The kind of focused attention ordinarily required in a classroom is not all that helpful overcoming obstacles outside the classroom. A wider focus of attention, which is usually associated with ADD, is actually more adaptive according to neuroscientists John Kounios and Mark Beeman [link]. And from what I’ve seen, I believe it ..! They found that when students are more receptive and open to distraction, they do better navigating a computer-simulated labyrinth than when they are focused and blocking out distractions (as seen on an fMRI). Students actually see and hear more .. finding their way faster by heuristic than by analytic reasoning. In other words, discovering relationships between vague and loosely connected information was more advantageous than step-by-step analysis.
I found the same thing to be true once while I was applying for a home loan. After obtaining the 1st mortgage ..I was looking for a bank to help me with the down-payment. After three banks turned me down because they considered this ‘risky’ and ‘somewhat irresponsible’ ..I sat on the beach, got over the feeling that I was ‘risky’ (and somewhat irresponsible) ..and pulled together the real reasons why. They had nothing to do with my ability to meet my obligations. It was not a personal failing on my part but a circumstance of the recession (i.e. time required to find a buyer for my prior home). When I put this and other reasons down in a letter-of-explanation ..the next bank understood intuitively and, with just a couple of questions ..they approved my application.