I recently finished the book, Outliers, by Maxwell Gladwell. This book had been recommended to me in one of those "hey, I'm looking for a new book. What should I download?" Posts on Facebook. I'm always interested in personal development. I hadn't read his other books yet, even the more famous Tipping Point.
When I started this book, I had just finished a memoir, and I was looking for something new. So, it's about seven or eight hours long on Audible. I though "oh well that's totally doable. It can't be that bad, it's not that long." I have to say, this book was, the best way I can describe it, an absolute delight. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and in fact I could have kept listening to this book for much longer than the book went, simply because it was filled with fascinating story, after fascinating story.
It was just one continuous discussion of taking how we look at the world, or look at something, and how perhaps we should be looking at it. Perhaps the statistics that we're looking at, should be looked at them from a different angle. Perhaps someone succeeded, not in spite of something, or in spite of a awful experience, but because of it. At first, so much of the book was focused on opportunity, and some people having opportunities that other people hadn't. But in many cases, the opportunities weren't these huge, sweeping things of parents being wealthy, or these certain experiences, but they were subtler opportunities. Someone saying "yes". Often it came down to the successful person having the stability to get someone else to say "yes".
I don't know that really the whole impact of the book has totally sunk in yet. One definite takeaway, perhaps my main takeaway, is something he said at the very beginning, which is "there really aren't people who just luck-out and make it big without hard work. And vice versa, there aren't people that work really, really hard for years, and years, and years toiling away, that don't have success." All of the opportunities in the world will not do anything, if you're not working really hard.
He talked about the Beatles, he talked about Bill Gates and Bill Joy. None of these people, or groups would have had the success they had without opportunity, and none of them would have the success they had without, without working very, very hard. The book made me want to work hard, hustle more. It made me want to find my own opportunities, figure out how to make opportunities. It also made me think about the responsibility I have to make opportunities for other people, but when can I say "yes" to other people? When can I help other people? So they can look back and say "well, it was when Tovah said yes, that was a turning point. That was when all my hard work started to pay off." Now I'm not just looking for my own opportunities but for the opportunity to say YES.
Fascinating book. Totally intriguing, inspiring. Once again, it just makes your brain work in a different way than it's use to working, so I would highly recommend Outliers.
Have you read any other Malcolm Gladwell's Books?
Do you have a favorite?