“.....there is a growing belief that minds fortunate enough to have ADHD are actually a step ahead in evolution to those “normal” linear thinking brains ..."
Here is a scenario...
A printing company, with a large staff, and fully equipped printing plant is faced with a client request. The client demands do not fit any printing process that is an exact fit for any of their vast assortment of equipment. In fact, no other company is set-up to meet the client’s specific demands.
The owner of the plant gathers all of the managers to meet in the boardroom to determine if they can fulfill the client’s needs. It is a very lucrative project, so all of the team gathered in the boardroom agree that they must find a way to manufacture the unusual request.
A full day is spent having each member of the team detailing a proposed solution, but without exception each solution is faced with a barrier that will not solve the full problem. Each manager with their specific background exercises their expertise to find a partial solution. The brainstorming continues until end of day when the owner begins to see that a hybrid of each one of these solutions, a combination of each individual solution forms a complete solution. And the project proceeds successfully and the company reaps the financial reward.
A new scenario with all of the same issues is approached differently.
The owner of the printing company enters into the office of an experienced sales representative. He has been in the industry for years and has spent many hours socializing, and nosing into everyone’s business in the plant. His office is a mess, scattered papers, dirty coffee cups, post it notes scatter everywhere. Unopened boxes and envelopes sit in a pile in the corner. His attire is less than polished, but his demeanour is forward and will talk your ear off if given the chance.
The owner details the manufacturing challenge to the sales rep and asks for help. Within the time that the owner finishes the description, the Sales rep (almost speaking before the challenge is fully detailed) offers the exact same solution that the boardroom of managers took a day to come up with.
Magic? A trick question? A riddle?
None of these. The sales rep is one of the lucky ones that have ADHD. Ironically it is more natural to use the phase; “Is afflicted with ADHD”, or “suffers from ADHD”. I suggest the exact opposite from these coined phrases. I stand by my belief that he is LUCKY to have ADHD.
A Physician offered me an excellent analogy as to (in simple terms) how an ADHD mind works.
Think of the mind as a computer running Microsoft windows. A “normal” brain, will open a window, let’s say a Microsoft Word Document and start working on a document. It will chug away on this document until something else takes priority. Before starting another task, the brain, selects “save” and closes the document. Then proceeds to open another document and begin working on another task. And so on.
An ADHD mind, faced with a task, opens Microsoft Word, and begins working away, until faced with a new task. However does not save and close that program, but instead just opens up a new document and begins working on the new task. Now a new task and the action is repeated. The brain now has three applications running at the exact same time, and in reality there can be dozens and dozens of these applications running concurrently. The brain leaps from one task to the other, essentially working on all of the tasks at the same time. One task blends in with another, and the speed and frequency in which thoughts transfer from one process to another is almost immeasurable, to the point that all of the unrelated processed virtually become one ever growing process.
Understanding how a brain blessed with ADHD, you can look at the scenarios detailed in the start of this blog make sense. The salesmen instantly was able to “open” each one of the manufacturing process at the same time and with all of these processes running in parallel.. it was easy an natural to come up with an outside of the box solution. A true value to have on staff at any company.
The only reason that anyone with ADHD is unfortunate, is not the state of their mind, it is those around them that judge them because of the tangible signs that surround them. Extroverts, Slobs, Disorganized, Scatterbrained, Overfriendly, Hyperactive, addicts, forgetful etc.. Don’t give a gift of a day timer, PDA’s, Organizational aids.. They will never use them.. They can’t use them. They are not wired to take the time to sort out all of their plans, and thoughts.. as they never close these thoughts, so there is nothing to detail in writing or filling a calendar. Give a gift of a television or a IPod for their bedroom.. so they can focus on something other than the barrage of thoughts racing through their heads, something to distract them so they can go to sleep, and start closing some of the “applications” in their heads.
As off the wall that this may seem, there is a growing belief that minds fortunate enough to have ADHD are actually a step ahead in evolution to those “normal” linear thinking brains. Existing in today’s world is much more complex than hunting and gathering. It is filled with chaos. A world filled with so many stimuli is a cake walk for a brain that can respond to all of this as a natural way of thinking.