Why I don’t want to win the Lottery – and 10 handy steps that meant I didn’t have to!

I remember saying this at one particularly yuk office job years ago, long before the now well known stories of lottery winners lives gone horribly wrong.  I would HATE to win the Lottery.

Working in a nine to five job that few of us felt any real connection with, my colleagues would often cite the lottery as their best hope for getting out of there – they would pay off mortgages, go on dream holidays and upgrade the car.  All their worries would be over.  Their dreams would suddenly be right within their reach.

My opting out of the weekly office ‘pool’ was met with suspicion and astonishment.  Especially when I explained that I’d actually totally freak out if I won a million.

So yes, on some level I realised that suddenly coming into a lot of cash may well bring it’s own problems, as is proven by the many statistics on people going bankrupt within a few years of a big win.  I’m not great with money and I’ve no reason to believe I’d be any better with £1million than I am with £1000.

I also had seen the odds.  Around 1 in 14,000,000 for the Jackpot and 1 in 56 for a tenner prize.  I saw a news report once, I don’t know how well researched it was, which said that, if you sellotaped a pound coin to a card with your name and address on it and flushed it down the loo, you would have more chance of getting it back that way than if you played the lottery.

Most of all, I’ve always had this sneaking suspicion that the lottery stands as an invisible barrier between people and their dreams.  The tantalising promise of a huge cash windfall means you can just buy a ticket every week and one day, maybe,one day you can start really living the way you want to.  

In the meantime, because you have the remote hope that those numbers give you, you don’t do very much else to create your life of awesomeness.

We made this!

We made this!

Now see here.  If I had waited to win the big prize to start The Art House, odds are pretty high (14,000,000 to one, in fact) that I’d still be waiting, still be in that office job and I’d be around many £££s poorer to boot.

In order to start The Art House I gave up where I was living and put the money I’d have spent on rent into our first quarter’s rent.  That was £460.

Less than I’d have spent on all those lottery tickets.

 

Here’s what lessened the odds, in 10 handy steps:-

Step (0) was – I TURNED OFF THE TV.

1) I stopped WAITING – for the big win, the perfect time, the right people, enough money, security, perfect health, perfect skills……

2) I told everyone what I was planning to do.  Literally, EVERYONE.  This recruited me a big ol’ team of helpers and supporters.

3) I started saying ‘yes’ a lot more – to opportunities, experiences, everything.

4) I spent less, buying secondhand, holidaying in a tent just up the road and generally enjoying life on the cheap.

5) I focussed on doing the things I loved as often as I could.

6) I put myself out there – went to classes, did some art markets, joined in. 

7) I got my act together and went travelling (even though I realise now I probably didn’t need that step – but more of that on another post).

8) I’d been waiting not to be in debt, thinking I had to keep working until the balance was zero – except it never got any closer to zero.  I decided to do the best I can to pay things off, but not to let my past hold me back any longer.

9) I took the difficult step of letting go of things that were holding me back – where I lived, where I worked and sadly my marriage (at the time it was awful, now we BOTH have the radically different lives we wanted and neither of us is miserable – win).

10) I embraced all the experience I’d gathered in all those boring jobs – it came in VERY HANDY and I started to suspect that those jobs had been a training ground for what I’m doing now, because the universe is clever like that.

There’s a bit in Thelma and Louise where Thelma says to Louise “something crossed over in me, I can’t go back, I just couldn’t”.  I remember the day I felt that way.  It was scary as hell, but I made a commitment never to go back to only half living my life.  It’s still pretty scary sometimes, not having that rug of a secure job under me,.  I’d got awfully comfortable on that rug! 

But something crossed over in me.  I couldn’t go back, I just couldn’t.

Living your dream life does take a fair amount of risk.  For at least the first bit, security may be on the line.  I don’t have the exact figures though, but I’m 100% certain that the odds on getting everything, EVERYTHING you dream of if you get busy right now are much, much better that 14 million to one.  

Much,  much, muchmuchmuch better.

So, play the lottery by all means – now that I’ve worked on a few lottery funded projects, far be it from me to discourage anyone from contributing.  

But don’t make that your plan to get that life you really want to be living.  

Seriously.

 

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Comments

Why I don’t want to win the Lottery – and 10 handy steps that meant I didn’t have to! — 6 Comments

  1. thanks to your spell ASHRA,i contacted ashra spell temple and asked that a lottery winning spell should be caste for me , and ashra replied to me that once the spell is caste i we see the winning numbers in a dream ,last night, I had a dream but only remembered 5 lotto numbers anyway in the dream I was questioned how I got the winning numbers to win $30 million dollars and the ticket I bought was rejected for some reason. then i contacted ashra again and explained the dream and he interpreted the meaning of the dream and told me the numbers to play When I played the numbers ,as instructed, I won $24,000.00. My heart was racing so fast, it was incredible. After this substantial win, our lives have been totally transformed and are full of love and he also help me to cast a love spell that that also made my ex returned back to me. . . You said it would come right and it did. The reality is infinitely greater than the dream. you can also contact ashra on personal email address:ashraspelltemple@gmail.com or +2348131134346
    regards,
    BROWN BOB

  2. Deliciously perfect Jani!

    But something crossed over in me. I couldn’t go back, I just couldn’t.

    I know that feeling well – thanks for the reminder x

  3. I recognise this same journey. I clinged to safety of 9-5 for way too long, (even though ‘safety’ was slowly killing me inside). Sometimes the key can be to say ‘How do I reduce my outgoings so I can be free’ rather than ‘When I’ve got more money..then I can…’. The former is more achievable than the latter. Now I would NEVER go back. When I’m up and singing with one of my clients, seeing them having a ball, why would I prefer to be sat at a desk with someone with a fancy title breathing down my neck, telling me what to do. No amount of pay is worth being a slave for.

  4. Another tip to mention, is that there’s lots of p/t work out there, so you can gradually switch to self employment. I worked half the week as a support worker with mencap (which was really enjoyable and rewarding) and half the week developing my arts business. Eventually I had enough of my own work coming in, to give up the job. The job covered my basic bills, which allowed me breathing space and time to get known and word of mouth to spread. Don’t wait for a windfall (or lottery win – more statistical chance of being hit by falling space debris), or some perfect set up – It simply won’t happen and you’ll be saving up your dreams for retirement! (if you don’t die first) two simple words CARPE DIEM!

  5. This is great advice Stuart. I only ever took one full time job in my life (gosh, hard!) so that I always had time for my art as well.