Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

I finally got hold of this awesome book and pretty much ate it up in two days. Well, not physically but read it fast. You get the idea.

So what can I tell you about this book? Well in short it tells you that success isn’t just a simple matter of having that amazing idea, getting a lucky break and then working like mad to achieve success.

Ahhhhh if only life was that simple…

It isn’t (according to Gladwell anyway).

He comes up with examples of Bill Gates, The Beatles and rich law firms in New York. In his examples he displays that these people not only got a lucky break, not only did they work hard, not only were they ‘talented’….but there was a lot lot more going around their backgrounds and environment to have got them to success.

Even being born in the right month helps a lot!

The 10,000 hour rule

He also came up with a fascinating idea that to be classed a genius you should’ve dedicated at least 10,000 hours to perfecting your craft first. Not many people do THAT much practice. I have certainly found this to be the case in my life having done academic studies, music, dance and martial arts. The best are dedicated and to a level that is bordering on insane (or/and super-geeky).

The true masters of the game are the totally dedicated ones, they have spent hours and hours on getting good. They are not geniuses in terms of natural ability but you can certainly call them geniuses because they persisted well above everyone. There was nothing innate about their talent. Zilch.

Rice Paddies and Maths Tests

Which brings me to the last bits in his book, Maths!

He comes up with a fascinating comparision looking at the way Maths is taught in China and the way it is taught in the Western world and why the Eastern kids are sharper at it. Well, the answer is simple…..practice and more practice. But something in that culture makes the practice process much easier, but what is that?

Well if you like this sort of popular economics stuff, do get the book and have a read 🙂

Here’s to your success, and you know what I am going to say now…

Practice makes perfect.

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