review Outliers The Story of Success 103

characters Outliers The Story of Success

review Outliers The Story of Success 103 Ï In this stunning new book Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of outliers the best and the brightest the most famous and the most successful He asks the uestion what makes high achievers differentHis answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are likIc experiences of their upbringing Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires what it takes to be a great soccer player why Asians are good at math and what made the Beatles the greatest rock ban. I can save you the trouble of reading the book smart people don't automatically become successful they do so because they got lucky This rule applies to everyone including the likes of Bill Gates and Robert Oppenheimer That's it That's what the whole book is about Gladwell looks at case after case of this Canadian hockey players Korean airline pilots poor kids in the Bronx Jewish lawyers etc Even with all this evidence it feels like he's pulling in examples that fit his theory and ignoring others Thus while we look at many examples of geniuses who got lucky we do not look at Einstein which seems strange as he's the best known genius of the 20th century While the book can be summarized in one sentence the individual chapters are interesting such as the chapter that discusses a plane crash that happened in New York because the pilots were too subservient to make it clear to the air traffic controllers that they were almost out of gas In short the parts of this book were interesting then the whole

Malcolm Gladwell ☆ 3 free read

In this stunning new book Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of outliers the best and the brightest the most famous and the most successful He asks the uestion what makes high ach. I know you don’t think you have the time and there are other and important books to read at the moment but be warned you do need to read this bookThere are a number of ways I can tell a book will be good; one of those ways is if Graham has recommended it to me how am I going to cope without our lunches together mate And there is basically one way for me to I know that I’ve really enjoyed a book and that is if I keep telling people about it over and over again Well not since Predictably Irrational also recommended to me by Graham have I gone on and on about a book to people First to Ruth over lunch then to mum on the phone and then the kids after they had just gotten out of bed in the early hours of the afternoon – my poor children I’ve told them virtually the entire bookNow it is your turnAs a culture we tend to believe that people who are successful people like Mozart Bill Gates The Beatles all are ‘self made men’ and have risen to the summit of achievement on the basis of some incredibly special power they have and that we do not It is a comforting thought in some ways If we have not done as well we are hardly to blame because we just didn’t have that certain something We don’t have the thing that sets them people apart from the crowd And in this cult of celebrity we even get a chance to live vicariously in the reflection of their glory Perhaps we can never all be Lady Di at least not in public but we can all attempt suicide with a pate knife and get into colonic irrigation John Safran talks somewhere about a guy he knows saying to him that the only reason John made it and he didn’t was because John was Jewish John then talks about how much hard work he had to put in to becoming successful none of which relied on the mythical leg up he would have gotten from some secret Jewish conspiracy This book isn’t about Lady Di but it is about a series of biographies of people who have become incredibly successful The biographies are generally told twice The first time in a way that confirms all our prejudices about self made men and then in a way that makes sense of the success in ways we may find much uncomfortable I really struggled with this book – I loved every minute of it but I still felt remarkably challenged by it It was very hard not to think of my own life while reading this book And this did not make me feel comfortableI guess we are all fairly predictable and one of the things that makes us especially predictable is that we generally like to have our prejudices confirmed We buy books that tell us over and over again what we already know and believe The Left Behind series is just one such example as are most self help books And I’m as guilty of this as anyone else But there is a much better sensation we can get from a book although this is much rare It is when the person you are reading starts telling you the deeper reasons why your beliefs are valid and not just based on prejudice I have always believed talent is another although less apparent and all too vague word for hard work I’ve also believed that we are products of a range of different variables too complex to know in any real detail This book confirms those prejudicesFirst he talks about ice hockey and a fascinating fact about the birthdays of the best players They are all born at around the same time of the year It is as if there is a cut off date for when you will be a professional ice hockey player – and in fact there is The short version is that if you are born on the wrong side of the date they use to group kids into age levels you are likely to be a year younger than the other kids you are playing ice hockey with and therefore a year smaller than them too That is going to make them look like they are better players than you are – and they will be too A year at 10 is a huge difference a huge advantage And then we compound that advantage by giving the older kids practice experience in games and then experience and practice until there is no way the kid who happened to be born on the wrong side of the cut off date has any chance of catching upThe point he makes strongly here and repeatedly in the first part of the book is that there are other factors to success that are than just ‘natural ability’ In fact he does not believe in ‘natural ability’ – only in effort and time Essentially he shows that if you put in 10000 hours on any task you will be highly proficient at that task Innate ability does not exist and ability is actually a function of effort expended This is both liberating and incredibly challenging Liberating because success is related to the effort you put in and I think you should believe that is true even if it isn’t – it is the myth of Sisyphus the only way we can really cope with the world is to believe our efforts have meaning Challenging because ultimately we are responsible for our own success as we are directly responsible for how much effort we are prepared to put inThe second great theme of this book is that where you come from matters The culture that we are from has a remarkable impact on the rest of our lives For example if you are from a working class background you are much less likely to approach life with an attitude of ‘entitlement’ When people in authority speak to you you are probably less likely to uestion them In fact you might believe you should defer to them You are probably likely to believe rules exist for a reason and that rules can’t be changed and can’t be moved People from the middle class are much likely to see rules as things that can be shaped or changed or ignored to make their life easy or rewarding Having come from the working class even a particularly radical end of it I can still see aspects of this deference in my own character and this was perhaps the most challenging part of the book for meThe other challenging bit was the part about the Hatfields and McCoys As a Northern Irish boy even if I’m not as obsessed with ‘honour’ as I might have been this does make sense of things I have wondered about for a long time The solution might be a little too neat but the Irish particularly the Northern Irish are far too likely to feuds that are intractable and recognising that that might have cultural roots beyond the excuse of religion is utterly fascinating to meThe lessons of this book can be put into a brief sentence success depends on a series of cultural and other factors that are mostly beyond your control – however the thing that is totally within your control about success is how much effort you put in And the effort you put in the likely you will be successful They are directly proportional and we should all praise work as the key thing that really makes us humanI loved this book I noticed that Ginnie points to a pilot who disputes some of what Gladwell says about culture and plane crashes but this is a minor point His bigger point about culture and plane crashes still stands and is remarkable If you have kids read this book – it will give you hints on how to bring them up with perhaps a modest sense of entitlement – it could make all of the difference Ginnie also has a link to an article with a photo of the man himself – I was saying to the kids yesterday that I would give a couple of toes to look nearly as cool as he does but I think it would take than just toesLook what can I say Read this book it is life altering Well maybe not life altering but a delight nonetheless

