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The Purpose Of This Life Isn'T To Have Fun


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I used to narcissistically delude myself that I was a writer, it started when I was a freshman in high school 17 years ago. In reality I was a fourth rate wannabe, it just took me almost two decades to realize that I have wasted my life and money on something I am no good at. Finally after 17 years and who knows how much wasted paper and time I decided today to give it up for good.

It was while I was thinking this over that it occurred to me why I had started 12+ stories and never finished them, it was because invariably it became work and wasn’t fun anymore which is why I gave up Hockey, gave up various things over the years and looked for something else to waste my time and money on.

It then occurred to me that even taking up writing was a waste to start with. In the millennium there will be no need for writers or fiction, because there will be no evil in the world people won’t need stories to tell their children, Novels I used to like, like harry potter and Tom Clancy will be just a memory. The Anime's I like won’t exist because evil in even the faintest form won’t be able to exist because the Devil will have no power.

We will all be living in a candy coated Utopia (I don't mean to sound like I am mocking the Millennium, because I am not).

We won't care about fiction, or Video games or sports or any of that and it won't exist anyway. That then made me think about the Video games and stuff I have and made me think about all the money I have wasted on them, and for what? You can't take them with you when you die, and when the Millennium arrives they won't exist anymore anyway so why have them?

This made me realize something else: the true purpose of this life never has been about having fun, if anything the purpose of this life is for us to suffer, because only by suffering do we build character and only through character do we become perfect.

And after the millennium and all is said and done we won’t be concerned about having fun, we will be spending all eternity in a sinless state, and those of us who have merited the highest degree of glory will be only focusing on learning everything there is to know. So I am strongly tempted to get rid of much of what I have.

Because I realize that seeking God is all we should focus on in this life, not pleasure or fun or temporary possessions.

If no one believes me just look at the scriptures, Nephi, Alma, Nephi 3, Mormon, Moroni, none of them had fun, they suffered all their lives and look at them, they became Prophets. I'm not saying that suffering is a prerequisite for someone to be a prophet I'm just trying to illustrate a point.

The Purpose of life is to struggle and suffer, not to have fun or enjoy yourself. So I will no longer waste my money on games and other worthless items that I don't need and that won't exist after the second coming, anymore.

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And what if there is an off chance that this life is it? This is one area I think Athiests have it right. They enjoy the journey in this life and don't live for the next.

Well then it still wont matter because I won't be able to feel anything so I won't be sad, because I will cease to exist and so I wont have any regrets because I won't be able to feel regret because I will not feel anything, because I won't exist now will I?

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Let me guess you are approaching that magic near middle age moment of "my life sucks"? I think all men and probably women have faced that moment when we look back and think that we never have achieved the goals we set about in college and high school. I sure did. I'm still not flying F-22 Raptors or being the great scholar that I wanted to be. I worked at it, but life happened in the meantime. A marriage, children, work, bills, and now grandchildren all seemed to have gotten in the way. The reality of life is not that we have "fun", but joy and joy only comes at a price. The price we pay is hard work and sacrifice. A good life is not about happiness, but the joy we get in following the right path. So what I haven't taken to the skies or published a masterful thesis. I have a loving wife, children, and five grandkids. And more important I have respect for myself that I did it my way (hopefully God's) and I am at peace and joy. Fun comes when I go to Disneyland.

As to the academic or artistic success we try to achieve I am reminded of a quote from 1492: Conquest of Paradise where one character is discussing Columbus with another and states that " If either of our names are ever remembered it will only be because of his". We are all simply footnotes and while our destination is important our journey is more so. Probably not to others, but to ourselves and family.

Edited by Ron Beron
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I believe God wants us to have fun. He is our Father, after all.

My ambition is to be a filmmaker, along with an author and a professional songwriter/musician. I think God is perfectly okay with that because He wants me to enjoy myself. I will have (and have had, and am going through) trials, but that's no reason to give up on what I'm passionate about. As long as I do it to glorify Him, then no amount of money or time I spend to make those ambitions a reality will be "wasted," especially if I have fun while doing it. Point is, I want to live while I'm on this little blue and green marble, not just survive. I want to see as much of God's creation as I can. And I believe my Heavenly Father wouldn't want it any other way.

Edited by altersteve
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It was while I was thinking this over that it occurred to me why I had started 12+ stories and never finished them,

Finish them, say one each per month. Send them to a publisher. Who knows but what one of them will make you rich? Of course they all might be rejected but you'll never know unless you try. Being the best kept secret in town won't get you anywhere. What if one comes back with some touch up instructions and then you're ready to publish?

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I used to narcissistically delude myself that I was a writer,. . .

It then occurred to me that even taking up writing was a waste to start with. In the millennium there will be no need for writers or fiction, because there will be no evil in the world people won’t need stories to tell their children, Novels I used to like, like harry potter and Tom Clancy will be just a memory. The Anime's I like won’t exist because evil in even the faintest form won’t be able to exist because the Devil will have no power.

We will all be living in a candy coated Utopia (I don't mean to sound like I am mocking the Millennium, because I am not).

