Quality of life over quantity
"Not how long, but how well you have lived is the main thing."
The average life expectancy has increased significantly over the past century. It is common for people to live well past 100 years of age. Although, the averages have leveled off and even decreased in certain parts of the world for various reasons. While that alone should give us pause about living conditions and quality of life worldwide, it highlights our mortality. We are only granted so many years during this lifetime, and no one is promised tomorrow. With that in mind, since we can't guarantee that we will live to 100, we can at least make a commitment to ourselves to live a better quality of life with the time we do have left.
Edward Stieglitz is credited with a quote similar to Seneca's above, "The important thing to you is not how many years in your life, but how much life in your years!" Simply put, it's all about quality over quantity. I think the same sentiment can apply to many things like books, parties, friendships, workouts, meetings. Does it really matter how long it is or was if it is not worth discussing? A really good way to check in with yourself is to consider how you have been responding lately when your family and friends check in with you. Do you have something new and exciting to report, or is it just the same old, same old?
Another way to look at it is, imagine you had to write a five to ten page report at the end of every month about your life and publish it online. Would you struggle to fill up five pages or easily fill up all ten? It should not matter how many pages you write, but what you write about. If I spend ten pages complaining about what an uneventful month I had, I definitely produced quantity, but is there any quality there? However, if I spend only five pages describing all of my accomplishments and successes over the past month, I am prioritizing quality over quantity.
It would be great to live to 100, if it's worth living to 100. If I was copying and pasting the same 5-10 page report every month with nothing new to write about, would I really want to live to 100? I am happy to report that I prioritize quality over quantity in most areas of my life. I hope you can say the same. Even though we are not promised tomorrow, we have the ability to make the most out of each day we do have left during this lifetime. We might as well put in the quality since the only quantity of days that should really matter in life, is how many quality ones we are able to create for ourselves.
Very Well Mind: How to Improve Your Quality Life
Develop Good Habits: What Does Quality Over Quantity Actually Mean? 5 Key Lessons
Minimalism Made Simple: 10 simple reasons to choose quality over quantity