M.AG.I.C. 4 Teens

Steven Barnes
3 min readMar 22

Twelve years ago, we discovered Jason had ADHD. Before that diagnosis I realized he needed support with concentration and began a Morning Ritual with him, an extension of my own FIREDANCE ritual. As years passed, some elements of that fell away, but by the time he got to Jr. High we re-instituted it. He was under medication and in therapy and in the special needs tract.

. For years I’d been frustrated: I get paid VERY well for life coaching and stress counseling. And working with a team of medical professionals using what they called “The Barnes Technique” (!) I was told that the clients liked my interventions best.

Can you IMAGINE how frustrating that was? To be able to help STRANGERS but not my own son? But when the Pandemic hit, home-schooling became our only reasonable option, and I saw a possibility: with Tananarive’s hovering and microscopic examination of every action and response, and the help and full engagement of the medical professionals in Jason’s wellness circle, I would design a program to help Jason take maximum advantage of his potential.

After all (I reckoned) NO HUMAN BEING takes 100% advantage of their resources. All of the success philosophies and focus/alignment techniques I’d studied were about increasing BOTH potential and PERCENTAGE of the potential in use.

In other words, I reckoned that if I could measure it, I could improve it. And if doctors believed he had 60% of the average potential in some arena (say, focus), but the average person used only about 50% of that potential…if I could get him to EIGHTY PERCENT of his, he could actually perform a “normie.” The intention: to get him to be able to survive on the basic animal level:

Caring for his mind and body.

Succeeding financially (hunting and gathering)

Succeeding at mating (love and marriage)

The ability to raise healthy, vibrant children leading by example.

THOSE are the most basic animal skills, adjusted for human existence. If I could get him to that, by teaching him the most powerful techniques I’d learned and designed for my own performance, and had tested with THOUSANDS of live and on-line students…wouldn’t that mean he was free? If he could do that without medication, wouldn’t that be, functionally, be the best possible result?

I thought so. Tananarive thought so. The doctors and therapists were doubtful…until I told them what I was going to do…

Steven Barnes

Steven Barnes is a NY Times bestselling author, ecstatic husband and father, and holder of black belts in three martial arts. www.lifewritingpodcast.com.