Quality vs Quantity of life – YOUR opinions please

Quality of life is a something I have been thinking of more and more of late.

I pose a question to any and all that may read this and I do hope all will respond. What is the criteria that you use in determining the quality of your life?

I look back and realize for most of my life material possessions and money would have played a huge part in how I assessed the quality of my life. I also now realize If I had been asked to assess the quality of my life in years gone by, My answer would likely have been focused more on what was lacking. The quality of my life would be so much better if only. I always had an almost endless “if only” list. Life would be better: if only had a bigger/better car, if only had a second car, if only had more money…… Or there was always the second if only list involving others. If only: she/he had or hadn’t done this or that……

I am asking for feed back please. I am facing some pretty big decisions and would appreciate your opinions.


13 Responses to Quality vs Quantity of life – YOUR opinions please

  1. jmbrucker says:

    Bill, I have been following you for a couple of years, and you have such an amazing attitude and outlook. So, thank you! Your question regarding determining the quality of life. I would say to any of my clients that the quality of life is individual to each person, but for me am I happier more than I am sad, in pain, etc. Am I still getting to do things I love with those I love. If I can answer yes, I think quality still exists. When the scale tips to more negative or nothing I love to do is possible, then quality of life has gone. That is how I define it, but that is just me and I am not in your situation. God Bless! Peace and Joy, Jackie

  2. tapsiiee says:

    Buy less, choose well 😌

  3. spykeyone says:

    Wow. The ‘coincidences’ in life are amazing. I literally just got off the phone with a dear friend who just informed me that the prognosis for his brain tumour are ‘not looking good’ and that he may be looking at being permanantly crippled and/or death – potentially soon. Then I check my mail and see your post. Another irony is that I wrote just the other day about whether people value the important things in life (https://spykeyone.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/should-you-get-what-you-want/ ) When I spoke with my friend I wondered if any advice I could give him would be worth anything as I have tried to commit suicide 4 times this year alone and he is faced, as you are, with death not of his own volition. Tricky. I personally place little value in regret (I’ve also written about that https://spykeyone.wordpress.com/2015/07/02/regrets-ive-had-a-few/ ) and feel time looking forward is better spent than looking backwards. How can you change anything now? What’s the point of worrying about something if there’s absolutely nothing you can do to change it? Of course, an awful lot is influenced by whatever religious beliefs you may or may not have. There’s always the fall-back of ‘There’s someone worse off than you’ if you’re looking for comfort but from personal experience I now try to be grateful and happy for the little things. I used to drive a BMW (after I lost my Mercedes) but now I’m just glad I have a roof, a bed and something to eat. Perhaps you’re doing exactly the right thing? Not only are you writing about your experiences, thoughts and feelings and therefore making your mark on the world but perhaps you are also helping others? What better way to live your life no matter how long it may be?…

  4. Shirley says:

    I agree with jmbrucker that the quality of life is individual to each person. All my life living paycheck to paycheck, I’ve lived a basic necessity existence. I’ve dreamed of abundance, but know that if I were to win the lottery tomorrow, I’d probably still not change much because I’m happy and content. Now at the age of 71, I worry about my future and the what ifs – especially living in a senior complex, watching neighbors go in and out of the hospital, the operations, the medications, the pain. I long ago made a decision for myself about my future and based on that decision I do not accept a lot of things the doctor tells me, refuse all but the one basic medication she tries to convince me my body needs, refuse all the exams she says are preventive medicine, telling her that if the what ifs do happen, I’ll accept them and go with the flow based on my philosophy that “Life is to be lived not endured”.

    My prayers are with you.

  5. Twin City Joan says:

    I can’t speak for anyone but myself. I have given a lot of thought to quality versus quantity in the last few years. Mostly because my husband was ill and his quality of life deteriorated quite a bit the last two years of his life. I think at some point he decided enough was enough and chose death over a life that was no longer a pleasure and would only get worse. My decision for myself is if I can do most of the things I enjoy. My animals, books, my home, the garden, music I would like to stick around. On the other hand, if life is just existence for the sake of existence, I am gone. That means I have made certain decisions about what I will allow to be done medically to extend my life and have discussed it with all of my children. For me, quality comes before quantity. I will hit 80 next year and I realize everybody dies of something. It would probably be a different choice if I had young children. Then I might hang on as long as possible. It is one of those decisions each of us must make for ourselves. It is along walk through the valley and no signposts along the way.

  6. Julie says:

    It is very personal as others have said and for me I always thought I will have time so continued focusing on the things that I have been programmed to understand as important. When I lost my dad I did a lot of soul searching and I know it is important to remember to live in the moment. We are only a small part of a large Universe and we are here to learn and explore

  7. Julie says:

    sorry I sent too early….. for me it is important to be happy, and not do all
    the things that everyone else expects me to do. It is not always easy as I tend to want to please others. Every day I remind myself that life is precious and to love and be loved is such a wonderful feeling so sometimes I choose to make a few sacrifices to please others. Be strong , you are an inspiration to those around you. I know that my dad is always with me and his last words to me were ” I will be back” and I believe that to be true. Whatever you believe you are here for a purpose. I send you my love Julie x

  8. M T McGuire says:

    I think quality of life is all about your own personal view; your own interpretation of what is amazing, what makes it worth living, who makes you get out of bed in the morning.

