10 Things I Learned from ‘Outliers’ by Malcolm Gladwell

“What makes some people more successful than others?”

Hello Neighbour

I loved a lot of things about this book but the biggest benefit for me was how useful it was as a parenting guide. Yes, parenting.

In Outliers, Gladwell does a meticulous analysis of success and gives impressive answers to the question, “What makes some people more successful than others?” Through thorough research and taking a deep look at the lives of people like Bill Gates, The Beatles, and Steve Jobs, and finding out things like why Asian children are good at mathematics, he debunks some of the ideas we have about success.

Here are some of the things I learned:

  1. There’s no such thing as a self-made person, and people who make it big do not rise from nothing. Patronage and parentage play a huge role.
  2. Excellence at performing a complex task requires a critical minimum level of practice. Experts have settled on 10 000 hours. However, since it’s such a long time (about ten years), things like being poor and having, say, to hold down two or three jobs leave you with not enough time, therefore it becomes a challenge to even begin that kind of practice.
  3. What parents do for a living, the clubs, programs and activities their children are afforded help create opportunities for the children.
  4. Intelligence matters up to a certain point and past that certain point other things outside of intelligence start to matter more.
  5. I learned about what’s called Practical Intelligence, and how important it is. It is ‘knowing what to say, to whom, knowing when to say it, and knowing how to say it for maximum effect.” This important knowledge helps you read situations correctly and get what you want.
  6. The time and place a person is born do matter. What was happening at the time, for example economically, counts more than we think.  
  7. Childhood experiences, being encouraged and nudged by parents or caregivers play an important role.
  8. Entitlement, in a positive sense, is about kids who act as though they have a right to pursue their own individual preferences, and they’re able to reason and negotiate with ease in institutional settings.
  9. The culture you find yourself in is also a factor.
  10. The attitudes and traditions we inherit from our forebears, affect the way we make sense of the world and therefore also play our role in the shaping of our success.

It’s such an enjoyable and stimulating book. It will open your eyes and bring a fresh perspective to how you think of successful people and success itself.

Enjoy, Neighbour!

How I Found Joy in Reading Science

“We are stardust brought to life, then empowered by the universe to figure itself out – and we have only just begun.”

– Neil deGrasse Tyson

Hello Neighbours

The only science reading I’ve known all my reading years is studying from textbooks up to high school. The only time I’d venture beyond the prescribed learning material was when it came to Biology, for the fun of it. This might have given my mother the idea to try to push me towards the medical field. All other natural sciences were a struggle.

Now as my reading keeps on expanding and as I gain interest in so many genres, so many topics, and ideas, I find myself curious about science. Okay, there may be a little influence from the spouse but a lot of times I feel like the more I read, the more I discover how little I know. About myself, about humans, other species, history, the world, existence…all of it. My curiosity just keeps growing and my hunger to learn more just keeps intensifying.

There were other influences. Each time Sheldon Cooper said something smart, I would Google it. Then after watching The Theory of Everything, I wanted to know more about Hawking and his work.

Image: Wikipedia

So I bought a copy of Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time and put it down after a few pages. I did not understand much. I tried again after a few months and still nothing. Advice from the spouse, who is a physicist, was to read it at a relaxed pace and not fret much about the big stuff in it, then go back the second time and things would start making sense.

Well, I found it to be good advice but the intimidation was far greater than my willingness to take his advice. It just felt like the book was meant to be understood by people in the field, and we the general readers were not invited to the party. I put it away but remained curious.

“It surprises me how disinterested we are today about things like physics, space, the universe and philosophy of our existence, our purpose, our final destination. It’s a crazy world out there. Be curious.”

– Stephen Hawking
Image: Britannica

I then stumbled upon Einstein: His Life and the Universe by Walter Isaacson. I figured since the spouse is crazy about Einstein, I’d buy it for him.

[Shoutout to people who indirectly buy books for themselves and claim they are gifts for people they live with.]

I started reading it before he could even hold it and only got up to Mileva getting pregnant. Now here the challenge was not the science, it was my struggle with (auto) biographies and memoirs. I am getting better, though. Back to the shelf, we’ll try again, Albert.

Someone else I discovered on The Big Bang Theory came to mind because of how easy I’d heard him explain difficult stuff. Yes, Neil deGrasse Tyson. I bought his book Astrophysics for People in a Hurry last week, and let me tell you, I am very happy to have invested in it.

I am now on Page 104 and I’m happy to report, neighbours, that I’m getting most of it. Not everything, though. It really is for people in a hurry and it is fun to read. I’m not getting that stress when I read a book that makes me feel like I will fail to explain if someone asks me what it is about.

So, neighbour, I am not even done with the book but if you’re struggling with reading science books, I recommend this one to break your virginity. It will be orgasmic!

I’ll tell you what it’s all about when I finish.

Happy reading, neighbours.

Image: Wikipedia

I Am My Brand x LadyLuck Shapewear: Book-Brand Mashup

The Read | The Brand: I Am My Brand x LadyLuck

The Read | The Brand is a mashup of what I read and a brand I relate the book to.

I’ve been using Kubi Springer’s I Am My Brand for continuous consultation on all matters concerning business and personal branding. This is an incredible guide and an advantageous toolkit for women to create and grow their brands. Reading it reminded me of a brand that has not only become a personal favourite of mine but also echoes a lot of what I read in I Am My Brand.

Meet LadyLuck Shapewear, a brand selling undergarments which transform not only your body but your mind too, as they aptly say, “BOOTY AND BEYOND”. Springer says that a brand is an emotional connection with its target audience and LadyLuck does just that by transforming and empowering.

Their array of undergarments includes bodysuits, corsets, shapers, lingerie, nursing bras and boob tape. This is a brand which understands that the way a woman feels when experiencing their products is an important aspect their business has to deliver. They sell the kind of undergarments that boost confidence, helping women to look at the parts they feel less comfortable with in a different way. Stepping out into the world feeling self-assured about one’s body further boosts our confidence in the way we carry ourselves and do things.

I recently gave birth and everything has been everywhere. I found help at LadyLuck, with their comfortable and practical mid-thigh shapers and corsets. I can easily wear some of my pre-pregnancy clothes without feeling conscious of my new extra humps and jiggles.

I Am My Brand advises on learning to be able to explain what problem your brand solves and if the problem is relevant. Not all of us are able to carry our flaws and insecurities into the world with full courage. Body image issues are a common problem and shapewear offered by LadyLuck helps you look back at yourself in the mirror with a smile and acceptance. Own your body, play around with it and be comfortable with yourself when you put on their undergarments.


Springer also discusses important things such as packaging and brand colours. While shopping around Sarit Centre, you will not miss the cozy store with its soft colours, inviting you in to discover the power of good underwear.

LadyLuck Shapewear Store in Sarit Centre

The brand encourages you to embrace femininity, to get dressed, feel good, look exquisite and show up with tons of confidence.

LadyLuck Shapewear“Girl…grab some and go run the world!”

Visit their website: www.ladyluckshapewear.com