37 Inspirational Malcolm Gladwell Quotes

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Malcolm Gladwell CM is a Canadian journalist, author, and speaker. He’s been a writing for The New Yorker since 1996 and has written five of his own books:

  • The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
  • Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
  • Outliers: The Story of Success
  • What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures
  • David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

Every book Gladwell has written made it onto The New York Times Best Seller list. That’s a hell of an achievement!

We’ve put together this collection of the best Malcolm Gladwell quotes:

 

37 Malcolm Gladwell Quotes

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

2. “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

3. “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

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

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

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

7. “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

8. “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

 

9th of 37 Malcolm Gladwell Quotes

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

 

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

11. “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

12. “Achievement is talent plus preparation.” – Malcolm Gladwell

13. “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

14. “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

15. “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

 

16th of 37 Malcolm Gladwell Quotes

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

 

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

18. “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

19. “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

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

 

21st of 37 Malcolm Gladwell Quotes

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

 

22. “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

23. “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

24. “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

25. “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

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

27. “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

28. “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

29. “Re-reading is much underrated. I’ve read The Spy Who Came in from the Cold once every five years since I was 15. I only started to understand it the third time.” – Malcolm Gladwell

30. “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

 

31st of 37 Malcolm Gladwell Quotes

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

 

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

33. “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

34. “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

35. “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

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

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

 

Summary

Thanks for viewing this collection of Malcolm Gladwell quotes! Don’t forget to share the collection on social media.

Which are you favorite Malcolm Gladwell Quotes? Leave a comment below.

Dan Western
Dan Westernhttps://wealthygorilla.com/
Dan Western is the founder of Wealthy Gorilla. Dan has been running Wealthy Gorilla and studying self-development, personal finance, and investment for the last 7 years. To this day, Wealthy Gorilla has become one of the fastest growing wealth infotainment sites in the world; with over 300 million views worldwide. Dan doesn't use personal social media anymore, so you won't be able to find him on Instagram, or Twitter.

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