Since it's a new year, I was a little worried on what exactly to write about for you guys until a conversation with a friend on playing the lottery gave me an "Ah ha" moment.
I was actually making fun of her for playing the lottery, explaining how I think lotteries are for lazy people who are willing to chance success and not work for their money. This prompted her to narrate an interesting story about a couple who "nearly" won a £35 million jackpot.
Apparently, in the UK there's a lottery company that uses an online system that allows one to play lotto online and the system "collects" £1 from an online account for every transaction or for the numbers that a player plays. It so happens that a certain couple , just before Christmas, successfully played the correct six winning numbers. With so much joy in their hearts and the confidence that they're are millionaires in pounds sterling, they went ahead and partied like rockstars knowing it was only a matter of days before they collect their £35 million winnings.
After the Christmas holidays they went to collect their winnings. I could not help imagine that they dressed in their best attire for the press and as new millionaires they just could not hold their excitement. Turns out when they got to the lottery offices to sign the paperwork and walk away with their money, they were told that there was no record of their transaction. Yes their numbers were correct but the system has not completed the transaction because they didn't have £1 in their online account when the system tried to “collect“ the money for their transaction. There was no money for them!!
Personally I can't imagine how those people felt. After spending all the money they had celebrating with the full confidence that they're now millionaires. I also don't really know how they felt knowing that something as negligible as £1 was the reason their dream of chilling at some luxurious hotel overlooking the beautiful tropical beach at some exotic island as they watch the pennies trickle in from their investment just went up in smoke like that,I don't even know who they would blame for this unfortunate circumstances that befall them, devil? Luck ? Providence? Some evil relatives? Computer error? System malfunction? The lotto company? The Internet?The partner who last used that account and finished all the money? The partner who chose numbers but did not check the balance? Either way there was no money.
From the terraces of this story we could easily cast blame on this couple yet our very own lives are no different. We live a lot of our life on assumptions. There are things we have done so many times , with time we start to just make assumptions that it will work out. There is a quote that says the devil is in the detail yet some of us never bother with the detail. We just assume that if we do the basics everything else will fall into place. If we make it into a new year alive and with even the slightest desire to change or frustration with last years situation, in a new year all things will change. If we just go to work we will get our salary regardless of how much we actually work or create value. If we just show up for classes and submit something for assignments we will pass the course. If we just get something delivered to the client, we will make a sale regardless of the quality or time in which we deliver. We just assume it will work out if we just show up.
We live our lives on assumptions and never actually take time to look into the finer details, make preparations, plan, project and forecast to see what obstacles and opportunities lie before us and our goals. Everything is taken for granted and when we meet that challenge, we end up failing to tackle it because we didn't see it coming. Or miss the opportunity completely because we didn't forsee it or plan for it and by the end of year, we would lament and cry about how the year 2016 was the worst year ever and how 2017 will be the year of restoration.
As we make plans for the new years. Let us try to pay attention to details. Let us see that we have tried our best to cover all angles, forecast and plan for all possible situations and hope for the best.