There Is An Uncomplicated Difference Between Living And

2120 WordsMay 4, 20179 Pages
There is an uncomplicated difference between living and being alive; and the ability to separate the two will lead one to the good life. The good life can be described in a million different cliché ways, but it’s the simple one we should all live by. Living is the ‘just getting through the day’ or ‘waiting for the weekend to come’ mindset. Being alive, however, is waking up each morning prepared for whatever surprises or challenges may come your way. Every task or responsibility is seen as an opportunity, no matter how dreadful it may be. In On the Shortness of Life, Seneca stresses the importance of being present in all of your actions through the day, because before we know it so much time has passed, and we realize what we missed…show more content…
Activities that fulfill us the most are the ones we do in our leisure time. Many of the philosophers we have read offer wisdom and advice on what we should do with our free time. Seneca’s interpretation resonated with me the most, “Leisure seemed such a desirable thing that, because he couldn 't enjoy it in reality, he enjoyed the thought of it in advance” (4.14). If our minds are constantly distracted with worries for the future or regrets from the past, there will be no time left to live with your mind in the present. This quote comes from a story of a man named Augustus, who worked longer and harder than all his peers, but was still never satisfied due to his lack of leisure. This can be relayed back to Aristotle’s definition of the golden mean. In the Nicomachean Ethics, he describes the mean as being, “between two vices, the one involving excess, the other deficiency, and that it is such because its character is to aim at what is intermediate” (2.7.20). Every virtue has two ends of the spectrum, and we should strive to reach the intermediate. For leisure, we can either sit on the couch all day and do absolutely nothing, or spend every hour of the day working, not stopping to take a break. To best optimize our time, and end each day feeling the most fulfilled as possible, we should strive for a balance between leisure and work. Furthermore, reflecting on how much time spent on each will bring us closer to the good life. A personal experience I
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