My friend Joshua Ramo just introduced me to the concept of being a Hypomanic. I felt at home with it. Both with the good and bad aspects of it. This is what he wrote.

>> >>”In a recent interesting book ³The Hypomanic Edge: The Link Between (A Little)
Craziness and (a Lot of) Success in America² author John D. Gartner, an
assistant professor of psychiatry at John Hopkins, argues that America¹s success
is because American entrepreneurs are largely hypomanic.

>> >>³Hypomania is a mild form of mania, often found in the relatives of manic
depressives. Hypomanics are brimming with infectious energy, irrational
confidence and really big ideas. They think, talk, move and make decisions
quickly. Anyone who slows them down with questions ³just doesn¹t get it.²
Hypomanics are not crazy, but ³normal² is not the first word that comes to mind
when describing them. Hypomanics live on the edge, between normal and abnormal.²

>> >>So why are Americans hypomanic? ³Energy, drive, cockeyed optimism,
entrepreneurial and religious zeal, Yankee ingenuity, messianism and arrogance ­
the traits have long been attributed to an ³American character.² If a scientist
wanted to design a giant Petri dish with all the right nutrients to make
hypomanic genius flourish, he would be hard-pressed to imagine a better natural
experiment than America. A ³nation of immigrants² represents a highly skewered
and unusual ³self-selected² population. Do men and women who risk everything to
leap into a new world differ temperamentally from those who stay home? It would
be surprising if they didn¹t.²

>> >>How do you identify a hypomanic? Gartner lists these traits: ³He is filled
with energy; flooded with ideas; driven, restless and unable to keep still;
channels his energy into the achievement of wildly grand ambitions; often works
on little sleep; feels brilliant, special, chosen, perhaps even destined to
change the world; can be euphoric; becomes easily irritated by minor obstacles;
is a risk taker; overspends in both his business and personal life; acts our
sexually; sometimes acts impulsively, with poor judgment, in ways that have
painful consequences; is fast-talking; witty and gregarious; charismatic and
persuasive; prone to making enemies and feels he is persecuted by those who do
not accept his vision and mission.²”

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Anonymous on May 17, 2007  · 

This does flow from your idea that the very nature of immigrants and immigration is entrepreneurial. This would also explain the relative success of cultures in the diaspora (Indians in Africa and the Carribean, Chinese in South East Asia, Jews first in Europe and then in the US, and then the Lebanese, Greeks and Turks in place like Australia, South Africa, the US, etc).

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Mike Sax on May 17, 2007  · 

I sometimes joke to people “I’m not manic-depressive, I’m just manic”. And now it’s official. 🙂

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Gilles Amsallem on May 18, 2007  · 

A frequent characteristic of entrepreneurs is high attraction and resistance to stress and danger ( extreme conditions ) . Often entrepreneurs create danger, maybe to test their own capacity to escape death. Why do they need to feel the danger of ruin after fortune when other spend their life to protect themselves and their family ? is complex psychoanalytical question that may have an answer in each and every individual . I thought interesting to mention that a similar process exist also in very simple bacteria ( without psychology ). The recent research of such organism can give an interesting angle.
Extreme conditions of life exceed the optimal circumstances for growth and reproduction of the majority of living organisms. Desiccation and ionizing radiation are among the harshest dangers to the life of a cell. Both cause DNA double-strand breaks, the most severe form of genetic damage. Organisms that tolerate or require such extreme conditions are termed extremophiles.. Some remarkable microbes can survive high levels of desiccation and ionizing radiation, shattering its chromosome into hundreds of short fragments. It does so thanks to a DNA repair system that accomplishes an efficient and precise reassembly of the DNA fragments. Besides DNA, also the other macromolecules in the cell face the challenge of surviving the extreme conditions. The mechanisms by which certain proteins survive are, however, not understood but we know that to resist in tough environments they produce novel antibiotics novel enzymes and even novel anti cancerous molecules …

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Rodolfo Carpintier on May 31, 2007  · 

Hypomanic indeed. Godsent these types. They destroy business models to create new opportunities and yes, they must be manic to achieve it…:-)

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