If we all stick to one definition of success that is defined FOR us by society or our communities... then where is the room for unique talents and strengths? We cannot ALL be "successful" according to the mainstream's competitive definition. It is not even rationally possible if we all attempt the same goal within the same parameters. Someone has to "lose" and we don't all get a trophy. However, we all have something to contribute in our own way.
Part of NSA's philosophical foundation is based on Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences. This theory posits that we all have 8-9 aptitudes for learning, but we all exhibit those aptitudes at different levels...which is what makes us unique and different. We can all learn in various ways, but our strengths and challenges create a unique learning profile and approach that is not often validated or harnessed in traditional classrooms or work settings. Part of what NSA does is help students understand their unique profile so that they can better engage in learning and envision their own unique way of contributing to truth, goodness, and beauty to produce meaningful contributions to their lives, communities, and the world at large.
So... What is success to you? What is success to your son? What CAN success be? What forms does it take? How do we readjust our definitions of success so that we all, like a group of puzzle pieces, can have our own unique shapes and colors can collaborate to create and contribute to one "whole"?