Avoiding the traps that diminish your quality of life

We can look at the work a person produces, the craftsmanship with which a house is built or the commitment made to a relationship and make personal declarations of how much “quality” we believe it has.

That’s often subjective because we all think differently and, therefore, judge (everything from employee performance to how a person dresses) from our unique perspectives.

Much the same as concluding that a project was either done perfectly or that it completely missed the mark is open for debate, there’s a lot of ambiguity around what “quality of life” really means.

And, just as you need a large base of knowledge in order to build a solid house, understanding how to achieve life satisfaction requires breaking down the components of what’s crucial.


Overall, life quality has a lot to do with life satisfaction but, unlike The Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” life isn’t always a catchy tune that we easily sing along with. Achieving fulfillment, happiness and peace of mind often takes work and discipline.

Many people are quite adept at navigating the sometimes rocky waters that include juggling home, family, career, volunteerism and social activities. The ability to manage multiple responsibilities may not be stress-inducing at all.

For many people, however, all that juggling may be negatively affecting that person’s general well-being, even though he or she isn’t even aware of the impact. Others may become overwhelmed very quickly, causing stress that sets a negative chain of events into motion.

In both cases, enjoyment of living is minimized.


Being aware that there will be times when you need help to work through challenges is a great first step in creating change.

Professionals, such as life coaches – very different from psychologists who are equipped to work on past issues or trauma – ask tough questions, hold you accountable and invite you to see things differently than from inside your usual box.

You determine your key strengths, set goals and create action plans that seek very specific results. There’s a synergy between a life coach and client that fosters growth through insight awareness and objectivity.

And, from a business perspective, coaches can help create satisfied employees, which in turn, helps the bottom line.


Women – especially those in the workplace – are particularly susceptible to managing (or attempting to manage) so much, that day-to-day living is affected significantly enough to diminish their quality of life.

Attempting to break through the less common, but still present, glass ceilings, thinking they can “do all and be all” and trying to juggle being seen as “too demanding” while still getting the job done are just some of the life quality diminishment traps that women fall into.

In a utopian world, the quality of life would be ideal for society as a whole, and each person in it.

We have a long way to go to even get close to that, but awareness, combined with understanding how to move forward, is the first step.



(1) WELL-BEING – The state of being satisfied with
the life you have.
(2) HEALTH – Mental, emotional and physical.
(3) FINANCIAL STABILITY – Although that determination differs by person, it generally describes the ability to provide shelter, food, clothing and health care for yourself and your family.
(4) FREEDOM TO VOICE OPINIONS – Including sharing your perspective on topics that may be controversial such as religion, politics, taxes or even climate control.
(5) EDUCATION – That broadens your experiences, opens doors and gives you the opportunity to embrace different views.
(6) ENJOYMENT OF LEISURE TIME – Which is often contrary to our “fill every moment with productivity” mindset.
(7) SELF-IDENTIFICATION – Understanding of who you are at the core, beyond your name, career and Social Security number.
(8) CREATIVE OUTLETS – Whether they are painting, dancing, listening to Mozart or walking on the beach.
(9) HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS – A fundamental need that requires nourishment and reciprocity.
(10) SERENITY – By living with intention and continually choosing your best life.

Kay McLane, owner of the Emmaus-based firm Kay McLane Design LLC (www.kaymclane.com), specializes in home staging, organization and interior design. She writes the blog Peace Full Home (peacefullhome.com), leads workshops on design, staging and life-enhancement, and can be reached at 610-966-9794.

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