Whenever the lottery gets really high, people start talking about what they would do with their winnings. My answer has never really wavered. I’d like to keep writing, travel for six months of the year, and then do philanthropic and charity work the rest of the time.
I’ve been fortunate in the past year to begin my own freelance writing business while teaching college communications. One day last September I arrived home from teaching a morning class and that afternoon completed an assignment for a client. I also reviewed some materials for an organization. Then I felt it. It took me a little while to understand it but I realized it was happiness. I was happy. After many years of working at a corporation that didn’t promote quality of life and left me miserable each day, my life had taken a right turn. It was good to feel happy about my career again.
Happiness is an elusive word. People often say of their children, “I only want them to be happy” but they never really explain what happiness is and can’t define exactly what the children should do to achieve that level. I don’t think I can either, but when you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands, right?
I attended a community conference that focused on happiness. The workshops and keynote speakers didn’t exactly tell the attendees what happiness is or how to achieve it, but coming away there were hundreds of individuals found their own interpretation that made sense. Happiness is different for each of us. There were also a lot more smiles at the end of the day.
Finding your passion in a profession is about the same as finding happiness. I know people who have worked at the same company for 20+ years and love it as if it were still a new position, while others have worked just as long at another place and they say nothing good. A wise aunt once told me, “If you’re going to complain, then change it. If you don’t want to change, then don’t complain.”
Making significant changes aren’t easy. However, if you can say what you’d like to do with lottery winnings and you’re not doing any of those things in your life, it could be time to make a change.
I see that the Powerball is up to $330 million. Maybe it’s time to buy a ticket.