Friday, March 25, 2016

There's Something About Casey Neistat

Casey Neistat is my career idol. He knows about hard work, but he knows how to make hard work look cool. I'm obsessed with this guy. 
Like a boss.
Neistat comes from a working class background, never graduated from high school, sort of looks like a bulldog, got kicked out of his parents' place at 15, and got dumped by his girlfriend after she had his baby when he was 17... (so a bit of a rough start to life)... but he moved to NYC at 19 and decided to become a filmmaker... no matter what. And now he is a YouTube god who gets half a million views on his videos within an hour of posting them. Today is his 35th birthday and the one-year anniversary of his daily vlog. How did he get to where he is?
  • Despite having no money, he got a joe job as a dishwasher and bike courier to support himself
  • Despite having no training, he figured out how to fix stuff and he's great at DIY jobs (and is extremely competent)
  • Despite having no resources, he taught himself to edit video on the first Apple DV
  • Despite having less than flawless genetics, he exercises every single damned day – runs, bikes, swims and works out – so he's got a killer body and can run a sub-three hour marathon (plus, with an awesome sense of style, like serious panache, and unlimited self-confidence, he's one sexy beast)
  • Despite getting dumped by his baby mama, he's now married and has a great relationship with his family
  • Despite his HBO show not doing well in 2010, he re-set his focus and started making movies, which just keep getting better
The guy takes great care of himself, works damned hard, and keeps trying new things. He never feels sorry for himself, and he has never sat around doing nothing. He doesn't let a lack of education stop him from doing great things. He keeps going, keeps amping up his creative output. He's willing to lose, to look like a fool, to be noticed in sometimes unflattering light. He's willing to be imperfect a lot. He does things his own way. And he's one of the best, if not, the best story-teller on YouTube. 

What can you and I learn from him?

We don't need fancy equipment or any more education or training. We just need to keep in motion, to keep doing things, keep trying, keep failing, and expect to keep failing and revel in the failing because that will mean we're making things happen, we're producing, not just passively consuming (Did someone say Netflix?) We need to stop worrying about money and just take any job to pay the bills while we pursue the work that drives us, that gets us excited, that we'd do if we were already rich and could do it just because it lights us up inside. We need to focus. We need to work hard. We need to take great care of our bodies so we have more energy for work, and so we have more self-confidence to try new things and put ourselves out there. We need to jump way outside of our comfort zones. We need to put the past behind us and just look to the future. We need to look for opportunities and grab onto them, no matter how small and insignificant or how big and intimidating they may seem. We need to DO MORE and we need to MAKE IT COUNT

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