The second chapter of The Rise demonstrates the importance of almost missed opportunities and how they can motivate one to make future decisions. Sarah Lewis provides several examples of such opportunities. The book review essay focuses on alienating various sections within the book that demonstrated near misses and how significant they are.
I am encouraged by the description on page 20 that demonstrates the importance of resilience and hard work. By stating, “A book is finished and appears and I feel, Well, next time I will unveil myself. And when the next book appears, I have the same feeling,” Czeslaw Milosz tries to motivate the readers. Milosz shows that there will always be room for improvement, no matter the circumstances. It completely changes one’s perspective on different projects, Best book review essay including studies when we are at the brim of despair. Even with several touches and repetition, Milosz still believes in improving his book. The aim is to increase the quality of the content and presentation. In my view, it means that I have to take charge and become dynamic in everything that I do since the world will always evolve. We do not have to remain stagnant; but instead, we should learn through every experience. No matter how complete a task is, there will always be something to enhance.
Another near miss opportunity is depicted in the story of Michaelangelo. He was an artist who often left his work uncomplete despite the respect accrued from his customers and the people who knew him. The message is quite hidden as no one really comprehends the reason behind his actions. Even with such work, he continues to thrive in his career. “The whole of Bologna was of the opinion that I should never finish” (Lewis, pg. 21). Michaelangelo is a famous artist up to date, and his works are inspirational to various generations. According to the book, some things in life will always remain incomplete but satisfactory. Not everything requires completion to achieve it desired intention.
Lewis goes ahead and quotes Winston Churchill, “Success is going from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm” (Lewis pg. 29). The quote is motivational and true as no success ever comes easily. Everyone strives to better their selves every day without giving up, no matter the circumstance. Failure brings about despair and hopelessness. It becomes difficult to gather courage after several instances of failure. Most people are bound and inhibited from achieving their goals and dreams because of the fear of failure. However, failure should never be the end. Instead, it must be viewed as a better chance of succeeding. It provides personal growth and learning from experiences. It forms part of the success story, and every failure is considered a lesson. In the earlier chapters of the book, Lewis states that not every path is straight. We all have to go through turns and bumps to arrive to our destination of ultimate success.
Near misses are intriguing as well as frightening. On page 22, Lewis discusses the “non finito” type of art created by an artist. When considering the ideology from one perspective, it becomes failure or laziness. Nevertheless, it can mean success for the journey traveled so far, and the accomplishments achieved so far. The end result does not classify success as it is a journey. Thus, even when we achieve our accomplishments, we still have to forge ahead and not remain stagnated at the merry. She defines that by “the point of mastery, when there seems nothing left to move beyond, we find a way to move beyond ourselves” (Lewis, pg. 24). It is important to note that everyone creates new ones and works towards achieving them no matter the success or goal achieved. In case of failure or misdirection, we do not give up; but instead, we forge ahead and fight to remain on track. We are always propelled by the desire to achieve our dreams.
Another near miss can be derived from the saying, “We thrive when we stay on our own leading edge” (Lewis pg. 20). This is very relatable to what we regularly experience. The difference between laziness and hard work is determined by goals we set and ambition. If we fail to remain focused on bigger things in life, we become comfortable and ultimately lazy. Small goals bring about early satisfaction as one feels accomplished and becomes proud of being in the realm, which is not true. That is because they are never set to achieve any other dream in life. Personal competition creates hunger and a thirst for greater opportunities in one’s career, business, and profession.
Michaelangelo became referred to as non-finito by scholars. That is because instead of the ideas originating from only his complete work, Michaelangelo chose to collect information within his surroundings. He argued that uncomplete paintings are what defined his career and made him a great artist. When growing up, he was taught that one should finish something that they have started. Even along with his strive for success, he went to nursing school but never finished as he had to figure out some issues. Instead of feeling wasted, he valued the time taken off as he returned to school, and the progress was much better.
Near misses do not necessarily portray success but the act of learning from failure. It should motivate one to work harder and change strategy as required no matter the number of times experienced. Besides, it allows one to find better alternatives in life rather than wasting time, energy, and resources in doing the same thing. A good example is Michaelangelo, who tried something new, and it seemed to work perfectly. When he finished the David piece, many people were dismayed as his work revolved around incompletion. The Sistine Chapel was also a piece done by Michaelangelo, and he thought he was aimed for failure and embarrassment. He consulted one of his friends, Giovanni, to defend his work due to fear. It became one of his greatest successes, and no one ever believed that the artist had doubts when doing the painting.
The near misses are also opportunities that we fail to detect because of our esteem and lack of confidence. A girl writes to Einstein complaining about her challenges with mathematics, but they still do not equate to what he is going through. In his response, he exclaims, “do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics. I assure you that mine are still greater” (Lewis, pg. 24). This is a very important life lesson. Many people fail to progress in failure because of focusing on their failures due to comparisons. Every person has their own shortcomings, so we should be proud of what we know and do it to our level best. Life is always a cycle of learning and acquiring skills, so no one should feel inadequate for what they do not know.
Further, along with the chapter, Lewis explains her failures and how they engrave her eternally. On page 29, she feels derailed and almost giving up because of failing severally. She brings up the story of Vice President Al Gore’s near-win for the presidency and how he narrowly missed his chance of a lifetime. Many people experience the near chances of success, and they can be crushing. Some end up giving up completely due to the pain they experienced. However, just like Winston Churchill, we should all be ready to lose, just like winning. We should embrace our missed opportunities and focus on where we can make adjustments and improvements. Failure has killed many people’s dreams, but we ought to see past our failures and keep on pushing harder.Book Review Essay
On page 23, Lewis speaks about Franz Kafka and how he wanted all his writings burned after dying. Best book review essay His friend does not honor his wishes but instead published the writings even though Kafka had only written 450 pages. Many writers have developed their works from his writings, and it ends becoming a source of inspiration. One of the statistics that amazes me is that “a new book on his work has been published every 10 days for the past 14 years” (Lewis, pg. 23). Therefore, Kafka’s writings formed the pillar for many books read today.
Lewis, Sarah. The rise: Creativity, the gift of failure, and the search for mastery. Simon and Schuster, 2014.
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