Kalgaard says, “Recent research suggests that we need to modify our understanding of how people mature from adolescence to adulthood. Between the ages of 18 and 25, most people are still living in a volatile post-adolescence. In both adolescent and young adult brains, the prefrontal cortex—the processing center of our frontal lobe—is the last part to fully develop, and it is responsible for complex functions such as planning and organizing, problem solving, memory, attention and inhibition.”
The high standards we put on our youth can cause self-doubt and lead to anxiety and depression.
Psychologists use the term executive function, the ability to foresee possible consequences and plan effectively, to refer to neurological maturity. Young adults develop executive function at different ages. Do not assume the individual who is not successful early on lacks potential, talent or intelligence as your expectations might simply not be realistic at that time for them. To put this type of pressure to excel on a young person before they are able and ready can be extremely problematic for them.
Many of us, including myself, felt overlooked early in our careers. As skills, creativity and talents often develop later in life, it may be that we were had not fully matured at that time. In fact, stories about late bloomers are very common. Take Laura Ingalls Wilder for example. She was 65 years old when her first book, “Little House in the Big Woods” was published. Julia Child released her first cookbook at age 50. And Rodney Dangerfield did not catch his big break until the age of 46. The list goes on and on.
Rich Karlgaard’s wrote his book, Late Bloomers, because he was a late bloomer himself. In it, he explores “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”.
Karlgaard further explains, “Like me, most late bloomers will discover that they have greater opportunities to succeed on alternative paths, far from the madness and pressure of early achievement. Today’s obsessive drive for early achievement—and the taint of failure for those who do not attain it—has squandered our national talent and stunted our creativity.” says Karlgaard.
All of us know someone who seems stuck in life. Do not give up on yourself, or others, even when others are not supportive. Fresh inspiration and passions can develop throughout our lives.