Making it in life is everyone’s goal in life, but every person’s version is different. Their version of making it could be being in the higher echelons of an industry or aspect. Health, wealth, relationships. We think many people who have “made it” are those that have achieved something great in those aspects and others.
But success — or even making it in life — isn’t always defined by those lofty ideals. Wealthy individuals can certainly be happy, but poor individuals can find more meaning in life. In terms of making it in life, maybe those who are poor have a better understanding of what it would take them to thrive.
While I don’t know what the poor think, I do have some understanding of how to be making it in life. Some from my personal experience while some of it is from my own research. Below are what I consider aspects of someone who is making it in life regardless of their current situation.
You’re Making It If You Have A Plan (And Working On It)
Stop wishing something to happen. Make a move and do it. — Anonymous
Got an idea for starting a fridge repair business? Or maybe you want to be enriching your life for your potential partner by picking up a new hobby? Whatever the case is, people are making it in life if they have some kind of plan and are working on it.
When you have a plan, working on it provides you with purpose. This purpose pulls us towards new opportunities and growth so long as you’re taking action. When you lack a plan, you have no sense of direction or purpose. You eventually settle with coasting through life, basing your decisions and path of life from external forces. Another term for this is coasting through life.
Unfortunately, the coasting lifestyle is a lifestyle most people have. It takes a lot of effort to get out of that lifestyle, but a solid step towards progress is figuring out what you want to do and formulate a plan.
You’re Making The Most Out Of Your Time
Time is our most precious resource and how you spend it is important. This applies to both your work life and personal life. You want to ensure that you can work productively and are making progress in life. As a general rule, if you are in a position where you feel your work isn’t allowing you to advance much in life, then you’ll need to consider a different approach. Working more hours isn’t the answer as it can lead to burnout, health problems and more.
In social life, making it in this respect to me means doing things — other than work — that you want to do. This can be spending time with individuals or performing other activities.
The goal is that you want to look back at your day and point out things that were good. Things that helped you to advance or provide a mood boost. In other words, you want to make sure you’ve progressed in some way.
If you feel you’re not progressing much despite what you are doing, you need to change your strategy. This can be changing your mindset and attitude towards something, finding new productivity methods or environments, or reinventing yourself.
You Manage Your Addictions/Weaknesses Well
Everybody was in struggle, in the grind trying to make it. — Young Buck
No matter who you are in life, you’re going to have addictions and weaknesses in your life. A big sign of someone who isn’t making it is someone who thinks that they can eliminate weaknesses or addiction.
The reality is they can’t.
As much as we don’t want negative aspects in our lives, its these very things that provide us with growth and fulfilment.
I wouldn’t have travelled across Canada if it wasn’t for the fact I considered my lack of social skills to be a major weakness in my life. I’ve since been working on it, and have various methods for overcoming some of the barriers I had with conversing with people.
Because I did that all by myself, some of what I learned passed into other aspects of my life.
Overall, I’ve learned how to handle myself in social situations and carry conversations if necessary. I’ve learned to manage that weakness that I once had.
While someone who is making it has kept in check their addictions and weaknesses, I’d still argue that someone who is working on some of them is also making it. It’s great progress because you recognize that you are flawed and that’s okay.
All you have to do is be aware of those things and take steps to handling those addictions and weaknesses.
You Can Treat Yourself Well — Without Guilt, & Consistently
Treating yourself is a form of self-love. It’s allowing yourself to indulge in the progress that you’ve achieved. For someone who is making it, they should be doing this on a regular basis without feeling any kind of guilt from it.
In terms of treating yourself well, it doesn’t always mean going for the most lavish and expensive item in a store. The idea of treating yourself is allowing something small, within your range of income, and provides you with more satisfaction from that accomplishment.
It’s also something that you wouldn’t do on a daily basis.
For example, my trainer has allowed me to treat myself to some fancier ice cream. But instead of a large tub, it’s enough for a small treat. This is a good example of treating yourself.
A bad one is getting a small raise from work and thinking now is a good time to get a sports car or buy a house. This is the case with some people and its a trap because the increase in income doesn’t always warrant a purchase of one of the most expensive items that a person incurs in their life.
You Focus On Actions Over Awards
You are making it in life if your way of thinking is focusing on the actions that you are taking rather than the awards at the end. Awards come and go in life and after a while they tend to lose their luster and weight in most circumstances.
Sure they can be impressive feats, but people have grown numb to these things. TV show awards are declining in popularity. I saw a Facebook ad not long ago where I could become a Duke — a noble who owns a duchy or dukedom. The company that sells theses is called Established Titles.
