Ever since I left University for the big bad world, I have been struggling to identify what I am passionate about in a professional capacity. I’ve never been able to pinpoint exactly what was so dissatisfying about my professional life.

Until I read Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: The Story of Success. It’s been on my To Read list for a long time but I never quite got around to actually reading it. I’m a big believer that certain books come around when you are ready for them, and that’s what happened with Outliers.

I finished this one last week and still find myself coming back to it every day, thinking things over. Thanks to Gladwell I have finally discovered why I haven’t been able to find any meaning in or passion for my work. It comes down to three things: a lack of autonomy in my role, a lack of any complexity and the lack of any kind of relationship between the effort I put in and the reward that I get from it.

Simple right? But at the same time, also totally mind blowing. For me anyway.

Don’t worry – I haven’t boiled down the whole book into these three points. Those are the three that really stuck with me but that’s just one chapter. Gladwell also explains why Bill Gates is Bill Gates (it’s not what you think), why Asian students tend to do better in school than their North American counterparts, and what makes a hockey player a success. Gladwell will also help you get a job at Microsoft if you read closely.

Obviously, I loved the bit about the hockey players.

I guarantee that if you give this one a read, you will find something in there that will change the way you think about things. That’s the power of Malcolm Gladwell. I would love to spend one day in his head and find out how he sees the world. Lucky for us he’s able to explain what he sees, and very eloquently too.

Now that I know what I’m missing, maybe it will be that much easier to find what I’m looking for?

Here’s hoping. Gladwell gave me a lot to think about anyway.

4 thoughts on “Outliers

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