115+ Inspirational Malcom Gladwell Quotes

115+ Inspirational Malcom Gladwell Quotes

Malcolm Gladwell is a Canadian journalist, author, and public speaker.

He has written and published seven books: "The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference," "Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking" and "Outliers: The Story of Success."

He is also the co-founder of the podcast company Pushkin Industries and hosts a podcast show called Revisionist History.

We've put together an incredible collection of Malcolm Gladwell quotes to read.

Here they are:

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List of Inspiring Malcom Gladwell Quotes

"If you work hard enough and assert yourself, and use your mind and imagination, you can shape the world to your desires.” - Malcolm Gladwell


"Practical intelligence includes things like knowing what to say to whom, knowing when to say it, and knowing how to say it for maximum effect.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“Emotion is contagious.” - Malcolm Gladwell


"Success is not a random act. It arises out of a predictable and powerful set of circumstances and opportunities.” - Malcolm Gladwell


"We overlook just how large a role we all play and by 'we' I mean society in determining who makes it and who doesn't.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“What is learned out of necessity is inevitably more powerful than the learning that comes easily.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“Insight is not a light bulb that goes off inside our heads. It is a flickering candle that can easily be snuffed out.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding. We are swimming in the former. We are desperately lacking in the latter.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“We cling to the idea that success is a simple function of individual merit and that the world in which we all grow up and the rules we choose to write as a society don't matter at all.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“Achievement is talent plus preparation” - Malcolm Gladwell


“Don’t depend on heaven for food, but on your own two hands carrying the load.” - Malcolm Gladwell


"All the outliers we’ve looked at so far were the beneficiaries of some kind of unusual opportunity. Lucky breaks don’t seem like the exception with software billionaires and rock bands and star athletes.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“To build a better world we need to replace the patchwork of lucky breaks and arbitrary advantages today that determine success--the fortunate birth dates and the happy accidents of history--with a society that provides opportunities for all.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“Basketball is an intricate, high-speed game filled with split-second, spontaneous decisions. But that spontaneity is possible only when everyone first engages in hours of highly repetitive and structured practice–perfecting their shooting, dribbling, and passing and running plays over and over again–and agrees to play a carefully defined role on the court…. Spontaneity isn’t random.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“Hard work is a prison sentence only if it does not have meaning. Once it does, it becomes the kind of thing that makes you grab your wife around the waist and dance a jig. (150)” - Malcolm Gladwell


"It is those who are successful, in other words, who are most likely to be given the kinds of special opportunities that lead to further success.” - Malcolm Gladwell


"Achievement is talent plus preparation” - Malcolm Gladwell


"The sense of entitlement is an attitude perfectly suited to succeeding in the modern world.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“I try to be unafraid of making a fool of myself.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“The lesson here is very simple. But it is striking how often it is overlooked. We are so caught in the myths of the best and the brightest and the self-made that we think outliers spring naturally from the earth. We look at the young Bill Gates and marvel that our world allowed that thirteen-year-old to become a fabulously successful entrepreneur. But that's the wrong lesson. Our world only allowed one thirteen-year-old unlimited access to a time sharing terminal in 1968. If a million teenagers had been given the same opportunity, how many more Microsofts would we have today?” - Malcolm Gladwell


“Who we are cannot be separated from where we’re from.” - Malcolm Gladwell


"To build a better world we need to replace the patchwork of lucky breaks and arbitrary advantages today that determine success.” - Malcolm Gladwell


"The 10,000hr rule is a definite key in success.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“Hard work is only a prison sentence when you lack motivation” - Malcolm Gladwell


“Practice isn't the thing you do once you're good. It's the thing you do that makes you good.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“Those three things – autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward – are, most people will agree, the three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying.” - Malcolm Gladwell


"Each of us comes from a culture with its own distinctive mix of strengths and weaknesses, tendencies and predispositions, so difficult to acknowledge? Who we are cannot be separated from where we’re from.” - Malcolm Gladwell


