Are you a Hypomaniac? If you are you have some definite advantages over others. Hypomaniacs are often superstars in their fields, but they are often misunderstood by those who work so hard to profile personalities and put individuals into neat little boxes.
Regarding this article which seems to be the present day thought on the Hypomaniac Syndrome: 'Hypomanic' executives often most successful Associated Press 04/26/2002 Washington-
I too have been studying this group of people as I observe the superstars and read the biographies of the most driven individuals. Here are my thoughts on the subject. Perhaps you can assist and shed some light on this subject.
First off the Very good article. But how does an individual know if he has this "Hypomanic" Thing? I submit the hypomaniac person maybe much more complicated than was introduced in this article.
And having those traits myself (many times those who chose the subject of psychology actually have questions about themselves which causes them to go into such subject matter as a profession). I have read 100s of biographies of the greatest leaders, sports figures, inventors, entreprenuers, warriors, scientists, etc. Yet I have a hard time placing many of these people into those categories. So it seems hard to find a correlation to these comments in the article and also difficult to see the downside of such a person for society, it is a plus and allows many of us to live without worry because those hard chargers are protecting the heard so to speak.
Most hypomaniacs would not see the drawbacks. I too do not see them as negative; I do see them as an advantage. This is very interesting indeed. I first must question and wonder about the "risk taking" thing a little, in that I do not believe these people see it as a risk, I know I do not. Challenge yes, risk, not really. Innovation is a necessity of any of these people, and that maybe perceived as out on a limb or a risk. As far a the grandiosity issue I think that too maybe debatable, because nothing is impossible, anything can be achieved it is more a matter of mind and perseverance which I guess a PhD in the psychology field would not be able to readily recognize. Any person like this Hypomanic, constantly has others tell them they cannot do something, yet they do it for spite. Is it really grandiosity of the Hypomaniac or is it misjudgment of the observer? I think it maybe the psychologist are thinking they are so special that they cannot conceive of these people and their reach. For instance many Entrepreneurs and I use this context because the article does (I suppose scientists have other traits if they were hypomaniacs) do poorly after their first big win, in their next big thing or endeavor.
Entrepreneurs rarely have multiple wins in different industries, except people like Branson, Gates, Fred Smith (Fed EX), Wayne Hiezinga. The reason for these is they carried their same work ethic into the next battle, and they are not done yet, they want more. I see one of the traits at Harvard use to be hard work ethic, yet do not see it in these people anymore. Enron debacle was stupid, they had the world by the balls, but leadership slacked off, right when they should have been really turning on the juice. They needed a visionary, no prisoners leader, like the previously mentioned, too bad, because it hurt America. The reasoning being that commoditizing additional things that are omnipotent for our society is of value. I think also if the idea that Gates also has savant tendencies and you add Bi-Polar to it, then you have to go back to the drawing board and cannot relate his success or hard work ethic with that of the others.
Anyone out there is doing research on this Hypomanic personality trait should post their comments after this discussion. When studying great people such as, Gates "The Road Ahead" (And the Inner Circle Magazine), Turner "It Ain't As Easy as It Looks", Ellison "The Difference Between god and", Richard Branson book "Virginity," and Guzietta from Coke A Cola "I Want the World to Buy a Coke". All seem to have many of these traits. I think the anger in stupidity, bureaucracy, and slow moving brain dead people, causes them to work harder, all seem to mention this in their autobiographical works. Perhaps they are trading the maniac mild depression into anger and steam and using it to heat up the soft tissue in the back of the head to drive their stick-to-it-ness back to the home front battle. I sometimes think that the anger of the brick walls in the way force these individuals to go crazy forcing them into thier work. How can anyone be depressed if they are doing what they love to do? They love to win.
