How to Win at Life: 23 Essential Rules to Plan Your Victory

By DeAndrea Douglas
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Do you ever feel stuck, tired, or bored and like life is a b-word then you die? Then you might not be fully aware that life is a strategy game that is meant to be won. It is completely within your power to win at life. You just need to know the purpose of the game and the rules we all have to play by.

You didn’t choose to play this game, where you get to start, or even get to pick your avatar, but here you are. The good news is that you can change and customize your avatar as you play so you’re not stuck where or how you started. The goal of the game is to use your resources to build a life and legacy that you are proud of. No one else can do this for you. This is your quest and yours alone. You can get help from others (some quests will require it), but ultimately you are solely responsible for the outcome of your life.

In the game of life, time is your most valuable resource. You have to leverage and fiercely protect it for long-term fulfillment because it is the only resource that you can’t replenish. As you get older money, health, relationships, and the ability to make sacrifices start to play an important part in the game too.

Childhood: The Tutorial Stage

Your childhood was the tutorial stage of your life. It’s where you learned the basics and how to survive. For better or worse, you absorbed everything that was going on around you. How to behave in certain situations, what acceptable table manners were, how to handle conflict, literally everything around you was programming you to be who you are right now. What’s worse is that even if you have the most well-intentioned environment, the things you are being programmed with are out of date. Your parents were training you for the world they grew up in and your current world is vastly different from theirs.

You learn more about the game by watching your siblings, classmates, and peers play the game and playing beside them. The smallest of choices will determine your destiny as you figure out who you are and what you want from life. Seemingly simple things like who your friends are can determine where you end up later. You become the sum of the people you spend the most time with, no matter your age.

how to win at life let the game begin

How to Win at Life: Let The Game Begin

Once you’re done with school the game of life becomes vastly more open. From now on you are free to move around and explore the world to learn more about it and yourself. Of course, not everyone has the same opportunities for this kind of growth. Since you are just starting and are on a lower level and life is a strategy game about managing resources, you should immediately figure out how to get more of them.

Mining for resources isn’t the same everywhere. There are different ways for men and women to get resources and you may have to change your location to better leverage your skillset. The game of life is set up for you to be able to win anywhere you are, but there are some places that are more suited to what you’re trying to accomplish than others. The way you decide to play the game should completely change once you are aware that others have won the game you are about to play and you can learn from them and their strategy.

In the early stage, the game is focused on building experience. You don’t have a lot of it so you have to keep gaining more and more of it until you can level up and turn it into something valuable. As you keep playing the game, more options become available to you and you become a better player. There are plenty of mini-games and quests that you get to play along your journey like entertainment and dating, but never mistake them for the main storyline. Video games make it clear what the main objective and tasks are but in life, it’s not so simple. In a video game, you’ll be told what to do or where to go next, but in life, you have to figure that out for yourself.

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How To Win at Life: The Rules

The rules of the game can be divided into 2 categories: the laws of physics and the laws of society. It’s incredibly unfortunate, but life is the only game where your skin matters. This counts for your entire appearance, not just your skin color. That’s the not-so-great part about the laws of society but armed with that knowledge you can do what you wish with it to better your odds of winning.

Just like in a video game, the higher the level that you’re on, the more difficult the challenges that you have to solve will be. New levels, new devils. More money, more problems. Everything that is difficult in your life right now is a test to see if you are ready for the next level. If you aren’t able to solve a problem it means you don’t have enough experience or resources to solve it. So you have to find a way to get more of one or both of them to level up. Your answer could be in a blog post, podcast, book, or even a youtube video. If you want to solve a problem to win at life, you’ll find a way to get a solution instead of a distraction.

Life has a cheat code called self-confidence. Those who believe they can accomplish something often do. Other people are going to react to you based on how you’re playing the game. The more action you take toward accomplishing something, the more rewards will follow. Action is the only thing that will move the game forward for you so you should focus on gaining skills. Some skills are more valuable than others so choose wisely.

how to win at life - maturity

How to Win at Life: Maturity

As you mature in life money becomes one of the most valuable resources. If you figure out money a lot of your challenges will be taken care of. It is incredibly hard to get rich working for someone else, so start a business as soon as you can. The trick to earning a lot of money is to solve expensive problems for people who have money for the solution. Be careful to not spend all of the money you earn. The people who understand money use what they earn from working to invest and use the investments to pay for the things they want. You win the game of money when you don’t need to live off of earned income from working for other people but can live off of investments that generate more money than you need to keep playing the game.

instructions to win at life

How to Win at Life: The Instructions

Most people don’t get what they want in life because they aren’t willing to become the person worthy of it. Once you change yourself your reality changes. The rewards in life are linear; if you do this, you will get that. Getting what you want is just a matter of doing what it takes to get it. Don’t get stuck playing the same level of the game over and over. Use these instructions to change your mindset and thought processes to level up and enjoy life.

