Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Lessons of Outliers, Pt. 1

Over the last two months or so, we've been having an extended conversation about Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers as part of our larger efforts to increase collaborative intellectual activities beyond the classroom involving students of color.

We've discussed a wide range of thought-provoking and fascinating issues such as accumulative advantage, practical intelligence, meaningful work, and something known as the 10,000 hour rule.

Now that we're halfway through the book, I was wondering: what lessons or issues stand out most to folks based on what we've read and discussed on the blog so far?

Or, what important or overlooked issues concerning Outliers would you want to bring more attention to? Why?

63 comments:

S. Curry said...

As we are half way through our readings of the Outliers book quite a few very interesting have been brought up, but for me one part of the book that keeps sticking out too me is the chapter entitled "The Trouble With Geniuses". To refresh our memories the chapter tells us about how there are geniuses in our everyday lives, but what does that really get them besides a little extra recognition. I believe that the reading is correct when it sates that whats the use of being a recognized as a genius, if all you truly need is enough to make it in your choice of lifestyle. In today's society we focus way too much on who is the smartest of a certain group of people. Instead of focusing on the ones who are slightly lesser than the previously mentioned geniuses. Most of the time however the ones are declared geniuses usually fall short of the expectations of many, while the ones who were slightly advanced or just average met and then surpassed the goals of many. I believe the book speaks the truth in this chapter, a title (genius) can take you so far, but can that person make it the rest of the way without the title? For me I would rather be an average/or slightly above and accomplish all I want, instead of holding just one title.

Robyn Rhone said...

I like the fact that a lot of the successful people in this book, started with nothing, but made something. It gives me motivation, and reassures me that with hard work and determination, you can do ANYTHING. Also, it lets me know that its ok to start from the bottom up. For example Joe Flom didnt get a job at one of the big corporate law firms, so he decided to work at law firm that was just getting off of the ground. Joe took a chance, and soon became partner. This made me think of the notion that you have to take baby steps before you can walk. If i was asked to talk about the most important think this book has taught me, I would say hard work and determination pays off.

K. Quon said...

Like Gladwell says in his book, there are many geniuses in this world. I also believe that an individual needs more than intellect to e successful in life. Family support makes a difference on whether an individual excels in life or that individual takes on a life unrecognized. Ultimately, being smart does not necessarily make a person successful. People need support, motivation, and work ethic to succeed.

Christen Maul said...

I once heard that a B student can actually do better in the "real world" than a straight A student. Not that getting straights A's means you won't be successful, you may actually be put in the category of genius. However, a genius will always expect perfection, which sometimes can turn out to be a bad thing. I have learned throughout this book that it is hard work and determination that equal success, not perfection. People sell themselves short for not being a genius and may not even try for that bigger goal they have. I've learned that the issue isn't striving for perfection, it's striving for what I can work to do to make my own success with what skills that already possess.

Anonymous said...

Overall this book has so far been an eye-opener. It really made me think of successful professionals, athletes and technology moguls like Bill Gates and the relationship between their success and their upbringings. I took into consideration the argument the author presented about these successors saying "they came up from nothing" and how they actually were shaped into their success. The opportunities they grew up with such as higher technical schools, access to resources not often readily available in urban communities, and finally the errors they were born in. All those aspects together the author said shaped these people in their success and I strongly agree. Based on their higher privileges and the luck of the time frames they were born, it seems they were destined to be successful rather than really coming from underprivileged communities and backgrounds. Not too say that all these people were all handed their success single-handedly, but that they had higher chances to succeed if they took advantage in which most of them did. The author presented some much unknown information that is not often brought to the foreground and it so far has been very informative and challenging in making me think.

B.Jeffery said...

Overall this book has so far been an eye-opener. It really made me think of successful professionals, athletes and technology moguls like Bill Gates and the relationship between their success and their upbringings. I took into consideration the argument the author presented about these successors saying "they came up from nothing" and how they actually were shaped into their success. The opportunities they grew up with such as higher technical schools, access to resources not often readily available in urban communities, and finally the errors they were born in. All those aspects together the author said shaped these people in their success and I strongly agree. Based on their higher privileges and the luck of the time frames they were born, it seems they were destined to be successful rather than really coming from underprivileged communities and backgrounds. Not too say that all these people were all handed their success single-handedly, but that they had higher chances to succeed if they took advantage in which most of them did. The author presented some much unknown information that is not often brought to the foreground and it so far has been very informative and challenging in making me think.

