The OutliersBefore picking up this book, I thought it was about a boy who grew up to be a superstar baseball player. I don’t know what I was thinking but it felt like the right kind of plot for a title like that.

Little did I know, the book helped me see new perspectives about people and understand why people of different cultures behave certain ways. It taught me the importance of practicing a skill and not depending on luck or talent. It showed me that “geniuses” weren’t born “geniuses” but grew up having 10, 000 hours of practice before becoming an expert at what they do.

Most importantly, I learned that people who grew up to be “successful” were faced with great opportunities and wisely grabbed them by the reins. Those who did not take advantage of the opportunities became your average Joe and did not stand out from the crowd.

One part of the book pointed out that the major hockey league players were mostly born in the beginning months (January, February, March). You would rarely see a national hockey player having a birthday in October, November, or December. It was the strangest, yet most true fact. You can’t even lie about it … just Google a few hockey players and prepare to have your jaw dropped.

The reason? The eligibility cut off date to play hockey as a junior in Canada is January 1st. This means that those who were born in January got an entire year to develop skills to be a better hockey player than those born in November (aka you had to be a really, big November baby to be able to make the leagues). This part of the book saddened me because it gives certain people an advantage to join the leagues while crushing the dreams of the “younger guys”. Perhaps I was a little biased as well because I’m a November baby! I had a difficult time reading through this section because it kept saying how people who are born in those later months always lacked opportunity and was usually held back in life.

As someone who was born in a later month of the year, I felt like it was my duty to say…. uh, no. I grew up perfectly fine! (Okay, maybe I’m a bit shorter than most people but that has nothing to do with me being born in November.) I started Kindergarten when I was 4, I got into university when I was 17. Luckily, my parents decided to get me into kindergarten early instead of waiting an entire year.

Overall, the book was a great read and I would highly recommend giving it a try! I don’t usually read books, so finishing this one was one of my many greatest accomplishments in life (sad, but true.) I’m pretty sure the last time I read a book for fun was in grade 7 when we had to read “Holes”. Next up – Banker to the Poor by Muhammad Yunus (recommended by a good friend of mine).

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