Your talents cannot benefit you after passing a certain skill threshold:
Gladwell investigated the level at which your talents really affect your life. Naturally, practice is important and sports genetic predispositions as well, but their impact is minimal. As it happens, any improvement to your skills and abilities won’t do you any good until you reach a certain threshold. For example, the NBA basketball player has an average height of 6’-7" from 1980. Now, if you are 7’ tall, that doesn’t give you a significant advantage over other players.
Gladwell observed some law school students' performance. Any school of law eliminates race minority enrollment requirements. Even if these students seem to do poorly than their counterparts in non-minority before and in law school, this difference will vanish after they have finished their degree. You contribute the same important sum, receive as much money, and receive as many awards as your colleagues. And after they have achieved a certain degree of legal competence, other considerations such as social skills, how strong their network is, and even a good break start taking over and affecting their career.
You can be disadvantaged by being born in the wrong month:
14/75 of the wealthiest citizens of history, were born in 1860 and 1870. At the time when railways were being built, Wall Street, and Silicon Valley were born. From 1953 to 1956, all of the top IT companies were founded. People who were born in the 1890s-to the beginning of the 1900s experienced the great influenza outbreak, the First World War, and the great depression. In 1935 as well. 600,000 fewer kids were born that year.
Nobody will be surprised if your wife is 32 or 42, or even more years younger or older than you. But a few years ago, it was a problem if your wife would be older than you. You can think through your own life, and you can constantly see this is happening all the time.
In mathematics, Asians are fine because where you come from matters:
Warren Buffett still claims he was fortunate that he was born in the USA. Gladwell suggests, for example, that there is cause to believe that Asians are good at math. Many things are in favor of Asians. European people often give up even more easily than their Asian counterparts on hard mathematics problems. Math and disciplines are not part of their cultural heritage.
We always attribute achievement to personal qualities, assuming that good people were not perfect. Gladwell considers this to be an inflated perception of progress. He believes that most successful people have gained from the hidden rewards that inspire them to learn and to work and to see the environment in a way other people can’t. We may begin to appreciate the logic of achievement by grasping where good individuals come from.
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