Book Review – Outliers: The story of success

Often in life, we have a preconceived notion that success in life is achieved only by the brightest. We have seen these through the examples of ‘self-made man’. However, Malcolm Gladwell disagrees.
In ‘Outliers: The Story of Success’, Malcolm Gladwell in a conversation style with anecdotes, attempts to explain that success is a continuous process of opportunities, dedication and inheritance from ancestors.
The book is divided into two parts, part one talks about how opportunities comes to the pathway of the outliers and distinguishes them from the rest. Part two describes the aspects of how outliers inherit that aspect from their ancestors and generations of families. He breaks down the whole concept into six key points of receiving an opportunity, critical timing, upbringing of your child, the ‘10,000 hours’ dedication time, working hard and your values to drive you forward.
The ‘10, 000 hours’ hypothesis is the concept of having to work dedicatedly for 10, 000 hours which is 416.67 days to achieve success. This is an interesting hypothesis because it shares that we can achieve great heights within one and a half years. This is motivational and worth the try.
Reading this book was a thrilling experience as it showed that with dedication, perseverance and hard work, one can achieve anything in life. This philosophy is what I live by in life with proper time management, service to the nation and hard work.
While Gladwell attempts to convince other readers that inheritance from our ancestors is also a facet of success. Gladwell exemplifies the lives of physicist Robert Oppenheimer and a man called Christopher Langan. They were both equally competent and had high IQs but they did not both succeed in life. Oppenheimer had a huge advantage being raised in a wealthy, educated family, while Langan was born into a poor, broken family. Oppenheimer went to Harvard and Cambridge and helped develop the nuclear bomb while Langan had poor grades in school, never finished college and made money competing on TV game shows.

I could not fully agree to this ancestral aspect of success. This is because of my personal belief that success is achieved through dedication. Our ancestral roots might have some impact but I cannot fully agree to it.

Overall, the book is a clever and entertaining book that presents a unique perspective challenging the regular thoughts about success and fame in a new way.

October 10th, 2019 by