“No no, don’t do it. Save money. Save money! eeh!”
The chinese store owner lamented as he saw me contemplating a lotto purchase in his store. He looked at me with this heavy pity. His eyes said “These poor people will never learn. They have no money, and the little they have they waste on this fantasy that is like throwing money down the toilet.”
But he didn’t get why I do it.
Last year one of the lotto draws went up to 500 million dollars before somebody won it. That’s half a billion dollars! I bought tickets for several friends, wrote their names on the back, took a photo and emailed it to each of them. Everyone was excited and appreciative. They got why I did it.
If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me, without my stir.
I raise my hand in life to declare I wish to be eligible for something wonderful. That’s why I do it. I do it to qualify for the chance that something wonderful can happen to me. I gift it to others that they may have the same chance. And when someone in this world wins, I rejoice with them for having taken that chance and demonstrating to everyone else, that everything is possible.
It’s really not about the lotto. My happiness is not contingent on me winning. I get contentement from my actions because they confirm I am eligible for extraordinarily improbable things, and it carries over into the rest of my life.
I saw the movie The Imitation Game recently. It’s about the real life story of the incredible achievements of Alan Turing who helped to win World War II by breaking Enigma, the communications code used by the Germans, which seemed an impossible task. Incidentally Benedict Cumberbatch, the actor who played Alan Turing also played the genius Stephen Hawking in another film in 2004.
Both men took incredible chances against impossible odds to make enormous contributions to mankind. My favorite quote from The Imitation Game is: “ Sometimes it is the people who no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.”
Have you ever notice every time the jackpot rises, all the news reporters, and online articles and all pundits gather together to remind you that you can’t win it? They always tell you the odds are against you by the billions. They always say you have a better chance of getting struck by lightning (which hundreds of thousands do each year and most survive by the way). But they never, ever say that this is why “no one” wins it! Because “someone” always does. They just spend all their time trying to tell you that it can’t be you, that you should “save money. save money, eeh!”
When are you going to buy your “lotto ticket”? When will you, against all odds, write that book you’ve been meaning to write? Send in that resume for that job you keep asking yourself if you are qualified for? When will you tell the person you have been secretly admiring forever that you fancy them? When will you walk in the bank to ask them what it takes to qualify to buy a new home?
If you are breathing and have a pulse you automatically qualify for the most extraordinary things life can offer, if you just believe you are, and take a chance, no matter how improbable. You see, if you are too afraid to risk anything, you are in essence risking everything.
Take a chance on yourself. Do it today.
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