Colby’s birthday is right before the cut off date so we had to make the decision whether to have Colby start kindergarten this year or next year. We decided to wait.
When we were still making our decision my boss did not say anything, but now that we have she said she thought we made the right one. That all the boys she has known who had started school earlier rather than later have struggled. During this discussion she told me about the book called Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.
In the book, Gladwell examines the factors that contribute to a high level of success. His definition of outliers is exceptional people, especially those who are smart, rich, and successful, and those who operate at the extreme outer edge of what is statistically possible.
One example that my boss told me about is how the birthdate of a young hockey player can determine their skill level in the future.
From the summary of the book on Wikipedia:
There is a disproportionate number of elite Canadian hockey players who are born in the first few months of the calendar year. The answer is that since youth hockey leagues determine eligibility by calendar year, children born on January 1 play in the same league as those born on December 31 in the same year. Because children born earlier in the year are bigger and maturer than their younger competitors, they are often identified as better athletes, leading to extra coaching and a higher likelihood of being selected for elite hockey leagues.
She then told me about his “10,000 Hour Rule” that claims that the key to success in any field is a matter of practicing a specific task for a total of around 10,000 hours.
While writing the book, Gladwell noted that “the biggest misconception about success is that we do it solely on our smarts, ambition, hustle and hard work.” In Outliers, he hoped to show that there are a lot more variables involved in an individual’s success than society cares to admit, and he wants people to “move away from the notion that everything that happens to a person is up to that person”. As an example Gladwell interviews Bill Gates and focuses on the opportunities given to him throughout his lifetime that have led to his success.
Gladwell has published other books titled Tipping Point and Blink. Outliers debuted at number one on the New York Times bestseller list and held the position for eleven consecutive weeks.