13 Lessons From Chase Jarvis
Chase Jarvis is a photographer, director, artist, and entrepreneur based in Seattle, Washington. Having traveled to many distant places, and created a lot of photographs and films, it is Chase’s life’s goal to be as creative as possible towards everything he endeavors.
I have been personally taking inspiration from his work for a little over one year now. With multiple books, a shit-load of YouTube videos, an enriched blog, and a company called CreativeLive, the body of work that Chase Jarvis has created in his life will take me more than a decade to go through everything and imbibe everything that he has set out to teach.
Lessons from Chase Jarvis:
1. Stop Chasing The New.
“Starters can put years, even decades, of work into a creative practice and come away with nothing concrete, nothing done. Worse, all those unfinished projects linger in their minds, taking up creative bandwidth. Over time, many of the “new” ideas start to look like variations on the old ones, though usually this is more obvious to everyone else than it is to the struggling Starter, who is constantly reinventing the wheel instead of, you know, rolling anywhere. In this endless chase of the new, things start to get old.”
2. Your Life Has Two Big Arcs.
“Your life has two big arcs. The first is about acquisition; acquiring knowledge about yourself and the world—figuring out how to meet your own needs. What am I going to do to make a living? Will I get married? Buy a house? Have kids? The second arc is about contribution. You start thinking about how you can serve others and make a lasting impression on the world. We take, and then we give.”
3. Community Is The Lever To All Your Dreams.
“Creating something and putting it out there is just the beginning. Networking is like any relationship, and it’s a two way street. You need to engage, be thoughtful and contribute to the conversation — not just with your work, but in the community around you. That’s BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER you have something to say or some content you want to get in front of others. Community is a 24/7/365 thing.”
4. Keep Moving Inspite Of The Doubt.
“One of the most powerful understandings I’ve internalized over the past decade hosting this show is this: the world’s top performers, entrepreneurs, and creators often feel like they are imposters to their own lives. Operating at the edge of their ability and constantly failing forward comes with the challenge of overcoming self-doubt and imposter syndrome.
The good news? It’s normal to doubt yourself. Even in areas where I consider myself highly proficient, there are still moments in the unknown where I question whether I have what it takes to bring my vision into reality.
Remember, every creative effort contains the seeds of future success. Just like going to the gym, the more you train your emotional and mental strengths to endure the feeling of uncomfortable self-doubt and failure, the more you will persist in pursuing your dreams.”
5. You Are Never Truly Lost.
“The beauty of the path we walk is that no action is ever wasted—through all the twists and turns, you’re never truly lost no matter how far you’ve wandered. This is the nature of the creative process: It all matters. It’s all meaningful. The frustration, boredom, or resentment you might feel now is just your intuition’s way of telling you that there’s a turn up ahead.”
6. Make A Game-plan For Success.
“The game-plan will be different for everybody, but many of the pieces are universal.
First – figure out what’s keeping you from your goals. Literally. What obstacles – if you removed them – would have you standing at your goal? Figure those out and find solutions for each of those things that seem to be standing in your way.
Next, consider a mentor as part of your plan. Finding a mentor can be a gamechanger, providing you with another viewpoint on the challenges you face and offering you the wisdom of years of experience and lessons learned the hard way. And while you might think of a mentor as some kind of mythical figure rarely seen in the material plane, the truth is that mentors are all around us. Humans love to help each other– all you have to do is seek out a mentor, and have the courage to ask when one surfaces.”
7. Follow Your Inner Compass.
“Eventually I came to realize that a calling is just that: a whisper in the distance. Most of us don’t wake up one day and decide we were born to be a horse veterinarian or an opera singer. That’s a story we tell ourselves after the fact, once we’ve found ourselves wherever we happen to end up. No, a calling is an intuitive hint, a tug we experience when we’re doing something that feels right: This is awesome! I’m going to keep doing this and see where it takes me.”
8. Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable.
“Being uncomfortable isn’t usually fun. In fact, we’re probably more likely to try to avoid uncomfortable situations than actually run toward them. Yet, it is a valuable skill. Not only in dealing with adversity but giving us confidence and trust in ourselves to recover quickly from failure, manage our fears, and explore the unknown.”
9. Get Used To Hearing “No”.
“If you’re already a professional creator, then you know that you had to hear a lot of “no” for every “yes”. If you’re not yet a pro, or perhaps more importantly if you are a pro who enjoyed a taste of success, then hear this: Get Used To Hearing “No”.
Quite honestly, understanding this will be some of the best medicine you’ll ever take – because once you get it…you GET it, and it will be with you forever. The powerful result of taking this medicine TODAY is that the word NO will change from bumming you out to inspiring you and driving your actions to get to the next YES. As such, enjoy this tasty medicine.”
10. Focus On Small Accomplishments.
“When you feel like you’re running in place, not making progress, feeling overwhelmed becomes the norm.
Often we gloss over smaller accomplishments, focusing on grand milestones out in the distance. We are biologically wired to focus on the negative, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take control and flip the script. By celebrating small wins we begin to rewire our brains to recognize the progress we are making.”
11. Create before You Consume.
“Too many of us start our days consuming instead of creating: browsing the web, watching TV, whatever. We become audience members and critics. Our thoughts get sucked into what other people are doing, how well we’re doing it, and the response they’re getting from the world. This is super toxic and a surefire way to undermine your creative mindset. Creating before consuming is a seemingly minor shift that will have a profound effect on your daily outlook and creative capacity.”
12. Unexpressed Creativity Is Poisonous.
“Turning an idea in your head into a tangible reality is one of life’s great satisfactions, whether the end result is a story, a photograph, a meal, or a business. We’re born with a reservoir for doing this, a dense little chunk of creative plutonium. This reactor contains more than enough fuel to power our creativity for a lifetime. In fact, the more you use its power, the more of it is available to you. But, like plutonium, creativity is dangerous. All that energy has to go somewhere. It must be released through a regular creative practice. Bottled up, it can go critical, become toxic. Unexpressed, your creativity can poison your life.”
13. Everyone Is Creative.
“Being creative doesn’t mean quitting your day job, donning a beret, or moving to Paris. It doesn’t mean dressing differently or making a whole new set of “artsy” friends. It doesn’t mean trying on a persona or going through a phase. Forget everything you think you know about what it means to be a creator. Creativity is a natural, life-sustaining, human function that is essential to our health and well-being. It’s as natural as breathing.”
See the 30-Days-challenge here.