Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Outliers and Innate Giftness

The topic of "outliers" raised its head over lunch recently, Malcom Gladwell having popularized that term. It sparked a lively conversation! We even started identifying examples of individuals that our brains considered to be outliers in their field whether it be sports, music, science, literature (to name just a few). Then the question to me was, "In terms of brain function, who do you think become outliers?" In a general sense I perceive three factors to be inter-related:  1) The person's innate giftedness;  2) An environment that helps the innate giftedness flourish; 3) A personal interest and commitment that devotes the requisite effort and time (e.g., 10,000 hours minimum) to hone the innate giftedness. Some have talent and never hone it. Perhaps because they never unwrapped their giftedness (as Shannon Chadwick put it) or never caught a vision of what was possible or found the environment not conducive. However, there are those who identiy their innate gifatedness find a way to hone their talent in spite of the environment or they find a new environment. My brain's opinion is that the world could use more outliers . . .

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