A number of years ago I was ordering coffee and a donut (OK, two donuts) from a young lady at a local donut shop and she seemed a little…off. I asked her how her day was going and she just shrugged and, eyes down, mumbled “Could be better…” I asked her what would make her day better.
She said “If I had a million dollars”.
I thought for a moment and said: “I don’t think that’s what youreally want.” At which point she looked up at me. Her expression was quizzical (I get that a lot).
“Ummmm yeah, I’d like to have a million dollars.”
I asked her what she would do if she suddenly had a million dollars. She said she’d like to travel. A friend of hers was leaving for ANOTHER trip somewhere and she just felt stuck where she was. Working part-time for minimum wage didn’t leave her any extra money so if she had a million dollars she could travel like her friend who took an annual cruise and a few trips to music festivals each year.
I asked her where she’d like to go. She said she’d even be happy just going to visit a friend of hers in Virginia Beach for a few days once the weather there was a little nicer.
She kept talking as I drank my coffee and ate my donuts and by the end of it we had had a nice conversation about how she could budget her income a bit better, put a little bit aside each week and maybe pick up a few more shifts here and there. She realized that because she didn’t think saving $5 or $10 here and there would really amount to anything, she just spent her whole paycheck on “whatever”. It might take some time, but she realized how the money could add up if she were patient. By the time I left there was a smile on her face and her eyes were lit up as she had come to realize that taking this trip just might be possible.
Not that having a million dollars wouldn’t have made her happy. But what she really wanted, and what was an absolutely attainable goal for her, was to simply get away and have a vacation…which she now believed she could have and had a mental image of how it could work. I never did run into her again so have no idea how things turned out, but for that moment her mood lifted and her eyes sparkled.
When setting your sights on your goals, check in to make sure you’re setting the right ones. If you are like the young lady at Dunkins and don’t want to even bother dreaming, imagining or planning because you have already resigned yourself to what you believe you can and can’t have, look again.
Or put on the coffee and give me a call, but really, I’ll just have one donut.