I was thinking back today about a life threatening predicament my brother got himself into many years ago.
It was a bank holiday weekend and he'd been out for a day down the local pub.
After a good number of beers in the afternoon sun he made his way back home, deciding to stop for some fried chicken from a local takeaway.
Eating his chicken, he entered his block of flats by the fire escape at the back and started to climb the stairs.
He was a bit wobbly to say the least and just as he made it up to the third level he lost his balance and fell backwards over the edge of the stair-rail. Somehow managing to grip the rail with the underside of his knees he hung upside down still clinging to his fried chicken.
Now most people would realise that, at this vital moment, you have two options:
- Drop the chicken, grab the rail with your hands and pull yourself to safety.
- Keep hold of the chicken and eat every last bit, as your last meal, before your legs lose grip and you plummet to certain death.
Anyone thinking about option two has to be insane (or ridiculously hungry).
My brother chose to eat the chicken as quickly as possible. He saw an option three. Finish the chicken and squeeze your legs real tight, before dropping the empty box and saving yourself.
Luckily, as stupid as it was, he was successful and lived to tell this tale many times since.
As extreme as this story is and as stupid a decision I believe it was, it sums up the way most people are taught to think about being successful in life.
The Safety Option
We are taught to work hard, put the hours in and sacrifice our lives to pay our mortgages and numerous other bills. Just about keeping our heads above water and rarely spending any quality time with our loved ones or doing the things we enjoy.
The Unlikely Option
We play the lottery. We do this because it's a small hope of changing our lives and it's worth the £10 a week. If we don't play it then how are we ever going to dream of that one sweet day we tell the boss we quit? If we don't play it, all hope is gone.
Yes, it could happen. But it's extremely unlikely.
Let's take the odds for the US Powerball. 300 million to one.
The odds of winning the UK National Lottery is 45 million to one.
Not great? Well here's some better odds for you. The chances of a plane part falling down and killing you is 10 million to one.
So can we eat the chicken and still save ourselves?
So, let's say you are investing £10 per week in the lottery. That's £520 per year.
Let's say you've been playing it for the last 5 years. That's £2,600. 10 years = £5,200.
Work out what you've received back in that time. Only you can decide if you think it's worth it.
Don't you think it's time you stopped trusting in pure hope that a windfall will come your way?
How about trusting in yourself, backing yourself to provide your answer and building a lifestyle that suits you.
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