Books

Book Review: Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

I was taught that those who are successful are naturally thus. That they have some secret hidden power inside them that makes them better than others in a particular task. This isn’t only something I heard from the laypeople but from my teachers and other people of authority. Such a statement can have a devastating blow to children’s ego and motivation when they grow up and try new things. This idea of natural talent, unfortunately, hasn’t died out. People still throw it around carelessly, causing damage not only on the individual level but also on a national level.

Malcolm Gladwell address this issue in his book Outliers, where he goes over what makes people successful. To sum, it up: practice, luck, culture, and did I mention luck? Luck to the point that it can have a huge difference when and where you are born. Not to mention to whom. Children who are born at the end of the year have a huge disadvantage to those who have born at the beginning with school with hobbies and with everything. They have a lot to catch up with their “peer group.” Why I put peer group in quotation marks is that Gladwell argues that we should have a graduated entry to school or to a football team. It makes sense. A month or two makes a huge difference in that age.

Outliers is a great book, and I loved listening to Malcolm Gladwell reading. He brought the text alive. He has a warm and compassionate voice. While I agree with him with most of the statements, that to be successful you have to have a supportive background, right cultural influence, an opportunity to spend 10 000 hours practicing, and luck, I find his methods iffy. He uses lots of examples and draws generalizations from individual cases, and while they are memorable, they are not enough for a scientific argument. Not enough to say this is the truth. Even when his statements make common sense. We all know from history that common sense can fail more than often we care to admit. We need scientific studies to validate their truthfulness. There are places where he quotes studies done, but they are left on the background, not wiping away the fact he leans heavily on individual examples and their power to prove general laws.

I understand why he does this. Individual cases and examples are more memorable and influence the reader. Also, he has written this for the public, not for academic purposes. Yet, I still find it troublesome as I have seen and heard professors quote his work and stating his conclusions as facts. That is, of course, a “mistake” from their part, but such occurrences show the spreading power of seeming facts stemming from common sense.

I have complained a lot. More than my usual. This is not because I didn’t like the book, the opposite in fact. I think, the misconceptions of any kind, like the thought of natural talent, have the power to harm and should be used carefully. So it might sound odd if I recommend this book, but I do. This book makes you rethink what you thought about your own successes and failures. I can remember several times when as a child, I should have received more encouraging to spend hours practicing than thinking I’m not naturally good at this. The subjects Malcolm Gladwell brings up in the book should be studied further. They are important to our comprehension of how someone becomes successful.

0 comments on “Book Review: Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Victoria Dutu *** Art Gallery and Books ***Galeria de PICTURI SI CARTI

Buy a Book and a Painting created by me, because them are intelligent and beautiful.* Comanda acum o carte si o pictura create de mine pentru ca au la baza principiul estetic de frumos! * Telefon&WhatsApp:+40740.27.99.08/ books@victoriadutu.com/ victoritadutu@gmail.com

Being Zab

The Storyteller (Qissa-Go)

SAMANTHA THE READER

A BLOG FOR THE LOVE OF BOOKS ...

Ange Marie Blog

Affiliate, Mobile, Social Media and Digital Marketing

Welcome To Milestonemonger`s Homepage

Welcome you to follow my journey!

Flora Fiction

A Creative Space

Mounzer Darwich

Be dedicated...................... Blog for free debate and dialogue in the affairs of society, family and people

Simplify Tasks

Want to learn the simple way?

The Reader Next Door

A book journal (mostly)

The Alchemist's Studio

Raku pottery, vases, and gifts

It's all about Inspiration

Inspiration is our vision as it is the key to success. This Blog is about Personality Development, SEO, Amazon Affiliate Marketing, Blog ideas, and photography.

Spiritual Abuse Sanctuary

Exposing Spiritual Abuse

a.mermaid'spen_

Be careful, I might convince you.. You are art.✨

P e d r o L

storytelling the world

(CALIATH)

An Empyrean Cycle

Reading 1 Page A Day

MichelleBookAddict here Reading 1 Page A Day... and other little things I love

%d bloggers like this: