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Author Topic: "Outliers"  (Read 14901 times)
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« on: May 17, 2012, 05:57:31 PM »

The last book I'm going to post about from the "Can genius be learned?" thread is "Outliers: The Story of Success" by Malcolm Gladwell (I didn't feel that "Bounce" had any pertinent information that wasn't coverd in the others; however, I'm reading "Nurture Shock" and will have to do some posts on that).  "Outliers" didn't seem as applicable to me as the others.  His main point seemed to be that real outliers, the amazing people of the world, are due to a fortunate combination of circumstances and not to innate talent; in other words, there's nothing you can do about it, it's chance.  Sure, innate talent and hard work and other things will get you to a certain point, but the last ingredient in becoming an outlier is serendipity: birthdate, birthplace, family and cultural identity, etc.  Interesting, but not particularly helpful as a early-learning parent.

But there were a few things in the book that were controllable.  One was a study done on the difference between success rates of middle to upper class Americans and lower class Americans.  The main difference, according to the book, was that the middle to upper class parents raised their kids in an atmosphere of "Concerted Cultivation," which is defined as an attempt to actively "foster and assess a child's talents, opinions, and skills."  Poor parents tended to follow a strategy of "accomplishment of natural growth," letting their kids be kids and develop on their own.  There are a lot of good points on both sides, and I'm sure all parents need a combination.  But the wealthier kids excelled at the skills needed in practical life: negotiating with authority, pursuing individual preferences, managing interations with institutions.  Their parents taught them these things, both by example and by actual rehersal; there's a record of one mom talking to her kid in the car on the way to the doctor's and telling him that he can ask any questions about his health, then role playing with him how he'll bring up a concern, which he then mentions at the doctor's.  These kids have the ability to negotiate and reason with authority, and that will help them in school and work and life.  And that is something that we can teach.

The other main point that I saw as controllable was a discussion of how long people work at something before they give up.  His main example there is the stereotype that Asians are good at math.  He says there was a study that had a perfect correlation between how long students were willing to sit answering boring questions (demographical stuff on a standardized test) and how well they did on the math test.  Those who filled out all the boring questions got the highest math scores; those who left the questions blank and skipped ahead got lower math scores.  He argues that rice farming has given Asian culture an ethic of hard work even in the face of boredom, more so than other cultures, and compares peasant proverbs as one source of proof.  But I wondered about a connection to Mindset; Dweck said that changing to a growth mindset increased the amount of time someone was willing to persist on a problem.  And the proverbs he quotes seem to apply to the Mindset argument as well; Chinese peasant proverbs are all about how hard work makes you successful, while the European peasant proverbs he contrasts them with are about the influence of God and fate and the seasons.  Sounds like growth versus fixed mindset to me.

In that section, he also talks about the KIPP schools, which were referenced in "The Talent Code" too.  Gladwell argues that the students' success is due to the long hours they put in, and that anyone who put in that many hours would be successful.  "The Talent Code" talked more about how the kids are inspired to try by primal cues: the world is rough and they only get things by learning; college is the end goal of everything.  I didn't like Gladwell's argument much; he says, basically, the more hours spent in school the better.  I don't think I'm the only BrillKids parent who thinks that less hours spent more efficiently might be better.  He talks about a 12 year old at KIPP who gets to bed after 11 every night after doing 2-3 hours of homework and gets up at 5:45.  Um, no thank you.  I think that there are other important things in my daughter's life.  Of course, the KIPP kids come from very underprivileged backgrounds and usually start far below grade level, so maybe they need the extra hours.  But with early learning, I don't see my daughter needing 9 1/2 hours of school a day at age 12, with 2 or 3 hours of homework on top of that.  I wouldn't want that for her even if it did get her great success in the world.  What do you all think?

The other interesting fact, although it's not directly controllable, was that in any group where age is the cutoff for the group (all those who are 5 on September 1st start kindergarten where I live; my daughter, born in October, will start a year later), the older kids have a distinct advantage.  In sports, the older kids are enough bigger and stronger and faster that they are picked more than twice as often for the advanced teams, getting better coaching and more playing hours, so soon they are the better players.  And in academics, the older kids get put into gifted programs more often because they're more mature, and that difference persists through high school.  That surprised me; I always thought it evened out in elementary school.  There's not a ton to be done about it (planning conception dates by school/sport cutoff dates?), but I mentioned this to my sister-in-law and it agreed with her decision to hold her son (born in the end of August) back a year so he'll go to kindergarten as the oldest rather than the youngest kid.  She'd already seen that the system wasn't fair.  I found that interesting, though not exactly useful as a parent.

