A New York Times story grabbed my attention today, “Just Manic Enough: Seeking Perfect Entrepreneurs”. Telling the story of 21-year-old Seth Priebatsch – a guy who successfully secured a $750,000 investment from venture capitalists for what some may argue is just a crazy idea – the article showed how this certain young entrepreneur seemed to tread a very fine line between being a workaholic, self-confident entrepreneur, and full-blown clinical manic.
With hypomania, people experience similar mood and behavior swings as those with clinical mania. But although the two conditions share common symptoms like increased vigor, persistently elevated moods, and reduced desire or need for sleep, hypomania does not seem to prevent people from experiencing a fully functioning life. In fact, some have argued the symptoms may be conducive to success. The NYT article highlighted several well-known, professionally-accomplished hypomaniacs, such as George S. Patton and Theodore Roosevelt, both of whom seemed able to keep the condition in check – arguably, just enough – to rise to the top of their respective professional circles.