Three Important Lessons from Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers

Outlier: Classed differently

Most of the time, we have this general idea about successful people. We believe they are geniuses. They are born with a special ability that puts them ahead of everyone else. But how much of that is really true?

If you have ever read Outliers, you will understand that much of this myth is false. Malcolm Gladwell’s well-researched work serves to dispel these assumptions and brilliantly reveal that there is more to success than just talent and innate abilities.

People don’t rise from nothing. We do owe something to parentage and patronage. 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.”

(Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers)

Read the full review here

For every talent discovered, there are almost always a hundred more that went undiscovered- not because they weren’t good enough, but because the opportunities essential for standing out did not shine in their path.

But what are these opportunities, and how can they help you live the life of your dream? Let’s find out.

Practical Ways from the Outliers to make the best of the opportunities that come your way

You don’t have to be a genius to be successful. You just have to make the best of your opportunities.

As I have mentioned earlier, there are ingredients that make you a better candidate for opportunities. It is up to you to take these ingredients and exploit these ingredients in fullness.


Ever heard about the 10000-hour rule? It’s the magic number postulated by Malcolm Gladwell that it takes to turn into a professional at anything. It was just about how long the Beatles had to put in before they became recognized as one of the most impressive bands in their time. So if you want to achieve great success, keep these hours in mind.

Every professional athlete or singer, though naturally gifted puts in the hours every single day of their lives so yes, keep practicing.

You might face rejection or be told you’re not good enough now, but the fact is, if you keep practicing, you can overcome these obstacles and ride to the top of your game.

Put yourself out there!

No matter how good you are, if you don’t put your work out, the probabilities of success might forever remain slim and narrow.

It’s okay to let yourself be vulnerable. It’s okay to get really good at something and share that beauty with the world.

Adele has a really powerful voice and has healed millions through her music. Think of Ed Sheeran, Anne-Marie, Beyonce. They continually bless us with their music. What about C.S. Lewis, Charles Dickens, and J.K. Rowling that invented new literary spaces to explore?

What about Serena Williams, Tiger Woods, Usain Bolt, who despite great odds rose to the peak of their sports?

It all comes from putting in the practice, then getting yourself out there to show the world the great things you can do.

Work around a strong support system

Our families are our earliest patrons. They are the ones who believe in our dreams and are ready to put in all they have to see those dreams come true. If you have a really great family, stay close to them.

Why? Because there will be tough days ahead, and when these storms hit, their love and support might be all that makes the difference between you quitting and carrying on.

Friends too are just as important. They help you up in rough times just as you do too with your friends.

When it all comes down to it, we realize that the most successful people are not those that are born with talents and extraordinary abilities, but rather products of extraordinary opportunities. 

Malcolm has taught us this much. It is up to us to put these lessons into use and make the best of our lives.

I hope you make the best of yours.


Want to check out the full review of Outliers, click here.

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