James wins the lottery, and Frank suffers with paralysis from the neck down. Which person is the happiest?
If you guessed James…you’re partially correct. However, it all depends on the time. Once Frank realizes he will never be able to use his body the same way again he might go into a “state of depression”, because no one “catches” depression, right? James jumps up in down in excitement about the possibilities that can come from the money he will obtain.
In that moment who is the happiest? James…although he may be taking the fact that he can even jump up and down for granted. But, as reality sets in James realizes how much he really gets after taxes and how much he has for bills. James forgot that part. But, then James is the type of person who doesn’t save for a rainy day. He goes on a shopping spree, buys a new car, and a new home for his family. Still think he’s the happiest? He could be, but he’s got a lot more expenses now!
What about Frank? Well after the initial “state of depression” Frank realizes this must be an opportunity for something greater in his life. He is done feeling sorry for himself, and he knows he can’t change what has happened to him. “Hey, maybe I can turn this into an opportunity to teach others the value and importance of life. It worked for Christopher Reeve! I can’t move anything below my neck, and at times it kills me inside, but I know that I’m still alive and everything happens for a reason.”
Example: Christopher Reeve http://www.christopherreeve.org
Which person is the happiest? Still think it’s James? The same thing has happened to countless others. Take for example:
Billy Bob Harrell Jr.: $31 million in Texas Lottery
A Pentecostal preacher working as a stock-boy at Home Depot hit the $31 million jackpot back in 1997. At first, life was good with Billy Bob buying a ranch, six other homes, and some new cars. Like many others who win the lottery, he was unable to simply say “NO!” when people asked him for a handout. Later in Life he divorced his wife and eventually committed suicide, the stress apparently too much to handle for this lottery winner.
You may win the lottery, but that will not grant you never ending happiness.