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The more you have, the better.
Many people seem to think that size and more is better, in every way. But is this really true? Is it quantity over quality, or is it really quality over quantity?
My mom taught me from an early age that I should focus on quality – in every aspect of my life. She always said, “Buying cheap is expensive.”
You may think you hit a bargain when you buy a nice shirt from an unknown brand in a dingy shop, but before you even get to wear it, it’s fallen apart. Or you wear and/or wash it, and the pink shirt is now a yucky orange.
So you need to go out and buy another, and if you buy cheap and it doesn’t last, you keep replacing and replacing the shirt. Instead, if you spent a little more and bought a quality shirt, it’ll last and cost you less in the long run.
Choosing quality helps you focus on what matters. Here’s my guide to everything quality vs quantity and the reasons you should choose quality.
What Is Quality Over Quantity?
Quality over quantity is a phrase used to explain that you should invest and choose quality – things, people, experiences, and more that are of a high standard and well-made. Choose things that will last, that are valuable, and that matters. Don’t choose quantity – focusing on the number, size, or amount of things, people, and experiences.
Choosing quality helps you live an intentional and perhaps minimalist life. You prioritize what’s safe for you and what adds value to your life instead of giving in to instant gratification, having lots of low-quality stuff that doesn’t last or goes out of fashion, giving in to the latest deals and discounts, and listening to society that “forces” us to buy in bulk.
In essence, value is more important than volume or buying less expensive things. You pursue maximizing value (aka quality) over maximizing volume or amount (aka quantity).
However, what you choose (quantity or quality) also depends greatly on the purpose of what you need.
For example, I once needed short white pants (to wear underneath a toga-style dress) for a school function. I don’t like to wear shorts, and it’s a definite no for white ones. So, I found the cheapest pair of white shorts I could find, and as expected, they didn’t last past the one wear. But that was okay, because I didn’t need to spend money on quality for something I was never going to wear again.
So this wasn’t choosing quantity, but it definitely wasn’t choosing something that wasn’t quality.
The instances where you need to prioritize quantity or low quality shouldn’t form the majority of your life choices. Society and its consumer-driven culture have us on a constant quest for more: believing that we measure how successful we are with how many friends, experiences, and belongings we have, when the true measure of success is internal.
Here are examples of when it’s more than worthwhile to favor quality:
Why Is Quality More Important Than Quantity?
When your life is ruled by choosing quantity, you are overwhelmed by all the possible choices and it’s challenging to make a decision. You end up being unsatisfied because having more and things that are low-quality in life doesn’t equate to joy, happiness, and gratitude. It simply makes you search for the next “kick.”
Quality is important because:
10 Reasons to Go for Quality over Quantity
So why exactly should you choose quality and not quantity? In my opinion, it’s simple… but here are 10 reasons to get you convinced.
Reason 1. Money Saver
Yup, one of the first reasons you should choose quality over quantity is because it can save you money in the long run. Remember what my mom used to tell me (and still does)? “Buying cheap is expensive.”
The initial expense is more, but you cut out all the costs, energy, and frustration of having to frequently replace that item. So, you get a better return on investment.
It’s worth noting here that buying quality doesn’t mean buying the most expensive item you can find. You’ll need to know what to look for to spot an item that’s high quality. In short, consider various factors like who the product is for and what it does, the brand, the price, customer reviews, extra accessories and guarantees that come with the purchase, and so on.
Reason 2. Improves Your Health
Prioritizing quality can also improve your health, especially when it comes to the foods you buy. Unfortunately, in some countries, buying convenient foods is much cheaper than buying ingredients and preparing your meals at home. However, convenient foods are there for their convenience, and 99% of the time, they aren’t healthy.
When choosing foods that are quality and nutritious, you ensure your body functions properly and optimally. Eating lots of processed meals only leaves you feeling lethargic and moody after that glorious sugar high has passed. Plus, unhealthy foods that are high in saturated and trans fats and sugar contribute to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other inflammatory conditions.
Have you ever indulged in a quality meal or piece of artisan dark chocolate? Remember how you savored each bite and ate mindfully so you can fully appreciate the yumminess?
Quality food helps you savor every bite, and it’s good for your mind and body. Gorging on a bag of M&Ms just leaves you over full and feeling sick. You can have M&Ms – just savor them, and remember to eat in moderation.
Reason 3. Time and Energy Saver
You may have a higher investment in time and energy when looking for quality in your life. However, just as choosing quality helps you save money, so too can it help you save time and energy – in the long run.
You’ll save time and energy because you won’t need to replace items, and when you live more minimalist, you have fewer items to worry about, clean, and take care of.
Moreover, you aren’t wasting time following all the latest trends and buying all the newest gadgets. Instead, you can spend time on the things you love.
Remember, your time is precious, and you don’t actually pay for things with money – you pay with your time (or the hours you have available in your life).
