When I Win the Lotto
All together now—"when I win the lottoTM" I will...
- Give some money away to charity
- Buy everything I've ever wanted to own but couldn't afford.
- Become even more rich by investing it in the stock market
- Go to all the places I want to visit
- Quit my job
- Do nothing
- Begin to pursue my dreams, my passions, and things that matter to me.
The reality is that we all love to dream big dreams, but they also scare the living crap out of us. What if I fail? What if I get our heart set on something we'll never achieve? What if it costs me everything I have to achieve it? What if I don't know how to do it? The list goes on.
The lottery is thus the ultimate savior and also the ultimate cop out. It's the ultimate savior because with such an influx in cash, a lot of things become very possible very quickly. It's a short cut. And I'll be the first to admit that I'm not always a patient person. I would love to obtain something now rather than work hard for decades and have no guarantee that I'll actually achieve what I want.
The ultimate cop out
It's the ultimate cop out because it wires our belief system into an all or none, conditional outcome. When... then. So until that 'when' point, I have already decided I have no reasonable chance to achieve my dream/goal/passion anyway and thus there is no heartbreak when 'then' doesn't happen. It's the lotto's fault for not giving me the quick and easy way and it's not my fault for not perservering.
Only 15 people a year can pursue their dream.
The odds of winning the powerball drawing with a single ticket is approximately 1 in 190 million. And the jackpot (usually above 20 million dollars) is only claimed by 12-15 winners a year. So according to the 'when I win the lotto' meme, those are the only 15 people who will be able to make significant progress on their dreams/goals/passions. And with over 300 million Americans in this country, that means the other 99.999995% of the population are out of luck.
Bootstrap now instead!
Thankfully this meme is not really as strong or as prevalent as I'm sarcastically making it out to be. There are the boostrappers, the initiators, the starters, and entire array of people who merely have the courage and wherewithal to keep going. Napolean Hill, Jack Canfield, Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, Lester Levenson, Gary Craig, Aron Ralston, every singer on American Idol, every cancer survivor, and the list goes on. There are people around us from the richest CEO's to just the best local band in town that are out there doing, creating, living, and succeeding in their own way—every day and without the assurance of 20 million in the bank to carry them through the difficult times when there is no guarantee of success. In this line of thinking, success is not confined to 15 people in America per year, but achievable by everyone in their own way and in line with their own definition of success.
I'll admit that I get caught up in this style of thinking now and again (as I said before, the best advice to myself is what I give to others). But for me, the more subtle version of this plays out in my placing blame on external circumstances. If I only had this client. If I only lived in this area. If I had only ____. This line of thinking is good to a point as it can help us refine our direction, but it becomes a detriment is one wallows too deep. Winning the lotto just happens to be the most extreme version of externalizing our excuses.
But hey, I'm not saying I wouldn't be on cloud nine if I did win the jackpot!
About Rick Manelius
I'm a Drupal Ninja (brown belt), an aspiring author, a personal development fanatic, and an overall explorer of life. I own SoundPost Media, LLC— a Drupal agency that works with small to medium sized media compaies looking to improve their presence on the web. Stick around by subscribing to my feed, following me, or simply leaving a comment below. I appreciate you stopping by!