Did you buy a ticket for the Powerball? I hope that you won! The chances are that you didn’t. Below are some ideas to help you get closer to your dreams, even if you didn’t win 1.3 billion dollars this time around. (Originally, the article below was posted in April of 2012, but the topic is just as relevant today.)
Did you buy the Mega Million ticket on Friday?
If you did, I’m guessing that you didn’t win the $649M jackpot.
(Of course, I could be wrong, but my odds of being wrong are 1 in 175 million, so I’ll take my chances.)
Did you dream big?
Perhaps, you’ve mapped out a perfect journey that you could take once you win the jackpot.
Maybe, you’ve been fantasizing about handing in your resignation letter.
Possibly, you’ve even created a Pinterest board with pictures of your dream house or vacation home.
Even if you didn’t win, don’t get discouraged.
Don’t throw your big dreams away quite yet.
I won’t discuss research that shows that winning the lottery would not make you happier in the long run. (Although there is abundant research about the fact that we adapt to both good and bad things within 2 years and return to our natural happiness set point.)
What I will share with you is 5 things that you can do to get closer to the life that you have envisioned for yourself after winning the lottery.
1. Retreat. The first (and most important, if I may add) advice that is given to lottery winners is to lay low for a while. The lottery winners are advised to take some time to think, consider all of their options, and avoid making changes during that initial period. Do this now: take time to weigh your options. Think, observe. Ask yourself: what is currently working well for you? What would you like to create in your life? Put your attention on the areas that you would like to expand.
2. Feel Now the way you think you would feel Then. How would it feel to go on that big trip? To live in a new house? To taste the freedom after resignation that was long overdue? Try on that feeling, embody it, and feel it through all of your senses. Let yourself experience a physical sensation of “feeling Now the way you’ll feel Then”. You will notice that you’ll sit and walk differently, you’ll pay attention to ideas and things in your environment that are more aligned with your new “state of being”, and you will notice yourself making choices from a new place. Step by step, you’ll be following the path that is in concert with your vision for the way you’d like to feel.
3. Downscale and go! Let’s say that after winning the mega million, you planned to travel across Australia. Although now you might not be able to afford the kind of trip you’ve envisioned, start by spending a few hours on the internet, and come up with an Australian itinerary for a smaller budget – just for fun. Then, take $20 out of your pocket and put it in a jar labeled “Australia”. Write the $ goal on the jar, and add money to it every day, as much as you can for that day. Scout for Australia-related activities in your area: Restaurants? Meet-ups? Exhibits? This way, you can start experiencing Australia way before you get to go. Have fun!
4. Allocate your resources to things that matter. Whether you were dreaming of doing something big or something seemingly small with your winnings, your Mega Million dreams gave you great clues about the things that are important to you. How much time, attention, love, and fuel do you currently give to those things in your daily life? Can you give more? Just for one day, mindfully give more resources to those things that are so important to you, and notice how much more inspired you feel.
5. Raise your happiness set point. Although research points out that our happiness set point is largely determined by genetics (50%), there are still things that we can do to feel happier, according to happiness experts like Sonya Lyubomirsky. For example, create as many positive experiences as you can in your life, but vary those experiences as well as vary their timing in order to avoid hedonic adaptation. Be grateful, commit random acts of kindness, dance, learn new things, spend time with people you love, but be spontaneous and unpredictable when choosing your positive experiences rather than pre-schedule them. (You can write down each of these ideas on a post-it note, put them in a box/jar, and pull one out of the box each day).
And always leave yourself something to look forward to.