What is success and what is failure

I can remember in grade school one of my teachers constantly telling us “It is your I DO not your IQ which is important.”  This made a lasting impression on me.  It was only later that I learned that this was a reworking of the Calvin Coolidge quote “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”  I realized to achieve I had to work really hard.  I never could tolerate being mediocre when I knew I could have been better.  I had nowhere near the athletic talent, strength, size, or speed of my friends growing up but I worked much harder than many of them at the sports I was interested in.  I actually had a great sense of accomplishment because I was far from the best on whatever team I was on but I knew I was as good as I could be.  Thus I was successful.  In my career as a scientist I certainly never achieved like many others but I look back and can say I gave it my all and therefore I was a success.  Trying but not reaching the peak is not failure, failure is not even trying to reach the peak.