A hypomaniac which does not like what they are doing might be different. Tesla the famous AC inventor had many of these traits and yet loved his work. There maybe cases to prove this point wrong. Maybe these off the chart Hypomaniacs have other sides to them, but this mild maniac depression seems a little unlikely. If people have witnessed these traits in these people, I would say they mistook the depletion of vitamins due to the self inficted stress of the their own inner personal battle with the "human factor" resistence put in their way to get to where they are going to be. It is possible to go without eating and sleeping and then all of a sudden it hits you. Maybe these people if witneesed in a depression like state, just need some more Chormium Picolinate or protien for their brains. This particular article may have missed a couple other benefits, although obviously cannot be a whole book because it is just an article;
1. When people cannot put you in their frame of reference they mis judge your motivations and needs in negotiations and therefore give you the upper hand;
2. Also a person moving that fast cannot have too many friends due to time. Therefore does not get too caught up in "Familiarity Breeds Contempt" traps;
2.5 Competition cannot keep up, because if they copy them, they are already several more steps ahead and back around to flank them. They never know what hit them and then it is too late;
3. Misdirection and miss information techniques are easier to emloy because no body can figure out where you are going or coming from;
4. When they are moving that fast and have faith in future moves they do not need to worry, they will find a way. This looks dangerous to others, and it gives them an advantage because no one will dare follow;
5. A moving target is harder to hit and almost impossible to follow;
6. Their very existence intimidates people, which can also help you. People are afraid of you;
7. Their energy radiates out word and causes things to line up your way by your sheer will.
Now on the drawbacks side of things the articles fails to mention the following; Draw Backs:
1. They burn people out;
2. Others that emulate them often fail, it requires too much knowledge and skill to work at this level;
3. People question their judgment because they do not realize the multiple affect. ie... Ted Turner over paying in a merger so he had the movie classic content for his future project;
4. They have problems relating with people who cannot reason or do complex thoughts;
5. They do not do good at parties which are wasting your time. Although you can be the life of the party quite easily;
6. They are still stuck in linear time and therefore cannot do everything you want to;
7. They have to be careful not to run right over someone or through them, it is very easy to do;
8. They have no peers, this may actually be a benefit up for discussion.
Regarding the downer side of this hypomaniac title or labeling, I cannot see the mellow downer side of it. I do not see that maniac depression state? Perhaps that was put in there to capture the "Bi-Polar" thing to loop the story in a full circle, readers believe in all that Bi-Polar, lithium and Prozac ( a good book on this subject is "Living With Prozac" (scary book if you think of what this can do to our soicety) stuff. After all readers will not buy the superman idea without the kryptonite? Is the author sure that, that was not put in just to appease readers and make them not feel so little against these people?
There may be brief times where you have to think a lot, to get them out of a jam they got into by hitting the wrong turn in the maze or running through the wrong door of opportunity. But then again that is only a short time frame, then you usually just find a way to use all the mistakes as advantages. This article now makes me remember, of a guy who crashed into his new house in his new Beechcraft Baron? He may have had a moment such as this depression thing, but killing one's self is giving up and a person with unlimited energy and a brain to match would never give up. Now if you need a down side maybe it would be the "burn out affect" or something else, although that does not seem to work either, judging by history and the referenced biographies above. Of course if one does not eat right or take care of themselves this type of person will write checks that it's body cannot cash, causing health issues, I suppose.
In this article are the PhDs or author really specialists in Bi Polar disorders? I once had a gentleman who worked for me who was Bi-Polar, he had his life really screwed up, nice guy and needed help. I had to cut him lose due to performance issues, we needed more output. Some days he was terrific and other not at all. I was wondering what type of job a person like this might be best suited for. He was not good at a sales, although everyone seemed to like him. My theory was that his displacement caused feelings of superiority in others around him and make him appear to have Charisma and be approachable and non-intimidating. He was on Litium. What does lithium do to people, well it seems wrong to give to people, does it have after side affects?
After all Bi-polar is interesting since the Cerebellum if unfolded is 1128 cu centimeters the size of a record album cover which is bigger than either of the left or right side of the brain. Even together the cerebral cortex including both halves is 1900 cubic centimeters. So those who use it well are able to do more faster. We know from those who have brain injuries that their brain uses the cerebellum as RAM memory and lights up on the computer screens with activity when the damaged part of either the left or right side cannot be used. There are more cells and neurons in the cerebellum than the rest of the brain, much more capacity. So when some is using it they can do more faster and process more data and crutch more numbers so to speak. You may wish to check up on Nueroantomist Santiago Ramon y Cajal.
