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Reading Gladwell’s, David & Goliath

“You have to be outside the establishment—a foreigner new to the game or a skinny kid from New York at the end of the bench—to have the audacity to play it that way.

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T. E. Lawrence could triumph because he was the farthest thing from a proper British Army officer. He did not graduate with honors from the top English military academy. He spoke Arabic like a native, and handled a camel as if he had been riding one all his life. He didn’t care what people in the military establishment thought about his “untrained rabble” because he had little invested in the military establishment.

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And then there’s David. He must have known that duels with Philistines were supposed to proceed formally, with the crossing of swords. But he was a shepherd, which in ancient times was one of the lowliest of all professions. He had no stake in the finer points of military ritual.”

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Being an underdog and a misfit, gives you the freedom to try things no one else even dreamt of.

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“there are times and places where it is better to be a Big Fish in a Little Pond than a Little Fish in a Big Pond, where the apparent disadvantage of being an outsider in a marginal world turns out not to be a disadvantage at all.”

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“I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.

For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

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“It wasn’t easy, of course, since Cohn estimates that on a good day, it takes him six hours to read twenty-two pages. He buried himself in the book, working his way through one word at a time, repeating sentences until he was sure he understood them.”

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“Jumping in the cab was a disagreeable act, and most of us are inclined to be agreeable. But Cohn? He was selling aluminum siding. His mother thought that he would be lucky to end up a truck driver. He had been kicked out of schools and dismissed as an idiot, and, even as an adult, it took him six hours to read twenty-two pages because he had to work his way word by word to make sure he understood what he was reading. He had nothing to lose.”

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“Courage is not something that you already have that makes you brave when the tough times start. Courage is what you earn when you’ve been through the tough times and you discover they aren’t so tough after all.”

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“I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.”

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“A man employs the full power of the state in his grief and ends up plunging his government into a fruitless and costly experiment. A woman who walks away from the promise of power finds the strength to forgive—and saves her friendship, her marriage, and her sanity. The world is turned upside down.”

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