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The library of essays of Proakatemia


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Outliers: The Story of Success
Malcolm Gladwell
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 4 minuuttia.

Outliers is a fine book about success. And it´s not a success story but it studies successful people and what caused them to be successful and not. If you are in social media you are influenced a lot by different clips from podcasts and different opinions of different people. “don´t go to parties. Outwork others and see the results” mentality is trending at the moment. Discipline and grit it´s hard. But I don´t think it´s that black and white. Do so much work that you will succeed? Ummmm I don´t believe this, but I think it´s a big part of the success.

This is why I loved this book so much. It studies what has gone through the process of successful people. What they did to become successful. What was the family like they grew up in? What schools did they go into? What time did they go to school? Who they met in school. What was trending at the moment they were growing up. What tools they had access to? Man, this is the stuff I want to hear.

The book is taking a look into familiar faces and also people that you might not know from Steve Jobs The co-founder of Microsoft and Chris Langan who is quoted to be “The smartest man in America”. It takes a look at these incredible talents and how they succeeded in life and what affected their success.

One topic that hit me very hard was the Matthew effect.

The Matthew effect was explained like this:

Cumulative Advantage/Disadvantage Theory

The Matthew Effect refers to a pattern in which those who begin with advantage accumulate more advantage over time and those who begin with disadvantage become more disadvantaged over time (Dannefer, 1987; O’Rand, 1996). Malcolm Gladwell uses as an example junior hockey championship teams players’ ages. Most of the players are born in the 3 first months of the year the next most common months to be born were the three months after and only a few players were born in the last 3 months of the year. So what does this tell? It tells that when these kids started to play the kids that were born early that year had a psychological and physical development few months than others so they had an advantage compared to the other players they got offered better opportunities because they were better and there you can see the snowball effect starting and you can see this effect as far as National Hockey League NHL.

I have struggled to succeed in life I played ice hockey for 11 years and I never really did well. I wasn´t that good in school and I struggle in the present to succeed 😀 Damn, life is hard. But I´m not putting myself down I´m just trying to figure out how to make it. First, you have to figure out for yourself what success means to you and why you want to succeed in the first place. For me, it means that you are one of the best at what you do. You have to win something. Either yourself or others. By this, I think it will give me better opportunities in life and give me the feeling of accomplishment and meaningfulness.

How does success happen?
The book tells about Steve Jobs, Bill Joy, and Robert Oppenheimer it tells about their success and what lead to their success. Things that their success have in common were that they were extremely interested on the subject of their success before market for it was that big and when the need for knowledge and skills at the market grew they had massive advantage against their competition because they had already studied the subject many hours when the subject came for the masses ears. So Time, Grit, Timing career and trend wise, extreme interest to a subject, the right location meaning school and city and what people you know. And this might be completely out of your hands it can be same as is rolling a dice where and what time and in which month have you born “The Matthew effect” can affect you success and of course, you can in no way affect these factors. So is a success just luck? No in most cases.

“The 10 000 Hour rule”

Have you ever heard of the 10 000 hour rule?
In the book, Gladwell haves as an example one of the biggest bands of all time The Beatles. In the start Beatles were from Liverpool which wasn´t the mecca of star musicians. But they had an extreme interest in the subject they were young so they had time and they had the grit to train.  The Beatles at the start of their journey had a unique chance to train their playing in Hamburg Germany and to state John Lennon “It was Hamburg that did it,” So what did Hamburg do? Hamburg offered a playground where the band could create something of their own and train as much as they could. Then 2 years later they were in the right place at the right time with the right amount of training. This is what it is all about the holy trinity of success. It isn´t just luck it isn´t just work.

In my opinion, the recipe for success is to work hard, Study your subject, be curious, don´t be afraid to hit people up that you are interested in, ask for help and be real! This is how I have ended up where I´m now and I haven´t yet succeeded but I will try my best to succeed I will show you what I´m made of.


Photo by: Nataliya Vaitkevich



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