A stroke of luck can be a great thing. It can help us win the lottery, get a job, or meet the love of our life. But, a stroke of luck can also ruin us. It can make us lazy, greedy, and arrogant. We can become addicted to the lucky feeling and start to believe that we’re invincible. Then, when bad things happen, we’re shocked and unprepared. So, how can a stroke of luck ruin us?
How can a stroke of luck ruin us?
There are monthly draws for the national lottery, the Euromillion, the Super Loto… In exchange for a few coins, you can receive millions of euros. At the end of the year, other very popular games take place, such as the Christmas lottery. Many people therefore hope for this stroke of luck which ends up rewarding the right numbers.
Some people spend their whole life waiting for this event that will never come. They believe in their lucky stars, passively, thinking that there is no other way to become rich. However… Do you know what happens with those who are unexpectedly struck by luck?
The brain and the lottery
Before hoping to win the Lotto so that we can be happy, live without worries and think that our life is perfect, we should think a little about how our brain acts when faced with the most mundane things. For example, our closet is full of clothes and yet we always put on the same ones. Why ? And why the hell do we always want a better car than the one we have? Or a bigger house? So what we have is never enough for us?
The most paradoxical thing is that, even if we won a million euros, we would want even more after a few days. When we don’t need it. As human beings, our gaze is full of desires. A desire that is oriented towards consumption, a consumption deriving from the artificial needs generated by the society that surrounds us and of which we are a part.
We crave that initial excitement we feel when we manage to have what we didn’t have. Whether it is because it is a “better” product or simply because it shows that we belong to a wealthy group or social class. An overwhelming but momentary happiness that makes us feel satisfied to have obtained what we desire above all.
The cause lies in the reward systems of the brain. The stimulus would be the lottery which, added to learned behaviors and beliefs, becomes something desirable. Despite everything, once we get what we want, what would our brain need to feel the same again? To win the lottery or get more money.
“70% of people who get rich very quickly end up broke in less than five years.”
A poisonous stroke of luck
In advertisements, people who win the lottery appear extremely smiling. They can travel and fulfill their every whim without caring about their bank account. They no longer have worries and feel happy. However, basically, many people tend to imitate a model. Or feel bad because, after this gain, they do not feel the happiness they thought they would achieve.
José Manuel Calvo Vaz, a municipal employee in a village in Ourense, Spain, earned more than nine million euros in 2003. After setting up several businesses that did not work out, spending his money on luxury cars including he didn’t need to and having surrounded himself with people who were only interested in him for his bank account, he ended up committing suicide.
Roger Griffits won $2.3 million in the UK National Lottery in 2005. He and his wife after this stroke of luck quit working and decided to live a life of luxury. They thought their money would be inexhaustible. However, their bank account eventually emptied and their marriage sank. They had to resell everything they had bought to offset all their debts. Currently, Roger lives in a rustic house in West Yorkshire.
“It was too much money for someone so young. Even if you think your life won’t change, it does. And not in a good way. She almost destroyed me. Fortunately, today I am stronger.”
-Callie Rogers (won the Loto at 16 in 2003)-
We are all hoping for this stroke of luck. However, many people have ended up broke or trapped in an addiction they normally would never have fallen into. We make so much money overnight that it can mean a drastic change in our lives. And this change is not necessarily positive, contrary to what the advertisements want us to believe. The reality is often very distinct.
Money in large amounts rarely leads to happiness. To achieve the latter, you have to deal intelligently with those strokes of luck that, in one way or another, we all experience. This apparent gift can end up becoming a real poison and lead us to our downfall.
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Vogue Health Team