YouTube: https://youtube.com/watch?v=nAJ2tTHzGv0
Previous: SUIT UP! A Very Fancy Reunion Video (Pizzamas Day 8)
Next: On Mental Illness (and the end of Pizzamas)

Categories

Statistics

View count:298,926
Likes:13,256
Dislikes:144
Comments:877
Duration:03:58
Uploaded:2015-11-19
Last sync:2019-06-12 23:50
FINAL DAYS http://store.dftba.com/collections/pizzamas

I'm not sure if I really got to the point I was trying to get to in this video...I had to cut a good bit out to fit it into four minutes. But I guess I feel like when people compliment me on my success they are putting me inside of a certain worldview that I don't believe in, but that is seen as universal by them.

What I think is important is financial and social security. But being perceived by society as important is a really weird thing to base "success" on because it is necessarily something that only a small percentage of the population can have. Not because people don't have the important skills and talents, and not because they aren't dedicated and amazing and helpful, but because it comes down to the distribution of finite resources.

Whether those resources are money or the control of others or the attention of others, basing a person's value on the unequal distribution of those resources is a bad idea and I don't want to be a part of that system, or a part of the way that people justify it to themselves or to society.

If I am successful, it is because I have accomplished many of the things I have set out to accomplish and those things have had positive impacts on people's lives. I am certainly not unique or special in having done that...in fact, I would say, the vast majority of people are successes when that definition is used, which is a thing that I truly believe. I think most people die successful, and I think imagining a world in which success is some kind of rare commodity is wrong.


----
Subscribe to our newsletter! http://nerdfighteria.com/newsletter/
And join the community at http://nerdfighteria.com http://effyeahnerdfighters.com
Help transcribe videos - http://nerdfighteria.info
John's twitter - http://twitter.com/johngreen
John's tumblr - http://fishingboatproceeds.tumblr.com
Hank's twitter - http://twitter.com/hankgreen
Hank's tumblr - http://edwardspoonhands.tumblr.com
Good morning John, it's my last Pizzamas video, it went so fast!
Though it was a very long couple of weeks, it had happy times and sad times and reunion videos and charity galas and now I'm in New Hampshire visiting family and I wanna be clear that this is an unusual level of weird

However, I would be lying if I said that me life hasn't gotten really weird and really cool and really wonderful and really complicated over the last eight or nine years of us making Vlogbrothers videos. My life is not normal uh I don't think anyone's lives are normal but my life is clearly not normal, and I am a number of things that I was not  back in 2006. I am professionally respected and uh fairly well known and thus one might say that I am a success.

Ever since people have started to say this to me like, "what's it like to be successful," or "congratulations on your success," I have felt really weird about it like troubled by it. And I was having a hard time figuring out exactly why I was feeling this way like is it modesty? Is it false modesty? Maybe a bit of both of those.

But after thinking about this for awhile here's what it actually is. I feel like when someone says congratulations on your success they're putting you into a category of people that is extremely difficult to achieve. Not only a very small percentage of humans could ever achieve, and then saying that that is a thing that all people should strive for. Despite the fact that the only way something like this can happen to you is you happen to stumble across a great big pile of steaming luck and then fall into it and get it stuck all over your body, just like "I can't get this luck off of me."

Like there isn't enough space in human brains for everyone to be known by a large number of people. And that's what fame is, weirdly, it's just the ability to have your face recognized by a larger than average number of people. Yeah.

Look, I'm very happy. I'm a happy person, but I was happy before I was successful, like I was happy in 2006. I had great friends and great family and I was working on interesting projects and I had learned a lot of things and I was excited to learn more.

And I don't think that most people would even argue that success is a necessary part of happiness, but I think we do conflate those two things. And whenever I'm told that I'm successful, I worry about what that word means to the person saying it and what it means to society. Like, does it mean "achieving the things you want to achieve" which is the good definition, like "I want to do things and then I did do those things and thus I am a success, I have succeeded?" Or is it achieving something that most people implicitly cannot achieve, it is impossible for most people to have because it's based on the scarcity of resources, it's based on the fact that not everyone can be famous, it's based on the fact that not everyone can be in the top 20% of income. Is being successful being richer or more powerful or more well known than "most people".

That kind of societally recognized, implicit success is something that I think we all crave, and it's something that I have, to some extent, but I don't think it's something that I need to feel valued and valuable, and it's not something that I...It's definitely not something that I need to feel happy.  

I think that it is very societally important that we figure out ways to value ourselves and value each other, that don't have anything to do with scarcity.  You know, the scarcity of money, the scarcity of fame, the scarcity of power even.  I would much rather be, and much rather associate myself with, the kind of people who want to have positive impacts on a small number of people, than to collect a great deal of wealth and power, even at the expense of other people.

So John, as I finish off my final Pizzamas video of 2015, I don't know what success is.  I still don't. I know what successes are, individual things, but the acquisition of success and being a success, I think that's kind of a made up thing.

But I am very grateful.  What I'm grateful for is having great friends and great family and a great community who make me feel valued, who make me question myself and question my beliefs and challenge me to do interesting and difficult things, and to become a better person.  

John, I'll see you on Tuesday. Or no, Friday, I'll see you tomorrow.

Which means, yes, we only have one day of Pizzamas, one day left to get the shirts and the other products at DFTBA.com 

And thank you to everybody for a really great Pizzamas.