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  • Jenny

Book of the Week: Outliers

Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell

It isn’t a new release…but the concepts were new to me. Recommended by a new friend who touted this as one of his favorite “mindgasm” books, I can see why.

I completely geeked out on the observations about what makes someone a success.

Give me an analytical book that shows fascinating data that no one expects, and I’m hooked. Usually, it is in the form of the metaphysical and how astrology can be a predictor of behavior, or psychological and how the mind and our experiences shape behavior, but this? This whole intellectual evaluation of why certain people were successes beyond their natural talents truly had me intrigued.

Take birthday patterns for example: birthdays in certain sports matter not because of astrology (say what??) but because the earlier you were born in a year, the longer time you’ve had to develop your skills, and that gives someone like a professional hockey player born in January and edge over someone born in September. Even though they are born the same year, the maturity difference over those few months is enough to make an impact. (I know…fascinating observation, right?)

Then there were obvious patterns, like if you work at something for 10,000 hours, then you set yourself up for success. That felt like a no brainer, but what accompanied it was opportunity to earn those 10,000 hours in the skill—and that’s where the examples grabbed my attention. And family backgrounds? Amazing how it factored into a future generation’s success.

My personal favorite was learning about intelligence thresholds; as in having the highest IQ in the world doesn’t automatically make you intellectually successful…in fact, it can work against you if you don’t also have practical intelligence!

Of course, as I read the book, I was analyzing my own life, from birth info and work hours to family background and intelligence level to see if I fit any outlier patterns lol

Watching the author weave the stories of outliers with comparable characteristics beyond what we might normally consider as successful traits, it truly was a fascinating look into why some are set up better for success based on seemingly inconsequential details. Anyone interested in diving into a fresh new perspective on success trends, I highly recommend checking it out.

To hear more about my thoughts on and how I was intrigued by the various analytical patterns, check out my video book review, Find Yourself in a Character:

To learn more about this week’s author, Malcolm Gladwell, you can find him here:


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