If I Won the Lottery

I have a teacher who is always saying, “If you could take money out of the equation, what would you do?” I’ve never been able to wrap my brain around that concept, particularly on the first day of the month when bills are due. I HAVE, however, been able to engage my mind with the question, “What would you do if you won the lottery?” That’s not taking money out of the equation; it’s putting a whole lot of it IN so money is no longer a driving force behind decisions.

What would you do if you won the lottery? Over the next few days, carry a small notebook with you and jot down things as they come.

My list includes:

1. Write uplifting novels

2. Host lots of gatherings in my home

3. Take elective courses at some of the top universities

4. Do more pro bono speaking, particularly to youth groups

5. Get into shape by working with a personal trainer

6. Spend a month in a foreign country

7. Live by a river or brook

8. Give more to charity

9. Regularly listen to live music

10. Spend more quality time with my kids and grandkids

What’s important about this exercise is that it causes you to focus and to dream. As you make your own list, you may discover, as I have, that most of the items on it are possible to do without spending a lot of money. We use the conversation called, “I don’t have enough money,” to stop us from doing what thrills us to our very core. Don’t you find that sad? We are surrounded by a vast ocean of delightful experiences to dip into and we spend endless hours in front of our TVs or computers. And we wonder why we feel unfulfilled.

All this deep pondering came as a result of seeing the film August Rush (which I highly recommend). The movie is about an 11-year old boy who was orphaned at birth and is discovered to be a musical prodigy. As I watched the joy music gave this child, it made me yearn for something similar. I found myself wanting to discover what might flood my face with such happiness.

You see, I don’t really care about winning the lottery. (Don’t get me wrong; I wouldn’t mind it.) I think that when we dream of winning millions, there is a subtext. What it’s really about is the strong desire to find our passion. And there are people with billions who haven’t done so and those with pennies who have.

Making a list of what you would do if you won the lottery will help you to identify your passion. As I looked at my list (and it’s longer than what I’ve shared with you), I’ve re-discovered that my passion is learning and then teaching what I’ve learned. Whenever I “catch fire” about something, it almost always centers on an idea that has captured my imagination. And once that happens, I cannot wait to share with others.

You’ll note I said, “re-discover.” Sometimes we forget what we are passionate about. Those hours in front of the TV and computer are spirit-numbing and we lose our way. Numb was what I was feeling when I watched August Rush. It turns out I hadn’t lost my passion but the awareness of what it is. This wonderful movie helped guide me back. That is the Law of Attraction at work. You get what you focus on and as I focused on the question, “What is my passion?” the answers came quickly, albeit not directly. They came in the form of a friend reminding me of the benefit of writing first thing in the morning or another friend saying the words, “Have faith.”

Re-discover your passion. I’m certain it’s been there the whole time patiently waiting for you to return.

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