The Only Things That Really Matter Are…

WHO you are matters less now than ever before. Pedigrees no longer matter. You can go from nobody to famous, or rich, or happy, or successful without anyone else’s permission.

WHAT you are matters less now than ever before. Movie stars and wine experts, academics and ultimate wrestlers are all on the same playing field.

WHERE you are matters less now than ever before. You can be sharing photos from your basement apartment in Brooklyn, building a semi-conductor in your garage in Palo Alto, or leading a revolution in the streets of Egypt.

HOW you do what you do, matters less now than ever before. Doesn’t matter if you shoot it on a Panavision 35 or a HdSLR. It only matters that you did it.

What DOES matter is….

WHEN. If you don’t do it now, you might miss this amazing window.


WHY. Why you do what you do always matters. Don’t even think of asking me to explain it.

I wonder if some of this stuff might have been duplicated from elsewhere, it’s found everywhere on the internet and various peoples websites, unless you’re the original creator?.

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Joe Martin says:

Good read once again. thoughts become tings

k says:

nothing matters, because nothing is real.

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gina says:

Chase = legit.

Suki says:

Thank you Chase from the bottom of my heart.
Your words trully hit ground today.

Paul D says:

Thanks again Chase for the inspiration. The essence is that there are no more excuses. You cannot blame your education, reputation, location, etc., for not pursuing your passion. The only thing is the why- your passion, your drive, that burning desire in your soul to create. Or as Zack Arias puts it GOYA. Those who get off their asses and hustle will be successful. Period.

Also, don’t feed the trolls. Shut up and shoot.

Dan B says:

I don’t know how to put it eloquently…

That’s frickn’ awesome, Chase! Thanks!

lolo says:

what about when som on steals you work. and says its theres its not even the lamely used homage but it out right theift.

this guy craig has his work used by a oher guy Mr dallas.

Will says:

Thanks Chase for always allowing the spirit and mind to explore our humanity. I would say though that the “WHO” we are is the most fundamental aspect of humanity. Self identity or the preservation of ones culture, since the beginning of time, has been extremely important. It’s the driving force of our being. In fact all revolutions in the struggle of our liberation has been about the preservation of the “who”, self identity and the idea of protecting the sacred.

Below is a link of a video from a TED conference of how important the “Who” is.

Just a thought.


fas says:

Times are changing, you need to concentrate on the things that matter.

Chase…thanks….these posts regarding inspiration (regardless of craft, pursuit, or drive) are encouraging and supportive…

Check the blog for more…Keep em coming! You’re here for good reasons, man!


Chase, THANK YOU for your ongoing encouragement, generosity with sharing info, and general positivity. This post was right on time for me this morning. This economy makes it hard to keep my chin up sometimes, but you just gave me a much needed boost.

Grunge says:

More Glenmorangie!

bimal nair says:

“Don’t even think of asking me to explain it.” Hahhahaha! Loved it! :D

Chi says:

I quit my fulltime well paying IT job just to pursue my passion in photography/film making. Feeling so relax now. Keep this comming dear Chase!!!

asc says:

dear spencer, get laid.

kevinxiao says:

I suppose by that time it will be too late for you and your family

brad bell says:

“The only things that matter” reminds me of something Marshall McLuhan said (about 15 years before the invention of the Mac):

“We no longer have to be anywhere to do everything.”

Oddly, the guy understood the implications of global networked digital media in the era of jets and TV.

troy says:

Chase – great topic, thanks.

Even though the person that goes by “Spencer” has tried to turn your post into a Obama hating, conspiracy theory, fear mongering tea party rally, it was still very well said by you. Spencer has apparently hung out on your site all day getting more worked up with every poster, maybe he is celebrating today’s date of 420 a little too much.

Spencer says:

You can’t blame me for trying to help you Troy. I’m sure one day you will understand the words I write. But I suppose by that time it will be too late for you and your family. I have watched Chase brainwash his followers for a long time. So if you have a civil argument to refute the “allegations” of my fear-mongering-tea-party agenda then I will gladly listen to your facts and will gladly provide evidence to prove that you have been lied to.

troy says:

No “allegations” here Spencer your words speak volumes about your beliefs and your passion, I just don’t understand where you fit in with this blog. Thanks for the invite to engage in an argument with you but I’m not going to do it because that’s not why I visit Chase’s website. One word of wisdom that I have learned is that life is about tolerance, without it a person is always distracted and never at peace.

Bryan says:

Great stuff. Thanks.

Deep! Mental boost much appreciated.

Dave says:

Control matters. I’ve gone from$ 75K a year working for “the man” to $30K a year working for myself (and loving it) back to $100K a year working for someone who want’s to control what I do and absolutely hating it. If I could just make a decent living and maintain some control over my own business, I wouldn’t be having panic attacks a couple times a week.

