I finished Outliers Last Night

by James on December 11, 2008

in Training Thoughts

Last night I finished reading Outliers in the bathtub at three in the morning. I couldn’t sleep so I figured I’d do something productive with my time. You may be asking what this book has to do with weight loss…well nothing really its just a good book.

Outliers is a great book. Like Gladwell’s other books it is presented as case studies. The author leaves little room for critical thinking by interlacing his opinion and ideas throughout. The book’s thesis states successful people–Outliers–are “grounded in a web of advantages and inheritances, some deserved, some not, some earned, some just plain lucky–but all critical to making them who they are.”  I fully subscribe to the theory of right place and right time paired with hard work and a fair amount of luck as a means to success. But the book makes a strong case by chronicling several super wealthy or influential people.

I enjoyed the book and had trouble putting it down. It was entertaining and provides plenty of fodder for pseudo-intellectual conversations. However, it is not a revelation to me nor will it break new ground for anyone who has believes we are products of our environment with slight variations based on our genes.

Outliers has already climbed onto the best-sellers list which will make the books theories available to wide audience .  I wonder how people will feel when they realize the book dispels the American mythology of self-made success.

One part that stood out was the 10k hour theory. I am working on completing the requisite 10,000 hours of practice it takes to become a proficient writer. Keep reading and see if I get any better.

Anyway, buy the book, read it and leave your comments here.

Outliers: The Story of Success

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Marelisa December 12, 2008 at 2:49 pm

Hi Paunchiness: Gladwell has an article where he writes about people who have achieved their success later in life. So if you couple that with the 10K theory, as long as you find something you enjoy and are good at, and are willing to put in the hours, it’s never too late to be an outlier :-) As for the fact that the people he mentions such as Bill Gates met with circumstances that helped move them along, I believe that once you start moving toward a goal resolutely all sorts of coincidences begin to arise to assist you.

Marelisa´s last blog post..Five Stress-Busting Techniques for Busy People

Lance December 14, 2008 at 5:41 am

Sounds like a great book, I’ll have to check it out! Thanks!

Lance´s last blog post..Sunday Thought For The Day

Stacey / Create a Balance December 14, 2008 at 6:26 am

I have been hearing about this book from many people so I think it’s time to add it to my collection. Thanks for the overview and the push to put this book on my list.

Stacey / Create a Balance´s last blog post..Celebrate Your Life Friday! 12.12.2008

rummuser December 15, 2008 at 9:18 am

I have ordered for the book. Being in India, it is expected to reach me by the first week of January, what it being the festive season!

Shall read it on arrival and leave a comment. I have read both his other books and am really looking forward to the new one.

rummuser´s last blog post..What Have I been doing?

edgewise December 23, 2008 at 7:23 am

I watched Malcolm Gladwell on Charlie Rose with my wife the other night and had to buy and read it right away. Since she was interested too, I got it for her as an Xmas gift, and read it with a fake book cover so she would still be surprised on the 25th.

The book is fascinating, both for its ideas and simply as a good read. It leads me to think that there will be a follow-up workbook, like “Parents Guide to Making Your Child an Outlier” or something. I like his idea about the two (just two!) types of parents, with the notions of ‘concerted cultivation’ v. ‘natural growth’.
Also, the example of the child who is going to the doctor and his mom has him think of his concerns and coaches him in how to interact with the doctor. Gladwell is really good at painting a picture, then providing specifics to make his points.

Good luck with your 10K hours–it really doesn’t hurt to be practicing with the goal of mastery at anything.

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