Ted Talk Sarah Lewis Embrace the Near Win

Mastery Learning

Embrace the Near Win

In this Ted Talk, Sarah Lewis explores how coming close to a win can spark the drive needed for the person to break through barriers.

Embrace the Near Wins Leads to Mastery Learning

The Perception of a Win

Do you give yourself credit for your near wins?

Most of us only feel that we have accomplished something if that something is incredibly successful. We write a book and it becomes a best seller… We celebrate that as success. And becoming a best seller is a success. Success is an event. It’s an occasion that we can point to and say, “I won.”

Rarely do we create a masterpiece the first time that we try anything. Even after doing something for a long time, we often fail to hit the mark that we were striving for. Yet maybe it’s the striving itself that matters.

Failing to Succeed Leads to Mastery

But what if the key to mastery was not based on a series of successes? What if mastery was really based on a series of near wins that drive us to do better?

According to Sarah in her Ted Talk, it’s the near wins that matter.
At her first museum job, art historian Sarah noticed something important about an artist she was studying: Not every artwork was a total masterpiece.

She asks us to consider the role of the almost-failure, the near win, in our own lives. In our pursuit of success and mastery, is it actually our near wins that push us forward?