We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
A TV station asked a guy in the Powerball line in a bodega in New York what he would do with the money if he won. He said he'd spend it on hookers and cocaine. Wonderful reply, but probably lying for the most part.
Do people focus too much about what they want, or too little? Well, everybody is different. I routinely disparage general discussions about "happiness." I never disparage people having personal life goals or direction, as long as they can be flexible in the face of harsh realities. But there is no generic definition of any universal details of happiness, and a large category of people is only happy when unhappy, upset, stressed, or in chaos because such things sort-of organize their thinking and thus help them feel "better".
The interesting thing is that the ability to delay gratification may be largely inherited, and our "self"-discipline may not be so much ours. We tell ourselves stories we wilke.
Assistant Village Idiot
I should think that your physical body should be considered your "self", so calling it "self-discipline" is entirely appropriate. After all, who else's responses to stimuli could it be, if not yourself?
Now, whether moral preening is appropriate, when comparing your own perceived discipline level to someone else's-- that's a whole 'nother 'nother...
As a hard-worker, high achiever, I find I'm happy but never quite content as there's always some higher goal or achievement to work towards. Maybe if I drive a wedge between what the article describes as "fantasy" and reality, I might get to contentedness someday.
On the other hand, my wife is a hard worker but low achiever, usually unhappy, but quite content.
We're all walking, talking pathology, aren't we...
Back in the 90s I worked for a motivational author and speak who had a very successful book which was about how you could be happy all the time.
The revealing thing was the types of people who flocked to his expensive seminars. They wanted a great relationship, and lots of money, and to be really fit, (some pretty big dreams there eh?), but what they didn't want was to work hard at it. They wanted a magic wand and he gave them the illusion of such. It taught me a lot about what not to do to get ahead. Being surrounded by middle-aged losers when you're a young man can have a big effect.
It's interesting to jump from winning the lottery to happiness. Winning the lottery = buying everything your heart desires = happiness, right? By that definition, a heroin addict who's just gotten a fix is the happiest man in the world. But I don't think most people would consider that true happiness - you have to have a meaningful happiness and for that you have to have meaning. Maybe the purpose of life isn't to be happy, maybe being happy comes from finding and fulfilling a purpose in life. If you can look around and know the world is a better place because you were in it, that your existence mattered, maybe that's happiness. And I think that's really all we're looking for, some confirmation that our existence matters.
I have to say. I'm content and pretty happy. Not rich but just happy.
What would I do? I'd put about $100M in the bank to take care of the family..... forever and really have fun giving most of it away. I think I'd do it in a surprising manner, just for the sheer joy and fun of it.
That would bring me a lot of joy. Just seeing the look on peoples faces when I fund their charitable work. Soup kitchen, shelters, lifting the burden of people who are getting crushed by the what they have to shoulder. That would be a good way to spend my days.
My answer may be like so many people's answer but here it is: I don't really need anything. I would certainly take more vacations and buy a few things but for the most part I would try to spend it all before I died and spend it helping people I know. Friends and family of course. Friends or friends and shirt tail relations and even strangers. I would give to a few charities I respect like the Boy Scouts and St Vinnies. I would get together with the local hospital and try to help them in a meaningful way. I would not give my children (or anyone I cared about) a large sum of money but I would set them up with a modest trust fund and a modest home. I would expect to encounter some disagreement, begging, hostility and other issues that lottery winners experience But I feel confident I could handle it and stay the course and do it my way.
The best advice I discovered was at the end of the movie 'Wargames'.
The only way to win is not to play.
I took that to mean not to get wrapped up in keeping up with others or appearances. Work to get enough, but save to get what you want. But mostly from your first day on the job, work toward a plan for when you no longer have a job.