The best things in life are free, so they say. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that they do not have value. It also doesn’t mean that it will cost you nothing to get them. It just simply means that these things are not bought by money — neither cash nor credit. You do not pay money, but you still pay the cost.
The truth is, there is a price for everything.
Everything comes with a price. The price is what you are willing to give in exchange for something. It is a way of measuring the worth of a thing — thus the phrase “if the price is right.”
Most often than not, the price can alter your perception of things. If the price is right, you will either sell it or buy it. Similarly, if the price is not right, no matter how much you like something, you will most likely decide to just forget it.
Money cannot buy happiness, they say. Although some people use their money to buy temporary happiness, there are times when you need to pay something else to be happy in life, such as time.
More time to do the things that you love.
More time to spend with your loved ones.
More time to spend for yourself.
In this case, the price of happiness is time. Unfortunately, however, time (and more of it) is not always free.
What does it mean to make more time for the things that make you happy? Simple — it just means you need to sacrifice other things.
For example, if spending more time with your loved ones makes you happier, you may need to spend less time at work. This could, in turn, result in getting lesser pay, having unfinished tasks, not getting a promotion, putting the quality of your work at risk, or even risking losing your job. These are a few of the sacrifices you need to make and the price you have to pay to buy that kind of happiness.
Depending on your situation, you can then decide if the price is right or not.
If happiness means playing an online game, watching your favorite TV series, or reading a good book after a long day at work, you need to sacrifice a few hours of sleep to stay up late to do these things. In this case, sleep (or the lack thereof) will be the cost of your “happiness”.
However, if you’re too exhausted from work, your perception of this after-work entertainment may change, and you might then decide that happiness, at that moment, is actually getting more rest rather than staying up late to do the things that you love.
In this scenario, you chose your health over entertainment because you feel like your health is not the price you are willing to pay for such temporary pleasure. This is how price can change your perception of things.
If someone did you wrong and you choose to get angry, the cost of your holding grudges against that person is your peace of mind. While it’s true that forgiving that person will not make you any richer or poorer, you are buying your own peace with forgiveness.
If the fault against you is too grave to be forgiven and you want to seek revenge, one of the prices you have to pay to get this is to undergo some moments of anxiety.
What is more valuable to you? Getting even, or your own peace of mind?
Value is subjective
You pay for the choices you make in life, as well as for the actions you choose not to take. Understanding the true cost of a thing, and what its value means to you, can alter your perception of whether it’s worth paying for or not.
Value, however, varies from one person to another. What is valuable to you may be worthless to another.
“One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.”
If you’re a vintage collector, you may be willing to pay hundreds, even thousands of dollars, for a broken, centennial-old watch. But another person who doesn’t recognize the value of antique objects may see this as absurd.
A sports enthusiast who is not interested in music would rather pay to go to a soccer game than watch an expensive concert for free. A health-conscious person would be happier to receive a basket of fresh fruits as a gift than a box of expensive chocolates.
This only means that the price becomes right if you are paying it for the things that are of more value to you compared to its cost.
Everything comes with a price
No matter what you want in life, you have to give up something to get it.
Some of the most common costs that we pay for the things that we want are:
One needs to make a sacrifice or two for everything because nothing in this world is free. No, not even love. Because love, too, comes with a price.
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