Brent Hitchens said...

This book has been very interesting to read so far. There is no doubt in my mind that successful people are sometimes the ones that go up in life, like it is stated in the book. Additionally, it is imperative to have family support in anything you do as this is a key element as you take the next step in life. I also enjoyed reading about so call "intelligence" the book discusses. It really makes you think about real life situations and how you can use it to your advantage

Samantha Martin said...

By reading Outliers, it has definitely brought to my attention that success takes on multiple forms. It shows that in the case of Chris Langan, being a genius didn't necessarily guarantee him an easy or a typically "sucessful" life. Other factors are essential like practical intelligence to getting ahead in life.

It was also enlightening to realize that people who are born in the earlier part of the year have an unseen advantage in things such as athletics and education. This is an eye-opener relating to the aspect of how easy is it really to be all you can be.

It would be interesting to explore more into geniuses, because we do see in the book that even though they have the intelligence, being a success is about much more than that.

Daniel Shields said...

I agree with what everyone has had to say. The Outliers is a real eye opener. So far this book has shown ways to succeed that many people would not be aware of. I feel like Malcom Gladwell is exposing great kept secrets that were never to be heard, especially by minority youth. The issue that has stood out to me the most is practical intelligence. After reading the chapter on it, I see myself noticing people with out it everyday and thinking back to the book. It is so important to expose children and yound adults to practical intelligence in schools. Along with that family support is a must, wich is a recurring theme throughout the book.

Shanna said...

I find this book to be very interesting ad a true eye-opener. It has inspired me to work harder and strive to reach all my goals. I like how most of the successful people in this book came form nothing and made something of their self, it makes me believe I can achieve anything I put my mind to. Just because someone get straight As doesn’t mean they will be more successful than someone who get straight Bs. People need support, motivation, and work ethic to succeed.

Rohan Genge said...

One lesson that I found most interesting and stood out to me was Malcolm Gladwell’s explanation of meaningful work. His explanation on the subject helped reinforce a view I have held for a long time as well. Although hard work can lead you to success, successful people have more often than not learned to work smart. Working smart is always more efficient and effective than just hard work, it also yields better results. It helps you manage your time and you gain the most profit out the time and energy you put into your work.
Although I have learned many lessons from this book, one issue I have had so far is the author’s definition of success. I think his association with outliers and success is not always true. The two ideas do not always go hand in hand; you do not need to be an outlier to be successful. In my opinion the idea of success is subjective, and depends on what each individual defines it to be.

Shanna Evans said...

It seems to me, that the lesson that really captivated students on the basis of number and length of responses was the 10,000 Hour Rule. Gladwell basically said that to master any given skill, it requires 10,000 hours of practice. While reading the responses for this post, I saw that many students agreed wholeheartedly with Gladwell and even provided their own personal example of how “practice makes perfect”.

Another issue that I believe struck a chord with students was with the “Trouble with Geniuses” chapter. Here Gladwell talks about how it is not really necessary to have an unusually high IQ, but just be “smart enough” to do well. Gladwell also talked practical intelligence, which in some cases can help you more in life.

Personally the genius chapter stood out the most. I think they are so many people out there that believe intelligence is the end all, be all of a person’s success. Gladwell demonstrated that intelligence not only has different forms, but is not the only determinant of achievement.

Kamrey Mcnutt said...

I have learned how and why people are successful. I learned that being a genius is not enough to achieve success. Gladwell discusses “practical intelligence” and how it can help a person become successful through communication, parental involvement and being exposed to many different things as a child. “Practical Intelligence” helps build a persons sense of entitlement. I also learned about how people become successful because of advantages that help develop opportunities. Gladwell discusses something as simple as a person’s birthday in regard to being a successful hockey player. The book also talks about being persistent, working hard, and practicing. Gladwell’s theory that it takes about 10,000 hours of practice before someone becomes an expert and become successful. The saying, “practice makes perfect” sticks in my mind. I look forward to reading the second half of this book.

