Then I found Steve Plog’s Website. I read his stuff about ten years ago, and I wrote to him for permission to reprint a portion of his work in my first book, I’m the Mom; I Don’t Have to Know Calculus. He merrily agreed.
Steve Plog is a fabulous genius. He also is ADD. I have a feeling you will enjoy his take on ADHD and ADD so much that you’ll be begging for more. What follows is just a little slice of Steve.
Let’s take a look at some people whose biographies or life history indicate strong ADD or ADHD behaviors. Famous people who appear to have ADD or ADHD behaviors:
George Bernard Shaw Isaac Newton Albert Einstein Babe Ruth Kirk Douglas Malcolm Forbes Harry Belafonte Zsa Zsa Gabor Andrew Carnegie Sylvester Stallone Louis Pasteur Bruce Jenner Cher Henry Winkler Edgar Allan Poe Michael Jordan Ernest Hemingway Marilyn Monroe Eleanor Roosevelt Abraham Lincoln Tom Cruise Ann Bancroft Charles Schwab Steve McQueen Leonardo da Vinci Alexander Graham Bell Tom Smothers Napoleon Bonaparte John Lennon Danny Glover Winston Churchill James Stewart Mozart Dustin Hoffman The Wright Brothers Lindsay Wagner Pablo Picasso Robert Kennedy Dwight D. Eisenhower Jim Carrey Jerry Lewis Charlie Chaplin Diamond Dallas Page Terry Bradshaw Ray Robbins Webmaster Bob Steve Plog Walt Disney Agatha Christie Jackie Stewart Nostradamus Henry Ford Stephen Hawkings Vincent van Gogh Gen. George Patton Galileo Eddie Rickenbacker Robin Williams John D. Rockefeller Whoopi Goldberg Bill Cosby Stevie Wonder Pete Rose Randolph Hearst Thomas Edison Beethoven Anwar Sadat “Magic” Johnson F. Scott Fitzgerald George Burns George C. Scott John F. Kennedy Benjamin Franklin Prince Charles Steven Spielberg
It sounds to me that if someone says that you have ADD, you should consider it a compliment.
In fact, looking at this very small list of possibilities, it looks like without people with ADD, nothing would get done.
Now let’s take some of these famous people and see what they would be like in today’s world if they were in school or trying to “fit in” at a job.
Let’s take the first guy on the list: Albert Einstein. He didn’t even speak until he was 4 years old, so today they would have put him on Ritalin and locked him in a room with the learning disabled kids. That’s right…He could do calculus in his head, but he flunked plain old math. So into the dummy class he goes, and he is given a lifetime of prescription drugs.
How about Bill Cosby? Instead of becoming a comedian, he gets a job sitting in a tollbooth all day by himself. Day in and out, he just gives change. The problem is that he can’t concentrate on the mundane, and he keeps losing money. So they fire him and tell anyone who asks them for a recommendation, “He’s so slow, he can’t count to 50!”
One more: Walt Disney. He gets a job working in an office cubicle and spends his time daydreaming on what I refer to as “Mental HBO.” Soon his boss comes by for the 10th time that day and says, “Walt, pay attention, stop daydreaming, start concentrating, and get to work before I fire you!”
Wait! I know I said only one more but I am on a roll! Babe Ruth gets a job as a CPA, and his boss comes by his desk and asks, “Where’s Ruth?” to which his fellow employees say that Mr. Ruth is not back from lunch yet, and it’s 1:15.
“Tell Mister Ruth when he gets back to clean out his desk. We don’t want anyone working here who can’t tell time!”
You see, if you evaluate extreme right-brained people only in left-brain environments, you get the wrong picture.
Let’s reverse it. Let’s take some left-brained people and see how they would fit into the ADD creative world. Okay?
Hold on a minute. I just hit writer’s block because I’m trying to think of some boring, timely, regimental, stick-in-the-mud, left-brained people with good memories who are famous. Can some someone give me a hint just to get me started? There must be someone…….
OK, let’s take someone whom we know is smart, like a college professor—how about the professor from the Gilligan’s Island TV show. So you remember his name? I don’t. He was a nice guy, just not very exciting.
Okay, so let’s say that Walt Disney lost his mind and put in old what’s-his-name (I still can’t remember his name!) in charge of his creative department for new products at the studio. What would the outcome be? Regular Duck, Mundane Mouse, Snow Beige and the seven height-impaired people!
Who wants to go see the movie? Come on, let’s see those hands. Anyone, anyone at all? Why is everyone staring out the windows? Are you all daydreaming?
Hey, we have a hand up! No, wait…that person said his name is Bill Gates, and when I said “windows,” he said it gave him an idea.
Yes we daydream.
That’s how creative people come up with ideas like figuring out how to harness electricity after watching a thunderstorm.
You will find we have a low threshold of boredom. We go into what I call that “Mental HBO.” Not only can I daydream while you talk to me, I can daydream while I talk to you. As a matter of fact I’m doing it right now while I’m typing because I can think of more than one thing at a time. My thoughts are multi-faceted, while the left-brained people are what I would diagnose as Multiple Thought Impaired!
I’m ADD and you’re Multiple Thought Impaired. Someone should start a charity for you. I can see the ads now: “Send in your donation for those who have never had an original thought in their lives!”
Someone get me Jerry Lewis’s phone number!
Will he listen to me? Yes, of course, and I’ll give you three guesses why. Watch one of his old movies, and picture him at the tollbooth.
~ Steven V. Plog of The Results Project. Used with Permission.