Rich Karlgaard on making personal reality manageable

In Chapter 9 of Late Bloomers, Rich Karlgaard shares some valuable insights about the power of stories, the plasticity of persistence, and how they’re linked.

“Stories don’t just describe what’s happened — they help determine what will happen. The stories we tell ourselves help shape our attitudes and enhance our well-being. For late bloomers this is terrific news….if we late bloomers change our story [over time] , we can change our behavior and even our life.”

Then Karlgaard points out that, “While plenty of Freud’s work has been discounted. part of his genius was in his ability to work with individuals to make sense of their otherwise messy lives. The key insight that Freudian psychoanalysts came up with was that their patients somehow couldn’t keep the story of themselves straight — or they had no story at all. They had the task of repairing essentially broken stories, like a script doctor. In other words, the real value in psychoanalysis was in working with patients to dissect or sift through random memories and events that on their own made little sense, to construct a coherent narrative. The story would be about how a patient got from point A somewhere in the past, to the present, then oriented themselves toward the future in a meaningful way.

“In a sense, constructing a narrative did more than just help individuals see their life events in a new way. It shaped their reality by making it manageable.”

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Rich Karlgaard is the publisher of Forbes magazine and is based in Silicon Valley. He is a renowned lecturer, a pilot, and the author of four acclaimed books. His latest, Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed with Early Achievement, was published by Currency (April 2019).

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