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Professional young athletes expect their talents to taper off in their early adulthood, and many prepare for a second career in advance. Musicians are similar and often find that their abilities decline over time.
Studies found that knowledge-based professions, such as lawyers, financial professionals, doctors, also decline between their late thirties and early 50s. Startups favour the young, between 21 and 34. This is called the fluid intelligence curve.
However, the better people perform, the steeper the decline. The more attached they are to their success, the harder its loss hits them.
The decline is not all past 40. Certain abilities grow during middle age that favour wisdom, teaching, and sharing ideas. Language skills tend to increase.
Moving on to a second intelligence curve means people should take on a teaching or mentoring mindset in the field they're in. For those willing to make the jump, the reward is huge.
You know it's time to look for the second curve when you don't enjoy your work as much as before:
Moving toward the second curve:
Ageing isn't all bad news. In some specific ways, you'll get smarter and more skilful. The trick to improve is understanding, developing, and practising your new strength.
People possess two types of intelligence.
If your career relies only on fluid intelligence, it will peak and decline early. But a career that requires crystallised intelligence will find that decline happens much later. If you can go from one to the other, you will thrive.
Investing and saving is not the same thing.
Letting go of past glory can pave the way for life's "second curve."
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