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What do you do when you've started the thing, but then maybe the thing isn't so great anymore? Is it stubborn to keep going? Or is quitting just giving up?

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Good Morning John,

If your life is anything like mine, there’s going to be a time in it when you decide to do a thing. And at first, you’ll love the thing. It’s an amazing thing! The greatness of the thing is so inspiring, it fills your tank so much that you’ll hit the ground running and then for weeks, even months, and during that time you’ll never even question its greatness.

But then, maybe a couple of the things that made the idea so great feel a little less great now. Maybe some of the initial fuel that was fueling you runs out. Maybe the world changes in TOTALLY UNNECESSARY and ridiculously annoying ways that make you feel less enthusiastic about it.

[screenshot of article about upcoming Smash Mouth concert, with quote 'F That COVID S !!!']

And then you have to decide, maybe even once you’re three quarters of the way through the project, whether you want to keep going. Like you’re still doing it, the default state is to keep doing it. So it’s hard to stop. But it seems at this point a little onerous. Like you’re not that excited about it anymore.

Maybe you’ll say, ok let’s just stop. Or maybe you’ll say “ I don’t care if this isn’t fun anymore. I decided to do a thing and I am ding-dong gonna do it. And that’s not, like good...that’s not stick-to-itiveness, that’s not perseverance, it’s just stubbornness. It’s simply saying, “WORLD I DON’T CARE IF YOU DON’T WANT ME TO DO THIS, I DON’T CARE IF NOBODY LIKES THIS, I DON’T CARE IF IT’S NOT A GOOD. IDEA ANYMORE! I SAID I WAS GOING TO DO THIS THING AND YOU CAN BURN DOWN AROUND ME BUT I AM GOING TO KEEP HIKING UP THIS HILL! EVEN THOUGH IT’S HOT, EVEN THOUGH I DON’T LIKE IT, EVEN. THOUGH I DON’T KNOW WHY I STARTED IN THE FIRST PLACE. OR WHAT I’M GONNA SEE WHEN I GET UP THERE!"

But then, even when you’re being driven by pure stubbornness, and not any kind of relentless fortitude, not the hustle that everyone says you need these days, but just because you said you were going to do it then, maybe you find something! You find something new, something interesting! Something inspiring! You learn something about yourself!

Even if you should have given up long ago, you find some insight, or the world changes again and the idea becomes good! And then you’ll be like, “See! I did it! I was relentless! I stuck with it and it was worth it! I knew it, even though everyone told me to quit!”

Except it wasn’t your genius, it wasn’t your relentlessness, it was just that you were stubborn and you got lucky. Because it’s just as likely, maybe even more so, that the sprint you started out on, but that the world screamed to you, day after day, week after week, isn’t really working is only going to get more sticky and laborious as time goes on.

And then the people who are watching you publicly subject yourself to this foolhardy task will shake their heads and say, “What are they doing? What are they doing?!” And the only response that you have, the only honest response anyway, is “I SAID I WAS GOING TO DO IT! I started doing the thing, and I can’t stop!” And once I have done it, at least I will have done it! And that will be something. It’ll be something.

What’s the right thing to do in a situation like that? Don’t come to me because my answer is do it! Just do it! And just keep going until you’re done as long as there is an end date, as long as it’s in sight, keep going! Even if it makes no sense!

Even if you don’t really like it anymore you never know what you’re gonna learn out there. You never know what you’re gonna see. And at the end, at least you will have done it.

Anyway John, that’s just something I’ve been thinking about...not really applicable to anything in my life right now, but certainly something I’ve been through before. Maybe it’ll be helpful to you or somebody else watching.

Good news! The second episode of Bizarre Beasts if you’re missing that here on Vlogbrothers is up on the Youtube channel. It’s hosted by Sarah Suta and it’s about the hoatzin, which is one of my favorite birds.

Also, Orin’s favorite Youtube show, SciShow Kids is coming back! You can find it at with hundreds of episodes we’ve already uploaded, but new ones will start going live on Monday.

And finally, James from Journey to the Microcosmos just got a new microscope and it’s so beautiful, it made me cry. John, I’ll see you on Tuesday.