How important is self improvement to you? If you’re someone who believes a successful life is filled with continuous growth and learning, to you, self improvement is important. And since you’re here reading this, I think it’s safe to assume that you, as well as I, view self improvement as a priority.
Consistent improvement allows you to achieve your goals, find success, and realize happiness in your life. Self improvement gives your life purpose and meaning, and is always something to be strive for. One thing I’ve noticed, however, is that when we focus on self improvement, sometimes we end up feeling like our current life lacks quality. It’s almost as if we are so focused on future greatness that we become unhappy with our current situation.
We become so intent on being better tomorrow that we forget to be satisfied today.
As important as continuous self improvement is, it’s always important to take a step back and measure the current quality of our lives. This way, we can use it as a yard marker for where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re headed. When you do this consistently – measure the quality of your life – you are able to find happiness in your current situation while still looking ahead toward the future.
To achieve this momentary presence and long term focus, it’s important to measure the quality of your life in these 5 ways:
1. Measure your health – Believe it or not, your health is as important to your mental mind as it is to your physical body. Eating healthy, exercising often, and sleeping regularly are all key indicators that you’re living a healthy lifestyle. And when you do this, your mental capacity will naturally increase.
A quality life is one that has a high level of focus on physical and mental health. Be honest with yourself. Are you reading consistently? Living an active lifestyle? Challenging yourself? If the answer is yes to these questions, than you’re living a quality life.
2. Measure the quality of your problems – On the surface, this doesn’t make sense. How can you have quality problems, and more importantly, why would you want them? Think about it this way: Any life, regardless of the quality, is going to have problems. Problems are unavoidable. So when you’re measuring the quality of your life, it’s important to measure the quality of your problems.
Whether it be social, emotional, mental, physical, business related or otherwise, by measuring the level and complexity of any problem we face, we get a good barometer of where our lives are at that point in time.
Take social for example. Your aim might be to meet a new group of like-minded friends. In the beginning, the problem is starting. How do you even meet people?
As you learn how to form connections, your problem increases from “how to meet people,” to “how to build relationships with quality individuals.” Once you understand how to form lasting relationships, your problem then becomes cultivating those relationships so you know you are adding as much value as you are receiving.
Socially, your problems are increasing in quality and complexity, but it’s easy to see that the quality of your life is also improving.
3. Measure the amount of people you’ve impacted – A quality life is one that has positive reach. Whether it be your friends, your family, or complete strangers, the more people you’re able to positively impact, the higher quality your life will be. Not to mention the increased quality of life you’ll instill on the people you’re impacting.
Measure the amount of people you positive affect. There’s no set number here, but the more people you’ve impacted, the higher – and more significant – the quality of your life.
4. Measure the number of your life’s phases– It’s important to define the meaning of a life phase here. A “life phase” is a period of time that is personally associated with a specific identifier. College, for example, would be one of life’s phases. Early career, mid career, or that one time you lived in San Diego, are all examples of life phases.
One thing I’ve noticed as I’ve progressed through my own life is that each phase brings a slew of new connections and experiences. And, since a high number of positive experiences directly relates to a quality life, the more life experiences you have, the higher the quality of your life.
Comfortability is important. But when you stay in your comfort zone, it’s easy for your life to become stagnant. By focusing on increasing the amount of your life’s phases, you focus on personal growth, expanded influence, and greater experiences. Don’t be afraid to try new things, live in exciting places, or meet interesting people. This will only further lead to a quality life.
5. Measure your life against yourself one year ago – To me, this is the ultimate measurement of a quality life. Since no two people are the same, it’s impossible to compare ourselves to others. Yet, when we are measuring the quality of our lives, this is normally what we do.
Since it’s impossible for two people to be identical, it’s equally impossible to derive success and happiness, and ultimately measure the quality of your life, by comparing yourselves to others.
Rather than using others as a benchmark for a quality life, we should be using ourselves as a benchmark. The only accurate measurement is your current situation in relation to a past situation. Evaluate your life today: your job, your relationships, your impact, and your happiness. How does this compare to your life one year ago? If your life is better today than it was last year, you are most definitely living a quality life!
The hard truth about self improvement is that it’s an inexact science. There isn’t a formula we can use to measure our life’s improvement, and therefore, our life’s quality. But if you follow the five steps above, you not only get an accurate idea of where you are in your life, but also where you’re headed.
Focus on: a healthy lifestyle, problems that are increasing in quality, positively impacting those around you, increasing the amount of life’s phases and experiences, and ultimately, being better than your past self. If you’re able to do this, you’ll be living a quality life that will only increase over time.
Don’t fret if you’re not where you want to be. By following these five steps and consistently measuring your life by these benchmarks, you’re exactly where you should be – which will get you to exactly where you need to go.
Evan Tarver is a business development specialist with dynamic experience in the technology industry, and is a self proclaimed foodie. He believes that people should be doing what they love, loving what they do, and getting paid for it all!
The key to true happiness is continuous self improvement and personal growth. Connect with him here to read his weekly articles on self improvement and professional excellence and receive your free e-book: 50 Inspirational Quotes to the Life You Love!