Winning the Lottery…But Losing the Ticket…Opportunity Lost

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Which is worse, never winning the lottery or winning and not cashing in your ticket? Do you realize that there are so many winning lottery tickets that are unclaimed?! Do you also realize that there might have been lottery tickets that you did not cash in! The riches that go unclaimed is mind boggling. I am not speaking about the kind you buy from the grocery story and then tuck away in your wallet with a few days of a dream. No, the lottery ticket I am speaking about is not on paper but rather in our interactions and experiences. If you don’t action the interaction with someone, it is an opportunity lost. If you don’t realize the significance of something occurring around you, it is an opportunity lost.

It is very common for me to go to a restaurant and speak with the staff or speak at an event and then have conversations with individuals after the session and they want to connect. We small talk and chit chat. Many times I find out that they are in university and then the conversation turns to how I teach at university and have built a 20 year career around supporting youth in their careers and life. The eyes of the staff or conference attendees talking to me lights up and I always share that they can contact me. Hurriedly they find a piece of paper and pen and I give them my name and contact or I give them my business card. I also ask them to go to my Linked In so they know it is legitimate. They always tell me that they will be dropping me a note…and then, 9 times out of 10…I never hear back. Do they realize that they won the lottery because I am willing to help them and open up a conversation; however, they lost the ticket because I never hear back from them. Now, I am not sharing that they won the lottery with me because I am special or who I am, no that is not the idea. Instead, what I am saying here is that I am an individual who will listen to them, provide some insights and even connect them to the right people. I am not the golden boy who everyone needs to meet but rather a reminder that you need to find those people who are the winning tickets and follow up with them.

This week, I am in Canada’s capital speaking at an event on mindfulness and self-care. A month prior, I got a note on Linked In from Sana who said she was going to attend the event and sent a nice note so I connected with her. I told her that I would be in Ottawa for a few days and if she had time, I would welcome an opportunity to meet and have a sit down together…she got a winning ticket…and she cashed it in because we met up and had a wonderful conversation and sharing session. We will be keeping in touch and while I will be sharing insights and ideas, she is also going to be sharing with me her thoughts as well. We both won the lottery!

What I want you to do in the future is to cash in those winning lottery tickets. Send a note to that person you meet to say hello or thank you. When an opportunity emerges, examine it and see if it is a winning ticket. You never know what the outcome will be. Sure, some tickets will yield little riches but some are the jackpot. I have had many winning lottery tickets in life and will keep on cashing them in. It has made me richer inside than I could have ever imagined.

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