Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed with Early Achievement
Tuesday 16/April/2019 - 09:31 AM
A groundbreaking exploration of what it means to be a late bloomer in a culture obsessed with SAT scores and early success, and how finding one's way later in life can be an advantage to long-term achievement and happiness.
We live in a society where kids and parents are obsessed with early achievement, from getting perfect scores on SATs to getting into Ivy League colleges to landing an amazing job at Google or Facebook - or even better, creating a startup with the potential to be the next Google or Facebook or Uber. We see software coders becoming millionaires or billionaires before age 30 and feel we are failing if we are not one of them.
Late bloomers, on the other hand, are undervalued - in popular culture, by educators and employers, and even unwittingly by parents. Yet the fact is a lot of us - most of us - do not explode out of the gates in life. We have to find our way. We have to discover our passions, and talents and gifts. That was true for author Rich Karlgaard, who had a mediocre academic career at Stanford (which he got into by a fluke), and after graduating, worked as a dishwasher and night watchman before finally finding the inner motivation and drive that ultimately led him to start up a high-tech magazine in Silicon Valley, and eventually to become the publisher of Forbes magazine.
There is a scientific explanation for why so many of us bloom later in life. The executive function of our brains doesn't mature until age 25 - and later for some. In fact our brain's capabilities peak at different ages. We actually enjoy multiple periods of blooming in our lives.
Based on several years of research, personal experience, and interviews with neuroscientists and psychologists, and countless people at different stages of their careers, Late Bloomers reveals how and when we achieve our full potential - and why today's focus on early success is so misguided, and even harmful.
Hardcover: 304 pages Author: Rich Karlgaard Publisher: Currency (April 16, 2019) Language: English Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.5 inches
About the Author Rich Karlgaard is the publisher of Forbes magazine and is based in Silicon Valley. He is a renown lecturer, pilot, and the author of four acclaimed previous books.
Editorial Reviews “I’m tempted to say this book was long overdue, but the truth is that it couldn’t come at a better time. Rich Karlgaard makes a commanding case against the wunderkind ideal, in favor of recognizing that late bloomers often prove to be the most radiant. If you’ve ever known someone who was overlooked or underestimated—or been that someone—you’ll immediately appreciate the importance of this message. Reading it is an utter delight.” —Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of ORIGINALS and GIVE AND TAKE
“Despite Aesop’s warnings, our society still admires the hare more than the tortoise. We deify those who burst out of life’s starting blocks and disdain those who take time to find their pace. But that’s a colossal mistake, says Rich Karlgaard in his powerful new book. Drawing on a deep reservoir of science, Karlgaard shows that many of us — perhaps most of us — peak well after our wunderkind years as we acquire the wisdom, resilience, and equanimity necessary for genuine achievement. Deftly written and deeply researched, Late Bloomers will change the conversation about success in America.” —Daniel H. Pink, Author of WHEN and DRIVE
"Late Bloomers spoke to me deeply as a parent of two millennials and as a coach to many new college grads (the children of my friends and associates). It's a bracing tonic for the anxiety they are swimming through, with a facts-based approach to help us all calm down." —Robin Wolaner, Founder of Parenting Magazine
“In Late Bloomers, Rich Karlgaard analyzes one of the most powerful myths in America: that test scores and early achievements are the best indicators of success in life. He makes a compelling case that the relentless search for prodigies is bad for kids and blinds us to the extraordinary talents of those who develop normally. A must read for parents and executives.” —Roger McNamee, Founder of Elevation Partners and Author of Zucked
“Rich Karlgaard is doing society a huge favor by outing a toxic belief of modern culture, one that is both untrue and life-squelching: ‘You should know by now!’ It's usually shouted at 20 or 30 somethings (if not 18 year olds), but it feels terrible to hear in your 40's or beyond – and it's crazy. Take a breath. There's nothing wrong with you. The best is truly yet to come! Read this book and find out how to make the most of the joy of late blooming.” —Dave Evans, Co-founder of the Stanford Life Design Lab and co-author of Designing Your Life
“Late Bloomers is a profoundly important book. It will immeasurably and happily improve the lives of millions of kids, parents, baby boomers—just about all of us. Ben Franklin, the prototypical American who pursued numerous and different endeavors during his long and fruitful life, would have been impressed by what Rich Karlgaard has wrought here.” —Steve Forbes, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media
