Taking risks and be rewarded by T.S Eliot

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T.S Eliot, the 1948 Nobel prize winner for literature, once said, ‘Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.’ Shoe Dog by Phil Knight and T.S Eliot’s sentiment are comparable because they both take risks that change the world. Shoe Dog is the story of how Phil Knight invented Nike. Shoe Dog also encompasses other aspects of Phil Knight’s story. A young college student from Oregon (who just graduated from Stanford) had the idea that he should move to japan and start a running shoe company, which he ended up pursuing. Phil Knight, who is an inexperienced entrepreneur with no money, borrowed 50 dollars from his father and created a company that raised over 36.4 billion dollars in one year. In short, Shoe Dog implies that to be successful, you need to take risks, and if you don’t, you will never reach your potential.

In the text, Phil Knight writes, ‘Japan! She cried. Why, Buck, what about Pearl Harbor.’ (16) The quote emphasizes that what Phil Knight is doing is risky and dangerous because he is going to Japan to construct his business. His grandmother is trying to say that he should rethink what he is doing because this one decision can change his life forever in a good or bad way, but Phil Knight continues his dream and succeeds in it. If Phil decided to go to another country or pursue a different vision, the world would be different, and his life would never extend to his potential.

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Shoe dog depicts the fact that Phil Knight knew what he was getting into and all the possible outcomes, yet he still is determined and tenacious to complete his goal. On page 5, it says, ‘I need to take one more look as my crazy idea. Maybe my crazy idea just might… work? Maybe. No, no, I thought, running faster, faster, running as if I were chasing someone and being chased all the time… I’ll make it work.’ (5) The quote identifies the idea of how even though you know it is not a good idea or a low chance of success, all Phil Knight needed was hope. Phil couldn’t resist the thought of not carrying out his plan, not knowing how far it could take him or his full potential, so he decides to pursue it. Even though the risks are so high, the reward can be higher than anyone can comprehend. Phil started with 50 dollars from his father, later he became the 26th richest person in the world and donating over a billion dollars to charities.

The text states, ‘Remember my crazy idea? Japanese running shoes? Right? It could be huge, Dad. Huge. I was laying it on thick, putting on the hard sell, extra hand, because I always hated selling and because this particular sell had zero chance.’ (16)The quote speculates the idea of knowing something is challenging but trying your best to complete it. In this case, Phil Knight’s first step in his journey is asking his father for money and permission to go to Japan. Phil did anything he can to persuade his father, including a hard bargain that Phil doesn’t like to do or beg. Phil knew his father was going to say no, but he gave it a shot and ended up in Japan. He risked asking his father for financial help because if his father said no, Phil’s dad would know that he was up to something and keep a closer eye on him.

Risks can lead to many great things in your life. Risks impacted Phil Knights’ way of life and the world’s life for centuries to come. The persuasion for 50 dollars has never made such an impact in everyday life for the world. Without the risks Phil had taken, the world might not have been in as good of a spot it is now. Many people have stigmatized risk, although the risks are still apart of daily life in achieving your goals, and without them, you may never reach your maximum potential.

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Taking risks and be rewarded by T.S Eliot. (2022, Nov 29). Retrieved from


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