(This blog was originally posted on January 8, 2016)
|Image courtesy of Microsoft|
The local news reported that the Saturday, January 9, 2016 Powerball Lottery jackpot had reached $800 million. People were shown purchasing lottery tickets from electronic machines and over the counter at their local grocery or liquor stores. Some favored venues where previous (albeit, considerably lower-value) winning tickets had been purchased in the hope that the location would bring some of the same luck to them. Others chose numbers that represented a significant dates in their lives—wedding anniversary, the age of a pet or child, spouse’s birthdate—in the hope and belief that these digits would show up on each of the winning balls. A recent AP report had punters estimating that the grand prize would surpass $1 billion for the next drawing if no one has the right numbers tomorrow night.
That’s a lot of money.
When asked what they will/would do if they win the jackpot, many people said they would pay off credit-card debts. Buy a new car. Pay off the mortgage on their home and/or even buy a new house—maybe a gift for a senior parent. Some fantasized about going on a shopping spree, taking a cruise around the world. There were so many options and so much money to be spent…
The thing interesting thing about coming into a lot of money so quickly is how quickly it also disappears. We often hear about that actor or athlete who once commanded a high paycheck, or a lucky Lottery winner, is suddenly broke and in debt. How did that happen? we wonder. Where did all the money go?
How a person earns, spends and saves money has a lot to do with the individual’s subconscious mental script about finances. According to Hypnosis Motivation Institute founder John Kappas, Ph.D., everyone follows a subconscious mental script that is created very early in our lives. We behave and even think in ways that are consistent with that script even when it does not facilitate achievement of our personal goals. Depending on the subconscious mental script about having and handling money, the future winner (or winners) of this Powerball jackpot may have some challenges when it comes to saving or spending all that cash.
For example, someone who grew up having to scrimp and save every penny may continue to behave as if there he does not have any financial security throughout the rest of his life even when this is no longer the case. It doesn’t matter that when he grew up, he got a good job with health and retirement benefits; maybe he even made some good financial investments and is now able to live quite comfortably on the dividends. He may even be a millionaire by now. However, his subconscious mind only knows how it feels to be “poor” and his lifestyle reflects this belief. Consequently, he still drives the same car he’s owned the past 15 years (and will until it can’t be repaired anymore), wears clothes he’s owned for 30 years, never goes on vacation and rarely treats himself with a meal at a restaurant. After all, who knows where money for the next meal is coming from? He is careful to save every penny he has, because that is what he “learned” while he was growing up. This is what he knows how to do.
Conversely, that person may follow a different mental script that says he should spend every penny that comes his way. He watched his parents earn and spend money. Whether the family possessed a lot of money at one time or just a little, there was usually enough for basic needs. And when there was a little bit extra on-hand, they spent that, too. After all, who knew when that opportunity would come around again? If the individual was consistently exposed to this kind of “feast or famine” attitude about money, he likely learned to assuage his physical or emotional discomfort (e.g., hunger or envy) was to spend cash when he had it. Unfortunately, these spending sprees often lead the person back to the “famine” part of the cycle because, at the end of the day, this state is more comfortable (“known”) to his subconscious mind.
Each scenario poses distinct challenges for the future winner of this Powerball jackpot. Someone who is used to conserving money will likely need to learn how to feel comfortable spending some of it. On the other hand, someone who is used to or even feels compelled to spending money whenever he has it will need to learn how to feel comfortable about choosing not to spend that winning ticket.
Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified clinical hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit http://www.calminsensehypnotherapy.com/.