To succeed can mean to take over, to replace, such as in succeed to the throne. The related version of the word is succession, a popular term when speaking in reference to who will take on the leadership of a company when the present person moves on (often into retirement). To succeed in this way is an accomplishment, an honour and an emotionally tender time, for both the one exiting and entering
When I succeed at something that means I have attained the goal, that I have indeed done what I had set out to do. Succeeding in this way is to meet specific measurable criteria. I suppose one could partially succeed, and we could refer to that as a near success, or to be more charitable call it a small success. Depends a lot on what the goal was. If it was to run 10 kilometers and I went 9 before walking, that might be a small success
Defining success can be a minefield. I mean that I can be demanding in the extreme, when it comes to me. How much do you relate to this? This reminds me of the Olympics and how some, not everyone but many, do not believe attaining the Silver medal is a success. Gold or failure. Wow, that is a tough bar to jump over. I wonder, for those who hold such a definition of success, whether it translates to the rest of their lives?
Ever heard the phrase ‘set them up for success’? I like the idea. I can set a task for a less experienced person or a student or a grandchild, a task that it is important to them to succeed at. I can then set up parameters around that task that establish the level of difficulty. When I set those parameters to be appropriate to the one to do the task I can, too easily if I’m not paying attention, set them up for failure. Ouch
If I make a task too easy to achieve, the one engaging in it is not challenged and thus the success out of it feels small. The same task, with more appropriate challenge imbedded, can, when accomplished, bring a high five and dance of joy triumphant feeling. I benefit when I set my own goals to include a level of difficulty just higher than what I initially think I can do. There is an art to this. Done well, it sets me up for the greatest success