Advertising
Advertising

Asking The Heavy Question: Quality or Quantity?

Asking The Heavy Question: Quality or Quantity?

Quality or quantity is one of the most discussed quandaries amongst us when deciding what’s more important in our lives. Whether you side with quality over quantity or vice versa, what exactly motivates us to rationalise choosing between the two?

Is it better to opt for an all-you-can-eat buffet or go to a Michelin star restaurant that serves fine dining? Is it better to spend limited time with your partner after work every day or spend the whole weekend doing something together? Is it better to have 10 pairs of cheap jeans or one pair of well-made designer jeans?

While our decisions are based on particular situations at any given moment, it’s interesting to find out how our perception of defining what is best for us has changed over time.

The Evolution of Quality vs. Quantity

Since the rise of the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s, consumerism and the idea of quantity over quality has increased dramatically. Suddenly, having more meant being somewhat better off and showing higher status and wealth. The creation of ‘the more the better’ way of thinking fed into the minds of the consensus and so was born the idea of quantity over quality.

This can be seen in the mindset of ‘if I have more clothes, I have more choices and people will see me as rich, popular or fashionable’. It’s also seen in the perspective of believing that the more you buy for your spouse or partner, the more it shows your love for them. In other words, the short term instant gratification of giving material items is suddenly symbolic of love. Equally, the idea of getting our money’s worth is another example of the need for quantity like going to the all-you-can-eat buffet to eat as much as you can for a smaller amount of money.

Advertising

But this narrow mindset is slowly changing with people’s views of satisfaction, and what is defined as ‘the best’ has significantly hit a turning point.

The idea of minimalism and ‘less is more’ is becoming a more common way of thinking with the value and worth of something being more important than having large quantities. Spending more money on a pair of designer jeans with emphasis on the better brand and quality now instantly means this pair of jeans is better than 10 pairs of cheap jeans. Spending $100 on a Michelin star fine dining experience may mean you get less food than the $20 all-you-can-eat buffet but the value of that fine dining experience is worth more in terms of quality.

    How Has the Quality Mindset Overtaken the Quantity Mindset?

    The increase in education and literary skills together with better peace and prosperity and, therefore, stability amongst nations has meant that the generation today aren’t focused on the need for survival. In other words, there is generally a lesser worry about food, water or shelter that past generations have had to go through. Instead, people today are more exposed to the finer things in life and have the luxury to be able to focus on this.

    Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs was a psychological look at human curiosity and motivation. In his theory, Maslow explains that we need to go through stages of deprivation in order to create motivation and subsequently level up. In terms of quantity and quality, acknowledging the importance of quality can only come from the experience of vast quantity and its lesser value in our lives.

    Advertising

    We’ve now learnt that it’s no longer about survival (quantity) but rather how we can live well (quality).

       How Does This Impact Our Behaviours?

      The idea of quantity and quality is very situation-specific. While the idea of appreciating the concept of quality over quantity is a positive change in our society, it’s really down to our own individual preferences and what we consider best for ourselves.

      You may be someone who loves to go to the all-you-can-eat buffet because it gives you a wide variety of foods and you can eat to your heart’s content. This makes you happy and you don’t perceive it as a bad thing. Or you may be someone who loves fine dining and paying through the nose for less food because the whole experience is something that you consider ‘worth it’.

      Is it better for you to spend every day with your significant other where both of you are tired from long days at work and therefore not able to give each other undivided attention? For some, maybe, but others may feel spending a full Saturday together where you’re both rested and focusing on each other as a better option.

      Advertising

      Quality and Quantity: What is the Ideal State?

      As with everything, moderation is key and this goes for the concept of quality versus quantity. The present generation are working towards a more cultivated mindset of measuring worth where quality is seen as the best option for balance and overall happiness. But it’s important to think about the circumstances in which someone find’s themselves and making the decision that best reflects that situation.

      In today’s society, peer pressure and self worth is ever more fragile due to social media and this makes it challenging for people not to play the comparison game. This means there is a conflict when it comes to certain situations around quantity and quality.

      Ideally, we ought to strike a balance of quantity and quality in different areas of our lives. The idea of quantity is good if, for example, there is a sale at the supermarket and you can stock up on needed products. Whereas, the idea of quality is positive when you spend 2 hours in a relaxing spa with your loved one and enjoying each others company rather than 2 hours every weeknight in a rushed and tired state.

        How To Strike The Best Balance

        Quality and quantity can be a very individual thing depending on what you consider your worth and value is. Only once you’ve done this can you decide which is more of a priority in any given situation. So if you feel having options is important, then quantity is good for you but if you value stability and durability then quality will carry more importance.