The thing is though that many people rely on these awards and use them as a means of defining who they are. It’s terrible because in the event that they fail it can cause mental breakdowns or lowering of self esteem.
Someone who is making it in life puts emphasis on actions. They consider awards as not defining them, but as an added bonus. Even if someone fails, if you focus on your actions, you’ll find ways to grow yourself more.
You Are Making It When You Have A Network You Can Count On
Having people that you can rely on is a strong sign of making it. The people in your life can provide you with different perspectives and ideas to problems in life and to your own view of yourself. People around you have massive influence over you.
As such, someone who is making it in life is someone who has a network that they can rely on and help guide them towards the right path. This means having people in your network that you care for, help with, and that they return those sentiments.
These people should be people that have similar goals to you. Or have achieved a higher level in an aspect that you wish to strive for in life.
You Are Making It If You Can Say No
The ability to say no to things can seem a bit weird at first. But consider for a moment how difficult it actually is to say no to someone or something. In some cases, it can be easier to say no. Maybe you don’t agree with some of these things I’m listing off and you can say no to applying them.
But how about saying no to a friend or family member that wants to spend time with you but you have things to do? Or maybe you’re addicted to a few shows on Netflix but you have a paper that’s due tomorrow. Can you say no to that and focus on what matters more?
Depending on the weight of influence that someone or something has on you, the harder it is to say no to it. It requires more will power to not cave in to the most simplistic of needs.
I’ve also mentioned before that many of us are addicted to dopamine and we procrastinate on tasks as a result. Why work on something when you can check your phone and get the same level of dopamine?
By saying no, you are training yourself to manage your dopamine levels and look for other things in your life that add more meaning.
You Have A Realistic View Of The World
According to Ayodeji Awosika, you are making it when you are grounded in reality. What he means by this is that you are realistic, but are fully aware that the world can change. Not everything needs to be working the way they are right now.
You’re not pessimistic, but you are aware of the various problems in life and with other people and you prepare for them.
What Ayodeji wrote is something I agree with. I think it’s important that one has a realistic view of the world. And while there are things that are unfair about life and circumstances, you’re able to work within those circumstances regardless.
You Are Still Failing At Things & Learning
Once you stop learning,, you start dying. — Albert Einstein
Another sign you are making it is that you are still failing and learning. As I mentioned before, growth stems from negative experiences in most situations. While you can grow from positive things, the truth is, you’re going to run into more problems than positive things.
Even if you fail, you never fail at something unless you never learn your lesson. This is the case with anything that you do.
When working out, I consider a failure on my part if my body is compensating in some areas. I know what those failures look like and make adjustments so the next set or rep I do is proper. While it’s a small failure, I’m still learning how to better control my body during specific exercises.
The world is always changing and it’s important that you adapt and learn. Part of that learning process is experiencing failure and recognizing it’s part of the process.
You Have More Self Awareness
The more you understand about yourself, the more you understand the people around you. By having an understanding of yourself in many aspects allows you to have more control over your life. When people lack goals or directions in a certain aspect of life, they allow themselves to be steered by outside forces. They lose control.
In order for you to have control in your life, it’s important to know who you are and what you are looking to gain from life. Again, those who are making it have some kind of plan in mind and are working towards it.
The only reason they have that plan is they have a grasp of themselves. People who are making it know what they want in life and have a general idea of how to get there.
You Strive For Fewer Excuses
The final sign of making it is you’ll hear less excuses from them. Better yet, none at all. Those who are making it are people who will own up to mistakes and failures. This is big because its so easy to get into excuses and to protect yourself from harm.
This is more common at the beginning of a self improvement journey. Even then, one can find remnants lingering about. Especially in bigger failures.
The key to have less — or no — excuses in your life is to focus on yourself and the impact that failure or mistakes caused to you. What sort of things could you have done to prevent those things from happening? What can you do now in order to recover and move forward?
These are key questions as peoples instincts are to come up with excuses for why it’s not their fault or lessen the blow on themselves. This is what will shape your reality moving forward and can cause problems later down the road if left unattended.
You Are Making It
The funny thing about making it in life is that we all are making it in some way shape or form. You might not realize it right now but you have tools and resources right now that allow you to get out of the situation you’re in.
No doubt, you could put in better work in certain areas. But, you’re also doing a number of good things that you might not even realize right now. You could be looking at this list and realize that you’re doing some of those things here and there. I’d encourage you to hone those areas and develop them further.
Even if you’re life isn’t where you’d expect it to be right now, know that you have enough to get you to where you need to go. All you need is the right direction. So take your time. You’ll make it.
To your growth!
Eric S Burdon