I was diagnosed with ADHD back in the 1970s, when I was 11 years old. I always got along great with the other kids in school, but as I grew older, my non-stop energy became harder for my teachers and me to manage.
My parents worried about me, so they took me to Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston, for testing . I had no idea why I was there. Life was good from my perspective.
The doctors at Mass General believed my life could be better. They diagnosed me with ADHD and prescribed a drug called Ritalin which had just been approved to treat children with my condition. My grades skyrocketed, and I didn’t even have to study.
It didn’t last. Since Ritalin had been approved only recently for use by children with ADHD, my doctors, out of caution, allowed me to take Ritalin for only one year. I’m grateful to my doctors and parents for taking me off it. I think too many kids in America were (and still are) being overmedicated and misdiagnosed. Just because a kid is a handful at times doesn’t mean he should be on meds for the rest of his life.
I channeled my ADHD onto a positive track and used it to create many profitable companies — including the number-one automotive repair chain in North America.
Everybody’s got some type of disorder, or three or four. Find out what yours is, acknowledge it, and use it to help you. Don’t be ashamed of it. Treat it as an asset, not a deficit.