Copyright © 2004 by Bill Dueease

Approximately three to five percent of the American population is believed to have ADD. ADD stands for “Attention Deficit Disorder.”

My belief is that ADD is misnamed. Instead, it should be renamed "Attention Expansion Advantage" (AEA). People with AEA/ADD ...Copyright © 2004 by Bill Dueease

Approximately three to five percent of the American population is believed to have ADD. ADD stands for “Attention Deficit Disorder.”

My belief is that ADD is misnamed. Instead, it should be renamed "Attention Expansion Advantage" (AEA). People with AEA/ADD have certain mental and physical characteristics that give them distinct advantages. These same characteristics also present several drawbacks. I believe the condition was named by focusing on the drawbacks and completely overlooks the advantages. AEA/ADD people are not considered (for lack of a better word) normal. They are very difficult to control. Thus, they must have a "Disorder." "Disorder" being defined by The American Heritage Dictionary as a "disturbance of the normal physical or mental health."

People with AEA/ADD are very special.

When people with AEA/ADD understand their advantages and utilize them, understand the drawbacks and overcome them, they can perform remarkable things. Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, John F. Kennedy, John Lennon Henry Ford, Mozart, Galileo, and Winston Churchill, were believed to have AEA/ADD. Terry Bradshaw, Robin Williams, Magic Johnson, Henry Winkler, and Mohammed Ali are also believed to have it. (The author personally conversed with Mohammed Ali for three hours and was privileged to see how special his mind worked.) They were and are very special people because they have AEA/ADD.

Physical characteristics of AEA/ADD

People with AEA/ADD do not have the filters most other people have that restrict the volume of input their brains receive from the five basic senses. Smell, Sight, Touch, Hearing, and Taste. AEA/ADD people hear, taste, smell, feel, and see things that most other people do not. It can be said that they do not have an attention deficit. Instead, their attention is expanded. They are far more attuned to their surroundings, because they receive much more information through the five senses. As an example, I understand that most (normal) people can hear sounds between 20 and 20,000 Hz. AEA/ADD people might hear sounds between 10 and 35,000 Hz. This relative difference is true for the other four senses as well. They also have more difficulty blocking out input from the five senses. For example, blocking out noises that other people can ignore is harder for AEA/ADD people to do.

In addition, the brains of AEA/ADD people operate much faster than those of other people, estimates range from two to three times faster. For one thing, their brains have to operate faster to process all of the additional input they are receiving from the five senses. In fact, their brains seek constant input. The energy levels of AEA/ADD people are frequently much higher than non-AEA/ADD people.

They have proven to be very intelligent and their brains are almost always on full throttle. I believe the brains of AEA/ADD people are wired differently. The common types of drugs given to AEA/ADD people to slow their brains down are amphetamines. Yet, these groups of drugs are nicknamed “Speed” because they increase the brain activity of others. Consequently, normal people frequently take “Speed” to achieve the brain activity and energy levels that AEA/ADD people usually have. It is my experience that AEA/ADD people have a very strong aversion to mind altering taking drugs. Why would they take drugs to get “high?” They are most often naturally high anyway. Sometimes AEA/ADD people will feel down, because of the frustrations of dealing with the normal, slower world, but they frequently bounce back on their own.

It is also my experience that AEA/ADD is passed down directly from parents to their children. We have found that a vast majority of AEA/ADD people have, at least, one parent who also has it, whether they know or admit it. It also appears that people will continue to have AEA/ADD throughout their entire life. Apparently, the degree of the attributes of AEA/ADD diminishes during adulthood, but ADD rarely disappears.

Blessings of having AEA/ADD

AEA/ADD people operate in a mindset that is outside the world of normal people. Consequently, they frequently think out of the box. AEA/ADD people see more of the world and are able to process the additional information to see the truth in things that others frequently overlook. They are very creative and constantly take themselves, their thoughts, and their ideas places that normal people rarely know exist. AEA/ADD people want to be trailblazers and they most often are. They are very adept at reading other people, especially in one on one personal interactions. AEA/ADD people can recognize, understand and organize extremely complex ideas, concepts, and processes. They have an extremely sensitive, very acute and very accurate sixth sense. Their hunches and intuition are remarkable, and are almost scary at times.

