Evelyn Adams won the New Jersey lottery not once but twice, in 1985 and 1986, for a total of $5.4 million. She lost it all and now lives in a trailer.
William Post won $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania state lottery in 1988. He too lost it all, even accumulating $1 million in debt within the first year of his winnings, and now lives on his social security and food stamps.
How can people win that much money and then lose it?
Because they believe success only comes from luck and chance. So even if they do win the lottery, and they’re finally “set for life,” they still don’t understand success and end up losing it all in a matter of months.
All the money in the world won’t make someone successful. It just makes them rich until the money runs out.
Winning the lottery might put more money in your pocket, but it doesn’t make you smart.
If someone offered to hand you success on a silver platter, you might jump at the chance. But that doesn’t mean you’d be able to keep it. Unearned success rarely lasts.
Successful people know you create your own luck.
Luck is simply where preparation meets opportunity, and opportunity steps in front of you every single day. Most people miss it because it’s disguised as something that requires effort.
Roger Alexander, a former professional baseball pitcher turned Aikido master and businessman, wrote of an interchange he witnessed between a professional golfer and an amateur at the driving range.
When the amateur asked for some golfing tips, the pro told him to hit five hundred balls a day. This wasn’t the answer the amateur was looking for and told the pro he didn’t have time to do that, he just wanted to some quick tips.
The pro stopped hitting balls, told the amateur that golf is a game of skill, and said that he didn’t have the time to give quick tips to someone who wasn’t willing to put in the time to practice.
Winning the lottery, waiting for Prince Charming to ring your doorbell, hoping someone will die and leave you a million dollars, looking for shortcuts and work arounds – all forms of the same affliction.
The antidote for a lottery mentality is mastery of a skill.
And mastery of a skill will always lead to success.
Forget about earning money, practice your skill.
Get really, really good at what you do. Become the very best at some area of your business. Work to become the “go to” person people think of when they want to better themselves at that skill.
Mastering your craft will bring you the earned success you desire and deserve.