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Creative Calling

Lesson 1 of 14


Chase Jarvis

Creative Calling

Chase Jarvis

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Lesson Info

1. Introduction

Lesson Info


Thank you. Wow. That's a good way to start the day right there. Thank you for saying all those nice things. That's the highlight. Really? Could have said she spilled coffee on his shirt this morning and he got a parking ticket yesterday and he hasn't brushed his teeth yet. But both those air true, the 3rd 1 is not. Thank you for saying all those nice things. I want to start off by saying who wants to start off today's presentation, Come to the front and draw me a picture. Okay. Exactly. Two hands went up in a room of 100 people, and this is one of the reasons that I wrote the book. Okay, so I'm gonna start off with this story, though, and it goes back. Gosh goes back to a long ways. It goes back to the summer between first and second grade. I just finished making my first film. It was called The Sons of Zorro. Not to be confused with the actual film called The Son of Zorro. This is completely different. Um, but here's what we had done. We had got together and washed cars around the nei...

ghborhood to earn enough money And then we bought film with that money. Eight millimeter film. We hired my friend's brother, Derek Trulsen Toby, a camera operator. We wrote a script we did are blocking and made props, and we had just completed this film, screened it in the neighborhood and made more money than we spent. My first time was profitable, thank you very much, which is more than most people can say these days. Even. And then So I'm rolling into second grade. Pumped right? I'm like, Yes, I had It was early in the second grade, I had released my comic strip, which I was publishing a weekly. My character's name was Clyde. He was somewhere between, like Garfield and the ghosts that chase you and Pac Man. Not a very pretty character, but I was releasing this thing weekly. I had a stand up comedy routine. I had a uh oh, I used to Yeah, so Stan come in Magic. So I had magic routines, and this is the number of the beginning of second grade. I'm rolling, and this announced the ice cream social and the parent student or a parent teacher conference. They pulled those things together, so the parents could meet with. And I happened to walk in the room When my mom is talking to Miss Cali, my second grade teacher. And Miss Kelley says, you know, Chase is so much better at sports than he is it art? And this is true story. And right now you may be thinking, Oh, poor a little eight year old. Like what? A crushed little soul. But the reality is that I wasn't crushed it all because as social animals and as a small child, I just wanted to fit in. So I didn't hear the part. That was like, You're terrible this I just said, Oh, I'm better at sports. OK, great. Then starting today, then I'm gonna pursue sports. And Miss Kelly didn't actually mean bad, right? She wasn't trying to hurt me. She was tryingto help me as so many people in our lives are. But what she didn't know was that moment changed my life. And it actually it turned out okay, right, Because I started pursuing that and I went on, I got a ah soccer scholarship, paid for my college. I was on the Olympic development Team and it wasn't until my grandfather dropped out of a heart attack completely unannounced one week before my college graduation that I took this into focus again, and that was very traumatic. The silver lining, though, was that I was given his cameras, and it was with those cameras and a little bit of money that I was given from his passing that I took off to Europe with my then girlfriend. Now wife Kate and I taught myself how to be a photographer. I realized that I had denied that part of me for real. I mean, how long is that? That's, you know, 10 something years that completely ignored this creative capacity that I had inside it. So this is this jumping off point today. It's gonna be rather informal. I'm an informal speaker. I want to hear from you. But I also want to share with you what I've learned from a decade or more here creativelive and a lifetime in the trenches as a creator and an entrepreneur. And I want you to know that this book in this class and me, I've made nearly every mistake that you could make. I got 10 years or more, 15 years off track I was more than $100,000 in student debt by chasing the dreams and everyone else had for me. But what that did is it made me stronger. It gave me the ability to write this book and in part create creativelive and also the part that allows me to be here with you today, sharing just a little bit of knowledge. And don't be ready for this, cause it's not just going this way. I'm gonna get some some stuff from you guys today, too. I might even have a few guests up here, and I want to make sure you know that I will take questions throughout the course, the broadcast. So now that you know a little bit about me, I want to cover. I want to tell you what we're gonna cover today in the class. So I feel like, um, we have a set of blockers in our culture. We get people who love us very much and care for us like Miss Kelly, right? Like our parents like our career counselors, like our bosses and our peers, who do everything they can to help us succeed in life, but often what they do is they give us terrible advice. Anybody here ever been told that pursuing their creative calling in life is crazy? Naive? Okay, Uh, whimsical, Playful. Okay, we've all heard these words before, but the reality is And what I want to underscore today is that pursuing creativity and listening to