If you’re a long time reader, you’ll know that my site is all about maximizing your happiness, or quality of life.
You’ll also know that I recommend having a mission is a crucial part of long term happiness, as well as having yearly goals for your wealth, health, relationships and lifestyle – in that order. If you’re interested in exactly how to structure all the above, as well as my mission and yearly goals, feel free to check out my book: How To Get Organized.
With that said, I also think it’s important to have objective metrics to measure the quality of your life in comparison to other guys.
In the gym, if you want to look good, the smartest thing to do is model a guy who’s in shape, and aim to lift what he lifts. And in life, the same logic applies, if you want to be happier, the smartest thing to do is model a guy who’s living a high quality life.
From working with men since 2012, I’ve put together some metrics based on what I see from guys who are living well. With that said, I wanted to keep the metrics simple and basic, I’ll be working on advanced ones in the future. You can use mine, or add more specific categories that might be more useful for you to measure.
Lastly, remember these are just benchmarks to monitor with the end goal of living better. Don’t fall into the trap of judging yourself solely by your bank account, or how much you can lift in the gym.
If you’re 18-35, assuming you’re in good health, money should be your most important goal. How you do financially from 20-40 is going to make or break your financial future. And without money, it’s very hard to live the good life.
Also, to live well, I think it’s crucial to own your own business, so the metrics below are based on business ownership, not your income as an employee. Working a job and having a boss is not the way to consistent happiness.
I’ve also segmented the metrics into western world or the developing world, specifically where I live which is Southeast Asia, and about 1/3rd of the price of living in the west. Just make sure that if you choose to move to SEA, you have a solid savings account and a thriving business already. Don’t make the mistake many “digital nomads” make and move halfway across the world with little savings and no business.
Lastly, the dollar figures below might seem small to you if you’re used to reading entrepreneur-p*rn. But what we’re talking about is happiness, not stacking cash. To make tons of cash takes tons of work hours per day, which some guys might love, but for many guys, working 14 hour days will lower your quality of life.
A study of 450,000 Americans shows that the magic number for happiness and work/life balance is $75,000.
Business Income In The Western World
- Beginner: $30,000/year (even at a beginner’s level, having your own business is still worth being proud of)
- Intermediate: $60,000/year
- Advanced: $100,000/year
Business Income In The Developing World
- Beginner: 10,000/year (yes it is that cheap in SEA)
- Intermediate: $20,000/year
- Advanced: $33,000/year (this is more than a doctor makes in Chiang Mai)
There are a ton of metrics you can measure when it comes to health, but I chose the one that easiest to define, and the one that most affects your self esteem: your physical fitness, specifically how you look in the mirror. This is assuming you don’t have any major health problems, if you do, that should be the area that you monitor.
I define physical fitness, or how good you look by your Lean Body Mass (or LBM), which means how many lbs. of muscle you have on your frame, while still having a flat stomach. You can find more on your natural genetic potential and how to reach it here. You can also check out my minimalist strength training routine here.
- Beginner: 20 lbs. of LBM (possible within 1 year of solid training)
- Intermediate: 35 lbs. of LBM (possible within 2-3 years solid training)
- Advanced: 50 lbs. of LBM (possible within 3-5 years of solid training, but only possible as a natural if you have elite genetics, many guys will need drugs to hit 50 lbs. of LBM)
When it comes to relationships there are a ton of things to measure. Things like sexual market value, quality of your monogamous or non-monogamous relationships, or the amount of love and sex you have in your life.
There is a lot more to relationships with women than just racking up numbers, and I’m not a fan of racking up numbers just for the sake of it. It can be seen as kind of a shallow thing to measure. But if you’re not getting women, it’s a big deal.
Now, not everyone can live the player lifestyle but if you’re willing to put in the work, you can have a lot more lifetime partners than the average guy, who has sex with 4-6 women in his life.
(An easy alternative to lay count is your sexual market value, if you want to measure that instead)
- Beginner: 10 lays
- Intermediate: 25 lays
- Advanced: 50 lays
Lifestyle is the hardest category to measure. For me the important things are sunlight, low stress, fulfilling work, being organized, getting up early and exercising. All of these things are difficult to measure though. So I chose a broad metric, which is vague, but something I measure on a daily basis.
It’s also a good metric to manage because it’s the basis for everything we do: happiness. I try and keep an eye on my daily happiness, to make sure I’m living the life I want to be living. I’ll accept a dip in happiness if I’m working on a big project, or have a lot of boring sh*t to do, but overall I want to be relatively happy every day. And as I get better at state control, I want to become extraordinarily happy every day.
The one thing I never accept is falling into depression. Depressive states can be managed and even avoided if you’re willing to put in the work.
Lastly, you’ll notice I don’t have a metric for 100% happiness every day. I believe you can be consistently happy every day, and occasionally have moments of pure ecstasy and joy and bliss. But unless you’re an enlightened being, living in 24/7 continual bliss is not possible in my opinion.
- Beginner: 50% happy every day (means feeling average but not depressed)
- Intermediate: 65% happy every day (above average levels of happiness)
- Advanced: 80% happy every day (Tony Robbins levels of happiness)
Hopefully this article has given you a good set of metrics to work with in terms of measuring your quality of life. Just keep in mind that metrics are just measurements, and the end game is to use the metrics to live better, not live for the metrics. Also, there are many other metrics to measure, I’ll be working on more advanced metrics in the future, and if you have any, please let me know in the comments or in the comments on my YouTube channel.