Has anyone else gotten more useful ideas from "Outliers"?


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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2012, 08:10:42 PM »

Very interesting, thank you for review, Wolfwind!

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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2012, 09:01:04 PM »

Thank you so much, Wolfwind, for a very interesting review. I'll reread the book and post my comments soon.

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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2012, 03:04:38 AM »

I havnt read it yet, crikey I need that speed reading course..or some free time perhaps  LOL
So your comments...
Yep I see over and over the difference between the older kids and the younger ones in a school year. A couple of interesting bit. In some schools where they ability group classes, but try to hide it, often the highest kids are in with the lowest kids and the middle kids are all in together.  Interestingly the middle kids all have birthdays in the middle of the year. It's an endless stream of birthday parties for 2-3 months!
Sports is less obvious now days I think, it is usually the kids who are outside all day that win everything. Changing times! In saying that my own kids have to bet the older kids as they are the youngest in sports cut offs ( but still the oldest group in school years) we have had some issues but overall they know they can try harder and win anyway so they do. Mindset! Yep!
People say the gaps even out in elementary (or by 3rd grade they say over here) but it's just bulldust.  If the gaps do even out it is because of poor teaching. A teacher who doesn't bother extending her high kids because she is busy working on the low kids. Sadly far too common.
Asians good at math had me thinking. I doubt the idea of the rice paddy hard work would hold up much longer as there are now multigenerational middle and upper class Asians doing well. Asian children learn math very differently, left to right, so that may be part of it. I do believe their cultural work ethics must play a part. They all know you have to put in the effort to get the results.
And there is no way I would consider letting my daughters or son do that many hours of "school" but if I can squeeze in a fun information session on geography or math after school I will smile


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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2012, 04:41:36 AM »

I've often thought about what to do with my son who will be one of the youngest starting K this year because he made the cutoff date. I believe due to early learning he can actually pass off most of the K curriculum now. If I hold him back so he can be the oldest, he will be way beyond Kwhen he finally gets to go. If Ikeep him in K This year, he will be the youngest and one of the smallest. decisions decisions. I hope we can work with the school to find ways to challenge him. We are hoping a language immersion program will help.

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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2012, 10:40:11 PM »

The biggest things I got from Outliers was the "10,000 hour rule" and that some of the extreme outliers are a combination of expertise (10,000 hours) meeting with opportunity. Gladwell correctly points out that there is a luck factor in life.

His point wasn't that you're hopeless without luck. His point was that you don't have Rockefeller, Carnegie, Bill Gates, or Steve Jobs without expertise, opportunity, both meeting up with a tidal shift in technology.

He's correct about that. He never says you won't achieve in life without luck; just you may not become one of history's top 5 wealthiest individuals without it.

The best book I've read that discusses the luck factor in life was "Fooled By Randomness".

Obviously playing poker, I understand variance (luck if you will) quite well. It is a factor in life, but it's certainly one that is routinely overlooked by the overwhelming majority of people and perhaps deservedly so (since there's little you can do about it). The value in understanding luck is just in making decisions - not really in choosing to chalk one's fate up to it (LOL) or otherwise use it as a crutch (as many do). The decisions I'm talking about can come in two flavors
1. Obviating and planning
2. Attributing

If you understand the role that variance plays, you will be better at these skills than someone that doesn't. I'll give you an early learning example...
In my review of Moshe Kai's book "We Can Do" I discuss how luck played a role in his outcome. It was a minor role and not one that would really change any of our behavior here on BrillKids, but I saw the luck and pointed it out in my review anyway. He spoke his first word at 4 months old. Prior to this, his parents had no intentions of doing early learning, but when this happened, they immediately took up a program for early learning and continued on with it pretty rigorously through his childhood. If he had not spoken until he was 18 months old or something similar, it's doubtful that the parents would have taken such drastic measures.

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« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2012, 07:30:17 AM »

Outliers is a good book, I agree with some of his points, and disagree with others.

