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Outliers Essay

909 words - 4 pages

Caroline Bergsagel8/1/14AP Psychology"Outliers"An "Outlier" is a scientific term to describe something that is out of the ordinary, something that lies outside of the normal experience. Malcolm Gladwell asks the question "Why do some people succeed, living remarkably productive and impactful lives, while so many never reach their potential?" To answer this question, Gladwell wrote the book "Outliers" to explain why some people are successful based on certain elements. Gladwell states that "Success is not a random act. It arises out of a predictable and powerful set of circumstances and opportunities." (155). Gladwell Argues that in order to become successful you have to be born with the right set of circumstances such as your family, birthplace or even where you born and that is what makes outliers different from all others. Based off of certain things that happen during your life can determine how successful you will be. There are five different elements that Gladwell points out that determine how successful one person might be: skill, relevance, timing, effort and cultural predisposition.Timing really matters to ones success, whether they were born in the right era or the right month, it can do a lot to determine your success. Professional hockey and soccer players are much more likely to be born closer to January than to May (27) . They get fast tracked at a young age to play at a higher level and those extra couple months of growth and maturity helps them excel against their peers. Gladwell also points out that the time period you were born in can have give you a huge advantage to your success and wealth. Gladwell lists the 75 richest people of all time and finds that 14 of them were American all born between 1831 and 1840 (57).The amount of effort you put into a certain skill also has a large impact on how successful you will be in that area. The golden numbers that most researchers have found is 10,000 hours of practice. Gladwell gives the example that even though that Mozart starting composing at an early age most of his early work was very poor due to the fact that he didn't have his practice, but most people start to come into their own after about 10,000 hours of practice. Practice isn't the thing you do once your'e good, it's the thing that makes you good (42).The big ideas of today will not be the big ideas of tomorrow that's why you have to determine its relevance and pick the important trends that are emerging. New York in the 1980's was...

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