It occurs to me what buying lottery tickets is really all about. It’s not the excitement of gambling that one might suppose. After all, the chances of actually winning are so miniscule to be almost non-existent. It’s not even about the large sums of money that will furnish us with a mansion, top of the range cars, and guide us toward a life of ease and luxury, although they are undoubtedly attractive things about which to daydream, especially when you feel stuck in a life where every new bill is a worry. I believe that little slip of paper with a line of numbers is all about a feeling of hope.
Hope that you can get away from money troubles, or doing a job that doesn’t fulfil you and you don’t feel appreciated for doing. Hope that you will be able to look after your family and friends well. Hope that you can get away from all your worries and hope that you will be happy. Hope that you will feel valued and courted, as the wealthy in capitalist societies are. Hope that you can feel important and capable of buying what you want when you want it, and not being looked down upon as you search for a bargain. I know people who won’t check their lottery tickets when the draw has been done, just to hold onto that hope for a little longer. Luckily, the people who make money out of lottery ticket sales have taken that into account by making the draws more frequent.
The thing about the lottery ticket is that it equates to a feeling – hope – but what you are actually hoping for is another feeling such as happiness, fulfilment, ease, appreciation or importance.
Money is king! Right now, in our time, money, or in government terms ‘economic growth’, is believed to be the most important thing in the human experience. Everything else must bow down to the dollar, the pound or the euro. Time is money. Natural resources are money. Money is held to be more important than happiness, love, fulfilment, peace, belonging, family, safety, appreciation of beauty or any of the things psychologists, religious leaders, communities or individuals themselves have identified as the most important human needs.
I asked a friend what would make him happy. He told me he would be happy when he was a millionaire. He was working all the hours god sent to achieve his dream. He had a wife and baby, but was mostly on the road, travelling, and in meetings. One day he phoned me to say he’d made his first million. I congratulated him and asked if he was happy now. He replied that he didn’t really have time for that because he wanted to become a multi-millionaire as a new opportunity was opening up. So I asked what becoming a multi-millionaire would get him – especially now that he had the nice cars and house. Why not be happy while he was becoming a multi-millionaire instead of waiting.
When I talk to my friends, family and my clients it is for these feelings they are striving. Often, though, their minds have been clouded by the false belief that money will get them there. When they tell me about their goals and dreams, asking a simple question such as “What will that do for you?” can lead to them realising their true heart’s desire. To love and be loved, to feel joy, to do something worthwhile, and be free from worry is all most heart’s ask for. There is joy in being part of a loving family or a community (in whatever form that may take). There is satisfaction in doing a good job whatever the task. There is love in giving your service gladly. You don’t need a lottery ticket for that, you need to follow your heart.