This resonated with me this morning:
Roethlisberger argues that people who are preoccupied with success ask the wrong question. They ask, “what is the secret of success” when they should be asking, “what prevents me from learning here and now?” To be overly preoccupied with the future is to be inattentive toward the present where learning and growth take place. To walk around asking “am I a success or a failure” is a silly question in the sense that the closest you can come to answer is to say, everyone is both a success and a failure.
Source:Weick, Karl E. How Projects Lose Meaning: The Dynamics of Renewal. in Renewing Research Practice by R. Stablein and P. Frost (Eds.). Stanford, CA: Stanford. 2004.
Reflecting on this a little more, sometimes it may be better to ask “what am I experiencing now?” and see if the learning emerges from that. I’m in a Zen frame of mind I guess.