Monday, March 23, 2009

Quality Of Life

How can you improve the quality of your own life? What factors are most important to you as you judge the "quality" of your life?

Quality is an individual measurement. For example, I value the quality of an automobile by comparing it's total cost of ownership to the benefit received over the useful life of the vehicle. Others value quality as the absence of defects. So, when a polling entity tells me that a car is "first in initial quality," I don't put much stock in their opinion. I don't value "initial quality" as much as "life-cycle quality."

Quality for me is a measure of value. "Quality of life" is the degree of success you have exchanging your minutes for experiences. If the experiences are beneficial, you might conclude that you've had a quality life. As our minutes become fewer, as the time ticks by, fewer things grab your attention. Quality experiences are typically the fewest things, the things left when very, very few minutes remain. The time spent in those activities is referred to as "quality time." So your exchange rate equals valuable experiences divided by the minutes used (Q=Ve/M). Your Quality or the benefit you receive determines the value of your moments; and the sum of the value of your moments equals your value of life. You set the value. The value of anything is what someone will give for it and in the end you will have given everything. Think about it.

So what are you giving your life for? What are you getting in return? Are the experiences temporary? What do they cost? A candy bar costs me 20 minutes on a treadmill! Is it worth it? The treadmill time has other benefits (feeling good, adding minutes by making my heart stronger, etc.). But think about a candy bar costing 20 minutes or more and that might help you make a different choice.

So which experiences are truly valuable? How do you measure the value of an experience? Part of the reason I believe in Jesus and the Bible is because it seems to me to line up with the truth. Many people value time with family and friends. Many people believe it is good to help others, but most also agree that helping others with selfish motives is bad. Our founders held that some truths were self-evident. I believe God designed the fabric of every human being weaving it with the idea that helping others is a quality activity. Jesus said the greatest commandment was to "love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength; and love your neighbor as yourself." He also said we are to store treasure up in heaven where it won't be destroyed or stolen, because where our treasure is, there our heart will be also. Christ claimed that helping others lasted for eternity. Everything else will just melt away.

This year, I'm listing the experiences that are important to me. I've never been much of a goal setter, but this year I purpose not to fail. I've written the list and I'm monitoring it. I'd like to help more people this year than ever before.

How about you? Have you written such a list? Will you let this time of your life pass without living it on purpose? You're giving your life. What are you getting for it?


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