An Unexpected Lesson From the Powerball

Headlines are screaming it, social media memes are being made, wish lists are being created…and possibly, life savings are being lost. You don’t have to go far to hear about the lottery that’s now up to a staggering one and a half billion dollar jackpot. Incredible, isn’t it? But whether you’re scoffing at the dreamers, counting down the minutes until the next drawing, or you’re somewhere in between, there’s a simple lesson each one of us can learn from the Powerball mania that some might say is sweeping our nation.

Last week we had our monthly board meeting with the members in the Boardroom. As you might expect at the beginning of the year, I challenged them to set their goals for the year and make a plan to actually follow through. But there’s one thing I like to do at this time of year that many others overlook.

In addition to setting goals to be conquered in the current year, it’s a good practice to take some time to dream big.

Really big.

Outrageously big.

Because when else are you going to do it?

If you can’t first come up with the dream, you don’t have a chance at seeing that dream become a reality.

But if you’re like me the first time I was introduced to this idea of outrageously big dreams, you’re going to struggle to come up with some. It helped me then to use Tim Ferriss’ strategy of identifying something you wish you could have, could do or could be.

I wish I could have a cabin in the mountains big enough for my extended family and my friends to visit.

I wish I could spend the entire month of January in Hawaii (or another tropical location)…every year.

I wish I could start a kids’ running club network in the local schools.

What does all of this have to do with the ridiculous Powerball jackpot?

It makes it easier to dream. And whether you play the lotto or not, you need to dream.

You don’t have a chance at making your dreams a reality if you don’t come up with them, first.

So…pretend you won the $1.5B jackpot. What would you do with it? Take a blank sheet of paper and go to town. Get your family in on it. Write out all the crazy ideas that come to mind.

What would you really do…have…become?

Dream big, so you have a shot at making your dreams a reality.

What you’ll probably find, though, is that it doesn’t require winning a lotto to make those dreams a reality. Once you start thinking about what you really want, you’ll find it’s not that unattainable.

Yes, I know it’s not as simple as dreaming and then it just happens. It takes strategic planning and hard work to make it happen. But the reality is, all the hard work doesn’t matter if you don’t have a dream, first, so you know what you’re aiming for.

So today, pretend you actually have a chance of winning that jackpot.

What would you do?

To starting with the dream…


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