January 17, 2006
Focused Value

Quality vs. Quantity

We live in an age of quantity. The media shapes us with the notion that larger, faster, and more are often synonymous with better. We are told that we need to find more time, more possessions, and more love to be truly happy. A smaller quantity of anything that is high in quality will almost always be more satisfying. A single piece of our favorite chocolate or a thin spread of freshly made preserves can satisfy us more than a full bucket of a product that we aren’t very fond of. Similarly, one fulfilling experience can eclipse many empty moments strung together. It is not the quantity of time that matters, but the quality that you experience during each moment. Every minute is an opportunity to love yourself and others, develop confidence and self-respect, and exhibit courage.

Ultimately, quality can make life sweeter. When you focus on quality, all your life experiences can be meaningful. A modest portion of good, healthy food can nourish and satisfy you on multiple levels and, when organically grown, nourish the earth as well. Likewise, a few hours of deep, restful slumber will leave you feeling more refreshed than a night’s worth of frequently interrupted sleep. A few minutes spent with a loved one catching up on the important details about family, work, or community can carry more meaning than two hours spent watching television together.

Often, in the pursuit of quantity we cheat ourselves of quality. Then again, quantity also plays a significant role in our lives. Certain elements, such as hugs, kisses, abundance, and love, are best had in copious amounts that are high in quality. But faced with the choice between a single, heartfelt grin and a lifetime of empty smiles, most would, no doubt, choose the former. Ultimately, it is not how much you live or have or do but what you make of each moment that counts.

© 2004-06 DailyOM


I’ve had people tell me (seemingly for the sake of proving some point or making me feel wronged and/or stupid–or maybe that’s just how I perceived it) that they’ve known so-and-so for so many years–kind of implying that since I’d been in that person’s life for a shorter amount of time, that I somehow wasn’t as worthy of their friendship–or just not as worthy as they were. I’ve had people blow me off, treat me worse than others, using the excuse “well, I’ve known her/him a lot longer than I’ve known you.” I don’t really talk to the people who used to tell me those things anymore–I wonder what that says?

Today’s DailyOM vindicates what I’ve thought all along. It’s definitely about quality, not quantity. :)

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