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The Best Time to Have Adult ADHD

As an adult diagnosed with ADHD, one of your first reactions is likely regret at not knowing earlier. I often hear my clients say, “Things could have been so different for me if only I had known sooner that I had ADHD.”

The Best Time to Change

An ancient proverb tells us, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the second best time to plant a tree is today.”

This is true of trees, and of improving your life. Yes, if you had changed your life 20 years ago, you’d be reaping the benefits today. However, it’s never too late to change (or to plant a tree!). Start now to improve your life and you will reap the benefits of change in the future, and chances are, it’ll take a lot less than 20 years. On the other hand, throwing your hands up and deciding you are too old to change guarantees you’ll never benefit from your new found knowledge.

The Best Conditions for Change

Do you think you can’t really change your life until you’ve organized your home, or you get a better job or you get the kids out of the house? Or you may feel like the “old dog” and think it’s too late to change the course of your life or learn any “new tricks.” But what if you’re wrong?

What if you could change something today that would change your life for the better? What if you could make a difference right away? Your life would be better… for the rest of your life!

What if, instead of waiting until you had the “right” education, you got a job working toward your new career right away? Would the experience put you that much further ahead, both while you’re studying, and when you graduate? What if you could have a better life even if your house doesn’t look like a Better Homes & Gardens layout? What if you didn’t wait until you can take a year off to write your novel, but you began now to create your outline, do your research or even write, a bit at a time?

Instead of waiting until conditions are perfect to get into the life you want, could you start doing something today that moves you a little closer to it? More importantly, what regrets will you have in 20 years if you don’t plant your tree, or change your life, today?

If you think things could have been different if you’d known about your ADHD earlier, prove it! Now you know, so do something. Make that change, plant that tree, and avoid the bigger sting of, “I knew I had adult ADHD and I did nothing about it…”

Strengthened by Adversity

I wanted to share this inspiring story with you. After all, if you have ADHD or you love someone who does, you could use a reminder that it’s possible, even, under the right conditions, (which you CAN create, by the way) inevitable, to be wildly successful despite ADHD.

In an interview with the March edition of Success Magazine, Creative Genius, Sir Anthony Hopkins, describes the rejection and pain he felt as a child with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD) and dyslexia. Labeled a “problem child” and struggling in school, anger consumed him as he compared himself with his brilliant cousins who excelled academically.

“Act Happy” to Be Happy

Thankfully for those of us who have long enjoyed his acting, he chose to channel the fire of his anger to “rise above it” instead of becoming a negative force in his life.
Playing different roles as an actor allowed him to discover that being happy is a choice. He explains how, just as a great actor must do for any part, once you assume the “role” of a happy person, you program your mind to be happy and in the process you become happy. It took me years to realize that indeed, we all have a choice as to how we respond to life’s difficulties, and that choosing to be happy is just as possible and easy as choosing to be unhappy.

Choose Your Strengths

Adopting a strategy that every successful ADHDer will recognize, he chose a career that uses his strengths and talents while minimizing his weaknesses. This is not to say that everything comes easily. To succeed as an actor, he works extraordinarily hard and invests a lot of time and energy preparing for his roles so he’ll feel confident and at ease during rehearsals. He doesn’t waste time or energy making excuses why he can’t learn his scripts because of his ADHD and dyslexia. Instead, he realizes that, for the opportunity to pursue his passion, this is a small price to pay.

Give It Your Best Shot

When you focus your energies and efforts in an area of strength, you can do anything or overcome any obstacle, yes, even with ADHD. Sir Anthony Hopkins struggled in school, was labeled early in life, and works harder than other actors to overcome his dyslexia to read his scripts and compensate for the short term memory issues that make it so difficult to memorize his lines. And yet he doesn’t allow any of these obstacles to stand in his way.

Don’t Let Obstacles Stand In Your Way

Are you letting obstacles stand in your way? What can you learn from Sir Anthony Hopkin’s example as a Creative Geniuses and ADHD Adult? I was inspired by his story and realized each of us can:

  • Choose to use adversity as a springboard to greatness
  • Choose to be happy, “act” happy, and you will be happy
  • Choose a career that uses your talents and minimizes your weaknesses
  • Work hard and “over” prepare to feel confident and in control as you pursue every opportunity.
  • Don’t follow the crowd but make choices you intuitively know are right for you; success follows.

What other inspiring lessons can you draw from Sir Anthony Hopkin’s story? Or do you have your own inspiring story of overcoming adversity to succeed in spite of ADHD. Please share below.

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