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What does ‘making it’ really mean?

Making it defined

When people talk about “making it,” usually they’re referring to their professional life. But while that phrase is used a lot, what exactly does it mean?

Challenges and setting goals

There are a lot of challenges that many people face over the years. One of the most significant of these challenges is the reality that there really isn’t any kind of road map for your life. If you’re like most folks then you’re just trying to make your way through without a clear idea of whether what you’re doing is right for you or your loved ones. And that gets all the more difficult when you’re also trying to reach some kind of goal.

That’s because often the goal is an idea that’s hazy and hard to pin down. While you might say you want to “make it,” you’ll need to take the time to think about what that really means in order to reach the objective.

The reality is that defining making it isn’t cut and dry. In fact, its definition is incredibly individual and subjective. With that in mind, here are a few things to think about in order to better understand what it really means to you.

5 ways to think about what ‘making it’ means:

1. Money

Financials might seem like an odd thing to put on this list, let alone to start it with. After all, you probably were told at some point that money is the root of all evil and that you can’t buy happiness.

And sure, that would be a wonderful idea in a perfect world but there’s no doubt that the world is not perfect. The truth is, like it or not, money enables you to experience things like vacations with family, and being more comfortable financially means less stress over bill payments.

Thus, it’s understandable to say that money is actually a perfectly reasonable goal to strive for. Sure, you don’t need to spend all of your time trying to earn million after million when you don’t really need it.

But there isn’t really anyone who would deny that the idea of financial security is something that they would love to have. And holding onto that as a goal is certainly an understandable thing to do.

2. Doing something meaningful

Of course, you may find that money isn’t the priority in your life that it might be for others. Instead, you feel the thing that’s holding you back right now is the fact that you don’t feel you’re making a meaningful difference.

So, while you might be good at what you do and earning a decent living from it, you never feel like you’re having any kind of positive impact on the world around you.

If that’s the case, then it makes a whole lot of sense that you might want to try something where you’re actually doing something meaningful and positive for the world around you. Careers like medicine are perfect in this regard.

They’re not without their own set of challenges, though. Establishments like the University of Arizona offer courses that can help you develop both the skills and the qualifications that you need to get started on that kind of career path. Of course, the same kind of conditions applies to any career that centers around helping others.

3. Embracing what you’re good at

Each person has a unique set of skills. But if you’re not making use of those skills, you may not feel like you’re making it.

That’s true even if you’re moving up on the career ladder. If you’re not fulfilling your potential, you may feel you’re still falling short in life.

Yet that’s exactly the place that you might be in – and you’re not alone in feeling that way. After all, a lot of individuals are in jobs not because those positions use our skills and talents but because they need to pay bills and that’s what’s available.

Instead of settling for a job where you’re bored and frustrated because you’re not actually getting to do something that you’re good at, the first step is to try and figure out what your skills actually are. After that, it’s a matter of actually being able to hone those skills and put them to use in a career path where they’re valued.

Of course, that’s a lot easier said than done! But it’s still an essential part of being able to take ownership of your career and your success in a meaningful way.

Making it

4. Choosing your own path to making it

Far too many people end up in a position where we don’t really feel like we have any sense of control over the career that they find themselves in. There are plenty of reasons why this might happen.

Maybe you end up feeling as though you had to take on a certain career because of parental pressure or other outside forces, for example. Or maybe you start work in a position intended to be a placeholder or a stepping stone to something more significant but then you just ended up getting stuck in it and not really being able to find any way out.

Whatever the reason might be, there’s no doubt that this kind of job is a one-way trip to pure frustration in your career. And that’s not discounting whatever type of position it is; instead, it’s a statement that you’re not aligning your professional and personal preferences.

You’re never going to feel like you’re making it if you don’t feel as though you had any say over your career in the first place.

That’s one of the most common reasons that a lot of people break out and start their own businesses. Rather than spending their lives doing what they’re told, they break out on their own and take control of their careers.

5. Thinking beyond your career

Of course, one of the things that a lot of people tend to forget about is that your career doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It’s not just a matter of making it in your career and then the rest of your life fits around that.

The truth is that your career intersects with every single aspect of your life outside of it.

