We recommend Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers as a must-read for anyone that believes in a dream. And in this article, we are going to explain 10 awesome takeaways that just may convince you to give the book a read.
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1. WHAT IS AN OUTLIER?
“An Outlier is a scientific term used to describe the phenomenon of those who fall outside of our everyday experience, the wildly successful and exceptional,” Gladwell, a man who specializes in capturing the overlooked, describes in an interview.
Outliers are the famous, the rich, those we exalt as examples of industry and brilliance.
They are special and have earned our attention.
We adore them because they seem to have accomplished what we cannot.
But what is it that has made them so?
More honestly, why aren’t we as fortunate?
In his book, Gladwell demystifies the stories of success. He explores ideas you may have never thought to consider, helping to reshape the conception of achievement.
Can you be an outlier?
“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” — MALCOLM GLADWELL
2. ‘OUTLIERS’ IS ABOUT MORE THAN 10,000 HOURS
We find it ironic that Gladwell set off to explain that success is not a sole function of one’s effort, yet most people come away only quoting his mention of the required “10,000 hours” for the mastery of one’s craft.
Even is this masterwork, most of us choose to hold on to the least of Gladwell’s concerns. Proving that it is very difficult to break the habit in which we have been taught to observe and think.
We go into the battle of our lives, our dreams, and we don’t even see our ambitions correctly.
Yes, hard work is necessary to succeed, and yes, you must practice in order to be the best.
However, Gladwell stresses that there maybe are more powerful forces contributing to your fate. Many of them are out of your control but may be beneficial. It is better to know them. Use them and grow.
To be a master may require 10,000 of practice, but success requires more.
3. BEING SELF-MADE REQUIRES THE HELP OF OTHERS
Every self-made man made it with a whole lot of help.
We took a bit of comfort in this bit, a welcome deviation from the generic self-help books that place all the pressures of success squarely on your shoulders.
Youtube gurus tell you WHAT to do to achieve your dreams: Work hard, be consistent, be spectacular, never give up.
These catchphrases end up becoming predictable motivation mantras.
Popular life coaches dress up all the difficulties created by the outside world as your challenge, never mentioning that the successful usually have culture, circumstances or people that help lighten their burden.
“The act of facing overwhelming odds produces greatness and beauty.” — MALCOLM GLADWELL
4. OUTLIERS WILL HELP PARENTS
Outliers can be read as the education of proper parenting.
Many great talents fall by the wayside because someone else (especially parents) have dropped the ball.
We wrote a review of the critically acclaimed book, Between the world and m by Ta-Nihisi Coates. In the review, we mentioned that the author writes to his son.
Coates explains the story of the African American experience to his child.
As a father, he teaches a history that ought to shape his son’s future.
As we read Outliers, we remembered Coates’ son, how well primed he is to become a success, not because of an intelligence score or a life of comfort but because his father has freed him with trust and drilled him with discipline.
Coates’ son has been taught proper values, not to make excuses, to never shirk responsibility, and to be his own man. Gladwell would probably nod at the foundation laid for the young man.
We all have a charge to make easier the success of others, especially our children because no one does it alone.
A negligent parent is enough to cancel a mind comparable to Einstein’s. Not due to a lack of resources but a failure in guidance.
We only have to take the example of Chris Langan, mentioned in ‘Outliers’. We come away with an understanding that poverty and desperation needn’t be a birthright.
Read outliers to learn that the current struggles of a parent can lead to the success of a child.
Let your child be autonomous but also stimulate their interests. Give them options while taking seriously the things they care about as the parents of Robert Oppenheimer did.
“The key to good decision making is not knowledge… It’s whether our work fulfils us.” — MALCOLM GLADWELL
5. OUTLIERS HELPS WITH REFLECTION & INTROSPECTION
You read Outliers to investigate your capabilities and possibilities.
Malcolm Gladwell picks apart the elements that make our society what it is. He stitches up pages of old history with leaves of current journalism, packing story after story into what feels like a novella of intellectual exercise. You find yourself examining your life much more.
Regarding the debate between Nature vs. Nurture, it would seem as though we do mostly end up as products of our environment.
Gladwell says, “success arises out of the steady accumulation of advantages. When and where you were born, and what your parents did for a living, and what the circumstances of your upbringing were like, all make a significant difference on how well you do in the world.”
As he continues to offer up relevant examples of success stories and failures, you begin to helplessly examine your story.
Your opportunity can be as simple as being born at the right time. I came away believing everybody always has something to capitalize on. The difficulty is knowing what that thing is. If only we could have, Gladwell examines our personal lives for us.
But in that you read Gladwell and ask a deeper question is enough. He teaches to see ourselves and the world differently.
“Sometimes the most modest changes can bring about enormous effects.” — MALCOLM GLADWELL
6. SUCCESS IS PREDICTABLE
Gladwell says, “success follows a predictable course. It is not the brightest who succeed, nor is Success just the sum of the decisions and efforts we make on our behalf. It is, rather, a gift. The successful are those who have been given opportunities. And who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them.”
