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  • Gaili Schoen

Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed with Early Achievement

Updated: Jan 29


"Researching Late Bloomers has left me thoroughly convinced that America and many parts of the world face a crisis of untapped and undiscovered human potential." Rich Karlgaard, Late Bloomers


Rich Karlgaard's Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed with Early Achievement just came out in paperback, and I think it's well worth reading or listening to if you feel like you are getting a late start at your career, studies or hobbies. I found chapter 4 to be the most helpful, in which Karlgaard outlines the six strengths of late bloomers:


1- Curiosity: When we are less focused, and less pressured by teachers and bosses to attain "superstar" performance goals, we can do more creative thinking and innovating. We are more open to new ideas, as were in childhood.

2- Compassion: The ability to empathize with others often increases with age. As we become less self-centered, we are better able to understand the people around us. This makes us better leaders, decision-makers and entrepreneurs.

3- Resilience: As we gain experience, we understand that setbacks can be overcome. We can look at our challenges as growth opportunities and persevere instead of giving up.

4- Equanimity: We become more calm as we age, and more able to keep a level head under pressure and in emergencies.

5- Insight: As the brain matures we gain a greater ability to discern what is important.

6- Wisdom: Our accumulated experiences help us to gain "the ability to make better decisions, a heightened focus on the positive, better coping skills, an increased sense of equanimity, and the ability to more quickly and accurately interpret patterns."


Karlgaard acknowledges that brain processing time can slow with age, but he shows that many skills and attributes can improve and increase with age. All this is good news for those of us trying to learn new things as older adults! His research also helps parents and teachers to understand that students grow and progress at varying rates, and to trust that with love and support, their children will find their way.


"[Self-doubt] drives us to question results, experiment with new strategies, and be open to alternate ways to solve problems....It's also a recipe for being a wiser leader, teacher, parent and friend. Coming to terms with self-doubt makes us more compassionate, and gives us greater insight into ourselves and others."


⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 for our GoodReads Ripe Reads group book reviews. Hardcover 304 pages, Audiobook 9 hours and 19 minutes


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