I think a lot of bloggers have a love/hate relationship with their statistics. Although most of us know that at the end of the day the numbers are just, well, numbers, sometimes it can be easy to get caught up in the data WordPress shows us. I try not to measure the success of my blog by the numbers. I do, however, enjoy looking at my statistics — particularly at the search terms that led people to my blog.

In 2016, my second most popular post, which is my first most popular post so far in 2017, is “Why I Stopped Wishing at 11:11.” The post was actually published in January 2015, but it continues to get more views than most of my other blog posts. I wasn’t surprised to see that this post was one of my most popular because I often see search terms that would lead people directly to that post. Here is a small sampling from my 2016 statistics:

  • “How to make a wish at 11:11 come true”
  • “Do wishes come true at 11:11”
  • “Someone wished for 11:11 not to work”
  • “My 11:11 wish doesn’t work”
  • “My 11:11 wish came true”

All of these search results led to my blog post (if you searched one of those and it brought you to this post now, uh, sorry about that). In fact, I just Googled “Do 11:11 wishes work” and my blog post is the fifth search result that popped up. This is funny, considering that the post is literally me suggesting that instead of wishing at 11:11 you should make your wish come true on your own. But in the years since I wrote that post, I have often found myself staring at my clock, making a wish when those four numbers appear.

In that post, I wrote, “…you know what’s even more fun than making an 11:11 wish? Making it come true.” I still agree with this. But I’m beginning to think that if you acknowledge that your wish isn’t going to magically come true without hard work, there’s no harm in wishing anyways. Wishing at 11:11 forces you to self-reflect, if only for one minute. It makes you consider what you’d like to improve about your life, or about the world, and identify specific things to wish for. If you think of this wish as more of a goal, then you’ve just taken the first step towards achieving it by identifying a specific end goal to meet.

Of course, simply identifying a goal isn’t enough. If you wished to win the lottery, in order for this to happen you would still have to go out and buy a ticket (unless the odds are really in your favour and a friend buys you a ticket, or a scratch card falls out of the sky and lands at your feet). And for goals requiring more work to come true, you would have to work harder. The element of hope encased in 11:11 wishes is important too, though. Because you can identify a goal and work as hard as you want, but if you don’t believe in yourself, and if you’re not optimistic about your chances of success, your journey to success is going to be wrought with difficulty and self-doubt.

For some reason, I like to close my eyes when I wish at 11:11. Sometimes I open my eyes and the clock says 11:12. In these instances, I wonder whether or not my wishes are still “valid” — but then I remind myself that a wish made at any time of day is only as valid as the hard work you put in to achieve it. In my opinion hard work, hope, and optimism make a winning combination—  whether you wished at 11:11 or not.

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