From an interview with Ryan Holiday:
see one of the failures in myself and in other people like me is where you do something wrong–you do it the wrong way or you do it for the wrong reasons–but if you don’t experience the failure, it doesn’t change the fact that it was the wrong thing to do. You’re really just deferring that failure and maybe increasing its magnitude.
It’s a great observation and a reminder that things are rarely just black and white.
It’s not hard to find examples of this in play. As an example take extreme career success that’s paid with a broken family life. Is it a success or failure?
Looking at the outcomes of choices and decisions from multiple perspective is probably the best way to avoid norrow thinking and chasing something that isn’t a true success.