Social Question

rojo's avatar

What is the difference between a living and a life?

Asked by rojo (24176points) August 23rd, 2016
10 responses
“Great Question” (4points)

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stanleybmanly's avatar

Isn’t “a living” what you do to acquire the money necessary to afford “a life”.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

You may be part of life or alive but not actually living! Merely existing?

LuckyGuy's avatar

Stick with me here…
My friend, another engineer, splits all his efforts and activities into 2 categories: maintenance and long term improvement. Everthing he does he puts into either of those categories. He sets a minimum of 30 minutes per day, (every damn day even if he has a friend visiting), spending time in the LTI category. He has been doing this for decades and is quite successful.
Let’s look at some tasks and where he’d put them. morning ablutions? maintenance. Cutting the grass? maintenance. washing dishes, cleaning the carpet, fixing the toilet, buying groceries,.... all maintenance.
Cutting and splitting the dead maple tree? Long term, removing the rock floor in the basement? Long term, dinner with potential client? long term, new siding on home, wood project for closets, install new AV system, dinner with girlfriend, taking grandkids to lake,. all long term.
See the pattern?
Now to your question. “Living” is maintenance, a “life” is long term improvement – the good stuff.

thorninmud's avatar

I’m disinclined to make such a distinction. It too easily carves life up into “that which must simply be endured out of necessity” and “that which is to be savored and is meaningful”. I find that things go better when I treat whatever matter happens to be at hand as being my life, worthy of my full attention, whether or not I find pleasure in it. To the extent that I do this (and I don’t always manage to), the larger sweep of life takes care of itself.

anniereborn's avatar

@LuckyGuy That makes a lot of sense. I have a lot of problems with maintenance tasks. I feel a ton more accomplished when I do the LTI things. Spending energy on things I just have to do again within a week or two makes me nuts (minus personal hygiene)

anniereborn's avatar

Oh…and my answer: having a life for me, means that there are things in it that bring me joy. not contentment…joy!

LuckyGuy's avatar

@anniereborn When my friend told me about it, it explained so much. He gets so much done and completes what I would consider incredible projects.
For example: he lives in Connecticut in a 200 year old house built on a granite cliff. He is quarrying granite from his basement to make it deeper!!! Read that again! He driills a hole in the massive granite stone and puts in a set of feather wedges. Then he pounds the wedge with a mallet and breaks off a chunk. He carries the chunk outside and is making a rock wall with the pieces.
At the end of the day if he has not put in his minimum LTI time he will go in the basement and break off a few more chunks, or he will split firewood.. It does not matter if a friend is visiting or not. Our conversation can continue easily even if he his pounding. Every time I visit, his basement is deeper, and the rock wall is longer and nicer. He has been using this 30 minute rule for so long he does not want to stop.
That is also how he ran his business. He spent 30 minutes a day doing something to actively grow it. It worked.
Enjoyment and pleasure are considered LTI time. You are investing in your well being.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Life is what you do in prison lockdown. A living is working, having a family—or anything that makes you fulfilled—and enjoying yourself while you do it.

LornaLove's avatar

To my mind living is mere existence, even snails do it for example. A life is something extraordinary, where you are managing to reach your dreams and goals, are happy with who you are and have the love of friends and family. I realize currently I have a life.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

$80,000 a year.

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