To read book, “Outliers: The Story of Success” is totally because of the recommendation from my good friend and when I picked up the book from a local book store, I got it with a very good discount, so the starting sees very good and the reading is actually even greater because I relearned something that I have learned when I was very young, but certainly missed for many years.
The author of “Outliers”, Malcolm Gladwell is a very good story teller. He starts each chapter of this books by telling a story, which I believe is the best way of convincing people because pure theory and algorithm are pale and dry, and hard to be understood while true stories have more connection between author and readings.
In the first Chapter of the book, the author tries to convince the readers, “People do not rise for nothing.” and he believes “The people who stand before kings may look like they did it all by themselves. But in fact they are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot.” I totally agree with what he has been saying, but up to that point, I thought he was more likely an opportunist and even had doubt to quality of the book. As I continued on, I found the most contents of the books are about how hard work can make difference in people’s lives and how 10,000-hour rule becomes the cornerstone of success.
To help you overview this book, I summarized my learning experience with the followings and if you end up reading the book, please share your opinions as well.
– In order to become successful, people need to be provided with opportunity and adequate environment. Without food and drink, the smartest or strongest animal will dry very quickly.
– Only with opportunity and environment is not enough, hard work is definitely a necessary input and this is where 10,000-hour needs to be applied. Lots of times, higher IQ does not mean automatic to success.
I would also like to share my experiences according to what I have learned from the book and hope you can share yours as well.
When I was a child, almost every single day my mom kept telling what hard work means to her and how my family had a better life than average by giving both of my parents are moving from low income villages to a big city. The secret of their success is working hard. I trust my mom and was studying very hard in my school years, however after I moved to Canada and studied computer science in University of Waterloo, I got confused by some facts I saw from people around me.
Computer science takes students a lot of time and energy to write computer codes. Each assignment can easily take 20-30 hours to complete. When I was sitting in the computer labs and spending countless hours doing coding, people who always finished the programming early made me really jealous. I always thought hard work would be paid off, but why I sat in the lab way longer than other students and could not see results at all. After long time frustrations, I gave it up eventually. I switched myself to a different major from computer science after spending 2 years dealing with computer programming.
After so many years, even though I understand that I was given a very good opportunity to study in a developed country comparing to hundreds of millions people who has no opportunity to leave China ever, I did not have a clue about the reason of being mediocre until this moment of my life. Maybe I got lucky, I read this book in year 2013. Now I realized the other very important input was missing in my life – hard work.
I am in my mid-thirties, so I believe it has not been too late. To start my adventure again, I created this blog.
To my blog readers, if this book sounds interesting to you, you can purchase it at the following link and please do not forget to leave a comment to let me know what you think.
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