My Influences Part 5: John Green

John Green is a man that wears a lot of hats.  He's a writer, he launched the Project for Awesome, he vlogs on Youtube with great success, he cranks out educational and entertaining videos on literature and history, and he's a family man. 

John Green is unique among my influences because while he is an author and I am as well, it's not his writing or his books, specifically, that inspire me.

John and his brother Hank are part of a larger community called "Nerdfighteria," a subculture that grew up around their youtube videos as they inspired others to action.  Today they raise millions for charity with the expressed mission statement of "reducing world suck."

John inspires me because he is so passionate in everything he does.  Whether he's changing the world with his Project for Awesome drives, teaching those young and old about contemporary issues, playing EA Sports FIFA (go Wimbly Womblys!) or just interacting with his kid about what they'll be doing that day, it couldn't be more clear that John Green simply loves life and wants to make the most of it.

In years past I spent a lot of time doing things I didn't really care about.  No one can be one hundred percent efficient, but I was really bad.  I habitually procrastinated, and often found myself playing video games, watching TV, or just goofing off instead of doing the things that would really make me happy as a person.   That's slowly changed as I've gotten older, and I can say without hesitation that I am a much better, much more full person than I was ten years ago.  John Green serves as a potent reminder of the life you can live if you spend your time well. 

It's made my writing better as I approach it with more passion.  Hell, it's made all of me better as I approach everything with more passion.  I don't want to paint Green as some sort of superhuman role model, but he's taught me one very important lesson that I've always known but often forgotten:  Spend your time doing the things you love, and don't forget to be awesome.