Stop Dreaming and Start Living

Who has not dreamed of winning the lottery? Of suddenly having the financial freedom to choose to do anything, go anywhere and buy whatever they desire? Many lottery winners purchase new homes and new cars. Some make plans to travel and others make plans to stop working and enjoy life. Still others plan to give to the community and various charities. But whatever your lottery fantasies are, why wait for that big win that will probably never happen? Why not start living your dreams now?

1. New Home

Buying that McMansion might not be affordable without the big win, but moving one step up the property ladder might just be something you can swing. If you already own your own property, consult a local real estate agent on the value of your present home and find out what is selling in your neighbourhood. Maybe you can move closer to work and cut down your commute. Maybe you can move to the suburbs and start enjoying the peace and quiet. If you are currently renting, maybe now is the time to take the plunge and start building some homeowner’s equity. Perhaps moving just isn’t within your budget. What about renovating? Could your backyard use a facelift? What about your living room or kitchen? Sometimes just an inexpensive coat of paint and some new throw cushions can make a tired room look new again and give you a much needed lift of spirits. Whatever your issues are with your current home that puts buying a house on the top of your lottery wish list, maybe they can be solved with some ingenuity, innovative thinking and careful planning.

2. New Car

Maybe your lottery dream is to drive your old beater off a cliff and buy a new car that won’t keep leaving you stranded on the side of the road. Have you ever stopped to add up what that old car is actually costing you in repairs and maintenance? Visit the used car lots and see what there is for sale. Visit the dealerships and see what incentive programs they are offering on new cars or find out what gently used cars that they have coming in off lease. Probably you won’t be driving home in your new Lamborghini, but maybe you can solve the worst of your car problems with a trade up.

3. Travel

Going around the world in eighty days might not be something you can afford without hitting the jackpot, but it’s worth checking out those last minute vacation deals online. White sandy beaches and maid service might be affordable if you can juggle a last minute vacation. Or consider a less exotic, but equally rewarding, road trip. A week of touring and staying in small bed and breakfast inns might be just the ticket to your getaway dream. If your budget is really tight, maybe you could plan a weekend visit to stay with a relative. A change of scenery might be just what you really need to put some energy back in your life.

4. Employment

Dread the thought of going to work each morning? Maybe it is your attitude that’s making you so tired of the same old grind. Instead of dragging yourself into the office, go in with a starting-over attitude and resolve to be the best you can be at what you do. Plan your days and track your successes and suddenly you might find your same old job has become the job you always wanted. Or maybe it is time to make a job change. Increasingly, no one stays at one job for life and many people switch careers several times in their lifetime. Maybe now is the time for you to make this kind of change. Start exploring the job market and see what’s available. Take a risk and apply for something new. The very best time to look for a job is when you already have one so you’re approaching a new career from a position of power. Or perhaps you’ve always dreamed of running your own business. Chances are you can’t just up and quit your day job but perhaps you can ease into self-employment gradually. Figure out what you want to do and start doing it after work and on the weekends. With some work and dedication, your part-time business just might turn into a full-time career. What have you got to lose?

5. Charity

Maybe you cannot donate millions to cure life threatening diseases or sponsor a new wing for your local hospital but you still have a lot to give to your community. The biggest need is not always for money but for volunteers. Give your time to a local shelter or old age home. Get involved with Girl Guides or Boy Scouts or the local youth recreation centre. Collect up the clutter and old clothes around your home and donate them to charity. Find out what projects your local church is working on and see what you can do to help. In the words of Homer, “The charity that is a trifle to us can be precious to others.”

Everyday life doesn’t need to be boring and predictable. You don’t need a big lottery win to start living a richer and more fulfilling life beginning with today. You only need a little inventiveness, the courage to try something new and lots of old fashion determination. As Walt Disney said,

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.

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