Mickey Rooney's famous quote "You always pass failure on the way to success." is great.
But maybe he was thinking mostly about celebrity status, in which case, not so great. And if he was thinking about being rich, also not so great.
However recently in an interview he redeemed himself in my eyes when he said: "Being a celebrity is not the important thing in life, it's being nice to people. And enjoying what you're doing, loving what you're doing, loving what you're cut out to do."
I feel these two things are exactly what we should be doing, it is our contribution to society. The importance of being nice, of taking care of people around you. That's one.
The other is having your work, what you do easily and like doing.
Finding your work is not always easy, but if you try enough different things, you'll find that one that you love doing, the one that comes easy to you. And you will know it, because other people say 'oh, how do you do that? You are so good at that, I admire you! You make it look so easy!' This is what you are cut out to do. Your shape fits it. It fits you. We shouldn't settle for less, if at all possible.
Perfectly illustrated by my daughter's art work "Web of friends", that she did when she was about ten.
(and lovingly dedicated to that same N, who's wondering at the moment what it is she's cut out to do.)