“Outliers: The Story of Success” and “David and Goliath” are two of the masterpieces by the author Malcolm Gladwell. I shared my learnings from the books on my blog as well as on YouTube, you can find them here, here & here.
It’s very tempting to see how many people are reading my blog, the website statistics is a place where many bloggers spend most of their time and I used to do that too. Then I came across one of the interviews of Malcolm Gladwell where he shared that he didn’t write those books in order to get popularity, they just happen to be favorite among people. What he did basically was that he produced the best he can and people liked it, not the other way around.
The philosophy of writing without looking at the results(or in this case stats) and focusing only on quality and content of writing is incredible. I always remind myself of that interview as it helps in settling down my anxiety of looking at the stats. The size of the audience doesn’t matter, what matters is am I doing the best I can for the audience that I have?
In the book “Outliers: The Story of Success” by Malcolm Gladwell, the author shares the story of two extraordinary men of the same time, who have exceptional intelligence and technical abilities yet they end up with different futures.
Christopher Langan, an American whose IQ was reported to be between 195 and 210, also has been described as “the smartest man in America” could not achieve much in his life due to his inability to express his views properly. According to an incident from the book he could not even manage to convince his college principal to change his schedule from morning to evening due to a transportation issue and had to leave the college eventually because of that. He had a difficult life despite being a genius just because of his inability to express himself.
On the other hand, J. Robert Oppenheimer, an American theoretical physicist, and professor of physics at the University of California, also called the “father of the atomic bomb” for his role in the Manhattan Project once tried to poison his tutor while he was at Cambridge. The only punishment he got was an academic probation and to undergo regular psychiatric evaluations. If you observe closely he tried to murder his professor and got away with that. During the courtroom sessions, he expressed himself so well that the judges thought he needed a psychiatric treatment and gave him a second chance.
Lately I have been chatting with a few of my friends and colleagues and found one thing which is common. They have something that they want to work upon, an idea or a project which they always wanted to start.
What I found among those discussion is that they are waiting for their turn. A few of them said they are not ready yet and they need more expertise and knowledge to start their dream project and they will start only after a certain point when they feel that it is good time to start it.
I believe they are absolutely right and they don’t have enough knowledge about the subject. What I would like to suggest to all those people who are waiting to be good enough to start the project is that, you will never be good enough unless you take some steps towards your dream project.
What is stopping you to manage your time and to devote one hour of your day in the project you always wanted to do, and which is the ultimate goal in your life?
Seriously, who is stopping you to do that?
Do not focus on the outcome of that time, you may get disappointed. Be consistent to put your effort everyday and go in the direction of the goal you always wanted to achieve.
If you think about it you’ll only need 10,000 hours of work to be awesome. It is easy if you do it everyday.
Talk to people about your goal, spread the idea and let the idea virus spread further. If lot of people connect with you and your idea, things will start to look good. But all of this starts with you taking the first step towards your goal and being consistent about it no matter what.
We all have been raised from childhood to achieve specific goal in our life, the goal may be getting promoted to a higher class or to win a cricket match.
In all those times we all have been looking up for guidance to the people above us and at that time they were our father, mother ,cricket coach or our big brother and we all grew up wanting to be like them.
Now that we are matured and many of us don’t have a concrete goal in front of us to achieve and our life is stable, we think this is it and we don’t feel like going an extra mile.
Well, we have always been like that, it was the mentors who were behind us who knew our true potential and pushed us further and we owe it to them big time for making us realize our potential.
I think that many of us don’t feel like having a mentor now, instead we take suggestions from the friends who are at our level only hence do not grow in our life the way we have grown in the past.
If you do not have a mentor , I would suggest to find one and follow him. For me books are one of the greatest mentor and helps me broaden my horizon.
Seth Godin, Malcolm Gladwell, Dale Carnegie, James Altucher and many others are my mentors who inspires me to think different and be unique and take risks and I am grateful to them. I am still searching for a mentor who can guide me personally who can help me reach my potential, I know I’ll find him one day because I am searching for him.
We all want to play safe in life and we are so focused in playing safe that we don’t play at all.
Malcolm Galdwell in his book David and Goliath mentions that people who have seen the worst and came out of it are more courageous than those who have never had the experience of it at all.
Most of us live in peace and we don’t have anything forced upon us except for the brothers and sisters in middle east who are fighting a war. In rest of the world where we have peace and harmony we don’t go out of the way and we don’t take risk at all because we have options and we choose being safe.
We think we are here forever and things are not going to change, well that’s not true, not true at all. We all know about the crisis happening every now and then and if we are not prepared we might get hit.
So being prepared means having an experience of taking risk and going out of the comfort zone again and again and making a habit of living outside of the comfort zone.
It’s OK to be afraid, but it’s not OK to be afraid of being afraid.
Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers: The Story of Success talks about the people who have reached pinnacle of success in their fields.Among many things that he talked about, one of the thing is putting “10,000 hours of work”. In his book it is evident and is seen over and over again that people who have put their 10,000 hours of effort in any field, are extremely successful (i.e. from piano players to software developers). He also talks about this in a manner in which it is achievable to get this much hours of work.
In his study of people like Steve Jobs, Bill gates and many others among them, all of them have this one thing in common and it is really great to see this pattern.
Now that we have realized this fact, it is very simple to be a success, all we have to do is:
Find a work that we love to do.
Invest our 10,000 hours in it.
And you got stratospheric success and it is really that simple.
I would recommend this book to everyone, and also let me remind you all that it is not a self help book. This book talks about patterns which are found among all the successful people. What I have shared here is one of the learning of this book.
Hope you find some value from it, Please share and comment if you like it.