There is no progress without change
Never try to be better than someone else, always learn from others. Never cease trying to be the best you can be - that's under your control. If you get too engrossed and involved and concerned in regard to the things in which you have no control, it will adversely affect the things over which you have control.
If you make the effort to to the best of which you're capable, try and improve the situation that exists for you, I think that's success. And I don't think others can judge that. I think it's like character and reputation. Your reputation is what you are perceived to be; your character is what you really are. And I think that character is much more important than what you are perceived to be.
Don't whine. Don't complain. Don't make excuses.