May 3, 2013

Today’s show is more of a “life” podcast, giving you the motivation to move ahead and the challenge to believe in yourself.  While on vacation last week, Brian read two very interesting books.  Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and How To Be Like Walt by Pat Williams.   These books help us to dream big and believe that you can accomplish those dreams.  An individual with passion and the right opportunities can truly change the world.

The book Outliers is very liberating because it reminds us that super successful people are just like us.  They are normal people with a very unique skillset, but they still put their pants on one leg at a time.  The books research found that IQ tests do not necessarily show how successful you will be.   With an IQ of 120 you are considered good enough to do well, but other factors are important as well.    However, there is not a huge difference between someone who has an IQ of 140 and someone who has an IQ of 180.  This confirms that IQ intelligence is only one variable to success.

There is another element to success and it is practical intelligence.  Life is really shaped by how you are able to read a situation and your social skills.  Practical intelligence and IQ combined help you have a well-rounded skill set.  The book also talks about a study known as the “Terman Study of the Gifted” that was performed in 1921 on gifted children in the public school system in California.  The study closely followed 1528 children from their elementary years into adulthood.  The children were referred to as the “Termites”, and, in the beginning, they all showed lots of promise.  His findings showed that being a genius is not all it takes to be successful.  Where many of the children did become successful adults, many also had a very normal life path and had common, humble occupations.

You have heard us mention the 10,000 rule before.  It takes about 10,000 hours of practicing something to reach mastery of it.  This 10,000 hour rule is also referenced to in the book.  Practice obviously makes you more proficient.   It can take 5-7 years of working at a job to become a master at it.  Regardless of what it is… athletics, music, or your career, having a passion and hunger for success will truly drive you towards your goals.  History has examples of those who were able to turn passion into success.

  • The Beatles – they practiced for many hours in night clubs in Hamburg, Germany before they received the “rock star” status that they enjoyed at the height of their music career.
  • Bill Gates – he spent thousands of hours programming, even walking from home at 3 AM to work on the computers at his high school to use the technology that was available to him.
  • Bill Joy – another example of someone who put in thousands of hours on computer programming and formulas and became a huge success in his field.

Success has many facets.   A person’s environment, timing of their birth, ambition, social skills, practical intelligence as well as IQ scores all play a part in one’s success.   Walt Disney also had traits of success such as raw ambition, optimism, passion, curiosity, integrity and believing in himself.  These traits are what lead to fulfillment, not the money or the recognition.   Believe in yourself and challenge yourself even when others don’t believe in you. Travel the road less traveled through the “narrow gate” and you will find your own fulfillment in life.  Have a passion for your dreams and go after them!!

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