What do Sir Richard Branson (founder of Virgin Airlines), Paul Orfalea (founder of Kinkos), David Neeleman (founder of JetBlue Airways), and Ingvar Kamprad (founder of IKEA) have in common?
Well, besides the undisputed fact that they are incredibly successful entrepreneurs, all of them have ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
I have the latter.
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, ADHD is classified as a disability. It is also one of the most commonly studied and diagnosed psychiatric disorders, yet scientists still don’t understand its cause.
Unfortunately, 40+ years ago when I was in elementary school, ADD and ADHD did not exist. In fact, it wasn’t until 1980 that ADD and ADHD were officially introduced into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. If parents, teachers and doctors were as in tune with it as they are today, life would have probably been a whole lot easier for me and millions of other children.
All through my childhood, even though I was labeled as an “achiever”, and received straight A’s, I was always in trouble with my teachers for talking too much, being absent-minded, daydreaming, annoying classmates with my bouncing leg and my inability to stay in my seat, not being able to finish assigned projects, work on a team, keep my desk clean, or follow instructions. [click to continue…]