Quality of Life – Defining and Maximizing It

14. September 2015
Quality of Life – Defining and Maximizing It

Somebody better explain what is going on here!

Let’s jump right into it. This is a blog about lifestyle design. More specifically, this is a blog about making deliberate choices to ensure that your life is designed the way you want it to be. My vision for this blog is dynamic – I want the blog to evolve and grow in parallel with my perspectives. We’re going to discuss a number of topics ranging from personal finance to world travel, but everything will always be tied back to improving our quality of life.

https://i2.wp.com/s3.amazonaws.com/cuttings/backgrounds/52201/now-its-time-for-my-real-job-getting-loaded.jpg?resize=277%2C250&ssl=1I’ve been meaning to start this blog for a while now, but as most of you can relate, it’s a hell of a lot easier to come home from work and drink six beers than it is to write an article on lifestyle design. I’m actually going through some pretty significant changes in my life right now, so it feels somewhat organic to start the blog now. I’ve also made a deal with a buddy in which I agreed that he could take my first-born if I don’t start writing this month. So with the best interest of my future offspring in mind, let’s get to it!

Humans are wired to make decisions that we feel will lead to greater quality of life for ourselves either in the present or in the future. I’ve come to find that the quality of one’s life is completely defined by two simple concepts:

  1. Health
  2. Avoidance of boredom

It’s my belief that to maximize life quality, we need only to focus on designing our lifestyle such that health and avoidance of boredom are at the forefront. Pretty simple, right? On the surface, yes, but as we all know, there are a multitude of factors that contribute to and contrive these two items.

The Two Major Players

Health can be broken into its ultra-complicated physical, mental, and spiritual aspects, and those can be drilled down even further. Just to make the concept even cloudier, it’s difficult to describe an individual as wholly healthy or wholly unhealthy. Taking a deeper look into physical health; you might be a world-class triathlete, for example, but also have diabetes. So are you physically healthy? All that aside, I would be surprised – no, astounded – if someone tried to dispute that health is not one of the major contributors to quality of life.

Avoidance of boredom is a different beast all together. Unlike health, avoidance of boredom comes off as vague and almost childish. But before you write me off as another lunatic blogger give me a chance to explain myself, dammit! Avoidance of boredom and excitement are not synonymous in my definition. For example, I have felt perfectly content reading a book outside on a sunny day. Not an activity that I would describe as exhilarating (depending on what I’m reading 😉 ), but I was definitely avoiding boredom. For a more general example, consider where people (Americans) spend their money. They spend it on shit that will keep them from being bored. Fast cars, big houses, alcohol, fancy restaurants – these things do not intrinsically provide any value, but they do a pretty damn good job of keeping us occupied.

I would argue that most of us work for 40+ years because we’ve been led to believe it’s the best route to maximize health and minimize boredom. Spoiler alert: it’s probably not.

The Human Guinea Pig

The focus of this blog is going to be two-fold. For one, I’m going to share my experiences, perspectives, and ambitions in terms of living a deliberate life. I should preface that by saying that I am by no means a leader or expert in this field. I don’t know if my plan is going to work. I’m not financially independent or spiritually enlightened or extremely handsome . But I have recognized that the typical lifestyle of an American adult is absolutely not for me, and I’ve taken some preliminary steps to avoid it. And I want to share those steps with you guys. The second piece is what I hope makes this blog unique. In brief, I’m going to carry out lifestyle design experiments. That is, I’m going to make tangible changes in my life for short periods of time, that I’ve read/heard/seen improve quality of life, and share with you guys if they work and the benefits you can expect to get from them. The experiments must meet two criteria:

  1. They must be low cost. Let’s define low cost as less than $100 over the course of the experiment.
  2. Results must be obtainable in a short period of time. Let’s define a short period of time as one month.

So that’s it. If you’re interested in hearing more about someone who is very much still trying to get his shit figured out, but is making deliberate changes in an effort to design an ideal life, I hope you visit this blog again.

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