YOUth Review: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

book coverThe book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell poses the question: “what makes high-achievers different?” “I want to convince you that these kinds of personal explanations of success don’t work. People don’t rise from nothing….It is only by asking where they are from that we can unravel the logic behind who succeeds and who doesn’t”, as Gladwell explains. In this particular book, Gladwell utilizes examples of successful people, as well as people who possessed the potential to succeed, to illustrate the true meaning of success and how it is achieved.

Malcolm Gladwell introduces the key determining factors of success: opportunity, upbringing, timing, and the ability for one to utilize their skills for meaningful work. The book analyzes success stories such as Mozart, the Beatles, Bill Gates and Bill Joy- dwelling into their upbringing, time period, effort and luck to truly discover the key principles of success and how it is attained. Furthermore, Gladwell highlights the concept of how a small advantage or change, can have an accumulative effect in the future (ie. the snowball ef ect). By taking advantage of opportunities or by simply dedicating oneself to their work; the benefits can be exponential in the future.

All things considered, I enjoyed reading this book, and I would highly recommend it. Gladwell, as he so often does in his books, opens one’s eye to contrasting perspectives on events or concepts. In this specific book, the writing is concise- permitting it to be relatable, as well as implementable. I’ll leave you with my personal favorite and most meaningful quote in this book: “Success is not a random act. It arises out of a predictable and powerful set of circumstances and opportunities.”


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