Extremely evasive, always desirable and practically unidentifiable, success has always seemed a mystery to most representatives of human race. While certain patterns and characteristics required for attaining success have been identified, the ultimate recipe has not yet been added to the list of attributes of an ordinary representative of the humankind. In his book, Outliers: The Story of Success, Gladwell lifts the veil over the mystery of success, claiming that he has embraced the unfathomable depth of the success theory.
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Though seemingly as basic as the principles laid out in every success theory, these were the “Three Stories of Joe Flom” that served as a true eye-opener for me and showed that success requires both luck and hard and consistent work.
Despite the fact that the author points at the fact that the story has nothing to do with the traditional legends of the people, who, once being broken, managed to climb up the social ladder to the heavens above, it can still be viewed as incredibly inspirational, as it proves that success can follow one even in spite of discrimination that one may face in a specific society.
Indeed, according to the author of the book, the person, whom he chose as the lead character of his narration, belonged to the Jewish community, which faced major oppression on the time slot chosen by the author and, therefore, had to resort to drastic measures in order to save their lives and be able to provide for themselves and their families. The fact that Joe Flom, the lead character in question, managed to not only survive, but also prosper in the environment described above, could only be viewed as either a miracle or the effect of a consistent and truly titanic effort.
Apart from the story itself, which was unbelievably inspirational, the very manner, in which the author narrated it, galvanized the reader with energy and empowered for taking actions, which would lead to the further success in the target community or society.
Particularly, the fact that the author did not resort to using the traditional dry language, which is usually adopted by the authors willingly to prove a point with an anecdote from their experience or someone else’s, should be mentioned as one of the key assets of the book. Quite on the contrary, Gladwell uses rather vivid imagery, the language that is far from being stale, and a dialogue as the key tool for representing the characters’ opinions in his book: “’But for stars?’ the interviewer asked, meaning, Wouldn’t they have made an exception for you?” (Gladwell 122).
Thus, the story narrated by the author becomes all the more compelling and convincing. In addition, the fact that the story is told from the perspective of the two main characters, i.e., the interviewer and the interviewee, helps the reader keep the focus on the details that are important and serve to prove the author’s point. As a result, with no ostentatious elements that cry for the readers’ attention, the story told by Gladwell proves his point immediately, showing that one can make the best even of the situation that seems completely disastrous. Exciting and inspiring, the case study about a Jewish man, who stood against the odds of the era and managed to reach the pinnacle of financial and societal success is one of the gems of Outliers: The Story of Success.
Gladwell, Malcolm. Outliers: The Story of Success. New York, NY: Barnes & Noble, 2008. Print.