The difference between existing and living

I’ve been musing on these two terms existing and living and with my recent forays into the world of the low paid, I get to understand more about existing. To exist is to just get by. It means holding down a job that you don’t really care that much for and then entertaining yourself with monotonous distractions at the weekend. If you are just existing then no doubt you will want to lose yourself in endless television, junk food, and pointless conversation with friends in similar circumstances.

The importance of these two terms is important to understand so that you can recognise that you are just existing and want to push yourself into the realm of the living. The living take long walks anywhere, and great gulps of air. They relax so much more into the now and take their time with living. They pursue their dreams and don’t let them die.

Of course it’s tough because most of us exist to get by and trying to get that right job and balance so you can free yourself up to live is difficult. Existing is just getting by and not doing the thing you want to do. Living is taking the plunge and following your dreams.

What about a balance between existing and living? This is where most of us fall at the end of the day. If it doesn’t quite happen, say I want to be an astronaut but end up working at NASA as an engineer. That’s not too bad a trade off. I’m working nine to five but they don’t mind if I leave at five as opposed to having to leave at 630 to impress the boss. At least at five I can have an evening to myself to pursue my loves and interests.

As a writer I have to be careful about what job I do so it doesn’t leave me too knackered to pursue my dreams. And what happens if we don’t get our dreams? well at least you’ll have enjoyed the journey along the way. And it is better to have tried and failed than to have never tried at all. But as I say don’t accept that. Even if you don’t fully realize all your dream then make some of your dream work for you.

living life
the difference between existing and living


  1. Reblogged this on inkbiotic and commented:
    Some interesting thoughts from David Swan here about the difference between living and existing. I could especially relate to the idea of it being better to try and fail, than not try at all, it’s not something that works for everyone, but for me, it’s what I need to do.


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