If you won the lottery…

Posted: September 24, 2009 in Uncategorized
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So the lottery played again last night – didja win anything? News24 ran a story the other day about a guy who drove around with a winning lottery ticket for 5 months before he bothered even to check it. When he finally got round to doing so, he was R20,000,000 richer.

throw-money-765885

I guess that kind of life changing event us something that crosses the fancy of all if us from time to time. Most enticing of all is the thought of the freedom that a windfall like that would bring. It would give you the freedom to do – well, to do just about anything, actually. The question that popped into my mind, though, is whether or not you’d carry on doing what you’re doing right now. I suspect that there would be some who would say yes and some who would simply accelerate but stay on the same path, but that most would end up doing something completely different – or nothing at all. Why? Are you, at the end of the day, doing what you do mainly because of the money?

It seems to me that we too often choose a lifestyle and then settle on whatever vocation we think will support that, rather than choosing a purpose and settling on whatever lifestyle might result. A friend of mine went to a meting at his son’s school where they were asked (in the context of seeing if parents make good job advisors) how many parents were unhappy in their jobs; 85% of them put up their hands. I know, I know, you need to “provide” – housing, food, clothing, education – and these things cost. But at the end of the day it so often ends up being about what level of those things we think is necessary – and that just ties back to lifestyle.

Another reason even less appealing is that we follow this path because of our fears. Our jobs, whatever they might be, represent security and we don’t follow what’s really in our hearts because we fear that we will fail, we will have no way to survive. But we don’t know that (how can we, unless we claim to know the future absolutely), we only fear it, and the truth is that “survival” is a lot harder to fail than most of us think. Julia Cameron made a similar point in “The Artist’s Way”, which is worth a read in this kind of context. Security, at the end of the day, is no more than a comforting illusion.

And if you did nothing but goof off? Then I think it would be good to chat about the meaning of life in the first place, about mere sensory gratification versus the possibility of an intended part in a greater Song…

I’m talking self therapy here too, of course. The noted psychologist Viktor Frankl said you can deal with any “What” or “How” if you know the “Why”: the thought of the freedom that a lottery windfall would bring suddenly highlights the actual “Why” you’re living at the moment, that’s all. Where do you think you are on the path?

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Comments
  1. P.A.N says:

    I am constantly amazed at your insights and clarity of thought. Perhaps if one really knew the Song, there would be less greed and selfishness prevalent in our actions. But, then again, even knowing the Song it will always be necessary to guard against them

  2. Grant says:

    A lecturer we had visiting from Harvard a few years back ran a survey with his MBA students at Harvard business School over a number of years.

    Basically 2 options were given.

    Will you work to make money and then do what you like/love – or will you do what you love and hope that you may make some money.

    A few years later he checked the progress of the students. He took all the Dollar millionaires and compared them against what they did as a job. An overwhelmining majority (close on 90%) of the millionaires were of the latter category. Thiose that chased money were still chasing, were disillusioned and unsucessful.

    Proves the hypothesis.

    • veethree says:

      Great comment. Took a while to approve because for some reason WordPress identified it as spam! Doesn’t mean you should stop commenting, but I’ll check that spam box a bit more carefully from now on…

  3. NAZ says:

    HI I HAVE JUST RECIEVED AN SMS STATING THAT I HAVE WON 1MILLION RANDS AND THAT I SHOULD CONTACT A GUY BY THE NAME OF HARRY ON 0799011871 TO CLAIM.I JUST WANT TO KNOW IF YOU GUYS KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIS.THANKS

  4. NAZ says:

    I DONT REMEMBER THOUGH I HONESTLY DOUBT SO.I HAVE HOWEVER REPORTED THIS TO VODACOM AND GAVE THEM HIS DETAILS.

  5. Joy says:

    I also think that is a scam. I had the same sms with the same number but now its not harry, its Karl that you contact. I think this person is changing his names but using the same number. WHAT DID VODACOM FIND OUT ABOUT THIS PERSON?

  6. We have an interesting discussion going on this topic at:

    http://www.surveymagnet.com/2010/07/what-to-do-with-your-lottery-winnings/

    Come join the discussion.

  7. wilma says:

    I have received a sms from +27711462467
    Congrats you won R250,000,00 in the (SA) Trudon Mobile Lottery to claim Contact Robert on Tel 0738739109 Fax 0865366471 e-mail:trudonsa@live.com

    I have phoned the first number and Robert answered, sounds like a German or some guy from Europe… He said yes, I did win the amount, but what I need to do now is to Fax my name, age, gender and occupation… no I cannot e-mail it, it must be faxed!!! WHAT IS THIS? IS IT A SCAM?

    • veethree says:

      A scam for sure. Have nothing more to do with it.

    • concern citizen says:

      on the 24 jan 2011 in the morning i also recieved the exact sms. I thought about it before calling the number, and after speaking to the guy who claimed to be an agent and not Robert, he said i should fax in my names, postal address and cell number. I asked why all this info if my number was so called chosen, and his explanation never made sense.
      So my bottom line is that these people are fake and will do anything to ruin your life once all info is given to them. Whenever things seem to good to be true, know that something is fishy.
      Oh p.s, when i showed my mom the sms, she told me that she recieved the same thing last year, a few months after my sister recieved it from her phone. So HELLLLOO, could luck strike the same family THRICE?
      Bottom line, stay away.

  8. annette couzens says:

    On Monday 13 sept 2010 the smae happened to me as to NAZ no 4 and Wilma no 7, I am going to have this bastard arrested and be taught a lesson, how can you play with peoples geelings like this? It is sick, all cellular providers should warn the whole South Africa about what these foreigners are doing, and get them out of here forever!!! I have just left my job and going to start own small business (food stall), silly some might think, but at the end I will be happy and surviving, I will never be rich but what is money but merely paper.

  9. annette couzens says:

    can I have a reply???

  10. rosy says:

    my children and i are living under the breadline, imagine us getting the sms that we won R250 000.00. how low can they go??????? now i have to tell the kids, no, sorry, no bread, no jam only a scam!!!!!!!!

  11. Kayise says:

    I received an sms saying I have won 200,000 must fax my details. I want to know if is it true?

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