An Open Letter: Advice for the Lucky Powerball Lottery Winners

My dear lucky humans,

It’s been a surreal 24 hours. You’ve certainly felt elation and celebration. You may have made some plans, paid off your debt, bought a fancy new something or other. As you join the top echelon of the wealthy in this flawed and lovely country we call home, may I offer some unsolicited advice.

1) Begin with gratitude. The universe dropped this incredible fortune on you. You now have the tools to do amazing things. Start with a big fist-bump to the universe. Think about the teachers, mentors, lovers and friends that supported you before you became an overnight success. Give thanks.

2) Use that money to raise the bar for your fellow humans. In among the well-deserved splurges, think about how you develop a legacy of using your wealth to make life a bit better for others. The income gap in America is growing, race and gender inequality disadvantage millions, we are less happy and less healthy than ever, families continuously struggle for balance, violence continues to impact our communities. There are a million worthy causes that can be shaped and profoundly impacted by your support.

3) Don’t spend it all at once. Yes, yes I know EVERYONE wants a piece of you now. And despite my earlier advice about gratitude, I’m pretty against you giving willy-nilly to anyone that asks. Hire the best financial planner you know and then go to the mountains with your best friend in the world. Mindfully, and intentionally think about how you want to spend big chunks of that money. Don’t apologize for your decisions.

4) When you splurge, support independent folks. Buy the beautiful work from that crazy artist you love and first editions of your favorite books. Buy fancy-schmancy vegetables from little organic farms and ridiculously priced copper sauce-pans from third-generation craftsman. Have your vintage dream car resto-moded by a shop full of people that are truly passionate about what they do. Vote with your (many, many) dollars for the little guy and get more artists, thinkers, creators, makers and imaginative folks as a result.

5) Enjoy your life. Seriously. You now have the ability to buy that good “new purchase” feeling whenever you want. It’s a trap. Pursue deeper satisfaction. Take even small pleasures seriously. Remember what brought you joy before the win. Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it gives you the freedom to really think about the pursuit.

p.s. thanks for the rad header image CNN Money

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