I have never been into vloggers or vlogging as a lifestyle or form of art. I never really understood its appeal, at least not until recently.
I have always appreciated blogging, mainly because of my keen and biased interest in reading. But vlogging or video logging had never entered my realm of influence or attention.
But the pandemic changed all of that.
At some stage during the forever of the pandemic, I became addicted to Youtube. And that’s putting it mildly. The platform I once used sporadically for its unquenching tap of informative and free videos became the platform I used for most of my entertainment and experiences.
I could summarize 2020 and the first half of 2021 as the years I watched other people live their lives on Youtube. The obsession began with travel videos in a quest to service my yearning to explore the world. I followed Youtube travelers and let them enchant me with their wild adventures of the past and present.
I watched Yes Theory and longed to join them on their traveling adventures of discomfort.
I followed Drew Binsky on his quest to visit every country in the world.
I rewatched every Anthony Bourdain episode available on the platform.
I subscribed to countless other Youtubers and reveled in their traveling experiences.
Eventually, the all-knowing, omniscient algorithm waved its composing hands and recommended a Casey Neistat video. I clicked; I watched; I got addicted; It changed my life.
Casey Neistat changed my life
Ok, that might be a hyperbolic overstatement.
But to state that a Youtube vlogger has influenced my mindset tremendously over the last few months is nothing short of astonishing.
Casey Neistat is doing that. His vlogs are old; 2015-2017, and I am behind the curve on this one. But I find constant inspiration in his daily stories and his message. Something has clicked, either because his message is so strong or because I am so desperate for real-life experiences. Nevertheless, I want to share.
Casey Neistat is the prototypical rags-to-riches story we all want to hear. (My info comes predominantly from what he has shared personally in his vlogs) He had a son Owen at 17 and quit high school. He lived in a trailer park with his family for years. He struggled to find jobs and earn money as a youth. He chanced his welfare and wellbeing by moving to New York, away from his family, to make a living as a filmmaker. He lived in shared housing with strangers and friends and saved just enough to return home to visit his family on weekends.
He spent 15 years working his tail off to make videos.
#1 Reason I look up to Casey Neistat: Hard work always pays off
Casey demonstrates what all new creators need to realize. That one, hard work is not only a by-product of success but a requirement to achieving goals in any avenue of life. There are no shortcuts or fast tracks. We all need to grind.
Casey shows this by tracing back his life story in some of his videos. He often retraces his steps and demonstrates to the audience the hard work he required to reach a plateau of success in his life. He also grinds through his vlogs, pushing through tireless engagements and responsibilities while being consistent with the release of new episodes. In one of his videos, he says:
“Natural talents are highly overrated; its determination, determination, determination.”
I need to be more like Casey.
Whatever the path in front of me, I need to humble myself by imagining that the distance to success is at least five years. I should never cheat myself with the idea that shortcuts exist, that I am special and privileged in that regard. If someone is selling me the dream, that means it’s not worth holding onto in the first place.
The more you watch Casey in his daily vlogs, the clearer his determination appears. He has etched it into his working system with years of dedication.
#2 reason I look up to Casey Neistat: His Do More attitude
Despite already having achieved some success as a filmmaker in New York, Casey demonstrates his willingness to do even more than everyone else in his daily vlogs; he is willing to sacrifice even more for success. The motto – do more- is tattoed on his arm and relevant in his vlogging process.
In the vlog that helped catapult his YouTube fame, he wakes up nearly every morning to run, far before his wife, his kid, and much of the world is up. He works out of his office for what looks like a healthy chunk of time, returns home for family time, and then edits his daily videos into the late hours of the night. He repeats this pattern every single day.
He also mentions how he would spend countless hours editing his videos every day, initially taking him an hour per minute of editing time. He cut off social engagements completely, focusing solely on the life of his enterprise.
Do more is a simple formula, an easy strategy to follow. It is a feature that we can control; put in more work, get more positive results. Casey exemplifies this in his videos, almost to the extreme. And it is inspiring to watch.
#3 reason I look up to Casey Neistat: He is genuinely kind
His charismatic personality lights up the vlogs with an infusion of kindness and generosity to others. In his daily interactions, he greets strangers with politeness and compassion. It is refreshing to see.
Part of me wants to believe that good things generally happen to good people. Collaboration and communication are pillars in the world of success. The more people you know, the more you hold the potential to interact favorably with others.
Casey’s community is loyal, and he commits to spending time answering questions on the air while sharing valuable words of helpful wisdom. There is a tone in Casey’s voice and demeanor that elicits the impression that he wants you to be happy as well. Most happy people are like that.
My aim is not to promote vlogging or Youtube or to sell you on Casey Neistat. But the lessons I learned from watching his videos are valuable enough to share.
- Establish a goal and work as hard as possible to achieve it, then try working even harder than that.
- Do more than everybody else.
- Be polite, kind, and compassionate along the way.
Three simple values to subscribe to.
Yes, 2021 will go down as the year I watched other people live their lives on Youtube. But it isn’t as bad as it sounds. While I’m not planning to subscribe to a daily diet of personal vlogging anytime soon, I’m happy to rest on the notion that I was able to glean some good virtues along the way.
Do more; be better!