that calling who we are inside is arguably the most practical thing that you can do. Because what is creativity if it's not the ability to put two things together anything and make something new and useful? I think culture assigns creativity equals art. But that's not the case. Creativity. Art is a subset of creativity. Creativity is the thing that separates us from every other species on the planet. The fact that we can create right now we're creating, we're co creating this moment. You created your morning. You decided what to put on. You decided how you were going to travel to get here. Today all that is creativity. And yet we're led to believe this is just a nice to have. I'd hate to see it. If there were no creatively, what would what would life be like would be very, very different. So today we're gonna cover this big idea that actually, there's sort of three ideas I want to go through. One is going to make sure that everybody, all the people in the room here and the thousands that are watching online know that there's creativity inside of every person. This is not something that is given to the lucky few. There's not a a Harry Potter like wand that some of us get tapped in. Some of us don't, although that's what we're led to believe. That's the dominant culture narrative. That's not the case. We're gonna cover this big idea, but they're also gonna get really tactical. The book tries to fly at thes two elevations at 30,000 feet and at five feet. And we're gonna do that today. Um, we also have some guests that I'm super excited about some big time guests. Um, Debbie Millman is a legend in the design world. She's in a design hall of fame. She runs the branding programme at S P. A. In New York. Legends got great classes on creative like Chris Gill abo he was the first person is, um, he's actually in the building. You guys, I traveled to all 193 or 95 depends on who's counting the first person to travel to all countries in the world before the age of 35. Not only has he created that he's created an amazing life. Numerous Guinness Book of World Records, several businesses, the World Domination Summit and Jasmine Star Jasmine Star. She came on the platform as one of the top 10 wedding photographers in the world back in 2010 when we launched the platform, and it's now grown her business, where she consults and helps other creators around the world tap into their passion. She's a business strategist, so we've got a handful of amazing guests were gonna be bringing them in throughout the day. And so you've learned a little bit about me a little bit about what we're going to do here and now It's time for me to talk a little bit about you and you. Which cameras live right there. I'm just gonna point it, all of them, that one. Thank you at home talking to you. All right, who you are. I have, through the course of my career learned, and after experiencing a lot of my own success and failures. Talking to so many crowds like this standing on stage is all over the world creativelive millions of creators and thousands of teachers. I've been able to deconstruct the fact that there's really only a handful of categories who would possibly be in this room or in my orbit, and therefore one of them you're going to try and you're going to see yourself in this in this in these four personas, I hope one of them may be an ambitious pro. Maybe you're already making money. You have aspirations to elevate your game. You're making income as a primary source and you want to take it to the next level. These are people that identify as a creator and want to get better stuck. Anybody in here stuck Put your hand up. This is we're gonna get to know each other, so just okay, I love this. Even Drew is stuck. You guys, here's the deal. I was stuck before I started writing this book. I stand up on stage and talk about creativity all over the world. We all get stuck. I consider myself a a pro, but we'll get stuck. So for those of your stock. We're gonna work through that today. You want to make this stuff, but you're not getting anywhere. A lot of us are stuck because conformity because of what someone else thinks about this one precious life, and they're telling us how to live it. You're open to an awakening. Then there's the developing hobbyist. I do not recommend that everybody tries to make a living from their creative calling. I don't think it's it's realistic, and I do think that for some people, the ability to have a simple, stable job or that allows them to look after their finances and their, um, their life in a way that's really it's organized in a fashion that makes sense to them. But they used their spare time in their spring money to pursue their hobby and passions. I think that's amazing as well. And then there's what I call the creative, curious some of you anybody creative, curious in this room today. Yes, identify, maybe not as a creator you like. I want to see what this whole thing's about because there's something here and it's an amazing time and culture, right, you're seeing, I mean, Microsoft named their last release, the creators release, and you're like Microsoft creators released. This is like it's a cultural movement, right? These tools, the same tools that were used to only be used by mega corporations, are now available to us for free. So it's a really interesting time to understand what it is to be creator and how to own that as an identity. So for those of you that are creative, curious, it's my hope. To me, this is an untapped, a massive untapped researching or a pool of people in culture. There might be some people that are outside of this that don't identify as a creator and don't want