Our quality of life is dependent on our outlook and what we value. Zig Ziglar, a famous author and motivational speaker, once said, “If standard of living is your number one objective, quality of life almost never improves. But if quality of life is your number one objective, standard of living invariably improves.”
Wise words from a very wise man. A lot of us think that just by improving our standard of living, we can improve our quality of life. Unfortunately, countless individuals who are successful and prosperous in life still feel empty and purposeless at the end of the day. While a better standard of living (usually associated with income) can improve your way of life, it is not a guarantee that your life will improve. Money runs out.
Quality of life talks about your happiness and fulfillment, your health and vitality, on top of your income and leisure. So what does one need to do to improve quality of life?
Smile. A lot.
Several studies have been made about how a smile lifts up a person’s countenance. In fact, studies show that those who were told to genuinely hold a Duchenne smile had significantly lower heart rates going through something stressful.
Try this every day for about 15 to 20 minutes. Even if you’re under palliative care services, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much a simple gesture can lighten up your mood.
Be grateful even for the little things.
An attitude of gratitude is healthy for your soul. It lets you see things from a glass-half-full point of view. You learn to find joy in the smallest and simplest of things.
This will require some effort on your part, especially if you’re not used to seeing positive things in different circumstances. You can start small. Get a notebook and start listing down things that you can be thankful for daily. It might be something as trivial as enjoying a cup of coffee-to-go or having 20/20 vision.
Step out of your comfort zone.
The moment you get comfortable, you become stagnant and stop growing. Challenge yourself daily and do things that somehow push you to your limits or, at the very least, take you out of your comfort zone.
It doesn’t have to be a big thing. It could just be something that you were never got to try out before either out of fear or disinterest.
Learn from people who are different from you.
Sometimes the best way to learn more and be more is to listen to what people have to say, including those who are different. Different doesn’t mean bad. You’re just… different. Learn to understand how they process things and why they believe what they believe in. Find out what their values are and what they value.
Doing so will give you a wider perspective on life. It will allow you to see things differently and realize that the world is a kaleidoscope of mostly beautiful but different worldviews. It enriches you and adds to your value as a person.
Look at life from the eyes of a child.
Children are brimming with innocence. Innocence is a gift a lot of us have either lost or taken for granted. If we want to recover some of it, we need only look at how a child sees the world. With awe and wonder. Always expectant of good things, eager to take on anything with youthful confidence.
Looking at life through the lens of a child gives you hope where there’s none — will make you see beauty amid the chaos and give you a renewed sense of purpose where only mediocrity and routine exist.
Work on making these part of your daily routine. Make a habit out of each one. It may take some getting used to but in the end, it will all be well worth it. May you find a renewed passion and purpose in life that will lead to happiness, contentment, and fulfillment.