Factors of Success

Powerful Essays
Heather N
English 001A
Midterm Essay
13 February 2013
The Factors of Success

Success is a term that many use as a way to describe ideals. Living in a world that exalts the extraordinary, praises the leaders, and puts the best up on a pedestal, it is not hard to guess why achieving success is what the human race strives to do. Youth look up to the exceptional people in their life, media grasps stories of thriving individuals, and the world idolizes those who stand out. People endeavor great struggles and hardships to obtain that blissful feeling of reward and individuals are taught from day one to do whatever it takes to thrive. The book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell is a story of success and how it is achieved. Though having many different theories on success, the story focuses on the sociological phenomena of the importance of all the factors it takes to truly be an accomplished individual. Malcolm Gladwell uses different anecdotes and real life examples in his book Outliers to illustrate how success is not just solely ambition and other intrinsic factors, but a function of broader points influenced by innate, societal, and cultural factors.
To support the theory on success not only being the indigenous feeling to achieve, Gladwell uses the example of The Matthew Effect, which is basically opportunities based on timing. He explains how the best Canadian hockey players have a birthday closer to January 1st and, “in the beginning, his advantage isn’t so much that he is inherently better but only that he is a little older” (25). The older the player is, the more experienced, dedicated, and capable he will be, and be scouted to move on to a higher rank. They then start to train with the best coaches and facilities, giving them success. This is showing how a factor of success is just evidently age, timing, and, “it is those who are successful, in other words, who are most likely to be given the kinds of special opportunities that lead to further success” (30).



Cited: Gladwell, Malcolm. Outliers: The Story of Success. New York: Little, Brown and, 2008. Print. Seal, Kathy. "Asian-American Parenting and Academic Success." Pacific Standard. Pacific Standard Magazine, 13 Dec. 2010. Web. 9 Feb. 2013. Taranto, James. "Race and 'Privilege '" Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company, 21 June 2012. Web. 9 Feb. 2013.

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