Forget About Quality, Think Quantity Instead


I had a message from her that night. She said; “We need to spend quality time together. That way, we could talk a lot and plan for our future.” I replied, “Quality is everything right? I will be there.”  We met. We tried to do so much within the little time we had together. I thought that was what quality time was about. Trying to do a lot of things within the little time available to you. We watched movies. We played together. We had time to make our plans, we danced a little and ate a lot of food. Very soon, I had to go.

Quality time spent. Three months later, she sent me another message. “It’s over.” She gave me a quality heartbreak.

I love to have quality things in my life. Everybody does. Quality is everything, well, except quality heartbreak. It saves you money and it saves you time. I want to be able to build something. I want to be able to bring things to life. Things that will last. Quality. When I started writing, I was scared of being judged. I was scared people will read my work and say, “That’s a very poor piece of writing.” So I spent forever on every piece of writing I had to do. I needed to produce a quality write up. That way, people will love me. People will come back for more. 

I wrote very little because a lot of time went into coming out with one piece of quality work. In the process of trying too hard to write quality content, I spent a lot of time on one thing and yet came out with a write-up that still lacks the quality I was obsessed with. I was judged anyway. Once I posted an article and someone commented, “same old thrash. Nothing new and a lot of time wasted to read this trash.”

That broke me. I thought I’ve invested a lot of time to produce such quality piece of work. So I responded, “I spent a lot of time writing this, you idiot.” That response only lived in my head. I couldn’t write it out. 

I met Simpson at a network program. That was 4 years ago. He told me he was an artist. And he told me he had a dream of becoming the best artist in Ghana. Usually, we all have dreams of becoming the best in what we do in the space that we occupy. Simpson had this dream too. I told him I was something too. Today I don’t remember what I told him I was but I remember I told him I was something.

That’s not important now. He invited me over one day to see his artworks. I went. If I had the will, I would have told him to give up. To give up drawing things because obviously, that didn’t look like his call. He had nothing on display that impressed me. I gave a fake smile and said, “Awesome. You are doing a lot of great stuff here.” Then he said, “I’m only a learner. I only have to create so many so I could learn and improve every day.”

He was right. “he had to create so many.” That’s what quantity is about. Out of quantity comes quality. We get better at our craft when we do it over and over again with learning intentions. When you focus on quality, you don’t give yourself the chance to make mistakes. Greater learning comes out of many mistakes. When you focus on coming out with one best thing, quality will elude you. You’ll get better at playing chess by doing it 100 times than spending hundred hours thinking about one best move.

It’s not about thinking or planning to do. It’s about doing. And doing it a lot.

Three months later, she left me. What we actually needed wasn’t a quality time together. We needed quantity of time together. Recently I met her and she said, “I felt like you didn’t know me enough, so I had to let go.” It doesn’t take quality time to know someone. It takes quantity time. Josh Turner said “I really think that quantity time with a person is really what strengthens a relationship. That’s when you really get to know somebody.” 

We were obsessed with quality so we lost ourselves. If we knew what we needed. If we knew we needed quantity instead of quality, we might have thrived. I would have known her and she would have known me better through quantity time.

James Altucher says “Things go wrong. This is why quantity is more important than quality at first. The learning curve that we all travel is not built by accomplishments. It’s only built by quantity.” 

This is how I see it;

I can’t become a better writer by thinking of quality, at first. It’s only through writing a lot (quantity) that quality will happen for me. Instead of spending a lot of time thinking of coming out with a kick-ass sort of write-up, I need to spend a lot of time writing a lot of stuff. All won’t be good. Hell, most of them might belong to the bin. But. But the learning process is everything. I get to learn from a lot of bad ones to be able to come out with one best on. That will be my quality.   

As I write this, I have a piece of art in front of me. Simpson gave it to me some months ago. How was he able to create something this perfect? I know the answer. And it’s only one word, “QUANTITY.” Out of his quantity came this one quality piece and he keeps doing quantity of things. That means more quality.

I’m here now, listening to Skyclad’s “Quantity Time” and thinking of what next to do. What I could do in quantity.  I registered for a dance course recently which runs until December. By December I will be a better dancer because I’m going to dance more. By December someone will see me bust a move and ask how I did it. For once, I will be a winner. Eventually, my quantity will connect me with quality, and all the stars will align in my favor. 


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