While discussing the verses about Abraham’s guests who came to visit him but would not eat the fatted calf he offered to them, I realized there is a connection between their behavior and the behavior prescribed to us during “ramadan”. According to 25:20, there has never been a messenger who did not eat the food and walk in the markets. I understand this to mean that they were people who lived their lives as individuals, seeking out experiences and taking pleasure in the provisions of life. So if all messengers eat, why were these messengers abstaining? Abraham’s guests, referred to as الْمُرْسَلُونَ or l-mur’salūna, did not eat because they had been dispatched to a community of criminals (51:32). There was an urgent situation requiring total focus in order to resolve it. Just like during the shahr of ramadan wherein saum is prescribed. Shahr is a stage of time, ramadan is intense suffering, and saum is abstinence. So anyone who witnesses a stage of intense suffering should abstain from individual pleasures in order to focus on the work that must be done in order to bring about the change that will relieve the suffering.
Here is a real life example: I am at a stage in my life in which there are not many avenues of opportunity since I do not hold a degree. I want to bring about change which will increase the quality of my life. So, I must focus and work hard while not wasting my time on worldly pleasures and personal enjoyment which will not give me the long-lasting satisfaction that I would get by going back to school, earning a degree, and having an array of opportunities to choose from as a result of my hard work.
In summary, the best way to increase the quality of your life is to work hard towards your goals, avoiding instant gratification, until you actualize what you had intended.