Let me explain.
Only a group can confer success on you.
And it must be a group in which you’re playing a social game.
Success is defined within the rules of the social game you’re playing.
When you succeed according to the rules, the group in which you’re playing agrees to call you a success. Always with some sour objections, to be sure, because egos can’t resist jealousies. But their very objections and jealousies prove again that the group has conferred success on you. Otherwise, what is there for them to snipe about?
A fun proof: Note the absurdity of someone awarding himself a title.
And one more proof: Famously, success in Washington, D.C. is abject failure from the point of view of a Trappist monastery.
(The reverse is also true. So, you see.)
All the world’s a stadium even more than a stage. And it supports as many games as the Library of Babel contains books.
And you’re playing in dozens of games. In how many social circles do you have a reputation to uphold?
Are you really all those players?
And who is the you watching that striver in your various fields of play?
That’s the real you. The watcher. The watcher contains all those players.
Just as you might say the real Planet Earth is not Antarctica nor Africa nor any other continent, or ocean, or cloud. It’s the larger category.
You’re not a success.
You’re not not-a-success.
You’re beyond the games.
True, you could say you’re the watcher and the player.
And the more real you is the watcher.
Something you’ll notice, if you really enjoy watching yourself play a certain game, is that when you settle into your identity as the watcher, you become a more exciting and skillful player.