I was shocked at what the pyramids looked like up close when I went to Egypt. I always thought that they’d be smooth* on the outside. But when I got up close to them they were made of very large stones.
Pyramids of Giza
More recently I found out that many of the Greek and Roman architects tilted columns and spread them out unevenly to give the appearance that the columns were actually spread out evenly and absolutely straight.
The Parthenon in Greece uses a technique called “entasis” to make it appear that the columns are absolutely straight when in fact they are slightly curved
The point is that when we observe something superficially, we may be fooled into thinking a certain way. And sometimes it takes someone to point it out and say; “Hey, look at it this way”, before we ever even notice the truth.
It strikes me that when people talk about “success” and “failure” they are often described as the opposite of one another. People make it sound like there’s a spectrum like height, where there’s a tallest person and where there’s a shortest person.
The reality is very different.
The reality is that when you set out to accomplish something “failure” and “success” often require the same amount of effort, the same actions, the same thought processes, the same sacrifices, but one has an outcome which we call “failure” and the other has an outcome we call “success”. Failure and success it seems are just two sides of the same coin.
“Mediocrity” is in fact the real opposite of both “success” and “failure”. Coming somewhere in the middle, not standing out and fitting in is the path that people who are trying to accomplish something avoid at all costs.
*I am aware that the pyramids in Egypt were in fact smooth on the outside many years ago, but nonetheless they definitely aren’t smooth today.