No Gumption

In the memoir No Gumption, the author argues that one must actively and insistently pursue their talents with support of loved ones. The narrator describes his mother’s position on entrepreneurship. According to her, a high level of commitment will result in the attainment of success. Her life motto, as described by the author, was, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”  On the surface, this idea seems reasonable. A person in pursuit of their dream may face challenges or delays along the path to success. These difficulties may result in frustration or even a feeling of defeat, killing one’s motivation to strive on. Moreover, a single person is likely not to see the bigger picture. Things might change for the better, affecting one’s ability to make wise decisions. Even with the lack of proper control over the unfolding events, if one is committed to the business, they will definitely succeed. However, the narrator was never interested in going into business in the first place. Therefore, the very basis upon which the argument is built is faulty. Commitment only comes with a passion for the task being undertaken. If an individual is not passionate about business, they are likely not to be committed. Thus, attaining success in that line of work would be virtually impossible. For the narrator, it was not the salesmanship, but the ability to write that became his life’s pursuit. To give credit to his mother, she was equally encouraging of both her own ideas of success and her child’s talent. As evidenced by the very existence of the memoir, the narrator made it as a writer. Therefore, the main idea of the text is to commit to one’s passion, use one’s talents, and be insistent in the pursuit of one’s goals. 

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