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MLA Full: "Doing the Hard(er) Thing (and some very bad news)." YouTube, uploaded by vlogbrothers, 12 February 2016,
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APA Full: vlogbrothers. (2016, February 12). Doing the Hard(er) Thing (and some very bad news) [Video]. YouTube.
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Chicago Full: vlogbrothers, "Doing the Hard(er) Thing (and some very bad news).", February 12, 2016, YouTube, 03:53,
Basically the thing that I didn't say in this video was...if I can't make myself get up an hour earlier in the morning even if that would make my life much better, how am I supposed to do all of the things that everyone says we need to do to live more morally. Especially when the number and intensity of those things we should be doing seems to constantly increase (along with the price of many of those things.)

Do we have an infinite amount of energy to intentionally make our lives a little less enjoyable for the common good, or is there a limitation there? Is that limitation only in my head? Probably, since I have a very easy life and yet still find it difficult to do relatively easy things. Yes, indeed, despite what I said in the video, there's definitely no "ice cream cake breaking point," but it is still hard to do the hard(er) thing.

Maybe there is no limit to the number of difficult things we each can do but, instead, a limit to the number of difficult things we can choose to do. Which is why taking choice out of the matter helps me do hard things much more efficiently.

I've talked about this a tiny bit elsewhere, but Lemon (my beautiful and ridiculous dog) is very sick. She has bone cancer and it has gotten worse fast. She's pretty uncomfortable now and every day is harder for her. She's beautiful and loving as ever, but she is in a lot of pain and it's very hard for her and us.

Thanks for all of your kind thoughts.

Greyhounds make wonderful companions and they are always in need of homes. If you would be interested in adopting a greyhound, I would highly recommend it. And if you'd like to donate to your local greyhound adoption center in Lemon's memory, we would love that. You can find local adoption centers here:

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Good morning, John. 

Katherine and I have been getting up at what I consider to be a sort of evil time of the day every morning for the last couple weeks and going on a walk. I find this to be wonderful. We get to talk about what's gonna happen today, what's buggin' us, it gives me time to think about big decisions or new ideas or just sing songs to myself or out loud, whatever.

Every morning there's a different song in my head, and I find this to be true all the time actually. P!nk, Rocky Horror, Lambchop, Matchbox 20 - always! There's always one there. Why is that? Why is my brain set up for there to always be a song in it? Just waiting for me to like check it and see like what is it right now? Oh, Bonnie Raitt! Let's give 'em something to talk about. 

Anyway, I really like doing this thing, it has made my life noticeably better, I'm less stressed out and the sun rises can be pretty great. But every morning when I get out of bed to put on my long underwear on and jump into the frigid pre-dawn Montana air, there's nothing in the world that I want to do more than get back into that warm, soft bed!

I live an amazingly pampered life. There are hundreds of people all around my town who will, for a small fee, make food for me and then clean up after me. There are several different holes in my house that hot water falls out of whenever I want it to. And for the last 8 years or so, I've had a job that allows me to get out of bed whenever I want, and so I have slept in the majority of those days.

But I have pretty good evidence that staying in bed does not actually make me happier or feel better. So every single morning, the question is pretty pressing. Do I do the thing that will make me happy right now, or the thing that will make me happier in the long term. Not even that long term really, we're talking like 20 minutes from now. And remarkably, it's really hard to do the thing that will make me happier 20 minutes from now and for the entire rest of the day because me now doesn't care about me 20 minutes from now! I just wanna get back in the bed! 

I've also been thinking about this ever since I made that video about vegetarianism and how I am not a vegetarian despite the fact that I should be and I know I should be. I've gotten a lot of messages saying, "Dude, suck it up! Dumbledore said it himself, you gotta choose between what is right and what is easy or something like that." And I feel you, vegetarians who were mostly very nice and sometimes not at all. 

I have no scientific evidence for this, but sometimes I feel like you can only do so many things you don't wanna do before you just accidentally eat a whole ice cream cake. I'm amazed by some people's ability to do hard things all day long forever. Particularly parents. I don't know how this happens, I'm amazed by you.

But it's hard to do the hard thing! That's why they call it the hard thing. And it's harder for some people to do the hard thing than others, and it's harder at some times than other times. Like I've been having sad times lately, despite the fact that there's gonna be new Harry Potter book and also we confirmed the existence of gravitational waves which are like 2 of the Hankiest good newses ever. I'm not even gonna talk about why I've been having sad times because it's too sad so I'm gonna put it in the description.

But I do know that what I should do are the things that help me do the hard thing more. Showing myself every morning that I'm happier because I did a thing I didn't wanna do. Working on my ability to consciously be having a positive effect on myself and also on the people in the world around me is really important, and I always wanna be driving toward that. But I also don't wanna hate myself when I mess up. And I have no tips for how to not do the easy thing in any given moment except to just do it, and not let your conscious mind get too caught up in that decision because man, it's good at rationalizing and being like "You know, you can go back to bed don't worry about it just I'll be-- you can get up in about 15 more minutes, by which I mean 2 AND A HALF HOURS!" 

Just jump into that cold pool of the thing you don't wanna do and if you can't, don't be too hard on yourself. John, I'll see you on Tuesday.