Friday, January 30, 2009

Lottery Winnings January 30

Two weeks ago my 8-year-old daughter made a present for me. She loves to color, draw and paint, so gifts of that nature from her are pretty common. This time, her creation was a bit different.

Just before school on a Friday, she sat in the dining room for what I thought was study time. A little while later, she came out with the first draft of her gift. It was a piece of paper with a cloud drawn in the center. Inside the cloud were the words, “This is your dream.” She had written it in pen and used little star stickers to dot the i’s. The remaining stars were used to decorate around the cloud. As a proud father, I praised her for her work and set it aside thinking she was done, but she wasn’t.

After school, she sat in the dining room again, finishing her creation. When she was done, she brought it to me showing me the cloud again. Then she flipped it over to reveal her real creation. It was a set of stickers and pictures cut out of a magazine – a piano, football, go-cart, vacation, new car, graduation cap and more – creating a collage of all the things I cherish. She said that I could look at this each day to remember my dreams. She had created her first vision board.

This past week after I had shown the rest of the family her present, my 6-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son both went to the dining room and created their own versions of a vision board. If we can achieve half of what they listed, we will have easily won the lottery again. More importantly, if they can all continue the practice of visualizing their dreams, then making them real, they will win the lottery over and over again.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I won the lottery on Jan. 23

A very close relative of mine, who I also consider a good friend, has recently made some poor choices. Having gone through a very difficult divorce, he chose to use alcohol to make up for his loss. After many, many months of this, legal actions were taken against him and he is now spending 3 months on house arrest.

After having to spend the first week in jail getting out only to go to work, I think he would consider his house arrest as having won the lottery. Still, anytime your world is confined and constricted it isn’t easy. The loneliness and isolation take a toll on your mental, physical and emotional states.

He and I have agreed to video tape his experience. We will use this to log his emotions and mental state throughout this process, and then help others make the right choice before they end up in the same situation. Look for more information on this in my future Blogs.

I have also won the lottery through his struggles. He has been a huge inspiration for me during this time. Where I never received a DUI nor considered myself as having a drinking problem, I still drank most weekends. I wasted morning time being tired from drinking the night before. I wasted money on bottles of wine and 12-packs of beer. I sacrificed health for the perceived benefits of relaxation and good times. I am now in my third week of being alcohol-free. I have more energy, think more clearly, spend even more quality time with my children and have lost weight without changing other items in my diet or adjusting my exercise program. I just won the lottery again.

Friday, January 16, 2009

I just won the lottery...

For years, my wife and I have been buying lottery tickets. We understand that the chances of winning the lottery are supposed to be more remote than getting struck by lightning -- which has never happened to me. Still, we buy because the impact of winning far exceeds the cost of $1; and the joy we experience just thinking about winning is well worth the dollar.

We have never used this as future income when setting up our budget. We generally only dream about what we would do with the winnings on rare occasions when we wonder how our expenses got so high this month, but we buy.

It dawned on us a few months back that we had already won the lottery. No, we didn't win Lotto or Powerball or Megabucks or even a scratch-off card. What we won and continue to win are all the treasures that are in our life now -- 5 kids including twin babies, a nice house, great friends and continued wonderful business ideas.

Each week we win the lottery in the opportunities that present themselves to us to gain more success, to achieve more and to teach more. It is our responsibility to take hold of those opportunities and make them ours. Those are the real lotteries.

I will be writing weekly to let you know how I "won the lottery" this week with great relationships, new ideas, new products and services. I hope you'll join me.