Success Blind Spots: Lessons from Outliers
Updated: Jul 7, 2019
In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell argued that there is something profoundly wrong with the way we make sense of success. Those who excelled may look like they did it by themselves through talents, intelligence and hard work, but in fact they are beneficiaries of hidden advantages that allowed them harness benefits from their world in ways others could not. I liken these hidden advantages to success blind spots. A blind spot is an area in your range of vision that you cannot see properly but you really should see, in order to make accurate decision. For example, when you are driving a car, the area just behind your shoulders is often a blind spot. It is important to pay attention to the success blind spots so that our assessment of success and judgment of excellence is not distorted.
It is not the brightest who succeeded; if it were, Chris Langan would have been up there with Eistein. Success is not only a summation of the decisions and efforts we make on our own behalf; success is rather a gift of opportunities. Outliers are those who have been given opportunities and who recognize the gift, and invest strength and presence of mind to maximize opportunities. Will you dare to be an Outlier?