I like to think that on the whole, I'm a pretty happy person. I try to look for the good in others, I tend to let things go, I carve out time for little pleasures daily. Much like anything worthwhile in life, you get what you give. So while everyone in every PowerBall state is currently buying lottery tickets with dreams of becoming billionaires I'm going to go ahead and invite you to consider that the act of buying the ticket is actually a means to happiness itself. I'll explain.
If you do an image search for "happiness" online you get a lot of this:
And some of this:
And then some more of this:
Why is the personification of happiness a bunch of people jumping in the sun? I'm rarely happy when jumping and almost always irritated in the sun. In fact there are at least 5 states of being that I am far happier in than the act of jumping; sleeping, bathing, hugging, creating, and helping to list a few off the top of my head. But that's just me. You have to actually know yourself to know that things that truly bring you pleasure, and rarely is money listed among them. I'm not saying don't buy that ticket...I happen to have one in my own wallet. I'm saying don't hang your hat on money being the defining factor that brings you the happiness you crave.
We all want desperately to be happy, it's at the very core of our humanity. When faced with the possibility of a situation where someone hands you more money than you could spend in your lifetime it allows you this daydream that can trigger an entire series of really great events. It's the daydream that's the key to discovery. If you don't take the time to discover the things that bring you joy, you'll never recognize it when it arrives. When you lay down that $2 and pick up that ticket it's ripe with all the possibilities in the world. Your thoughts turn to how you'd spend it, who's lives would you make better, who would you snub. You imagine your new house, your new car, the trappings of fancy things you can't now afford.
If you dive down into the dream, try to actually picture the person you think you'd become if given the potential to become anything. There is an obnoxious saying, "what would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?" meant to inspire. With a safety net of $1.5 billion dollars you wouldn't have to worry about fail. For $2 you can actually entertain this thought experiment in a real way. Sure you wouldn't have to work anymore, but who among us truly wants a life of leisure alone. I get bored sitting around doing nothing. You'd have to do something? Maybe it would be travel the world, living out of hotel rooms, never wearing the same socks twice. But after you got through with that, the travel, the shopping, the indulgence, what would you actually do? How would you choose to spend your days? Who would you share your wealth with and why? What would you really pursue?
The answer to this question actually brings up some shocking discoveries, at least for me. I realized that if I wasn't tied to my career possibilities i might not stay in Los Angeles. If I could live anywhere it might not be here. If i could do anything, it might not be this. And I would want to do some very simple things that I could actually do now if I wasn't afraid to take the risk. It was the best therapy that $2 could ever buy. Invest in the daydream and something unexpected just might reveal itself. You discover the people who mean the most, and the choices you value. It reminds us all that we're not done yet and that anything is possible anyway, even without a windfall.