A big difference exists between this world and the next apart from this being a physical world, while the next world is a spiritual world.
The difference is this world one works. The next one gets rewarded. The reward is great. There are many allusions to the two worlds in Pirkei Avot / Ethics of the fathers.
In this life we are to produce. To do. To build. For the good.
What is Good?
Your first question is : What is good?
That one can find by following the Torah. The Shulhan Aruch / Code of Jewish Law by Rabbi Yosef Caro for Jews and the 7 Noahide commandments for Gentiles.
But more than that one must do more than what is proscribed by the Torah. One must know and use their strengths to use to achieve their particular purpose in life –
In the Parasha / Weekly Torah reading of Vayeshev. And Yaakov Dwelt in the palce his father Sojourned… These are the descendants of Yaakov – Yosef was 17 years old …
The question the commentators pose is why does it start talking about Yosef’s story as the descendant of Yaakov / Jacob.
Rashi Answers: Yaakov wanted to sit in Serenity – kaftza alav rogzo shel yosef – the difficulty with Yosef (that he was lost from his father for 22 years) jumped upon him. G-d said “Is it not enough for the righteous to sit in serenity in the next world that they have to sit in serenity over here.”
Meaning – this is the world to produce. To do good for the world. If one is not producing, G-d sends messages to us.
These messages we hear every day. Maybe you overhear a conversation of people saying “Joe Smith” is dishonest. It might mean that you must look into your own deeds – if there is a bit of dishonesty in them. In Talmud Berakhot 63a it says “One who sees a Sotah in her degradation should remove himself from wine.” A sotah is a woman suspected of adultery – that may have come into temptation through drinking wine. Someone who sees this woman – should take a firm resolution to limit consummation of wine. One explanation why is because G-d is showing him this for he has a similar trait of falling to temptation – and he should take steps to curb himself of it.
G-d does only good. He does what is in our best interest. G-d sends us difficulties – not always to punish us – but to motivate us to produce or to follow the good path. If one follows the good path of Torah, and produces as much as he or she can – even through difficulties – G-d has no need to send difficulties to the person.
If one still feels they have too many difficulties they can always consult a friend, preferably who has daat Torah / Torah knowledge – who can lend a sympathetic ear.*
Once my uncle was angry at my cousin. He said to his father “I learned my lesson by your explanation – there is no need to punish me.”
Correcting ourselves – is proactive problem solving – you prevent the problems from even occurring.
I learned this lesson from past experiences. Now you have the knowledge that I had to learn through suffering.
Use it wisely.
*Anyone who needs help should seek someone to talk with. If you have certain concerns and want the Torah perspective you can contact us – Jerusalem Life via email at firstname.lastname@example.org