Saturday, December 28, 2013

By the Numbers

Much of our culture revolves around numbers. Social Security. Driver's License. Telephone. Bills. We can't function or apply for anything with the government without the proper numbers.

Our performance at our jobs is tied to numbers. How we're doing as authors, entertainers, artists--all tied to numbers. Every measure of achievement is based on numbers. The higher our numbers, the more successful we're perceived.

Except! Numbers can be manipulated. When we're assessing our personal success, we would do well to analyze exactly what the numbers mean.

For instance, I randomly chose one day to assess the number of hits I received on my blog. Depending on the particular service and report I chose to read, the numbers ranged from 6 to 137. The average was around 30. Now, I could look at that 137 and leap around ecstatically that so many people had read my blog. (Or at least clicked on it.)

I could sink in deep gloom and depression because only SIX people clicked on my blog. And convince myself that's probably the real number because people rarely comment on it wherever it shows up.

Or, I can sensibly use the numbers as a yardstick and get on with life. I always have to chuckle when folks post on social media about their ranking in this list or that list. The uncomfortable truth is this: the only numbers that actually count are those on your royalty check. The rest? They're just someone's manipulations to make things look better.

Numbers? Enjoy them...and then go back to work.



  1. Great take on numbers, Anny. So I'll add to your numbers by commenting. Hey! I'll be the first one to post! I'll be Number One!

    Happy New Year to you and House Hunk.

  2. And lets not forget how numbers are used regarding our physical selves!
    For women, a weight too low represents an eating disorder, one too high represents a lack of self-discipline. The number on the tags in our clothes dictates where we can shop and the selection available.
    For a man, six seems to be the number - six pack of abs, at least six feet tall, six figure income (sorry, not physical but still...)

  3. Forget the numbers. Weird time of year.