Silly question Darren.  Everyone does.

But be careful what you wish for.  There’s a saying that the only thing worse than not getting what you want, is getting what you want.

Research from America indicates that 70% of all lottery winners will squander their winnings in a few years.  In that time family and friendships will be destroyed and financial security will be a fantasy again.

Even more alarming is research that suggests that lottery winners take less pleasure in daily activities than quadriplegics!

Why is this the case and what can you do about it?

Your aspirations.  We innately want better and more, but once a lottery winner has bought the huge mansion, fancy car and quit the day job, what comes next?  It doesn’t take long for the trappings of money to lose their lustre.  If happiness is derived from such things and there is nothing else to aspire to, dissatisfaction will soon kick in. 

Conversely, most quadriplegics have been able to re-set their expectations of life.  Famous astrophysicist Steven Hawking probably put it best when he said, “When one’s expectations are reduced to zero, one really appreciates everything one does have.”

It’s important to have aspirations in life and to ensure that these goals are not just material in nature, but developmental and spiritual as well.  Meaningful goals give us a sense of purpose, achievement, hope and direction.  Having them all seemingly met via the random selection of a series of numbers takes away much of that purpose and leaves a gaping chasm that money and possessions can’t possibly fill.

Be grateful for what you have.  Instead of hoping for a random selection of numbers to appear and take away all of your worries, be grateful for what you have.  This is a far more fulfilling way of living life.  I’ve written about having an “attitude of gratitude” more here, but in the context of this subject, I would add that if you are reliant on the lottery to fix everything, you’re in a lot of trouble. 

The great thing about what you have now is that you have genuinely earned it and as such can feel proud of your achievements.  If you don’t feel a sense of pride at the moment, then it’s not too late to do something about it.  Setting realistic goals that you can control and that are aligned with your values is much more likely to succeed than relying on winning the lottery.

Work hard and reap the real rewards.  Noooooooooooooooooooo!  I want to win the lottery so that I don’t have to work anymore! 

Alas, life doesn’t work like that.  There is a sense of accomplishment and meaning in working diligently.  If you’re not feeling fulfilled in your current career, perhaps you are either not working hard enough or you’re not doing something meaningful with your talents that you can get excited and passionate about. 

One of the problems that lottery winners have is that they aren’t prepared for life with money and as such make bad decisions with it, whereas people who have worked for their millions have developed strategies for dealing with their wealth. 

If you really want to feel like you’ve won the lottery, don’t buy a ticket every week, but: 

  • Find a job you love
  • Work hard every day
  • Do it with enthusiasm that’s contagious
  • Use the skills that you have developed
  • Maximise the strengths and gifts that you were born with
  • Do something meaningful for others
  • In an industry that you respect

If you can tick these boxes, you’ll feel like a lottery winner and make enough money to get by without the distant cousins ringing up for a loan.

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