We have all dreamt of being rich at some point in our lives. The first time we thought about having everything our hearts desired was probably while we were still children playing dress up. The fun is in the make-believe and just because we’ve grown up does not mean that we need to stop dreaming. Besides, with the American jackpots that keep soaring and breaking jackpot records and the EuroMillions Superdraw once again taking centre stage on the 1st of February, the chance of winning the multimillion-dollar jackpot is what keeps people playing the lottery.
Optimism key to Lotto win
An American survey found that 50% of adults considered themselves optimists, 4% were considered pessimists, while 43% said they were somewhere in the middle (3% did not know or refused to respond). So what makes us an optimist or a pessimist?
Optimist’s vs Pessimists
In general, we can say that most people are optimistic, but we know well that there are also individuals who don’t share this approach to life. People with a more pessimistic outlook are the people who see only the negative sides of life and always seem to have gloomy predictions about the future. The world since the dawn of history has always been divided into groups of pessimists and optimists.
That winning feeling
There’s no doubt that playing the lottery can give you that winning feeling. From the moment you log in to PlayUSALotteries.com, select your favourite lotto game, pick your lucky lotto numbers and check out, you are already imagining what it would be like to win the cash.
Alex Hart, 26, and Brian Tashman, 27, were buying tickets for their small office pool, thinking the same thing while standing in line at a liquor store in Washington, D.C. Friday afternoon.
As each ticket was purchased the pair discussed how they’d spend their millions.
“The fun thing is I’m never going to work again,” said Hart.
The reason people play the lottery, especially the big pay-outs, is about optimism. Despite all the negativity in the world, people are still dreamers and that’s amazing.
Frank Farley, a psychology professor at Temple University and former president of the American Psychological Association said, “We sort of need those moments when we feel some hope. I think they often keep us going. So in a very small way, this kind of thing can contribute to that. It’s living for the future instead of living for the past and that’s a very strong quality in human survival.”
Millions of optimistic people enjoy playing the lottery and they all share a common thought that “someone’s got to win it.” Therefore, you either think negatively or not give yourself the chance to win or you buy a lottery ticket and know that you too could become an instant multimillionaire.
The lure of the “what if” plays out ever more profoundly in office pools. No one wants to be the odd person out if their co-workers win millions.
Marc Helman, 33, co-founder of Berkman Financial in New York, is part of his office pool. For him, it’s about collegiality.
“We can briefly talk about how we’re going to buy crazy houses overseas and crazy cars…it’s the price of admission to be able to dream with everyone,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s all in good fun and gives people a reason to dream together and then commiserate together when they find out some guy in Ohio won.”
Besides, what’s the alternative use of $2 that is as interesting and potentially life-changing as playing a massive lotto game?
How to become optimistic?
During the course of every day, everyone has 40,000 to 60,000 different thoughts that cross their mind. Did you know that on average 85% of the things we worry about have a positive or neutral ending? Although negative thoughts are normal and are experienced by everyone, scientists have proven that excessive worry leads to feelings of anxiety, helplessness and depression.
If you’re thinking to yourself that you’ve always just naturally worried about things and that there’s no way you could change, you will be happy to hear that according to scientists, being optimistic can be learned.
It might sound a bit too good to be true, but it’s true and let’s face it, would you not prefer to change your mind-set so that the world suddenly becomes more colourful, and negative situations don’t put you into a state of depression and helplessness?
We all have the ability to be both optimistic and pessimistic at different times and it’s been shown that we can influence how our brain records and analyses various information, so we can overcome pessimism and develop a more optimistic mindset. By doing so, it allows us to consciously develop a tendency towards positive thinking.
By following these simple steps we can all become more optimistic:
Although getting things off your chest can bring you relief from stress, it’s generally short-lived and more often than not you end up saying too much that could cause problems in the future.
