08/16/2012 02:25 pm ET Updated Oct 16, 2012

The Luck Of The Draw Will Fail You

The lottery is ruining your life.

Whether you buy lotto tickets once a day or once a year, the lottery is destroying you because it is insidiously convincing you that the only way you can succeed in life is through luck instead of skill.

As income inequality has grown, it's become harder to get ahead. But that doesn't mean you should give up on working hard and developing your skill set. On the contrary, the stakes now are higher: all the more reason why you should devote your time to becoming worthy of high pay for doing meaningful work that improves society.

You may fall short of your goals. The world is not a machine that produces guaranteed outcomes. But the worst failure is never trying at all. If you work hard enough, you'll be surprised by how much success builds on itself. Once you have enough momentum, it will be hard not to thrive.

Buying a lottery ticket is an admission of defeat. "Maybe I'll get lucky," you say to yourself. But you should really be telling yourself that you will try your best, definitely.

As technological innovation and outsourcing replace jobs, the economy is rewarding skill and education more than ever. That's because robots and low-paid work abroad can't replace critical thinking.

If you feel stuck, you should consider going back to school or working somewhere that will give you valuable experience. If you already have developed a skill set that's in demand, you should consider using it in a way that will pay off -- like applying for a higher-paying job, writing a book, or starting a new company.

Just don't buy a lottery ticket. It's effectively a tax on the poor and the desperate.

You have almost no chance of winning the lottery. The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot in March, for example, was 1 in 175 million. The odds that you will try your best to achieve your goals, on the other hand, are within your control and can reach 100 percent.

Even when people win the lottery, they often go broke because they never planned for a windfall. On the flip side, if you incrementally achieve your goals, you are more likely to win and spend your earnings wisely.

It's just like losing weight. People that go on crash diets usually gain back the weight quickly and then some. People that make permanent lifestyle changes, on the other hand, lose weight more slowly but have a significantly better chance of staying thin for life.

That's why it's important to make these lifestyle changes: Work hard. Build your skill set. Become more educated. Get to know people in your industry. Find a mentor. And choose a profession that you are passionate about, where you have a good chance of making a good living and succeeding.

Get to work and throw away those leftover lottery tickets. They are a string of broken promises from someone that only took advantage of you. Love yourself and make yourself the best person you can be.