Support & Stories

Hunters In a Farmers’ World

The signs were there all along, but I squeaked by without a diagnosis for years. Now, understanding my ADHD and its traits, I’m learning to see my symptoms as strengths.

A fox hunting in a snowy field

I realized I had attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD) when I was a graduate student in the clinical psychology program at The Ohio State University. However, the signs had been there all along. In my childhood, I couldn’t pay attention to the teachers who had a bland teaching style, but I flourished with those who had an interactive, hands-on approach to learning. I was fortunate enough to have enough IQ points and the interpersonal skills to minimize any adverse consequences before I was diagnosed.

After I was diagnosed, I tolerated my ADHD at first, but I learned to celebrate ADHD as time went on. The traits associated with ADHD (hyperfocus, multi-tasking, high levels of energy, out-of-the-box thinking) helped me thrive as an entrepreneur. I would not have been successful in my career without ADHD.

I advise those with ADHD to figure out which activities naturally interest them, and to follow the direction that their compasses are pointing. When people with ADHD are passionate about what they do, they are successful.

The watchman theory is that those of us with ADHD are wired like hunters, but we live in a farmer’s world. We have to embrace our need for stimulation and risk-taking and think outside the box. That’s when we are at our best.

[17 Things to Love About ADHD]

Reader Poll

Which ADHD symptom gives you the most trouble?

  • 35% Executive function challenges
  • 19% Attention and focus struggles
  • 19% Controlling emotions
  • 14% Impulsivity
  • 9% Distractibility
  • 4% Hyperactivity/extra energy