An Outlier on the Graph of Success 1

Everyone dreams of being successful. Some dream of being very successful others extremely. From our young days through teenage years and adulthood we are all bombarded with the ‘rules’ of success or the right ‘path’ to success. Hard work was the primary song that was sung to us. We were told that if we study long and hard, learn well, pray and have an attitude to learn, success would not evade us. These formulas work quite alright, yea they have worked but have you ever wondered if there was more to success than just hard work? The really successful people in our world today are considered outliers because they have set themselves apart. They are among the richest people, the smartest people, the people who cause a revolution, make history and push the buttons of science to break impossibilities. The likes of Joe Flom, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Bill Joy etc etc… The list goes on and on. I have learned about the other side of the story of success. The other things that come into play in a success story. I learned all these from a book I read called Outliers – The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell. I would encourage everyone to get a hold of this book. Its fun and eye opening.

The greatest misconception about success is that we do it solely on our smarts, ambition, hustle and hard work. But there are other things that come into play that society cares to admit. To understand why and how those outliers became successful, we just have to look around them!

Success Key

Look at their lives, history, family lines, the era they were born and the cultures they come from. At first it may sound strange but it all makes sense. I am going to briefly share the points I took out of this book.

– The 10 thousand hour rule: For you to become an expert or become a multi billionaire, you have to have worked at or practice that one thing for at least 10,000 hours and that is achieved in 10 years.

‘Oh my!’ That was my reaction when I read that chapter. 10,000 hours? 10 years? What have I been doing? How many hours do I have? How many more to go? Oh crap! This only tells us that we should act now! Stop all the excuses and the day dreaming and act now. It reminds me of a lesson I learned at church service one Sunday. The words of the man that spoke never left my head. He was speaking about becoming exceptional. His fourth point that day was Speed to Market. Meaning, there are a million and one other people out there who have the same idea as you. So to get the most out of it or be the leader, you have to stand up and move before someone else comes out with the same idea and you are left crying “oh I wanted to do that o. I had that idea”.

After a certain point, intelligence does not matter anymore. Someone with an IQ of 180 is not necessarily smarter than someone with an IQ of 130. Basically Intelligence has a threshold. Past the threshold, other things start to matter more. Things like your imagination, how creative your mind can be etc. For example, write down many different uses you can think of for a blanket & brick

Reading this I go like whew! I do not have to be so worried if I hear someone has an IQ of 150 or higher the underlying question is, how does that translate into how successful you are? How well can you tap into the power of such an IQ? In the book there is a good example of a man who has an IQ higher than Einstein but he has not made as much buzz you would expect from someone with such an IQ. You can check him out here: . In-fact in the author says: “The relationship between success and IQ works only up to a certain point. Once someone has reached an IQ of somewhere around 120, having additional IQ points does not seem to translate into any measurable real-world advantage”. So there you have it! Stop worrying about your IQ and get on with life!

Check out part two of this post here:

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3 thoughts on “An Outlier on the Graph of Success 1

  1. So what about those of us who haven’t yet reached the 120 threshold?
    But that is a very true point the author makes. The majority of financially successful people are not those who graduated with first class.
    Book smarts can only take you so far.

    It’s even more clear in this our third world, where so many people with potential but without the finances or social standing don’t make it whereas people with significantly less talent end up with the money cause they were born into a family with contacts.

  2. Bam.
    Gurl dis 1 dere. U hit d nail on the head!
    I can relate to your perspective and its simple “Diminishing Marginal Return”.
    For those who took economics, i know u get the drift but those who didnt.
    Lemme break it down for ya, If you have an empty cup and a bucket full of water and the intention is to get all dat water emptied into the cup. Now the first question to ask yourself is how in the world is that possible. So economist came out to prove that the best way is to get the maximum satisfaction…which in dis case getting the cup filled with water. They went a step further to say anything short of that is unsatisfactory that is either ‘you not getting the cup filled and wanting to get the cup overfilled’ are all wasted efforts really.
    Now the Idea in the post is about trying to get the cup over filled. Now the proof that trying to get the cup over filled is unsatisfactory is simple, when you do this, of course you would loose more than you would gain and now thats what economist have defined as ‘diminishing marginal returns’ that is the satisfaction you would derive form consuming an addition commodity would continue to decrease or decline of course holding capacity constant’ in the water case – as long as your cup size remains the same, its gonna be a wasted effort.
    Hi D, i guess i broke the word limit. lol
    Great point!
    Well noted!

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