7 Attributes of the ADHD Mind that Promote Success

by | Jun 24, 2017

“Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder” — What’s really inside the ADHD mind?

Most of us would likely agree that the full name of this disorder makes it seem like a severe disadvantage. However, some of the most successful people to walk our planet are people with ADHD; but how is that possible? In this post, we’ll discuss 7 attributes that best demonstrate the power of the ADHD mind.

1. Unique Perspective

About 3 to 7 percent of children show symptoms of ADHD, and about half of those children experience their symptoms into adulthood. So clearly, those with ADHD are a significant minority compared to those who do not show symptoms. It makes logical sense that a brain acting different from the majority is going to think in a unique manner. And unique thoughts create a unique perspective, which in turn, makes people with ADHD stand out. In sum, the highest levels of success are not achieved by blending in with a crowd.

2. Curiosity

People with ADHD have an unrelenting curiosity about the world. Curiosity leads to more questions, and questions lead to answers. However, when an answer does not exist, that means we have a problem that needs solving. And that’s where unrelenting curiosity comes in handy. It pushes those with ADHD to find answers to solve various problems — whether it’s a problem in the workplace, at home, in a relationship, or the world we live in.

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”

— Albert Einstein

3. Creativity

The ADHD mind is prone to think outside the box and generate original ideas. Research findings show that people with ADHD are often times more creative in both controlled tests and in real-life, when compared to those without the disorder. But it’s all a result of a unique perspective. Their ideas might seem creative to others, but to the ADHD mind — it’s simply a natural train of thought.

4. Ingenuity

Here’s what happens when a unique perspective clashes with intense curiosity, as well as original creative thoughts. Ingenuity goes hand-in-hand with the idea that ADHD promotes curiosity, which in turn, promotes problem solving.


5. Hyperfocus

A common misconception is that people with ADHD have short attention spans, but that’s not the case. Rather, their attention system is better described as irregular. And it’s irregular to the point where people with ADHD can zero in on one particular project of interest for hours on end. This is called hyperfocus; it’s arguably the most significant advantage of the ADHD mind.

Hyperfocus is one reason why some might consider ADHD to be a superpower. Such intense concentration allows the ADHD mind to pick up on vivid details that others cannot. However, an important piece to remember is that hyperfocus only takes place when the person is interested in a project, task, subject, activity, etc. And thus, following one’s passion is even more important for people with ADHD.

6. Willing to Take Risks

People with ADHD are more prone to make impulse decisions, in addition to all sorts of spontaneous behaviors. This can go wrong if it’s not managed properly, but it’s also the reason behind the success of entrepreneurs with ADHD. Founder of JetBlue Airlines, David Neeleman, has ADHD. He expressed to the ADDitude Magazine that, “creativity and ability to take risks”, are two strengths that helped him achieve success.

“If someone told me you could be normal or you could continue to have your ADHD, I would take ADHD.”

— David Neeleman

The spontaneity of the ADHD mind promotes doing, which often times is the best way for us to learn. But keep in mind, a willingness to take risks doesn’t always lead towards building a Fortune 500 company, like Neeleman. People with ADHD might leverage this trait towards asking for a raise, promotion, etc. In the end, it’s all fueled by spontaneity. It might have scared the $#!% out of them if it was planned the day prior.

7. High Energy

Yes, the ADHD mind is hyperactive, and that makes for a lot of energy. This is one of the main reasons why ADHD is often viewed through a negative lens when evaluating children. It’s because a high amount of energy at school can lead to behaviors that are disruptive in the classroom. Also, children with ADHD often have trouble paying attention in class; but why is that? Simple, children don’t get to choose what they learn at school — that’s why. It’s not reasonable to assume a child with ADHD is going to be interested in every single subject taught in school.

Remember? The ADHD mind has zero trouble focusing WHEN INTERESTED.

As we know, once we go through the school system — choosing our path in life is fair game. What a wonderful thing that is for adults with ADHD. When leveraging a hyperactive mind towards a field of interest, adults with ADHD are often the most productive.

Closing Thoughts

As mentioned, some of the world’s most successful people had/have ADHD — people like Albert Einstein, Will Smith, Justin Timberlake, and Simone Biles, among many others. They are products of all 7 attributes on this list working in unison to achieve maximum success. And there’s all sorts of other great benefits, too. People with ADHD are known to have sparkling personalities — displayed by a great sense of humor, generosity, and engaging communication skills. And when such admirable traits are combined with high energy, it can make their motivation contagious, so everyone’s a winner.

(MORE: 6 of the Most Successful People with ADHD)

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