"Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell

So I really have been reading more. I finished another book this week, "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell. He also wrote "Blink" and "The Tipping Point" and has some very interesting theories and studies in his books.

Basically, his book is about outliers, or people who acheive outside the norm. When you think of very successful people, whether in the arena of sports, business, music, or anything else, most people would say that the very best of those people are 'special' and that talent is responsible for their success. While that special talent may be one ingredient, Gladwell very convincingly argues that it has more to do with opportunity, luck, cultural background, hard work (about 10,000 hours worth) and being in the right place at the right time. He has some pretty wild studies to back his theories.

He concludes the book with:
Outliers seem "to lie outside the ordinary experience. But they don't. They are products of history and community, of opportunity and legacy. Their success is not exceptional or mysterious. It is grounded in a web of advantages and inheritances, some deserved, some not, some earned, some just plain lucky-- but all critical to making them who they are. The outlier, in the end, is not an outlier at all."

He goes on to say, "it is impossible for an outlier to look down from their lofty perch and say with truthfulness, 'I did this, all by myself'."

This whole book made me think about all the extraordinary coincidences that shaped my career, from the very first time my family accidently stumbled upon wrestling when I was only 6 years old to the people/coaches that influenced me and made me the wrestler and person I am today. I often say that everything happens for a reason, and I can look back and clearly see where my so called 'losses' propelled me to a higher level or where my success had hinged on an event happening totally outside of my control. I hope I have said 'thank you' enough to all the people that helped me, because you own a share in my successes (and failures).

I wonder what I shall read next?

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