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The 2 Types of Human Existence

Updated: Feb 24

A giant man

In a world driven by money, much of our lives depend on whether or not we have sufficient funds to afford things. There are two types of living in this world: surviving and living.

Most of us dedicate much of our adulthood to working in exchange for the currency that allows us to live another day. And when that day comes, we dedicate it to the next day, and so on.

It is not necessarily that we enjoy working so much to survive, but it is the most immediate solution. Even if the pay is not high, it is a worthy endeavor if we do not want to end up on the streets.

Although working guarantees our existence, it requires us to have less free time for ourselves. Unfortunately, the world is not fair, and not everyone will be wealthy enough to not need to work. Working is an inevitable part of many of our lives, and it takes up a significant portion of our adult lives.

However, those who have free time to do more than just rest and consume entertainment have the "privilege" of being able to live the second type of existence. Those who live beyond working and rejuvenating can have more time to invest in themselves as people who are more than just the different functions they serve in their work, in their nuclear family, and so on. When you are "alive," you can have the space to dedicate to self-actualization, which is usually a necessity to feel satisfied with one's existence. This is, of course, assuming that one's job does not provide them with the meaningfulness they seek.

Therefore, if you want to increase your satisfaction in life and feel more worthy as a human being, you must either find a more satisfying job, or if you cannot, invest some of your free time in self-actualization instead of resting, being entertained, and so on.

Work is usually done for money, but the harsh truth is that mere material gain, even if imperative, does not always satisfy everyone in their quest for self-worth and contribution to the world. Some need money more than others, but it is not spoiled or arrogant to want more from life.

When thinking about work, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is this kind of work all that I have to expect in this life?

  • Is there more in life for me?

  • Am I satisfied with just working in something I don't particularly like and going home, or should I expand my horizons beyond my job?

The fact that there are some basic jobs that fit for anyone or for most, does not mean that anyone should do them. People have different skills, different ambitions. In the year before the COVID-19 lockdown, I tried my luck in a very simple job: tying and cleaning medallions.

However, I got exhausted after 2 hours and decided to give up. Before I said goodbye to my would-be employer, he said that I deserve more than this job. This genuinely surprised me, as he was looking for more workers. Regardless, this is one of the reasons why I opened up this site and live in a tiny apartment, instead of becoming a part-time clerk and having more money.

If it isn't clear, I have nothing against blue-collar or white-collar workers. If these jobs weren't important, there wouldn't be positions for them. Just take note that not everyone seeks just money when looking for a job. Some seek to live beyond the basic notion of working for the next paycheck, which is completely okay.

We all, as adults, must make a decision sooner or later in regards to what we can do and what we want to do. That decision must ultimately be made if we want to have a sense of clarity to our future and to our development as individuals. I made an eccentric decision, but one that I'm proud of, because even if my income is below minimum wage, at least I'm not feeling insignificant in my role. When I experimented with the medallion job, I very well knew that anyone could replace me and do a job just as good.

But even if you're good at your job, it does not feel very good, for some, to feel expendable. It's not always a sense of ego, but of the worth you're giving in exchange for your work. Some are just as fine in their line of work and having a few days off a week, but what of those who wish to live beyond surviving and resting? About having bigger plans? We might work to survive the next day, but there won't always be another day to live for any of us, once time has run out...

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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