Current statistics estimate that anywhere from 2.5% – 4% of adults are challenged with ADHD. If you think you are alone, you’re not. The grocery store, PTA school meetings, restaurants, and really everywhere you go are filled with others who move throughout the day with ADHD. Difficulty focusing, impulsiveness, and time-management struggles are a few symptoms to name and effecting more individuals than you may think. If you do enough research, you can find an extensive list of high-profile individuals with ADHD.
Here’s just a small sample of famous people diagnosed with ADHD. I’m betting you can see yourself or someone you care for in their challenges and successes.
Michael Philips: Hyperactive ADHD made school difficult; however, the routine of swimming practice helped him cope. 28 Olympic medals prove that finding what works is critical.
Howie Mandel: Back before ADHD was ADHD, Mandel struggled. “I often do things without thinking. That’s my ADHD talking.” Medication and therapy help him deal with his ADHD.
Albert Einstein: He was known for being forgetful, but I’m okay with that. Thank you, Mr. Einstein, for the theory of relativity.
Simone Biles: “Having ADHD and taking medicine for it is nothing to be ashamed of, nothing that I’m afraid to let people know.” You go, girl!
Sir Richard Branson: He left school when he was 15. “I’ve been running large groups of private companies in Europe but haven’t been able to know the difference between net and gross.” I think you’ve done just fine, Mr. Branson.
Dean Kamen: As an inventor, Kamen credits his ADHD as the catalyst for his many inventions. His most famous device, the Segway, stands in good company with 440 US and foreign patents.
Lisa Ling: Ironically, Ling’s ADHD was discovered while working on her docuseries, “Our America with Lisa Ling”. She gives credit to her ADHD for her successful career.
Payne Stewart: “Once he was diagnosed with ADD [attention deficit disorder] and knew what it was,” friend Jim Morris said, “he handled it fine. Before that, on the golf course, he could hit the toughest shot in the world and then miss the easiest one because he’d lost interest.”
Paul Orfalea: Founder of Kinkos, Orfalea, who flunked two grades, was expelled from four high schools and made less than stellar grades in college, credits his ADHD with his success.
He was able to see the big picture and not get bogged down in the details. His restlessness kept him out and about, recognizing opportunity and connecting one success to another.
James Carville: ADHD keeps Carville hyper, focused, adaptable, and full of the sort of excess energy politics demand. Carville is an advocate for ADHD speaking publicly for organizations like Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD).
As you can see from this shortlist of successful individuals, your ADHD doesn’t have to limit you. The key is capitalizing on your strengths and finding support structures to accommodate your challenges. For example, if you are running a business that is showing major potential but you are continually getting caught up on the “paperwork” side of things, such as updating your client list, then think about hiring an assistant for those administrative tasks that keep you from obtaining your full potential. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, bridging the gap is vital in living a life with as much ease as possible.
Since the percentage of redheads is about 2% in the world, that means that there are potentially double the number of people who are working with ADHD on a daily basis. Again, you are not alone. There are many resources to lead your life into balance and sometimes just knowing you are not alone is a meaningful point to acknowledge.
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