In Outliers, Gladwell examines the factors that contribute to high levels of success. To support his thesis, he examines why the majority of Canadian ice hockey players are born in the first few months of the calendar year, how Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates achieved his extreme wealth, how The Beatles became one of the most successful musical acts in human history – and many more examples to support his thesis.
I, hereby, list down the 10 outstanding lessons that I learned from this awesome book. I know that I need to keep practicing these learning – day in and day out. These lessons are worded and appended in a way that makes it easier for most of us to understand and absorb.
So, here we go with our 10 outstanding lessons from this book that influenced me immensely.
(1) We do a mistake if we cling to the idea that success is a simple function of individual merit. The rules that we choose to write as a society matter a lot.
You can make sincere efforts, and that is it. There are just too many things that must fall in place – in a synchronous manner – for you to be able to achieve the results you wish to. Focus on your efforts. Keep improving. Be satisfied with your improvements. Do not bother about the results. Results are different with people having different perspectives.
(2) Achievement is Talent + Practise / Preparation, the latter being the majority stakeholder.
You can acquire talent. You can do that even if you start from ground zero. Obviously, starting with an inborn talent gives you a head start. But what is difficult to acquire is the consistency required in practising for your success. That comes purely from your love of your craft.
(3) Approx 10,000 Hours of practise is required to be a world class expert in anything. It takes roughly 10 years to put in 10,000 hours of practise.
Think before you take a jump, instead of getting excited with initial success. Also, do not give up too soon if you are already into it. You are definitely going to be tested for your patience and perseverance – to the hilt. Obviously, nothing worthwhile comes easy – and why should it?
(4) Ten thousand hours is an enormous amount of time. You cannot do it all alone. You will need lot of encouragement, support and you cannot be doing a part time job to make your ends meet, because you will just not be be left with enough time everyday to hit 10,000 hours of practise.
You ought to plan for your freedom, and then chase your passion full time. Those who believe that their passion and profession are independent of each other are perhaps making the biggest mistake of their life. Resonance is at work only when your passion is also your profession.
(5) IQ matters but only up to a point. Beyond that, its your attitude. It is just like in a basketball game, height matters but that’s just up to a point.
(6) No one, whether rock stars, professional sportsmen, billionaires, and not even geniuses – make it alone. They need guidance and support at the right age. Good parenting, great environment is key in producing legends.
If you think you have achieved anything alone, then that just dump this misconception. Even the biggest creatures in the world cannot grow without support. And when it comes to leaving a legacy on this planet, there is nothing better than your children – inculcated with the right values.
(7) When you accept a salary cheque, it basically boils down to what you feel is right vs what you can do to receive the next paycheck
(8) The opportunities you are presented with for success are not only dependent on your inner qualities, your parenting but also the time you were born in this world.
The world is not fair for anyone. But this unfairness to all is what makes it a fair game in the end.
(9) Most air accidents are not a result of any major mechanical or technical failures. These are usually small incidents that happen one after another – which either get unnoticed or are not communicated properly in an unambiguous manner. This lack of communication has a lot to do with the culture in which the pilot and the co-pilot are born and brought up in.
(10) No one who can rise before dawn 360 days a year fails to make his family rich
Among so many other reasons, this comes at the top – because if there is something pushing you and making you uncomfortable enough to wake up at 4am everyday – all days of the year – you are obviously unstoppable.
I hope these 10 outstanding lessons will help shape up your thought process to some extent and help you lead a better life.