After an embarrassingly long time, I have finally finished Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: The Story of Success. This book is just the right mix of intellectual stimulation and cultural relevance to keep any reader engaged and wanting more (even if it takes said reader months to finish it…what can I say? I have ADD when it comes to books, and most things in life, ha!).
In this book Gladwell argues that there is more to the story of success than just the modern day perception of good luck or innate ability. With examples of everyone from The Beatles to Bill Gates, he maintains that success has far more to do with timing, cultural identity, upbringing, and opportunity than it does actual ability. This counterintuitive argument challenges the reader to look at not only success but the culture and heritage from which they are from completely differently. From rice farmers of Southern China to New York law firms, KIPP students to hockey players, there is no individual or group that has seen success that Gladwell won’t challenge.
This book is a delightful read and whether you agree with him or not, Gladwell creates an opportunity to introspectively consider the opportunities that you have been given, the cultural in which you come from, the upbringing you received, and the way in which you use all of these factors to your advantage. Read it and be challenged to reconsider our culture’s perception of success.
Any recommendations for my next read?