"Those three things - autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward - are, most people will agree, the three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying.” - Malcolm Gladwell


"We are so caught in the myths of the best and the brightest and the self-made that we think outliers spring naturally from the earth.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“In life, most of us are highly skilled at suppressing action. All the improvisation teacher has to do is to reverse this skill and he creates very ‘gifted’ improvisers. Bad improvisers block action, often with a high degree of skill. Good improvisers develop action.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“Character isn’t what we think it is or, rather, what we want it to be. It isn’t a stable, easily identifiable set of closely related traits, and it only seems that way because of a glitch in the way our brains are organized. Character is more like a bundle of habits and tendencies and interests, loosely bound together and dependent, at certain times, on circumstance and context.” - Malcolm Gladwell


"Hard work is a prison sentence only if it does not have meaning. Once it does, it becomes the kind of thing that makes you grab your wife around the waist and dance a jig.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“There can be as much value in the blink of an eye as in months of rational analysis.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“Do you see the consequences of the way we have chosen to think about success? Because we so profoundly personalize success, we miss opportunities to lift others onto the top rung...We are too much in awe of those who succeed and far too dismissive of those who fail. And most of all, we become much too passive. We overlook just how large a role we all play—and by > “we” - Malcolm Gladwell I mean society—in determining who makes it and who doesn’t.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“It’s not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between nine and five. It’s whether or not our work fulfills us. Being a teacher is meaningful.” - Malcolm Gladwell


"We prematurely write off people as failures. We are too much in awe of those who succeed and far too dismissive of those who fail.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“Re-reading is much underrated. I’ve read The Spy Who Came in from the Cold once every five years since I was 1I only started to understand it the third time.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“Much of what we consider valuable in our world arises out of (these) one-sided conflicts. Because the act of facing overwhelming odds, produces greatness and beauty.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“When making a decision of minor importance, I have always found it advantageous to consider all the pros and cons. In vital matters, however, such as the choice of a mate or a profession, the decision should come from the unconscious, from somewhere within ourselves. In the important decisions of personal life, we should be governed, I think, by the deep inner needs of our nature.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“For younger kids, repetition is really valuable. They demand it. When they see a show over and over again, they not only are understanding it better, which is a form of power, but just by predicting what is going to happen, I think they feel a real sense of affirmation and self-worth.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” - Malcolm Gladwell


"The idea that excellence at performing a complex task requires a critical minimum level of practice surfaces again and again in studies of expertise.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“To be someone’s best friend requires a minimum investment of time. More than that, though, it takes emotional energy. Caring about someone deeply is exhausting.” - Malcolm Gladwell


"The values of the world we inhabit and the people we surround ourselves with have a profound effect on who we are.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“IQ is a measure, to some degree, of innate ability. But social savvy is knowledge. It’s a set of skills that have to be learned. It has to come from somewhere, and the place where we seem to get these kinds of attitudes and skills is from our families.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“...If you work hard enough and assert yourself, and use your mind and imagination, you can shape the world to your desires.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“I want to convince you that these kinds of personal explanations of success don't work. People don't rise from nothing....It is only by asking where they are from that we can unravel the logic behind who succeeds and who doesn't.” - Malcolm Gladwell


"No one-not rock stars, not professional athletes, not software billionaires, and not even geniuses-ever makes it alone.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“the 10,000hr rule is a definite key in success” - Malcolm Gladwell


“Truly successful decision-making relies on a balance between deliberate and instinctive thinking.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“In the act of tearing something apart, you lose its meaning.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“When we talk about analytic versus intuitive decision making, neither is good or bad. What is bad is if you use either of them in an inappropriate circumstance.” - Malcolm Gladwell


"Schools work. The only problem with school, for the kids who aren’t achieving, is that there isn’t enough of it.” - Malcolm Gladwell


"Cultural legacies are powerful forces. They have deep roots and long lives.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“Working really hard is what successful people do...” - Malcolm Gladwell


