I recently read the much appreciated and discussed book, The Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell.
Here are some of my favorite quotes and ideas. Please note, I don’t necessarily agree with all the below quotes, but find them helpful, intriguing, or illustrative of certain ideas or points of view.
“Living a long life, the conventional wisdom said at the time, depended to a great extent on who we were — that is, our genes. It depended on the decisions people made — on what they chose to eat, and how much they chose to exercise, and how effectively they were treated by the medical system. No one was used to thinking about health in terms of community.
Wolf and Bruhn had to convince the medical establishment to think about health . . . in an entirely new way: they had to get them to realize that you couldn’t understand why someone was healthy if all you did was think about their individual choices or actions in isolation. You had to look beyond the individual. You had to understand what culture they were a part of, and who their friends and families were, and what town . . . their family came from. You had to appreciate the idea that community — the values of the world we inhabit and the people we surround ourselves with — has a profound effect on who we are.”
“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 invariable 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.”
“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good It’s the thing you do that makes you good.”
“Superstar lawyers and math whizzes and software entrepreneurs appear at first blush to lie outside ordinary experience. But they don’t. They are products of history and community, of opportunity and legacy. Their success is not exceptional or mysterious. It is grounded in a web of advantages and inheritances, some deserved, some not, some earned, some just plain lucky – but all critical to making them who they are. The outlier, in the end, is not an outlier at all.”
“Successful people don’t do alone. Where they come from matters. they are products of particular places and environments.”
“The values of the world we inhabit and the people we surround ourselves with have a profound effect on who we are.”