Imagine that you buy a lottery ticket every week, and that one day you hit the jackpot and win fifty million dollars. But you never cash in, and the windfall doesn’t do you any good. Why? Because you never check the numbers, you just keep on buying tickets.

I read a blog post recently that used a slight variation of this as an analogy, and the first thing I did was shake my head, chuckling and rolling my eyes at the thought. Who would do something like that?

But then I realized that many of us, myself included, do exactly that type of thing. Not with lottery tickets, but in different areas of our lives. We keep looking “out there” for whatever it is we need in order to succeed or be happy, while ignoring the “jackpot” that we already have, and failing to realize that what we really need is already inside of us. In many cases, we’ve had it all along.

I always want to hit myself in the head when I see things put in a new way like this, especially when it’s something that I already know and, in fact, help others to realize and to act on. It’s been a number of years now that I’ve been writing and speaking to people about finding their buried treasure – the gifts, skills, strengths and talents they don’t even realize they have. And one of the most valuable aspects of the coaching I do is helping my clients recognize the power they already possess, and showing them how to focus it and use it to achieve their dreams. But I never thought about this in terms of a winning lottery ticket that’s tucked away in a drawer somewhere, lost in a stack of other tickets that are never checked, and never cashed in.

Throughout our lives, we all acquire valuable resources through our education, both formal and informal. And through our experiences, both planned and unplanned.  And through pretty much everything we’ve ever done or that’s ever happened to us. We make use of some of our education and experiences, in our jobs and in our day to day lives. But much of it remains tucked away and never thought of again, like the lottery tickets we never check, but keep on buying.

I need to remember this whenever I’m considering a new class, workshop, or teleseminar that looks like it will give me that one elusive element I need in order for my business to succeed. Or when I’m tempted to buy a new book or new program that will teach me something I think I still need to learn.

This is not to say there’s no value in new programs or purchases. It’s just that I may not need them because I already have whatever it is I’m looking for or hoping to acquire. When I take the time to look inside, I’m likely to find that I already have everything I need.

And that’s the biggest jackpot of all. With no lottery ticket required.

The column “Find Your Buried Treasure” appears weekly in the Chanhassen (MN) Villager. This column was published on June 18, 2015.
©Betty Liedtke, 2015

I welcome your comments, but please be aware that all comments will be moderated and approved before appearing on this blog. This is to protect all of us from unwanted spam.