An interview with Malcolm Gladwell, author of the best-seller The Tipping Point, appeared in the December ’08 Reader’s Digest. His take on what makes people highly successful is interesting and controversial.
Here’s a quote from the Q&A that was done by David Hochman:
“An innate gift and a certain amount of intelligence are important, but what really pays is ordinary experience. Bill Gates is successful largely because he had the good fortune to attend a school that gave him the opportunity to spend an enormous amount of time programming computers—more than 10,000 hours…. The Beatles had a musical gift, but what made them the Beatles was a random invitation to play in Hamburg, Germany, where they performed live as much as five hours a night, seven days a week. That early opportunity for practice made them shine.”
At the end of the interview Gladwell outlines five steps to success:
1) Find meaning and inspiration in your work.
2) Work hard.
3) Discover the relationship between effort and reward.
4) Seek out complex work to avoid boredom and repetition.
5) Be autonomous and control your own destiny as much as possible.