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Outliers: The Story of Success

by Malcolm Gladwell


What makes successful people successful? This is the age-old question that countless self-help books have aimed to answer. Theories of hard work, determination, and skill have been proposed, but Malcolm Gladwell shoots them all down and counters with his new, unique theory of circumstance in this book, Outliers: The Story of Success. He insists that we have all too easily bought into the theory that people are self-made, when in fact, people are made from hidden advantages, extraordinary opportunities, and cultural legacies. Of course, hard work, determination, and skill are important to achieve success, but so is circumstance.

We have compiled his theories and teachings into a set of actions for you to follow at home so you can achieve the success you’ve been aiming for. Maybe success is dependent on circumstance, but by understanding the circumstances that lead to success, you can create amazing opportunities for yourself.

About the Author

Malcolm Gladwell is a United Kingdom-born, Canadian-raised journalist now based in New York City. He is a former business and science writer at the Washington Post. He has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1996. He is best known as the author of the books The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (2000), Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005), Outliers: The Story of Success (2008) and David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants (2013).

Great ideas from this book


1. Practice hard and be patient.

2. Use a divergence test to assess your current level of creativity.

3. Develop your practical intelligence.

4. Keep working hard, no matter how difficult it gets.

5. Choose your career wisely.

6. Understand your cultural legacy.

7. Don’t give up.

Interpersonal Skills

8. Mitigate your speech when asking for favors.