“Late Bloomers is a gem. A remarkable quality of humankind is our ‘contagion’ to the emotions, thoughts and behaviors of those around us. At times this quality can be destructive, as with the absurd over-valuing of early achievement in our culture. Karlgaard tackles this head on. He calls ‘the Emperor has no clothes’ on this pre-occupation, while making an articulate and elegant argument that developmentally-informed parenting and education should value patience, experience and wisdom.” —Dr. Bruce Perry, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Fellow at The ChildTrauma Academy; Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University; Author of The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dog
"Rich Karlgaard’s Late Bloomers shines a much-needed light on an essential human truth – that each one of us can realize our gifts and unlock our full potential, whether we're an early achiever or a late bloomer. As he shows, life is not a race, it’s a journey." —Arianna Huffington, Founder & CEO, Thrive Global
“Karlgaard captures the truth about human development. We are all wonderfully gifted, and with patience and the right circumstances, we can all bloom in amazing ways.” —Todd Rose, Director of the Mind, Brain and Education Program at Harvard University and Author of The End of Average and Dark Horse
“In Late Bloomers, Rich Karlgaard makes the important case that our society and our communities suffer when we don't embrace different pathways for unique individuals.” —Diane Tavenner, co-founder and CEO of Summit Public Schools
“Late Bloomers is absolutely on target. Our capacity to succeed does not expire—it is never ‘too late’ to discover our potential. In the military, young officers often seek advice from the battle-scarred sergeants whom they technically outrank. Leveraging the wisdom of experience is often the difference between victory and defeat.” —General Stanley McChrystal, Retired Commander of the U.S. Joint Services Operations Command and Author of Team of Teams
“Late Bloomers reads like a message of hope. It encourages us all to deconstruct who we were before the world imposed upon us what they thought we should be.” —Erik Wahl, Performance Artist, Motivational Speaker and Author of The Spark and The Grind
“Rich Karlgaard destroys myths that hold us back. Late Bloomers shares wisdom relevant for corporate leaders and policy makers-- but most of all, if you're aspiring to greatness in any field at any age, read this book.” —Robert C. Wolcott, Chairman and Co-Founder of TWIN Global and Clinical Professor of Innovation at Kellogg School of Management
“You’ll be mesmerized by Rich Karlgaard’s remarkable Late Bloomers. In our hyper-competitive society that pushes every child to be a Nobel Prize winner, Olympic athlete, and concert cellist by age 18, this book lets readers breathe a big, relaxing sigh of relief. Late Bloomers reminds us that life is a long, wonderful journey, and that people need a healthy exploration period as they find their lane. Filled with inspiring anecdotes, hard science, cautionary tales, and the author’s own meandering path to spectacular success, this is a book you won’t put down.” —Ted Dintersmith, Venture Capitalist, Education Change Agent, Author of What School Could Be, and Producer of the Award-Winning Documentary Most Likely to Succeed
"We need a national conversation about the insane levels of performance pressure and anxiety our young people carry. We need inspiration about the power of patience in lives that can flourish at their own pace. Rich Karlgaard’s Late Bloomers is brilliant, wonderfully readable and urgently needed. I hope it is read and digested by millions." —John Ortberg, Senior Pastor of Menlo Church author of Eternity Is Now in Session
“While popular culture loves the remarkable success stories of youthful ‘wunderkinds,’ Karlgaard makes a compelling case for the potential of those who apply their accumulated powers of resilience, insight, and wisdom to achieve greatness later in life. Karlgaard transforms the term ‘late bloomer’ from mere faint praise to a badge of honor, freeing you to find a personal path to success at your own pace. He makes one proud to be a late bloomer.” —Tom Kelley, Co-author, Creative Confidence
“Rich Karlgaard shows that late bloomers are really not late at all, but rather individuals who are out of step with our society’s fascination with, and overemphasis on, early exceptional achievement. Late Bloomers is an important book – not only for late bloomers or those who think they may be, but also for their parents and their teachers, their spouses and their employers.” —Dr. Jeffrey Prater, Clinical Psychologist at Family Systems Therapy
“Thank you, Rich Karlgaard, for exposing the American obsession with early achievement. Thank you for defending all of us late bloomers, and for reminding everyone that we all have incredible potential, journeys and destinations.” —Daniele Struppa, President of Chapman University