What It Take To Become A Success

1290 words - 6 pages

If people work hard, focus, and are disciplined, they will succeed in the future. This has become a universal idea taught by parents, teachers, and peers. People have passed down this idea to the younger generations and they chose to live by this moral that makes sense. In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell debunks the universal idea that working hard will allow people to play hard and get further in life. Gladwell eliminates the traditional ideas of success by showing that opportunities, family background, and being born at the “right” time are actually what lead to success.
Occasionally, it is important to be born during certain times of the year in order to become better at a task that is being performed. In other words, people may have advantages depending on the time of the year they are born. They practice more for a sport or get further help for school. Gladwell says that “A boy who turns ten on January 2, then, could be playing alongside someone who does not turn ten until the end of the year…a twelve month gap in age represents enormous differences in physical maturity”(24). What he means is that a young boy born in January may have a greater physical advantage than a boy born in December when it comes to playing hockey. This example can be applied to any other sport. When the child starts conditioning at 6, his friend will be 5 and still to young to condition giving the older kid the advantage to play better. Every country arranges the cut off dates differently according to the sport and the season it is played in. Gladwell says, “The cutoff date for almost all non-school baseball leagues in the United States is July 31, with the result that more major league players are born in August than any other month”(26). If players are born before the month of July, they are considered to be psychically immature and not old enough to play. They have not accumulated enough practice in the year to be ready for the season. He says that “They found that among fourth graders, the oldest children scored somewhere between four and twelve percentile better than the youngest children”(28). Children who are born in January are paid more attention to because they are older and it puts the children to an advantage because they are placed in advanced programs. Since the younger children are less mature, it takes them a while to grasp things that are being taught to them. With the advantage of being born during a certain time of the year, people will spend more time or less time practicing a skill. According to Gladwell, people have to be born at the perfect time during the year in order to be the best in an activity or task people take part of.
No one will argue the importance of practicing an activity in order to master it and become the epitome of the task. Many of the people Gladwell has talked about have practiced well over ten thousand hours and have become the best in the task they preform. He was talking to Bill Joy, a computer wiz, and in the interview...

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