Have you ever seen or heard news reports about lottery winners becoming broke? Can you imagine? They have no money left!
Many lottery winners, especially those who take a lump sum are now poor. How could that possibly be? Many people think that if they could just win the lottery, their whole life would change for the best. They think that once they win all that cash, then all their problems will disappear. Therefore, week after week they buy lottery tickets, hoping to win.
I once read about a woman who won the New Jersey lottery twice! She won in 1985, and then again in 1986. She won millions. The money has been gone for a long, long time now, and she lives in a trailer. She said, “There are a lot of people out there like me who don’t know how to deal with money. Hey, some people went broke in six months. At least I held on for a few years.”
There was a man in Pennsylvania who took home 16.2 million dollars after taxes. He had a lump sum of 16.2 million dollars! All of that money is gone and he now lives on social security. These are not isolated incidents. Circumstances just like these continue to happen repeatedly. What is the reason?
So many lottery winners are broke because winning the lottery did not change their mental attitude about finances. Receiving a big chunk of money did not change their poverty mentality. Their poor, poverty thoughts simply continued to bring to them what those thoughts have always brought to them poverty. A recent study of people who come into a windfall shows that they will typically prioritize buying a house as number one in a list of twelve choices, while investing is at number eleven.
I’ve never met anyone who said, “I like being poor.” It’s just the opposite, is it not? Most poor people would readily admit that they don’t like being poor. They are tired of just getting by. They are tired of scrimping and doing without just to make ends meet. They are tired of one financial crisis after another.
Perhaps you have noticed that poor people tend to talk a lot about their lack. Therein lies the problem. Those who have great lack always talk about their great lack. They will tell you all day long how lousy things are, how they never get a break and how their boss is greedy. And, worst of all, they think that none of this plight is their fault. They see themselves as victims in this cruel life. They don’t see anything changing. They see themselves destined and shackled to a life of misery, unless of course, they win the lottery.
So, what happens if they do defy the almost impossible odds? Winning the lottery may give them some cash, but it doesn’t change their mind set. They may be distracted for a while, but they still carry the same mentality wherever they go, and whatever they do. Deep down inside, they see themselves as poor and having nothing. Even though they acquire a great increase, they end up throwing it away, spending it away, or giving it away.
It is our habitual mental attitudes that do shape our lives. Our lives can and will change as we change our thoughts, and change what we dwell on. This is true for positive and negative thinking. The Bible says, “As he thinks in his heart, so is he.” That is absolutely true for positive thinking as well as negative thinking.
Negative thoughts are destructive thoughts that neutralize all your efforts and hard work. Positive thoughts are constructive thoughts that lead you to positive results.
Change your mind by focusing on the things you do desire, instead of thinking, focusing on and complaining about the way things are right now. Continue to think about where you desire to go and what you desire to accomplish.
Change always starts with thoughts first. When those thoughts get into your heart there will be change.