Sunday, July 13, 2008

How life goes on when you strike it rich

My Career, in Saturday’s Sydney Morning Herald, has an interesting article by Anne Fawcett, which is unfortunately not on line.

The teaser on the cover of the careers liftout reads
Dream ticket
How life goes on when you strike it rich

Inside, it is headed
Life after lotto

The article would be worth reading for anyone who wants to think through the good points about work. Great illustrative sermon material, I think.

It includes discussion with John Vineburg, communications manager for NSW lotteries, who points out that while the lottery is sometimes advertised with pictures of people saying goodbye to the boss, most big winners choose to keep working.

I remember some years back that a Lebanese family won a huge sum in a lottery and decided that they enjoyed their life of getting up early, and working till all hours in their kebab shop. So they gave all of the money to charity and continued in the life that they loved.

Vineburg says that the majority of winners continue in the same job and the same house, but may buy a nicer car and do a bit more travel than others may be able to.

One person who won 4.3 million dollars in Lotto invested some of his winnings in the factory he worked in, in order to keep the business afloat. He shouted his co-workers secure jobs for Christmas.

One winner who had retired early after pocketing a million dollars returned to work within twelve months out of sheer boredom.

Professor Robert Pryor, director of the Vocational Capacity Centre cited these benefits of work:
Social contact which often leads to lifelong friendships
Physical and mental stimulation
It gives you an identity. People tend to identify us by the kind of work we do.
Structured time
Goals beyond yourself. Work gives you a purpose and makes you focus on something beyond yourself.

Psychologist Joanne Earl made this interesting point [not her exact words]
If you are still years away from retirement and find yourself whingeing about work, you could benefit from pretending you have won ten million dollars and then deciding how you would live if you had all that money.

Instead of thinking about spending it, think about what gives you most satisfaction in the work you do. This might lead you to switch jobs or keep right on doing what you’ve been doing ... with less whingeing.

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