An extremely simple way to detect potential late bloomers

5 June 2024

Colonel Sanders founded KFC at age sixty-two. Anna Mary Robertson Moses AKA Grandma Moses, started painting when she was seventy-six, and had an illustrious career spanning twenty-five years. American actor Kathryn Joosten began her Hollywood career aged fifty-six.

These are just a few examples of people who are considered to be late bloomers. Those who found their calling in life at around the same time their contemporaries were either retired, or gearing up to cease working. That potentially means if you’re of a certain age, someone in your peer group may be about to step into the starting blocks.

But who might that be? According to London based writer and speaker Henry E. Oliver, there a few tell-tale signs:

  • Look for people who have been successful in the past
  • Look for people with secret lives
  • Look for the people who don’t fit in
  • Look for loners and those who are happy to change their context
  • Put up a beacon

Yah, put up a beacon is an obvious one (actually, I have no idea what that means). But forget the beacon. If you’re looking to find a would-be late bloomer among your friends and acquaintances, look-out for the ones with secret lives. Shouldn’t be too hard. Oh wait.

If someone has a secret life, that means — or is supposed to mean — no one else knows about it. While that may sound like a problem, it’s in fact only a detail. All we need do now is work backwards to identify the late bloomers in our lives. Start with the beacon. I assume that’ll stand out. Then pick out the loners, and those who don’t fit in. After that, anyone who has been successful previously.

Once you have four out of five, it’s just a case of finding out if they have a secret life. And that’s a simple matter of posing a discreetly worded question. You could say something like, “Oh hey, did I tell about an old friend of mine, [insert name of fake friend here]? Turns out they’ve been living a secret double life for a couple of decades.”

If your acquaintance seems startled, it might mean you’re onto something. Then you could follow-up, by saying “But that’s nothing you’d know anything about, right?” If their immediate response is a hasty successions of no’s, that it’s as good confirmed: your friend has a secret life, and could well be a late bloomer in the making.

Spotting potential late bloomers is easy when you know what you’re doing…


, ,