Outliers, The Story of Success
I’ve always been fascinated with the concept of “a naturally talented person.” I’ve found that “a natural” is usually someone that is motivated to work harder than the rest. There are other factors such as luck, opportunity, and a physical or mental advantage. Still, the biggest factor is effort.
If you haven’t read Malcolm Gladwell’s book, “Outliers, The Story of Success” please do so. An outlier is described as a person who doesn’t fit into our normal understanding of achievement.
“Outliers” is one of the most enlightening books that I’ve ever read. The author explains what it takes to be an exceptionally talented person.
The 10,000 Hour Rule
One of the most talked about concepts is the “10,000 hour rule.” The author explains that it takes 10,000 hours of focused study and practice to become exceptional.
But opportunity plays a big roll too. Part of success is being in the right place at the right time. “The biggest misconception about success is that we do it solely on our smarts, ambition, hustle and hard work. There’s an awful lot more that goes into it than we admit.”
Greatness requires enormous time, Gladwell says. This explains why The Beatles were the best rock group and Bill Gates is a billionaire.
From 1960 to 1964, The Beatles played live 1,200 times and racked up more than 10,000 hours of playing time.
“Lennon and McCartney had a musical gift of the sort that comes along once in a generation,” he writes. And all that playing time shaped their talent, so by the time they returned to England from Hamburg, Germany, “they sounded like no one else. It was the making of them.”
In 1968, a 13-year-old Gates got access to a high school computer and logged 10,000 hours of programming. Gladwell interviewed Gates, who credits his success to his luck in having that unique access. Without it, Gladwell says, Gates still would be “a highly intelligent, driven, charming person and a successful professional” – but maybe not worth $50 billion.