LaToya Bond. said...

L. Bond..
What stands out the most to me is how when you were born and them opportunities that are present really do affect how well you do in life. Gladwell gave numerous examples of how people born at certain times got on the best hockey teams and how people born at certain times got into law school and got great jobs after they graduated. Reading this makes me wonder and hope I was born at the right time and encourages me to put in work so I am qualified for all opportunities that come my way.

Morris Pearson, Jr. said...

Halfway through this book, I get the feeling that more and more parents should be reading this book to their children. No "true" genius is ever born, instead they are made over time with hard work and determination. A true genius is someone who isn't willing to quit no matter how hard the road ahead is. Reading this book confirms that a true genius isn't determined on the day of the test, but in the hours and days spent in preparation. The genius like performance is just a result of that person's hard work and determination.

Anonymous said...

A. Obafemi

So far after reading Outliers i have learned that the place, enviroment and people all affect a person success. Also there is no such thing as the perfect university because many Nobel Laureates have graduated from schools that are not on the "best school" list but they were gone enough to produce such talented people. I thought it was interesting how Gladwell spoke on the study that tracked the lives of the so called genius and he found out that they lived very normal lives like the average person. Gladwell also made me question they way we test people's knowledge using IQ test because they can sometimes be bias.

Ashley Wilson said...

I think this book has allowed us to see important issues in a new way. We do stress about intelligence in our society, but what is intelligence and how should it be measured. I think this book helps me think about life in general and what I want out of life. I can not determine my success based on society, but on what I can do to help society. My success will be different than another person's success.

Brittney Spiller said...

I would have to agree with Robyn. Coming from a family that has seen struggle and been through hardships, I definately appreciate the fact that the majority of the people that are discussed in the book came from nothing. I feel people like this appreciate what they have more,because they know what it is like to go without. And it does help when I'm having a rough day with my major to remember stories, such as the ones that are shared in Outliers. This allows me to say "okay if they can do it, surely I can." This book is very inspiring to me, and I enjoy how Gladwell has taken a different view of the world and shared it with us.

Tricia Johnson said...

I think that this book has some very interesting points. It is true that no one is born a genius; it takes hard work, support from your family, and it's also important that you have the proper tools and the right enviornment to succeed. This book is concrete proof that you don't have to be born into wealth or go to the most expensive schools or universities to be successful. It all starts within yourself. If you put hard work and dedication into all that you do, then there's no reason for you to fail.You are your biggest obstacle.

N.L.W. said...

The 10,000 hour rule still stands out to me. I'm amazed at how many hours these people had to put in or have put in in order to become more than just sucessful. Putting in those hours put them at the top. It's not impossible, if we all just stick to what we like doing or what we want to do in life, we can get far with experience and practice. This rule, has encouraged me to put in more hours when i study, get involved in extracirrucular activities that deal with my major; so that I can get the extra experience to improve myself.

Olufunmilola Ajala said...

The Outliers makes me realize that there are different ways that a person can demonstrate intelligence. People do not have to come from the 'best ranked' or ivy league schools to be recognized as intellegent. A person's environment and actions can make him or her an intelligent person. For example, a person who gets a lot of support and advise from his or her family about the decisions he or she makes can enhance intelligence.

Alycia Peebles said...

From reading the previous chapters, I realized that the most successful people are originated in many different perpectives. From the support of people and families, and their background, motivation, and consistant hard work ethic plays a important role for success. many of the people I read on were favored to get where they needed to be. On-the-other-hand, some came from nothing to having almost anything they wanted and publicity from thir hard work and drive. Overall my understanading is that little is not enough.

R. Connor said...

This book has been an eye opener, and I agree with all other comments made. It is good to be reassured that you do not have to really be at the top of the game to succeed in life. I believe it comes down to how much you strive towards your goals and what motivation you have to keep yourself pushing.

A previous comment stated that your success might be different to you than it is for someone else. So I believe it is good to be focused on your own personal goals and not always compare yourself to others. If you are always comparing yourself to someone elses success then you might not ever realize how much success you've achieved for yourself thus far.

