No Happy Nonsense


By: Malcolm Gladwell
Published: 2008
Genre: Non-Fiction
Finished Reading: July 17th, 2022

Gladwell makes the case that hard work and determination, those classic ideals to strive for, are not always enough to get ahead or to do better by comparison to others. A lot of luck is necessary for success. A lot of really, really specific luck, as well.

For example, the majority of professional Canadian hockey players have birthdays in the first three months of year. This is because the way the cut off for school works, if you're born January 1st, then you are the oldest you can possibly be in your school grade. This means, on average, you will be bigger than other students in your grade when it comes time to sign up for peewee hockey. Because you're bigger and more developed, you'll likely be better than the rest, and you'll get more attention from your coaches. More coach attention, more work, more practice, it all turns into more skill.

I think that's the big takeaway, really. Keep fucking at it. The last case study was the KIPP program and how students who attend summer school basically retain more of the info they learned from school, and also their testing scores go up moreso than students who have the American traditional three months off. Keep fucking at it.

I don't know why I picked this book up off the shelf, but it read smooth and easy. I took my time with it, as I've been doing lately, because life has been changing rapidly and it's easy to only read while I'm in the bathroom or the mood particularly strikes me.