I heard this phrase while watching a story of the life of Shania Twain, before she made it big. Her grandfather told her, ‘You can’t forget who you are”, while discussing how she was feeling a bit lost about the direction of her music career. Wise words, for sure, especially in an era where there are so many expectations of what success should look like.
If you ask most people what they want, if they could have anything, so many would say that would want to win the lottery. Okay, short of the amazing vacations, paying off bills and sharing some of it with loved ones, what would people do with their winnings? I ask this question whenever I see individuals buying lottery tickets.
The other day, while in the drug store line, a fellow told me that that he wasn’t sure what he would do if he won. ‘Probably give it away’, he stated, along with the fact that he has been buying tickets for decades.
What would you do if you won the lottery (after going on amazing vacations, paying off bills and sharing some of it with loved ones)? The reason I ask is because the answer to this question often reveals our true desires. I know that if I suddenly came into enough money to not have to work for a living, I would likely be doing almost exactly what I am doing now, less the 6am alarms.
I have shaped my life according to the things that I feel guided to do and passionate about. I would continue to doing speaking engagements, I would continue to be involved in real estate projects, I would continue to work with family businesses, to assist in any way that I can, I would continue to have adventures and travel with my husband and family, documenting our journey with photos along the way, and I would want to continue writing.
I actually don’t like writing, per se. I hated English class and I am annoyed by having to do spell check after writing. Many times, I miss the errors in articles, because I am so anxious to get my message out and I miss the fact that a word may be spelled correctly, but not in the right context.
I just like delivering messages. I like speaking, talking with people and writing about life and things that can make a positive difference in the lives of others. It took me years to understand that I feel like I am in prison when I am not delivering messages.
I feel like I am muffled, gagged or muted, when I am not able to share experiences and insight that might be able to assist people in progressively moving toward a sense of peace in their lives.
It feels good to know that I would not change much about my life, if I won the lottery. Winning the lottery would be a long shot anyway, because I don’t buy tickets. I once heard that a large number of lottery winners actually end up worse off financially, in the long run, because they blow their winnings without proper planning.
If you are not already blissfully enjoying your stay on this planet, instead of waiting to come into a large sum of money before you can truly be ‘happy’, I hope that you will figure out what feeling you are hoping the money will create.
Is it freedom, because you hate your job? Is it peace, because you don’t want to have to worry about bills anymore? Is it flexibility in your schedule, because you are currently overscheduled? Is it excitement, because you would get to spend your time doing the things you really want to do? Is it proving to others that you are the success you always knew you could be?
It may be worth exploring what you are passionate about, what feelings you are craving, what you are missing out on, in your current life, that you are looking to escape from. You just may find that the things you are truly seeking are already in your life.
In past seminars, I have asked participants to cut out images and words from magazines that appeal to them or they are attracted to, in some way. When they piece all of the images together, it can create a vision of their ideal life.
When I ask them to tell me about their collage of images, it is remarkable when they realize that the very things that bring them the most joy, happiness, love or sense of peace, are people, pets, things, hobbies or places that they have right in front of them, but didn’t realize.
We are sometimes too busy working toward achieving a cookie cutter version of success that we thought we needed to make us ‘happy’.
Just because Shania Twain ended up becoming a massive success in the music world, she too, has suffered many hardships and disappointments, throughout her journey. What is your own version of success?
Maybe with a few tweaks, you can integrate more of what makes you happy, right now. Maybe you are much more successful than you originally thought…
‘A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.’ ~ Bob Dylan