He talks about how birthdates influence who gets chosen in Canadian hockey. I do not know if his comments there are valid, but I do know that a child not born on the so-called optimal months could even out the disadvantage quite rapidly if his parents had started him out on hockey before the conventional age. In other words, he would have been accumulating steadily his 10,000 hours of deliberate practice if he was started out by his parents years before start of formal training. One more reason why I engage in early learning: my kids would have been steadily accumulating their hours of deliberate practice before they start formal training on anything, thus making it difficult for anyone to disqualify them because they were not born on certain months. And to be honest, I don't really believe age equates maturity. There are so many very young bright kids who surpass older kids in knowledge, skills, and ability. Anyway, that could be because the parents of the younger kids gave them more opportunities at excellence than parents of the older  kids.

In the second chapter, he then goes on about Ericsson's 1993 research on the10,000 deliberate practice rule and the musicians ratings. Well-known stuff, especially for someone who has read and re-read Ericsson's research papers and books. He cites Bill Gates, Bill Joy, the Beatles Band, etc., that had excelled not merely because of talent, but because they had opportunities to put in their hours of practice during early childhood /adolescence. Good to know.

And he makes a good point about 'concerted cultivation', the parenting style of  educated and upper-class parents. A bit similar to what I read in the book 'Meaningful differences in the lives of American Children' - educated and wealthier parents parent their kids differently from poorer parents, generating different results in their kids' lives. A lot to learn there. Kids  thrive in supportive and stimulating families. Families that are supportive and intellectually stimulating generate more intellectual kids than those that are not. Another reason why I do early learning: to prepare my kids for life. It's a tough world out there, and the better children are prepared by home, the greater their chances at success in life.

And in my opinion, the Asian success in math and other field of endeavours has little to do with rice fields but much to do with practice and lots of hard work in all endeavours of life. I have some very intellectual Asian friends, and they are most hardworking group of people I have ever seen. They don’t play around with their studies or work, and are very diligent.

Further, I have read several books on Asian parenting, and it's given me a fairly good idea of why Asian kids turn out so bright. One of such is 'Top of the Class: How Asian Parents Raise Top Achievers and How You Can Too’ (Amazon link: . Asian kids work so hard, and end up so bright.

I've also read 'Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother' by Amy Chua. While I don't subscribe to Chua's antics, she makes a good point about practice, practice, and practice. For example, hear what she said about the Susuki method and the practice culture she imbibed in her kids:
``That’s why I liked the Suzuki method of teaching piano. There are seven books, and everybody has to start with Book One. Each book includes ten to fifteen songs, and you have to go in order. Kids who practice hard get assigned new songs each week, whereas kids who don’t practice get stuck on the same song for weeks, even months, and sometimes just quit because they’re bored out of their minds. Anyway, the bottom line is that some kids go through the Suzuki books much faster than others. So a hardworking four-year-old can be ahead of a six-year-old, a six-year-old can be way ahead of a sixteen-year-old, and so on—which is why the Suzuki system is known for producing “child prodigies.”

That’s what happened with Sophia. By the time she was five, we had settled in with a fabulous Suzuki teacher named Michelle, who had a big piano studio in New Haven at a place called the Neighborhood Music School. Patient and perceptive, Michelle got Sophia—appreciated her aptitude but saw beyond it—and it was Michelle who instilled the love of music in her. The Suzuki method was perfect for Sophia. She learned really quickly and could stay focused for a long time.

She also had a big cultural advantage: Most of the other students at the school had liberal Western parents, who were weak-willed and indulgent when it came to practicing. I remember a girl named Aubrey, who was required to practice one minute per day for every year of her age. She was seven. Other kids got paid for practicing, with giant ice cream sundaes or big Lego kits. And many were excused from practicing altogether on lesson days.

A key feature of the Suzuki approach is that a parent is expected to attend every music lesson and then to supervise practice sessions at home. What this meant was that every moment Sophia was at the piano, I was there with her, and I was being educated too. I had taken piano lessons as a child, but my parents didn’t have the money to hire anyone good, so I ended up studying with a neighbor, who sometimes hosted Tupperware parties during my lesson. With Sophia’s teacher, I started learning all kinds of things about music theory and music history that I’d never known before.

