Outliers Work Much, Much Harder

Their research suggests that once a musician has enough ability to get into a top music school, the thing that distinguishes one performer from another is how hard he or she works. That’s it. And what’s more, the people at the very top don’t work just harder or even much harder than everyone else. They work much, much harder.

A frequently highlighted passage from Malcom Gladwell’s best-seller: Outliers.*

I love this point and there’s a reason why 1064 Kindler users highlighted it: it exposes the fallacy of talent. Yes – there are certain people who have a natural capacity to learn skills, apply certain kinds of thinking and exert physical maneuvers that are unmatched. But for the vast majority of things and in the vast majority of cases, the best performing person is the one who has worked the hardest and the longest at whatever it is they are doing. Period.

We like to believe that it’s our lack of talent that prevents us from being successful when in reality, it’s probably our lack of sustained hard work.

Side Note:Do you want to get the best nuggets out of a book? Then you’ve got to check out Amazon’s Top Highlighted Passages on Kindle books. It’s a great way to see the passages people like most from various books. This makes it great for remembering important passages from books you’ve already read, and getting the gist of books that you haven’t.

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Jason Shen

Jason is a tech entrepreneur and talent expert. He is CEO of a performance hiring platform called Headlight, a Fast Company contributor, and an advocate for Asian American men. Follow him on Twitter at @jasonshen and subscribe to his private newsletter.

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