9 signs you’re winning at life, even if it doesn’t feel like it

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Do you ever compare yourself to others?

It’s hard not to, right?

Whether it’s your neighbor’s flashy new car, a colleague’s promotion, or your old school friend constantly posting incredible photos from their around-the-world travels.

It’s enough to make you feel (to put it bluntly) like you’re missing out on life.

Why can’t you be sipping Caipirinhas on Copacabana Beach like everyone else?

Well, remember this.

Life is a marathon, not a sprint. And while it might feel like you’re lagging behind, don’t worry. You could actually be doing better than you think.

Check out these nine signs that you’re in fact winning at life (even if it doesn’t always feel like it).

1) You don’t care about social media

Now, don’t get me wrong.

Apps like Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook can be a fun (and effective) way to stay in touch with friends and family.

But they have a darker side.

In fact, studies show they can have a real impact on your mental health. I’m talking about anxiety, depression, and loneliness.

Here’s the thing.

Human beings are social creatures. We crave interaction and connection with others. Social media is designed to tap into this innate characteristic (which makes it incredibly addictive).

Remember this.

Often, those people who are most active on their socials are actually suffering behind the scenes.

It’s like they’re trying to convince the world how great their lives are by selling the perfect image.

So, if you’re able to put down your phone and avoid chasing the likes, it could mean that you’re in fact incredibly secure with yourself (and winning at life).

Which leads nicely to our second point…

2) You live in the moment (in real life)

Have you been to a music concert recently?

Next time you do, take a look around you.

I bet everyone has their phone out, frantically trying to capture the event. These people have one thing in common, they’re not living in the present.

You even see it at restaurants.

A group of people sat at a table all on their phones rather than enjoying the company of those around them.

The stoic philosophy addresses this head-on.

The basic idea is that the past and the future are not under our control. The present moment is all anyone actually possesses so we must be mindful of the present moment and focus on what’s real and graspable.

Why is this even important?

There’s no point in dwelling on past mistakes because they can’t be changed. And there’s no point worrying about the future because it might never happen.

All it does is create fear and anxiety.

Therefore, if you spend the majority of your time living in the moment, you’re probably winning in life.

3) You have a clear trajectory

Life is a journey, not a destination.

Which is why you should never compare yourself to others. You don’t know where they’ve come from or what they’ve had to go through to arrive where they are today.

To be honest, it comes down to one thing – direction.

Let me explain.

Sure, maybe you don’t have a million-dollar villa overlooking the mountains, a beautiful partner who loves you unconditionally, or your dream job (whatever that might be). But as long as you’re heading in the right direction, that’s all that matters.

Because, eventually, you’ll get there.

I’m talking about continual progression. Baby steps towards your goals. A real purpose in life.

Plan the work, work the plan.

And things don’t always run smoothly. You’ll inevitably hit some hurdles or even have to re-plot your life course. But you’re OK with that, because…

4) You stay positive (during tough times)

Resilience is all about bouncing back or adapting in the face of adversity.

And people who are winning in life, have it by the bucketload.

Have you ever noticed how some people just crumble under even the slightest challenge? They’d rather bury their head in the sand and wave the white flag than attack the issue head-on.

How are you ever supposed to achieve your goals with this attitude?

Part of it, is having a growth mindset.

In other words, you believe that anything is possible. Your skills or abilities aren’t set in stone and with enough practice and perseverance, you can improve.

Conversely, those negative Nancy’s have a fixed mindset. They believe their traits are unchangeable over time. They say things like “I’m not very good at that, so won’t even try”.

They don’t get it.

And they also don’t understand this next one…

5) You make mistakes (and learn from them)

At the end of the day, we’re all human.

Mistakes are inevitable.

Whether they’re little mistakes like losing your cool with someone or large mistakes like losing thousands of dollars in dodgy investments.

But people who are winning at life understand one important thing.

Only a fool makes the same mistake twice.

In other words, you’ve got to learn from your mistakes!

This means, reflecting on what happened, and putting a plan in place to avoid the same thing happening again in the future.

Here’s a quote from Nelson Mandela.

“I never lose. I either win or I learn.”

Which is a truly inspiring way to look at anything you do in life.

6) You have a great sense of humor

Being able to laugh (until tears run down your face) is a clear sign you’re winning in life!

There are just so many benefits.

First of all, humor is a natural stress reliever and triggers the release of endorphins (the feel-good hormone) which promotes a sense of well-being.

It also improves your mood and helps you maintain a positive outlook on life.

Not to mention, humor is contagious. 

So those around you will also get a boost to their mental health. This can actually make you more attractive and improve your social status within a group.

The bottom line is that if you’re able to laugh at whatever life throws at you, it can improve your overall enjoyment of life (even in mundane or challenging situations).

You’ve probably heard the expression: “If I didn’t laugh, I’d cry.” 

Well, there’s some truth in it!

7) You can be yourself

I’m talking about being authentic or true to yourself.

This might seem obvious, but isn’t always so simple. In fact, this study showed that over 64% of people are hiding something from their employer.

And we’re all guilty of conforming or putting on a brave face (to avoid conflict). Especially in large groups or at social gatherings.

Why does it matter?

Authenticity fosters genuine connections with others. It improves trust and helps you form meaningful relationships. 

Not to mention, pretending to be someone you’re not can be incredibly draining.

So, if you can comfortably be yourself, no matter what the situation, it’s a telltale sign that you’re winning at life.

8) You understand that moderation is key

Life is a constant balance.

A hedonistic lifestyle might sound appealing, but is extremely shallow and probably won’t result in any profound satisfaction or purpose.

At the same time, spending your whole life working 80 hours per week also sounds pretty empty!

You need to mix short-term and long-term priorities, personal objectives, and the needs of loved ones, plus nail the work-life balance.

Sounds complicated right?

It’s not.

People who are winning in life naturally moderate their behavior accordingly.

That goes for addictions too.

Things like drugs, alcohol, or even playing too many video games. These vices immerse us in alternate worlds and distract us from all our problems (it’s why they can be so addictive).

If you can face your issues head-on rather than distracting yourself from them, you’re probably winning at life.

9) You have a few (really close) friends

As you get older, it gets harder to make lasting friendships.

In fact, according to a recent study, the average person in the US has just 3 to 5 close friends.

Perhaps this is because we become more individual, opinionated, and simply more picky!

As adults, we demand more than just a game of Hopscotch or Tag. We need trust, support, and someone to confide in.

We also tend to go for quality over quantity (with good reason).

Having a huge friend group can be draining. Having to keep up with all those social obligations. We also risk spreading ourselves too thin.

Of course, there’s a flip side to this as well.

People who are winning at life have no problem dropping friends (if things aren’t working out).

You might want to escape a bad crowd or get away from old habits. For example, you might have an old friend group that loves getting drunk every weekend. But you’ve moved on from this chapter of your life and want to focus on other priorities.

And that’s perfectly fine.

There are 8 billion people on this planet. Chances are you can find like-minded individuals who can be mutually supportive of your life goals (whatever they may be).

Leila El-Dean

Leila is a passionate writer with a background in photography and art. She has over ten years of experience in branding, marketing, and building websites. She loves travelling and has lived in several countries, including Thailand, Malaysia, Spain, and Malta. When she’s not writing (or ogling cats), Leila loves trying new food and drinking copious amounts of Earl Grey tea.

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