Outliers was my first read of the year. I read it on the bus and at home while lounging. It is a fairly easy read as there are no complex terms or concepts. The book seeks to explore the worlds and environment that generate Outliers. People like Bill Gates had the right circumstances and settings for them to make their world like they have done.
Success is not by chance.
It is the by-product of so many factors like
- The quality of parenting one receives. Children who grow up in homes where they are taught to be assertive, rightfully entitled and articulate in addition to being encourage to nurture their innate talents have better chances at navigating the world than those who grow up in families where all the above is denied, repressed and curtailed.
- The kind of attitude and personality one adopts towards the circumstances life throws their way. Someone can be a genius but their attitude towards people, e.g. a-know-it-all attitude, or a closed personality will curtail their progress in life.
- The hours that have been in-put towards a particular passion, talent or skill in order to catapult you from being an amateur to being an expert in your field. The ideal number of hours is 10,000 hours. By the time Bill Gates had a big breakthrough as a programmer, he had done more than 10,000 hours of coding.
- Socio-environment factors such as cut-off points and ages for joining schools or teams which prevent equally talented or bright or skilled individuals from making it to a particular class or team, hence widening the gap as the years go by between those who could meet the requirements versus those who were left out.
- The opportunities which are available, in addition to the exposure one has to the possibilities of what they can achieve.
These and more are what Malcolm Gladwell explores in his book. It is a book that I have recommended to several of my friends. I was impressed to discover that many in my social circles have read it since this gave me room to discuss and exchange view points on the gems in the book.
A must read for you if you desire to understand why some succeed and others do not, and how to improve the chances of success in your life and subsequent generations.