Do you remember the story about the Tortoise and the Hare? The motto, “slow and steady wins the race,” was the moral of Aesop‘s fable. The same can be applied to the late bloomers’ journey.
These days, most people try to live like the Hare and the modern obsession with immediate results and instant gratification doesn’t help. Promises of getting rich quick, diets and training programs that’ll transform your appearance in weeks or days are very pushy, too. These things have made us expect instant results to the point that when we don’t get them, we get discouraged and immediately quit. But the truth is lasting change doesn’t happen overnight.
Late bloomers are undervalued. Yet the fact is, a lot of us do not explode out of the gates in life. We have to discover our passions and talents and gifts.
By necessity, we late bloomers are on a different more challenging trajectory – writes Rich Karlgaard in his book ‘Late Bloomers. The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed with Early Achievement‘ -. As we travel through life, we encounter obstacles like the push for conformity, the oppression of groupthink and the pains of self-doubt. But in all these challenges, we find our hidden treasure. We unearth our individuality. Within these challenges lies our true power, our covert talents and secret advantages as late bloomers.
Worth the Wait: Late Bloomers’ Top Qualities
Curiosity, compassion, resilience, equanimity, insight and wisdom are qualities that have conferred only with time. In particular, wisdom grows with age.
As we age, we lose grey matter and gain white matter. Though grey matter (which makes up the basic cognitive networks) is crucial, the white matter (which holds the networks together), may be what gives us our true advantage. The white matter acts like insulation on a wire, making neurological connections work more efficiently and that increases in middle age.
Research on wisdom over the past several years has also revealed that middle-aged people are much more expert at many social interactions, such as judging other’s true intentions and moderating emotional reactions, than younger people.
It peaks between ages forty and fifty, then stays on a high plateau until the final years of life – continues Rich Karlgaard- Such experience-induced expertise brings with it a number of proven benefits, including 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.
So, are you still dismissing the tortoise?