A child sits in his room trying to concentrate on his homework but finds himself distracted and restless. He ponders questions of the universe while admiring the glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling above his bed. He wanders over to the window to see if he can watch the wind when it isn’t blowing. He sits back down and doodles a superhero saving the world. He looks at his notebook again, hoping all this random activity has focused his mind. It has not.
As an adult he changes college majors four times trying to find something that grabs his attention. He tries writing a term paper and finds himself at the window yet again, to see if wind has a color. He points his hobby telescope at the moon and counts craters. He sits down and draws the moon from memory. Pulling out his laptop to view the empty Word document that should hold his term paper, he sighs.
At the library the following day he finds a book on Leonardo da Vinci and finds his mind focused for the first time in his life without medication. A new theory proposed by a Professor Cantani at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience gives weight to the probability that da Vinci had Attention Deficit Disorder, or ADD.
The young man’s focus became even sharper now as he read on.
Da Vinci suffered from restlessness and an inability to finish things from a very young age. He was a chronic procrastinator who had difficulty completing tasks. And yet his insatiable curiosity and creative genius came to fore in the legendary works we all know and love.
The young man slammed the book shut and ran to the psychology section to read more about da Vinci’s possible condition, the same one he’d also suffered from his entire life. He learned that ADD was no longer considered a solely negative condition. Every person with ADD has a kind of “supercharged” brain; enabling both positive traits like creativity and extraordinary genius, but also negative traits like fidgety procrastination and inability to bring ideas to fruition. Studies have now shown that focused thought could control the negative aspects of ADD leaving the positive traits in dominance.
The elated college student slammed this book shut as well, and pulled a giant picture book of Leonardo’s works from the shelf. He pulled a drawing of his own from a well-worn backpack and laid it beside the open book, feeling a kinship with the ancient Italian genius.
The young man smiled and focused on the book and his drawing for quite some time without moving or thinking of anything else.
For the young man it was a victory as great as painting the Sistine Chapel. He walked back to his dorm room to paint on the empty Word document in his laptop, without once looking outside at the wind.