        Advertising

        • Make a List of Your Most Important Qualities and Values: Once you’ve done this you’ll be able to see more clearly whether either quality or quantity is more aligned with your values and personal needs. Alongside this, you must also know what the sacrifices are or actions you need to take in order to achieve the quality or quantity you want. So if, for example, you value quality and want to buy that expensive watch, then ensuring you’re financially capable to do so by saving up or stop buying endless cheap watches until you have enough money to buy it.
        • Learn To Appreciate What You Have: This is an important step because playing the comparison game or feeling pressured by others can cause you stress when pursuing the idea of quality or quantity in different areas of you life. Finding out your life’s purpose and creating goals can help you find out whether quality or quantity is important to you.

        Why Finding Balance is Sometimes Hard

        If you’re struggling to know which different areas of your life involve quantity or quality, then you’re not alone.

        Often we want the best for ourselves but also the best for our loved ones which can result in conflicting notions on whether quality or quantity is more important. We may struggle giving up one thing for another – in the case of the expensive watch, sacrificing money to save up when you see affordable, cheaper watches you could potentially buy can be hard.

        However, it all comes down to priorities and being confident in your direction. Careful consideration is paramount on what your ultimate outcome is. For someone, working hard to provide the best for their family (quantity) may end up sacrificing their time with them (quality) but at the end of the day which one makes the family the most happy?

          So, think carefully about your values and ultimate outcome in each area of your life and consider whether quality or quantity is the best path in each instance. Doing this can help you plan and achieve your goals and live a happier and more content life.

          Featured photo credit: Alexandra Maria via pexels.com

          More by this author

          Anna Chui

          Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

          26 Useful Things to Learn Now That Will Change Your Life How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck (And How to Overcome It) 30 Books Everyone Should Read At Least Once In Their Lives How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing The Desire to Be Liked Will End You up Feeling More Rejected

          Trending in Mental Strength

          1 14 Personal Goals for a Better You Next Year 2 7 Steps to Start Living Your Dream Life Right Now 3 The Lifehack Show Episode 11: Mindfulness and the Authentic Self 4 5 Ways to Make the Best Use of Extrinsic Motivation 5 How to Overcome Your Resistance to Change for a Better Self

          Read Next

          Advertising
          Advertising
          Advertising

          Published on November 20, 2019

          14 Personal Goals for a Better You Next Year

          14 Personal Goals for a Better You Next Year

          Personal goal setting starts with having a destination in mind.

          If you don’t know where you’re going, why bother moving forward? You’ll just get more lost or find yourself back where you started again.

          “If you don’t know where you’re going, every road will take you there.”- Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland

          You have to have a destination of who you want to become in order to get there.

          Personal goals will be easier to make if you know where you want to go.

          You must start with how to get there and break down the steps. These steps must be realistic.

          That doesn’t mean you can’t dream big; in fact,

          “Shoot for the moon, and if you miss, you’ll still land among the stars.”

          Dream big no matter what but be realistic at the same time. Be open to detours, too.

          According to Action for Happiness[1], ways to make goals include deciding on goals, writing steps down, telling someone about it and plan out each step.

          Here I will outline 14 personal goals that can help you become a better you:

          1. Live Authentically

          You don’t have time to be living your life as someone else. All you can do is be yourself. You must choose to be who you really are. That’s the best way to live.

          Being yourself is not easy though. It requires dedication to your values and dreams. You won’t be able to be authentic without losing your fear of what others think of you.

          There’s only one way to be successful in this life and it’s if you do it for the right reasons. It’s if you choose yourself. It’s not until you find that you will be free.

          Advertising

          Get inspired by my other article: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

          2. Take Time for You in Self-Care Prioritization

          Self-care is not something you should take for granted. Often, we don’t prioritize it well enough. Some examples include finding time for yourself, do things that make you feel good. Get dietary advice to eat healthy and exercise to improve your health.

          Take a break. Go outside. Relax. Read a book or watch a good movie with someone you love. It’s about rewarding yourself with your joys and hobbies.

          You can find more examples here: 30 Self-Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit

          Self-care is not selfish. It’s important to find time for yourself so that you CAN give more of yourself to the areas of life you need to. You deserve it. You are worth it. Remember that.

          3. Don’t Take Things Personally

          The less you are concerned with others, the more you can focus on doing what matters most to you. What others say does not reflect the real you. It is just their perception, which may not be the full picture or the truth.

          People who try to hurt you are not happy.

          “Happy people don’t try to bring other people down.” – Anonymous.

          That’s why it’s just not worth holding on to their words.

          When you refuse to take things personally, it’s because you know who you are.

          4: Decide What You Stand for

          4. Decide to Be Who You Are Meant to Be

          Look for things you are passionate about. Advocate to make yourself and others heard. Join groups that support your beliefs.

          “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”- Anonymous.

          So, decide what you value and what you stand for. Then, you can do anything.

          Advertising

          Take a look at this guide if you aren’t sure what you’re passionate about: How to Find Your Passion and Live a Fulfilling Life

          5. Find the Silver Lining

          Find happiness in any situation by finding the silver lining. You can decide to be happy because of the good you find. You must choose to look at the good.

