Last week my wife Meagan stopped on her way home for eggrolls to accompany our stir fry dinner. After our meal, we all had fun opening the fortune cookies that came with the rolls.

Meg light up when it read, “Your journey to financial prosperity begins today.” She did a little dance and was all excited. I played along while we all had a nice laugh and moment together.

While we were cleaning up, I scooped up the fortune cookie (which no one ate…) and the little slip of paper. On the backside it read, “Get rich quick: Play the lottery” with a QR code to some website, which I assume has some form of online gambling.

I laughed out loud, wondering how many people scanned the code in hopes of the easy route to a better life. How many people dream of financial security, wealth, and a brighter future?

If we’re honest, probably most of us. Some people want this to happen, some people even wish for it to happen, yet few are willing to put in the work and have the discipline to make it happen.

The true secret to a life of abundance and wealth is simple: live beneath your means, save on a regular basis, and use debt wisely. Most of us will never hit it big with the jackpot and wishing and waiting for the easy route will make life hard.

The difficult route of dragging your feet through the mud, doing the work and putting in the reps is the true path to success. Doing the hard things will make accomplishing your goals even more rewarding.

As a financial professional, I’m often asked about the latest investment fad or hot stock tip. I always chuckle and say, “I have no idea. I don’t help anyone get rich quickly – rather I help them build wealth slowly and stay wealthy.”

Instead of asking a doctor for a pill to lose 30 pounds, focus on eating sensibly and exercising regularly. The sense of accomplishment from delayed gratification is far more rewarding; knowing you made it happen from your own hard work.

Make your own luck and good fortune by putting in the work. We all began in a small boat with no sails, seemingly just drifting and relying on the waters and wind to move us about.

Don’t rely on the tailwind of the investment markets, the next get rich quick scheme or a magic diet. Build a sail for your vessel of life to take control of the direction you want your life to go.

Stop wishing for it to happen and make it happen.

Jason J. Krueger, CFP, CRPC, APMA is a financial adviser and a Certified Financial Planner professional with Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC. To contact him, visit

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