Selfish and I know it

I see something grotesque every time I open WordPress:

It’s poppin’ at 8 in the morning

Now, it’s not the stats that I see. It’s my addiction to numbers.

This next paragraph was going to be about how I don’t care about the numbers. That I’ve entered Nirvana. That I’ve transcended my desire to raise these bars higher than the bars I set for my content.

But then I’d be lying.

I’m selfish. I like seeing the numbers go up. High numbers means I’m a better blogger, right? A more powerful, influential, smarter, sexier blogger. 100 views in a day is more prestigious than 75. But 175 is more prestigious than 100. And so on and so on.

I’ve tried creating a desktop link to WordPress’s editor. So far that hasn’t worked. But I have another solution, one that I’m applying to other areas of my life.

I know that I like seeing the numbers go up. And that means I can work around my own vice.

Knowing that I like seeing the numbers go up is like a cognitive rehab against my addiction to stats, bar graphs, and metrics.

So, the lesson I have for you today is this:

Knowing about your vices is one of the best ways to work around them.

The literature on self-control suggests as much. Hagger and colleagues write:

From “Trait Self-Control and Self-Discipline: Structure, Validity, and Invariance Across
2 National Groups”

In other words, design your environment around your vices.


P.S – I’m still addicted to Mammal Hands. Here’s a tune I had on loop while writing this.

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