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In which Hank worries about whether our focus on individual accomplishments is self-destructive when the most joyful and fulfilling and impactful things don't look like "success."

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HANK: Good morning John; I love Tumblr text posts. As they rise to the top of the most massive slush pile in the history of the universe getting six or even seven figures of notes. Accumulating the endorsement of seemingly everyone they become almost objectively great. Like no one could argue with their greatness. And when I read them I usually agree. A nugget of insight, a fascinating explanation, a truly daring set of puns. 

Most text posts that break out into virality are the height of a form, a pretty weird form agreed, but I also like the Tumblr text post because, like all media, they say a lot about the culture that creates and honors and promotes them. And here's one that I came across quite a while ago that kinda stuck with me, “What I’m really terrified of is leading an average, ordinary life with a regular job and an invariable routine, planned holidays, an average household, fixed responsibilities and not doing anything different to be remembered by.”

This post has around half a million notes, and that makes me a little worried because John, as you have, for some reason, repeatedly driven home over and over again, probably because you struggle with this quite a lot yourself, oblivion is inevitable and someday there will be no one left to remember anything, let alone you or me. Being remembered forever is not a good goal because it is not an achievable goal. But if that argument doesn’t work for you, take a look at me. I am what people call successful, I've had more than my share of interesting life experiences. I've toured in a rock band, been written about in the New Yorker, helped raise over 2 million dollars for charity, Crash Course is watched in thousands of schools and I don’t know if you heard about this, but recently I interviewed the President.

So you might ask, when was it for me when I knew that I had made it? When was the moment when I had the success statue and I got to put it on this shelf right here next to Obi-Wan? Was it when I was first recognized in public or when we got one hundred thousand subscribers or a million subscribers or when I was first paying my bills with YouTube? Which day was it when I became perpetually satisfied and always happy? Yeah, it was none of the days. Here’s the thing about success, if you're smart enough and you're dedicated enough and lucky enough and sacrifice enough you too will get to find out that none of it exists. It’s made up. It’s just it’s not a real thing.

You get successes but you don’t get success. The whole of everything of it does not lie on that arbitrary yet remarkable thing that you did that everyone says, “Yes, that. That counts.” I've had those things and they do not bring long term satisfaction. The satisfaction? The joy? That comes from solving problems and making things. And often times the recognition isn’t even a necessary part of the process. So if I have any advice for the five-hundred-thousand people who either liked or reblogged that text post on Tumblr, here it is: instead of thinking about what you will and won’t accomplish in your life think about the problems that you have helped solve and you will help solve and the things that you're gonna help make and that you've already helped make.

I don’t think I am alone in feeling like the things that we help make and the problems we help solve, those are the things that really matter the things that actually effect the world and that actually make us happy. And maybe every person is unremarkable in that we all make things every day. We make happiness and we make families and we make sandwiches and most fantastically of all we make ourselves. John, I’ll see you on Tuesday.

End screen. And you know why we love video games so much? Because they give us clear defined problems to solve and value laden achievements to unlock and I love it which is why Games with Hank officially today is back with new series “Hank Green Plays The Sims.” 

And then of course you can adjust booby size to the beat of the music.

Meet Jimmy Carter, he is like ninety years old so let's go ahead and make him an old man. Oh good. Sul sul Jimmy Carter. I mean I guess we could give him emo hair. Hahaha. Oh no, no, what have I done! Ohhhhh God! You look great. You're in great shape Jimmy. Leader of the free world? That’s not a lifetime wish, Jimmy Carter. You already got to do that.