I overheard a conversation at work today where two people were discussing their wish to win the lottery and thereby never have to work again. Sure, this is a great dream , but is it keeping them poor?
I think there are 2 quite different points to consider here:
1. The cost of those lottery tickets adds up. If, for example, you spend $10 a week on a ticket by the end of the year you would have spent $520. The opportunity cost, that is the cost in terms of the opportunity forgone, is actually higher since this money could have been saved (thereby earning interest) or invested.
2. Most people who buy lottery tickets do not have a rich mindset. They crave riches without wanting to do anything for it, or they don’t believe in their own ability to produce abundant wealth. In this sense, the lottery ticket can be seen as a financial white flag being raised. A lottery win becomes their only chance of being rich.
I have just finished a book that is very relevant to the second point, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Reflect on the title of the book for a moment. Think and Grow Rich. The secret of getting rich relates to your thinking. Rather than hoping for luck to make you rich, believe in your own ability to produce wealth. It can be done.
I suggest that if you currently purchase lottery tickets to take a moment and do the following: close your eyes and try to imagine yourself rich as a result of your own efforts. Was it easy or hard? If you had any problems I recommend you stop buying lottery tickets for the moment, and start working on your thoughts. Only when you have gained control over your mind and realised your own potential to make yourself rich do I suggest you consider buying lottery tickets again.
Hang on. After all I’ve written in this post, why did I just say you can consider buying a lottery ticket again? Well, to directly answer the question posed in the title to this post: it is not the lottery ticket, in itself, that will keep you poor (although it certainly won’t help – see point no. 1). Rather it is a poor mindset that will keep you poor.