Recently my wife and I watched the movie Eat Pray Love. In the movie the main character, played by Julia Roberts, tells the story of a man who went to church everyday and prayed in front of a statue of his favorite saint that he would win the lottery. “Please, please, please let me win the lottery,” he prayed day after day after day. Finally, the saint could take it no longer and made the statue come to life. “Please, please, please,” said the saint, “buy a ticket.”
Like the man in the above story, many of us hope and pray for a better life but do not take the necessary steps to make it happen. We don’t buy the ticket! Instead, we just wait for something to come along that will bring us the life we desire. Most of the time we don’t even know what it is we are waiting for.
Where do I get the ticket?
Playing the lottery involves making a lot of decisions. Do you want to buy your ticket at the convenience store, the local drug store or the big chain grocery store? What kind of game do you want to play? You can choose from buying a scratch ticket, playing a state level game like Pick 3, or go for one of the big prizes by playing Powerball or Mega Millions. If you pick one of the big games, you have to choose the numbers you want to play. Are you going to play your lucky numbers, or birth dates and anniversaries? Of course, you can let the computer pick your numbers for you. Unfortunately, I think most people let others pick their lot in life for them.
How much do I spend?
Scratch tickets can be purchased in amounts from $1 to $20+ with top prizes ranging from $500 to new cars and trucks. Powerball type game tickets generally sell for $1 each, but the more tickets you buy, the better your odds are of winning. Top prizes in the national lottery games can reach 100s of millions of dollars. Like most things in life, the more you risk, the greater the rewards.
You already have a ticket!
Like deciding which lottery game you want to play, you have to decide what it is you want in life. Do you want to get out of debt, find a job you enjoy, spend more time with your family, or travel around the world? Spend some time reflecting on what you want to change in your life. Like the lottery, once you have decided what you first want to work on, you have to choose how much you want to risk. Small risks can safely make small positive changes in your life. Bigger risks can lead to even bigger rewards. Unlike the lottery though, you don’t have to go somewhere else to get your ticket to change. If you look for it, you will see that you have always had a ticket to change your life, and you always will.
What do I win?
If you want more time with your family, your ticket might be finding a committee you are on or another commitment you can eliminate to free an extra evening at home. You may choose to risk more and find expenses you can cut and unused items to sell which allows you to quit that second job and have much more time with the family and to work on your hobbies. If you are unhappy with your work situation, you could might risk a pay cut to go to work for another company. You could start online classes to get training in a different field in preparation to starting a new career. Or you could go “all-in” and quit if your work is making you that unhappy and dive right in to trying to make a living doing work you love. There are as many choices as there are combinations of numbers on a lottery ticket. It’s time that you are the one making the choices.
I knew that I wasn’t happy with my life several years ago. I’d grown tired of working in retail management, my home life had gotten stale, I had too much debt, too much stress and little hope that the future was going to be any better. Last August my wife found Tammy Strobel’s Rowdy Kittens blog and we realized that our life didn’t have to continue in the depressing path it had been going. Together, we decided to go “all-in” and change our lives forever. I quit my retail management job and do independent contractor merchandising jobs (which I usually enjoy) to support us until I can make it as a writer. We have sold most of our possessions and cut most of our expenses and have reduced over $13,000 of debt. Relatives are giving us a place to live until we decide where we want to settle. We have taken a huge risk and our lives have been changing for the better. I’m not sure exactly where we will end up, but I do know that I’ve bought my ticket, and soon I will win my prize.
In 2011 I have committed to Own Less, Buy Less and Do Less. Please join me in this commitment. Read my post A Call For Change…Make 2011 The Year Of Less and sign the proclamation at the top of the right-hand column.