With me at her side, Sophia practiced at least ninety minutes every day, including weekends. On lesson days, we practiced twice as long. I made Sophia memorize everything, even if it wasn’t required, and I never paid her a penny. That’s how we blasted through those Suzuki books. Other parents aimed for one book a year. We started off with the “Twinkle, Twinkle” variations (Book One); three months later Sophia was playing Schumann (Book Two); six months after that, she was playing a sonatina by Clementi (Book Three). And I still felt we were going too slow.’’

Did you see that – the culture of practice, practice, and practice? And there was another book I read once ‘Every Street Is Paved With Gold’ by a former Daewoo director. As I went through the book, I was impressed that someone could work so so hard. And if you’ve read the thread PokerDad started on ‘We can Do’ by Moshe Kai, you’ll realise that most of those top math prodigies are Asians. For example, Moshe Kai is Asian, David Levy is half-Chinese (his mother is Chinese, his father, American), and his father mentioned in his review and comments on  ‘Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother’ that he and his Chinese wife had decided to raise their son with traditional values of hard work, and that those values enabled the boy graduate with 2 degrees at age 16. Further, the youngest siblings to get A* grades at British A level maths, the Ahmeds, are Asians; the child prodigy who formerly held that record in Britain before the Ahmeds took over, was Asian. They practiced longer, hence ended up brighter. For example, according to their father, the Ahmed brothers practiced math about 3 hours a day.  After reading ‘Top of the Class’, I understood. Even Robert Levy said the same thing – his son practiced Saxon Math for about 3 hours a day. Any surprise why he’s ended up so bright?

Hence after my reading /research on Asian Americans, the whole thing has become very, very clear. Asians are successful because they have a very solid culture of hard work and believe so much in practice. I love that and I’m trying to bring up my kids with the Asian values of hard work.

Below I quote excerpts on this matter from the book: Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good About Themselves but Can Read, Write or Add’ by Charles Sykes (

On page 18/19, he says:
If television cannot account for low achievement, neither does the  prevalence of working mothers in American homes. In the international  comparisons cited above, researchers identified the family background of the test takers. They found that while 35 percent of the mothers of Minneapolis students were working mothers, so were 30 percent of the Japanese  mothers, 33 percent of the mothers in Taipei, and 97 percent of the mothers in Beijing. Stevenson also notes that Americans comfort themselves with  stereotypes in which Asian children are pictured as being under great  stress from early ages; that Asian children are somehow "easier" to teach  than American kids because they are more docile; that there is little to emulate in Asian teaching methods because they stress rote learning and rely on endless, mindless drill of basic skills. While these false stereotypes  "allow us to maintain a view of ourselves as relaxed, successful, effective individualists who are creative, innovative, and independent," Stevenson wrote, they are "largely inaccurate."

Asian students may work hard, but researchers have found no evidence that they "suffer greater psychological distress or a greater incidence of suicide than exists in Western children." Nor is there much support for theories that attribute higher levels of Asian achievement to genetically superior intelligences.

If demographics, television, IQ, and money do not account for the differences, attitudes certainly do. Americans have very different assumptions than do their Asian counterparts about the appropriate role parents should play in the education of their children. Asians, according to Stevenson, expect schools to develop academic skills, while they believe it is up to the home to support the schools and to provide a "healthy emotional environment." In contrast, Americans expect more of their schools and ¬ less of themselves. Stevenson says that many Americans "seem to expect  that schools will take on responsibility for many more aspects of the child's life," including family roles, sex, drugs, minority relations, illnesses, nutrition, and fire prevention.

And on page 296 he says:
In his cross-cultural studies of schools in the United States, Japan, and China, researcher Harold Stevenson attributed significant differences in achievement levels not simply to differing approaches to schooling, but also to the very different approaches to their children's education by Asian and American parents. "Chinese and Japanese children know that they will have free time only after they have completed the day's schoolwork," he found. "In American families, leisure activities and schoolwork compete for the child's time." American parents do not like what they regard as excessive homework and frequently express distaste for schoolwork if it interferes with other activities they think should be given equal or even greater value.’’
Sykes goes on and on about the matter, and it makes a whole lot of sense to me.

