Joe Average quietly walked into his house of worship and began to pray: “Creator, I’ve been a supportive, gentle and loving husband, a creative, playful, good father all my life. I want to win the lottery. It would just be so great. Creator, I’ve never asked You for anything. Please, let me win the lottery.” Joe comes back a week later: “Creator, I’ve been faithful to You from the first day I met You. I’m a generous member of my community, I give my money and time. I know You know everything, but yes, work’s been slow, and I’m trying to help my Mom with her bills. Please, please let me win the lottery.” Another week: “Creator, are You angry with me? Is there something…” And a BOOMING VOICE crashes through the hall “SHUT UP ALREADY AND BUY A TICKET.”
Luck is what we call it. I buy lottery tickets, maybe six a year. It’s no more a waste of hard-earned dollars than buying the Top Pot doughnuts I love far too much, and healthier. In fact, I’ll insist it’s healthier: a little boost of hope, a tiniest splash of whimsy as you daydream about what you’ll do with so much money you’re not sure how many zeros are in the sequence. And I’m going to contend that buying a burst of inspiration primes you for more inspiration. For the rest of the let-myself-while-away-the-hours day during which I’d bought the most recent tickets, I: (1) stumbled on a Rusted Root CD – just found them through Facebook, and love love love; (2) happened on an umbrella stand – the “just right” I’ve been seeking for years, and (3) scored a desperately-needed bookcase, all at well-deserving thrift stores. I’m not sure I would have been focused enough to see any of them without that little push of optimism I’d already given myself.
You know me, I’ve also just scoured the literature, hounding over to my favorite sources like Greater Good Magazine, for proof that opening yourself up to inspiration leads to more inspiration and creativity. Couldn’t quite find anything, maybe I wasn’t asking quite the right question. That’s OK. I learned stuff anyway, like this grand list of the wonders of music. Find some inspiration. I dare you.