You Wish You Had a Million Dollars? Be Careful What You Ask For, You Just Might Get It

You Wish You Had a Million Dollars  Be Careful What You Ask For, You Just Might Get ItSo you think you would like to have a million dollars, right? Are you sure about this? We have all said this at one point in our life, right? We say this because we think it will make us happy or happier, correct? Well, not so fast. If you look at the data from people that have won the lottery, most of them do not end up happier. Some in fact, wish they had not won the millions of dollars, because it made their life very unhappy. They find people asking them for money. It created problems within their extended family. They did not know how to manage it and were worse off then when they started. You say, “Well, that’s not me.” Okay.

Let’s look at some research. Some of the happiest people on the planet are in Mexico, not the most affluent of places, so what gives here? Well, their happiness comes from family and the connections they have in their communities. They cook together, eat together, and celebrate life together. They are not afraid of bright colors, taking time out to relax, laugh, play with the kids or have a siesta. Research on naps says we could all do with more.

In The Geography of Bliss, author Eric Weiner researched happiness around the world and found that people in America, one of the most affluent countries in the world, were not as happy as you might think they should be. He found that people in the US generally were so busy striving to be really happy that nothing was ever enough and the bar kept rising on what would be better. So they were somewhat happy, but it could always be better.

So how about you? You probably have a good education, enough money to buy a latte every day; how happy are you? Do you think you need or want a million dollars? Do you want more and more money? Are you caught up in the rat race of the American Dream, running faster and faster to get ahead, only to have happiness still be out there somewhere?

So let’s get off the treadmill for a minute and check out your personal foundation for a great life. First, we need to know what you value most. Then we need to see where money fits in your life’s picture of a great life, and then, how much specifically would you need to live a really great life, for you.

Personally, as an example, I often tell myself my job is worth a million dollars. It provides me with a good income, allows me to do what I love doing, i.e., being in significant relationships with people, supporting them living healthier and happier lives in their careers and in their own relationships. I value this very highly. It also provides me with the freedom to control my time and with whom, where and how I spend it. I am sure it could be better, but this is pretty great—worth at least a million or more to me.

So before you go asking for a million dollars, you might want to get clear about just what it is that you hold most dear. To that end, I have included a values exercise that I use myself and with many of my clients called Put Your Cards on the Table.

Take a stack of 36 3×5 cards (or cut pieces of paper), all the same size and color. Spend 5–10 minutes writing only one word or concept on each card. On the cards, identify:
•    4 life roles that are important to you, e.g., teacher, wife, daughter, husband
•    4 experiences that are the most meaningful to you in your life so far
•    4 work roles that you enjoy the most
•    4 things you value, e.g., a sports car, an heirloom, a toy, an object
•    4 people
•    4 places
•    4 esoteric values, like beauty, love, harmony, success, wealth, health
•    4 dreams, things you have wanted to be or do or have
•    4 honors you have received or acknowledgments

You may add to the list if you feel something is missing.

Then, lay all the cards on the floor or table face up. Look them over and, when you are ready, begin by removing the three that are least important to you. Then, every 10 seconds, remove three more. Be sure to set a stopwatch or have a friend call time. This is very important. You have to respond quickly from your gut and not your head. Don’t think about it. Repeat this process until you get down to your last nine, and then put them aside in a separate pile from the first 27 you removed. Keep going till you only have three left on the table.

Now you know what you top nine values are, and more importantly, your top three.

This is the compass from which you can make future decisions and steer yourself in the right direction for you, and thus, stay on your life’s course.

Download Your Personal Stress Relief Card. Your Relief card is to help when you know you are off center, the stakes matter and you want to get grounded quickly.  It can help in situations like an important job interview; when your kids are screaming, or when someone you love is in the hospital. We all do better when we can remain calm, be present and respond optimally. This card will help you do just that. Keep it handy. Put it in your purse or wallet. Use it in good health!

Article Author: Roslyn Whitney is a spiritual life coach, combining her psychology Masters with the world of spirituality and the advanced transformational tools of HPT, NLP, and meditation. She is the creator of the Life Mastery Program which helps you focus on the most significant thing to move your forward in life. She focuses on helping people transform in love and work – to create beautiful and spectacularly fulfilling lives.

Photo Source: courtesy of ddpavumba / Free Digital Photos

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