Immediately, the answers started rolling in.
Four first class tickets to Paris. One way.
one week trip to NYC, staying in a fancy hotel near Broadway and tickets to every show I could get my hands on.
I would rebuild the Laos Buddhist temple that burnt down in a fire in Colorado.
I would buy a large plot of land I could live on sustainably and start my own cat sanctuary ala Hemingway
My freedom from the Federal government student loans.
I was surprised how many people said a house, only because I initially considered a house myself and then realized I have no idea where I’d want to live forever and ever. I’m amazed how many people already know where they want to “end up”. Then I thought about how completely achievable that dream is.
Lots of people buy houses, after all. And not just with mortgages. People save up cash to buy houses they fix up. People pinch and save like crazy to pay off their mortgages early. And I don’t just mean rich people, but normal people with spouses and kids and real bills. It happens all the time.
How long would it take to save up for a trip to Paris if I made it a priority? If I went without other things that were less important to me? I bet I could do it within a year if I really buckled down.
Buying a farm isn’t all that crazy. Neither is starting a fund to rebuild a temple. Or going to New York City for a week.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized all of these dreams were completely doable with enough sacrifice of time and money.
Yes, even yours.
We could go without. We could take side jobs. We could, most of us, throw ourselves into making these extravagant dreams come true if we really wanted to.
But is that wise? Is it prudent to struggle in our day-to-day lives in order to enjoy one big, shiny payoff?
I can’t say, of course, what the answer is for you.
But I do know what it feels like to have a dream come true, and it’s pretty freaking incredible. I know that I’d rather have one really great trip, one fantastic life moment, than decades of going through the motions. I know that bliss is found in the quality of our experiences rather than the quantity.
And I know that I am unlikely to win the lottery.
So I’m not going to sit around and wait to make my dreams come true.