Have a Vision for Your Life

You can’t know what winning at life is to you unless you know what mark you’re aiming to hit. You need to get crystal clear about what success means to you. Not to society, not to your parents, not even to your friends. What does success mean to YOU? What is your environment like? What is your schedule like? What do you do for fun? Who are you as a person? How healthy are you or how healthy do you feel? What kind of people do you have around you? Get clear on the answers to those questions and any others that pop up around how you want to live and you’ll know what your dream life should be.

Know Who You Are and What You Stand For

The more you know yourself, the less control the world has over you. Making it, but losing yourself in the process is not a good deal. You have to sleep well at night and compromising who you are in the name of success is certainly one of the best ways to lose sleep. If you want to win at life you should know who you are and what your values are.

Only Compare Yourself to Yourself

You are solely responsible for yourself and your growth. Stop comparing yourself to others. Only compare who you are now with who you were yesterday to know if you’re moving in the right direction. You’ll be a lot happier for it. It’s okay to find people that inspire you or people you can learn from, but never compare your first or second chapter with their 70th.

Set Clear and Empowering Goals

There is no such thing as an elevator to success. You have to take the stairs and each goal you hit is a step. The best goals are clearly defined and inspire you. They will empower you to take the action needed to move forward. If the ultimate goal you’re after seems insurmountable break it into smaller steps.

Get Disciplined

The more disciplined you become the easier your life gets. Discipline is an incredibly valuable skill that not many will take the time and effort to master. Only the people who really want something will develop the discipline it takes to get it. Mastering discipline is the best thing you can do to win at life. Once you are disciplined enough to consistently take action toward a goal it is only a matter of time needed to take the right actions to reach the goal.

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

The sooner you get out of your comfort zone you’ll realize that it really wasn’t all that comfortable. You have to get out of your comfort zone to grow. Growth requires you to do things that you haven’t done before to get results that you haven’t had. You have to put yourself out there and try new things to win at life. Otherwise, you’ll live your life in a bubble where nothing ever changes and you just accept what life gives you.

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You Only Need to Get it Right Once

It doesn’t matter how many times you fail. At the end of the day, a single win could last a lifetime. Many small wins can move you forward and shouldn’t be discounted, but one big win could make you rich or quantum leap you to the life you’re dreaming about. The number of times you fail is irrelevant as long as you dust yourself off and try again.

Reading is a Competitive Advantage

Readers become leaders. The wisdom of thousands of people lives in the pages of books. Learn from them to speed up your journey to success. These people have put years if not decades of knowledge into the pages of a book. All it takes is a few days for you to have the knowledge too. A single book can change your life forever.

Be Grateful for What You Have, But Hungry for More

It is important to practice gratitude for the things that you have. It keeps life in perspective because you recognize there was a time that you did not have what you have now or that you aren’t entitled to it. Once you make peace with your current reality as it is, it is that much easier to go after getting more.

Listen More Than You Speak

No one has learned anything from hearing themselves speak. If you want to win at life you have to actively pay attention to the world around you. When you listen more than you speak you become a sponge for knowledge and everyone you encounter has some form of useful knowledge or skills.

Forgive, But Never Forget

Those who do not forgive are prisoners of their own hatred and those who forget are poised to repeat the same mistakes. Forgiveness isn’t about making peace with someone else, it’s about making peace with yourself in order to move forward.

Fool me one time shame on you. Fool me twice, can’t put the blame on you.J.Cole

J. Cole
you have already won at life

Don’t Quit On Yourself

You may lose battles, but you only lose the game if you quit playing. In order to win at life you need to be persistent. It’s not going to happen overnight. You will need to pivot, make changes, and innovate in order to achieve anything. You might quit certain quests as necessary but never, ever give up on yourself and quit playing the entire game. To do this is to live without the thing that makes life worth living.

I’ma keep running because a winner don’t quit on themselves.


Respect Others Playing the Game

Everyone is the main character in their own story. They have their own hardships and inner work to do. Give them grace and show them the same respect you show yourself. There is an elegance around moving through life as a respectful person and if you embody it you’ll be given respect in return. Everyone is running their own race and playing their own game. You don’t know their strategy or what hardships they may or may not have endured. Treat everyone with the same respect no matter their perceived status or what you think they might be able to do for you. The housekeeping staff at a hotel deserve the same respect you’d give to a CEO.

Take Calculated Risks

Only those who risk going too far can find out how far they can really go. You get one life so why not make the most of it? Playing it safe will not get you to the life you dream of. Be bold about your life and take calculated risks where the reward will be worth it. You have to push your chances to get what you want. It doesn’t matter if you don’t succeed the first time. Just keep trying. You don’t want to be on your deathbed mulling over a list of things you regret not doing.

