Before Chase Jarvis was a world-renowned photographer, he was just another guy with a camera. Determined to get better at the craft, he applied what he calls the DEAR method. Not only can we use it in areas we want to improve for ourselves, but we can use it with anyone we are trying to help, from clients to kids.
DEAR stands for: Deconstruct, Emulate, Analyze, Repeat. Jarvis would deconstruct photos he thought were cool and make extensive notes about what he liked. Next, he would emulate them by recreating shots or aspects of the shots however he could. He would analyze the results and see where he was succeeding and where he was still missing the mark. Finally, he would repeat the process – extending the range of pictures and techniques he had mastery over.
Applied to our professional selves, the method is clear. We can identify the people or the work we admire, break it into its component parts, steal/borrow liberally, and practice until we improve. Applied to others, we need the base knowledge to do the deconstruction (ex. our own professional knowledge), and then the willingness to guide/teach/Sherpa others through the process of emulating and analyzing their results. If they really want to get somewhere or reach a specific goal, DEAR facilitates a highly engaged guidance process with a clear framework for reference.
Chase Jarvis found a simple system that allowed him to focus his time and energy to great success. Make no mistake about it, none of it is easy. It is hard work getting the reps in, but it’s the only path to improvement. How we motivate ourselves, and how we inspire others to stay on the path is how to transform regular to special, amateur to pro.
If we master the mustering of effort, there’s little we can’t do.