Thoughts on measuring my life
I’m a big fan of intentionally tracking things. Dear friends of mine will know this to be true. Hours of sleep I get every night. Number of photos I take every week. Count of words I write. Total income I earn. Total expenses I spend. And so on, you get the idea.
“What gets tracked, gets managed.” — Some OCD dude
Because I intentionally want to manage certain areas of my life, I track them. For example:
- My ability to focus, ability to control my emotions, ability to think logically = hours of sleep;
- Documenting important events in my life, especially time spent with my love ones = photos taken every week;
- Creating things, reflection, providing value = count of words I write;
- Actually providing value according to what the market needs = Total income I earn;
- My lifestyle, my needs and wants, the experiences in my life = total expenses.
If an area is out of whack, I can quickly identify what’s going wrong and make adjustments.
But how do I measure quality of my life? What is the metric? Is it a summation of all the above? Or is it something else? Or measuring quality of life is a false and impossible notion? What is it? I pondered for years.
Until recently, I came across this and I think I may have found something..
“Basically, when you get to my age, you’ll really measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you. If you get to my age in life and nobody thinks well of you, I don’t care how big your bank account is, your life is a disaster. That’s the ultimate test of how you have lived your life.” — Warren Buffet, addressing students in at Georgia Tech
It coincides my favourite quote of all time:
“Aren’t everything we do in life just so we can be loved a little more?” — Celine, from the movie Before Sunrise
Even if I become ultra productive, with the smartest mind, residing in a super healthy body, acquired a network of powerful people, having millions of liquid assets under my belt, all these are shit when I’m laying down on my last few breaths knowing those who I love don’t love me. All these are shit.
Because everything we do in life is an effort to be loved a little more (by my logic, not preaching), material items and financial wealth are secondary elements supporting the primary goal of giving and receiving more love.
To be clear, it’s neither supporting anarchy nor asceticism. Rather, the more clarity I have in knowing what and how I measure my life, the clearer my decision making process will be. And if I’m not there yet, then the decision is be working harder to get there as well as deciding against doing something that will turn people I love away.
Pretty simple concept. Pretty hard practice.
But practice makes perfect.
So I’m just gonna practice away.