Shots of Wit

A regular posting of witticisms, aphorisms, and general musings by Clifford Cohen.

Enjoying your life…

There is a difference between having a good time and enjoying your life.

Back Story

Having a good time is great, but often the way we achieve this is by engaging in activities that actually detract from a deeper enjoyment of life. Here are some examples:

Attending a football game is fun whether your team wins or loses, but how would it feel to actually get your friends together, divide up teams, and play a game of football yourself?

Attending a cocktail party will result in the chance to meet new people, engage in pleasant conversation, learn new perspectives, and enjoy some good food and drink, but what about skipping one of those parties and instead calling a close friend you haven’t spoken with for a while?

You can learn what the critics think of the latest movie, who will win the most appliances on your favorite daytime game show, which actors have just gotten out of rehab, and what exercise equipment will finally get rid of those excess pounds—or you can join with a group in your community to help those in more immediate need.

Some might argue that none of the above activities necessarily prevent performance the other activities mentioned. While true, when you devote too much time to one type of pursuit, you will have less time to devote to other types of pursuit.

Having a good time occurs in the moment—there’s nothing wrong with that—but enjoying your life requires doing things that have a more lasting effect on the entire arc of your life. One shouldn’t neglect either type of experience. One should only keep in mind that there is a difference between them, and that we as humans tend to rely more heavily on the former than the latter. The consequences of doing this are beautifully captured in the following lyric from the song, Street Life (Will Jennings, Joe Sample), featured in the movie, Jackie Brown:

Street life—and there’s a thousand parts to play.

Street life—until you play your life away.

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