It’s fun to win stuff. I won the grand prize at our church’s annual carnival when I was five years old. It was a Sear’s Craftsman electric sander, and it just seemed wrong for me to win it living in a blue collar neighborhood. But I did, and I used and cherished it for nearly sixty years.
A few years ago, I won a $50 gift card to Longhorns while attending a meeting and thought that was pretty cool too. Since my wife and I don’t dine out often, it was quite the treat! So, yeah, it’s fun to win stuff.
Through the years, my practice supported many local fund-raising raffles. I never won any of them, but that’s beside the point. It’s just good business to be a good steward of your community, and it seemed to me, every organization I supported was worthy at the time.
But if I bought a lottery ticket and experienced an enormous cash windfall, it wouldn’t change my core values or who I am. It surprises me, frankly, that big money winners often morph into someone they’ve never been. It’s like the pro athlete that scores an enormous contract, but lacks basic life skills, like money management. It’s surprising to me just how often they run short of cash.
Sadly, we hear stories of big winners that lose more than their winnings, they lose their guiding principles and sometimes their family and loved ones in the process. How is it possible that sudden wealth can lead to such discord? And is it worth it?
There’s an old saying that “he who dies with the most toys wins,” but life should be more than about money and possessions. What’s the point in being “mega-rich” if you’re inherently unhappy? And just how much is enough anyway?
What would you do if you won the lottery? Would you assimilate your new-found wealth into your life and move on, or would you allow money to change your core values and who you’ve always been? Would you burn through that cash in a flash, or perhaps use some of it to help others? Would you feel happier and more successful, or might you realize that having friends and a loving family has already made you a winner of life’s lottery?
So, buy that lottery ticket if that’s really important to you, but don’t overlook all that you’ve “already won.” In many ways, happiness is being content with what one already has.