Rese said...

I agree an above comment that talks about 10,000 hours of practice being a predictor of ideal success. Most of the geniuses and experts in the world have a true passion for their skill or trade and may spend countless hours molding their craft. It doesn't happen overnight and it is important to provide gifted individuals with appropriate resouces that will foster their talent.
This is a good element of success to keep in mind for children raised in rural areas and inner cities that may not have access to programs and technical equipment that would make them as successful as others that are afforded various opportunities.

Abagail Thompson said...

One of the things that I enjoy most about the Oultiers book is the encouragement I get while reading this book. I come from a low income family with parents that wasn't very successful monetary or career wise. Outliers depicts people that started with nothing, like myself, and eventually succeeded in what they were striving for. This book shows how success can come in many shapes and sizes and how it can be achieved simly through hardwork and dedication. Outliers gives me hope to try harder and keep reaching for the stars because they are attainable.

Clifford Rush III said...

Clifford Rush III,

The book has brought to my attention that anyone from any background could make something of their lives. Like Gates, he came from a wealthy family. While others less fortunate like Borgenichts, still made it.

Uplifting book that makes one believe in themselves. Which you have to work for by the way. Faith without work is nothing. 10,000 rules is a goal to shoot for in your line of work. Realistically, this can be met.

Keeping these points and others brought up during the book, you will have success in one form or another.

Joe Hines said...

I think that there are definitely many items that this book has brought to the surface to discuss and meditated on. (10,000 hr, accumulative adv., practical intelligence, meaningful work, etc.) I also think that each one of them has their own very "real/significant" truths to discuss but none being the "KEY" concept.

I think that each of these concepts are great in examining/describing outliers when they are all examined together, not just one by itself."

I think one of the main accomplishments (if you want to call it that) is that it guides people into a new or modified way of thinking and processing informations or situations. Im guessing that's probably the goal of the book, rather than to examine each idea as separate and as the "main idea."

Stevie B. said...

When I was younger, my grandfather owned his own business and being getting to be around the business and seeing everything working cohesively has really influenced me to want to own my own business. During these hard economic times, it only seems right that this would be the best time for new start-up companies. Besides this is the best time in your life to reach for the stars. If you don't make it what's the worst that can happen...? You end up living with your parents for a couple years while you get back on your feet. Being successful requires a combination of everything in your lifestyle: academics, work ethic, tenacity, and most importantly drive. That's what gets me out of bed every morning and coming to school.

Ian Caveny said...

Christian Maul noted that some say a B student will do better in the real world than an A student. And I believe this may be one of the most important parts of the book so far - in fact it even parallels my life. In high school I was a (pretty much) straight "A" student. I did not have to put any effort forth and just floated through classes. But in college I had to change my lackadasical attitude towards schoolwork.

In fact, I believe that it is somewhat a universal concept. A "B" student is almost always someone who really tries -- and that application of themselves makes their college and later lives easier. An "A" student is not necessarily so. (Hence, I posted this AFTER the time I was supposed to... hmmm...)

Denita Campbell said...

As far as reading the book I find it very interesting how Gladwell analyzes the idea of success. He helps me restructure my idea of success and to what extent I should measure my success.My favorite part of the book was the introduction because I just thought it was so genius that he used an anecdote to catch his audience into the rest of the book and just used a simple historical story about the Roseto culture to lay the foundation for the rest of the book. It just shows how with a little determination and focus you can make a great impact on the success of your life and others.

Aurelia Daniels said...

I think that the lesson that stood out to me the most was the lesson on the 10,000 hour rule. I think that this opened my eyes to the meaning of pratice makes perfect. I think that every since I have read that chapter my study habits have changed. I was able to see that studying can and will make a difference if you put the time in.

I feel that this lesson will be the one that sticks with me for a long time because it was a lesson in patience. I was able to see that even though I may not see the fruits of my labor right now, if I continue to study hard and put my time and energy into it, I will be able to see results.

Paris said...

