“They are dyslexic, they are autistic, they have ADD, they are square pegs in round holes, they piss people off, get into arguments, rock the boat, laugh in the face of paperwork.”
How’s this for a definition? That was in answer to a question posted on Quora which asked, ”How can I be as great as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk or Sir Richard Branson?”
The answer from the ex wife of Elon Musk was prefaced with a curt, “you can’t!
Justine Musk then makes a distinction between what she calls ‘success’ and ‘extreme success,’ going on to call the group of extreme entrepreneurs ‘freaks and misfits.’
Here are some other quotes from her.
- They don't think the way other people think.
- They see things from angles that unlock new ideas and insights.
- Other people consider them to be somewhat insane
- When they fail in ways that other people won't, they learn things that other people don't and never will.
If you are living with someone who has ADHD, either as a child or a partner, you will have asked this question, “why can’t you be like others, or, ‘just be normal?’”
The question we should be asking is this, “to conform or not to conform?
Most ADDers will immediately opt to be rebellious, because that’s the natural ADHD way. So many parents and teachers try to make us conform to what they think society expects of us.
But in this attempt to create conformity, we often kill or severely reduce the very attributes required to be “extremely successful.”
The world is awash with genuine and determined entrepreneurs at the moment; in that hotbed of world entrepreneurship, Silicon Valley, budding geniuses are a dime a dozen.
Entrepreneurs cannot conform to what is known, they need to create new things, which by definition means not conforming.Some corporate behemoths even have what are called “intrepreneurs;” the are employed to not conform.
Many ADDers are in trouble from early in their lives because they follow their natural instincts and resist conforming.
They eventually find friends who don’t mind if they don’t conform sometimes with tragic consequences.
The solution lies somewhere between the two, conform to what has to be done, so that you can do what you want to do.
Larry Page, half of the duo that founded Google only 11 short years ago has gone back to join his partner, Sergey Brin developing pioneering things. This is on their new company website; as Sergey and I wrote in the original founders letter 11 years ago, “Google is not a conventional company. We do not intend to become one.”
Non-conformity and unconventionality can sometimes be irritating, but the rewards are exciting and keep humanity going forward.
The trick I guess is to have a bit of both, knowing when to conform and when to be insanely creative.
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Know The Jargon - ADHD Acronyms
Some of the common ADHD acronyms
ADDer - a person who has ADHD or ADD
ADHD - Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder
ADD - Attention Deficit Disorder
SCT - Sluggish Cognitive Tempo - new name for ADD
ODD - Oppositional Defiance Disorder
CD - Conduct Disorder
OCD - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Bi-polar - Bi-polar Disorder, used to be Manic-Depression
SPD - Sensory Processing Disorder
PTSD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
ACT - Action Consequence Trigger - monitoring forms devised and supplied by Living ADDventure®
Picture Elon Musk: Wikipedia
Brain Clip Art: j4pn at www.openclipart.org
Links used in this article