What do the following people have in common?

Terry Bradshaw, former NFL quarterback

Richard Branson, businessman whose Virgin Group comprises more than 400 companies

Paul Orfalea, founder of Kinko's

Alan Meckler, internet pioneer and publishing executive, current chair and CEO of Mediabistro

Dean Kamen, the prolific inventor

Jim Carrey, comedian, actor, and producer

Katherine Ellison, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author

They all have ADHD, and they all have been very successful.

The secret of ADHD --or even the tendency of a short attention span--is taking those qualities and not thinking of them as weaknesses but as strengths.

Here are some ADHD superpowers:

1. Unlimited energy

People with ADHD have an enormous amount of energy, and that is a good thing. If you can make a point of channeling the enormous energy into what you love, then you can do almost anything you want.

2. Hyperfocus

People with ADHD are often easily distracted, but they can also become so engrossed in something that they are oblivious to anything else around them. Being hyperfocused makes it easier for you to lose track of time and ignore those around you to do whatever it takes to get things done.

3. Abundant creativity

People with ADHD might feel burdened by constantly having a million ideas bouncing around in their heads, but this can be responsible for some of the most brilliant ideas and greatest innovations.

4. Simple solutions

People with ADHD often love to solve problems. When you can focus on creating a simple solution to a complicated problem, you have an inside track on doing almost anything better.

5. Risk without thinking

People with ADHD may find that impulsiveness can sometimes be a problem, but with the right instincts, it can spur you to greatness when you're willing to throw yourself into what you're doing with no reservations.

6. Multitasking

People with ADHD have a constant desire for stimulation, and that often means doing more than one thing at a time. Couple that trait with a limited attention span, and you get a dizzying display of multitasking ability. For most of us, that would impair our effectiveness, but it's just a natural way of working for those with ADHD or a short attention span.

7. Stubbornness

People with ADHD are strong willed. When things go wrong, most people will be discouraged, but a person with ADHD tends to stick it out and find a way to make it work.

8. Sensitivity

People with ADHD think that sensitivity is a bad thing, but the best leaders and the most successful business people are those who have emotional intelligence--in other words, a sensitivity to themselves and others.

So if you have ADHD or even if you have some inclinations in that direction, recognize your gifts and strengths--and start doing the great things you are meant to do.

Published on: Mar 19, 2015