Understanding Pure Greatness

0816_something-to-readSuper-journalist Malcolm Gladwell frequently tops the international bestseller lists thanks to extraordinary books like The Tipping Point and Blink. Outliers: the story of success (2008) has become another similar success, quickly hitting the NY Times bestseller list.

The charm of Gladwell’s books is all about the way in which he views the world. People often say everything happens for a reason, but hesitate to try and understand exactly what it actually means. Gladwell takes this idea, disentangles it and looks into the significance of it. As he does so, he explains everything with actual evidence.

Despite the fact that Outliers is being presented in similar fashion to his previous publications, Outliers focuses more on describing what makes the best, the brightest and most famous overachievers different.

It’s not another book with lofty claims to teach you how to be successful. It is far more sophisticated than that.

Outliers shows you why top hockey players are born in January and why computer masterminds such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Eric Schmidt were all born in 1955 and what makes them who they are.

His colorful anecdotes and case studies are endless. Were all the Korean Air crashes during late 1980s–90s accidents? Or it has something to do with the culture? Why are Chinese good at math? Such questions and musings constantly delight and are always presented in an amusing and clear manner.

This book gives you the statistics you need and all of the reasons why, which help you to better understand the confusing world in which we all live.

If you think success only involves hard work, Gladwell shows why you are wrong. It’s actually largely matter of family background, your generation, culture, luck, and a whole range of other factors that you might not have even considered.

Does this mean we should just give up on our dreams since we can’t choose our family, where we were born or the way our families raised us? Quite the opposite, in fact. Knowing ourselves can push us in the right direction and because we can’t control or change what can’t be redone, why not just go for our passions without too much hesitation. As Outliers says, “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.”