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Raza Ayoob
Mrs. Pelosi
AP Language
Aug 16, 2018
Annotations/Journal – Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
o?Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell explains the cultural and social forces that give rise to prosperous individuals. Through a series of investigations, Gladwell asserts that a successful person is not self-made but instead, is an ‘outlier’, or a person, who achieves in ways unlike the rest of society. Gladwell believes that, “collaboration, specialization, time, place and cultural background,” are the main contributing factors to a person’s success. The first case study is about the Canadian hockey players who were born early in the year and, therefore, had a major advantage over those were born later, as they would have had more time to play and practice their skill. Through Gladwell’s examination of the 10,000-Hour Rule he states “that practice will lead to prosperity in one’s field”. The writer compares two people of equal intellectual capacity. Christopher Langan, a remarkable man with a high IQ and extraordinary learning aptitudes but without a college degree or professional recognition, and Robert Oppenheimer, a celebrated physicist who became the lead researcher responsible of the atomic bomb designed in the Manhattan Project. He explains how Oppenheimer’s influence and social standing increased his chances for success as compared to Langan.
Things I learned:
1) Timing – Vital to success in a given field
2) Upbringing– A child’s upbringing is more likely to be a predictor in ascertaining future success even more than IQ.
3) 10,000 hours – By watching the Ted Talk: The first 20 hours — how to learn anything by Josh Kaufman, I realized that there is a misconception about the 10,000 Hour Rule. The originator of the rule, Dr. K. Anders Ericsson, found that it takes 10,000 hours to reach the top of ones field (Kaufman). Kaufman claims, once Outliers was released the widely popular 10,000 Hour Rule changed drastically to “10,000 hours to learn something (Kaufman).” Outliers caused the actual meaning of the rule to be lost. Kaufmann nullifies the rule and asserts that with just 20 hours of practice one can do well at a given task. People learn things everyday and one must practice to become perfect. For example, my passion for filmmaking has led me to make over thirty films since Grade Five and my hours of practice and improving my skills have made me adept. I have probably not spent 10,000 hours making films but I have become quite skilled at it. Outliers has had a very powerful impact on culture and society.
4) Meaningful work – If you feel there is genuine purpose to your work, it is more likely that you will work hard and find the task more enjoyable. You must be passionate about your work.
5) Legacy – Our family values influence our behavior

o?Success is the book’s primary theme. Much of Gladwell’s analysis involves looking at the lives of intelligent, passionate, and aspiring individuals with great potential with the aim of succeeding. He states that intelligence is not invariably linked to success. Hard work, opportunities, and support from others count towards an individuals success (Samiullah).
o?Gladwell argues throughout the book that IQ, ingenuity, and place of origin may not be as important in determining success as compared to practice (Samiullah). Opportunity can take many manifestations, from access to a large number of practice hours (10,000) to the advantages provided by a high income family as proved by the example of Oppenheimer (Kaufman). Essentially, though, opportunity can be created even for those who have clear disadvantages.

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Works Cited
“Outliers: The Story of Success Summary ; Study Guide.” BookRags, BookRags,

Kaufman, Josh. “The First 20 Hours – Josh Kaufman.” Ukulele – The First 20 Hours,

Samiullah, Chris. “Book Summary Outliers – The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell.” Life
?Life Balance, Life-Life Balance, 28 Apr. 2017,
? “Download Subtitles and Closed Captions (CC) from YouTube.” The Role of ??Social Media in Our Lives Jake Swayze TEDxSouthPasadenaHigh with English Subtitles ?(Closed Captions) and Transcript,

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