You’ve Won the Lottery! Now What?

Accountability Purpose


Key Point: I recently spent an evening with a cohort of University students excitedly standing on the springboard of their careers, almost ready to take that big plunge into the world. It made me think about Steve Jobs’ poignant perspective: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life… And, most important, have the courage to follow your own heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become.” I wish this for each of these kids… The courage to follow their hearts and intuition. I wish it for each of you.

In 2012, Parade magazine collaborated with Yahoo! Finance to jointly survey 26,000 Americans, and discovered that nearly 60 percent of them fully regretted their career choices. Wow! It would not be unreasonable to assume a similar finding amongst other westerners. I honestly believe it is never too late to do something about your career choice. Of course we are often limited by practical considerations, but if we can ask the right questions, maybe we have more options than we think?

Over the 27-year span since he first began teaching, Wharton Business School Professor G. Richard Shell has focused on the concept of “success,” and the process by which people best discover their own values and purpose. He developed a university-wide seminar called, The Literature of Success to help his students leave school far better prepared to make the important life choices that lay ahead of them. After teaching his course to students and faculty for more than a decade, Shell now has documented his lessons in his recently released book, Springboard: Launching Your Personal Search for Success.

Shell believes many of us are not equipped to thoughtfully define what success looks like in our own terms. The answer to what determines success is intensely personal. If you want to really dig into this, read Shell’s book. In the meantime you may want to try spending a little time on the following.

Character Moves:

  1. Imagine you’ve won the lottery, and money no longer is a primary motivator. Your obligations are taken care of. What would you do next in your life? (After a vacation, etc). What do your answers tell you about what really drives you? What small (or big) steps could you take in the direction of your deepest wish?
  2. Make a list of the things you’ve done in your life to date that help you feel fulfilled, and just plain good about yourself. What is your heart telling you?
  3. Make a list about things you’ve done that leave you feeling empty, cynical and disappointed. What is the honest back story regarding these?
  4. Have the courage to ask yourself the right questions, and live YOUR life. Define YOUR success. Your time is limited.

Lottery in The Triangle,