to. They're not here right now, and that's just fine. I'm an advocate of show. Don't tell. We don't to talk those people and to anything. If we just lived our highest calling, it happened. Our creativity, they will notice, and they will not be able to ignore it. So the cool thing is, it doesn't matter who you are or where you are on your own personal journey. I shared that. I've been a lifelong pro. It's the only career I've ever had is as a creator and an entrepreneur after my grandfather passed away and I was finally able to identify as one after denying that for a long time. But it doesn't matter where you are, and I think that's something that's really important because we all can move forward now. It's also important I shared that. I had been on this journey and got more than 10 years off course and hundreds of thousands of dollars into student debt. And there is anybody else getting student debt around here. Anyone? Yeah, turns out it's larger than credit card debt in our country country. It's $1.5 trillion. So you're not alone. I was one of those folks, but here's the cool thing. None of that journey is ever wasted because what we want you to doing, what this book is about, What this class is about is helping you become unapologetically you, and that is a piece of who you are. I had to go through that in order to discover who I was, and all of that what I would otherwise call baggage. Now those are some of my strength resilience that I I had to exhibit to get through those moments to carry to me to where I am now, and it's not like I'm gonna have just the perfect trajectory. All of us are gonna go like this. That's the thing called Life. So the cool part. None of it's wasted. All that matters, and you are here right now. Now there's a framework that I came up with after anyone familiar with podcast Chase Jarvis Life, anyone Awesome. That's every every single person Cool. It's been going for older than creative life after having hundreds of guests. People like Richard Branson Burn a Brown are in a Huffington Tim Ferriss, Gary V L. Luna Debbie Millman List goes on and on. I was able to deconstruct the successes and failures of those people, deconstruct my own successes and failures and realize that with every failure I discovered a particular framework that was used. These people might not even have been aware of it. Nor was I. These were just things that were sort of floundering through but looking backwards and Steve Jobs said, you can connect the dots, and so the dots that I was able to connect was a creative process in the creative process. I've called the big idea Nice little on Tom Brother, right? The concept is this. Also the framework for the book. There's divided into four steps. The first step starts with I and I stands for imagine. Imagine. We have largely stopped imagining what's possible for our lives were spoon fed what we need to dio and whether it's a presentation for work or whether it's baking the cake or making a meal or building a family. There's a bunch of prescriptions out there. I want you to throw that out the window for a little bit. And and Matt, what's possible? And this works again. If you're baking a cake or you're you're trying to create a masterpiece of your life, we need you to imagine what's possible. The next step is designed. I I pictured a house in my mind, and then I just started hammering boards together, and it didn't turn out very well. We need to design a plan to get us from what our imagination says to that thing, actually existing in reality, and you can't do it without designing. Here's the cool thing, the lives of the people that you admire most. Did they happen on accident. No, those people aren't corks bobbing in the tide. They're intentional. They designed this outcome for themselves. And then and then they executed against that plants you have in perfect. This whole thing is they executed the plan. And right now you're thinking all this sounds so fun. Oh, this is this is cool. Oh, no. I actually have to do the work. Rest easy. We're gonna get through it. And the last one, I believe this is the most misunderstood part of the process of the framework of the book and of the success that you see in life and by success. It's really important. I want you to know that I put success in there because it's a really common word that we can attach a bunch of feelings and meanings to. But I think a more important word is fulfillment. Right, Because success if you have all the money in the world, all of the fancy cars, all the mansion's all the whatever and you're not fulfilled, that's probably the scariest worst outcome, right? So I really want to talk about success. Just know that the fulfillment is right there with it. Amplify is community because you have an idea. You imagine that you created a plan executed against it. And then if you don't have a community or you don't have a fertile place for your ideas toe land, what happens? Nothing happens. So this is so misunderstood. Our projects wreck. Wait, I'm more talented than he or she. I'm I'm just a good as I feel like I could. And yet I'm not finding success. I find that a huge way in which that that experience is misunderstood is community is super super key to that. So these are the four steps for this process. They work whether you're baking a cake or building a life. It's the framework for the book. And it's gonna be the framework today. All right. How you guys feeling? You okay? All right. We had a hand, a bunch of hands go up. People were stuck. I want to know. Does anybody here have a vision for their next project? Yep. Okay, this is good. We're starting. Like now it's like instead