How Can An Average Middle Class Person Make It To The Top?

How Can an Average Middle-Class person make it to the top?

Take a second to think about it.

The more I think about it, I can see how deep this question is and it’s not easy to answer.

To any aspiring person, the road to the Top is filled with detours, pitstops, and blockade. Is there a formula or blueprint for success that anyone can use based on others experience?

I posted the same question to the Happy Schools community and here ate some thoughtful replies.

Ajinka Says

I would say take calculated risks and be completely aware of the risks if it goes wrong.

How much loan you have to pay back? And be always be prepared for this.

Don’t be motivated to follow dreams by watching YouTube inspiration videos.

Success requires planning and consistent efforts.

Deekshitha Says

I don’t see how it’s different than the question of how to rise to the top in life itself. Each person has a different path and different skills. Each person meets different people in their lives who may choose to open different doors of opportunities to them.

Life is a risk and foreign education with an intent rising to the top job is no different.

The question is really is how much do you want to gamble?

Do you have a good work ethic?

Are you smart?

These questions apply to all aspects of life. Taking a loan/gambling all your family’s hard-earned wealth should never be an option.

That said they are free to look into scholarships at different universities (they shouldn’t restrict themselves to the USA alone).

There are still different visas that are easier to get. For example, a religious worker visa – if that interests the applicant. Even an artist visa. Which field does this person want to pursue and how hard is he/she willing to work?

Shanthan Says

Don’t listen to people who are not where you want to be or not going where you want to go.

Soumyabarata Says

The basic thing required for achieving any high-end goal is a sincere, honest, dedicated and focused effort to achieve it.

The most important ingredient is, of course, a genuine passion for that. Everything else will fall in place.

Achieving the top-most level in any discipline results from an undivided life-long dedication; there cannot be any short-cut for that.

Hard work is everything!

Knowing and growing in the field is all that matters.

We all evolve; so it is not possible to realize the path unless we go through it. One good way is just to start with the small steps and realize gradually what suits us best.

It is kind of discovering oneself along the way and modulating the goal accordingly.

Lastly, I think, the best way to grow is to not think about the result but just to put the best possible efforts and enjoy the journey.

All the successful people I know are the most hardworking and sincere people.


These are perspectives from people who are striving to rise to the top. Everyone’s view of the world is different and their formula for success is different. But, there’s one core message. Work Hard!

Hard work definitely works. But, there’s more to it. At least that what I’m learning as I’m trying to reach to the top as well.

Here’s an excerpt from the article The Best way to accomplish your goal is to ignore them.

Goals are short-term. They give you an adrenaline rush when you conquer it, but it also causes you to become complacent. And if you fail, it’s difficult to get back up and on track.

On the other hand, the process ensures that you always have something to do. If you make a mistake or miss your workout, you simply aim to hit the next one. The process gears you towards long-term thinking. It’s about committing and adhering to a plan over time.

I have learned the same lesson about the process, putting in the hours and reaching the goals.

Once I reach a milestone, complacency hits and it takes a while to recover from that state. But, by focussing on the process, and improving on smaller aspects, helps me make progress to reach the next milestone.

Let me give you a practical example from my life.

I did two webinars in the past few weeks. The idea to do a webinar came from a few comments posted by the members of the community.

I have done live events in the past. It took literally two minutes to announce the event.

It looked that I can have the events setup and be running in 30 minutes. But, this was a paid event.  And there are multiple platforms involved.

Techincal side involves the following:

  • Configure Webinar hosting platform
  • Configure the Payment Processors
  • Write emails for sales and registered members
  • Create Sales landing pages
  • Tracking the visitors & conversions
  • Connecting all the above platforms for seamless data flow
  • Promoting the events
  • Answers to support requests and questions

Then there’s the promotional aspect. Not everyone who registers for the event follows the instructions. Some of them would pay, but did not register. Few registered with incorrect email id. It takes time to do the work. That involves few hours of work.

After hosting the first event, I learned a bunch of lessons. So, I created a checklist for launching and promoting a paid Webinar.

When I hosted the next event – How to saves thousands of dollars while buying a new car, I spent about 30% less time with the process.

Now, how does this relate to rising to the top?

It’s process and progress. There’s no time to think about perfection. There will be mistakes and lessons learned.

By creating the checklist, I had things in order. I did not have to juggle things and waste time.

I got better at hosting the second event.

When I host the third event, I will continue to optimize the process.

The more I do, the better I get. I’m making small progress towards getting good at this one specific skill of hosting the event.

You may have read about, how I tracked every tiny aspect of IELTS Test Prep to score 9.0 out of 9.0 in IELTS Listening section.

Same applies to every aspect of life.

Pay attention to process, progress, execution and not perfection. If I wanted to be perfect, I would have never hosted the first event.

process process execution success formula

Take one aspect of your life – it can be your work or hobby or a new skill you are learning. Apply this – Process, Progress and Execution, even if it’s not perfect.

Now, what would you do if you don’t feel like showing up with this attitude every day or consistently?

The Process, Progress, and Execution will not lead to success if you show-up just for a few days a week or a month.

You either have a talent, recognize it and put it work by deliberate effort.

I learned these concepts of Process, Progress, and Execution from the following three books.

According to Steven Pressfield from the book The War of Art, “The amateur is a weekend warrior. The professional shows up seven days a week.”

Is showing up enough? That’s a good start. But, how long do you have to show-up to reach the top level?

The answer to that comes from this excellent book, Outliers  – The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell, at least 10,000 hours of dedicated practice is required to excel in a field.  You will find examples from Professional Ice Hockey players to Mozart to Bill Gates about 10,000 hours of dedicated practice.  That’s about 10 or more years of deep and dedicated work.

Let’s not stop right there. Computer Science professor Cal Newport wrote a book about Deep Work. It’s not enough to just show-up to accumulate 10,000 hours. It has to be dedicated and deliberate work.

According to the book, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World.

Deep work is defined as the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It’s a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time. Deep work will make you better at what you do and provide the sense of true fulfillment that comes from craftsmanship.

That’s my formula to rise to the top. This works for me. And I’m pretty sure, it will work for you.

I have witnessed so many people, who would themselves consider average to below average based on their academic performance at the bachelors degree level. But, they found the way to rise to the top of their field with the dedicated work.

3 Comments

  1. Harsha Bolisetti on August 13, 2018 at 7:27 PM

    Another interesting book is “Talent Code”, this book systematically destroys the myth “some people are just born with intelligence and it’s in their genes”. If outliers book explains why 10 thousand hours are essential for world-class mastery, this book explains how to spend those 10k hours.

    Persistence is the key.

  2. Ramesh Gautam on July 13, 2018 at 5:22 AM

    I Got Admission with annual fellowship in CGU $ 28000 but total cost is about $68000. what can I do

    • Raghuram Sukumar on July 14, 2018 at 10:48 PM

      Are you asking if you should attend CGU?

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