What Determines The Quality Of Our Lives? 

We all breathe the same air, drink the same water, walk upon the same earth and live under the same sky. We are even made of the same elements of nature. Yet, the quality of our lives varies from person to person. What is it that determines life’s quality? Is it money, good house, good foods, social status? What do you think? 

Let me share with you my perspective on this. 

Thoughts & Emotions

We may have everything which I just mentioned, but do they make our lives? I am not denying that they make our living good, no doubt about that. But there’s a difference between life and living, you know. Money can give us all the comforts and conveniences to live a comfortable and worry-free life. A good house provides a good space. Good foods nourish us, and social status gives us a sense of accomplishment. All that is fine. But, I don’t think they make our lives! 

I think the quality of our lives is determined by the quality of our thoughts and emotions. After all, what we think and what we feel is how we experience life, isn’t it? We may have everything, but if our thoughts and emotions are not okay, our whole experience of life becomes bitter. And on the other hand, if someone doesn’t even have the basic requirements to live a comfortable life, but can maintain a equanimous state of mind, that is, if he can direct his thoughts and emotions in the right way, there may not be any sense o f suffering in his life. Am I exaggerating? Please correct me, if that is so. 

How do we experience life after all? By feeling. And you must be aware of the fact that how we think is the way we feel. The opposite is also true: the way we feel is the way we think. Just ask yourself, right now, ‘what is the level of quality of my life at this point of time?’ Is it satisfactory, good, excellent, or there is room to improve? And if there is scope for improvement, what is that I am lacking? More money? More promotions? More tours? More friends? 

This may well be your self-help questionnaire to determine the present quality of your life, and you’ll also realise what it is that you expect of your life. 

Personally, I don’t confuse the external elements of life with the internal ones. I always remind myself that my living is something else and my life is something else. And it has helped me to not unnecessarily bother about things that don’t make my life. 

Meaningful Relations

You must be aware of The Harvard Study of Adult Development. It was perhaps the longest study on adult development, spanning over 75 years, tracking the lives of 724 American men. The findings of the study clearly suggest one thing: good and happy relationships make our lives happier. So, the importance of happy and meaningful relationships cannot be overstated. 

Our whole life is relations. There is actually no life without relations. They are an indispensable part of our lives. To love is to be related in some way or the other. When that is the case, the quality of our relations has to be taken into account. How to have loving and meaningful relationships—is a big question in itself. I am in no way eligible to give advice on this. 

All I can confidently say is, if our thoughts and emotions are in good vibration, it’ll positively impact our relationships also. No? I think that’s obvious. After all, what determines the quality of our relationships? Our words, behaviour, concern, care, trust, support—these are the things that make a strong relationship. And fault in any of these or in all of these destroys our relations. And by what all of these are shaped?— By our thoughts and emotions, the way we think and feel for others, right? Can you see the connection? 

That’s why, thoughts and emotions are on the top of my list above everything else.

There’s one more thing I’d like to add to this discussion. And that is maturity.


Ultimately, it’s the maturity in life that really determines the quality of our lives. The less mature we are, the more we’ll crib and cringe about life. But, with maturity, we start to see the real beauty and workings of life. Maturity brings stability and wisdom. And wisdom dispels our illusions and fears about life, death, and of that which is beyond. 

As a life the more mature we become, the quality of our lives enhances to that much level. What’s your take on this? 


P.S: 1. Dr. Robert J. Waldinger's Ted talk: https://youtu.be/8KkKuTCFvzI 

2. About the study in The Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200906/happiness
Thanks you.
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