Reason 4. Feel Happier
When you select quality over quantity, you will also be happier. We always think if we have more money, more friends, and more possessions in life that we’ll be happier. Research found that more doesn’t make you happier. In fact, you only want more, thinking that more than you currently have will lead to happiness. But it never does.
Eating a good, delicious, and nutrition-dense meal is better for your health (yes, I know, I covered this, but I want to add here), and it also satisfies your mind, body, and soul. The result is a happier you.
The same can be said when you have quality and safe people in your life. They are precious, and they love you without judgment. They support you unconditionally and always want the best for you. Quality people in your life equal happiness.
And yeah, I get it. It feels great having hundreds or thousands of people liking and commenting on your social media posts and statuses, but you aren’t an advertisement. It’s so much more satisfying to know your circle is there for you, through thick and thin, than having plenty more superficial and fake friendships and people in your life.
Reason 5. Less Stress and More Simplicity
Have you counted how many decisions you make in a day? I haven’t, but I was shocked to read that an average person makes at least 35,000 decisions a day. Every thought, every action, every word is a choice. It’s staggering to think how busy your mind must be with decision-making and everything else every day.
All the many decisions we make, plus then we expose ourselves to wanting more choices (which equals more decisions), leads to decision fatigue.
And this is why many CEOs and people in powerful positions try to reduce how many decisions they make in a day. They ensure the little stuff like what they wear is as minimalist and high quality as possible so they can focus on the big and what’s actually important stuff.
For example, former president Barack Obama only wears blue or gray shirts. Getting dressed is super-duper easy if you only have a choice between a few, classic outfits. And it’s the same with certain celebrities who eat the same lunch every day. One decision fewer to make.
So you can see how choosing quality and having fewer decisions, options, and things lead to less stress and more simplicity in your life. An abundance of people, choices, tasks, obligations, and things only result in overwhelm, while being more selective results in a more valuable life with less clutter and less worry.
Reason 6. Support Sustainability and Greenness
Since quality items that you take good care of last longer, you are supporting sustainability and being eco-friendly in a way. Fewer replacements mean the items are less of an environmental burden compared to low-quality items you throw away because it breaks or it’s served its short-lived purpose.
Imagine how much more of an impact you can have when you choose quality products that are ethically sourced and eco-friendly?
Reason 7. Care More and Forster Memories
When you intentionally choose quality over quantity, you’ll care more. The activities you do are carefully chosen, the connections you’ve built with your inner circle are that much more valuable, and paying more for items means you need to care better for them.
When you care more about the things in your life you’ve selectively chosen, you are able to create memories. It’s difficult to remember every chocolate you’ve eaten, every item you’ve purchased, and every person who's crossed your path, so when you are choosy about quality and don’t go for everything that’s mass-produced, you’ll remember better.
I remember the gold, silver, and diamond watch I got for my 9th birthday, and I remember the international vacations I’ve had. I also take care of my high quality PC and everything I own. Do you?
Reason 8. Improves Your Relationships and Interactions
Quality vs quantity also improves your relationships and your interactions. When you don’t have a thousand and one friends, you can develop more meaningful and deeper connections with the two or three authentic friends you have.
Let’s face it. Fostering quality, valuable, and lasting relationships with people takes time and energy, but it’s so worth it. I’d always choose to have quality people in my life rather than having many people in my life, and I’d do anything to keep safe people in my circle (provided they want to be there).
Reason 9. Reminds You to Be Grateful
Picking quality also reminds you to be grateful, and there are so many benefits to practicing gratitude in your life. Among other, gratitude helps you experience more positive emotions, build stronger relationships, and deal better with adversity, and it contributes to an overall sense of well-being.
Having more distracts you from being grateful; you only want the next shiny new thing and more and more. Having less but quality ensures you can practice being grateful and treasure everything in your life.
Reason 10. A Minimalist Approach
When you choose quality vs quantity, you may start to experience withdrawal from the trappings of a commercial life. As a result, you’d do well to look at the values of a stoic lifestyle, which favors a minimalist existence.
The focus becomes fixed on savoring each experience and every item in your home. Less becomes more in giving each item and each decision in your life its own space and energy to exist completely.
When you follow a stoic lifestyle, you will find less draw to purchase as you no longer try to fill the hole in your soul with mindless acquisitions. There is peace and fulfillment in living simply.
Final Thoughts on Quality over Quantity
Choosing quality doesn’t need to be challenging. You simply need to slow down and think about what adds value and good to your life. Next, decide what makes something considered to be quality within a certain price or product range. Then, mindfully make a conscious decision to choose quality and not be distracted by shiny, new, trendy and more.
As we touched upon, the battle of quality over quantity isn’t just about materialism and objects… it can also be applied when choosing the right people to interact and cohabitate with in life. Your time is precious and worthy of quality time with those who reciprocate your feelings.
Still curious about quality and quantity, and ready to learn more? Then check out our 5 key lessons on what does quality over quantity actually mean.