We won't care about fiction, or Video games or sports or any of that and it won't exist anyway. That then made me think about the Video games and stuff I have and made me think about all the money I have wasted on them, and for what? You can't take them with you when you die, and when the Millennium arrives they won't exist anymore anyway so why have them?

This made me realize something else: the true purpose of this life never has been about having fun, if anything the purpose of this life is for us to suffer, because only by suffering do we build character and only through character do we become perfect.

And after the millennium and all is said and done we won’t be concerned about having fun, we will be spending all eternity in a sinless state, and those of us who have merited the highest degree of glory will be only focusing on learning everything there is to know. So I am strongly tempted to get rid of much of what I have.

Because I realize that seeking God is all we should focus on in this life, not pleasure or fun or temporary possessions.

If no one believes me just look at the scriptures, Nephi, Alma, Nephi 3, Mormon, Moroni, none of them had fun, they suffered all their lives and look at them, they became Prophets. I'm not saying that suffering is a prerequisite for someone to be a prophet I'm just trying to illustrate a point.

The Purpose of life is to struggle and suffer, not to have fun or enjoy yourself. So I will no longer waste my money on games and other worthless items that I don't need and that won't exist after the second coming, anymore.

How maudlin!! Have you never heard that "play is the work of children"?

You speak as though Tommy Monson should be reprimanded for wiggling his ears for the children, or for telling such enjoyable stories, or for living life to the hilt. I'll wager that President Monson has a great deal more fun than any of those Hollywood wastrels who snort their cocaine or quaff booze in quantity and then commit suicide . . . Or should we condemn the full-grown Prophet Joseph for playing mumbly peg and wrestling publicly. What a waste of time!!

The truth is that "childhood's end" will come soon enough and then we shall find the joy that our childhood games have prepared us for, an entire universe of infinite variety with infinite love and passion. You have no idea what real "fun" is or the role it plays.

"joy" appears 137 times in the Book of Mormon and 164 times in the Bible. Some examples might be instructive:

Psalm 30:5 weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning

Job 38:7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy

Isaiah 35:10 And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. cf. 2 Nephi 8:11

Matt 2:10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

Matt 25:21 enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

Luke 2:10 I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people

Luke 15:10 there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

1 Peter 1:8 yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.

1 Nephi 8:12 as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy

Enos 3 I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints

Mosiah 4:3 the Spirit of the Lord came upon them, and they were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins, and having peace of conscience because of the exceeding faith which they had in Jesus Christ who should come

Alma 19:6 the light of the glory of God, which was a marvelous light of his goodness–yea, this light had infused such joy into his soul

Alma 26:11 my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God

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Work is not such a bad thing either. You seem to have an issue when things become hard and not very fun that you choose to move on, quit pushing forward, or finishing. How do you know that you are not very good at writing when none of us has read anything you wrote? Why haven't we read any of it? Because you haven't finished anything.

I wonder how many times a great artist stopped in the middle of what would become a masterpiece and said it was just to difficult, too much work to continue? The great thing is that they chose to move stick to their task and complete it.

Suffering is not a bad thing; Jesus suffered mightily in the Garden and on the Cross for each of us. Through that suffering a price was paid that ransomed all humanity from death and sin.

It should also be remembered that work is one of the things we each need to learn to do. We don't stop because it is hard or boring; we finish the task. Go back to one of those twelve stories, find the one that you liked the most, the one you thought had the most potential and sit down and finish it. You do your very best work, no slipshod work just to get it done. But you work like your life depended on it. Finish it and then get a professional to review it and get their comments. Give the draft to a few of your friends that will be honest with you and let them also read it.

This will sound condescending, but that is not intended. We each have to learn to work, work hard, and finish before what we start. You still have some lessons to learn and some growing up to do. Don't run away from this challenge, but face it.

As an aside, life is not meant to waste on pursuits such as video games, watching television, and other things that are unproductive. If you choose to continue in those activities to chill out, then do so sparingly and with extreme moderation.

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Of course the purpose of life isn't to have fun, but having fun doesn't negate the purpose of life. Some of the funnest times i've ever had, i had at church functions, especially in college.

I very much believe we'll still be having lots of fun during the Millenium (probably more than we do now).

And I don't think writing (or any good hobby) is at all a waste of time (even if you're bad at it).

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*I dont have time this morning to proofread this, so be kind*

Hi Enigma. I can relate and sympathize with your feelings. I went through something similar after I had returned from my mission and was trying to decide what to "do". I've always loved to draw and create things but seemed like such activity wasn't really taken seriously in our Church culture. When referred to it was talked about as a talent or a hobby. It was difficult for me to realize that I don't have to live my life based on other's values or expectations. It's possible to separate the culture from the doctrine. Doesn't sound like that's really your issue but just so you know others out there have struggled to find a way to accept what they love to do.

