Are you one of life’s ‘late bloomers’?
I think I’ve always felt like a late bloomer. So it gives me hope to know that it’s a “thing”.
In this conversation I talk with Kendra Patterson about her experience with burnout. And we explore some of the fascinating topics she looks at on her Stepping Off Now Podcast.
Late Bloomers don’t just approach life at a slower speed. Their orientation to the world is different from what we might consider to be normal modes of operating.
As Kendra points out, the core of this might be the difference between conceptual and experimental types of people.
Have a clear picture of how they want things to look. They work deductively (they know where they want to go and have a clear plan in order to get there).
Weinberg and Galenson (2019) looked at the lives of Nobel Laureates in Economics. They found that Conceptual innovators made their most significant contributions to the field in their mid-20s.
Experimental Types (The Late Bloomers)
Start with a step and build incrementally. Often without a clear picture of where each step will lead them. They connect dots as they go and their creativity is underpinned by discovery along the way. They work inductively (accumulating knowledge from experience).
In the research, Weinberg and Galenson found that Experimental types made their biggest impact during their fifties. That’s thirty years later than their conceptual peers.
Society enjoys stories of youth and early bloomer success. It’s understandable. But it can lead us to carry a belief that if we’re ‘destined for success’, then we will know in some way by our late twenties.
And if we don’t fit this conceptual mould, we are left to drift towards self-surrender. Where we start to let go of the things that truly matter. And life happens to us and around us.
This makes it EVEN harder for late bloomers to freely pursue the experimental journeys that come naturally.
A lot of our world is geared towards conceptual thinking because it’s easy to understand and simple to measure. It makes it easier to answer the question of what you’re working towards. And it’s the foundation of our linear approach to progression through life. Identify what you want and then you can work out how to get there.
In The Conversation We Discuss:
- Kendra’s experience of burnout and the process of working out what it was.
- How the conflict between the creative and conventional can cause gentle intuitive types to get overwhelmed and burned out.
- The small practical steps Kendra took in piecing life together after her dark night of the soul
- What she learned from Søren Kierkegaard about finding cracks of light in the darkness
- Why Kendra now considers herself a “repeat bloomer” and how that realisation has helped her.
- The importance of recognising the unremarked moments of life, when progress feels slow.
- How to connect with the idea that the world is still full of possibility, when life is grinding you down.
- How we find joy on the journey towards the things we think we want. And why sometimes that teaches us that what we think we want isn’t actually what we want at all.