The world of books evens the playing field-- delivering truth, connectedness, and beauty across miles and generations. These are a few of my favorite reads that have inspired, shaped, and motivated me.

Monday, March 19, 2012

"Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell

Many of us have notions about what makes a success
that are long held and possibly outdated (or just plain wrong.)
Others give no conscious thought to what pushes some
people to succeed while others languish.

The studies incorporated in this book reinforce some old
adages, shatter others, and present some new spins on
things that have been revolutionary.

Have you considered the importance of the time of year you
were born in determining your potential success?
What about your family of origin?
Your geographic location?
The number of hours you work at something?
(Well, okay, that last one is sort of a given...although
perhaps not so much in today's instant-success media

The entire book is fascinating and compelling in its exploration of 
the reasons behind success, but one bit stood out for me in particular.
As a child of the South, Chapter Six in the book (dealing with Legacy,)
and in particular the whole "culture of honor" that is outlined,
was remarkably revealing.

The intensity behind generational imprints, decades-long feuds,
anger at the drop of a hat, and much of the south's insanity
is explained in a gripping way. I was unfamiliar with this
particular aspect of our history, though I have been
unfortunately well-apprised of the end results.

The point of this book is not to deduce that you
don't have a shot based on statistics or studies,
but rather to understand the prevailing factors and
learn how to achieve and accomplish in spite of
the odds. Persistence is, after all, at the heart of
most every success story, no matter the history or
resources available.


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