Peter 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.”
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.
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.