But the path to success IS strewn with casualties; it’s just not as obvious because the failures don’t get frozen in place for the world to see.
What you’re talking about is survivorship bias.
My climb to Everest was to become a professional tennis player. I, too, reached a point where my body and spirit gave out.
In tennis, sports academies charge tons of money for rich parents to send their kids to a nominal school which allows them to spend most of their day training. But for every alumnus who goes on to become a top ten player, there are hundreds if not thousand of kids who burn out and quit early or find out they’re not good enough when they’re in their twenties.