Learning Curve: What I Learned Going Against the Grain of NekNomination

Since launching #TheNewNek video just 10 days ago, it’s been viewed over 25,000 times by people in over 110 countries. To say the least, it’s been a wild and amazing experience. People from all over have reached out to me, sharing their thoughts and stories and telling me how they’ve gone out and kept it going. It has been awesome to see how many people have been willing to stand up, many of which were never nominated, and use this an opportunity to do good. Simply put: the world needs more of this.

Having the opportunity to have conversations with a ton of different people over the past week, I’ve been able to learn a lot and wanted to share some of it:


1. People are awesome!

It’s simple: as a whole, people are awesome. If you don’t think so, you simply aren’t looking for the good in them. I don’t blame you, nowadays it’s so easy to get caught up in other’s faults and in the bad that goes on in this world, talk of it is everywhere, but what we end up missing when we get caught up in the bad, is all the good. We miss the fact that people are actually awesome, that they want to try and help each other out, and that every day people persevere through their struggles and come out on top. As a whole, are regularly improving and making are making good decisions.

Over the past week, it’s been simply amazing to see how many people have showed this to me over and over again. In my opinion, what we need to do is stop looking at what people aren’t and start looking at what they are. In life, we only get the choice to be a few things, so let’s start looking at people for what they are, and not for what they aren’t. If someone is not what you want them to be, that doesn’t make them a bad person, it just might mean they are not for you, in your life, right now. People are awesome. Give them opportunities to prove it!

And if you still don’t believe me, just do a quick Twitter search for #RAKnominations or Google any one of the “People Are Awesome” videos and you’ll have all the proof you need. 


2. Do things people care about, but only if you care about them too.

After a few days, I realized that part of the reason why the video was so successful was because other people cared about what I did and I made sure I found those people and showed them the video. That makes sense.

More importantly though, I realized it was successful because I cared about what I was doing and this came through in every aspect of it. Caring about what I did made it easy for me to stand behind it, start conversations about it and show it to anyone I thought should see it. Simply put, if you don’t care about what you’re doing, it makes doing that stuff a whole lot harder and that will shine through.


3. As a society, we tend to paint broad strokes.

Interestingly, one of the most common things I found was people throwing around the broad generalization about how bad a generation is because of this NekNomination thing, condemning a whole generation for the actions of a few. This needs to stop, not just in NekNominations, but in all areas. While it’s easier for us to generalize people, we end up writing off a lot of very good and talented people because of the actions of a few. In this case, only a small handful of people were involved in the NekNominations, so we shouldn’t generalize a whole sub-population because of it. However, it wasn't the same for the upside. When the NekNominations filled with good deeds came in, I found people often associated the good with only an individual, and not the group as a whole.


4. Going against the grain is always easier than it seems in the beginning

Before I launched my video, there were definitely fears of failure going through my head. Things like “what are my friends going to think when I don’t do the “cool” thing and drink” or “what if no one cares about what I created?”

The truth is, while these and other fears I had were real, the answers to them were inconsequential. Who cares of my friends don’t think what I’m doing is cool? I do. What if no one cares about or sees what I’ve created? Well if I don’t create it, no one will see it anyways.

The truth is doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will. Don’t let doubt kill something you want to do, just because you fear failure. The odds are you won’t. And even if you do, your life won’t be over.

The end.



And if you still haven’t seen the video, you can check it out below.

Julian DeSchutterComment