The One Thing All Humans Want

This photo has the most likes on my Instagram.


YES! I feel great. I made it over 100.

Look at my numbers going up on YouTube. I’m kind of a big deal.


1000’s of people are watching my videos, this is incredible! It’s hard not to be ecstatic about those pretty little green arrows.

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29 people LOVE my Tweet! 7 people even shared it with their followers! Even more people get to see what I have to say!

Did I forget to tell you about the million answer views I just crossed on Quora? That felt incredible. I finally made it.

How about the claps on my latest Medium story? The claps mean the most to me.


All the likes, retweets, applause, sure it feels great. Little hits of dopamine here there and everywhere. It’s like a playing a slot machine with infinite spins. But they’re not what keep me going.

The numbers are fun to watch, sometimes painful to watch, but mostly fun. They were designed to be like that. To keep us coming back.

Why else would I wake up every morning eager to check my email or see how many views my Quora answers got overnight? All of these systems play on one vital piece of human psychology.

The need to feel important.

The numbers don’t drive me. It’s what’s behind the numbers that drives me.

Everyone who read my article, who watched my video, who listened to my podcast. Even If I’ve never met them, I feel like I have. I know this because that’s how I feel when I watch someone else's video or read their writing.

When I know there’s someone on the other end of my creations, I feel important. I feel like a superhero.

After I’ve hit publish on a piece of work, I can do anything. I could climb a building or punch an asteroid away from Earth.

I’ve put a bit of my soul or whatever it is inside me out to the universe.


There isn’t one person I’ve ever met who doesn’t like feeling important.

Do you want to know something beautiful? When you make someone else feel important, it often rubs off on you. DOUBLE WIN!

If you can make yourself feel important and not rely so much on external influences such as likes, subscriber counts and views, you win. I’m still trying to get better at this.

I’m selfish. Most of my works start off being for myself. Sitting here alone with my thoughts typing out answers like these or making YouTube videos makes me feel important. Putting words on a page or seeing myself talk on a screen helps me decipher what my role is in the Netflix special of my life.


Have you ever stopped to think about how much more likely the store clerk is to help you out if you stopped to ask them about their day?

I asked Ashlee how her day was going. She tried to speak but she couldn’t. It was like she had forgotten how to talk. She had been so used to taking coffee orders and then moving onto the next customer. She apologised, “I’m not used to other people asking me how my day is.” You can imagine the service I received after that simple gesture. DOUBLE WIN!


I didn’t know what Ashlee’s name was when I asked her how her day was. After small talk, I asked her name.

I had to remind myself three times what it was. “All the tricks, Ashlee Smashlee, Ashlee in a Tree, Ashlee likes Coffee” I recited over and over. I still forgot her name.

When we finished talking, I quickly took out my second brain and typed her name into my names note. I have a note with names of people I’ve met and could potentially meet in the future.

Names are a very simple way to make someone feel important. How many times do you think Ashlee hears, “Hey, how’s it going?” versus “Hey Ashlee, how’s your day?” The small things are the big things.

Have you ever been walking through a crowd of people with dozens of conversations going on at once and yet you’re still able to hear someone in distance calling your name clear as day?

“A person’s name is the sweetest sound they can ever hear.” - Dale Carnegie

Make someone feel important, remember their name.


I’m sweating now. It’s so hot where I live, the rain made it worse. I didn’t even notice until a bead of sweat hit the desk in front of me.

I’m lucky. I’ve found what makes me feel important. Creating, writing, helping others. It makes me feel so important it puts me in a trance and I end up sitting in a pile of my own sweat.

What makes you feel important? What makes you end up sitting in a pile of your own sweat like me?

Even better…

How can you make others feel important? DOUBLE WIN!

I need a shower.