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🏞 Late bloomers, labors of love, and other 'L' phrases
Ideas to mull over, Part 1
This week I’m running a small Substack experiment. Instead of one weekly newsletter post, I am sharing three short(ish) posts today and tomorrow on the idea of late blooming.
About 1-2 years ago, I read a book by Rich Karlgaard called Late Bloomers, The Power of Patience In A World Obsessed With Early Achievement.
Merriam-Webster describes late bloomers as “someone who becomes successful, attractive, etc., at a later time in life than other people.” Apparently, a surprising number of people describe themselves as late bloomers.
In the book, Karlgaard describes the pressure on children to succeed early with stress on external goals such as getting good grades, adopting preferred extracurricular activities regardless of interest, achieving high scores on standardized tests, and getting into top colleges. Admission to a highly-ranked college is considered the definitive marker of future financial success. Family, friends, peers, and broader society combine to reinforce this pressure cooker environment, and the message is to succeed early or you never will.
Considering the many factors that affect individual development (prevailing socio-economic structures, physical and neurological development, learning styles, childhood experiences, etc.), why do we glorify rigid timelines for performance?
Citing research, Karlgaard urges us to look beyond these narrow, stifling definitions of performance and success and embrace the idea that blooming can occur at any age and more than once in a lifetime. He suggests techniques, practices, and the use of strengths, such as curiosity, compassion, and resilience, to help us carve a more individual path.
How about you? Do you consider yourself a late bloomer in one or more areas of life? I know I do and especially when it comes to writing.
I would love to hear from you!
Stay tuned for the second post.