Living with ADHDUnfortunately, many people with ADHD or ADD are incorrectly thought to be unmotivated or to somehow lack the “right stuff” in order to enjoy a successful, satisfying and purposeful life. This misperception baffles me as it is so far from the truth for most persons I know who live with the challenges of ADHD.

In my work with persons who have ADHD, I have met college graduates with undiagnosed ADHD, who took a math class four times in order to finally pass it and achieve their goal of earning a college degree. Lawyers who before they understood that they had ADHD , spent 10 years on an undergraduate degree so they could go on to Law School. And finally, there are the undiagnosed ADHD students who consistently spend twice as long on their homework in order to keep up with their class work.

Many famous people, thought to have ADHD, also had a more difficult time achieving than others. Below is a list of these surprising “late bloomers”, who like many people with ADHD, have the “right stuff” and eventually achieved greatness.

Walt Disney…was reportedly fired from his first job because he didn’t have any good ideas. Walt Disney’s eventual success is beyond description.

Beethoven’s… own father apparently called him hopeless and he went on to become one of the world’s most famous composers.

Thomas Edison’s… teacher is thought to have told him that he was unable to learn.

Albert Einstein… is known to not be able to speak until the age of 4 and couldn’t read until the age of 7. This certainly was not indicative of a man that would go on to discover the theory of relativity.

Louisa May Alcott… was told by an editor that her writing would never appeal to the public. “Little Women” written by this same author is a loved classic!

Taking longer to complete a task or achieve a milestone is not a predictive indicator of one’s future accomplishments or eventual success. The “right stuff” for many people with ADHD, is the perseverance, determination and resilience that keeps them moving forward and just the next step away from achieving their greatness.

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