Bummer – someone else won the lottery last night. Unfortunately you or I were not one of three winning a share of $1.5 Billion dollars. (I’m guessing the three that did are too busy celebrating to read this post.)
I guess I should be bummed about losing but I’m not. Millions of others are waking up this morning, regretting that they have to go to work when they would rather be home, ready to start their new lives as mega-millionaires. Some of these will complain that their $2 ticket was wasted. But I’m excited and glad I played. Why? Let me explain.
Watch for the post next week as we discuss three critical components for building our team to make a radical change.
I bought just one ticket. But the $2 I spent on a ticket was worth every penny, even though I didn’t win a dime in the lottery.
Let’ face it, our chances of winning were 1 in 275 million. Any reasonable person would recognize those odds are ridiculous. After all, odds of getting struck by lightning are only 1 in a 500,00 and getting struck twice is a mere 1 in 9 million. With such long odds, why would I suggest you buy a ticket?
Here are 6 good reasons why we should take the chance.
1. Take a Risk.
Last week when the Powerball lottery went over900 million, my wife and I decided to buy a ticket. After all, who knows. It is only $2 and most people waste more than that on an extra cup of coffee, candy bar, etc. So in some ways, why not? Taking small risks is the way we often find great opportunities so by simply saying “Why Not?” we put ourselves in the mindset to break out of our daily mental rut.
Unfortunately, every day millions of people stay in their rut. They go to work expecting someone else to hand them their winning ticket in the form of a job, promotion or inheritance. They live “outside in” expecting someone else to hand them their winning ticket in life. What they miss is that if we never buy the ticket – we can never win the prize. Too many never sense their opportunities because they dismiss the possibility of winning in life. That limited mindset blinds them to seeing great opportunities. Because they approach life with a “that will never work for me” mentality, they lose before they ever play. There are many opportunities to be found simply by playing the game, by taking a chance. We sense many new and incredible opportunities when we change our mindset and believe our dreams are possible.
2. Work Together.
Buying the ticket is a game that gets my wife and I thinking and working together. We have done this before and have a few numbers that mean something to us. Remembering those numbers and discussing why they are important brings back fond memories and generates some good conversations. That too is a good opportunity to refresh the relationship and bring a smile to our faces. That is a pretty special opportunity in a grim world. Working together offers incredible opportunities.
3. Give Up Control.
Although we like our special numbers, we often let the computer picket a ticket for us. Why? Because the computer picks a wider range of numbers than we do. Throughout our lives we have been very responsible and take tight control of our own lives. That extra $2 is an opportunity to see what other numbers could change our lives. For some that may sound trivial, but that little action reminds us that letting go and listening to others can often lead to great opportunities.
4. Dream Big.
This step alone makes the $2 well worth the investment – even if we never win. Why? Because dreaming is the emotional first half of a strategic vision. By dreaming of what we would do with, in this case, approximately $200 million after taxes and a 3 way split, we dream bigger than we have before. We have realized for many years that we could live well on $2 million, invested properly, but thinking about over one hundred times that amount forces us to think bigger. That is critical. Too many times in life we simply don’t think big enough and miss incredible opportunities. We cannot see how something could work and so we pass on it. We have all heard stories of those who had the opportunity to buy stock in the early days of Microsoft or some other successful corporation. A small investment then would have set us for life. But we couldn’t see it. Playing the lottery is a great opportunity to expand our thinking because dreaming helps us sense incredible opportunities.
5. Re-evaluate Values.
Dreaming is a great first step but the important part seeing what can be and who we want to become. That last part is critical. Many dream of quitting work or living in luxury. But how will that change you? Dreaming big forces us to re-evaluate our values, and find what is most important to us. We recognize that many have won lotteries before, only to squander their winnings on a lifestyle that did not bring happiness. From that we shape our vision of what we want to do and how that additional funding can make those things happen. For us, that means looking out instead of greedily looking in. That new future involves helping others make a significant difference. After all, with that much money, we have more than enough for any material goods we want or need. We also recognize that the money itself will not make us a better or happier person. In the end, we find that much of what we are doing now is what we would be doing if we won, only on a larger scale. As business, civic and religious leaders, the process of dreaming big is an excellent opportunity to know who we are and where we would like to go.
6. Renew Your Focus
For all of us who did not hold the winning ticket, we have the opportunity to start the day with a better sense of who we are and where we would love to go in this world. Yes, it can be disappointing to realize our vision will take more time to materialize but that shouldn’t be any reason to give up the dream. Every day, individuals with a dream get up looking to find that one opportunity that will move them closer to their dreams. The successful entrepreneurs don’t look back, complaining that someone else won. Instead, they believe that, “if it happened for one, it can happen for me.” In the end, we know it is possible to get “lucky” with a long-shot but know our best chance to live our dreams is with personal responsibility found in small, strategic steps. It is the action I take that is the most important in shaping MY life.
In the end, as leaders we know that what happened yesterday is not nearly as important as what we will do today. Playing the lottery was just a fun little game that has powerful implications, if we play it right. Don’t let the lottery of luck dictate your opportunities but instead dream, strategize, collaborate and know who you are. That is what it takes to create radical change.
3D PWR Tip: Dream Big but Work Strategically
Check back next week to continue my series on the process to create radical change.
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Dr. Loren Murfield works with aspiring and emerging leaders to disrupt their careers, organizations and personal lives so they can realize the ultimate opportunities. Are you wondering how you can leverage your power to make those radical changes? Contact Dr. Murfield today.
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