10 Malcolm Gladwell Quotes Every 20-Something-Should Live By

malcolm gladwell


During my senior year of high school I was recommended to read the book, Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell. The New-York Best Time Selling Book examines success stories of well-known people like Bill Gates and The Beatles, and how they came to be pioneers in their respective industries…

Through case studies, Malcolm Gladwell observes what defines success by analyzing individual potential and the sociological and psychological factors that attribute to individualistic achievement.

Whether you’re continuing your collegiate career, trying to land your dream job or pursuing entrepreneurial goals, here are some of the best take-a-ways from Gladwell:

  • “Outliers are those who have been given opportunities – and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them.”
  • “Who we are cannot be separated from where we’re from.”
  • “Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.”
  • “We prematurely write off people as failures. We are too much in awe of those who succeed and far too dismissive of those who fail.”
  • “Achievement is talent plus preparation.”
  • “Success is a function of persistence and doggedness and the willingness to work hard for 22 minutes to make sense of something that most people would give up on after 30 seconds.”
  • “Hard work is a prison sentence only if it does not have meaning. Once it does, it becomes the kind of thing that makes you grab your wife around the waist and dance a jig.”
  • “No one-not rock stars, not professional athletes, not software billionaires, and not even geniuses-ever makes it alone.”
  • “It’s not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between nine and five. It’s whether or not our work fulfills us. Being a teacher is meaningful.”
  • “Success is not a random act. It arises out of a predictable and powerful set of circumstances and opportunities.”


Natalie Jauregui

Natalie graduated from Texas State University in 2014. She is a self-proclaimed “Tejana” who indulges in too much coffee and telenovelas. When she’s not working, she’s outside with her golden retriever, attending a music concert, or drinking more coffee.