Be Intentional

Don’t do anything halfway. How you do one thing is how you will do everything, Whatever you’re going to do put your whole back into it. When you move with intention, you have more control over what is going on around you. You can be the agent of change that swings things in your favor. You don’t have to go with the flow of what life gives you. You have the power to take whatever lemons life throws at you and make lemonade, a lemonade stand, compost, a lemon orchard, or whatever else you think will best suit your goals.

Don’t Fear the Future

You will only be afraid of what is coming in the future if you are not actively writing your story now. The choices you make today will determine what tomorrow looks like. Make sure you are making today’s choices with tomorrow’s version of you in mind. Think about all of the opportunities you have to mold reality in your favor for your future self. Each second that passes brings you closer to some future version of yourself. Would you rather be perpetually afraid or would you rather be confident that you’re creating your own luck? I’m guessing it’s the latter so make sure you’re using your time to ensure the best possible outcome.

Don’t Regret the Past

You made whatever decision that felt right for you in whatever moment you regret. Forgive that version of you and keep moving forward. Don’t become trapped in what could have been if you’d made different choices. We can’t go back and make different ones so it doesn’t make sense to dwell on them forever. Take the lessons learned and keep on keeping on.

If You Want Better, Go Get It

If you want a better life, go build it. The life that you want will not be handed to you. You will have to work for it. Do whatever it takes to make it happen. Complaining will get you nowhere.

Quality Over Quantity, Always

Quality never happens accidentally. Quality happens skillfully and intentionally. It’s better to have a small circle of people you can genuinely trust than a stadium full of casual acquaintances. It’s better to have a few quality pieces of clothes with staying power than a closet full of fast fashion. To win at life you have to find ways to increase the quality of your environment without putting yourself in harm’s way. Don’t buy a luxury home with a sauna so you don’t have to go to the one at the gym if you’re risking financial ruin. Instead look at the quality of your food, your health, your relationships, and even your bedsheets. Look for incremental ways to increase the quality of your life without going broke.

Find Things that are Undervalued

You know the price of everything but the value of nothing.


Anyone can look at a price tag and see how much something costs. Those who win at life are able to see the value that something will bring to them or to the world. Something can cost $10,000 but provide $100,000+ of value. That’s an easy trade to make. A book can cost you $25 but give you the knowledge you need to make $250 or $25,000. It’s a small scale but imagine what compounding will do to that initial $25 investment in yourself. Just because something is free or cheap doesn’t mean it’s not valuable.

People’s Opinions Don’t Matter

Don’t let other people’s opinions derail you from what you want to achieve. Most of the time they are projecting their own insecurities onto you. Block out the noise and keep working toward what you want. Even better, don’t share what you want or what you’re working toward. It’s a lot easier to block out noise that doesn’t exist.

Have More Than You Show, Speak Less Than You Know

We’ve all seen the girl that gets a Louis Vuitton or Gucci bag with giant logos all over it and takes it literally everywhere, even when it doesn’t make sense. She needs everyone to know she’s got it and is somehow worthy of something. I understand being happy about having a nice thing but don’t hang your entire identity on it like you’re suddenly better or have made it because you have something expensive. I’m sure you’ve heard this in some form:

Never have a bag that costs more than what’s inside of it.

If your bag is $4,000 and you have $4 to your name something is amiss. Life is a strategy game like chess where you have to make sure you are able to stay at least one step ahead. You’re able to do this by properly managing those resources you’ve spent time acquiring. Having more than you show gives you an edge. No one will know how much you have so you can deploy those resources should you really need to. The same goes for speaking less than you know. When no one really knows what knowledge or skills you have you can be strategic about how you use them. Capital W Wealth comes from being able to make it through whatever storms may come and still come out on top. It’s easier to do that when the details about how strong your fort is are hazy at best.

Realize That You’ve Already Won

It is a statistical miracle that you exist as you are right now. Trillions of events had to happen in a certain order and frequency for you to be here right now. You are lucky enough to have a chance to create whatever life you want and leave your mark. If you have no other reason to start changing your habits so you can win at life, I don’t know what to tell you.

you have already won at life

Remember, everyone is playing the same game. We all want to win at life by being happy and fulfilled. There is still fun to be had in the game even if you’re not at the top of the leaderboard by someone else’s measurement. You get to measure how much you’re winning at life. A game is more enjoyable when you’re playing it with fun people. Choose to play with people that make you smile. You get one chance to play the game of life. Play it well and in a way that you will be proud of your highlight reel.

How to Win at Life: 23 Essential Rules to Plan Your Victory | The Lady Loves Living