"Success is a function of persistence and doggedness and the willingness to work hard for twenty-two minutes to make sense of something that most people would give up on after thirty seconds.” - Malcolm Gladwell


"Practice isn't the thing you do once you're good. It's the thing you do that makes you good.” - Malcolm Gladwell


"Success is the result of what sociologists like to call accumulative advantage.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“It is those who are successful, in other words, who are most likely to be given the kinds of special opportunities that lead to further success. It’s the rich who get the biggest tax breaks. It’s the best students who get the best teaching and most attention. And it’s the biggest nine- and ten-year-olds who get the most coaching and practice. Success is the result of what sociologists like to call > “accumulative advantage.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“Achievement is talent plus preparation.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“We overlook just how large a role we all play--and by 'we' I mean society--in determining who makes it and who doesn't.” - Malcolm Gladwell


"The thing that distinguishes one performer from another is how hard he or she works. That’s it. And what’s more, the people at the very top don’t work just harder or even much harder than everyone else. They work much, much harder.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“For almost a generation, psychologists around the world have been engaged in a spirited debate over a question that most of us would consider to have been settled years ago. The question is this: is there such a thing as innate talent? The obvious answer is yes. Not every hockey player born in January ends up playing at the professional level. Only some do – the innately talented ones. Achievement is talent plus preparation. The problem with this view is that the closer psychologists look at the careers of the gifted, the smaller the role innate talent seems to play and the bigger role preparation seems to play.” - Malcolm Gladwell


"Outliers are those that have been given an opportunities - and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“There is a set of advantages that have to do with material resources, and there is a set that have to do with the absence of material resources- and the reason underdogs win as often as they do is that the latter is sometimes every bit the equal of the former.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“Outliers are those who have been given opportunities—and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them.” - Malcolm Gladwell


"The poorer children were, to her mind, often better behaved, less whiny, more creative in making use of their own time, and have a well-developed sense of independence.” - Malcolm Gladwell


"No one who can rise before dawn three hundred sixty days a year fails to make his family rich.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“We have, as human beings, a storytelling problem. We’re a bit too quick to come up with explanations for things we don’t really have an explanation for.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“I want to convince you that these kinds of personal explanations of success don’t work. People don’t rise from nothing…. It is only by asking where they are from that we can unravel the logic behind who succeeds and who doesn’t.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“We aren’t, as human beings, very good at acting in our best interest.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“We don’t know where our first impressions come from or precisely what they mean, so we don’t always appreciate their fragility.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“Imagine that you are a doctor and you suddenly learn that you’ll see twenty patients on a Friday afternoon instead of twenty-five, while getting paid the same. Would you respond by spending more time with each patient? Or would you simply leave at six-thirty instead of seven-thirty and have dinner with your kids?” - Malcolm Gladwell


"The people who stand before kings may look like they did it all by themselves. But in fact, they are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies.” - Malcolm Gladwell


"A hint is the hardest kind of request to decode and the easiest to refuse.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“Our first impressions are generated by our experiences and our environment, which means that we can change our first impressions … by changing the experiences that comprise those impressions.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“The world we could have is so much richer than the world we have settled for.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“The values of the world we inhabit and the people we surround ourselves with have a profound effect on who we are.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“It is those who are successful, in other words, who are most likely to be given the kinds of special opportunities that lead to further success.” - Malcolm Gladwell


"The sense of possibility so necessary for success comes not just from inside us or from our parents. It comes from our time: from the particular opportunities that our place in history presents us with.” - Malcolm Gladwell


"Hard work is only a prison sentence when you lack motivation.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“To become a chess grandmaster also seems to take about ten years. (Only the legendary Bobby Fischer got to that elite level in less than that amount of time: it took him nine years.) And what’s ten years? Well, it’s roughly how long it takes to put in ten thousand hours of hard practice. Ten thousand hours is the magic number of greatness.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“We learn by example and by direct experience because there are real limits to the adequacy of verbal instruction.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“Some pretend to be rich, yet have nothing; others pretend to be poor, yet have great wealth.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“Success is a function of persistence and doggedness and the willingness to work hard for twenty-two minutes to make sense of something that most people would give up on after thirty seconds.” - Malcolm Gladwell


