Outlier learnings..

1) It takes 10,000 hours of practice for us to become insanely good at anything. Once we are insanely good, we have a good chance of making it really big. HINT: Bill Gates had 10,000 hours of programming by the time he was 21, Ronaldo with football.. among many many other examples.

2) Not being able to make a billion bucks may not be our fault. A lot factors need to fall in place for us to succeed and this is really where the book is a masterpiece, at dissecting the truth behind success stories that normally have ‘rags to riches’ and ‘hard work’ written all over them.

Having said that, not being able to make a million bucks definitely means we haven’t spent 10,000 hours on our 1 skill which could make us world class. Dabblers only good for cocktail parties as Jack Welch puts it.. :)

3) We don’t have to be the best. We just have to be good enough. There is a threshold level for everything.. for eg: in terms of IQ, the threshold level is 120. Anyone above 120 is equally likely of making a nobel prize. Just like a person with an IQ above 120 at columbia university has an equal probability of winning a Nobel Prize versus a person in Harvard. Basically, IQ becomes redundant when faced with a bunch of smart people above the threshold..

Be in the moment:

We all go through lives with different beliefs. Some believe it is Makhtub(written), others don’t. Some spend a lot of time planning ahead, some don’t.. but basically, it’s most important we remember from time to time to just be in the moment. Life’s most beautiful spectacle is now.. and it’s important we enjoy and learn – whatever the situation.. whether by not submitting our answer book for example or not.. :)

Pursue your dreams!:

The book(Alchemist) is about a boy who has a dream, which is his personal legend – his big purpose of living on earth and it is the story of him following his personal legend and going on a journey of adventure and learning. While the learnings are many, I hope we never forget that we all have our own dreams(esp from when we were kids) and as we grow older, a fear of failure begins to convince us that this is impossible.. but nothing is unachievable.. especially if we want it more than anything else in this world! :)

More old book learnings.. :)

1) Seek to understand before seeking to be understood: Try.. period! :)

2) Sharpen the Saw I: 4 things need to be going right for us to function well –
1) Physical: via exercise ob. :)
2) Mental: via fodder for the mind i.e. learning, books etc
3) Spiritual: Renewing faith and ourselves..
4) Emotional: Friends, family etc..

3) A woodcutter was sawing for 4-5 hours when a traveler passed by and asked – ‘How long have you been sawing?’. ‘4 Hours’ the woodcutter replied..
The traveler suggested ‘Maybe you should stop sawing and take some time and sharpen your saw’
‘No, I’m too busy sawing – the woodcutter replied’

Extraordinary opportunities:

Outliers are just ordinary people who grasped extra ordinary opportunties and used them to work very very hard. Basically, all success stories have a story of extraordinary opportunities behind them like Bill Gates, whose school had a main frame when most universities across the US didn’t, like the fact that Jobs, Gates, Khosla and numerous other IT dons were born in the same year and hence were at the right age, like sports men who generally fall into date of births from 2-3 months in a year depending on when the yearly selections take place(this is interesting.. will elucidate some other time)

So, in a way, what I got is that we could work as hard as possible and may never be as successful as the above and that’s still ok, as long as we aim to become an expert in what we do and make sure we put in our 10,000 hour shift somewhere…