Continuously focusing on the negatives of the world around us is not a good habit to get into. Instead, we need to rather…
Surround ourselves with positive people
It’s extremely difficult to be pessimistic around optimistic people. If you surround yourself with people that complain all the time, they will eventually bring you down with them. Therefore, we should surround ourselves with people who look at the world positively. Those who complain all the time only see the negative side of things whereas those who always try and find the silver lining will end up making that a reality. If you want to leave pessimism behind you, spend as much time as you can with those who will help and support you with positive thinking.
Never give up on your dreams
Lottery wins depend on luck, but just because you have been playing the lottery for years and you haven’t won a really big amount or the jackpot yet, does not mean that it will never happen.
Focus on the present and the future
There is no need to focus on the past, as every day has new challenges for us. Every stage in your life has its end, so even if you have not succeeded yet, there is no need to give up. Accept your past as something that cannot be changed, but which does not dictate your present or your future. It is better to learn to appreciate the present, to roll up your sleeves, to go to work and to look serenely to the future!
Learn to appreciate what you already have
Start appreciating everything you have around you and think about what you can do to make your life better. It is much better to focus on positives. Be grateful for what you have no matter how small these things may seem. Think about the good things that happened to you on that day, and in time you will realize that you are letting in more and more happiness into your life!
Lottery winners who knew they would win
2.4m Lotto winner said positive thinking led him to win the jackpot
A man, who is in his 40s and from Leinster, told lottery officials when he collected his winnings: "I can honestly say I have visualised this moment for 15 years. I am in shock and struggling to process all of this but I just knew sooner or later that I would win the Lotto.”
He won €2.4 million on the UK Lottery and said that he believes it was due to his positive thinking and a self-help book that convinced him he would one day win the big one.
"I listen to the audiobook every morning,” he said. “I believe that if you can imagine something you can do in your head then you can do it in real life. Positive thinking is part of my philosophy in life – even in my outlook in playing the Lotto. I knew every time I won a small amount, or even won nothing, that I was getting closer to the moment when I would win.”
When asked what he will do with his lottery winnings, he said he would first clear his mortgage, then plough cash into his family’s future in the form of a trust fund for and his children’s education and future.
“I’ll also support a couple of local charities that are really close to my heart. What I’ll do with the rest I don’t know – only time will tell,” he said.
National Lottery CEO, Dermot Griffin, said: "This could well be the most positive person we’ve ever had sitting in the winner’s room. He really is infectious...I wish him and his family many, many years of happiness."
Shane Missler - $450-million jackpot
Minutes after watching the massive Mega Millions drawing, Shane Missler posted three words on his Facebook page - "Oh. My. God."
The 20-year-old from Port Richey had a reason to be completely speechless and in shock, as he had just realised that he had just won the $450-million Mega Millions jackpot.
Jessica Williams, Shane’s neighbour told the media, "I think it's awesome. It really couldn't have happened to a nicer family. You don't ever think it's going to happen to anybody you know, but it does!"
Shane chose to take the lump sum pay-out - only $282-million.
One of his neighbours wonders what a guy who's still too young to drink is thinking a week after striking it rich.
"Oh, the poor thing. Imagine what he must feel like. His head's in a cloud not knowing which way to go or turn. I'd be scared to death," neighbour Eileen Amerose.
Unlike so many other jackpot lottery winners who won extremely large Mega Millions jackpots, it took Shane only a few days to claim his winnings, tell his brother and his father over a cup of coffee and then like a typical youngster, thank the world for all their best wishes on his social media accounts.
Shane tweeted, "Thank you, everyone, for the positive thoughts. This is only the beginning. I am truly grateful and most appreciative."
On social media, Shane is always smiling in photos and, in March, even took a picture on Clearwater Beach next to a statue of Hulk Hogan and beneath a sign that reads, "Filthy Rich."
He even told lottery officials he had a good feeling he'd win.
His tweets the morning of the drawing now appear to foreshadow the night that would change his life forever.
“Do or do not, there is no try,” Missler tweeted at 6:22 a.m., followed three hours later by, “No more talk, only action.”
How did he know? He explained it in a tweet on January 10.
“The power of positive thinking should not be underestimated.”
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