I’m one of those people who enjoys talking with just about everyone I encounter — from the coffee barista to the person checking and bagging groceries, to even the person in front of me in the check out line.  Much of the time I’m asking questions — how are you? how was your holiday? SOME people just nod politely and proceed with what they are doing.. Some obviously like to chat.  BUT there is ONE QUESTION that 98% respond to:  DID YOU BUY A POWER BALL TICKET?

    And it’s not a simple response. Many, almost most, have a more detailed answer. Most are fun and positive. Some are negative, as in I would never spend my money that way.  I’m interested in the “opening up” that happens on that fun, positive end. And I’m reflecting on whether or not I understand WHAT produces so much self revelation from people I don’t know.  Here are some responses…..

    “I would write a big check to charity and then enjoy my life.”  “I’d cash the check and disappear.”  “I’d do pretty much what I’m doing right now but with lots of freedom I don’t have.”  “I’d run away and never look back.”  “I’d change ________ ”  Here you can pretty much fill in the blank with any possible fantasy or yearned for goal.

    If you read this blog you know I ask lots of questions in the New Year about goals and aspirations and hopes and dreams.  Certainly people answer them and write about them because they find them useful. It’s important to dig into our thinking about how we are living life, whether we are headed in the direction we want to go or if it’s possibly time for change.  BUT the power ball elicits a fairly different response….because?

    That’s what I’m asking.  For you, what’s the “different freedom” you experience with “what would you do if you won the power ball jackpot?” Perhaps my reality questions about goals for the new year are too tied to “realistic thinking.” If you ask me about the new year, I realize I pause and get somewhat serious and contemplate because I want to provide a realistic answer.  This is an aside, but many of us don’t want to share what we most want to accomplish in case we don’t DO it and then have to acknowledge we didn’t hit the established mark.

    HOWEVER, if you ask about the big WIN, people smile, relax, and produce a fairly immediate answer!  So what’s different? I think it may be simply the freedom to fantasize, to not have your feet held to the fire, to dream big, AND to tap into some aspects of SELF you/we seldom visit…or at least not often enough.

    AND I think there is “psychological gold” in your answer to the fantasy questions.  Write it down whatever it is. Review with these questions:

      -what is it about this idea that makes me smile so much?

      -what’s the core feeling when I express my idea?

      -how do I feel about what I want to do?

      -can I make my answer more specific?

      -is there ANY aspect of my answer that I could try putting into action regardless?

      -are there things in my fantasy I could do WITHOUT the money? what are they?

    In other words, see if you find some potential for useful evaluation of where you are in your life right now.  It’s like free therapy.

    And if you bought tickets, good luck!

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