How Davids Can Conquer their Goliaths

Robi Kate Miranda
3 min readJan 16, 2022


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Based on Malcolm Gladwell’s book entitled “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants”
Date Read: January 1–13, 2022

Book in One Sentence

  • Being an underdog can open doors and create opportunities; educate and enlighten, and make possible what might otherwise have seemed unthinkable.

Who Should Read It?

  • People who feel like they’re left behind by their peers
  • People who feel like they lack resources to thrive in the world
  • People who have a disability or disorder

Favorite Quotes from the Book

  • “There is a set of advantages that have to do with material resources, and there is a set of advantages that have to do with the absence of material resources.”
  • “There is a remarkable group of people that triumphed in spite of their disability. They are so smart and so creative that nothing could stop them. In part, they succeeded because of their disorder — they learned something in their struggle that proved to be an enormous disadvantage.”
  • “What is learned out of necessity is more powerful than the learning that comes easily.”
  • “Not having enough resources forces you to develop skills that might otherwise have lain dormant. It also forces you to do things that you might otherwise never have considered.”
  • “Traumatic experiences can have two different effects: (1) profoundly damaging and (2) leaving you better off.”
  • “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 are not so tough after all.”
  • “There’s unexpected freedom that comes from having nothing to lose.”
  • “Power has an important limitation. It has to be seen as legitimate, or else its use has the opposite of its intended effect.”

Personal Insights

  • Most of the time, we think that having more resources — being bigger, stronger, and richer can help us pave the way for success. But, this is not applicable at all times. In this book by Malcolm Gladwell, he explained how an underdog can survive, thrive, and win the game of life.
  • In this book, we learned that there is an enormous opportunity for the “underdog” people. Life has not been easy for the Davids but once they get out of their cocoon, face the world, and maximize their potentials amidst lacking resources — they’ll be able to conquer the Goliaths of the world.

Application in Everyday Life

  • Whenever we are faced with a difficult situation, we must assess first how we can go about it. We must take into consideration that we can still triumph if we maximize the resources available at hand.
  • When offered bigger, bolder, and more prestigious opportunities in life, consider first if they are in our best interest.
  • We must believe in our capabilities as these can improve our motivation and confidence.


In the end, we should not take for granted the feelings of the people who have been traumatized. As we know, not all people thrive amidst their sufferings, because we have different coping mechanisms and survival strategies.

Good thing that Malcolm Gladwell recognized this. To quote him, “For every remote miss who becomes stronger, there are countless near misses who are crushed by what they have been through.”

*Outline inspired by Ali Abdaal



Robi Kate Miranda

Hi, I'm Robi! Welcome to my blog. Read about my advocacies, self-help tips, productivity strategies, and everything in between.