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The creative care pack: advice to the 22 year old self.

Jason Naylor: Kombi Scarlett, the Breaking Art-mobile
Jason Naylor: Beard Portrait
Jason Naylor
Jason Naylor hits your magic reset button: just say yes!

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Meet Jason Naylor: the IT guy who  became an award-winning photographer, who became a podcaster, mentor and creative business coach. We asked him to go and wake up his 22 year old self, and give that guy a life workout. Funny thing is, his 22 year old self was already wide awake and packing his bags for an overseas trip.

Hey, Jason, just one thing before you go: remember to say “yes” more. Say yes to more things that scare you, that feel uncomfortable, or feel like too much hard work. My favourite life experiences, my best memories, are those things that took me out of my comfort zone. Be scared more: it’ll do you good.

You know you’re a morning person, you know you're so much fresher, smarter, energetic, and happier when you wake early. Your friends have nicknamed you 'grandpa', but wear that label with pride and just head to bed when you're tired. They’re secretly envious: they don't appreciate you've found a life cheat code, granting you more of the day's magic, letting you steal just a bit more from the sluggish old world around you. Wake early.

You will find yourself in a dark place, where the future feels expendable, and running away seems the only option. Depression can strike even the most stoic.

You will find yourself in a dark place, where the future feels expendable, and running away seems the only option. Depression can strike even the most stoic.

Don't fake it, believe it - you will become it.

It may feel like a shitty moment in life, but the fog of time does wonderful things to your memory. You'll look back on this - on every moment - as an important part of your life, no matter how hard it feels right now. The tough times are just as important as the good times, and if you don’t honour that, you’ll miss out on the lessons of one, and the joys of the other. Tomorrow will be a better day. 

Remember your secret reset switch - sleep - and that tomorrow you can try again. 

Remember your secret reset switch - sleep - and that tomorrow you can try again. 

But here’s the hard bit. You will find yourself in a dark place, where the future feels expendable, and running away seems the only option. Depression can strike even the most stoic. The tipping point can be unexpected - but that’s life. The only thing I can suggest is: take time for yourself. Remember your secret reset switch - sleep - and that tomorrow you can try again. And then: get back into your projects. Sometimes, they’ll be there for you, even nothing else and no-one else can be.

So, aim higher.

You need change. When you feel itchy, when you start questioning things, that's when you need to act. Not in six months time. You've already learned this lesson too many times the hard way, and you’ll learn it again, and I’m telling you now: embrace change.

When kids come along, your life will change in ways you can’t even begin to imagine right now, so don’t worry about it. Then, throw yourself at parenthood, like most things you do, but please please please give yourself some 'me' time. You want to be the best parent you can, and as guilty as this feels, you don't achieve this by parenting 24x7.

You can always ask for a double shot. Do it.

Sell stuff as soon as you can. "What you own, owns you" as they say, and eventually you will fill a 5-bedroom house and double garage with more cars & tools & cameras & books & technology & utter crap than you can actually use & appreciate. Sell it before it can't be sold. Sell it while it still has value. Better yet, don't buy it in the first place.

I think you're about to discover this, but travel will open your world, and change your life. As tempting as safety and security may seem, it's not you. Don't be afraid to go somewhere new. Create a home away from home. See the world. Meet people. Observe. Experience. As Mark Twain said, don't "vegetate in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime."

Sit up straight, literally: it’s healthy. Keep your core strong.

Buy more art and print more photos. Why are your walls so bare? There is creativity all around you, and you're having some wonderful life experiences. Let your surroundings remind you of your journey. Plaster your walls with photos and art - yours and others.

You’re 22, before you know it you’ll be 38, and then you’re pushing 70. Life is too short, you’ll never come close to achieving - or even trying - all those cool ideas that pop into your brain - so stop thinking about them and start doing them. Don’t die wondering.

There is much of Jason to go round! You can catch his podcasts Breaking Art, in which he explores the often-tricky business of business and creativity with a wide range of creative souls, from architects to stencil artists.

And Jason will be presenting two sessions at the Spark Festival. Hosted by Waikato Institute of Technology, Spark is both awesome and free, running August 6 - 9.

 

 

Written by

The Big Idea Editor

26 Jul 2018

The Big Idea Editor