Review/Summary: Outliers - The Story of Success | Book


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Outliers Summary: They took a school of violinists and divided them into three groups. Teacher material, the merely good, and world class. And they asked them the same question, "Ever since you first picked up the violin, how many hours of practice have you put into it?"

Then a pattern emerged. Teacher material had practiced about 4,000 hours, the merely good had practiced about 8,000 hours, and the world class had practiced about 10,000 hours.

In study after study with pianists, chess players, master criminals, the same pattern emerged. So this became known as the 10,000-hour rule.

The conclusion was the following:

Outliers Book

Outliers Review: As long as you're good enough to get into the school, the number of deliberate hours of practice would be the only thing that would actually differentiate you from your competitors.

Now, "Outliers Book" 
by 'Malcolm Gladwell' is fascinating, but it doesn't really tell you how to become an outlier. So I've picked out three huge implications of the book about the success that should help all of us. 

The first one, and my favorite: When you're on your first few hours of doing something, don't expect it to be good!

You take someone to the tennis court, they play tennis for the first time, and they hit the ball ten times, and it hits the net every single time. And what do they say? Oh, well, maybe this isn't really my sport.

Do you know how long it took me to play my first tennis game?

Took me probably 10 hours of practice to play the most miserable tennis game ever played in the history of mankind. It consisted of three hits of both players back and forth, and that was it.

The second big implication: Talent is overrated.

Most of the time, what gets labeled as talent is hours and hours of practice that didn't get seen. So how do I know this?

Because I've been put on that pedestal before and when I was in college, I remember taking this slightly complicated statistics class. People were really struggling with it, the average would usually be a 50 on the exams, and I would get a 100 every single time. Now at the same time, all I did in those classes was sleep. That's it. I just went there and slept, while people sitting next to me would sit there, take notes and try to work hard.

Now, when the exams would come, they would look at me, and they would say, You're a genius! Okay, you're a GOD! Basically, I became this god. How do you do this? All you do is sleep, and look you got a 100, I got a 50.

But again, what was the reality?

The reality won't get easily disclosed because the person with success has way too many things that are cool going on, in his/her life. So I had a great social circle, I was doing great things, I wasn't going to sit there and explain what happened.

But what happened?

Well, here's the actual truth. So when we'd go back, I would spend hours and hours every night doing every single problem. That's by the way why I was so tired the next day in class. What they did was they would take those notes, and maybe spend 30 minutes or an hour in their room working on those mediocre notes. And that's really where the difference came from. Now, not only was it that, but it was the accumulated advantage.

Even if we had gone years back, when we were in middle school, I would've been the one putting in the hours and they wouldn't. And over time, it's 100s and 1,000 of hours of advantage. But again, in college, what is it? Some people are good at math, and some people aren't good at math.

The third big implication: As long as you're good enough, deliberate practice is what will set you apart.

Now, let's break down that 'as long as you're good enough' part of "Outliers Summary". I think if you're 40 years old, have never kicked a ball in your life, and you say, "Well, I want to be a professional soccer player," that's not going to work. But I think most of us have realistic goals. I think most of us are good enough. But, what we're lacking is the deliberate practice.


Again, if I go back to the college example, what those people would do when they would come into the class would be, 'Oh, I studied all night last night...'

And again, what did they mean?

Out of every hour, I spent 50 minutes eating, talking to my roommate, being on Facebook, and then 5 to 10 minutes actually doing the work.

You have to put in that fixed amount of hours of practice where you're solely focusing on getting better at your craft, and if you do that, that is what is going to set you apart. That's the whole "Outliers Review".


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