I’m not claiming this is a perfect answer, but I think it’s more or less true. Today, I attended virtual graduation for medical school, and it finally dawned upon me what it took for me to get this far and cross the finish line. It took 10 years of steady progress, determination, and grit to visualise the endpoint and achieve it.
Therefore this, I think, is the answer to the question, “how to win in life?” and that’s to play the long game. Actually, this isn’t my answer. It’s a very popular idea that I first came across from two thought leaders, Naval Ravikant and Malcolm Gladwell. Here’s what they say respectively:
Play long-term games, with long-term people.
Ten thousand hours is the magic number of greatness.
Broadly speaking, I’ve found this to be spot-on advice. I’ve realised that there are no shortcuts in life. If there’s a particular thing we want to achieve like graduating as a doctor or founding a successful startup, we have to be prepared to play the long-term game. Now that’s easy enough to say, but what gets us there and keeps us in the game for the long-term is grit. How badly do you want it? If you’re half-hearted about something you’ll never be able to play the long-term game, you’ll quit eventually.
So remember this, to achieve ambitious goals you need to (a) play the long-term game and (b) want it very badly.