By your reasoning that we won't need authors or fiction in the eternities so it's not worth pursuing here, we also won't need firefighters, surgeons, seminary teachers, architects, engineers, general managers, MBAs, psychologists and almost any other career I can think of that exists on this earth. You sound as if you believe if you love doing some job then that job must be wrong. But I say "Man is that he might have joy". Since you'll spend about a 3rd of your life working I can only assume God wants you to have joy during those 8+ hours everyday that you'll be doing that thing.

Being a professional creator (artist, composer, author, poet, game designer, etc) is extremely hard. That doesn't mean you can't find a way to do it or that it isn't worth it but there is a price. Only you can decide if that cost is worth it. I don't think paying that price is inherently right or wrong. That's up to you and God. You say you have spent 17 years trying to be a writer without finishing a book and then you mention the time you spent playing video games. I have a few of peers who want to be better or more productive at their creative efforts and then spend their time reading blogs and playing all the latest video games and then complain about how they have no time or inspiration to create. I don't have time to play video games, have no TV service at my home and only get to check forums like this every once and a while. The way we use our time reveals where our real desires are. I'm not accusing you of being a slacker. Maybe you keep the videogame use in moderation. Everyone needs their downtime. What I'm saying is how strong your drive to do something goes a long way to determining how much time you spend doing it. You are right that at some point even the thing you find fun becomes 'work' when you take it seriously. But then you have to shift your motivations from immediate gratification of doing the thing to looking forward to the satisfaction you'll get when you have done it.

As for being frustrated by your own efforts, I think this may be your real issue. I get frustrated with myself all the time. I don't know what efforts you've pursued to develop your craft so I will refrain from making suggestions. What I keep telling myself is that I've only failed if I give up. And so what if you never become the next J.K. Rowling? Do you enjoy it? There is a place for avocational activities as well as vocational and devotional things in our lives. If you actually don't enjoy writing then maybe there is something else you will love?

Hope that all made sense and was slightly helpful. I feel for you in your dilemma and hope you can work it out!

Edited by Sine Saw Square
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Finish them, say one each per month. Send them to a publisher. Who knows but what one of them will make you rich? Of course they all might be rejected but you'll never know unless you try. Being the best kept secret in town won't get you anywhere. What if one comes back with some touch up instructions and then you're ready to publish?

Great advice, especially with all the drivel that is passed off as "quality"work out there. I suspect you will better than most and no worse the wear for the effort. MW

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Heaven is joy (i.e. fun and pleasure).

I think giving up any kind of happiness for a stoical mindset will inevitably lead you out of the gospel. I also disagree with your assessment that fiction and games will die in the Millenium. If so I refuse to go. If the Savior can teach using fiction (parables) then it can't be "EVIL".

Edited by The Nehor
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I used to narcissistically delude myself that I was a writer, it started when I was a freshman in high school 17 years ago. In reality I was a fourth rate wannabe, it just took me almost two decades to realize that I have wasted my life and money on something I am no good at. Finally after 17 years and who knows how much wasted paper and time I decided today to give it up for good.

It was while I was thinking this over that it occurred to me why I had started 12+ stories and never finished them, it was because invariably it became work and wasn’t fun anymore which is why I gave up Hockey, gave up various things over the years and looked for something else to waste my time and money on.

It then occurred to me that even taking up writing was a waste to start with. In the millennium there will be no need for writers or fiction, because there will be no evil in the world people won’t need stories to tell their children, Novels I used to like, like harry potter and Tom Clancy will be just a memory. The Anime's I like won’t exist because evil in even the faintest form won’t be able to exist because the Devil will have no power.

We will all be living in a candy coated Utopia (I don't mean to sound like I am mocking the Millennium, because I am not).

We won't care about fiction, or Video games or sports or any of that and it won't exist anyway. That then made me think about the Video games and stuff I have and made me think about all the money I have wasted on them, and for what? You can't take them with you when you die, and when the Millennium arrives they won't exist anymore anyway so why have them?

This made me realize something else: the true purpose of this life never has been about having fun, if anything the purpose of this life is for us to suffer, because only by suffering do we build character and only through character do we become perfect.

And after the millennium and all is said and done we won’t be concerned about having fun, we will be spending all eternity in a sinless state, and those of us who have merited the highest degree of glory will be only focusing on learning everything there is to know. So I am strongly tempted to get rid of much of what I have.

Because I realize that seeking God is all we should focus on in this life, not pleasure or fun or temporary possessions.

If no one believes me just look at the scriptures, Nephi, Alma, Nephi 3, Mormon, Moroni, none of them had fun, they suffered all their lives and look at them, they became Prophets. I'm not saying that suffering is a prerequisite for someone to be a prophet I'm just trying to illustrate a point.

The Purpose of life is to struggle and suffer, not to have fun or enjoy yourself. So I will no longer waste my money on games and other worthless items that I don't need and that won't exist after the second coming, anymore.

Your viewpoint, especially with regard to suffering, sounds very buddhist of you. Have you studied the buddhist beliefs on suffering, the path to enlightenment and the role of "craving" and it's relation to suffering? I think that you would be surprised how coherently your beliefs espoused above coincide with the Four Noble Truths of buddhism.

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