Stories of success and failure are quite convoluted. Usually, success is associated with happiness and failure comes in the form of dejection. If so, then it is easy to understand success and failure as subjective states of mind.
The objective of a person seeking success is a basic yardstick that can measure the fabrics of success. Boasting of success without a clear aim in mind is like showing a huge house without any furniture. If we are not clear about what we are actually seeking, to go for success is just like window shopping. Clarity of concept determines the aim and objective in our life and that, in turn, specifies the path to success. In fact, if we don't specifically set an aim and objective, success can look a lot like distress. I would argue, in fact, that the aim is more important.
Aim and objective might sound like synonyms, but each one carries a different meaning. Object is obvious. Aim carries an inner entity, as well. If an object is a bombshell, an aim may be considered its detonator. Aim springs from intention. If the intention is right, the object is alright.
For instance, if someone aims to visit Mecca, getting a flight to New York would be a story of complete failure, even if the plane lands safely in New York! On the contrary, if the intention is Mecca or Medina, every step a traveler takes is considered a footstep of a pilgrimage; if death reaches him before he reaches his destiny, he will be considered a successful traveler, i.e. a total success.
To run amok in a marathon race of success determined by others is a game of being mediocre. Great minds think, act peacefully, and invent a success of their own. A race against time usually ends in failure. True success means finding harmony with time. That is why pseudo-success is fatal; real success is eternal.
It's another fact that success in life cannot be measured by the luxuries we have amassed. True success can be measured by how much have we have facilitated the lives of people around us. Success is never measured by how much power we have attained. In this context, if we look at the nukes and ballistics that man has invented, enough to commit a pan-global suicide, his high-tech achievement is a total failure. On the contrary, if we start globally "proliferating" food and medicine, giving priority to the poorest geo-political segments of society, we will succeed collectively. A race for "success" among nations becomes "racism". For success is not a coronation of a single nation. True global success means a safe and sound journey for the whole human race.
Worshipping the statue of success is like idol-worshiping. A humble success, that treads the land of peace, is far better than a landslide success, which often leads to pride and disaster.
Dr. Azhar Waheed