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Why I Read Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers

Updated on February 1, 2014

I heard about the concept of outliers from a man sitting opposite me on my reclining sofa.

He was soon to become my attorney, in an attempt to recoup damage for damage incurred in a bad fall.

Before I signed with him he gave his take on why

it is that most personal injury attorneys embrace the Jewish faith. Not being Jewish myself I squirmed a bit because I'm so resistant to stereotyping. You can read what I've written about it here and here.

Since he is Jewish he felt comfortable with the topic. The attorney connected his assertion with the story presented in Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers. Read the book to learn the story.

If you accept Gladwell's conclusions you may

find that you've got a marriage made in steak-fed heaven. Take desire and persistence and do whatever you want and work for, as long as you come from the right place at the right time..

Malcolm Gladwell bursts our common notions about how people become successful. He presents examples and credits the geniuses themselves for their rise to fame and fortune - and just as rapidly, he scrubs that idea free of self-importance, and constructs the real tale.

Giants in any field count on much more than

themselves, to progress to the summit. They are products of their society, their families, and perhaps most importantly, there fit on the timeline of human innovation and creativity. Would Tiger Woods have made fortune and fame had he been raised in a Haitian ghetto, or was it important that he had the father he did?

Not everyone agrees with Malcolm Gladwell's findings. He's criticized for basing his facts on interviews with specialists and authorities. The New Republic refers to him as an author of fairy tales.

Malcolm Gladwell Tells All About "Outliers"

"Outliers" are successful people who don't fit the typical mold for conventional notions of success. Gladwell emphasizes the fact that we are not born of our own volition, and neither are we successful due to ourselves alone. We are social beings, and realize it or not, we need the sparks of support from significant persons in our life to ignite our zest for success in our field of preference.

Even the brightest, such as genius Chris Langan (with an IQ of 190), are limited somewhat by others' expectations and contributions to our progress. One may think they are an island in their climb up the ladder of success, but without doubt they are still surrounded and connected to others of importance to us, by bridges, boats, ferries, ships, airplanes, trains, etc.

Circumstances, timing, place a huge roll in determining the success of individuals in such sports as Canadian Hockey, finding that the cut-off date for application to the younger teams determines from which months the majority of team kids will come - their birth dates more important than one would ever guess. read more

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

If you've heard of "sticky ideas," and are aware of how concepts spread like wildfire after a critical number of Shares on the Internet you're ready to read Tipping Point.

It's that hairs breadth moment when the salesman sweetens the deal just good enough to change your hesitation to purchasing.

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

If you want to hone your decision making powers, so as not to waste time on processing too much information for too much time, Blink's contents may shorten and lighten the task for you.

What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures
What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures

Relive the best of Gladwell's writing at The New Yorker, assembled together in this gift sized book.


Have you used information from Outliers to change your life?

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Have you read the Outliers yet? Any thoughts to share?

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    • blestman lm profile image

      blestman lm 3 years ago

      Not yet but it is now on my list

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      May have to read this now. Good review Papier!

    • Zeross4 profile image

      Renee Dixon 3 years ago from Kentucky

      I haven't read this yet, but it looks very interesting!