In Praise of Mediocrity

The title of the article says it all: Young Success Means Early Death.

Apparently, even after correcting for every other statistical factor, politicians, Nobel laureates, and popes who achieved their success earlier in life tended to die at a younger age.

“Those who climb to the loftiest peaks in the shortest time also die younger. For the eminent, and perhaps for all, an early rise may lead to an early fall.”

In my youth, I always ascribed to the faster is better theory, and felt a bit chagrined that it took me until I was 19 to graduate from college (when other friends I knew were already in medical school by that time). Now I realize I should be thankful for my relative lack of early achievement!

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