I found a few things interesting while reading this book. The first thing is about the 10000 rule. Anyone can be good at something. excellence is defined about how well the skill or craft is practiced with compliments the 10000 rule. If you are good basketball player and continue to have an great work ethic then that person can become a great player. Another interesting fact is that most of these successful people all started with nothing but an idea. This is proof that an idea can be the start of the future. A small simple idea can be turned into an empire.Most people just need to believe in themselves and their abilities.

natalia H said...

This book has been a huge eye opener. I can totally understand the part about how B students will be more successful in the real world than "geniuses". Geniuses don't know how to deal with failure, so when things go wrong, they tend to freak out and not accomplish anything.
When B students encounter a failure, they know how to keep their head held high and deal with it. They know what they need to do to keep moving and improve.

Katherine Clayborne said...

I agree with everyone else. This book is an eye opener. It brought a lot of things to my attention and amazed me in different ways as well. It showed me that being the best such as graduating top in your class isn't the key to making you successful. In my eyes it gives a lot of hope to those who weren't straight A students. Motivation and support from others is the key to success. That in itself was the most important message I got from this book

Josh Jefferson said...

Josh Jefferson

This book is an interesting and quick read. Gladwell does a great job taking his ideas and making them easy to comprehend. While reading this book I see a lot of similarities in what it takes to be successful. It seems to be that a lot of your success is determined by variables outside of your control. For instance, Your birthday, how much ones parents can do for them, or even having the opportunity/luck to do something great.
It is comforting to know that the ability to cite facts isn't important. According to Gladwell the most important attribute to intelligence is creativity. I like this becuase your birthday, or how much money your parents have doesn't determine it. I'm interested to read more about how Gladwell defines the road to success even if he does attempt to put the whole world to undeniable rights.

Chardae Gray said...

The lesson that stood out the most to me was how success is not measured by the background one may derive from. I completely agree that it is all about the individual person and the drive,passion, and determination they have in regards to success.Although those from wealthy backgrounds may have certain obvoius advantages and resources,this is only a minor factor.In the real world you must work hard for what you want out of life and that applies to every situation.

Amber Lewis said...

One thing that stood out to me was the quote by Robert Sternberg,"Knowing what to say to whom, knowing when to say it, and knowing how to say it for maximum effect."
When you go through life , not knowing how to speak for yourself or get yourself out of sticky situations, what have you really gone through in life? How would you know how to ask for advice or help? how would you ask someone to slow down or ask them to be more clear?
You have be able to say things the right way and to the right people in order to get through life.*Sorry this is so late...*

B.Jeffery said...

Again I say this book has me on the edge of my seat!! I find the information very intriguing. One of my favorite subjects was the story of Chris Langan. Chris's story is that of many Americans who just get swept under the rug for reasons being that they're underprivileged or not subjected to the right opportunities. Chris spent his life doing meager jobs such as being a bouncer with an IQ out of this world!. All because of a few instance in his life where he was not equipped to stand up for himself to his teacher and financial aid advisor, missed out on endless opportunities. Chris is actually a resident in Missouri which I didn't know. I mean, it's that close to home that we have true genius’ who never got the chance to share with the world their knowledge and expertise. I think this exposure by author Gladwell on Langan’s behalf is enough to get those who allowed him to fall through the cracks have something to think about. It’s a society issue that such a wonderful mind has never got the exposure he should have.

Anonymous said...

This book as really put things into perspective for me. I felt kind of cheated at the beginning of the book because of not having maybe an opportunity like Bill Gates or not being born in the right month or year or even having the ability to practice something for 10,000 hours however now I realize even more that I really need to look at every oppportunity that I have been given or that I can take and really pay closer attention to this. In the end I believe that we do have a choice and that hard work does really pay off.

Charnelle M said...

I think that people need to realize that it takes more than just intelligence to be successful. There are so many people in the world that are smart but do not want to take the time to focus and set goals for themselves. The reason for this could be one of many, such as lack of opportunity. If there was a way to give everyone the chance and tools they needed everyone could be more successful.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I buy into the concept of Outliers. I believe that each person chooses his or her own path in life. Although no one starts out on the same level of playing field, every individual can make things happen for himself.

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rameez said...

