Late Bloomers: The Hidden Strengths of Learning and Succeeding at Your Own Pace (Paperback)
A groundbreaking exploration of how finding one's way later in life can be an advantage to long-term achievement and happiness.
“What Yogi Berra observed about a baseball game—it ain't over till it's over—is true about life, and [Late Bloomers] is the ultimate proof of this. . . . It’s a keeper.”—Forbes
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 start-up with the potential to be the next Google, Facebook or Uber. We see coders and entrepreneurs become millionaires or billionaires before age thirty, and feel we are failing if we are not one of them.
Late bloomers, on the other hand, are under-valued—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 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 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 twenty-five, and later for some. In fact, our brain’s capabilities peak at different ages. We actually experience multiple periods of blooming in our lives. Moreover, late bloomers enjoy hidden strengths because they take their time to discover their way in life—strengths coveted by many employers and partners—including curiosity, insight, compassion, resilience, and wisdom.
Based on years of research, personal experience, interviews with neuroscientists, psychologists, and countless people at different stages of their careers, Late Bloomers reveals how and when we achieve our full potential.
Praise for Late Bloomers
“The underlying message that we should ‘consider a kinder clock for human development’ is a compelling one.”—Financial Times
“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
About the Author
Rich Karlgaard is the publisher of Forbes magazine and is based in Silicon Valley. He is a renowned lecturer, pilot, and the author of four acclaimed previous books.
“Our culture exalts youthful brilliance over mature achievement. Talent often flourishes later in life, when experience brings wisdom. . . . The institutions and organizations that dominate so much our lives should pay heed.”—The Wall Street Journal
“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
“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 suc - cess 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