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Outliers The Story of SuccessIevers differentHis answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like and too little attention to where they are from that is their culture their family their generation and the idiosyncrat. Didn't exactly read this book Joe and I listened to it in the car on the way home from visiting family for Christmas I really enjoyed it and was very fascinated by certain parts of it especially the sections about the Beatles computer programmers and Korean co pilotsBut my enjoyment of the book was marred by the glaring absence of any well known female outliers By chapter four or so I noticed it and mentioned it to Joe and then it just kept getting worse to the point that it was comical and distracting Man after man after high achieving man was featured Any time a woman was mentioned it seemed she was a wife or mother helping to boost a high achiever to success or in one case toward the end of the book a somewhat slow female math student that a male professor had videotaped trying to figure out a math problem By the time we got to that vignette it was so ridiculous that Joe and I both started laughing and Joe joked that the only woman in the book is dumb but persistentWhen we got home I Googled Gladwell Outliers sexist or something like that and found that several female bloggers and columnists also were ticked off about it and had taken Gladwell to task for it Gladwell doesn't strike me as a raging sexist so my guess is that he is so used to being a male in this world and constantly hearing about and identifying with male high achievers that maybe he didn't even realize what he was doing I noticed that he gave a pretty weak response when uestioned in an interview about his omission of women he claimed that he had not omitted women because he mentioned his grandmother's story at the end of the book in the epilogue I think Um okay