So Gladwell saying Asians do better in math because of hard work on rice fields is an untruth. They do very well in other endeavours of life too: academics, music, sports etc. Further, all his other reasons  (like comparing number systems of the Chinese with that of Americans and trying to make it seem like number systems is what has given the Chinese an advantage) are untrue. I bet if the Chinese had a more difficult number structure, they would still come out tops. Why? Because they work so hard. With hard work, you can leverage your disadvantages. Okay, how would he explain the fact that even Asian-Americans and Asian-British (like Moshe Kai and the Ahmed brothers) who use the English number system still come out tops? Asians do well simply because they are willing to put in their several thousand hours of deliberate practice, which according to Anders Ericsson, is what makes for expertise. 

« Last Edit: May 21, 2012, 10:54:18 PM by nee1 » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2012, 11:19:29 AM »

PokerDad, I thought about your comment on Moshe speaking at 4 months, and that starting a series of early learning events in his life. Well we don't know what he said at 4 months, but I know, based on my studies of Asian parenting, that Moshe would have gotten early education all the same, whether he had spoken early or later (at least if his parents had known about early education). In fact, I am pretty sure he spoke at 4 months (if this account is true at all) because he was spoken to a  lot, and his parents were already doing some form of early learning, albeit in an informal way. When he spoke, they realised their strategy was working and they increased the intensity.

And on Wolfwind's remarks about Gladwell encouraging more school time, I agree with Wolfwind completely, quality study time is more efficient than quantity study time. A student who plans his/her work ahead, studies in a quiet environment, concentrates, etc., will get more done in a few hours of deliberate practice than one who lives in the library all day long chatting with friends and with the radio on.

I have this book 'How to Become a Straight-A Student: The Unconventional Strategies Real College Students Use to Score High While Studying Less'  (   The book details methods of efficient study such as time-scheduling, quiet study space, separating study time from socialising time, concentrating on the material studied, etc., etc. The book works and most importantly, it confirmed what I read in Ericsson’s research article titled  ‘Why study time does not predict grade point average across college students: Implications of deliberate practice for academic performance’.

Quality of study time, as the book explains, and as Ericsson's research article shows, is more important than number of hours. This doesn't mean students should work as little as they can. It simply means that if one decides to work for 10 hours a day, and decides to make that time quality study time, such student will get more from studying than if he plays around in the library for 18 hours a day.

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« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2012, 06:58:36 PM »

The other interesting fact, although it's not directly controllable, was that in any group where age is the cutoff for the group (all those who are 5 on September 1st start kindergarten where I live; my daughter, born in October, will start a year later), the older kids have a distinct advantage.  In sports, the older kids are enough bigger and stronger and faster that they are picked more than twice as often for the advanced teams, getting better coaching and more playing hours, so soon they are the better players.  And in academics, the older kids get put into gifted programs more often because they're more mature, and that difference persists through high school.  That surprised me; I always thought it evened out in elementary school.  There's not a ton to be done about it (planning conception dates by school/sport cutoff dates?), but I mentioned this to my sister-in-law and it agreed with her decision to hold her son (born in the end of August) back a year so he'll go to kindergarten as the oldest rather than the youngest kid.  She'd already seen that the system wasn't fair.  I found that interesting, though not exactly useful as a parent.

I'm always a bit suspicious of these blanket statements that all older children will do better in school and that younger children do not do as well.  Whilst this may be a statistical fact - i.e. if you average out the scores of all older children they do better than all younger children when lumping these groups together, I also think these broad statistics can hide a lot of interesting trends and subgroups where this may not be strictly accurate.  The average score could be altered by a small number of younger children who do particularly badly (maybe because not supported at home).  I can't remember who wrote that children who are perceived by their teachers to be intelligent do better than those who are not even when the teachers are actually given inaccurate information about who is supposedly smarter.  So if older children start out at an advantage then this might be maintained by the system, and scarily these views might be internalised by the children themselves, who start to see themselves as 'smart' or 'average'.

I think that children who have undergone early learning may well not fit the trend as they are likely to be ahead of even older children when they first start school.  I would be very interested to see the statistics of Brillkids children's achievements!!!   As LDSmom mentioned, this could potentially even be beneficial in some ways, if they are not quite so waaaaay ahead of everyone else, as they might be as the oldest child in the class.

