A 5-Point Plan for Maximum Impact

By Lili Rahmati

Thanks to the brilliant campaign sponsored by the generous folks at Gold Peak Tea, one lucky individual stands to win $100,000 so that they can take a year off to do whatever they wish Ė pretty amazing stuff and definitely the opportunity of a lifetime! †As a response to Mallikaís recent call to fellow Intent-ers to share their ideas assuming someone from the community might be lucky enough to win, Iíve been fantasizing about what this scenario would look, taste and feel like for me. At first, so many things rushed through my mind that the exercise became quite overwhelming. But after allowing the thoughts to simmer down a bit, Iíve identified five distinct opportunities for allocating the winnings (both time and money) in a way which would create huge impact and fulfillment.

I have to admit that I found this exercise to be a little bit alarming, but also very enlightening. Instinctively, most of my initial thoughts about how to use the prize resources had little to do with myself and instead were almost completely focused on how to support others whether they were causes, organizations, individuals, etc. Clearly, thereís nothing wrong with that, but I did become aware that I was perpetuating an all too familiar pattern of female behavior which is based upon always playing the role of dedicated nurturer, caretaker, and being the one who provides comfort and succor, etc.

Itís part of our biology to know how to readily give to others, but when it comes to ourselves, we often donít know how to receive (from ourselves or from others). I can only speak for myself, and I donít want to make sweeping generalizations. Iím sure there are many women who can be classified as outliers compared to this typical model of behavior. That said, I think that the conversations that we have with one another ó whether in person or online Ėtend to lend support to the fact that women need to learn how to take better care of themselves so they can be better equipped to care for or give to others.

Once I allowed myself to become more comfortable with the concept of including myself as a recipient of the winnings, I was able to craft a solid vision of what life would look like and the impact and fulfillment which could result, both for me directly as well as for those who I want to help/support.

1. Self-Care: This is an area of my life that needs a lot of attention. Iím lucky to have a thriving business (which gives me immense personal and professional satisfaction), but being an entrepreneur is hard work and I often am left feeling physically, emotionally and mentally spent. I realize that it is essential to allocate time and money to incorporate regular self-care rituals into my life. These involve yoga, meditation, nature hikes/walks as well as massages and other wellness practices.

2. Photography: In recent years Iíve discovered the creative passion in my life which is photography. I usually shoot on film and print in the traditional darkroom,†but recently Iíve incorporated digital photography into my repertoire as well. I would love to create the space for my own darkroom (or pre-pay for an entire yearís worth of rental darkroom time). Iíd also use the additional resources to upgrade my camera equipment and bump up my inventory of film cartridges, media cards, etc.

3. Social Interaction/Quality Time: I score pretty high when it comes to spending quality time with my immediate family and a few close friends, but thereís a gaping hole in my life when it comes to spending time with my other friends, relatives and colleagues (even though we donít live that far from one another). Putting forth the effort to have quality interactions with people we already know is not only fulfilling but also a huge component of our emotional wellness.

4. Travel:† Throughout my life travel has been a natural part of my existence, so much so that as an adult I truly identify myself as a world citizen. Every opportunity to travel is a chance to learn something new, and as a result my life is enriched in ways which I could never have anticipated. I often travel for pleasure, but if I had a year off and $100,000, the travel would be more purpose-driven. I envision incorporating my photography with my travels in a way that would tell stories of where Iíve been, who Iíve met and what Iíve learned. Or perhaps it would enable me to give a much needed voice to those who otherwise may not have one. Whether domestic or international, the opportunities for connecting with others in meaningful and impactful ways are endless and I would seize upon as many as I could.

5. Philanthropy: Iíve always felt the need to have a clear sense of purpose in terms of my place in the world. Although I havenít always been connected with exactly what that meant, the older and more experienced I become, the more Iíve been able to craft a precise vision of how I want to affect positive change.

Philanthropy is an essential part of my current life and within the context of a life-changing event such as the Gold Peak Tea campaign, the opportunities for philanthropic giving and being of service would be hugely magnified. Aside from having the time to volunteer for causes near and dear to my heart, the ability to make direct targeted contributions to causes, social enterprises and traditional non-profits would be at the top of my agenda. Whether itís through providing a scholarship to a girl in a US high school who plans to study math/finance or business in University or supporting a crowd-funding campaign for a non-profit which addresses the basic health and hygiene needs of girls and women (in developing countries) so that they can pursue their education, undoubtedly there are numerous ways to make a meaningful, sustainable and life-altering impact.†From my perspective, being philanthropic and cause-driven is immeasurably meaningful and rewarding, and I look forward to a lifetime of service and philanthropic giving.

What would you do if you had $100,000 to take a year off?

Gold Peak Tea is giving away $100,000 to one deserving person to do whatever ó whether it be travel the world, write a book, start a nonprofit, or simply kick back and enjoy the comforts of†home. To enter, you can fill out the application on their†Facebook.

Related Articles on Intent:
Recipe for a Happy Year… and Fulfilling Life
What would you do if you could take a year off?
Shake your routine and start living creatively


Terry Vanderbush
Terry V6 years ago


Kathleen Cazander

Thanks for the link.


There are many huge companies that are trying to become more socially responsible. If there is one that you do not like and they begin to display positive characteristics, that is a good thing. To help large companies on the road responsible and sustainable status, we should encourage and support efforts in this direction. I am going to look for this tea in my local stores and if I find it I will buy it.

As for myself, I would use the winnings to pay for the following 5 things:

1. An education for my children.
2. Pay bills :p
3. Sewing machine and fabric to restart my small business. (making cloth gift bags)
4. Plants and landscaping materials for my garden.
5. I would like to travel a little and put the rest in savings.

Winning or no, it is good to dream, so thank you Gold Peak Tea and Coco Cola for this moment :)

Magdalen B.
Magdalen B6 years ago

"Those generous folks" my.............This is an elongated advertisement for tea bags which will benefit Coca cola.

Yvette T.
Past Member 6 years ago

Coca Cola owns his tea co? Thanks, Judy. I tuned down a massive fortune for much less reason than that when I was in my twenties. A bit of fame, too....

Vicky Pitchford
Vicky P6 years ago


Mac C.
mac C6 years ago

What a really nice thought to take time off to pursue dreams of the heart worry-free of money problems. I don't think it would matter if your job is waiting for you or not when the year ends. You would become such a different person, you may not want it anyway or you would begin to earn a living with your new found talent. I agree and probably would adopt Lili's list except exchange Photography for drawing/painting. Thanks so much for posting, it's great to dream about it with you.

Rob S.
Rob Stradmeijer6 years ago


devon leonard
Devon Leonard6 years ago

As only 1 person will win this I am imagining there will be untold bubbles popping.... this is good in that perhaps many people will be greatly motivated to live their dreams awake ...and not wait for some future time to do the things that matter the most in some form or another.... Good Fortune...!

Christine C.
Chandra C6 years ago