The way that so many people in this book started with nothing reminds me of my parents. When they came to America with nothing, the only thing they had was belief in their abilities, and the same opportunities as everyone else. They didn't hav money or status to help them along, they did everything on their own. Even though the people in the book and my parents were in different situations, they both had to start from the bottom and work up. People who take initiative and have ambition can do anything. It kind of gives me hope for the future, that even if getting in to grad school doesn't work, no matter what something will work out if I focus on something and am determined to get it. When Joe Flom didn't get a job at the firm he wanted, he worked at a new firm. Even though it wasn't what he wanted he still ended up with success. If Joe Flom can work his way up, and my parents can work their ways up, I know if I am ambitious and determined I can do it as well.

Kacee Aldridge said...

I had only heard the term outlier defined in a statistics class but when I heard the word applied to humans I was inclined to hear more about it. One of the lessons I learned from Gladwell is working smarter instead of harder. I believe this book has brought each of us closer to success.   

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Anonymous said...

Adam Schneider
Reading "Outliers" has been an interesting experience for me. I have never been apart of an open forum style discussion before. I definitely like the way people put their effort into their posts. It is nice for me to read other people's thoughts on each topic or chapter to give me a different perspective and interpenetration.

As far as the book goes, I was very skeptical at first and thought it could be a waste of time. I was wrong! Now that the readings have started, I realize that this book contains interesting perspectives on many of the challenging aspects of everyday life and development. I like the format of the book and how it is not preaching to me but merely giving interesting insights into the different topics covered.

Erik said...

Erik Sanders

I think what stands out to me the most is the research Gladwell as done surrounding the 10,000 hour rule. From professional athletes, to musicians, and even computer programmers, Gladwell has demonstrated that it takes about 10,000 hours of dedication to master your craft. Even people who are supposed "phenoms" put in the necessary 10,000 hours to become the best at what they do.

Knowing this, I really want to push myself to work harder, to go in for extra practice, in order to master the art of nursing. An hour here and an hour there can really go a long way in the pursuit of becoming the best you can be. Malcolm Gladwell demonstrates this notion in the Outliers

dominic williams said...

The 10,000 hour rule is a very interesting theory. It states that if you practice for at least 10,000 hours you will master your passion. That mean that you put 416.67 dedicated days of nothing but practicing what you love to do and you will be the one of best at what you do. This is true in some cases, but not for all. As Nia Williams stated in her post, "Practice makes perfect." That is what we are all taught when growing up and learning new things, however, it's wrong. The correct saying should be, "Perfect practice makes perfect." For example, when you are at practice for a sport or anything, you go over plays a million times. Why? To perfect it. You can learn a play by reading it and do it to the best of your knowledge, but that doesn't mean you did it correct and it worked. You go over plays and practice to perfect what needs to be perfected. So yes, practice does make perfect, but it has to be perfect practice. A good example of a failure of the 10,000 hour theory is Shaq and free throws. Shaq has probably shot way over 10,000 free throws in his lifetime and has probably spent an great amount of time trying to at least get good at free throws, not even perfect. But, he just doesn't have the ability or capability to shoot them very well. So you can apply this theory to a lot of success stories, but you can also apply it to some non-success stories.

tiawanathomas said...

Tiawana Thomas

I think that there's some truth to all of these issues. The bottom line for me is that you have to be motivated to be dedicated to be committed to be a hard worker. It is true that have a family history of success is an advantage, developing practical intelligence is and advantage, have followed the 10,000 hours rule gives a person an advantage of becoming the expert. But to me, it takes self-will to want the potential that others see in you if you don't always see those things in yourself. So, I would say that meaningful work would have to be a big issue for me. If you choose to do something that you enjoy then, you will never feel like you have to work. For me becoming an educator makes me feel as if I will not have to spend the rest of my life working. Even though the pay isn't as much as I would love for it to be, I'm fulfilled seeing the end results of enlightening young minds.

Wesley Sloan said...

