Nicholas Stahl

A Lesson On Hard Work Shankman Skyped into our MSU journalism class the other day to talk a bit about his life. He delved into many things, including his podcast Faster Than Normal, his life with ADHD, and some impactful lessons he has learned throughout his career. He is a successful entrepreneur and author who founded HARO and has written five books.

He was thorough, yet concise. He was animated, yet poised. The class was totally engaged and in awe of his brutal sincerity about his unique perspectives. He said many mindful things in our class that day, but one thing he said stuck out to me more than the rest.

“Hard work is glamorized nowadays. Go to bed. Get 8 hours of sleep. Eat a vegetable.”
Peter Shankman

Now you may be wondering why the featured photo for this article is an image of a man with a “DO MORE” tattoo on his arm. That is Casey Neistat. He is a Youtuber and vlogger who I have looked up to since I got into college.

Neistat has an incredible work ethic and is genuinely someone I have looked up to for inspiration in my recent years. I never miss a video he makes and have tried to live my life in the general same vein as he does– to live my life as fully and productively as possible.

Screen Shot 2018-02-28 at 10.24.20 PM

Above is a photo from one of Neistat’s videos called “Fat and Lazy.” This is Neistat’s day-to-day work schedule. When I first saw the video, I did consider myself fat and lazy. I, by no means, lived up to this harsh everyday regimen. I wanted to change and so I did.

For a long time, and admittedly sometimes still to this day, I thought this was the way to measure success. If I was constantly busy, losing sleep, and continually keeping on the grind of work and school — I was being successful.

After Shankman’s talk to our class, the quote I stated earlier resonated in my head for days. It came with a realization of myself and the things I put myself through.

I would miss family events, friend’s parties, and my own free time. I would let work get in the way of my personal relationships and, in doing so, they suffered.

I would glamorize and fantasize about being constantly busy and losing sleep because of it. I would even get into a habit where caffeine and a lack of sleep were the only ways to get any work done at all.

But then my thinking was restructured after Shankman’s talk. Shankman was a seriously successful guy, like Neistat, but didn’t have the same ideals to what “hard work” was and how it had to be done.

I don’t think there is a right and wrong way to work hard, but it was so alien and surprisingly refreshing to hear someone else’s different perspective on it.

For me, there should be a steady equilibrium between “Neistat’s hard work” and “Shankman’s hard work.” I do think both just require some effort.

Undoubtedly, I am still trying to find that equilibrium. I will continue by a quote that Joe Grimm of the JRN school at Michigan State told me one time, “Pour your heart into your work, but don’t let your work take your heart. Work is never going to love you like people will.”

I look forward to taking Shankman’s lessons and using them in my everyday life. I definitely do need to sleep more and eat more vegetables.


2 thoughts on “A Lesson On Hard Work

  1. Nick, I really enjoyed your post. I like how you used your own personal experiences and connected them to Peter Shankman and Casey Neistat. I feel like as college students we all go through a period of getting little to no sleep, constantly working (sometimes more than we are studying), etc. all while watching our lives pass us by. I used to be this same exact way. Sometimes you can’t help it because as college students we do get busy but majority of the time I feel like it can be avoided and that we sometimes hurt ourselves like this because we feel like since we’re in college this is the way to go- the only way- and that’s simply not the case. This is why time management should be stressed because it is possible to get everything done all while taking care of yourself; hard but nevertheless possible! I also really enjoyed the quotes that you used in your article because they really make you stop and think, like, “Wow I really am causing more harm to myself than I am good by not taking care of my body the way I should be by eating fruit/ vegetables and getting a full nights rest!” Great post Nick!


  2. Nick, Awesome analysis and breakdown hard work. That was very interesting how you looked at the idea of hard work and related it to your experiences and feelings. Also, I agree with you that the solution is in between both not just Peter or Neistat. It is important to be willing to sacrifices moments such as family events but it doesnt mean you have to sacrifice everything just to make it.


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