Using the plight of painters, archers, and Arctic explorers as an extended metaphor, art historian Sarah Lewis makes a case for celebrating the near win: missing the mark but never losing sight of the target.
“Mastery is in the reaching, not the arriving. It’s in constantly wanting to close that gap between where you are and where you want to be,” Lewis said.
Lewis’s “near win” theory has been the driving force behind some of our culture’s greatest minds, from Michelangelo to Franz Kafka. Almost succeeding gives leaders and competitors the focus and tenacity required to try again. According to Lewis, it is by harnessing these near wins that we can master a more fulfilling path.