Sharks have also huge cerebellums and they have 400 million years of evolution on the modern man no matter what you believe as far as 160,000 years, 40,000 years since Neanderthal or 10,000 years of Chinese recorded written history. The problem I see with the article is that everyone is a Doctor of something and they are the same people giving kids under age 6 Prozac and screwing up their brains before full development. Perhaps the Hypomaniac is a positive label although to try to narrowly title a behavior is unhealthy and can cause risks of mislabeling. People who appear to be different for whatever reason all share another familiar advantage in sports, war, business, game or politics. Their opponents and followers, who do not understand them, once they realize that they do not understand, often fear them. From a Machiavellian standpoint one could say this is good if you are in a leadership capacity and especially good in the unforgiving battle in politics. It's best if your opponents think you are crazy and unpredictable, because that incites fear and hesitation, the edge needed in surprise attack or reciprocal response. If your followers do not understand your methods but understand your strength in intelligence they will follow you and not try to topple you out of fear and admiration. This too would be considered a positive attribute if this article Bi-Polar theory holds true from the Hypomaniac executive model.
Remember Patton use to say that if stood on his jeep to make a speech he had everyone's ear, his troops knew he knew how to win, the media made him sound crazy beating up on hospital wounded or panic attacked soldiers and no one could figure him out and therefore to his advantage, he was able to fly by the seat of his pants into victorious battle. Hitler talked in mesmerizing cadence and put people in a beta state of mind. While also having the ups and downs of Bi-Polar tendencies. Vince Lombardi said to be one of the greatest sports leaders in history also had mood swings to the low, they say. Steve Jobs is a good example of bi-polarality in this article context from what I have read. Perhaps a bi-polar type tendency and a trend towards hard charging never give up individuals and hypomaniac label may actually be a strength of character to be addressed and watched for positive advantages and to keep from turning evil?
The premise that there is only room for one visionary at a time is false. Visionaries always seek out like-minded visionaries to vision with. If one is the absolute boss, then there is a problem but it is not like household pets where the first pet is the boss. Visionaries often work well together and two minds are better than one providing the fundamental issues are equal (Belief System Theory-Equally yoked principle). Now then people like Mr. Lear, Edison, Tesla, Copernicus, Leonardo de Vinci, etc. may actually be loners and work better that way, although they all had companions and understood they needed help to get out their message and inventions and bring things to market.
There can be other experiments to determine if these hypomaniacs really exist to the degree mentioned in the article. By using naturalistic observations and a limited control group of other over achievers and we will have created a random assignment. I question the validity of subjects like Gates and Jobs as proof that the Bi-Polar theory holds true to the Hypomaniac hypothesis. The correlation in such limited data set along with the PR bull that their companies and books promote make it difficult to know the truth of any of this. I mean, the theory still may have some validity, and it cannot be proven either way unless we can have them at our disposal for a week or two which is impossible based on the justice departments needs of gate's time when he should be working on R and D projects and Jobs incredible schedule and interview rounds with his latest new product rollout. And if these subjects were taken away from their artificial lives compared with that of normal folks we could lose the whole project. For instance if we took all these people and put them on a track with go carts and watched their behavior we might see some interesting things similar to all, but we may also find none to that of the HS Athlete, full of piss and vinegar wanting to conquer their world. Does this make sense? If the article and theories hold true and we cannot have off the chart in one direction without off the chart in another, which I believe too, then the Bi-Polarity between Major Depression and Mania maybe a good answer for things. And if this is so then we should not condemn those who are too far off the end on one side, because they have so much to offer the world on the other. Interesting.
This subject matter is fascinating as we try to understand the human spirit and will of top performing individuals, what on Earth makes them tick? The examples presented are interesting indeed and we need to take a real look into the theory, which seems to be too simply defined in the article and there has to be more to this. Although the article hits home for me, thus I find this subject matter of value, it appears we might all learn from such hard charging super stars like Gates and Jobs. I think I still have to question trying to pigeon hole any individual as people are complex and are an accumulation of all their observations, experiences, genetics and achievements are unique and therefore such simple classifications may be highly invalid, why don't we simply ask them? If any one has any data on Hypomaniac Syndromes, please post them below so that other Think Tank members can review this as many over achiever tend to also join think tanks to make a difference.
"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs