Let’s look at some popular desires people would fulfill if they won the lottery.

PAY OFF THE MORTGAGE: if you own a home you probably have a mortgage, if you don’t own a home you probably have the goal of owning a home as a financial investment for your retirement.  Let’s imagine you can pay off your mortgage tomorrow, when you wake up whats actually different? Actually its nothing, some zeros have been moved on some computers, but may you feel different, maybe you feel a sense of freedom, you will have more money for other things now.

If you were going to sell your current property to buy a bigger one you would make sure all the small things were fixed, that the garden looked nice, that the house was clean.  Maybe you’d have a clear out of surplus furniture, buy a new piece of art or some candles and flowers – do that this weekend, see how much better you feel.

Okay what other things do you want?

PURCHASE LUXURY ITEMS: So you want a flash car, a boat, a bigger house, designer clothes, luxury holidays.  These are the things it’s really interesting to keep asking yourself why you want them. Do you want these things so you can have fun, so you have more space, so you can make other people feel jealous, so you can show loved ones they are valued, so you can prove you are worthy?

Let’s be honest about a few things, expensive cars soon become more of a pain – why not hire one for a day and get the experience without the hassle, same with the boat.  Most designer clothes aren’t very flattering if you are buying them for the pure reason they are in fashion, get a personal shopper to help you with your purchases they will choose things that suit you and will be timeless, often this service is free in big department stores whether you end up buying anything or not. A bigger house, that’ll be more rooms to clean, but we can hire a cleaner; and there will be more room for our visiting family and friends that we don’t see enough of – but we will when we are rich right.  And the luxury holidays, time to relax, spend time with your loved ones with no day-to-day distractions that sounds perfect – but I can only do that in a different country of course…?

Now look back at the last paragraph, lots of those things we can incorporate in our lives today at zero cost (spend more time with family, visit places with space, relax with loved ones), and others if you have a bit of income you could also do (hire a nice car, hire a boat, hire a cleaner, use a personal shopper).  It is an illusion that you need to be extremely wealthy to be able to improve your life.  Your lifestyle could make a big upgrade from where it is now if you just take the time to think where you feel it is lacking and why, and then thinking what you can do about that today.

QUIT MY JOB: This is a good one.  And a great one to keep asking why.  Do you want to quit your job so you have more time for other things,hobbies, families, your health and fitness?  It is a possibility there are more hours you can pull out of your day already, try this: If you work for 8 hours and sleep for 8 hours then there are still 8 hours left of the day.  Now some of you will have to travel to work, look after family members, prepare food, household chores etc. but if you booked an appointment or tickets for something and you had to pay whether you went or not you would most likely go; so do that for yourself, book an appointment to indulge in your hobby or improve your health and show up no matter what, maybe even fine yourself if you don’t go and give the money to charity.

If you ban yourself from the internet for a whole day a week or even certain times of the day you will claim so much of your time back.  For a while I wouldn’t let myself pick up my phone in the morning until I’d done some exercise, it definitely motivated me to get it done.

If you want to quit your job because you truly, truly hate it and you struggle to make yourself go every day or the people there are damaging to your psyche then you should start job hunting today, or retraining, or moving cities or whatever excuse that will allow yourself to make this positive change.  Planning your lottery win will help you think how you really want to spend your time, and if it is a hobby you are already good at then maybe you can make that your business today.  Research inspiring stories of people who quit the city to become personal trainers or left accounting to become a photographer.  We all have a unique talent and if you are passionate about something you will be committed enough to make a success of it.  Don’t wait another day – start now.

From what I can tell the things we think we need to be wealthy in order to change, can actually be changed before we get the money.  And if we think about it it’s not actually the money that we want, what is money anyway, grubby bits of paper, smelly coins or these days just numbers on a page; what we want is freedom and the best way to achieve this is with your state of mind, think about what it is that is making you feel trapped and unless you are incarcerated then you can change this because you can change everything. You can leave a job, a relationship, a house, a country – and if you can think of reasons why you can’t then that is your thinking and your choices that keep you there so until they change your situation will remain the same.  If you truly want change it is available to you, and the people you care about.

We want more fun. Describe having fun, does it involve laughing, does it involve friends, does it involve feeling joyful and in love with the world and hopeful and exhilarated? Well guess what all those feelings are free.  Owning things may make you feel good for 5 minutes (have you ever bought a child a new toy?) but you can’t take things with you, all you take with you are memories and experiences. You never truly own anything, it is all just borrowed for the brief bit of time we are alive, even the proteins and minerals in your body will move on when you’re done with them. 

There is no point waiting to win the lottery before you live your best life.  There is no worth in suffering in situations that can be changed; if you think you are doing this for others then you can guarantee your sacrifice is not only going unappreciated but possibly scorned.  Being your best self, pursuing your dreams, letting yourself be happy, making today ‘one-day’ and remembering the things you liked doing before life got in the way is the best possible thing you can do for yourself and therefore everyone around you.

Act like you have already won the lottery, revisit your options, you might have more than you thought.

See part 1 for an exercise to help you get this thought process in action.