Thursday, April 30, 2009


I recently finished reading Malcom Gladwell's latest book, Outliers. It was fantastic. 

Now, it's not a scientific, statistical analysis of the history of anything (a fact which some critics complain about). It doesn't pretend to be (a fact which some critics don't seem to understand). Instead, it is a journalistic collection of stories that illuminate some aspects of success - specifically, some aspects of success which have historically been overlooked. I highly recommend the book.

Along with appreciating the book's insights, I really like his approach. The important thing with all three of Galdwell's books is not what his stories prove, but what they provoke. The ideas and insights his stories stimulate and draw out from readers, however abtusely or unpredictably. Like I said, it's not a scientific book, and it doesn't pretend to be. And that is one of its great strengths. 

It got me thinking about my own journey and career. It turns out, much of my present situation came about because of an email sent by a Chief Master Sergent in 2001, which started a chain of events that led directly to my current job. Even further back, it all probably starts when a friend of mine from college mentioned he was applying for a position and suggested I apply too (I got it, he didn't - oops, sorry!). Maybe I'll write out all the events and triggers that got me to my present situation... hmmm, that might be interesting.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would love for you to write about events that got you into your present situation and have you comment on if you think it is some kind of fate or just a random string of events. It seems like certain people help out at key moments or opportunities appear out of no where. I am fascinated by issues such as this - why some things work out for some people and not others (such as your friend). Is it fate????