That One Lucky Moment

The people who stand before kings may look like they did it all by themselves. But in fact they are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot. It makes a difference where and when we grew up. … It’s not enough to ask what successful people are like, in other words. It is only by asking where they are from that we can unravel the logic behind who succeeds and who doesn’t. p.19

We pretend that success is exclusively a matter of individual merit. But there’s nothing in any of the histories we’ve looked at so far to suggest things are that simple. These are stories, instead, about people who were given a special opportunity to work really hard and seized it, and who happened to come of age at a time when that extraordinary effort was rewarded by the rest of society. Their success was not just of their own making. It was a product of the world in which they grew up. p.67

Outliers are those who have been given opportunities – and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them. p.267

Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers

Charlie Rose: “There is a book out by Malcolm Gladwell, which is called ‘Outliers’, it really is the story of looking at success and performance and talent, people who have achieved something special. … You are sitting here, because you had parents who lived in LA, who were willing to make some sacrifice, who cared about you have a chance to pursue your dreams, but if you had grown up somewhere else, with different kind of parents, you might not be sitting here, as Leo DiCaprio, one of America’s and one of the world’s well-known actors.”

Leonardo DiCaprio: “That and a combination with the fact that you have that one lucky moment. And that you can’t discount. I don’t care what somebody else says, whether somebody has talent or not, or whether they were destined for a certain career, if you don’t get that one opportunity and you where not there at the right time to seize it and you didn’t go for it, none of it would have happened. I would not have the career I have right now whatsoever.”

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