Why does "make it" mean "to survive"?

Like when a doctor says “He’s going to make it”, or “He didn’t make it”.

What’s the connection between making it and surviving?

Maybe it came from making a goal or making it to your destination if you are traveling. So in those cases make it = success.

Make really is one of the hardest working words in the English language, used in hundreds of different constructions with a dizzying range of senses.

The sense referred to in the OP seems to stem from this one in OED (although it’s such a huge entry that I may have missed something.)

Could it be a borrowed term from French, where “make” (faire) is used for just about everything?

If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere.

I always thought it was short for “making a life.”

It’s an idiom. It doesn’t have to make (sic) sense.

Isn’t “make” just what’s sometimes called a “light verb,” akin to “machen” in German and similar complexes of words in Greek and in Latin (facio, ago, ferio, etc., and cognates in the Romance languages)? Meaning it’s a verb, just like Aldiboronti said, which was, for whatever reason, selected for adaptation to all sorts of, apparently, semantically-unrelated constructions?

It seems to make sense to me that words related to broad groups of activity that obtain cross-culturally (doing, driving, making, going, etc.) might be uniquely pressed into such idiomatic service, where more specific verbs denoting particular, even tribal and insular actions, would not.