of just like this. Now, people are starting to get rowdy in their seats. Yeah, I got a plan. That's what I want. You know, exactly what you want. No thistles. Why we're here today, people. My point is that most of us have were like 60% baked. We've got something in there. We're gonna get to specific vision for what it is that we want to do with our life. And again this works for tonight at dinner. And this works for the life that you want to create. Is your ambition considered crazy or whimsical or impractical? I want to see a show. Hands Anyone been told that their vision is any of those things? This I don't call in that like 80%. I tell you what, this is great Chinese proverb. The person who says something is not possible should get out of the way of the person who is doing it. Okay, So I feel like my humble life is a living example of people telling me that it wasn't possible Onley to then not always achieve, but maybe even just one out of 10 1 out of 20. But that one out of 10 or one under 20 what does that do that emboldens us? It makes us No. It's possible for this one precious life that we've got. So I do believe, however, that we've stopped really thinking big. And when we think big, one of the things that the first thing that comes to mind is like Well, how many paid the bills? Well, what? I got two kids and a mortgage. All these things were there. Constraints. I am not asking you to ignore these constraints. Nothing in this class or in this book asks you to wear a beret to move to Paris, to get paints, to have a canvas, to get its new set of friends dress a different way. None of those things I'm asking. Creativity is yours right now. It's your birthright. And it's about time you started imagining what's possible for this one precious life. He is up for it. I want to hear really loud. Crisp, Yes. Are you up for it? That was better than I thought. Okay, The cool thing is that we all know in our hearts somewhere that it's possible. But you've also been told that you need to go to this school, get these grades, get this job and here's the cool thing. Those people love you, but they're giving you terrible advice as I mentioned because what they really suggest and what culture needs from most of us, is to be average. And this is not a bad thing. There is no evil puppet genius telling us to be average. But imagine if you anybody here not really fit in in school, you're outside the average school. Didn't know what to do with you, right? It was like, Yeah, exactly. Same thing at work. Your ideas air a little bit different. Maybe outside the box. You can't get anyone to pay attention to what you know is something you and your team should be doing a little bit different. It's because it's not average, and it's really hard for us to not blame culture. I'm here to tell, like let's stop getting upset about that and let's show Don't tell, okay, because culture wants us to be average, and it's fine. They want us to start first grader kindergarten, and then we go through second grade, third grade. They we all get the same information at the same time. That system is based on the factory, which is 1/ century model, so that I learned this in school. That means the 18 hundreds. Okay. And here we are in the twentysomethings. So the system that we're still programming our kids with is hundreds of years outdated. Now, we can either spend all of our time worried about that, or we can take charge of our lives. Okay, That's what imagining is. Step one for doing is taking control of your life. The cool thing is, when you start creating in small ways every day, which I'm gonna get you the subtitle of the book and this class established a daily practice. That's what we're gonna talk about. Infuse your world with meaning and succeed in work and life. The daily practice part. It's in creating and small ways. Every day it's in baking a cake. It's in making a meal of your family and choosing how you want to show up in the world that you actually realize that you can create your life. It's just creativity of different scale. Okay, We talked about creativity being in every person. I also want to remind you that creativity is a muscle. My Angelou said it best. It's an infinite resource. The more you use, the more you get. Think about that. How do you build a muscle? How do you build a muscle? Sir, you work it out. That's what we need to do with our creativity. And it's if you believe everyone's creative and that creativity is a muscle and you work it out and you do so in creating in small ways every day, that is the only way. That is not a way. That is the only way that you get to create the life that you want. And when you look to someone who inspires you, whether it's your next door neighbor living in an amazing integrity or someone like a Richard Branson or burn a brown again, they chose that intentionally. They created it. So I want to stop throwing rocks and mud at our teachers and the school system in the work place because it's just doing what it's supposed to do. It's trying to get everybody to fit in, because that's how they manage us. It's OK, but you guys know what an average is on average is you take a bunch of like there's things, Adam up any divide by the number of things. You cannot possibly be average because how Maney data points are there one Onley You lived the life that you live on, Lee, you have your DNA. So this idea of an average chuck it out the window. This is what's required for us to understand what's possible with this one crazy life we've got. And I just put bluntly to many of us have followed the scripts that have been written for us by other people. Time for that to change.

