With the Powerball lottery reaching a record $1.3 billion this week, I thought I’d re-work a favorite post from a few years back. Funny thing is, not much has changed. Enjoy!
I won the Powerball lottery! … in my dream.
And the dream looked something like this:
1. Took the lump sum vs. the annuity.
2. Divided it equally into conservative fixed-income, low-risk investments. Didn’t touch the principal. Exciting dream, right?
3. Stopped going to work. Didn’t call. Didn’t play around with the idea that I’d continue doing what I’m doing (those who are not financially independent who say they will are either insane or lying). Just stopped going. No FU roll calls. No pack my bags. No departing speech. Just stopped going. Similar to Office Space, but no going in the next day after the change.
4. Bought an old Airstream, renovated it, and a truck. Modified the truck to run on vegetable oil. Sold my house. Then I drove across the entire U.S. at a VERY slow (6 months, maybe a year) pace to take in the local flavor. Ate the local fair while they filled up my magical veggie oil tank. Hike/biked a lot. Returned. Sold the RV…
5. Moved to a small, humble home somewhere near a beach. No mansion. No building a new “dream home” (despite this being my dream). Just a comfy house with enough space for the occasional visiting family/friends. Modified it to be off grid and energy independent.
6. Sat on the beach and meditated often until I was consistently comfortable being in the present moment.
7. Reconstructed major parts of how I spent my time. Bought and rebuilt an old steel frame road bike and started biking 20-80 miles per day. Occasionally much longer. Exercised at least an hour per day when not biking. Went on long backpacking trips. Became a master gardener and grew a lot of my own food. Taught myself to cook really awesome food. Hung out more with friends and family. Read more books. Built more things from scratch. Volunteered more for local causes I was passionate about. Got really good at a few things and if I loved them, kept doing them, if I didn’t, moved on to my next interest. Worked on stuff I enjoyed, and even made a bit of money at it.
8. Traveled occasionally and cheaply. Sometimes for years at a time. Came home whenever it felt right.
9. Donated to the causes that are closest to my heart (might become a full-time job).
10. Washed, rinsed, repeated.
The ironic thing about my dream is that it wouldn’t take winning the Powerball or Mega Millions to live it. No multiple million dollar homes. No vacation homes. No million dollar cars. No expensive vendettas enacted. No ridiculous parties. No maids or waitstaff. No luxury suites at the football stadium. No new tech gadgets. No shopping sprees. No reckless spending. No personal finance shortcuts to get there.
The most precious asset instant millions would buy me was time.
The thing is, time can be bought for much cheaper than lottery millions.
In fact, what I depicted is more than a dream to me. It’s a vision that I hope to make a reality within the next few years.
You have the power to do the same.
The question is: what does your vision look like? And is your vision forever relegated to dreams, or will it become your reality?