ADHD is my greatest strength, hands down. I bounce off the walls until I find something important to focus on.
The kid who “can’t sit still,” the guy who seems distant in conversation, the entrepreneur obsessed with one idea—I’m all of these things, but I never see it as a negative thing.
What is ADHD?
It’s more complex than just a kid who can’t sit still. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a brain disorder marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity/impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.
Symptoms include overlooking/missing details, an inability to listen, organizational issues, forgetfulness, and being easily distracted. But the most obvious one for me? Hyperfocus.
Honestly, I view this “symptom” as a home run trait. Sure, my mind can’t stick to one thing, but that means I don’t ruminate on irrelevant ideas or spend more than a minute feeling negative. My hyperfocus allows me to actually focus on the things that move the needle each day. It helped me leave my job on Wall Street to pursue my dream of ripping 1 million people off the couch. It turns out that evolution helped me do this.
How the hyperfocus trait evolved
Take it from Thom Hartmann, author of The Edison Gene.
Hartmann claims that in the hunter-gatherer cultures, hunters needed hyperfocus more than gatherers. He implies that the ADHD hyperfocus trait provided a selective advantage in the past.
It might not make sense to you, as we often hear about a “lack of focus” with ADHD in a negative way, but think about it: The hunter scanned the environment looking and waiting for something to focus on. Are you a HUNTER or are you a gatherer?
I know I’m a hunter, and this gene intensifies my inclination to take action on those ideas I’m scanning. My supposed “disorder” allowed me to create Spartan, the SpartanUp Podcast, and the SpartanX Leadership Forum.
When I’m hyperfocused on one idea, I make it great. I don’t ruminate on anything else except what matters, so why would I see ADHD as a “weakness?”
Why ADHD is a blessing
Without the hyperfocus trait, I’d lack creativity, spontaneity, and a fast-paced lifestyle essential for entrepreneurship. It’s the reason I’m successful, and it’s why ADHD is my greatest strength.
I’m a firm believer that we should all admire the things about our challenges that make us who we are. No, I can’t sit for too long, but that’s why I’m fit. No, I don’t always think before I act, but that’s why I’m direct and honest with everyone I meet. No, I didn’t learn as well in a traditional classroom setting, but that’s why I have gritty determination to succeed.
My advice to you: Tell yourself that every challenge is an opportunity to achieve success. Turn your struggle into triumph. Transform your “disorder” into an advantage.
Now stop reading, log onto LinkedIn, and tell me what “weakness” you’re grateful for: