An Outlier on the Graph of Success 2

This is part two of the Outlier success story. Part 1 is here:

General intelligence and practical intelligence are ‘orthogonal’ : the presence of one does not imply the presence of the other.

He explains general intelligence and practical intelligence as: – General intelligence: IQ and Practical intelligence: Practical in nature. like knowing what to say, how to say, when to say to convince someone or get what you want. Not knowledge per say..

– Family background plays an important role in determining how far a person goes or how successful a person turns out. Does the family support and contribute to the growth and development of interests? Does it teach how to get what you want? Or does it just let things be and doesn’t work on the moulding stage of a child. The difference between Chris Langan and Robert Oppenheimer where their families.

– Success does not come from triumph over adversity but adversity turning into opportunity.

The story of Joe Flom

– Where you (most times your ancestors [grand parents, great grand parents]) lived contributes to your take on life, your reactions, your underlying behavior, attitude. E.g the people of Appalachia (Harlen, Kentukey – 19th century) believed and lived in the ‘culture of honor’. Today that culture still exists and can be seen in the nature of most/some people in the South of America.

The nature of fighting for their honor and taking offense at things they feel are a personal attack on them (usually something people from other areas would ignore or take as a joke)

– Your cultural heritage plays a role in determining how you approach people/situations. People from cultures where authority is respected/feared tend not to speak up for themselves and engage in mitigated speech a lot, therefore losing opportunities, causing disasters, (imagine a co-pilot mitigating 😦 )

* talks about the Power Distance Index and how people from different areas handle and approach situations.

– Asians are better at math because of their history and life on rice paddies. Life on rice paddies teach you patience, attention to detail and not giving up easily.

– Success is a function of persistence and doggedness and the willingness to work hard

– Outliers are those who have been given opportunities – and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them.

From the little insight into this book. I hope you have learned something new, seen how interesting the story of success is and the other sides people never seem to talk about.

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4 thoughts on “An Outlier on the Graph of Success 2

  1. The excerpt about why Asians do better in math on Gladwell’s site made me feel a little disadvantaged naturally but also pushed me to begin thinking about those elements in my environment that fashioned my thought patterns.

    My dad thought me chess when I turned 7 and I beat him for the first time at age 11. I basically strategize through life although usually taking the easy way out for the most part.

    No one who can rise before dawn three hundred and sixty days a year fails to make his family rich.
    Now that’s a habit changer right there! I’m getting the book. Thanks Dee 😉

  2. I felt the bit on the Asians was overly simplistic. I mean really, how many Asian children who wake up before dawn to work on rice fields actually have access to a formal educational system. And those Asian kids we know as smart are probably from middle to upper class families where they don’t work in rice fields.
    Is there any scientific study to suggest that the proportion of Asians who do well at math is higher than that for any other group of people.
    I mean if a continent boasts half of the world’s population, odds are they will boast half the geniuses as well.
    Having said that, the point still holds: “Your cultural heritage plays a role in determining how you approach people/situations.” I may not agree with the example. But you’ve definitely whetted my appetite. gonna look for that book.

  3. Hi Autobot, the bit about the Asians is a lot more than what has been outlined here. Remember its jt a very brief summary of the main ideas in the book. When you read the book, you would understand the angle of the author. He is not saying that those children worked in rice paddies. I wont be surprised if some of them today do not even know what a rice paddy is! but the culture of patience and attention to details is what helps them.
    And I am sure once you read the book and check out the wiki links I posted too you would understand how cultural heritages come into play.

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