They have boundless energy. They have the unusual ability to hyper focus and do so for long periods of time. By hyper focus, I mean they can direct their entire mind and body on complex, yet specific activities and get into zones of concentration that are very remarkable. This hyper focus produces spectacular achievements. They can think extremely fast on their feet and react faster than most people. They can also conduct multiple activities at the same time. This is called multitasking.

In summary, AEA/ADD people are blessed with the ability to receive additional information through their senses, they are able to process all of this additional information and reach accurate conclusions very quickly, and they have the ability, energy, focus, and motivation to go places and create things that other people are most likely not aware of.

Drawbacks of AEA/ADD

In the eyes of most people, AEA/ADD people have the following impediments that provided the basis to call it a "Disorder." AEA/ADD people have difficulty sitting still. They are frequently disruptive. AEA/ADD people appear to be disorganized (invariably messy). They are easily distracted, (because they react to sensory information not perceived by others, or they are bored). They appear to have difficulty focusing on anything for very long. But they also get into zones where it is difficult to interrupt them. They frequently forget to complete things (like submitting paperwork), or forget about important dates and events (like meetings). They can have brilliant ideas but often forget about them later.

They can be difficult to talk with, because they frequently interrupt others and sometimes even finish their sentences, and they regularly bounce from subject to subject during conversations. They can be fidgety and impatient, especially in confined meetings (like school classes or church). They appear to be very impulsive and frequently do or say things that are out of the norm. They frequently address the truth in things and appear to have fewer social graces. They are frequently stubborn and challenge information presented by others, and are far more often than not right. They tend to get bored easily. They frequently do not perform repetitive tasks well. They seek challenges and change. They have difficulty turning their brains off, or slowing them down. Their minds are either seeking more input or creating more ideas.

Yet, AEA/ADD people are not bothered as much by bouncing from subject to subject, fidgeting, impatience, boredom, lack of social graces or impulsiveness when they communicate with each other. These behavioral patterns are considered to be signs of a “Disorder,” more so by non-AEA/ADD people. Thus, some of the AEA/ADD “drawbacks” represent the uncomfortable ways normal people (only) react to the behaviors of people with AEA/ADD. Two AEA/ADD people will have similar energy levels, think at the same speed, focus at the same levels, are tuned into similar input from their expanded senses, and process the information in a similar manner. Watching two AEA/ADD people talk about matters they both enjoy can be a trip. They are much more in tune with each other and communicate with much less difficulty.

However, there are some drawbacks that AEA/ADD people need to overcome to live more effective and enjoyable lives. These drawbacks include the tendency of forgetfulness, the tendency to be over impulsive, and the tendency to be impatient in communicating with normal people. Fortunately, there are several solutions to these drawbacks.

The most common solution to correcting ADD impediments

One solution and unfortunately the most commonly used is drugs. Some doctors want to drug AEA/ADD people to appear to act in normal and acceptable manner. What a shame. These drugs slow down the brains of AEA/ADD people and reduce their tendencies to be over impulsive. It also reduces their tendency to be fidgety, as it decreases their energy levels and their tendency to be distracted. They now appear to be easier to control. But these drugs, as you can see, also greatly diminish the blessings of AEA/ADD, and many times reduce them to be so normal that they loose control over their own minds and turn into less than alive people. The jury is still out on drugs as the ultimate answer, and it is my opinion that drugs are overused, as a quick fix to correct a "Disorder" that really does not exist.

Other Solutions to AEA/ADD drawbacks

There are other ways to overcome these drawbacks, without using drugs. These include the full understanding of the behavioral differences of being AEA/ADD, and adjusting behavioral practices to control these issues at a very practical and desirable level.

