I went to the store tonight, just before closing time, to buy some vegetables and fruit for my regular morning smoothies. I wanted to put carrots in it, just to try it out. I realize it will likely be a fail, but you miss a 100% of the shots you don’t take. Right?
I was the next in line at the cashier and I saw the lottery tickets – The ones where you scrape off a layer of some weird grey stuff and you unveil numbers. What’s it called in English? We call it a “skrapelodd” (scraping ticket). You win if you get 3 numbers of the same size.
Seeing them triggered a cascade of associations, including the worst moment of Anthony Robbins where he talks about some people winning the lottery using the Law of Attraction. The subconscious also went through the usual associations of how the statistics make it stupid to buy one etc.
But I felt like trying. Something pulled me into buying the stupid scraping ticket. The cashier asked me if I wanted a bag to go with the groceries. I said yes. In the course of about one second I thought that I should buy the ticket; I thought about the woman in front of me who were just about finished packing her groceries and on her way out; I thought about how I wanted her to quicken up and get out of earshot of me asking for the scraping ticket because I felt stupid for buying one; I thought about how stupid it was of me to think about what she would think of me for buying a ticket; I thought about how the thought of how stupid it is to buy a ticket is really my thought – not hers. I was projecting my thinking on her. “Can I have a scraping ticket?” The cashier said yes. Was that scorn I heard in his voice?
I put the scraping ticket (I really want to know what the English word is for this) in the pocket of my jacket and began listening again to Mindsight on audiobook. On the walk home I thought about how I would try out the Law of Attraction on the scraping ticket. I thought about how much money I needed to make life easier in the coming months. I am in a transitional period in my life with substantial amounts of uncertainty. I decided that 100 000 NOK would be very nice and make things comfortable in the coming time.
When I got into the apartment and had taken off the wet jacket (it’s been raining for tens of days straight), I pulled out the scraping ticket (?!) and looked at the distribution of winning numbers. Apparently there were eight chances to win one million and two chances to win 100 000 on four million tickets. It probably took me 100 milliseconds to change my mind about the target number. It was four times more likely. “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve”, is what Napoleon Hill said. He is like a prophet of the Law of Attraction, and it was four times more believable with one million.
I went over the sofa and sat down with my friend who was watching Person of Interest, and put the scraping ticket on the table in front of me. I sat down in the sofa in the closest thing I can do to Lotus (It’s pretty bad) and thought about how I should handle this Law of Attraction-style.
I still felt a bit stupid, because this is not how I think the Law of Attraction works – At all. But there was some doubt, I guess. Enough doubt to be in this strange situation.
One thing that came to mind about the Law of Attraction was that you should see yourself in the situation of having already received what you want. So I sat down and readied myself for the warm and pleasant feeling of just having won one million Norwegian Kroner – The security, the possibilities and the fun that would come out of it.
I felt nothing. I felt empty. I thought about all the plans I’ve made for the days and months ahead of me. How I want to be a part time teacher to teach kids, become better at speaking in front of people and basically doing something I love – Teaching. I though about all the other projects I am about to start. The same thought came up for all my other projects and plans. Why bother? I’ve got a million. I can wait. There’s no urgency. A cold, dank, unpleasant, void feeling came over me and I stared at the scraping ticket. It was just a piece of paper. It didn’t know any better. It didn’t know how it had led me into temptation. But inadvertently it had also saved me. It showed me the folly of seeking quick money. It saps the life out it. What is life without challenge? I knew I didn’t want the price winnings.
I turned my head and asked my friend if he wanted the lottery ticket. He looked at me and made five different looks in the space of seven seconds, ranging from incredulous to suspicious. No one said anything.
He asked me if it was a real scraping ticket. I said yes. No tricks? No. He then gave me another suspicious look and found a coin to scrape off the weird grey stuff. For some reason I did feel more certain than usual that he would win a million. He announced the numbers as they came. 10 000. 100 000. Oooooh, the first million. Some numbers he apparently didn’t feel obliged to share. Another 10 000. Another 100 000. And a second million. He looked at me and said, “one more left”. He scraped off the grey stuff and didn’t say anything for a few seconds. “I guess I’ll try the bonus part.”
Have you won the lottery or do you want to? What would you use the money for?
Luck & Love,