Is ADD/ADHD a Super Power?
I believe that it is.
I was diagnosed at 11 years old with ADD. For many years I was taking 40mg SR Ritalin, or Adderall. I still don’t understand how you can diagnose a child at that age. It honestly messed me up for many years because I believed there was something wrong with me – like I was broken – BUT it was actually quite the opposite, I had a SUPER POWER!
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If you deal with attention deficit disorder, or for me hyperactive disorder, it can be challenging trying to find the time to focus or even the ability to focus and really retain the content. Luckily, I was introduced to some really amazing books that helped me turn this condition into a super power.
One of those books was called Driven To Distraction by Edward Hallowell and John Ratey, which talked about not only the amazing leaders that we have in our world today who have ADD/ADHD, but also how they’ve dealt with it. The book gave me a framework to think about it, which I’d like to teach you.
Three of the benefits that I believe have really given me the edge are:
- I have the power to “hyper focus.” Some people find it weird, but I do my best work in airports and coffee shops, where there’s a lot of noise and distractions. I don’t know if you do this, but I can’t even work without having background music on and sometimes that’s even the TV.We have this channel in Canada called, “Much Music,” and I used to play music videos all the time. It’s not that I was listening to the songs, I was just doing it as a background white noise. With hyperfocus, when I bite into something when I decide to do something, I go super deep and super aggressive…it’s amazing.
- The other benefit is creativity. When I’m with the team and we’re brainstorming creative solutions to difficult problems, I feel like my brain’s ability to look at different patterns and connect things that other people don’t always see. I always thought that maybe that was just me, but as I met more creative people – people who on the surface you would think have ADD – I noticed they have this same ability. There’s this belief that, whatever the problem or the challenge, they’re going to find a solution. That’s why I believe that it is my super power.
- I’m always full of energy. Even though I believe that we generate energy (not “get” energy), I do feel I have a slight edge over most people. I have the drive to live life to the fullest and it comes from a place of play and joy, which means I’m always on the go. Some people don’t know how to handle me, but I’m o.k. with that. I just channel it into the best ways possible.
A lot of people believe the quick solution to dealing with ADD/ADHD is medication. I disagree. Don’t get me wrong, I believe you need treatment, but I think there’s a huge disconnect between medication and treatment. I learned this from Dr. Amen.
He looks at having ADD/ADHD like someone who needs glasses. It’s not a bad thing, it just is. There are so many amazing ways you can “treat” ADD/ADHD, so I decided to provide a list below on how I do it.
Now, I’m not an expert or a doctor, so I would encourage you to read up on the subject and try a few of these for yourself.
- Meditation: I do really simple things like meditate in the morning to re-set my mind.
- Workout in the Morning: I workout in the morning to re-set my body and my energy level.
- Energy Management: I also do a thing called “energy management” which I did a video on recently, which talks about how I structure the tasks and activities I do in my day to really get the most out of it… KNOWING that this is how my brain is wired.
- I eat a “Clean” diet: This probably has the biggest impact on my ability to focus. I only eat high quality, earth grown ingredients. This means no processed anything, little sugar and very little carbs, etc. It’s not Paleo or the Slow Carb diet, it’s just clean ingredients. Lots of organic vegetables, fruits, lean meats and nuts.
I never looked at ADD/ ADHD like it was a disability, and if anything, I really do believe that it’s a superpower, it’s an enhancement and it’s a part of who I am. I want everybody to live who they are.
I wanted to share this with you in case you are struggling with this and to give you some thoughts and strategies to work through it and really get the most out of your life.
Check out my video on how I turn my ADHD into a superpower.
If you have any questions, leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you today. What was your biggest takeaway? What resonated with you? Post a comment with your answer. I look forward to seeing you next Monday as I continue these weekly blogs.