Every week, millions of people around the world dip into their wages to buy lottery tickets, have a flutter on the horses or enter some other big-prize competition. While many claim that they simply do it for fun, there are many more who seriously hope and believe deep down that they are going to get a big payout one of these days.
There are impressive statistics showing us why most gambles just aren’t worth taking. We’re told that the odds of us winning the lottery are longer than the odds of us marrying royalty or being hit by a meteor. There certainly seem to be a great many more ways to invest your dollar. Notwithstanding, every week – every day, more likely – new millionaires are made. Somebody, somewhere, has their life changed beyond their imagination. The 7 billion plus of us who didn’t win take note of this and mentally shorten our own odds of winning next time, accordingly.
So what happens if you do win? Imagine one day you finish your grocery shopping – having chosen the value options where possible, avoiding excess and making do without – stopped off to fill up on gas, but decided to just fill half the tank after finding yourself light in the wallet. You get home and find out you’ve won $100,000,000. What do you do? Where do you start? Do you get behind the wheel, go back to the gas station and fill up the rest of your tank?
At this point, those who win big are usually told to prepare to protect their newfound wealth. Being rich means that everyone wants a piece of your wealth. You’ll receive begging phone calls, emails and letters. People might stop you in the street. You’ll be bombarded with investment opportunities, and the chance to do ‘the right thing’ for others – guarantee relatives’ kids’ college educations, buy better insurance for your parents, pay for that cosmetic operation your niece has been dreaming of. There is no doubt that, within 24 hours of getting rich, you could be bankrupt and destitute. And that’s not even taking into consideration those who would rob you, steal from you and hold those you love for ransom.
Being monetarily rich, therefore requires one of two approaches: Firstly, you could simply pretend nothing happened. This is fine if you decide you’re going to set up a trust for a local children’s hospital and kiss goodbye to your winnings. You’ll keep going to work, filling your tank half full and nobody will know any different.
The second way requires a defensive approach. Wealth needs to be guarded. Fail to do so and suddenly you won’t have it and someone else will. That means you’ll live in a secure home. You’ll probably have fences, gates and a state-of-the-art home security system. Now you can get down to enjoying your money. But what do you want to do? Perhaps you’d like to travel the world? Hire a full-time tour manager to book your first-class flights, limousines and top hotel penthouses.
Perhaps you’d like to spend your time and money at home with your family, or perhaps your friends. Throw pool parties, hire your favorite band to play every other weekend. Or perhaps you’d like to focus on making your home as palatial as possible, according to your particular tastes.
Will you start sending your minions to art auctions to secure some masterpieces to adorn your walls? What kind of décor and lighting will you have? Will there be chandeliers? Or a modern, integrated, energy-efficient LED lighting system?
Will you be taking another trip around IKEA to stock up on unimaginative, esthetically condescending furniture? Or will your chairs and tables all be specialist, perhaps hand-crafted items? Will you kick back on a plush armchair? Or do you need to have the latest, most luxurious massage chair (check this out: http://www.shiatsuchairs.net/kahuna-massage-lm6800/)?
Thinking about these things might alter your opinion of money. What happens when the thrill and novelty wears off? Do you go out and spend it all again? At some point, there will be no thrill to it at all. Perhaps you should have just handed it over to a good cause in the first place, and experience a sense of satisfaction that will only grow in the future.