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Posted by on Sep 15, 2011 in Books and Movies | 0 comments

Outliers

Outliers and Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell, are both books I have been meaning to read for a long time. I have heard a great deal about them, and while they aren’t new releases which I tend to focus on, I loved it and had to write about it!

For non-fiction-reading-folks, Outliers is a great book! If you have even the slightest interest in Psychology, Sociology, or Science, (and I do mean the SLIGHTEST HINT), you would enjoy it! The book is an explanation on outliers, stories of successful people or crazy events in history that are too out of the norm to not rouse interest or attention.

My favorite example of Gladwell’s explanations, that will blow your mind, is Bill Gates. Bill Gates is a super billionaire who changed the world, and people are inclined to attribute his out-of-this-world success to anything, working hard, having an extra-special talent, being touched by God, being lucky, whatever. However, Gladwell explains that outliers often involve many more external factors than you think!

Bill Gates is among many techie success stories who hit it big, and after Gladwell did some digging, he found that they all were born within the same five years of one another. These men, who had the ADVANTAGE of being born within these five years, all were JUST old enough and at the same time JUST young enough to take advantage of the internet’s boom in the 60s and 70s, enough to be well versed enough to hit it even bigger in the 80s and 90s. Had Gates been another 5 years older, he might have just missed the oppurtunity, and already been on another set career path, however had he been an extra 5 years younger, it would have happened without him. So then he went back and studied old money, the Rockerellers, the Astors, the Carnegies, and lo and behold they were ALL ALSO born within the same five years of each other. Another example of being JUST the right age to take advantage of the world changing course.

Almost all of Gladwell’s stories explain that it isn’t about being lucky, it’s about being at the right place at the right time. It will absolutely BLOW YOUR MIND! I found the information making me feel both hopeful and a little bit hopeless. It’s nice to know that these people aren’t just born with some god-given talent you WEREN’T born with, it makes dreams seem more reachable. Conversely, it makes you feel a little hopeless that maybe you can’t really achieve crazy ridiculous success, because the external forces of the world are at work beyond your control.

Either way you should read this book, it will make your brain grow!

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