I think that way, sometimes. I think we all to. I've known a few millionaires in my life. What's funny is that they think that way, too. It seems like, no matter what you've got, it's never enough to accomplish what you really want to accomplish.
Some people say that it's useless to daydream like that: envisioning how things could possibly be different... if only. They counter that it is much healthier to live in the reality of this world, and complain despondently about the things that are so out of reach and beyond our power of influence.
But, I've learned a little secret. Those daydreams, what I would do if I had a million dollars (or 20 million), have really changed my life: and by changing my life, have done some pretty incredible things to make the world a better place.
I start with my daydream, "What would I do if I had, say, fifty million dollars?" So, I'm sitting here in my own make-believe little world and somebody hands me a check for fifty million dollars. What do I do? What do I do, first (once the accounts are settled) that is really important, really significant, and that is going to make a lasting change for good? Knowing what my concerns about the economy have been, the injustice toward children, the misrepresentations of religion for personal (or corporate) gain, how would I begin my journey of truly making a difference?
Then, it hits me, shockingly and with the deepest convictions. It strikes me that the very first thing I would do, in order to make the world a better place if I only had a million dollars, I don't need to have a million dollars to do. In fact, as I sit in the imaginary executive office that I've created in my mind and lay out a strategic action plan for doing something profoundly amazing for the good of my community, I realize that the cash that I have decided is so necessary for my success just sits there; because, no matter how much it is, it's never possibly going to be enough to do lasting good. What I need to have in order to really make a difference, to make a change, is passion, conviction, and and determination. And, you can't buy that. And, having millions of dollars at your disposal isn't going to give you that.
I still daydream.
I still imagine, what if, or, if only, and think about how I could possibly make a difference, only if my circumstances were different. But, then, I translate those dreams into the reality of this world and begin to imagine, what can I do, with the resources I have today, to make the world a better place? And then, I find myself in a very telling position: with every resource I need to do the one thing that needs to be done in order to start making this dream a reality. Am I going to do it, or am I not?
And, that's really the question.
If I only had a million dollars, I would still be the same person I am today. And the world would still be struggling with the same issues it faces today.
I remember sitting on my couch, in our little one bedroom, 600 square foot house that we rented for $250 a month (roughly half my income at the time). I was holding the Publisher's Sweepstakes card (the one that you mail in when you're not buying anything). I remember, praying, "God, You know, this could really solve a lot of problems."
And God spoke to me, in that moment, with a gentle enthusiasm that I will never forget, He said, "Staneart, you've got a tiny, tiny imagination."