What if you had Golden Touch?

“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.”
- Frederick Keonig

What if you had a golden touch, so that every thing, every project you touch, turns in to a success or more money? Would not that be a blissful living?

I wonder about it, too often. However, once we achieve one financial goal, we move on to our other desires and wants. There are no ends to desires, as we often struggle to find contentedness with what we have and think having more money will solve our problems. Worst of all, money actually makes some things in our life more complex and awkward. Don’t believe me?

Let me share you my story, I was working as a manager in high a stress corporate job making over six figures and was very stressed, did not have time to enjoy my life and kept feeling something was missing from my life.  Now being a stay at home mom and doing volunteer jobs, or working for my blog part time, without any monetary gain, yet I feel lot more satisfied with my life compared to before? Why you ask? Because I am choosing to live life with what matters to me and I value the most, and not what mattered to my VP at the job or other people.  Now, I am not saying being poor without money is better. While being financially secure is important part of our life, none of us will ever be happy with all of the world’s money at our feet if we are not content.

Let me also share a mythical story called “Golden touch” to show you that sometimes having more money or wealth can bring sadness or emptiness in the life. While this story might be mythical, it can applied to our real lives in today’s world. You will see why, read on. This is based on Indian mythical story of Goddess Lakshmi, which shares similar moral wisdom of Greek Mythology of King Midas and other cultural stories.

Story of a Merchant who had Golden Touch

There once was a Goddess of money.  She saw people on earth suffering from hunger, pain and ill-health.  She thought, “Only if I can give enough money to a few good people, their suffering would end, and they would live a happier life”.

The Goddess of Money Goddess one good merchant who was kind hearted and a good devotee of the Goddess.  She appeared before him and granted him a wish that he can have anything he wished for.  He said he was grateful for all he had but wondered what it would be like to have anything he touched, to turned in to gold. So, the Goddess of money, granted him that wish.

The merchant was very happy, he went in the house and his shop and turned a few vases and pots into gold.  He felt happier and went outside in the garden, he turned a few flowers and plants into gold.  It was amazing, that everything he touched was turning into real solid gold.  After a while, he got bored and felt hungry.

He came inside and asked his wife for food. His wife brought delicious and mouth watering food in a plate for him. He could not wait to eat as he was famished.  But, as soon as he touched the food, it turned into gold.  He felt sad and one tear rolled away from his eye. His wife saw it and said dear, do not worry, “I will feed you”. So merchant was happy and touched her hand to be affectionate in his appreciation of his wife for being so nice to him.  And yes, you guessed it? She turned into gold as well.  Now he was hungry, angry for losing his beloved wife and wondered if this wish from the Goddess was a good idea after all.

He was sitting still making sure not to touch anything in fear. In the afternoon, his 4 year old daughter, whom he loved so much came from her preschool and saw her daddy crying, and asked what happened?  The merchant had broken down by that time and started crying.  The little girl wanted to give him a hug to make her daddy feel better.  As she touched her father, she too turned into gold.  Now the Merchant had broken down hysterically and started to pray to the Goddess of Money to take away his boon as it had turned in to a curse and snatched away all the love and joy from his life.  That boon was supposed to make him happy, not take away what mattered to him the most.  What is the use of money if he had no loved one’s to share it with?

The Goddess of Money finally heard his prayers and saw that money did not solve his problems, and she felt the pain and heartache of the merchant.  She was kind and just so she undid the wish and put the merchant in sleep trance.  After a little while when the merchant woke up, he saw his wife and daughter next to him.  They asked, why he slept off in middle of the day? The Merchant was so happy to see his family.  Just to be sure he touched a pillow before touching them, when pillow remained a pillow, he was the happiest person in the whole world as his perspective had changed.  The Merchant told to his family that he had a bad dream.  His wife and daughter asked what would make him happy.  He said eating a home cooked meal together would be the best gift in the world while he hugged them. And it was, the merchant had the best and satisfying meal in his entire life with his wife and daughter!

In conclusion, if money made everything better, many lottery winners and millionaires would be the happiest people in the world. True golden touch is gold or money itself but people in your life. Being content with what you have is the best way for living life, even though it may seem impossible. We will never know how good we have it, until we lose it like the merchant did.  Many of us may not realize it but you are richer than you think .

If you look back at the happy memories in your life, I bet, it will have to do less with money and more about sharing with people you care for. Don’t you agree?

Image Source: DJ Wich

About Author: This post is written by Preeti who writes under name of Zengirl on Heart and Mind Blog. She writes articles about self improvement, stress free and slow living and believes in slow blogging.

