March 19, 2010

Outliers: The Story of Success

I just finished reading Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers: The Story of Success

This book really got me thinking about success and the way that it sort of comes about. I’ve always known that to be truly successful you needed to outwork or outsmart your opponent from my days of competitive sports. However, I didn’t realize how this can apply to business life as well. It isn’t just about how hard you work, but there are some other factors that come into play when dealing with the success of one individual over another.

This sounds like some scary thing that only a few people can have success with, but that’s not the case. It’s a series of events that allow for some people to achieve massive success and others to not experience the success that they may have deserved.

Achievement is talent plus preparation.                   (245/365) Mwah shhh ponder
Creative Commons License photo credit: Sarah G…

The thing that truly distinguishes one performer from another is how hard he or she is willing to work and does the work that is necessary. That’s it. The thing about this is that the people at the very top don’t work just harder or even much harder than everyone else. The people at the top work much, much harder.

“Researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: ten thousand hours.”

Some great quotes from the book:

“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.”

“Those three things-autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward-are, most people agree, the three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying. It is not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between nine and five. It’s whether our work fulfills us.”

“if you work hard enough and assert yourself, and use your mind and imagination, you can shape the world to your desires.”

“We normally think of the expressions on our face as the reflection of an inner state. I feel happy, so I smile. I feel sad, so I frown. Emotion goes inside out. Emotional contagion, though, suggests that the opposite is also true. If I can make you smile, I can make you happy. If I can make you frown, I can make you sad. Emotion, in this sense, goes outside in.”

What I’ve taken away from this book


This book really got me thinking about how the decisions I have made through the opportunities that I have had throughout my life, have led me to who I am today. Therefore, if I want more successes, I need to be able to identify certain opportunities when they happen and then choose how I react to these situations.

There are times in each of our lives that we have things happen to us. Relationships fail, jobs are lost, and in some cases people die. This is all part of life and it is the way that we react to these situations that truly determines where we are going to go with our life. It’s the decisions that we make that ultimately affect our outcome in life.

The cool thing about this is that if you want to become better, you can. You just need to be willing to put the time in (10,000 hours) in order to become better. Work harder than everyone else and take advantage of YOUR opportunities while you have them. There really is no better time than now to start.

I’d love to know what you think about this post below, please share some comments and let me know what you think of this.

Also, if you want to pick up a copy of Outliers, click the image of it below and you’ll get a great deal on it 🙂

Chris Hughes

Chris loves learning, going on adventures, surfing and having fun.
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andrewgallagher - March 23, 2010 Reply

Yea Chris, the sharpest guys have put in the most hrs I believe in business.

There are no shortcuts as opposed to what I used to think not so long ago.

Chris Hughes - March 23, 2010 Reply

thanks for the comment Andrew! The sharpest guys do seem to be the ones who have worked the hardest and put in the most hours! It's just like with sports, the person who arrives early and leaves late is often the one who becomes the best 🙂

There are some shortcuts, which for me have been books that I've read. These shortcuts help cut out a little bit of time and often save us money. I think that we still need to put in the time though! That's what really separates it 🙂

Bill Cowan - March 27, 2010 Reply

OK, you just made me take a few dollars out of my wallet to go buy this book. But I appreciate it. Always looking for more help.

Chris Hughes - March 29, 2010 Reply

Hey Bill thanks 🙂 The book is definitely something that will get you thinking. Let me know what you think after you finish it up. I'd love to know if we picked up the same type of message or if you took something different away from this.

daveanddawncook - April 7, 2010 Reply

Hi Chris,
Dawn here. I loved your post and especially your video with the unique sound & visual effects you throw in; makes it very enjoyable to watch and shows your personality.
I've heard of the book Outliers and I'll be getting it. Your perspective sounds like you are right on. 10,000 hours seems impossible, but not if you use time to your advantage and carve out hours each and every day. What a wise key to success to learn at a young age!
Thanks for sharing your insight!

Edward - April 7, 2010 Reply

Hey Chris, Great post my friend! There is so much wisdom you have shared with us here it is hard to focus on just one of the points. I will take a look at the one regarding how we react to situations in our lives.

I believe that we have two choices in what we choose to do in any situation in our lives. We can choose to re-act or respond. When we re-act then we are acting out of our emotions with limited thought behind it and our bound to re-experience the thing again later in our life. When we choose to respond to a situation we are then given the opportunity to grow through it. To understand how it can be a blessing even in our life.

Thanks again for this post. I have added this book to my must read list.

Make it a great day!
God Bless,
-ed

Chris Hughes - April 8, 2010 Reply

Hey Dawn! Thanks, It was pretty fun to make 🙂

Outliers is a quick read and definitely has some great points in it. Taking time each day to put in the hours adds up slowly but surely. If I could, I'd love to be putting in 10 hour days every single day but it's hard with full-time classes.. Oh well, that's life!

Thank you for the comment 🙂

Chris Hughes - April 8, 2010 Reply

You are absolutely right! I'm right there with you for choosing to re-act or respond. Responding allows for us to grow as people 🙂

It's a great and short read so I'm glad you're picking up a copy!

Thanks for the comment ed 🙂

Chris Hughes - April 8, 2010 Reply

Hey Dawn! Thanks, It was pretty fun to make 🙂

Outliers is a quick read and definitely has some great points in it. Taking time each day to put in the hours adds up slowly but surely. If I could, I'd love to be putting in 10 hour days every single day but it's hard with full-time classes.. Oh well, that's life!

Thank you for the comment 🙂

Chris Hughes - April 8, 2010 Reply

You are absolutely right! I'm right there with you for choosing to re-act or respond. Responding allows for us to grow as people 🙂

It's a great and short read so I'm glad you're picking up a copy!

Thanks for the comment ed 🙂

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