I can’t believe it!!!! I won the lottery!!!!
I never purchase lottery tickets but last night literally a minute before the registers closed I pulled in a bought only my second ever lottery ticket. I was too afraid to check last night if I had won the 1.6 billion lottery so I left the ticket in my car and spent the night thinking about how I would spend the money.
Backdrop to my lucky hand
As most know, I started my life over almost exactly 4 years ago after having been taken advantage of and emotionally and psychologically abused by priests for 11 years. These priests who had promised to teach me the path towards making something great of my life but instead had used me for 11 years for their selfish ends and then gave me $1600 at the age of 29 to start my life over from scratch once it became clear that I would not and could not continue with them.
I had only a few pieces of clothes, no belongings, and no job prospects.
My first 2 years I fought of depression and self loathing and shame as I struggled to survive with a part time job and a real estate business that ended up crumbling when my business partner tried to sue me. After that failed attempt I got a job at a school and began the process of healing as I also started scrambling on the side to create a course on masculinity. I was partly inspired by my own struggles to figure out what a “good man” was as I realized that I wasn’t yet one. But I was also inspired to stand up for myself and others before the many cowardly and self serving priests who to this day have refused to take ownership for having ruined the lives of 1000’s of good men in the seminary. We had left possessions, family and future to follow an ancient path, inspired by an ideal that though not lived out by many of these priests, I knew to exist and that epic men of old had taken to do great and heroic things for the world.
Despite the setbacks and my own failings at living it, I was intent on finding it and sharing it with others. To that end I began getting up at 5:30 every morning so that I could spend several hours a day before work researching and creating a course that I could share with other men that aspires to help them achieve greatness in the holiest and most sacred of meanings.
As a result of this fervent desire, I have perhaps foolishly indebted myself greatly for the purpose of seeing this dream become a reality.
And so, this morning before I had checked the ticket I was thinking about how I would use the money if I did win.
Planning my future as a wealthy man
The most obvious first choice would be to pay off my debt. But then I reflected about the hundreds of young students here in Boston who drive around in Maserati’s or Audi’s because their parents paid for them. They suffer from a true poverty in that they do not know their own worth because the opportunity to grind out and work towards something difficult has been robbed of them.
No man is more unhappy than he who never faces adversity. For he is not permitted to prove himself.
How different would it be from me, then, to take that seemingly free ticket out of my debt, instead of owning my situation and fighting, sweating, and sometimes crying to take ownership for my reality, no matter how inspired and unselfish the reason for it may have been. No, I would not rob myself of that opportunity to build up my business from scratch. I did not want a free ticket but wanted to earn my living and future, not have it handed to me. So that was out.
Plus, suddenly becoming owner of a billion or so dollars would make it infinitely harder for me in the dating world. I have been single for most of the 4 years that I have been out. Suddenly having that much money could easily resolve that, but there would be no way for me to know why they were suddenly interested in me. It would be easy to blame the world, todays women, the dating situation for my situation. But isn’t it more likely that my dating challenge is a result of my own making? Of my fear to take risks in that area (I’m certainly not risk averse in the rest of my life…), or having trust issues thanks to my past, or of just not putting in the effort to get out there and date? So winning that money could actually complicate my situation, not alleviate it
So what about my family? Yes, I could set aside some money for them, so that they could have a better life. But too much free is bad for anyone, because I would be robbing them of the same opportunity. So I decided I would set aside money for my moms retirement and to help my family members, but not so much that it would rob them of the gift of working for their own sustenance. Perhaps set up a fund so that in times of need I could support those that most needed it. Yes, a million or so should suffice.
What to do with the rest of the cash
What then to do with the rest if I didn’t need it? I could set up a non profit and find the most promising charities to give to. The good I could do with it is promising. In particular I am inspired to take on the child and sex trafficking industry. I want to see it debilitated and made insignificant in my life time and until this lottery, my path to achieving that began with my men’s course teaching men that art of becoming great, that being successful in life is about achieving character not money or power. A billion dollars thrown at the industry could no doubt do some amazing things.
But again I reflected on what is already being done, all amazing things, to attack the industry, yet how arresting perpetrators will not heal the wound in the world that is causing it to be one of the most lucrative industries in America and the world. Money cannot fix that issue. Healing men’s hearts is at the root of the problem. Introducing them to the greatness that God has placed in each one of us, and leading them on a path that nourishes and helps that seed to grow, so that each man can stand up strong, be grounded in truth and love, and own the beautiful and noble responsibility that comes from simply being called into this world.
Having a billion dollars would be less effective than if I just used my gifts and talents to slowly but surely work towards introducing men to the extraordinarily beautiful and noble vocation of becoming a good man in a world filled with hatred and disillusionment.
So as I was finally ready to flip over my lottery ticket, after having decided that I did not need the money, I realized that the secret to achieving all of my dreams, of doing truly great things with my life and for others, was not dependent upon winning a a quick fix to my problems, or fast tracking myself to happiness. My happiness was already here for the taking and the secret to achieving all of my dreams and of effecting massive change in the world is found in my becoming the person I was put here on earth to be.
So yes, I truly have won the lottery today, because I realized that I didn’t need to wait for it to make my dreams become real.
What did you win today?