As I progress through life and through work, school, and triathlon training, I have come to appreciate the concept of quality over quantity. I have found it rare to come, however, in my day-to-day existence, an individual, group of individuals, or an entity that truly embraces this concept of producing the highest quality products or living the highest quality life as opposes to simply accumulating mass amounts of product, services, or things. All around me I am constantly bombared with the need to buy more things, consume more products, or to have more “stuff” in my life. There are advertisements for new products and services everywhere I look, both online and in-person. There are new apps and technologies coming out every other week. At work and in school, I feel a constant pull to produce more and to do more. For myself, much like many others in their early twenties in America, both part-time work and full-time school demand that I be constantly producing quality assignments, projects, and papers all while meeting certain deadlines.
The amount of time that I have in a day is fixed at 24 hours, and this amount of time is quickly consumed with all of the obligations I have that need to be fulfilled. For myself this limited amount of time in a day is depleted when considering all that I have in my life, including the time devoted to work and school, time spent developing my social life, time devoted to training for triathlon, time allocated towards pursuing other hobbies/interests, time made to take care of myself, eat well and get enough sleep, time set aside to pay bills and manage my income, and time devoted to take care of all of the other things I have going on in my life such as taking care of my car and all of the items that I currently own. And keep in mind that I’m a single, 23-year old male who doesn’t have a family to raise or a significant other to include in my life, leaving me without a whole host of commitments and responsibilities that many others around the world have.
I find myself, with everything I have going on in my life and due to the way that America tends to operate, feeling overwhelmed periodically. I am asked by others at school and work to produce on a constant basis, I am asked by myself to produce in the sport of triathlon and in all other areas of my life, and I live in a consumeristic society that tends to view having a lot of “stuff” and accepting a hectic, stressful life as completely normal. These aforementioned circumstances, if I’m not careful, leave me floundering to simply produce the minimal amount of work I have to in order to get by at work or in school and leave me feeling the need to simply get by in other areas of my life just so that I can make it through the day alive. If I let this happen, however, I have fallen prey to the notion of giving into quantity instead of quality, both in my life and on my work.
I have found that there is much more satisfaction, meaning, and joy stemming from producing quality work and enjoying quality time spent doing what I love as opposed to simply trying to hammer out as much as I can or to simply give in to the fact that I have too much “stuff” in my life. I try and remove as much “clutter” as I can so that I can dedicate my valuable time, energy, and focus towards living a life of quality as opposed to quantity. Setting healthy boundaries and learning where my limits are in terms of how much I can handle is incredibly helpful in allowing me the balance and freedom to produce quality assignments, projects, and papers at work and in school. Knowing how much “stuff” I really need in my life allows me to keep out what is unnecessary so that I can avoid falling victim to the unrelenting sense of obligation that comes with having too many things going on in my life. In many ways, continually working on simplifying my life has led to a much higher quality of living.
I wish that this concept of quality over quantity was embraced on a wider scale. I think that the concept is understood by many, but truly practiced by few. It is too easy to get caught up in trying to do too much and we are too easily influenced by what society is doing around us, which is producing and consuming mass quantities as opposed to producing high quality outcomes and living a life with as high of a quality in each area of life as possible. Maybe I am a bit naïve with my limited life experience and my undoubtedly biased viewpoint on the world around me, but I do believe that there is some truth to the words that I have put down in this blog post. In an effort to get the absolute most of what experiences and things I do have in my life, I hope that the concept of quality over quantity is always at the forefront of my mind as life is a little less stressful and much more enjoyable this way.