King Midas and the Scales of Life

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We often use the “Midas touch” as a compliment to those who seem to turn every opportunity into a success.

But the story of King Midas paints a different picture of his ability to turn everything he touched into gold. Although King Midas was, at first, ecstatic with his new power, he soon realized that it was a curse and not a blessing.

His love for gold blinded him from seeing the value in other things, such as food and companionship.

His food turned to gold in his mouth. His drink turned to gold as it touched his lips. Even his loved ones turned to gold at the first embrace.

His golden touch meant that he was no longer able to experience the value these things brought to his life.

And while we may look at the story of King Midas as a myth, the outlook he had about life and value is very common in our age, with similar consequences for those who share his vision.

There’s More to Life Than Gold

“Time is money.”

“How much money will I get for my hard work?”

It seems that the only measure of value we use is money. If something doesn’t make us money then we don’t find the motivation to pursue it. Some are willing to give both arms and a foot if they can get the power to turn everything into gold with the foot they have left.

But there’s more to life than gold and money.

We can’t deny that money gives us an opportunity to buy the things we like and the experiences we dream of having. But money can’t buy you happiness. It can only buy you a piece of the pie. The rest of the happiness pie comes from other values.

We need to be aware of all our needs as human beings and to pursue all the values that ensure our happiness and prosperity.

Money doesn’t buy you spiritual enlightenment, but more opportunities to attain it.

Money doesn’t buy you intelligence, but more resources to gain it.

Money doesn’t buy you emotional resilience, but more tools to develop it.

Money doesn’t buy you relationships, but more exposure to acquire them.

Money doesn’t buy you professional success, but more capital to invest.

Money doesn’t buy you comfort and relaxation, but more ways to experience them.

Money doesn’t buy you health, but more services to assist you.

Money can help you advance each of your seven life areas, but it can never compensate for them. You need to give each and every life area the time, attention and effort it needs from you to attain happiness and well-being.

For that to happen, you need to appreciate more in life than money. You have to value your life. You have to value your beliefs, your mind, your feelings, the people around you, the value you offer people in your business, the hobbies you enjoy and your body’s needs.

Having a holistic attitude towards life is the only way to pursue happiness. And that’s something money can’t buy.

There Are No Scales

Whenever we try to make a decision, we usually see a weighing scale in our mind’s eye, with two scales used to determine which is the weightier side. Which side do we value more. Which side should we go for.

Are you willing to prove your dedication to your work by cutting down on the time you spend pursuing your hobbies?

Are you willing to prove your love to your family by turning down projects that can move your career forward?

Are you willing to deny your body basic comforts in order to attain spiritual enlightenment?

We are always asked to make a decision between two options to prove what our priorities are and how our pyramid of values is constructed. To demonstrate priority, we have to make a compromise.

But this outlook is completely fabricated and unhealthy.

We don’t need to get stuck in the either/or mentality. We need to shift towards the both/and mentality.

We need to advance in all areas of our lives, without necessarily having to compromise one for the other. Advancement in our careers doesn’t necessitate sacrifices in our marriage, or vice-versa.

We need to aim for progress in all life areas, so that we can pursue human happiness.

We need to acknowledge that the “Midas touch” is a curse, because gold isn’t the only measure of value.

And we also need to acknowledge that we don’t need to sacrifice one value for the sake of another.

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