The Natural, the person who from birth was perfect at whatever they chose to be. The Natural, the person at work who never seems to make a mistake, they are the person that is always right and always has all of the answers. The Natural, the teammate who doesn’t need to practice they just play. The Natural, the person who doesn’t exist.
If you look closely at any extremely successful person whether it be an Olympic athlete, businessman or just someone who is awesome at their job, none of them were born successful. Every successful person from birth was shaped by certain opportunities throughout their life that molded their success. In the book, “Outliers”, the author Malcolm Gladwell uses a couple very interesting examples of success shaped by specific opportunities and the timing of these opportunities in peoples lives. One example Gladwell uses is Canadian Junior hockey. In Canada, if you look at any roster especially of a successful Junior hockey team, the majority of the team will have been born in the months of January, February, and March. In Canadian youth hockey the age cut off to start hockey is in December so children born after that have the option of waiting to start playing until the next year. For the kids that wait, this is an entire extra year of physical growth and development and they get to play with kids who are a entire year younger. This advantage will be carried throughout the rest of these kids hockey career and possibly lead to future success down the line. Another example of success Gladwell uses in his book is of Bill Gates the founder of Microsoft. In the 1960’s, it was very expensive and very rare for anyone to have a personal computer. But thanks to some rich mothers of the school, a young teenage Bill Gates was attending the school that very computer was donated to. By the time Gates was in highschool and starting to think about college he had already had thousands of hours of programming experience under his belt. Not even a handful of kids growing up at the same time as Gates had this kind of similar opportunity hence why there is only one Microsoft.
Now that we know how people have a chance at becoming successful you might be thinking if I didn’t have the same kind of opportunities am I screwed? The answer is no. Not all Junior hockey players born in January, February, and March, go on to play in the NHL, and Bill gates chose to get into computer programming and practice for tens of thousands of hours. At the end of the day these so called “Naturals” have literally tens of thousands of hours of work and sheer determination under their belt which mainly led to their success. So whether you have a year head start on your competition or you have a super computer in your basement, find out what you like to do, keep putting in your time, and eventually you will become “The Natural”.
Gladwell, Malcolm. Outliers: The Story of Success. New York: Little, Brown and, 2008. Print.