What has stood out to me is the combination of meaningful work and the 10,000 hour rule. If we only commit ourselves to one of them we won't be as successful as possible. Spending 10,000 hours doing something that has no purpose will only give me a purposeless skill. If I'm doing meaningful work and i don't spend the required hours practicing, then I'll have done meaningful work but not enough to be recognized. Something i also thought was interesting was the hockey player example where most of the "best" players were born in January, February, and March. Gladwell determined that potentially they weren't necessarily better than any of the other months' kids, they were just older and slightly better at the time because of the cutoff date. The other kids were told they weren't good enough when they would've been just as or even better than the January, February, and March kids if given the same opportunity. What struck home for me is that too often we're told we can't do this or that before we even have the chance to try and do it. We as a society should encourage instead of discourage and create opportunity not based off the present but the potential.

Paris Owens said...

This book is empowering in that it chronicles many instances in which people have started with meager means and achieved success. It’s reassuring in that with determination, intellect, and integrity it is possible to achieve your goals.
Although there are many geniuses in the world, I think it is important to acknowledge that it is not genius alone that makes people successful. Initiative and a dependable support system have proven to be key ingredients in attaining great things.

TaNeal Walls said...

Gladwell really touches on the fact that having the brains isn't always the key to success. There are many other factors that compile to truly be successful. Determination is the start, but what you do from there will be the result. Chris Langan was a guiness, however that didn't make him successful. I tend to doubt myself at times. I think I am smart, however only through working for it. Some people have a natural ability to comprehend and expand on information much faster than others. On the contrary, other people have to instill information into their brain numerous times before they become a master at it. Going through the process of instillment is simply work ethic. Ultimately having the willingness to do what it takes to succeed will have a much greater impact than just "knowing the stuff." Gladwell has done an excellent job of getting this across.

Glennda Lyles said...

Glennda Lyles

Outliers has given many life long lessons for the recipe for success. The lessons that stood out the most to me was the importance of practice and meaningful work. As a college student, I found both of these lessons to be useful. Its important for me to not only just study hard but equally important for me to increase the amount of time spent. The lesson of meaningful work is also vital to a person's success. I will soon be making career decisions and the lesson about "meaningful work" reminded me of how important it is to pursue a career that has the three components of meaningful work: autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward.

Roanda Maldonado said...

I think that we need to focus more on practical intelligence. I feel that people with practical intelligence are the most successful and being in college, i feel that offering classes that can give students a higher level of degree with practical intelligence will give the students an advantage in the work field after college. I feel that Analytic intelligence is overrated and being realistic, i feel that students do not use 75% of what we learn in class. Real life situations and experience makes it easier for people to success.

Katrina Sivels said...

First I would like to say that I'm sorry for my late post.

The first section of Outliers was interesting. People using their skills but more importantly perfecting their skills to be successful. The theory that a person has to practice or work for 10,000 hours to be successful is overwhelming and a bit outlandish but I do not think that it is entirely true. Many young people are successful and wise beyond their years. It is wisdom not time that regulates success.

It is also interesting learning about the stories behind successful people. They all began from humble beginnings showing that everyone can be successful. The lessons that can be learned from Outliers are most valuable for life.

Keondra Walker said...

One thing that sticks out to me in this book is how Gladwell explains that you don't have to be a genius to be successful in life. Many things take much more than being smart to be successful at. Continuous hard work is something that will make a lot of people successful. I particularly like how it was explained that where you come from, does not have to effect where you can end up. I really liked that because I know so many people that use that excuse so that they don't have to succeed. I've always felt if there was a will there was a way. I honestly think some people are comfortable with not being successful and other are actually scared of what they may become if they just put a little effort into what their doing. This is a very inspiring book, and gives a lot of motivation.

Janssen Shaw said...

Now that we are halfway through the book, the thing that stands out to me the most is the "rags to riches" aspect. A lot of individuals in this book put it tons of hard work and effort to earn what they now possess. This interests me the most because I have close family members that share the same stories of success, so I can relate between the book and reality.

Lauren Leohner said...

I like how this book approaches successful people from different points of view. It doesn't just take skill or a certain level of genius to become successful. There are other factors that come into play regarding success like background family and even luck. I find it engaging to learn that successful people don't get to where they are purely by themselves. They have the support of others (family, friends, instructors, etc) to guide them. I feel that people often emphasize the power of the individual to the degree that they alone became successful without any help. That isn't the case and this book exemplifies that.

