NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: TO WIN THE LOTTERY
New Year’s Resolutions are sort of like returning a Red Box rental. Everyone has good intentions, but few follow through. Even when I set goals & write them down like you’re supposed to, I don’t achieve them half the time. Here’s why…
There are three kinds of goal setters:
1) PEOPLE WHO WIN THE LOTTERY. These are the folks who catch a lucky break. I don’t mean they win the actual lottery. I’m talking about people who acquire a family business or an inheritance. I’m talking about bands that get signed to major labels for their first album, or authors who write a best-seller on their first try. I think it’s elusive how rare these situations actually are. We hear about people like this in the media with stars in our eyes. But how many people do you know who have actually caught this sort of break?
2) PEOPLE WHO ARE WAITING TO WIN THE LOTTERY. Even though these folks are “waiting,” they are actually quite busy. It goes like this: They get really pumped about an idea. Maybe it’s a new diet, or a new project, or a new way to make loads of money. And they spend maybe a week, or a month, or even six months totally psyched about that new idea. And after some short period of time, the newness wears off, and the idea doesn’t work as quickly as it should, and the winning lottery ticket never comes. After a short period of disillusionment, the cycle repeats. More lottery tickets.
3) PEOPLE WHO DON’T BUY LOTTERY TICKETS. These are people who believe that there are no get-rich, get-healthy, or get-famous schemes that are worth it in the long run. These people look at life as a marathon, not a sprint. They take tiny little steps all the way to the point of achieving their huge goals, and then they keep going. The goal was never the point, after all. The goal was only made, and the hard work applied, because they are passionate about something. They build endurance and discipline not because they want to, but because they know the only other option is sitting around and waiting to win the lottery.
Here’s another point worth noting: People tend to look at hard workers like they won the lottery. We look at a doctor and think he has a charmed life, but really it took him 8+ years of school to get where he is. We look at married couples with beautiful children and think they’ve struck the American Dream, without recognizing the tough work and sleepless nights that go into a healthy family. We look at a band like the Avett Brothers playing on the Grammys with Bob Dylan and think, “those guys hit the jackpot!” But few people realize that the Avett’s toured in crappy vans for about 10 years while they slowly built a huge fan base.
The lottery is only worth millions because so many people are buying tickets, waiting to win. Setting goals only works if you’re willing to be disciplined. And discipline sucks. But the way I see it, there’s no way around it, unless you’re willing to cheat, steal, or lie. Before 2013 hits and we all start on our resolutions, we probably ought to decide which camp we want to be in. Are we going to work hard?
Or are we just waiting to win the lottery?
Which category do you fall into? Feel free to share goals, successes, and failures in the comments.