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What do you really want out of life? Now what's stopping you?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Finally managed to finish “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell . It’s only taken me about 2 months The reason for the length of time to get though it had little to do with reading effort, but rather the copy I was reading passed mysteriously across the ocean and I had to find another (in book starved Zimbabwe this is akin to ordering steak in a vegetarian restaurant).

In a nutshell, he takes you through stories of success and outlines some of the circumstances and events that have contributed to it (ever wondered why Asians are better at math-I now know! Of course I’m not telling you read the book yourself.). Each of us is a by-product of timing, opportunity, history and cultural bias (basically S**t happens type stuff). He points out the hand fate has had in shaping our lives (e.g. if Bill Gates were a couple of years older I wouldn’t be typing this on a Windows OS). He hints that we can change some of it. But, most of the time he leaves us blissfully ignorant of what we can do to alter our future and take full advantage of the hand we’ve been dealt. It does however tell you how to raise your kids a little better so at least the next generation gets a better shot.

Is it worth reading? Yes. But don’t expect any magic wand, just some serious thought provoking on where you have come from. Building your future based on this information in the book-well that part is pretty much up to you.


john stanko said...

Glad to see that you read Outliers. Gladwell always stimulates me to think and he certainly de-mystified the concept of a genius. It's a lot of hard work plus being in the right place at the right time. I know you are busy this week, so enjoy Action and keep up the good work.

Max Soutter said...

Hi Dennis. I read the book a few months ago. I love Gladwells work, one of my fav.

There's no disputing the logic behind his two main points

1) It takes 10 000 hours to reach success
2) When and where you're born has a great impact on your success

I think it's worth adding though, that the two main concepts in the book
shouldn't be taken as LAWS, but more as guidelines or common patterns. Reason being, that there are a great many examples that don't fit those patterns. Great book though.