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  • Javier Coronel

A question that never gets old, quality or quantity?

Updated: Aug 13, 2022

Do you prefer quality or quantity? I feel the answer to this question says a lot about a person as it's one of those questions that lives past the three-dimensions. How you choose to interpret the question is based purely off the lens that is your life.

I'm currently reading Atomic Habits and have reached the part where James Clear covers this very topic and I thought it would be interesting to write out my own thoughts so that it helps me better understand my own rationale and to potentially spark some inspiration in yours to do the same.

If I was asked this question I would say that it depends on the situation. For example, if I had a party where I could A. Give a 10 oz steak of average quality to each attendee or B. Give a 5 oz steak of the highest quality I would choose B and I'll tell you why. For this particular situation it's a party. An event I want to be memorable. You can have an average steak at any point in your life and you most likely don't remember any of them. Now imagine you're at a party where you're served this amazing food! Sure it most likely will not fill you up but it certainly adds to how much you'll value that memory when you look back.

Now for argument sake let me provide you with a situation I would go with option A. It's important to note that I'm doing this because I'm not married to my thoughts and appreciate viewing things from all sorts of different angles. I'm about to go on a trip that will involve a lot of outdoor activities and have the option to buy either one $50 shirt or I can buy five $10 shirts that will most likely not have a long life past this trip. In this case I would go with quantity. Why? It's an outdoor heavy trip! I would hate to have my high quality shirt get torn on a branch or completely get ruined whereas with the five I don't care what happens to them. Do you see what I mean now when I say it depends on the situation?

To be fully transparent this article has absolutely no purpose other than granting me the opportunity to express my inner thoughts aloud. In case you haven't caught on I also don't believe there is a right or wrong answer to this question.

The thing James Clear points out on why he appreciates quantity over quality when it comes to habit formation is that quantity allows you to act. It doesn't have you focus on the little details that in turn delay you from actually starting something. As a photographer I understand this logic. If I went on a scenic hike and focused on getting the "perfect" shot instead of being trigger heavy I believe I would be doing a disservice to myself. It's rare that I'll actually ever run out of space on my SD card for my camera so why should I be conservative with my photos? Quantity allows me to experiment with my perspective and creativity without worrying if any of the shots actually came out well. I have to agree with James Clear. The best way to start really is to just get into it. You can fix your errors along the way.

I guess all this is to say is to always do the best you can, but to also just start on whatever it is you want to do. Start that business. Write that book. Run that marathon.

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