What’s Your Vice?

I have a theory that we all have a secret vice.

By that I mean that we have a secret desire for something bigger, and, if given the chance, we might do extraordinary things to achieve that vice. I don’t think “vice” has a positive connotation. Also, your vice can contradict your personality–a vice is something we want even if we know it wouldn’t be good for us.

I’ll tell you mine: I want to be famous.

One of my major dreams is to be a published, successful novelist. Part of the reason I want that is that I want to share my imagination with the world. But the secret, underlying motivation is that I want people to know my name, and I want people who already know my name to recognize it. I want to be famous enough that I’m asked to be on talk shows and that hundreds of people show up to hear me read and talk about my writing.

The thing is, I really do not like public speaking. I would be a mumbling mess on The Daily Show. And at the rate we’re going, there aren’t going to be any physical bookstores for people to browse and see my name on a book cover. Plus there’s all the other side effects of being a celebrity, but authors don’t have the same trouble that Hollywood stars do.

But I want it anyway. I want to be famous. That’s my vice.

If I could grant you one of the following, which would you choose?

  • Fame: You want people to know your name. You want magazines to print articles about you. You want to get bumped up to first class because the flight attendant recognizes your face. If the FBI came to you and said that they could stage it so you could make the final winning catch of the most-watched Super Bowl of all time, but you’d have to do it for free and you’d never play football again, you’d do it.
  • Money: You want to be able to buy anything and everything. You don’t want to have to think about whether or not you can afford something. If the FBI came to you tomorrow and said, “You have to be in the witness protection program from now on, but you have to lead a very quiet life on a private estate. We’ll give you $100 million dollars to spend on whatever you want,” you’d take the deal.
  • Power: You want to be in control. You were probably drawn to politics in high school. You want people to listen to you every time you speak. If the FBI came to you and said that they wanted to appoint you to a secret volunteer position in the presidential cabinet that would give you significant control over the direction of this country, you would do it.
  • Sex: You want people to desire you. You want to be irresistible to anyone and everyone. You want to be able to walk into a bar and turn every head in the place. If the FBI came to you tomorrow and said that you could spend the night–every night–with anyone in the world, you’d do it.
  • Love: You want to be beloved. You’re the type of person who wants everyone to like you, and you really struggle when someone doesn’t. You’d rather have a small group of completely smitten fans than a large group of followers who could just as easily boo you off the stage as they would applaud. If the FBI came to you tomorrow and said that they wanted to make you America’s next sweetheart (a role previously occupied by Sandra Bullock, Reese Witherspoon, and Julie Roberts), but no one would remember you even a year later, you’d do it. Edit thanks to Ariel: A better example for being beloved is Mother Theresa.

I have a feeling these intersect somehow with the Five Love Languages, but I’m not sure how yet.