Confronting The Odds (Part A)

by Patrick Liew on August 4, 2011

I have a mental illness.

Before you call the Institute Of Mental Health and put me in a strait jacket, please let me explain.

I have what psychiatrists call Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD for short. I will not go into the details of this psychiatric disorder.

Suffice to say, the symptoms of having ADHD include the inclination to:

·         Daydream,

·         Be distracted,

·         Switch from one thing to another,

·         Have difficulty in focusing, and

·         Be bored easily.

As a result of ADHD, I have many challenges in my life.

I used to daydream in class and find it very hard to pay attention to the lessons.

When I talk to people, I have to work much harder than most people to focus my attention on them.

Long ago, there was a colleague who resigned from my company. During the exit interview, she complained, “Patrick walked right through me. I called him but he did not even acknowledge me.” That’s one of the challenges of having ADHD.

I have learned that all of us have a ‘thorn in the flesh.’ In other words, every person will face one or some unique challenges in life. Many people have suffered as a result of their thorns.

When I was growing up, my parents, teachers, and friends did not realize what I was going through.

Even if they did, they would probably not know anything about ADHD or how to help me cope with it.

Later in my life, I was so grateful and thankful for my ADHD. It has helped me to be a better person.

How did I work with our Creator to transform a pitfall into a platform for success?

First, I acknowledge that I have ADHD. I may have to live with it for the rest of my life.

I will never deny it and will take full responsibility for it.

For example, I learned that unhealthy food can worsen the problem. As a result, I endeavor to eat correctly and have a healthier lifestyle.

Secondly, I have disciplined myself to learn about ADHD and to manage it to my advantage.

ADHD became a stepping stone to success and not a millstone around my neck. I became stronger and more resilient to handle other challenges in life.  

Thirdly, I have developed attitude, knowledge, skills, and habits to confront and overcome the symptoms of ADHD.

I have developed many ways to manage the stress caused by the symptoms. I have learned to improve my emotional muscles and enhance my overall well being.

All these initiatives have improved my productivity at work and in life.

Fourthly, I have turned the challenge of having ADHD into an opportunity to achieve success. Instead of allowing it to strangle me, I have used it to strengthen myself.

I have structures, systems, and processes to resolve the symptoms. Through them, I have actually done well in my formal education.

I have also applied these problem-solving techniques to improve my relationships and my business.

Guess what? I am teaching some of these techniques in my courses to help leaders and real estate agents.

Imagine an ADHD patient teaching leaders how to focus, listen to people, and persevere to complete a task?

It will sound like a joke to fellow ‘ADHD-ers.’

What about you? Do you see a problem as a challenge or an opportunity?



I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please go to ‘Notes’ found below my profile picture.

Visit my Inspiration blog at

Visit my Transformation blog at

Please read them and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!  


Question: How can we turn challenges into opportunities?


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