Dateline: Belfast, Northern Ireland
Go buy a lottery ticket.
Does that sound like the stupidest financial advice you could ever read? Maybe it is. On the other hand, it might be the best two bucks you spend this week. Let me explain why.
First of all, let’s make it clear that I’m not dispensing financial advice. I’m not legally qualified to do so. Instead, I’m dispensing psychological advice (which, technically, I’m not legally qualified to do, either).
If you’re even slightly mathematically literate, you realize that the odds of winning one of those giant, mega-lotteries are about the same as flipping a coin — and having it land on its edge and balance there. So the only rational thing to do after buying a lottery ticket is to assume you will not win anything.
But . . . the fact remains that you could win. It’s possible. Before you bought the ticket you had zero chance. With it, you have a more than zero chance.
What Would You Change?
But what’s the real benefit to having an above zero chance of winning the lottery? For one, it makes you stop and think.
If you allow yourself to seriously entertain the “what if” question of suddenly having many millions of dollars of liquid capital at your disposal, it raises the giant question: How would you live?
Would you keep working at the same job for the same company?
Would you spend all of your time in the same place twelve months of the year for the rest of your life?
Would you devote the remainder of your productive years to what you are doing now, or do something that would be more exciting and meaningful to you?
Would you deliberately try to pay the highest possible taxes on your winnings and on the future profits it generated?
Would you leave your winnings in any place where it could be taken from you if a government decided “the people” needed that money more than you?
Would you leave your winnings in any place where greedy lawyers and opportunistic parasites could sue you out of it?
Would you remain the legal property of a single state that can make arbitrary laws to control you and your wealth?
Would you entrust your winnings to insolvent banks because they have entertaining TV ads or happened to be around the corner from where you’ve always lived?
OR, would you take steps to improve your lifestyle and safeguard the important resources that deliver you a great life?
Would you live part of the year in a place known as a ‘paradise?’
Would you spend what could be wasted on taxes to fund wars and freeloaders on bettering the lives of people you think are more deserving, including loved ones?
Would you spend a lot of time engineering and crafting the exact life you’d most like to live?
Guess What? You Already Won!
Yes, you won. No, you haven’t won the Powerball, but you have won one of the biggest games of chance in existence: life.
I won’t bore you with the calculations it takes to figure out your odds of being here today. It involves not only fertility odds, but also that a certain boy 5,000 years ago didn’t fall out of a tree he was climbing, and a particular girl 30,000 years ago wasn’t spotted by a hungry bear walking near her. That number is so massive it makes the odds of winning a mega-lottery look like a near certainty.
Basically, you’re as rare as any atom in this universe.
My point — and I do have one — is that you are already fantastically fortunate. You have everything you need to make the changes in your life that will deliver your definition of happiness, security, longevity, and a deep sense of purpose. You’re almost there! (And saying, “I can’t right now because wah, wah, wah..” is an absurdity when you’re already this close.)
And I can tell you from my own experience, and the experience of many people I know, you don’t need a winning lottery ticket to make all those positive things a reality in your everyday life.
Most of us get too busy and distracted with the nonsense in our popular culture to realize all these positive things are at our fingertips today.
If that isn’t foremost in your mind, go buy a lottery ticket.
Because buying a single, cheap lottery ticket can focus your mind to seriously think about probabilities and possibilities. And that can deliver massive, catalytic power to move you from where you are right now to where you want to be in your wildest dreams.