Tag Archives: luck

What I learned from Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers

Have you ever wondered why nearly all the top hockey players were born in January, February or March? Ever wonder why the smartest people in the world aren’t the most successful? Malcolm Gladwell’s book contains these exact answers and more.

I found his book extremely revealing. I came into the book thinking that success was almost completely determined by intelligence, hard work and intentionality. While these traits are significant parts of making the most with what you have, Gladwell illustrates that much of what determines success is due to completely unpredictable and random factors.

While much of our success is determined by luck – where we were born, who are parents are and their respective network and culture – a lot of these advantages can be recognized and limited. But we can’t just assume luck isn’t impacting these things – it always is.

Recently I’ve been reflecting on my current reads and taking notes to summarize what I’ve been getting out of the books. I did this for Outliers and took away a few key points. Here they are below:

  1. If you see a pattern, don’t assume it’s random, examine the history behind it
  2. Understand your own history and the apparent consequences/indications of what that means for you

I hope these two points are helpful. A key takeaway was to look at the contributing factors and history behind success. This, of course, is consistent with the title of the book!