          People often think about the bad first, and they dwell on it. It’s human nature, but if you can look for the good or the silver lining, you will be happier for it.

          You can learn from any situation or use any situation to better yourself or humanity. Take that and you will overcome it all.

          6. Do Something Good for Someone

          Instead of just focusing on your problems, do good for someone. It will not only take your mind off what problems you have, but also help you see that you are capable of doing good — right, you still have things to offer.

          There are many opportunities to do good. Volunteering, checking on a friend or family member, get involved in a project that serves your community, etc.

          The more good you do, the better you will feel.

          7. Practice Daily Positive Self Talk

          Every day is a new day. The way you talk to yourself is how you can ensure you build resilience and endurance through any challenge.

          Here are some positive self talk examples:

          “Things may have not gone my way but I can see the good in the situation still.”

          “At least I am alive. I have my health, my abilities and the opportunities to use what I have for good.”

          “I am worthwhile.”

          “I can do it.”

          Even more here: 10 Positive Affirmations for Success that will Change your Life

          Advertising

          The more you practice positive self talk, the more you will overcome and accomplish.

          8. Surrender, When Necessary

          When you surrender, you give in to the current rather than fight against it. It means you value inner peace most of all. You don’t sacrifice your inner peace for anything. You know your worth, and you are willing to see how a situation unfolds. You don’t try to force solutions either.

          Instead of forcing solutions, you allow the best ones to come forth. You also know how to use what you have. You don’t fight against your situation. You instead use it.

          When you surrender, you are accepting what is. This makes it easier to move forward.

          9. Ask for Help in One Area of Your Life

          We are often taught that needing help is a sign of weakness but it is actually a sign of strength. It’s developing skills that you might not be as well versed in. It’s developing mentor/mentee relationships to help you succeed.

          Success is subjective to every individual. When you are developing yourself, you need others’ input. You need help to be who you are meant to be.

          There is no shame in asking for help. Asking for help instead opens doors for you that you may not have been able to open yourself.

          10. Never Stop Learning

          Learning is meant to be lifelong. You can follow your interests, and everything is a “Internet Search Engine” away. But how to really commit to this? Take another class, sign up for a workshop, read books on the subject of interest, develop new hobbies…

          In Success Magazine,[2] Ramit Sethi, author of I Will Teach You to Be Rich suggests 3 techniques to never stop learning:

          “1. Embrace the Mind of a Child.
          2. Put yourself in the hands of a trusted teacher.
          3. Read, read, read.” Overall, be responsible for your own growth in life.

          You are never too old to learn something new. Start today.

          11. Set Boundaries and Say No When Appropriate

          Having boundaries can feel uncomfortable because we are telling others what we do not accept. It is also necessary for healthy relationships. You will use them to protect yourself, your heart and your mind.

          No one can make you do anything. If you are uncomfortable with something, you have a right to say no. Those who truly care about you will not be offended. You are also setting the bar high, or setting an example for others who are too scared to have boundaries too.

          You will make better choices if you have better boundaries: How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

          Advertising

          12. Follow Your Gut

          Trust your instincts. They are trying to tell you what to trust in.

          You may not want to do something but feel pressured to do it. Your gut is the one speaking to you, telling you not to do it if you don’t want to. It can save you from many things, for example preventing you from making poor choices.

          When you follow your gut, you preserve your interests and secure yourself.

          13. Do What You Love

          Are you doing what you love? You must choose what you can’t live without. Don’t sacrifice that for anything. Life is too short.

          Your best also comes out when you are doing what you love. You can give more, do more if you’re happy with what you are doing.

          So, do what you love. Don’t question it: Why You Should Always Do What You Love (And How to Do It)

          14. Appreciate What You Have

          Good Deeds Day defines gratitude as,[3]

          “Gratitude allows us to recognize good in our lives. Focusing and appreciating the good in our lives constantly reminds us about the great things all around us… Gratitude allows us to see that the sources of that good are usually close by. Practicing gratitude allows us to recognize those who bring goodness into our lives and humbles us in order to give credit to those we are grateful for.”

          At the end of the day, you need to recognize what you do have rather than focusing on what you don’t have. You must choose gratitude as your attitude in order to live a happier, better life. You will win then.

          Counting your blessings everyday will help you bring in more blessings. You are limitless. You will overcome more too if you have that positive perspective.

          Appreciating what you have starts with the simple things in life. Recognize what’s working. Find your reason to hold on. And then change the world.

          Here’re 32 Things You Should Be Grateful For if you need some reminders.

          Final Thoughts

          Goal setting is about finding what will better yourself and lead you to happiness. You will find peace with yourself when you are on the right path.

          You have to make the decision to make the best of everything, and you have to remember what really matters. Your goals will shape you for the rest of your life.

          Good luck!

          More About Goals Setting

          Featured photo credit: Anika Huizinga via unsplash.com

          Reference

          Read Next