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I am stay at home with 2 kids, married to my best friend zenguy. I am in to simplifying, slow and sustainable living, I am frugal, love reading, writing and watching romantic movies. I believe in family, friendship and community.

42 comments

  1. Dia says:

    Hi Preeti,

    I loved the story. While money is important and needed to live a good and decent life, there are other things more important like family and health. Just like you mentioned, there are millionaires who are not happy. In my opinion it is all about creating a balance in life. Happiness comes from within, not outside. Thanks for sharing Preeti :)

  2. ayo says:

    hello preeti,
    how are you?
    the moral of the story: becareful what you wish for lol!!!
    contentment is important in our daily lives. it will reduce the level of greed, selfishness, backstabbing, debts that occur in our daily lives.
    echoing dias comment, true happiness comes from within.
    take care and enjoy the rest of the day.

  3. Marko -- Calm Growth says:

    An interesting story Preeti… Money is not a reason to be away from family and beautiful moments. No amount of “gold” is worth that.

    Of course it’s important to have money, however, it is not essential for happiness. Happiness is a choice, and it depends on us, not on our circumstances.

    I agree that everyone should seek what makes him joyful regardless of the money…

  4. Evelyn says:

    Hi Preeti,
    Interesting article! I once worked outside my home and was stressed more than I could have ever been. My health wasn’t the best.Yeah, we had more money and I could get almost anything I wanted, but I wasn’t happy. Once I came home to stay with my daughter, I wasn’t stressed. Now we may not have as much money as we did when I was working, but I have assurance in knowing that I am doing the right thing for my family. There is no price one can pay for that! :)

    My memorable moments do not have anything to do with money. It is about the people and the love that we share that matters the most.

    Great post, Preeti!

    Take care,

    Evelyn

  5. rob white says:

    Hi Preeti,
    Well said. You make an important distinction — setting material
    goals will never satisfy you for long. Remind yourself constantly
    that what the world will point to as ‘measures of success and happiness’
    — things like big homes on the ocean, fancy cars and an exotic speedboat — will inevitably disappoint you. What we really want is the exhilarating feeling of triumph that comes with fully experiencing living while accomplishing the goal.

  6. Jean Sarauer says:

    Preeti, the best moments in my life have never come from anything related to money. Usually they are times spent in nature or with people or pets. Very simple things with little or no expense involved. It’s easy to forget that and get caught up in the cycle of ‘more’ because it’s preached on t.v. and in our culture. Since I’ve quit watching t.v. I’ve noticed I don’t get sucked into that.

  7. Angela Artemis says:

    Preeti,
    I loved this story. What a great story teller you are! I’m in a similar boat – doing more of what I love but no longer earning the big money. My life is so much richer now! I have less stress and I’m so much happier. Money cannot buy you happiness is the absolute truth!

    There was just a study released that said once you earn $75K per year any more money over that figure doesn’t make you happier. Interesting right? As a former private banker – I got to know some very wealthy and prominent people. Some were so nice and what I’d call normal, but there were a lot who were extremely demanding, pompous, arrogant and just plain miserable folk. Walking away from that high-stress career was the best thing I ever did.

  8. ZenGirl says:

    Dia,

    I am glad you liked the post. I know after making some amount of money, happiness does not depend on amount of money we have. You are so right about finding a balance to live the life to fullest and finding happiness from within. It is just work to get there! sadly, Many of us, (including me often time) associate success and happiness with money!

  9. ZenGirl says:

    Ayo,

    I like that you always asked how are you in all of your comments, it is so nice of you! I am fine, how are you?

    Yes, moral of story could be “be care for what you wish for, you may get it”! :-) Being content is often time hard with constant advertisement we see everywhere, including, internet, billboard, magazines and even at the school.

  10. ZenGirl says:

    Marko,

    I have seen good people in real life doing silly stuff against their own wishes for finding riches! Everything gold is not best or token of success. I know this from experience; living with your own values, following your passion, compassion is what makes life living.

    Everyone should have chance at happiness, if someone’s think it is money then go for it! Research has shown that, after making certain amount of money, extra money does not create happiness.

  11. ZenGirl says:

    Evelyn,

    This sound like my own story, before I had R, I worked and climbed the corporate ladder and relatively successful career, but I was not happy. I felt something was missing in my life. While still I may feel that way, I am lot more content and happy at home!

    Sometimes life throws challenges at you and we learn slowly from it, and hopefully improve upon it! Thanks for liking the post!

