One of the most difficult things in life is to know the answer to this question: How to win at life?
What exactly is winning? How do you measure success? Is it having a family? Good health? Landing your dream job? Be financial independent? Early Retirement?
People “feel” success in different ways, and have different objectives through life. Therefore let’s try to sum up what it takes to win at life.
Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
Winning at life is advancing through some key steps. Once you overcome the first step you move on to the second and so on. In the end, the winner will have gone through all the milestones that I’ll show you right now.
Here is where you want to meet the very basic needs. Shelter, food, basic safety for you and your family. In most developed countries the majority of the population already has this step all figure it out. There’s more and stable access to work/job or support from social organizations (public and private). Thus providing you with those simple but very important things.
On the other hand, countries that are at war/severe economic meltdown, people will find this step really difficult to achieve and overcome. Finding a stable and safe place where you can find a job or have some initial social support is key to start thinking about the next step.
Housing is absolutely essential to human flourishing. Without stable shelter, it all falls apart.
Finding your tribe. Once you can provide your food, home, and safety, you move on to step 2: find a group of like-minded people that you can identify with. Humans are by nature social animals. Thus we need to interact and participate in group activities. To learn from others.
We all want to experience a sense of community, so to overcome this step we need to look for people that we like to spend time together, to build things and experience moments.
This doesn’t mean that you have to find 1000 friends or people to connect. Some say that there are even limits to friendship. 150 to be more precise. Anyway, whether you find only 5 true amazing/inspiring friends/co-workers or 150, the point is: If you want to conquer this step, you have to find your tribe. Preferably the one that maximizes your potential, and that gradually helps you to evolve.
Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.
— Jane Howard, Margaret Mead
The final step: Leave behind a legacy. Whether is through your work, creating a company, investing, writing a book, developing a product and so on, the final step is to create something that will help others. Therefore enhancing the possibilities of the weakest/poorest members of your community. Maximizing the potential of the ones that surround you.
This will make sure you leave a positive and helpful contribution, that may change the lives of hundreds, thousands or even millions of people. If you got to this point you have done it: You’re a winner in this journey that we call life.
I resolved to stop accumulating and begin the infinitely more serious and difficult task of wise distribution.
Carnegie was born in Scotland (1835) and after moving to the United States, he worked a series of railroad jobs. (step 1)
When in Scotland his uncle, George Lauder Sr., a Scottish political leader, deeply influenced him. Lauder’s son, also named George Lauder, grew up with Carnegie and would become his business partner. (step 2)
By 1889 he owned Carnegie Steel Corporation, the largest of its kind in the world. In 1901 he sold (to J. P. Morgan for $480 million) his business and dedicated his time to expanding his philanthropic work, including the establishment of Carnegie-Mellon University in 1904. (step 3)
Sylvia was a frugal woman that work for 67 years in New York City. (step 1)
She was a secretary on a law firm helping the day-by-day tasks of her boss, including their personal investments. “So when the boss would buy a stock, she would make the purchase for him, and then buy the same stock for herself, but in a smaller amount because she was on a secretary’s salary.” (step 2)
Sylvia Bloom attracted the world attention when made a $6.24 million donation to the Henry Street Settlement on the Lower East Side. The largest single gift from an individual to the social service group in its 125-year history. (step 3)