I overheard it quite by accident, drinking my second cup of tea of the day. A friend was talking about a conversation she’d had with her sister. Her sister had asked her something, and it’s a damn good thing to ask:
“Tell me how you would change your life if you knew you’d never win the lottery”
Knowing you’ll never be able to just quit and live on your winnings, would you stay in a job that doesn’t fulfil you? Or would you start upskilling, or looking for a new opportunity that really floats your boat and gets you fired up to go to work? Maybe you’d start putting some time and thought into going into business for yourself?
Knowing that you’d never be able to give a huge windfall of cash to your favourite charity, would you start giving a regular monthly donation? Or maybe you’d start doing some fundraising for them some other way? For most of us, it’s possible to be generous even when you’re not a millionaire. Especially when you’re not a millionaire. For example, there’s Kiva, a micro-loan organisation where you can give a little bit to help people all over the world. Or maybe you could volunteer at your local animal shelter or soup kitchen, or donate cans to a food drive. All the little acts of kindness add up.
Knowing you’ll never be able to walk into Chanel and say “I’ll take the lot” (or in my case, go to Pinup Girl and buy All The Things), would you just keep buying cheap, easily worn out clothes? Perhaps, instead, you would save your money and buy one or two things that are made to last, building up your wardrobe over time? Or maybe you’d do what I’m doing- practice your sewing skills, garment by garment, so you can make beautiful clothes for yourself which are unique and lovely, that you’re excited to wear.
Would you just never go on the dream holiday? Or would you save up some money, and still go on an amazing trip somewhere, maybe staying in youth hostels instead of five star hotels? You could start exploring and adventuring in your own town, or your own country. There are bound to be things near you that you haven’t tried. Maybe you’d even find a job abroad?
And knowing you’ll never be able to just buy them a house/huge diamond necklace/a skein of every single Socks that Rock colour (OK maybe that last one is just me), how would you show the people in your life that you love them and they matter to you? Because here’s the thing- cuddles, spending time with those people, sending something silly that made you think of them, or even writing a letter, to tell them how much you care, will all do just that.
Most of us are never going to match all those numbers.
And it doesn’t matter.
You can still build a good life for yourself, do things you enjoy, be loved and loving, spread happiness, and help others. You can even own the odd shiny thing. Having a lot of money is only one way to be rich. There are so many others that have nothing to do with a game of chance. Being grateful for what you do have is a good place to start. A big part of happiness is realising how many blessings you already have. Without gratitude, even having a pile of gold coins to dive into like Scrooge McDuck won’t make you happy, because you won’t be able to enjoy it. There will be an empty space where the happiness should be. But if you can see the ways that you’ve already been given wonderful things by the Universe, and appreciate them and give thanks for them, you’ll be happy no matter what you have or don’t have.
It’s not that it’s not fun to dream, and maybe one day you might be lucky. But the truth is, you don’t have to wait around to change your life- nor should you if it isn’t what you want. You have the power to make changes. You are never as stuck as you think. Start small. Do some research, apply for that job, sign up for that class you’ve been meaning to take, make a date to spend time with someone you want to hang out with. You’ll be surprised how far the little steps will take you, and how, once you make the decision to make a change, the Universe can rush to support it.
So go on, what one small step could you take today towards a happier and more fulfilling life (and if you already live a happy and fulfilling life, hurrah! Let us know what blessings you’re most thankful for)- let me know your ideas in the comments. Lets get our inspiration on!