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Reflection On Outliers By Malcolm Gladwell

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When I was first introduced to the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, I viewed it as yet another piece of homework. Like any other assigned reading, I thought skimming the pages and developing a general understanding of each chapter would cut it; I was wrong. It did not take long to realize that Gladwell’s compelling pieces of work were investigating something that I personally had never put any extra thought into: the root causes of success. Prior to reading Outliers, I had foreseen success as something which occurred only under the circumstances of a lucky break, but as Gladwell stated: “Success is not a random act. It arises out of a predictable and powerful set of circumstances and opportunities” (155). Through analyzing the evidence and …show more content…
Gladwell wrote that “ten thousand hours is the magic number of greatness” (41). What he was referring to here, is something I had never formerly acknowledged. Beforehand, I knew being successful required hard work, but this concept of ten thousand hours was hard to grasp. My ambiguity regarding Gladwell’s philosophy behind the ten thousand hour rule quickly vanished. As Gladwell presented numerous prominent figures of whom exemplified this notion, his idea started to become more clear. Gladwell’s story of The Beatles served as one of these examples. He mentioned that the ten thousand hours in which they performed prior to becoming famous is what “made” them into an iconic band. From the evidence which Gladwell presented, it was clear to see that putting in ten thousand hours of work resulted in a greater chance of success for several individuals or groups. Often times, I would agree that the majority of people would consider hard work to be a dominant factor when it comes to success, but what fails to be analyzed is just how much time this actually requires. It is easy to believe the misconception that ten thousand hours of work is easy to complete as long as you are motivated. Gladwell would be the first one to tell you this unfortunately is not the case. Those who are able to carry out …show more content…
At no time did I suppose that society as a whole could be directly associated with my own personal success. Gladwell put it: “We overlook just how large a role we all play–and by ‘we’ I mean society–in determining who makes it and who doesn’t” (33). Little did I know that I was one of the people which Gladwell referred to as “overlooking”; yet, from the arguments presented, I was able to identify this. I started to realize that the way we view success as a whole is completely wrong. Our society tends to believe that spectacular success is achieved without dedication, talent, and unforeseen circumstances, but rather by pure chance. We have failed to consider social and political factors such as birthdays and family history, as mentioned before. Throughout the novel Gladwell made this point clear. He illustrated that talent may not be the only thing successful people have in common while implying to people like myself, that we have been overlooking a key factor to success for far too long: social

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