Originally posted June 11, 2014

You’ve just won the lottery of life.

Aren’t you excited? Won the lottery! Wow!

Wait a minute. What does that mean? What did you do to win? Most importantly, what is the prize?

We are so influenced by family, friends, and society that we depend on these people to make our decisions on what to think, how to feel, and way to behave. Few times in life do we (in a society) make our own decisions.

Have you read the story of The Lottery written by Shirley Jackson in 1948? If not or if it has been a while, you should find it at or on your favorite site. It could have been written at anytime through the years up to today. One of the quotes that grabs me is, “It’s not the way it used to be.” Old Man Warner said clearly. “People ain’t the way they used to be.” Hasn’t every generations throughout time felt this way. One generation wants the next one to feel like they did, do what they did, and think the way they did.

Shirley Jackson covers many human emotions. We are a society that holds on tightly to grief with both hands whether it is loss of a favorite item, health, or the horrible loss of a loved one. We wallow in self-pity over any slight, real or imagined. It becomes so much the norm that we look for things to be upset or angry about.

We are not meant to live that way. If you are a Christian, you are not trusting God. I am sure there are similar teaching in other religion. What if you don’t believe in any deity? Does it make sense then that if this all there is, you spend time in these practices? It makes so much more sense to spend our time being happy and making a positive difference. 

Now that is the best lottery prize. The good news is you get to choose. Do you want the prize of a happy life or the win in the The Lottery story? I choose the happy life.

Ways I have found to have a happier life:

  • Let go! Let go of the anger, disappointment, sadness.
  • Forgive.
  • Associate with others that have positive attitudes.
  • Believe there is more to life.
  • Look outside self to see who needs some help.
  • Smile, laugh, find joy.
  • Think objectively.

There are others but these cover the top of my list. No one succeeds in being positive 100% of the time, but I feel better when I can achieve it a majority of the time. Help me by sharing ways to stay happy and be an independent person no matter what others are doing.