    With all these things, quality is something only you, yourself, can determine. And while I believe life is a gift there are definitely days when it feels as if the gift in question is a dog turd in a paper bag. It isn’t always easy to see it as a blessing. I suppose it’s a question of accepting the reality and measuring quality within the parameters in which we operate but also of sharing what we feel with those we love so they know where our heads are at.

    I have just recently had a long discussion about this with my parents as although they are proactive and make the most of their lives and their relationships with the people around them, and enjoy them, they are both DNR (do not resuscitate).

    Sorry, I know that’s bit of a ramble but I hope it helps.



  9. Hi Bill, Love your blog it is honest and oh so human. Quality of life varies tremendously. I attended a talk on Happiness at my holistic group earlier this year and the speaker reminded us how so many people measure their life’s worth by material gains but may not actually be happy. My mother and mentor had endless sayings and apt for every occasion, not until I started taking counselling courses I realised she was already applying mindfulness techniques long before it became fashionable.

    My Father died age 44 suddenly from a massive stroke so from age of seven I guess I knew what life was all about. Time to be good to people is when they are here, we have to find our own inner peace, most days I have found mine.

    Having serious or life threatening illness certainly puts things into perspective and gets one’s mind focusing on what matters.

    Sending you a spiritual hug. God bless.

  10. Dan says:

    My thought is that if life is worth living then and I was not in constant pain then I would not quit. Also if my mind still held many memories and I could still get around without help and could still enjoy some aspects of life then life would be worth living.

  11. hilarymb says:

    Hi Bill – quality of life is so personal – depending on the situation we find ourselves in. I am just lucky and have a positive outlook … but appreciate others and do my best for them.

    I am always surprised that people can only see the side of life they’re looking at – and not consider what others are going through, ie the other side of the coin, as such. We can learn so much from others … as I do here from you and your readers …

    Life is all of us and appreciating the natural life around us … as long as we can get around, be reasonably healthy and feel content – we can always do more for the humans, flora and fauna we live amongst.

    With thoughts – Hilary

  12. skeldro says:

    Hi Bill, I think quality of life is a very personal thing. I am looking at your question from a slightly different angle. My daughter is profoundly disabled, with a couple of potentially life-threatening issues (one of her many health problems). In my experience, the definition of ‘quality of life’ is an ever evolving one. If anybody had described my daughter’s current situation to me ten years ago, I would have categorically classed it as unacceptable. However, my daughter is the one who taught me that things change constantly. She is the one who adapted to new challenges in a way I never thought possible. I now take my cues from her. *She* shows me when she is having a good day (she has no speech), but I also know when she is not well. I do hope that I will understand, and know, to interpret when *she* feels she cannot cope anymore. The will to live is amazing.

    My profoundly disabled daughter, who most people would think has little quality of life is the one fighting on. My son, who has challenges of his own, but in my opinion has the option to turn things round and has everything going for him, at least compared with his sister, is the one despairing, suffering from depression and talking about suicide. Go figure!

    But I also agree with what Shirley said “Life is to be lived not endured”. I have lost several friends to depression, and they managed to explain to me why their lives had become unbearable in a way that made me understand their decisions. One lived, one didn’t. I don’t know which one of them made the right decision….

    Every single individual needs to define ‘quality of life’ based on their own specific circumstances. And it obviously depends on whether you have family or not. I am finding that people with family tend to define quality of life differently.

    Not sure if this of any help to you… but it certainly made *me* think tonight.

    Sending you strength

  13. CheshireSmirks says:


    I’m turning 28 next month (I’m your Buddhist reader that commented a couple of months ago) and my answer to “quality” of life is a continually evolving thought process. Any more I find that if I have food, water, and shelter (the basic needs) I can more properly contemplate and explore life much more deeply. I’ve told my wife that if I were to get into a debilitating accident that I’d minimally accept being paraplegic conditioned upon that I had my mind. In any set of conditions in such a scenario I asked to be left to die if I cannot return consciously as “me” (and not mentally handicapped; no offense to your other readers).

    Beyond extreme scenarios, having the ability to freely explore “living”, however I may define that in a given phase, I feel is high quality. I don’t need a mansion or Audi to be “happy”, nor are the Jones that interesting anyway. In fact, in every scenario I can recount it is the people I am around that makes any situation (paid or free) that makes such experiences rich.

    Could that situation include me being extremely ill? I think so. I’d like to think all the way to my indeterminate death bed that I’d die laughing with those whom are dear. That I may make my farewell warm for my friends and family. Perhaps a “part” of the quality of life is learning the skill to achieve just that: living AND dying well?

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