How do I inspire people?
How do I make a viral video?
I get questions like this all the time. They’re always phrase differently, but they’re essentially asking the same thing,”Jon, how do I do what you do?”
First of all, I would advise you to perhaps set your aspirations a bit higher because what I "do" is not all that amazing or impressive. I have a long list of goals full of some amazing and/or impressive things, but at 23 years old, I am most certainly only at the beginning of that journey.
Nevertheless, you asked, so here it goes: How To Do What I Do*
1) The Most Important Investment You Can Make: Yourself
It’s been said that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. I believe there is some truth to this, but I think it would be more accurate to say that you are the average of the five voices you listen to the most. We are highly influential creatures, and the voices we listen to have a massive influence on our worldview and overall well being. This is why we must be incredibly intentional with the voices we choose to surround ourselves with. The more encouraging, informative, and life-giving the voices are, the more fruitful our lives will be.
For more specific thoughts on this topic, please check out my post A Soundtrack For Your Life
Also, please note that even though it may sound like it, investing in yourself is not at all a selfish act. As an artist and a leader, it is actually one of the most generous things you can do for those you work with and those you serve. If you are at all struggling with this thought, please check out this video where I dive deeper into the topic of investing in yourself.
2) Try a Bunch of Things: and be willing to fail...and look foolish
Here is a brief history of my failed projects
-Jorgenson Weekly (family newsletter)
-Actor's Christian Association (organization for Christ actors)
-Rumble Kid (novel)
-Awake Series (online video series)
-Sunday Talk (novel)
-Saturday Morning (Freshman Bible study)
-College Thoughts On Christ (daily devotional for college Freshmen)
-Doodyland (online sketch comedy video series)
-Dear Influence Project (online encouragement campaign)
-The Boroughs (novel)
-SlowCarbJon (nutrition blog)
-Creators for the Creator (online network for Christian artists)
-The Anima Series Small Group (small group/Bible study curriculum)
This list is certainly not complete. I’ve only provided you with a small tasting of my many failures. But each and every one of these failures has played a significant role in leading me to the small successes that I am experiencing today. I have fallen, failed, and looked foolish more times than I can count, and I would not be where I am today without those experiences.
3) Don't Do What I Do: Do what YOU do
Just because I write books and make videos on YouTube doesn't mean that you should too. We all have different gifts and talents.
"There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith, to another gifts of healing, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy..."
1 Corinthians 12:5-10
The point is not to copy what I or anyone else has done, but to learn from what others have done and apply it to your own unique set of skills and gifts.
For more of my thoughts on this topic, check out this video.
For even better thoughts, check out Romans 12 and Ephesians 4 in your Holy Bible.
4) Know Your Why: Which is really number 1
I have a secret for you. When I go to bed each night, I absolutely cannot wait to wake up in the morning and start my day. Most days, I don't have to work until 7:30 at night. I could sleep in as late as I want, yet I choose to wake up between 6:00 and 7:00am every single day simply because I am so excited about the life I get to live that day.
Why? Well my friend, the question is the answer. Why! I have found my "why".
Your "why" is the driving force behind everything you do. It's your motivation, your inspiration, and the most important of these four steps.
For me, I am driven by three things...
1) Providing for my family
2) Giving to others
3) Glorifying God
Maybe you don't know your "why" yet. If not, check out this post for some help. I don't know what it will be for you, I just know that it's essential that you find it. Without a driving force, a motivation, a "why", you will never get up to do the work you want to do and create the change you want to make.
And that’s it!
I know this was a long, fairly in depth post, but I hope that it has proved helpful to someone. If it has, please let me know by leaving a comment.
As far as I can tell, this is how I do what I do. And this is what I will continue to do as I move forward on this journey of learning and growth.