I recently read Outliers: The Story of Success, by Malcolm Gladwell. Just like his other books,The Tipping Point and Blink, this book cannot help but make you see the world in a slightly different way.
Here, Gladwell takes us into stories of success, many of them you may think you know. You know how phenomenal the Beatles were, how fantastic Bill Gates has been. But as Paul Harvey likes to say-- this is The Rest of the Story. Sure, hard work is part of the equation, shouldn't that go without saying? But exactly how much work it takes to be one of the super successful may really blow your mind.
And it will make you think, if you want to be at the very top of the game, you better start playing it now. And don't expect to slow down at all. For a very long time.
And when you are spending all of your free time becoming this great success, make sure you keep your eyes open for Lady Luck. Gladwell makes it very clear that many different variables had to be in place for these Outliers, these super successful people. It was almost as if the stars had to align for their success to even get started-- with a coincidence here, and a lucky break there, a brilliant mind is born. Don't get discouraged, just make sure you don't pass it by-- learn to say Yes when opportunities arise (Hmm, isn't that what Jim Carrey's new movie is about?)
The biggest eye opener is to see how some people are not given the opportunities, even when everything about them seems like they should. Take a look at how differently class and ethnicity influences the roads people take in life. You'll come away questioning every judgement you've ever made...
Outliers is a page turner, filled with stories that will sometimes inspire you, and sometimes frighten or sadden you. But above all, it will make you think.