I am writing this on Tuesday so I don’t know if anyone won the Powerball Lottery on Wednesday, or if not, on Saturday night, but I know if they have or haven’t it has gotten plenty of attention lately. In some ways I guess people consider it is the most materialistic focus, to think about what you would do if you won a billion dollars.vBut in some ways I think it can actually lead us to think in a most unmaterialistic way. We are not talking about winning a million dollars, or 50 million, or even 100 million, but over a billion. What this amount means is that you have more than you can ever spend and so really money is no longer a concern or worry. Hopefully you would realize (although I recognize this isn’t always the case) that you have no excuse to be worried about your material needs anymore, so you should be able to forget about money and material goods and ask yourself what you really want in life, what is important to you?
I will suggest to you that I know a few people who have been able to do this in avery physical and real way without winning the lottery. They are called religious who have taken a vow of poverty. They own nothing themselves, their religious order owns everything they have, and the religious order is to support them so they have what they need. Maybe not quite all they would want some days, and no personal jets or yachts that I know of, but at least those in this country that I know are going to have a place to sleep at night and food the next day. Think about how they live their lives, what appears to be most important to them?
There are others I know who haven’t joined any religious order or taken any vow of poverty, but who live in a way where they do not worry about their financial future. Some have quite a bit of money, others not so much, but they manage to live in a manner that they could afford to spend more on most things in their life, but they choose not to. They are comfortable and satisfied with their material needs, and what they consider all of their reasonable wants. Think about how they live their lives, and what appears to be most important to them?
Many people can just look back to when they were children and recognize they were kind of in this mode. There may have been some new toy or something that you would have liked, but at least looking back we realize it didn’t matter that much. I think it especially helped if your parents grew up in the Depression, because then they knew, and would let you know, that while you may have wanted some more things, you definitely didn’t need them. And that was a great gift, so hopefully you could also focus on something else as most important.
So whether you win the lottery or not, consider if you can live in a way where you realize most of your material needs are met. That allows you to consider what you really want in life, what is really important to you?