  12. ZenGirl says:

    Rob,

    Many of us think of success and happiness that is tied with money. I have been there, while I was living dream life from outward, inward I was unhappy as I was not living my life according to my values. Being poor does not help either, having no debt, and enough to live on is best!

    However, this worked for me. I am not telling anyone to live like me as it may or may not work for them! We all follow our own heart and mind in our own ways, don’t we?

  13. ZenGirl says:

    Jean,

    Before writing this post, I actually thought of all the things made me happy, truly happy; most were associates with people and memories of loved ones that I care and love. Many times, being in quite peaceful place has made my inner heart so happy and peaceful. While occasionally I still worry about money and future, mostly I am happy for the path that I took!

    Not watching TV has helped being more content and freed up so much time to do important things in my life!

  14. ZenGirl says:

    Angela,

    You are so right, we can NOT buy happiness with money, health with money at all. Without happiness, being content, health, having money means nothing, as we will not be able to enjoy it. I am happy you chose path of doing what you love and not what pays the most! good for you! You selling the house also shows you practice what you preach!

    I have traveled and worked with VPs and upper management, there were a few truly happy people there who were happy from within. I have seen some truly happy and content homeless and poor folks and grouchy millionaires! That goes to show, money without proper gratitude or contentedness is nothing.

  15. Vaishali says:

    Hi Preeti, thanks for reminding me again how important it is to value what we have, rather than run after what we don’t. In the end, no one can have everything, so spending one’s life in pursuit of it all can only end up in frustration and disappointment.
    On a more practical note, there are lots of studies that show that having more money– beyond a certain point — does not add to one’s happiness.
    Kudos to you for taking control of your life!

  16. Sibyl - alternaview says:

    Preeti: What a great message and a great post. I really appreciated what you said about doing something that is satisfying instead of just assuming that something that gives you a lot of money will be rewarding enough. Your story about leaving your corporate job is inspirational and I think it is so important to feel your life with things that mean the most to you and provide you with countless opportunities to be happy and appreciate everything around you. And, as you said, that usually has nothing to do with money. Thanks for the inspiration and the motivation to feel your life with things you love.

  17. taurian says:

    Hi Preeti,

    u are back with an amazing post again ! good work :) I liked it and enjoyed reading it.

    You know if you made a wish motto..”I wish I was the richest human being in the planet”…it would be a problem because u have sooo much money and BILL and get snowed under and go cleaned out..And what if u say “I wish I had a rich Girl Friend”…she can be rich but represent, crue and rude…so careful what u wish for!!

    waiting for few more interesting posts Preeti !

  18. ZenGirl says:

    Vaishali,

    Our life in USA is constant reminder of what we do not have, rather than what we have. We are one of the richest nation and yet many of us feel unhappy and dis-satisfied with life that goes to say something is terribly wrong in our society.

    When I starting to be thankful for what I had and not chase money, my life became much more happier. I still have days and moments when dis-content hits me, but it is improving everyday! Happiness comes from always within, thank you for stopping by as always.

  19. ZenGirl says:

    Betsy,

    So, true, family, friends and good health are so important. If we had billion dollars but no true friends and family or bad health (that money can not buy), money or success will not mean much! Thank you for constant support always here. It means a lot to me.

  20. ZenGirl says:

    Sibyl,

    Yes, while I made good money once upon a time, I was unhappy, busy to enjoy my life, that success came at cost of my time with loved ones. I was so stressed and unhappy, not living to my values. While I might be poorer, I am far more happier than I had ever been. Like I said, I have my moments of discontentment now and then but they are far in a few between. Thanks for stopping by and being a great supporter.

  21. ZenGirl says:

    Taurian,

    I am glad you liked the post! Be careful with what you wish for, sometimes we may get it! :-)

    If money made people happy, lottery winners and all millionaire would be happiest, but that is not the case, is it.

  22. Eric says:

    This is a really touching story and you’re so right, money is just money and true happiness comes from within ourselves and from our family and loved ones and what we can share together. Few people realize that, including myself sometimes.

    Thanks for the reminder.

    Like everyone else, I want more money, but I also realize that I will never be truly happy just wanting more money. Never.

    I’m definitely sharing this message.

  23. Marko -- Calm Growth says:

    Nicely said… I agree everyone should have chance at happiness, if it’s money, then great… :)

    At one point I had no money. By all standards of society, I’m supposed to suffer, cry, regret… However, I was happy. Everywhere I went on foot because I did not have the money for even the bus ticket, and I did not walked with my head down, on the contrary, I happily went and watched the people and the environment.

