and although I was relieved that it wasn’t me being lazy or stupid but just how I am wired, I was struggling with the “disorder” “I am broken” “I should be normal” issue of it. There was a risk of me sinking into a victim mentality. But your podcasts have changed everything and reframed it for me utterly which gives me a pride in my good characteristics, understanding of my challenges and a plan of attack to follow a path that is healthy for both my mind, body and spirit…
I just wanted to tell you how great I think you podcast is and what a help it has been to me. I originally came across the Drummer and Great Mountain while researching adult ADHD. My friends son was gong through a difficult time and I was wondering how I could support my friend. I have listened to every episode and I love it. I have been able to support my friend and also discovered that I can relate a lot of hunter traits to myself!!! I am a mum to 2 beautiful boys who both have autism. As you can imagine it can be very stressful and overwhelming. I have been using your ideas to manage my own stress, I have started using a life planner, I have stopped trying to achieve perfection and I’m trying to be more mindful. So far so good!
Thank you for all your hard work, I look forward to your next podcast and wish you success for 2016
~ Georgina, UK
Long time listener, first time caller haha. Seriously I want to thank you so much for your book and podcast which have had tremendous impact on my life. I have in benefited my mental/physical/emotional health, family, career and ministry…
With Sincere Gratitude,
I JUST finished listening to part 3 of the diet and exercise podcast and so am now heading out for a walk. Thank you very much for sharing your experiences, tips and ideas. Last week my sister started listening to your podcast and she’s already hooked as well. Please keep them coming!!
Thanks so much for such a great podcast. My book is on the way, and I can’t wait til I can re-listen to all the episodes as I finish the chapters.
Have a good day, guys!
Finally, some information for those of us who were the “wild” kids…..
I always knew I was a bit different from everyone around me, but that was just me. I have always been alright with my “norm”, I am who I am and my little “koinkydinks” have always worked for me. All except the time management thing.
I suspected I had this, now labeled, ADD/ADHD thing going on. Went to the doc once for something to calm the mind so I could focus and wound up feeling like a chameleon fighting my way out of a bag of skittles. Forget it, I will figure out how to manage the time thing in my life.
Yeah right!!! Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, has worked for me so I continue to struggle with this issue daily. Then the problem became a comprimising issue in my daily life, in my chosen career and I was faced with finding a solution or losing a career choice that I want more than anything.
That’s when I came upon the podcasts of this gem. As I listened I was actually bouncing in my seat saying, “OMG!! That’s me! That’s me”!
Anyway, this is work in progress, but so far I have discovered so many things about this ADD/ADHD business and how, as adults, it can be managed without medication.
I’ll keep you updated on progress…..I have taken the “are you this type” tests already and I am 96% in the “we have some issues” catagory….LOL!
On a side note, did you know that as an adult it is possibly the toughest thing to get your doc to take you seriously on? I have heard, “adults don’t get ADD/ADHD as there is no such thing as adult onset”. Well DUH!!! That is the problem, we have always had this brain thing with too little dopamine going on but the medical community has only, fairly recently, diagnosed and labeled it. It’s not as if a portion of an entire generation suddenly began bouncing off the walls one sunny Sunday afternoon! Scary to think that we put our trust in some of these so called professionals. Jeesh!
I don’t see myself as having a “condition” that has deprived me in any way in my life. I quite enjoy who I am and I wouldn’t change a single thing about my life. I do, however, realize that the time has come to conform and mold some aspects of myself so that I can move forward in the direction I have chosen in the best possible manner that I can and if in the end I can become better at what I love to do, then it’s a win/sin situation.
I highly recommend this book, website and podcast series to anyone with or dealing with an adult whom bounces better than the Energizer. Full of tips, tricks and explanations.
Meanwhile back in my racing mind…..I’m trying to focus so Ta-ta for now….LOL
~ Bonnie, GoodReads Review
I reframed my own ADHD from a “Disorder” to a “Gift” in the late 90’s when I first read Thom Hartmann’s book “ADD A Different Perception: The Hunter In A Farmer’s World Book.
That book and the Hunter/Farmer Theory rocked my world in a huge way. Now with Michael’s new book “The Drummer and The Great Mountain” and THIS AWESOME companion Podcast, he has taken a QUANTUM LEAP forward with support information and tools to help transform the ADHD Mind that builds on the foundation that Thom built AND takes it way further!!!
I can’t recommend this book and podcast enough to all the creative Hunters in this world! Without HUNTERS this world would be a BORING PLACE!!! (And without Farmers nothing would ever get done lol) CELEBRATE the HUNTER/FARMER DIVERSITY!
~ iTunes Podcast Review
I can’t even begin to tell you how helpful this podcast has been. In a moment of desperation I searched the iTunes Store for “ADD podcast”-I’m so glad I stumbled upon The Drummer and the Great Mountain. As someone who was just diagnosed ADD at age 30, I wanted to learn as much as I could. I immediately got on medication after learning my ADD diagnosis, and it helped some. My first thought was “how different childhood would been if I had medicine throughout school.” But after listening to this podcast, I now think “how much better childhood would’ve been if I had these strategies to use in school.” Seeing ADD not as a disorder but rather a personality type, just how my brain wired has been life-changing. The recent episode on laziness and lack of motivation actually made me emotional. It was so comforting to know that there are there people out there who have felt such shame about wanting to do the work but not being able to get started. Overcoming shame has been a huge part of this season of my life. I think us Hunter types it was a lot of shame… I should have this done by now, it shouldn’t be this hard to get this done, I shouldn’t be having trouble with this, etc. Knowing yourself, your personality type and how you work really helps to combat shame. Thanks guys for the hard work on this podcast. You really are changing lives.
~ Julie, iTunes Review
What a breath of fresh air! This blog is encouraging and practical, taking on issue that really hit home. Today I am thankful for the encouragement to keep trying. To get up and get going back on the road to full health in order to fully live again, thank you.
~ iTunes Review