"Making it" in America means you've reached a level of success, comfort and security that you find wholly satisfying. It means you've arrived. It's time to relax and enjoy! While the components that comprise a "made it" life can vary dramatically from person to person, in more ways than you might expect, people agree on what it means to "make it" in America!
Unsurprisingly, money is one of the defining aspects of "making it", and for good reason. According to respondents, nearly half (42 percent) state they want to earn more money and enjoy the privileges it affords, such as never worrying about medical bills, and having the abilities to loan money to family and friends and to donate significant amounts to charity. Despite the want for more money, people are not overly greedy; in fact, 77 percent of respondents would not want more than $1 million in annual income, even if it was offered. But a little more surely gives people the sense of more control and security for when life's curveballs come their way.
Work is another major part of people's lives, so it stands to reason that significant work accomplishments and characteristics constitute "making it." Overall, it seems that work and life are relatively in balance. Sure, respondents said they want more quality time outside of work, and vacation, but in terms of the day-to-day, many are close to reaching their ideal situation. People want shorter commute times (from 17 to 10 minutes), more vacation time (from 2.8 weeks to 5.3 weeks), and to work less hours (from 34 to 31 per week). Thirsty-six percent of people have already "made it" in regards to vacation time and 44 percent have "made it" with numbers of hours worked each week.
If people want more quality time, who are they sharing that time with? Seventy-nine percent stated that getting married is a signifier for "making it", whereas 21 percent say being single is the ideal. Other facets include having children (four out of five consider it a requisite of "making it"), and having enough best friends nearby — 69 percent already have the number of best friends they want. Relationships are a top priority to most people because 61 percent of those surveyed have already "made it" regarding their social circles.
It's interesting to see how people feel their lifestyle would change once they hit their personal milestones. Seventy-nine percent of the respondents said that freedom, or autonomy, is not a value they actively pursue now, and 37 percent define "making it" as having the freedom to live life on their terms and not answer to others. What would people do if they didn't have obligations? Twenty-three percent said they'd spend their time exploring, 17 percent would relax, and 28 percent said they'd enjoy time with friends and family.
While the term "making it" doesn't have a concrete definition, people seem to want the same general things: more money, less responsibility, and more time to focus on personal goals and relationships. That doesn't seem so hard to achieve, now does it?