My DS was born in late July.  I was so shocked when pregnant, after hearing my due date, that so many people (really, a LOT of people), said to me, "Oh, dear, you didn't plan that well, he's not going to do well in school..."  I was so furious - how dare people write off my son's academic achievement before he was even born?!!!!!  tongue  mad

I was born in mid August, so always the very youngest in the year.  I think it was sometimes a struggle emotionally, but for me, it was never an issue academically, and I won an academic scholarship to train as a doctor, so can't have been all bad.  I put a lot of my achievement down to my parents attitude (supportive yet encouraging me to believe I could achieve anything if I worked hard - perhaps a good example of a 'mindset'?), plus my mum did do Doman early reading and maths with me many years ago.  So, I am hopeful that with support and encouragement that my DS (and DD born in April) will not be disadvantaged by being younger.

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« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2012, 05:35:58 PM »

Honestly, I didn't find this book that interesting and probably didn't do his ideas justice.  I agree with most of the comments here, but, feeling sorry for Gladwell, I wanted to point out a few things:

His point was that Asians work harder than Americans and that's why they're good at math.  His argument that this culture of hard work is due to rice farming seems less defensible to me, but the basic concept is one we agree on - hard work brings success.

And he said that the birthday cutoff was based on teacher/coach perception and not on truth: younger kids are very like to be as high achieving as older kids, if the division is made later.  But if at a young age the teachers/coaches put some kids on a "fast track," they are statistically more likely to choose the older kids, and because they get the extra help, they continue to achieve at higher levels even though the younger kids would be just as capable with the same level of teaching/coaching/practice. 

So early learning would make a big difference; by the time teachers and coaches are picking out the "best," our kids will have had more good practice time and of course be more skilled!  Another good point in favor of early learning.  (And lzp11, that's TERRIBLE that anyone would make such a judgemental comment about an unborn child!  I've never heard anything like that said, and I'm so sorry it happened to you!)

And yes, I should not have made it sound like his point was that everything was based on luck.  It was a combination of luck and practice, and anyone can achieve a lot with 10000 hours of deliberate practice, even without the luck.  But, as I said, I didn't particularly like the book, so I was lazy.  :-)  I'm so glad everyone commented!  This has been a very interesting discussion.


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« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2012, 11:24:41 AM »

So I just finished the book. Reflecting back I really think mostly it was a waste of time reading overall.  LOL Now don't get me wrong it is a good, easy read with some useful and very thought provoking ideas so not entirely useless. I just think that most of the content was common scence. If you have read any of the other books in this group of threads then this one is really a rehash. I really think the main point they were trying to convey was that luck plays a really major role in the success of people. I don't disagree but I don't agree entirely either. So luck would mean that gates had unlimited access to a computer when it was still a novelty to most but...luck had nothing to do with the fact that his parents obviously supported his 'time wasting' in the lab.  I just think a huge area was overlooked in the whole book. If the point was that luck played such a major role then doesn't it make more sence that part 2 in the book should have featured more on what one could do to enhance this luck? His chapter in the KIPP schools failed entirely to mention that the parents of these kids obviously sacrificed a lot and had an enormous value on education to even allow their children to spend so much of their time on schoolwork. Even if getting into the school is based on a lotto,, staying in was more than luck. It was effort and parental support. So I was lt thinking at the end of the book a bit more discussion on how to enhance or make the most of lucky opportunities would have been relevant. Creating your own luck is the logical next step.
But to give it some justice it reinforced the idea of effort for reward, the mention of the 10 000 hours and putting in the time was well substantiated in examples. The case studies were interesting and varied.
To make it relevant to me as a mum aiming high  big grin I thought over the 10 000 hours of effort and the idea of manufacturing luck smile my example so far is Gymnastics. My girls are quite keen on gymnastics. The do more for their age than most ( double the time) and I have actively sought out good coaches for them. So to increase their hours I am considering using their gymnastics lessons in place of after school care when I return to work. Gym classes and after school care are about the same price so I will just be adding the expense of a driver to get them to their class and my petrol to pick them up on the way home. To enhance the luck factor I have selected a club with high success rates in competitions, long term careers in the industry for graduates, alternative skills ( trampoline and tumbling) excellent coaches that test levels every 6 weeks and an environment where extra effort is rewarded with extra assistance. Interestingly their motto is " excellence through effort"  yes There are 2 better clubs in my state to keep my eye on for later down  the track but this is a workable solution for the next 2 years at least.
I was going to run the time and luck factor on school education but decided I wasn't yet prepared to change the kids school if I found something better! Some things are worh more to me for my children than excellence.  smile


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