I always thought I was outperformed by 2nd generation Asian students in mathematics because their parents are strict. I never bought into the genetics-based argument that Asians are born with gifts. But perhaps they are. Perhaps their language is the gift.
“The trick to finding ideas is to convince yourself that everyone and everything has a story.” — MALCOLM GLADWELL
It turns out the advantage of the Chinese may not be embedded in their DNA but rather their language.
Apparently, mathematics is more logical in Mandarin.
You don’t have to think conceptually about fractions.
You innately understand that 3/5 is not just a symbol for something to be calculated. In Mandarin, you say the fraction as ‘out of five parts take three.’ Suddenly the mathematics starts to happen on its own, you can visualize what you are saying.
Gladwell also explains that the language builds confidence in mathematics, one that encourages curiosity and a belief that an answer can be obtained when facing a terrible problem.
What happens to the child that grows up thinking, “I am good at maths.”
She knows the patience it takes to solve problems, and that attitude seeps into the approach of every other challenge.
Hence, she is more likely to be successful.
Make you kind of wish English did a better job of helping with Maths. Hm. What other circumstances could we have missed that present us with a non-compulsory uphill battle? Gladwell lists many.
7. OUTLIERS SURPRISES YOU WITH NEW-SIMPLE-BRILLIANT IDEAS
‘Outliers’ is a fun read quite simply because Gladwell works hard to entertain as well as inform.
He introduces a new way to look at popular ideas.
He sticks with an idea long enough for it to be relevant and interesting. Then he moves on quickly to another before you have a chance to get bored.
‘Outliers’ is a book that keeps on giving.
We hope that when you read Outliers, you relate rice farming to your passions in life.
We hope you end up believing in the maximization of your time and effort, believing in the fruits of your work.
Take the Chinese proverb, “No food without blood and sweat.” Apply it.
Remember that “no one who can rise before dawn, three hundred and sixty-five days, fails to make his family rich.”
It is amazing how Gladwell sets off on a challenging adventure, uncovering so many stories that teach you the ideals of success, without missing a beat.
To get the most out of Gladwell we recommend that you read with the intent of questioning everything he says, juxtaposing it with your real-life experiences, not for the purpose of discrediting him but rather as an exercise of your curiosity.
Persist and experiment if you don’t feel like a natural. Never give up on your curiosity. Your attitude, a willingness to try and work hard really is the key.
“Outlier are those who have been given opportunities– -and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them.” — MALCOLM GLADWELL
9. ANECDOTES BRING THE ‘OUTLIER STORY TO LIFE
While writing ‘ Outliers’ this book, Gladwell must have intended for his to resonate. If so, we can safely announce that Gladwell masterfully accomplishes his goal, must be the 10,000 hours he’s sacrificed telling stories.
Along with new ideas, Gladwell shares interesting anecdotes that help you connect with the book, through real-life characters.
Alex Williams story should impress on you just how important it is to occupy your child’s mind purposefully.
Waste time and others won’t.
Don’t lose ground. There is a clear connection between effort and reward.
Merida’s story will wake you up to the fact that there are twelve-year-olds out there who will outwork you.
And sometimes, you just get inexplicably lucky. Just ask Bill Gates.
He was the world’s richest man for a long time, and if he had been born with the same brain in any other human body, we most likely would never have heard of him. Same with Bill Joy, the writer of the internet.
Circumstances shape us. ‘Outliers’ uses real stories to ensure this message resonates.
10. ‘OUTLIERS’ DOESN’T PITY YOU. IT BELIEVES IN YOU
Though the book lays out what must be done to achieve success, work like the Beatles in Hamburg Germany. It often reminds you that these opportunities do not always directly related to the effort of the successful. Hamburg at the time would have taken any ole band. The Beatles just made the most of their opportunity. Hence, you must seize the chances you are given.
This book will not offer you pity or absolution.
You don’t get to breathe a sigh of relief and remain unactualized.
Gladwell states that addiction to work is still necessary.
What you do ought to be complex and engaging, challenging your curiosity and interests.
This way, your work will mean something to you, and you will be motivated by the reward at the end of your achievements.
“It’s very hard to find someone who’s successful and dislikes what they do.” — MALCOLM GLADWELL
As B&K MAG. here’s where our work comes in.
We have been conditioned to see the success stories as proof that anyone can make it. As Gladwell says, “We tend to consider that one in ten thousand examples as evidence of a fair world.” But we concur with Gladwell. “This hypothetical statistic more honestly shows that we have failed the other 9999.”
Our brand is about helping you achieve your dreams.
We aim to be a helping hand, and this book underlines the power of community and upbringing.
We must find ourselves and do meaningful work. Because Gladwell is right, “the world we could have is so much richer than the world we have settled for.”
Read his book and ponder the context of your life.
Because in the end, outliers are not outliers at all. We can all be successful.
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