Vanessa Jones said...

The chapter that sticks out the most for me is the "10,000 hour rule." What I recieved from this chapter is about how to stay dedicated to your craft whatever that might be. Also this chapter brings back a saying that my grandmother used to say "you get out of life what you put into it". In reading this chapter that made the saying stick even deeper in my mind.
I enjoy reading this book,but at times it seems its all about the class of people you where raised in. That is the only thing I seem to disagree with because whatever class you come from doen't to much matter, your life and how you become successful is solely on your attitude and outlook on life.

Taleah J said...

I really enjoyed reading this book to this point, it opens my eyes wider on my life and future goals and plans.Alot of people in this book started with nothing but ended up with something which lets me know that there is hope, and not just for m,e but for everyone.People need family support, it's very crucial in becoming succcesful, but what do you do when you have a dysfunctional family? It's hard trying to become successful when there is no one to turn to for help.It's so easy to play the blame game but there is no one to blame but your self.Whatever obstacle is in your way you need to find a solution to the problem. People just need to be more serious about their accomplishments. In reading this book I learned that all changes can be made starting with me. I have to look within my self to find happiness. I have to want to be successful and not be scared to work hard fot it. Quiting is so easy, but sticking with you'r dream/goal is hard work and it takes alot of dedication. I have the key to my future. It can be made hard or it can be made easy.

SierraCarmichael said...

The Outliers book has not only open my eyes to unforseen things but my mind as well. I know for me in order to make good grades I have to work harder and study harder than some people.I completely agree with S. Curry because most of the time geniuses are smart when it come to the books, but most of them lack the element of common sense. I feel when you are "average" you are more well rounded because you tend not to take things for granted.

Chris jones said...

Whilst this book has opened my eyes to some of the circumstances surrounding success, I find that I agree with most of the critics. Most agree that this book oversimplifies some social phenomena. Another thing I didn't like is it's almost constant focus on American subjects. I found it unbalanced, as success is something universal.

Katie D. said...

This book was so interesting that I finished the book within a few days of receiving it.
In the first part, I think the thing that stood out most for me was accumulative advantage. It's not fair that people aren't given a chance to succeed or aren't given a "gifted" label simply because they have less mental/athletic abilities than there peers due to being months younger than them.
The book mentions how a lot of pro baseball players are born in August, and fewer in July, simply because August is the cut off date. I think it's unfair that those kids are seen as bad at something just because of a size disadvantage. If given the time and effort of the older, they can be just a brilliant.
My sister was born in October. She always talking about how she wished she started school earlier--at 5, not 6. She sees it as a disadvantage because people born in early '91 have already graduated. What she doesn't understand is she was given a huge advantage because she is one of the oldest in her grade, and not the youngest. I wonder how they decided the academic age cut. Right now, I feel sorry for all the kids born in June. The system needs to be overhaul its not fair that something like age would decide whether or not you're place in gifted classes.

Jamie said...

One of my favorite parts of the book was the 10,000 hour rule. I remember reading about the differences between a master violinist and a violinist who was only in a small orchestra. The difference was the number of hours each of them spent practicing and honing their skill. Being an athlete, this part really hit me when I read it. One of my coaches used to tell us, "There's nothing 1000 repititions won't fix." As I read this section of the book I couldn't help bu think back a couple years and remember my coaches words of wisdom. The whole part of this chapter inspired me to better myself and to work on improving my volleyball skills.

Jamie Mueller

b.jeffery said...

I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoyed the book reading. I've said it countless times to my peers, family and close friends that there is really a lot to know! Who would have ever thought that so many little aspects of your life simple as the day, time and year you were born will have an impressionable effect on your success! This author, Malcolm Glad well, whom I'd never heard of before this book being brought to my attention, is absolutely wonderful. His outlook and a lot of his theoretical findings make more than sense. I have even told my friends as Christmas gifts to get Blink and The Tipping Point, which are two of his other works. I'm so inspired and eager to hear more about the things we pay less attention to but have such a lasting impact.