“It is only possible to succeed at second-rate pursuits – like becoming a millionaire or a prime minister, winning a war, seducing a beautiful woman, flying through the stratosphere or landing on the moon.
First-rate pursuits – involving, as they must, trying to understand what life is about and trying to convey that understanding – inevitably result in a sense of failure.
A Napoleon, a Churchill, a Roosevelt can feel themselves to be successful, but never a Socrates, a Pascal, a Blake. Understanding is ever unattainable.
Therein lies the inevitability of failure in embarking upon its quest, which is none the less the only one worthy of serious attention.”
Malcolm Muggeridge via thenonist