But if we were to win the lottery...
Matt gives us every reason to ditch the lottery ticket, as he states in his perceptive article, "The key to change is simple, but not easy: Slowly reduce and then replace consumption with creation."
Terence McKenna was a die-hard fan of creation - that we need to flip the channel of consumption on its head and send our creations up the informational pipelines rather than simply consume what's fed to us through them.
We live in such a deeply-ingrained consumer society that it's hard to envision any other way to break this cycle.
It's cliche and cheesy but I always refer to cultivation/accumulation games that we find so entrancing. Whether it's a massive RPG or some Facebook application, we have a tendency to get lost in the practices of building, developing, reaping and sowing; then, as soon as we come to beat the game, or enter a code that grants us undue advancement, we get bored with it.
Inside our subconscious desires is the desire to create, to cultivate, to build. Life's not the same without it. This is exactly why statistics show that lottery winners return to their pre-winning states of happiness/depression.
There's also something to be said about our impulse to see immediate results. I often say that we ought to transcend this need, to understanding that the best things take time and to appreciate long-scale progress over short-term achievement.
Still, when faced with the option, many of us would still of course choose to win the lottery.
Assuming we did, however, win - how do we handle this dazzling curse? How does someone manage that kind of life event in a way whereby they forego all the tantalizing new shortcuts available at their disposal? How does someone who's born into wealth and fame find a way to carve out their own journey of creation in a wholly uncontaminated way?
Dear Michael, thanks for your interesting thoughts - what if you actually DO win the lottery? For this situation I've written another article earlier on as I was once blessed by receiving a windfall myself: http://www.financial-imagineer.com/2018/01/23/who-wouldnt-want-to-be-a-millionaire-5-life-winning-lessons-from-a-who-wants-to-be-a-millionaire-contestant-for-anyone/
I am fully aware that many lottery winners are becoming the opposite, so maybe it was my luck that the amount of money wasn't "too much" yet. So, wouldn't it be a nice idea to reduce the first price for lotteries from a few hundred millions to eventually 500k only and let hundreds of people win instead? Hmmm... maybe a topic for another post.
why statistics show that lottery winners return to their pre-winning states of happiness/depression.
They might return to their pre-lottery states of depression because they are surrounded by depressed not lottery winners that hate them a lot...second hand depression. If you win a lottery and your are not careful in order to maintain your anonymity, you are more likely to become a scarlet letter.
You can't be happy if you are surrounded by people that are not. Happiness spreads like a disease, the same is valid for depression.