Class Description


Renowned artist, author, and CreativeLive founder, Chase Jarvis, teaches us how to unleash our creativity, transform our lives, and add value to everything we do.

Now imagine your big dream- whatever you want to create or become in this world.  Are you unsure of where to start? Do you have trouble finishing your projects? Are you struggling with finding a way to channel your creativity? Regardless of age, income, or stage in life, use Jarvis’ unique IDEA framework to activate your life with the actionable tools necessary for becoming unstuck and creating a more meaningful life. This class will help you ask the right questions, eliminate old habits that are not working and test new approaches to create the life you truly want.

In this class, you will learn how to: 

  • Design a daily creative practice that supports your health and happiness

  • Tame distractions & spend time on the right things

  • Figure out & address what’s blocking you

  • Bypass excuses and get to work

  • Find your supportive community

  • Examine your mindset and reprogram the ideas that aren’t serving you


You will enjoy life and be more successful if you focus on creating... and Creative Calling is an engaging guide to doing just that. – Richard Branson

Chase is the perfect guide as we learn how creativity has the power to change everything. – Brene Brown

It's a must read for any creator or entrepreneur. – Daymond John

Creative Calling will whole-heartedly change the way you think and it will provide you with the inspiration to make a bigger life than you ever thought possible. – Debbie Millman

You won't find a better resource to unlock your true potential. – Jimmy Chin


Friends! Life isn’t about “finding” fulfillment and success – it’s about creating it. Creativity is a force inside every person that, when unleashed, transforms our lives and delivers vitality to everything we do. Left unexpressed, it can be a poison in your life leading to unhappiness, unfulfillment, and that feeling there is something missing.

I’ve been there. The good news? We are all born creative. By creating regularly, we access a new source of vitality. Establishing a creative practice is therefore our most valuable and urgent task – as important to our well-being as exercise or nutrition. Every day is an opportunity to tune into your creative calling. You’re never truly lost no matter how far you’ve wandered. It’s all meaningful. The frustration, boredom, or resentment you might feel is your intuition’s way of telling you that there’s a turn up ahead. Will you be ready?

This is a book about creativity, but in a larger sense it’s about life and how you live it. Whether your ambition is a creative career, completing a creative project, or simply cultivating a creative mindset, I wrote this book for you.


Artist, author, entrepreneur, mischief maker... Chase Jarvis is well known for many things. As a photographic master, he’s regularly cited as one of the most influential in the past decade. Chase has won numerous awards including Prix de la Photographie de Paris, Cannes Lions, and The International Photography Awards. But Chase has always cherished community over competition.


Tristanne Endrina

I think this class is an amazing supplement to the book. It's an extension of the ideas Chase wrote about ... with conversations with amazing minds like Chris Guillebeau and Jasmine Starr and a lot of great questions from the audience. You take their thoughts and feeling and interpret them to apply to yourself and what you want to create in life. Thank you, Chase, for having me in the audience. I thoroughly enjoy learning from classes like this. Thank you so much. ~ Lifelong learner, Tris


I’m enjoying the book. I find Chase’s story inspiring and it’s great that he wants to share it and to help everyone learn to be successful at being creative. I am not looking for a career, I am looking to find creativity I seem to have lost in photography and in other hobbies. So far I am learning that I need to make a plan to get where I want to be. I know it’s still in me somewhere, I will just need to put in the work to rediscover and develop it. Interesting book and class and I just discovered the workbook tonight. I tried to watch the live class but the volume wasn’t as loud as other classes and it was difficult for me to hear on all my devices. I am going to connect my laptop to my stereo speakers to watch it soon.


Thank you for this course- I can't wait to read the book. Working through some big projects and struggling to finish the last few miles, these were all great reminders and I love the compass analogy- so true! You can tell Chase really cares about what he's teaching.