For generations, we've been stuck with a cookie-cutter mold for success that requires us to be the same as everyone else, only better. This "standard formula" works for some people but leaves most of us feeling disengaged and frustrated. As much as we might dislike the standard formula, it seems like there's no other practical path to financial security and a fulfilling life. But what if there is?
In the Dark Horse Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, bestselling author and acclaimed thought leader Todd Rose and neuroscientist Ogi Ogas studied women and men who achieved impressive success even though nobody saw them coming. Dark horses blaze their own trail to a life of happiness and prosperity. Yet what is so remarkable is that hidden inside their seemingly one-of-a-kind journeys are practical principles for achieving success that work for anyone, no matter who you are or what you hope to achieve. This mold-breaking approach doesn't depend on you SAT scores, who you know, or how much money you have. The secret is a mindset that can be expressed in plain English: Harness your individuality in the pursuit of fulfillment to achieve excellence.
In Dark Horse, Rose and Ogas show how the four elements of the dark horse mindset empower you to consistently make the right choices that fit your unique interests, abilities, and circumstances and will guide you to a life of passion, purpose, and achievement.
One can best replicate success by looking not at the obvious winners, but at those who seemingly came out of nowhere, argue Rose (The End of Average) and Ogas, directors of study programs at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. They differentiate these role models from lifelong prodigies in a single field Mozart and Tiger Woods, to name two whose culturally lionized example bolsters the "standard formula" for success, that of keeping one's eye on the prize and working hard to meet a set goal. A new strategy, posit Rose and Ogas, is needed for a brave new business world where individuality, customization, and personalization matter more than rule-following. To this end, they collected stories from people who changed careers in search of fulfillment, including a former White House aide who abandoned her political career to become a professional organizer, and a onetime middle manager who fulfilled his desire to work with his hands by becoming an upholsterer. In peppy, inspiring tones, the authors exhort readers to similarly discover what matters most to them. The unlikely winner is hardly a new idea, nor is the model of fulfillment as equal to success, but readers already seeking their truth will likely find validation within.