Winning at life means something different for everyone.
It also comes in various ways and not always how we expect.
This is a look at what winning in life means and how to tell if you’re on the right track, even when it sometimes doesn’t feel like it.
1) You have close friends
Life can get lonely, and close friends are worth more than their weight in gold.
If you have even one close friend then you are winning at life.
If you could see everyone in the world at this moment without a single close friend to their name, the truth of this would truly hit home.
Even one good friend you can confide in and trust is a priceless treasure.
2) You’re able to express love
Love is one of those things many of us take for granted.
We like to receive it and we like it to be received when we give it out.
All too often rejection and disappointment blunt our ability to give love. We’re scared or jaded.
That’s why it’s a very good sign if you still have a spark of hope left inside and are able to express genuine affection and love.
3) You’re willing to receive love
If and when your expression of love is reciprocated, are you able to receive and appreciate it?
This is definitely a winning trait.
Many people react to love by running away or self-sabotaging because on a primal level they feel unworthy.
If you can receive love and appreciate it, you’re winning in life.
4) You give more than you take
From a young age, our system tells us that the more we “get” the more successful we are.
More money, more relationships, more respect, more jobs.
But the truth is that relying on what you get in order to be successful is a losing formula.
True power and success are measured by how much you can give.
Generosity shows that you’re able to focus on more than just yourself, which is the sign of a mature and truly successful individual.
5) You have a meaningful purpose
At the same time as you care about others, it’s important that you take care of yourself.
The most important aspect of this is to have a mission in life.
You may not have an easy life or even a particularly “fun” life.
But if you have a strong purpose in your life and your career, rest assured you are quietly winning in a way that many are not.
6) You’re highly self-aware
Being self-aware isn’t something that’s spoken about a lot in society.
The truth is that self-awareness is something that should be focused on a lot more.
There’s a reason the ancient Oracle at Delphi said to first “know thyself.”
It’s because when you know what makes you tick and understand your own strengths and weaknesses, you have a clear roadmap for life and you know what is worth your time and what isn’t.
7) You don’t hide who you are
Far too many people are scared of being honest about who they are and what they want.
That’s why being clear about your own identity and what you want is a big win.
Even if you’re not getting everything you want out of life, being able to be upfront about what you want and what you stand for is a big step.
8) You communicate clearly
When you can communicate clearly, you have a big advantage in life.
Being self-aware is part of this, as well as learning to be confident and clear in what you say.
The first step in getting what you want is knowing how to ask for it!
That’s why the fact that you aren’t afraid to speak your mind and make yourself clear is a big sign that you’ve got this life thing on lock.
9) You protect your physical and mental health
If you are doing what you can to protect your physical and mental health, you’re winning at life.
Thankfully the importance of both mental and physical health is gaining awareness.
The truth is that we all get down sometimes, get angry, or feel low-energy or sick.
But if you’re paying attention and conscious about bettering your situation, you’re already winning by taking the reins of life into your own hands.
10) You make a decent living
Money isn’t everything and it won’t make you happy.
But it won’t hurt to have enough to not be constantly stressed, in fact, this is a necessity.
If you are making a decent living and are self-sufficient, you’re quietly winning at life.
I know many people in their late 30s and 40s who still have not gotten financially independent from their parents.
If you are making a decent living, you are doing well!
11) You’re on a spiritual or religious path
There is a tendency in the New Age and self-help community to think of “organized religion” as a thing of the past or as inferior to spirituality and self-exploration.
I strongly disagree and believe organized religion has a vital and necessary role to play as the outer structure, foundation, or shell for deeper inner spiritual experience and exploration.
But that foundation isn’t always easy to find…
If you are trying to find your way and be honest about your struggles and triumphs in life, you are winning in life.
You may feel like you haven’t found your path or your “answer” yet, but never forget that the question and the quest is sometimes far more valuable than the answer.
12) You are constantly evolving
The only constant in life is change.
But change can be scary and some of us react by trying to “shut down” and freeze ourselves in a moment in time.
We choose our best or worst moment and we just sink into it: we’re always going to be that guy who was the popular high school quarterback or that loser who got divorced at 45 and started drinking all the time.
But life moves on, even if we don’t.
That’s why another of the important signs that we’re winning is when we voluntarily let go of our ego identification with a certain “version” of ourselves and are willing to evolve.
Life’s always changing, why shouldn’t we?
13) You learn lessons from failure
We all experience failures in life, but the distinguishing factor is what we do about it.
The greatest winners in sports, career and love are those who take a failure and learn from it.
This sounds basic, and it is. But it’s hard.
If you’re able to get back up after failing or being let down and try again, you’re already winning.
14) You know your own name
There’s a lot of meaning and power in a name.
When you know your name and what it means, it gives you a firm foundation to stand upon.
You are proud of your name, you know its roots and y0u are aware of the dreams and beliefs that shaped you.
Knowing where you came from and what it means is a big win!
Are you winning, son?
The popular meme “are ya winning son?” is about a dad walking in the room where his son is playing a computer game and asking if he’s winning.
It suggests his son is both separate from any real social life and that the dad doesn’t get how video games work, since they’re generally far more complex than just outright “winning” or “losing.”
It also points to the idea that you can’t truly “win” at anything if you spend your life apart from the world and traversing digital environments in a detached state.
But at the end of the day we can also see a deeper meaning in this meme and in the question of whether or not we are winning in life:
If you’re truly winning in life, you’re not going to be stuck in your head or over-analyzing. You’re going to be focused on action and interaction with the world around you.