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Dreaming of a Windfall? Would That Really Make You Happy?
Lots of people dream about winning a big windfall. As a matter of fact, many entrepreneurs go into business with the idea of making lots of money.
But what would you do if, say, you were to win big with the lottery? Would you retire early and live a life of luxury for the rest of your days? Take a trip around the world? Give money to family members? Donate to your favorite cause?
What Would You Do with a Million Bucks?
We often think of a lack of money in our lives as being a source of frustration and unhappiness. So we therefore conclude that a windfall that brought us lots of money would solve all our problems. One school of thought, however, suggests the results of winning large amounts of cash all at once might not always lead to happiness. You’ve probably heard the stories about lottery winners who ended up in bankruptcy courts a few years after their big win.
But are there people who fare well after coming into money they haven’t worked for? And how does their life satisfaction stack up against that of people who have worked hard for everything they have?
Would Lots of Money Make You Happier?
A couple of famous studies came to the conclusion that people were about as happy after their big windfall as they were before they won. It may even surprise you to know that most lottery winners continue to work after they win. What’s more, many of them resist the urge to spend lavishly, choosing instead to live modestly and look after their families. While they might work fewer hours than they did before their windfall, they put more money aside in savings and prudent investments.
What About the British Laborer Who Won Multiple Millions Online?
John Orchard, a 60-year-old laborer from Long Sutton, Lincolnshire, won £5.9 million with a £30 bet at an online casino, playing slots. The grandfather of three immediately quit his job. He purchased a house for his daughter and a £40,000 Jaguar for himself, then took a long vacation with his wife.
What Do the Winners Say?
Other studies suggest somewhat grim results. For example, one source states that about 70 percent of all lottery winners, whether they win a lot or not so much, lose or spend all their money within 5 years. Winners report broken friendships and mistakes with lavish spending. Even worse, they complain of not fitting in anywhere.
In other words, they have a hard time hanging out with old friends as well as making new ones. This happens for a couple of reasons. For one thing, winners have the resources for extended vacations and the like. But their old friends simply can’t break away from their jobs and their lives for long enough to join them. And if those old friends do come along, they quite often must be subsidized. And this, oddly enough, can lead to resentments on both sides.
For another, winners often fear being thought of as easy marks by their old friends or liked by new ones only for their money. And when they try to make friends with the the truly wealthy, they say they are often snubbed. Others tire of the spotlight that often comes with winning a state or national lottery.
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What Kinds of Wins Lead to More Satisfaction in Life?
Does this mean it’s better to keep our noses to the grindstone, continuing to work hard, pay our bills, and build our businesses? If we do, we’re bound to meet with failure as often as we do success.
As a matter of fact, most of the entrepreneurs we look up to as role models did not reach pinnacles of achievement overnight. No, along the way, they trudged through dark times, rising time and again from defeat.
The likes of Richard Branson, Andrew Carnegie, Bill Gates, and Steven Spielberg are among these sturdy souls. Also included is Colonel Sanders, who founded KFC at the age of 56 after multiple failures. He once said, “One has to remember that every failure can be a stepping-stone to something better.”
Oprah Winfrey, who overcame childhood poverty to become one of the world’s most admired entrepreneurs, has had plenty to say about finding satisfaction in life. On the topic of choosing happiness, she said, “By transforming whatever work we choose into a mission—whether our job is to oversee a corporation, operate a till, or raise kids—we find fulfillment.”
Can we conclude, then, that money earned by the sweat of one’s brow leads to more satisfaction in life than money won through a lottery? What do you think?
About the Author
Carrol Strain is a Top Rated Premium copywriter on Upwork. She is also editor and on-call writer for the Business Opportunities blog.