When was the last time you had an honest discussion about the quality of life? For discussion’s sake, we assume you don’t live in North Korea or Venezuela. And you’re currently not in a hospital bed. (And if you are, I sincerely hope you get healthy soon!)
So, what makes for good quality of life? In my years so far, I say it’s mostly four things.
Health is #1 in regards to quality of life
If you’re healthy, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have a good life. However, if you’re unhealthy, the only thing you’re thinking about is getting your health back. Thus, we can argue health is #1 in regards to quality of life.
What makes for good health? A lot of things. Diet and exercise of course top the list at #1 and #2 respectively. A bad diet will lead to all kinds of health issues. And of course, not exercising will too, but when you reach a certain age, diet becomes even more important than exercise. When you’re young, you can get away with eating unhealthy. That won’t last.
Which diet and which exercises?
Find a diet that works for you. You may have religious reasons or personal convictions that limit your diet. I won’t argue against that. However, for me, I’ve found a healthy balance between lots of meat for staying mean and lean plus lots of fruits and vegetables for alkalizing my body has worked quite well.
I’ve eaten with and observed everyone from nude models to semi-pro MMA fighters. I’ve found that there’s no one way that works for everyone. So find what works for you and stick to it.
When it comes to exercise, find your favorite exercise. You’ll know what it is when you’re excited to do it. When I was younger, it was football. Nowadays, it’s weightlifting. For you? I have no idea. You know you better than I know you. Find what you love so much that you look forward to it. If you dread doing it, you don’t love it.
Whereas health is #1, the next three are not in order. You may arrange the next three any way you wish. Some folks have different priorities than others when it comes to quality of life. That is fine. Let’s not judge.
For me, fulfillment comes even above the other two. Which is weird coming from an extrovert. But I’m not like other extroverts. I’m not needy. At all.
I know what I want to do in life. I know what I want to accomplish in life. If you don’t know what you want to do in life, you need to figure that out. You need to start doing different things until you figure out what fulfills you.
Sometimes, it would surprise you. I would have never imagined as a child how much pleasure I’d get from investing. I absolutely love to invest in different things. We had so much fun buying art, even though neither of us knew what we were doing. We just winged it, knowing we’d learn as we went.
That may sound idiotic to some, but that’s how I became a good stock investor. I winged it and learned as I went. You want to get good at something (and this applies to everything)? Do it! If you don’t do it, how do you expect to get good at it?
But as much as I love investing, there’s something I love more. Much more.
What fulfills me?
I love composing. And I love performing. I love writing a new song and seeing it to completion, hiring session musicians to play the parts that I cannot play. I sing harmony vocals but don’t have a good enough voice to sing lead. Therefore, I’ll never be a lead singer of a band. I also don’t play bass or drums, or any orchestral instrument besides the piano. So session musicians do the rest.
After all the session musicians do their parts, I love to watch my Sound Engineers do their magic. I’m no Sound Engineer and never will be. But I absolutely love to be there when they start mixing. They ask me lots of questions about what I like and I tell them honestly, but leave the final decisions to the Producer. That’s his job – to make the final decisions.
I love that! I love every aspect of it. The only thing I love more than recording in a studio and then mixing is performing live. I can’t wait to tour. If you want to know what fulfills me, it’s performing live. More than anything else in the world.
Enough about me, what about you?
So, that’s me. Who are you? And what fulfills you?
If you can’t answer these questions, then you really need to examine your life. I can’t do this for you as I’m not you. I can encourage you, and even inspire you. But, I cannot go inside your soul and see what your soul longs for. That’s your job.
I’ve been broke. Now, I have a nice chunk of change where we no longer worry about money.
Folks don’t like to talk about money. It’s almost a taboo subject. If you ever want to see someone absolutely flip out, start comparing net worths of people you know. Warning – you might get punched.
So as someone who has been broke who now has money, let me assure you it’s way, way better to have money than be broke. When folks say “at least I’m happy,” they’re lying. Children can be happy without money. Adults however need money.
Since it’s such a taboo subject, I talk about how I made my money and actually go into detail. I can assure you that if I can do it, so can you. I know this as I had no mentor and had to figure out all the crap myself. It was frustrating, but we pulled it off because we worked as a team with a common goal.
For a lot of folks, this is #2 after health. Which is great! I have a series called how to fuck up your life and choosing the wrong mate ranks really high up there.
You want to have the right partner. This isn’t something to take lightly. If you have to choose between the wrong partner or being single, pick the latter. The wrong partner will set you back big time. You need to trust me on this one. You’re way better off being single than being with the wrong person.
Same applies for friends. Like for instance, if something wonderful happens to you and your friend is not happy for you, you need to lose that friend. That person’s a piece of shit who will negatively impact your life.
Relationships are important. Choose your mate wisely or stay single until you find the right one. And likewise, do the same with friends. It’s way better to temporarily have no friends than it is to have shitty friends.
Fulfillment for others
This is a combination of relationships and fulfillment. You have to be supportive of your partner’s dreams. You already know that if your partner is not supportive of your dreams, you’re with the wrong partner. And vice versa. They’re with the wrong partner if you’re not supportive of their dreams.
My wife’s dreams entail traveling. She wants to see the world. Which is great, because it’s a win for me.
Traveling enriches the person. Makes people more complete. She wants to die with passports full of stamps, which is a great goal. As much as traveling fulfills her, I win just as much as she does.
Let’s talk about debauchery. Now, being honest, short term, debauchery feels great. At the time, hooking up and having sex with random people feels great. So does getting fucked up.
Long-term, it’s idiotic. Every sexual partner you have increases your chance for STDs. And nowadays, some of these STDs are permanent. Folks older than me remember the days when you get rid of STDs with a shot of penicillin. Not anymore.
The same goes for drugs and alcohol. All that stuff damages your liver. Was fun at the time, until your body pays the price.
Quality of life needs long-term planning
So, you’re in it for the long-haul. Of course we hope you don’t get unlucky in a car accident or with cancer. Chances are if you’re healthy, if you manage your money well, if you’re with the right partner and have good friends, and if your life is fulfilling, you’ll have an excellent quality of life.
All four of those things require long-term planning. The movies love to glamorize love at first sight. Well, that’s a quick way to long-term sadness. It works out sometimes, but more often than not, it only works out in the movies.
Have a long-term plan for your health, your wealth, pick the right partner (and hold out if you have to), pick the right friends, and choose a life that fulfills you. Do all these things and you’ll have a wonderful quality of life.
About the featured image
If you’re ever in San Francisco, the California Academy of Sciences is a must see. It’s inside of Golden Gate Park and has everything from dinosaurs to a planetarium and a pretty awesome aquarium. Even has fine dining downstairs.