I’m a fan of Malcolm Gladwell’s books – having previously really enjoyed ‘The Tipping Point’ and ‘Blink’.

In our pursuit of excellence and our ‘self-help’ culture we place a lot of emphasis on  personal effort and perseverance as the keys to success and often attribute lack of success to lack of effort and someone giving up too easily.

Miami Lighthouse at Sunset

Whilst in no way saying that these things are unimportant or irrelevant, I am intrigued by the points he makes about the relevance of where and when we were born, and how we were (or weren’t) supported by our environment and the people in it.

In the same way that even a healthy plant will struggle in poor soil and without sun or moisture, Gladwell gives examples of how we, as human beings, can either benefit from circumstance, timing, happy accidents, and support from others – or suffer from the lack of these, no matter how gifted we might be. A thought-provoking read.