The Theme Of Success In The Outliers, By Malcolm Gladwell

Decent Essays

Across the world success is thought of as being composed of three main ingredients, “passions, talents, and hard work” (Gladwell 34). Emphasizing these ideals upon the youth has been a priority of parents and leaders for years. We are told that as long as we choose an activity we are passionate and have at least some innate talent for, and then proceed to put in hard work, climbing to the top of the ladder of success will most certainly become a reality. Although this notion of being in control of one's own destiny is ideal, it fails to account the crucial factors of both circumstances and luck. The unfortunate truth is that the odds of a child from a wealthy family becoming successful are exponentially greater than the odds of a child from a poor family doing the same. Author and journalist Malcolm Gladwell, as he does in his other novels, goes against a common belief- this time the notion of success being self attained- in The Outliers. Building upon the idea that circumstances, opportunities, and luck play a crucial role in success, Gladwell makes the argument that “there’s no such thing as a self-made man” (Gladwell “Questions and Topics for Discussion”). To a significant extent I agree with Gladwell’s argument, due to the repeating relevance that one's social situation and luck play in the stories of success used throughout the novel. Despite this however, Gladwell’s argument lacks when accounting for the role that self-formed desire and hard work play when working

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