As an example, let's discuss a solution to the forgetfulness drawback. AEA/ADD people can create a "to do" list note pad, that they will want to have by their side at all times, and they will want to constantly monitor and review it. Whenever they come up with an idea or agree to do something (without a time limit) they will want to immediately write the key words to each item on the "to do" list. The "to do" list becomes their index for action items. In addition, they will want to have a calendar with them at all times that they can also review frequently. Whenever they decide to do something that is time dependent, like meet someone for lunch, remember a birthday (AEA/ADD people are notorious for forgetting birthdays and anniversaries) or turn in a report, they will want to put it on the calendar.

There are other behavioral solutions to virtually all of the "drawbacks" that might not need to include drugs and that allow AEA/ADD people to gain control over their brains and maximize the unique blessings they were given.

Conclusion

If you have AEA/ADD, Welcome Aboard! I am blessed with AEA/ADD and enjoy every minute of it. I have not nor will I use drugs to correct any aspect of AEA/ADD. Two of my four children also have ADD and they are shining because they have it. I have been blessed with a number of people who have coached me to overcome the drawbacks and to accentuate my unique gifts. You can too!

Provided as an educational service by Bill Dueease of The Coach Connection, where “connecting great people with great coaches” is their goal. You may receive a free copy of the article “The Ten Paths to Human Improvement” by contacting The Coach Connection at 800-887-7214, 239-415-1777, coaches@findyourcoach.com, or www.findyourcoach.com/0o-add-coach.htm

Author's Bio: 

Bill Dueease is a business coach who cofounded The Coach Connection (TCC) to assist people to get the very most out of coaching. Bill and The Coach Connection have connected many hundreds of people with their ideal coaches since June 2001. Over 96.5 % of TCC’s clients have achieved their initial life and career goals, and most accomplished even more once coaching started. TCC clients achieved such high success rates, because they were assured that the four key conditions that are key to successful coaching were met, before engaging their coach. Fortune Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Female Entrepreneur, The Brazen Careerist and The AMEX Platinum Card Newsletter have described TCC to their readers.

After working for Phillips Petroleum Company for 5 years, Bill was the driving force behind taking small refining company in 1975 named LaJet Inc. to become an extremely profitable (Bill directly generated over $120 million in pretax profits) mid-sized refining, distribution and trading company in only 5 years. He started Aspen Energy Inc. in 1980 and it quickly became a very successful petroleum trading company. He was the organizing cofounder of Cardrona Ski area in New Zealand. He and his partners converted a mountain in 1981, previously used to graze sheep, into the most popular and profitable ski area in New Zealand and Australia combined in only 5 short years. They went public in 1987 and sold out in 1989. Bill also created The Office Outfitters in 1993 to be the very first company to provide next day delivery of office products, throughout the US, at prices below the superstores. This was before the Internet was discovered. Bill accepted an offer to buy his company for a price that was many times higher that the market value of the business in May of 1995.

Bill was featured in a 30 minute 1988 film made for TV by PBS and the New Zealand Government. The film described how an American (Bill) organized a team of three New Zealanders to develop the popular and successful Cardrona Ski Area in New Zealand. The film was shown on US, New Zealand, and Australian TV. Bill was featured in a two-page article published on the front page of the Fort Myers News Press describing how business owners benefit from his coaching program. Bill was invited to discuss "Coaching" at the Financial Planners Association Annual Conference in Boston, and by The Santa Clara County Executive group to discuss how to have “Passion” for your work. Bill's educational articles on career, business and life coaching and business solutions have been published over 101 times throughout the US and Canada, by over 79 Magazines and periodicals. Bill has also been interviewed on 14 radio and TV programs about coaching.

Bill earned the designation of Certified Business Analyst from The Florida Small Business Development Center Network. He holds a Florida Real Estate Brokers License. He graduated from the University of Alabama in 1967 with a Bachelors of Science degree in Industrial Engineering. In 1968, he earned a Masters of Science degree in Industrial Engineering and Management from Oklahoma State University.

For more information, visit: http://findyourcoach.com/types-of-coaching/career-coaching/