: Swimmer Michael Phelps racked up 14 gold medals at the Athens and Beijing Olympics. But swimming isn’t just a winning sport for Phelps; it’s a way for him to cope with his ADHD.
Phelps’ mom Debbie described her son’s exhibition of classic ADHD symptoms: not sitting still or being able to focus. However, he channeled that into swimming, and with “continuous praise and positive reinforcement” Phelps had the encouragement he needed to score the golds.
Sir Richard Branson
: Virgin Founder and adventurer Sir Richard Branson has ADHD—but that hasn’t stopped him from owning a major airline, sending tourists into space or building an underwater plane.
Branson’s living proof of the statistic reported in Psychology Today that people with ADHD are 300% more likely to start their own company—indeed, he started up his own magazine called Student￼ when he was just 16.
David Neeleman, Founder of JetBlue Airways
: David Neeleman reported in an interview with ADDitude magazine his ADHD prevents him from being detail-oriented and completing doing day-to-day tasks, saying, “I have an easier time planning a 20-aircraft fleet than I do paying the light bill.”
But Neeleman credits his success, and creation of JetBlue, with his ADHD—saying that, with the disorder comes creativity and the ability to think outside the box.