A few days ago a friend asked me what I would do if I won the 1.5 billon dollar Powerball lottery. After thinking about it awhile, I realized that I wouldn't change much.
I know what you're thinking: "Yeah right!" I get it. OK, so I sure would like to buy a huge jet, a fancy yacht, take some fabulous vacation and buy all my friends and family expensive gifts. Thinking about all that sounds ridiculously exciting and fun!
But to be completely honest, not much in my life would change.
I love my life. I'm not saying this because it sounds good; I'm saying it because it's true. I love my children, my husband. I love my home. I love my family and my friends.
My friend then asked, "Would you quit your job?"
And my answer was no. (Although, I might buy a larger office. Maybe even the whole building!?) The truth is, I love my job. I love being in private practice and being my own boss. I love having control over every single thing that goes into my business, right down to the color of the kleenex box. Hah!
What I really love most is having the opportunity to help others dive into themselves, find out who they really are, gain insight into their inner psyche and ultimately live happier lives. I love that I get to travel a unique journey with each client: sharing in pain, joy, frustration, excitement, grief, sorrow, fear, anger, everything. I am grateful to know these individuals who are brave enough to share the intimate details of their lives with me. I am blessed to see firsthand the strength and tenacity of the human spirit. I think, ultimately, I have learned far more from my clients than they have learned from me. I am always changing, a little bit better than the day before, every time I step into my office. And for all this, I could not be more grateful.
It is a privilege, this job.
But as you can imagine, it's not always easy. In fact, it is rarely easy. It is mentally and emotionally challenging work. The 12 hour work day I put in yesterday was exhausting, to be honest. I'll admit I complained about how tired I was when I got home last night.
But would I walk away if I won a billion dollars? Absolutely not.
Nothing good comes easy. Life is inherently difficult, no matter how much money you have. But with a purpose and a passion, we can find true joy.
We can find true joy.
What would you do if you won the lottery? How would your life change? If your immediate response is "everything," that your entire life would change if you won, then I ask you: why? What is wrong with your life now? Let's take a deeper look. What needs to change? Why are you waiting for a billion dollars that you most likely will never win?
Lack of personal fulfillment equals unhappiness. This begs the big questions: What is my purpose? What do I love about life? What makes me truly come alive? Right now, you can start making steps to living a life that aligns more congruently with your answers.
The old idiom is true: winning the lottery sure can buy a whole lot of things, but the best things in life it will never provide: self-love, fulfillment, and joy. And if you have found those, my friends, then you are winning BIG.
Chantal D. Hayes, MA, LCMHC
Chantal D. Hayes