When I first read the phrase, “unwrapping the gifts of ADD,” it was in a book by Dr. Edward Hallowell. He contended that the impulsivity, inattention, and hyperactivity that many people struggle with could also confer positive attributes for them. As I looked around at people who I know with Attention Deficit Disorder, I came to believe that he was absolutely correct. Many of these people with ADD/ADHD are successful because of their Attention Deficit Disorder. Then, I looked at celebrities. Is having Attention Deficit Disorder beneficial in some cases? How do the gifts of ADD affect them?
Michael Phelps was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder in elementary school. After taking stimulant medication to help him focus, he asked to be taken off of his meds. How did he maintain focus? Swimming helped. The structure that was needed in his life to maintain his practice schedule and school work also was important for building the concentration that was necessary to become an Olympian. Michael Phelps has the record for winning gold medals in the Olympics, as well as many world records for swimming. What are some of the gifts of ADD that helped him achieve his dreams? He had stunning energy levels, a lively spirit, and a strong will. His problem solving skills helped Michael Phelps remove medication from his life when he no longer felt the need to take it.
Jason Neeleman is the founder of JetBlue Airways, and he is a man who definitely knows how to unwrap the gifts that Attention Deficit Disorder confers on him. This entrepreneur eagerly delves into complicated systems to use his sensational problem solving skills. This out-of-the-box thinking allows him to find solutions that elude other, more traditional, thinkers. Energetic to a fault, he is responsive to the ideas of others to help improve and innovate in his business. For these reasons JetBlue has grown and thrived with Jason Neeleman at the helm.
Ty Pennington has been rowdy and gregarious since his days in elementary school. Diagnosed with ADHD as a young adult, Ty found that medication helped him to focus. However, he did not lose his exuberant and lively spirit, traits that ADD/ADHD brings out in people with this brain difference. Carpenter, designer, TV personality, and model, Ty Pennington shows his creative side to the world. This spontaneous conversationalist helps people who need to have a good home. Would Ty Pennington be the same person without the gifts of ADD? Not a chance!
Take the time to assess your gifts of ADD. What do you do well that you can directly link to your Attention Deficit Disorder? Are you a spontaneous conversationalist, able to talk about any subject to people from all walks of life? Does this gregarious side of your personality help you in your daily personal life or job? Develop your gifts, unwrap them and let them shine for the world, then build the best possible life for yourself.
Look for the Attention Deficit Disorder Forum at BellaOnline. You'll find a long list of the Gifts of ADD. Our online community knows how to celebrate these positive attributes of ADD/ADHD.
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