Quality: The degree of excellence of something.
Quantity: The amount or number of a material or immaterial thing.
I think in our society we tend to focus more on quantity than quality, when it should really be the other way around. We are more obsessed with a number than the degree of satisfaction or worth we get out of a particular idea or activity. Don’t believe me? Keep reading.
Life… We celebrate when someone lives past 100 because they are defying the odds. But while that’s impressive, it is far more beautiful (to me, at least) if that person used their many years to fulfill their dreams and improve the lives of others. If you don’t agree, ask yourself this: who’s life is more inspiring and beautiful: a 9-year-old child dying of cancer who chooses to do something meaningful with their last years, or the person who spends their whole lives on empty pursuits, avoiding and fearing death, and manages to live past 100?
Marriage… The same idea applies to marriage and family. In today’s society, divorce and broken homes have become the norm, so when a couple stays married longer than 20 years, people are amazed, no matter what the quality of the marriage may or may not have been. I think it’s a beautiful thing when couples stay married for life (call me old-fashioned), but I think the quality of the relationship is far more important than the length of the marriage.
Career… Most young people these days are pressured into believing that they have to go to college for 4+ years to be successful. For many parents, a good education (and lots of it) is at the top of their priority list for their kids. And who can blame them? After all, the more education you have, the better off you will be. Right? Not necessarily. I do think education is truly a gift and those with access to it should take advantage of the opportunities it offers, but only with a purpose. There are plenty of people with 8 years of college who use their careers to work for their own gain, making the lives of those around them miserable, while there are just as many people with 2 year degrees who spend their time making a real difference in people’s lives. I wish more young people today had the freedom to pursue their dreams and make the world a better place without fear of criticism, whether they have a high school diploma or a PhD.
Exercise… Many people assume that the more you exercise the better off you will be – that a one hour workout is far better than a 20 minute workout, and that exercising 7 days a week is better than 3 days a week. What they don’t realize is that it isn’t actually the length of the workout that makes the difference, but the quality of effort they put into it. A person who spends a couple of hours “power walking” on the treadmill while they watch a movie actually burns less calories and causes more muscle atrophy than someone who does a 20 minute HIIT workout. Why? I won’t get into the scientific gibberish here, but simply put, our bodies need to be challenged in a variety of ways, or they won’t change. Doing the same thing over and over (walking, running, even the same strength training routine) allows the body to get used to it, which makes you eventually hit a plateau and stop making progress. Interval workouts or even just doing a different workout a couple times per week will be far more effective for burning fat and building muscle. The length of time you spend at the gym isn’t really what makes the difference, but the quality of your work.
Food… Calories and sugars and carbs, oh my! It is commonly assumed that in order for you to lose weight, you have to eat less than a certain number of calories per day. That is partially true – I mean, if you eat more than you burn off you will gain weight. But I would like to propose an alternative theory. Eating less than 2,000 calories per day may make you lose weight for a short while, but if what you are eating is unhealthy, you will still end up worse off in the long run. 2,000 calories of junk is still junk, which leads to nutrient deficiencies, lethargy, and eventually disease. Instead of focusing on limiting how much you eat, try to let nutrient rich foods take the place of the junk you are accustomed to eating. 3,000 calories in the form of fruits, veggies, lean proteins, nuts, and seeds is FAR better than 2,000 calories of carbs, sugars, and other processed junk. Focus on the quality of the foods you eat more than the quantity. Healthy foods naturally contribute to weight loss and fitness, while junk foods (no matter how much you eat of them) only cause damage.
Weight… Many women think beauty equals a certain number on the scale. Unfortunately this idea is very deceptive, because muscle weighs more than fat. This means that a woman who incorporates strength training into her weight loss workout regimen (strength training is the BEST way to lose weight by the way) might not see a change in the number on the scale, even though she is losing fat. A pound of muscle takes up a lot less room than a pound of fat, which is why a lot of women who get into weightlifting and strength training often end up throwing away the scale altogether because your weight really doesn’t accurately tell your body composition when you have a healthy workout regimen.
So what do you think? Does quality or quantity matter more? How have you seen this concept play out in your own life? I’d love to hear your thoughts (whether you agree or disagree), so please comment below 🙂