“The purpose of life is a life of purpose.” Robert Byrne
Several months back when I wrote a post about performing for likes, Ab of the My Lovable Pest blog, made a comment that he had turned off notifications for when people like a post. I thought it was a pretty good suggestion so I modified the notifications on my own blog so that I don’t receive notifications when people click “like.”
It had a funny effect. At first, I really missed getting the emails that “[alias] liked your post and went on to say “They thought [post name] was pretty awesome.” Actually, they didn’t necessarily think it was awesome – they “liked” it. But more to the point, I had to go through the withdrawal of not getting those dopamine hits in my inbox.
Eventually I got used to it and it led me to focus more on the comments I was getting which was a far more meaningful experience of interaction around any particular topic whether it was something I wrote or I was commenting on something someone else wrote.
But then I started writing for the Pointless Overthinking blog. On Wednesdays, I publish a post on that blog with 27,404 followers. And the settings for that blog are tuned differently so that I do get the “likes” for that post, usually about 100/week.
That felt pretty great for the first few posts but then it morphed into a feeling of “what’s next?” A feeling that Harvard professor and social scientist Arthur Brooks describes as success addiction. We get to a new level and it feels pretty great – and then we adjust to that level and look to the next thing.
His cure for success addiction is to know our “why.” By being deeply rooted in our why, we can hope to get off the treadmill of looking for the next thing because we are grounded in our mission.
The why of my blogging has evolved over time. I’d say that I blog because it helps me process the depth and delight of my experience in life. I find something that I learn or see or feel in a day and by writing about it, I burn it in a little deeper. And when I talk about it with people through comments, I get the gift of seeing it through others’ eyes.
Puzzling through this helps me move through that “what’s next” blah because I remember that what’s next is another conversation with my delightful blogging friends.
(featured photo from Pexels)