"We all know that successful people come from hardy seeds. But do we know enough about the sunlight.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“Those three things - autonomy, complexity and a connection between effort and reward - are, most people agree, the three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying. It is not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between nine and five. It's whether our work fulfills us.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“Success is not a random act. It arises out of a predictable and powerful set of circumstances and opportunities.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“In fact, researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: ten thousand hours.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“Cultural legacies are powerful forces. They have deep roots and long lives. They persist, generation after generation, virtually intact, even as the economic and social and demographic conditions that spawned them have vanished, and they play such a role in directing attitudes and behavior that we cannot make sense of our world without them.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“It's not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between nine and five. It's whether or not our work fulfills us. Being a teacher is meaningful.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“The only true way to listen is with your ears and your heart.” - Malcolm Gladwell


"But before he could become an expert, someone had to give him the opportunity to learn how to be an expert.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“The poorer children were, to her mind, often better behaved, less whiny, more creative in making use of their own time, and have a well-developed sense of independence.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“It wasn't an excuse. It was a fact. He'd had to make his way alone, and no one—not rock stars, not professional athletes, not software billionaires, and not even geniuses — ever makes it alone.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“If you work hard enough and assert yourself, and use your mind and imagination, you can shape the world to your desires.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“It would be interesting to find out what goes on in that moment when someone looks at you and draws all sorts of conclusions.” - Malcolm Gladwell


"In fact, researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: ten thousand hours.” - Malcolm Gladwell


"Don’t depend on heaven for food, but on your own two hands carrying the load.” - Malcolm Gladwell


"It's not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between nine and five. It's whether or not our work fulfills us. Being a teacher is meaningful.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“We spend a lot of time thinking about the ways that prestige and resources and belonging to elite institutions make us better off. We don’t spend enough time thinking about the ways in which those kinds of material advantages limit our options.” - Malcolm Gladwell


"Working really hard is what successful people do.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“Extraordinary achievement is less about talent than it is about opportunity.” - Malcolm Gladwell


"People don't rise from nothing. It is only by asking where they are from that we can unravel the logic behind who succeeds and who doesn't.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“Who we are cannot be separated from where we're from.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“My earliest memories of my father are of seeing him work at his desk and realizing that he was happy. I did not know it then, but that was one of the most precious gifts a father can give his child.” - Malcolm Gladwell


"Our notion that it is the best and the brightest who effortlessly rise to the top is much too simplistic.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“Consistency is the most overrated of all human virtues… I’m someone who changes his mind all the time.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“Superstar lawyers and math whizzes and software entrepreneurs appear at first blush to lie outside ordinary experience. But they don't. They are products of history and community, of opportunity and legacy. Their success is not exceptional or mysterious. It is grounded in a web of advantages and inheritances, some deserved, some not, some earned, some just plain lucky--but all critical to making them who they are. The outlier, in the end, is not an outlier at all.” - Malcolm Gladwell


"When and where you are born, what your parents did for a living, and what the circumstances of your upbringing were make a significant difference in how well you do in the world.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“Those three things - autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward - are, most people will agree, the three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“Once a musician has enough ability to get into a top music school, the thing that distinguishes one performer from another is how hard he or she works. That's it. And what's more, the people at the very top don't work just harder or even much harder than everyone else. They work much, much harder.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“The older I get, the more I understand that the only way to say valuable things is to lose your fear of being correct.” - Malcolm Gladwell


“Hard work is a prison sentence only if it does not have meaning” - Malcolm Gladwell


“No one who can rise before dawn three hundred sixty days a year fails to make his family rich.” - Malcolm Gladwell


Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

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