In the #1 international bestselling book Outliers: The Story of Success, published in 2018, Malcolm Gladwell shows that success is actually achieved through certain social factors and a great amount of hard work. He argues that success depends on giving people an opportunity to succeed. Interestingly, before he became a bestselling author, Gladwell could not get into graduate school because his grades weren’t high enough and so, he chose to try advertising, where he failed as well. Here are his 3 aspects he says are key that make high achievers (outliers) extraordinary.
Practice, practice, practice.
A study found that all successful people spent at least 10,000 hours practicing to improve their skills. The extraordinary people become so not through innate talent, but through constant practicing and improvement. In every field, those who got at least 10,000 hours of practice were the ones who displayed extraordinary results.
Social skills to get opportunities
Talent, itself, cannot ensure that we get opportunities to practice and hone our skills. It is also important to gain practical intelligence and confidence to grab opportunities. These involve social skills to manipulate social situations in one’s favor, and studies show that those with parents involved in their upbringing were able to demonstrate these skills as opposed to others.
Historical frames that define the everyday
Reasons for success are not always related to individuals—some depend on social practices formed in culture. Aspects of languages of East Asia affected social customs and interpersonal interactions, as well as make its people more suitable for certain types of disciplines. Recognizing these and adapting these in the present at a social level can create structures that produce children more likely to succeed.
Don’t have the time to read the complete book? Read the key insights and takeaways from this bestseller – Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell – in 15 mins or less.