    With time, this has changed, but since then, I know with certainty, there is no situation or money that can determine my level of my happiness. I am the one that determines my happiness. I can be alone, in an unknown place, with no money and still be calm, good mood, and confident.

    Whenever I see someone to suffer for the money, I think, uh, my friend, it’s not so terrible, exept if you do not make it so. :)

  24. Steve says:

    What an absolutely wonderful story. I have always found money to be something needed (for survival) but pretty much meaningless beyond the thought of paying your bills. This story was very interesting to me. It was one I had not heard and had an absolutely wonderful moral!

    I actually have a post upcoming (thursday) on a similar topic from a completely different point of view. It is one my brother wrote. to “spoil” it a little bit it discusses the money/happiness equation.

    There was an actual study on this by Princeton researchers saying that money does in fact lead to more happiness. The interesting thing about it is that it was only significant with degrees below 75,000 dollars a year.

    So what it REALLY is saying is what most people know (I think) money can take away the stress of bills and grind of the day to day necessities.
    It makes you happier because it relives things that bother you. Once you have “enough” to not be stressed by these things it makes no significant difference.

    You do not need that fancy car and big house for happiness. But you do need food on the plate, a roof over your head and functioning transportation, in that way it does make some sense

  25. Mary R says:

    Hi Preeti,
    I just found your very inspirational site. Thank you for this great reminder about not putting too much stake in wealth for one’s happiness. Just the other day, I was feeling that separating one’s desire for money and things from a feeling a self-worth is almost like a secret that many people don’t know.

    Looking forward to reading more of your insights.

  26. ZenGirl says:

    Eric,

    Welcome to Heart and Mind! If we see all commercials (which are there to make us buy things), show warm fuzzy feelings that comes being with loved ones, being popular and loved by all. We all want to have friends, family who love us and want to look and feel great!

    Sometimes we think money is the answer for all of our problems, which in some case it might be, in most cases it isn’t. Money is not evil but being greedy can be one.

  27. ZenGirl says:

    Steve,

    I am glad you liked the story and moral behind it. I will be sure to check out your Thursday post by one of your brother.

    You are right, once we have “enough” to feed, cloth and stay in a place, we can be happy, I have seen happier homeless folks while many rich are not happy but there are exception to everything.

    Maybe we can have it all, but without being content we will never enjoy our fruits of labor!

  28. ZenGirl says:

    Mary,

    Welcome. You just made me happy by saying you found this site to be inspirational! Thank you.

    We all want to be happy, and sometimes we think having more money, being popular, or beautiful is way to achieve it. And it can be, as long as we also appreciate what we have also.

  29. Eric says:

    I agree.

    Money does a lot but what it can never do is make you happy because ultimately, it’s there to be used for something and once it’s gone, then what?

    Thanks for the reply. :)

  30. John Sherry says:

    A real moving story Preeti with a deeper meaning. For me our golden touch is our capability as humans to share, show compassion, support, love and inspire each other. And that is worth more money than can ever touch this planet. Beautiful words Preeti, your heart feels warm.

  31. ZenGirl says:

    John,

    Welcome! I am glad you liked this story with deeper meaning. Many times, we think money or success with money will make us happy, it is not the case and I am big example of it!

  32. Andrea DeBell - britetalk says:

    I absolutely love your initial quote! Appreciating what we have is a sure path to happiness. All that we can get outside of us (including money) fails by comparison with what we already have inside of us.

    You are totally right, my most precious memories are not associated with money. They are associated with family. :)

    Loving blessings!

  33. ZenGirl says:

    Marko,

    Your story is inspirational! You seemed to have come a long way, and seemed always happy despite the less than favorable circumstances, your last post prove just that!

    I have seen up and down too, right now we are without an income but able to live simply as we have been living for some time. Thanks for sharing.

  34. ZenGirl says:

    Andrea,

    I love that quote too!

    When we are happy with what we have, and not what someone else has, we would be lot happier. All of my happiest moments are about experience or people and never about money or things money can buy.

    Take care.

  35. Aileen says:

    Preeti, this is such a brilliant story, post & lesson! Thank you for sharing this!

    While it’s true, being financially broke is not a path to happiness, nor is being financially rich. Allowing money to be a part of our life and being able to live within a budget that allows us not to stress out but be ‘okay’ – from that point of balance we are on a good path.

    This is a brilliant story to keep in mind when the mind travels the path of wanting more.

  36. ZenGirl says:

    Aileen,

    Getting balanced with making money and being content both is way to achieve zen balance and happiness.

    I have been both broke and rich so I know how it feels, without being content, you could be billionaire and you might be unhappy.

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