It all depends on how you approach your work.
erin reitz sketching

If you've ever found yourself waiting for that big break in your work or hobby, wondering if you'll ever strike gold, a new finding could have you feeling re-inspired. According to a study of winners of the Nobel Prize in economics published in De Economist, not all the laureates had their lightbulb moments at younger ages, despite what many of us might think. In fact, after looking at the works of 31 winners, researchers found that they fell on one of two life paths: peaking earlier on in their careers (mid-20s) and later on in their careers (mid-50s).

Those who peaked early on are deemed "conceptual innovators," often finding a way to challenge the status quo and "thinking outside the box," according to Bruce Weinberg, lead author of the study and professor of economics at the Ohio State University. "Conceptual innovators tend to peak early in their careers, before they become immersed in the already accepted theories of the field," he tells Science Daily. On the flip side, many thinkers who have their breakthroughs later on in their careers, deemed "experimental innovators," do so because they've found a new way to understand or interpret years of information they've already accumulated.

This study isn't the first of its kind either. The authors have also discovered similar patterns in leaders of the arts and science worlds, too. "Many people believe that creativity is exclusively associated with youth, but it really depends on what kind of creativity you're talking about," said Weinberg. "Our research suggests than when you're most creative is less a product of the scientific field that you're in and is more about how you approach the work you do."

In other words, if you've been craving to create something brand new in your work, life, or hobbies, it's never too late to start! Feeling inspired? Check out a few of our favorite crafty hobbies to take up.


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