After all, if you’re a more family-oriented kind of person then a job where you earn a comfortable living while still having the flexibility to spend time with your family might be the most important thing of all. The same goes for everything from creative fulfillment to be able to travel. “Making it” can sometimes be as simple as finding a job that lets you live your life the way you want.

And one last point about making it

One of the hardest things to come to terms with is the fact that, no matter what, there’s no guarantee that you’ll reach a point in life where you will feel as though you have truly “made it.” The truth is that moving toward that kind of goal is a lot like scaling a mountain.

Every time it feels like you reach the very top, you realize that there’s another peak looming over you to have to try and reach as well. The difference is that this mountain may not truly have an end.

The only way to avoid letting this fact overwhelm you is to be willing to embrace it. Stop focusing quite so hard on the destination and learn to appreciate the journey as it happens instead.

The path that you take in order to reach your goals is just as important as the goals themselves. As soon as that makes sense, then you’re going to be able to finally start to understand what “making it” really means.

What does “making it” mean to YOU?

40 thoughts on “What does ‘making it’ really mean?”

  1. Love this, Christy! It’s true that making it means different things to different people. For myself, success is less about money and more about being happy and content where I am.

  2. Great post I really like the part about a career. I am a family person and I struggle with working part time because i feel i have failed but in reality, I am able to spend more time with friends and family and I love that. While my husband is the money maker and doesn’t mind working full time.

    1. I get that. I used to think that way but now I try to help my partner out with laundry and other things to provide contributions in ways other than only financial. It all evens out when you care about each other xx

  3. Making it I think is thought of in terms of getting a certain position, or earning a certain amount of money, so it’s a good reminder that making it means different things for different people!

    For me, making it is just having a positive impact on a lot of people in this world.

    1. OH yes, life success is about much more than money :) I love that you’re looking at ways to positively impact people. Isn’t that the best thing, thinking that your existance is helping others feel better in some way :D

  4. Christy, absolutely loved this post. I so related. I’m “making it” in so many ways all because of the intentions and goals I’ve made for me. Most of those goals have nothing to do with money and everything to do with health and happiness. This world is so money orientated focused and yes even though having money does buy comfort and fun, it however, cannot buy happiness. I think it far more important to work on personal “making it” before getting really serious about making money. Thank you for this post! Very enlightening.

    1. Yes, someone could have all the money in the world and still feel like they’re not fulfilled. When we’re happy, well the world is our oyster! I’m cheering you on, AmyRose xo

  5. I think that ‘making it’ is so often thought of in terms of status, jobs and finances. Great post to open those stereotypes up and show it’s far more than that!
    Caz xx

    1. Yes, we’re reaching for more and that makes sense too because we’re always growing and changing. I’m hoping you have a terrific weekend :D

  6. I would say that ‘making it’ should mean that your mind feels in a positive frame and you have nothing to worry about. At the moment I’d settle for being able to sort out my debilitating health issues that mean I am in near constant pain and cannot leave my house in a vehicle without this becoming much worse; as a result, I suffer from depression and loneliness… and none of the things mentioned above really make up for that :-(

    1. With mental health being a key part of wellbeing, I agree that a positive mindset has to be a part of the definition of “making it,” Andrea. I hope this situation gets better soon. I have had a therapist come to me when I couldn’t leave home, so perhaps that would be one option for you to explore to help things feel a bit more comfortable, even in a small way?

  7. You just answer my prayer. Thank you for this. Lately, I’ve been reflecting on my goals and passion. What I’m good at and enjoy doing. One is definitely blogging, writing is my passion, but I’m learning I have a passion to help others. I’ve devoted my time into my full time career, because I am good at it, but I want to do so much more.

    1. That’s totally what keeps me going too, helping others. So I identify with your comment a lot. You’re building a great blog and hopefully that will be one way that you continue to help people xx

  8. Im so glad I read this today Christy. I have never particularly chased ‘making it’ and have often just had to get through from day to day as so many of us do. I am definitely one of those who was told that money was the root of all evil and it meant I missed out on a lot. I do feel now though that I ‘made it’ as a mum and am proud of my acheivement there especially when I see my now grown up children all doing so well and enjoying their lives.

  9. “Making it” to me looks like, love of my family, financial security and remembering I am abundantly blessed and to be thankful especially in the moments I’m feeling less than enough.

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