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Are You Settling for the Consolation Prize?

 What one really needs is not Nobel laureates but love. How do you think one gets to be a Nobel laureate? Wanting love, that’s how. Wanting it so bad one works all the time and ends up a Nobel laureate. It’s a consolation prize. What matters is love. ~Dr. George Wald is a Harvard biologist who won a Nobel Peace prize.

 Linda: I have a game that I play with myself where I time travel in my imagination to when I am an old, wise woman.

I have been playing this game for decades. I imagine that I am in my nineties. I see my body bent over, leaning on a cane, but my mind is sharp. I have accumulated wisdom because I have paid attention during my long full life. This old woman part of me counsels my present day self. I totally trust her and take her advice.

She frequently says things like: “Don’t settle! Go after what you really want. Know what has heart and meaning for you and pursue it with all you’ve got. If romantic love with your partner is what you’re after, go for it! If it’s love exchanged with your children and grandchildren, have at it; love with your friends, work, writing dance, travel, contribution, enjoy it all! Reach high, but know what is most important to you, what means the most to you. And then give of your time and attention to that. Don’t get distracted and sidetracked. If you want to become a great lover, you will need to learn to speak with the voice of love. It’s a worthy endeavor you know.”

She always speaks to me in a light-hearted way, never harsh or judgmental. She has a glint in her eye, and laughs with me if I take myself too seriously. I experience both her love for me, and her strong confidence that I will be successful. She’s like the compassionate grandmother I never knew in real life, but that I have always longed for. She loves me passionately and delights in supporting my journey.

I offer you my guided visualization to find the wise elder within yourself, to provide you counsel if you might find it helpful. But if you want to meditate on the question, “What has greatest meaning for me?” Or if want to pray about it, or journal into the question, there are a variety of ways to access our inner-truth.

The most important part of the exercise is to tell ourselves the truth about what is most important to us and to see if we are living in accordance with that truth.

So many people say that love is of utmost importance to them, but neglect their closest relationships, chasing after status, power, money, awards, and degrees rather than that which will bring the greatest happiness, satisfaction and well-being.

So what do you find when you live in the question? Are you settling for a consolation prize, or are you seeking that which is the real thing for you?


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Are You Settling for the Consolation Prize?


Linda Bloom LCSW and Charlie Bloom MSW are considered experts in the field of relationships. They have been married since 1972. They have both been trained as seminar leaders, therapists and relationship counselors and have been working with individuals, couples, and groups since 1975. They have been featured presenters at numerous conferences, universities, and institutions of learning throughout the country and overseas as well. They have appeared on over two hundred radio and TV programs. Linda and Charlie are co-authors of the widely acclaimed books: 101 Things I Wish I Knew When I Got Married: Simple Lessons to Make Love Last (over 100,000 copies sold) Secrets of Great Marriages: Real Truth from Real Couples about Lasting Love, and Happily Ever After...and 39 Other Myths about Love: Breaking Through to the Relationship of Your Dreams. The Blooms are excited to announce the release of their fourth book, That Which Doesn't Kill Us: How One Couple Became Stronger at the Broken Places. They live in Santa Cruz, California, near their two children and three grandchildren. To view our upcoming events and to sign up for our free newsletter, visit our website at:

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APA Reference
Bloom, L. (2018). Are You Settling for the Consolation Prize?. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 22, 2019, from


Last updated: 23 Aug 2018
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