Spencer says:

Well why do you think you haven’t been able to get “control” over your own business yet Dave? I doubt it could be the fact that the dollar is being inflated to absolutely nothing. So we’ll rule that one out. How about this whole idea of “free culture?” Something that was pioneered by Socialists? No. That’s absolutely impossible. We’ll rule that one out too. How about the on-going wars in the Middle East that the US is so happily involved in? Nahhh! That’s a bunch of bull. There’s no way that making enemies with all of the oil-bearing nations in the world could affect oil prices essentially causing small business’s CODB to skyrocket forcing them to close. We’ll just drill for oil here in the US. But wait…we can’t. Obama has put a halt on all off shore drilling and production of any new drill sites anywhere else in the US. Why? Because he and the EPA think it will be bad for the environment. So the FED is going “Green” and building electric cars, but wait! Wasn’t Obama quoted saying that electricity prices are expected to skyrocket indefinitely? I think he was by golly! Well shoot how do we help the “working” man get to work? I know!!! We’ll burn CORN! But wait! Isn’t that what cows eat? And don’t humans eat it too? And don’t we depend on cows for food and milk and cheese products? So what happens when food prices go up AND gas prices go up even more? Well I hate to say it Dave, but you’ve got a lot more to worry about than trying to avoid “The Man” and supposedly control your own life. Because while you’re running from people trying to control you where you work you are actually running into the Federal Government which is controlling how you are LIVING! Open your eyes man! And all while Obama and his administration is putting a strangle hold on the necks of small business owners you have people like Esther Dyson and Erik Schmidt stripping all their clothes off to run around in the daisies and smoke marijuana because they are “freeing society” with things like Creative Commons and Flickr. But they are actually super smart people that have succeeded in gaining people’s trust. If these people get what they are after, you can kiss your “control” goodbye and say hello to poverty and lighting candles at night before you go to sleep. But if you’re alright with that then I think you’ll be fine. You have to ask yourself, “Why?” Why is Eric Schmidt now working with the State Department? Why is George Soros pumping money into the liberal media to discredit that which is true and honest? Why did the NYSE report a negative outlook? Why are we helping Libya? Why do we have one of the largest sources of oil in the world located in the Midwest and we’re not drilling for it? Why is your business struggling? Why can’t you seem to get ahead? Time to do some searching Dave and find out why. Maybe then you’ll stop having those panic attacks once you know the truth.

Ali says:

I love reading your blog. So inspiring!

Mr.Falcon says:

Thanks I needed this.

Joe says:

Wierd the rant about communism, but otherwise great post, and lots of great responses too.

What actually strikes me in all of the above, is that all of them (who, what, where, how, when and why) all are very dependent on the definition of point of view from which each word is being used.

who doesn’t matter, as long as you _are_ a who (ie you have the self confidence to know that you are an individual)
what doesn’t matter, as long as you have a what (ie a mission to “change the world”, or at least that bit around you)
where doesn’t matter as long as there is one (telling your story without a soapbox to stand on means you may as well not tell it at all)
how doesn’t matter as long as there is one (I’m hoping that’s self evident)
when doesn’t really matter as long as it’s done (the moment you do something it’s in the now)
and – finally – why doesn’t even really matter as long as the who that _you_ are has a why.

I suppose it all boils down to

me, doing what I cannot not do, in public, here and now, because if I don’t I won’t be me.

Lori Rowles says:

You know what I love about your posts…

I have watched/followed/researched photographers for some time and have noticed a rising fear regarding all the new advances in technology and what that means to the pro’s. The fear that the role of a professional photographer is going to be less significant than before. What I love is that you promote the craft and encourage people to get out there and go for it. I think it may have to do with the fact that you are awesome at what you do. And, I really appreciate this refreshing attitude! THANKS!

Spencer says:

Yeah you’re probably right. Everything will all be OK if we all just jump on the socialist bandwagon to the promised land. Where the rich and responsible take care of the poor and lazy. Don’t worry it will all be alright. When Esther Dyson and her Personal Democracy Forum Movement pull the rug out from under you don’t say, “Well nobody told me THIS would happen!” Why don’t you head over to Google and search for “Rebooting America.” Then check out “Creative Commons” because we all know how valuable that is to our social revolution. Flickr? “Nooooo. They are good people. They just want to inspire creativity and community” Really? Destroying the very industry that you got into to make money because you lost your job is something that makes sense? Well I’m confused. I’m just flat out confused. Technology is not the problem it’s what people are doing with it that is the problem.

DanielKPhoto says:

Absolutely right, if it wasn’t past 9 o’clock right now, I’d take my camera and go out to shoot some photos right now :)

Alan says:

…”Movie stars and wine experts, academics and ultimate wrestlers are all on the same playing field.” … now THAT would be a match worth photo/videographing !

Great post. Essentially … just go do it.

Spencer says:

In attempts to better understand your reasoning on that statement. How do you plan to turn this ideal of said “Proletariat” into a profitable and successful business? Correct me if I’m wrong, but in this “revolution” you speak of isn’t the success of you and the people who work for you also considered the success of everyone else who shares your views? If Chase lands a huge contract with lucrative profits then won’t the other people of the revolution want a piece of that pie? How do YOU plan to appease them? Or maybe that is the wrong question. How WILL they be appeased? By the FED placing your business into a higher tax bracket thus spreading your wealth to the less profitable through entitlement programs like welfare? I want to know how this all will pan out in the end. maybe Kate can chime in.

Spencer says:

Its funny to me that when you replace the topic of what Chase is discussing (photography and overall creative exploration) with, I don’t know, let’s say Government and political activism. His words begin to sound a lot like those of Saul Alinsky or Thomas Paine (both radical socialists). But don’t take my word for it, try it yourself people. It’s quite fun. But wait. What happens when you suppress individual freedom and the God-given right to be great at something and replace it with the idea that, “Well, you may be a brain surgeon, but you’re no better or more important than this high school student that just graduated and is flipping burgers at McDonald’s.” Oh that’s right! It’s called COMMUNISM! Or Socialism if you prefer that term. Because aside from their beliefs about who holds the power and money their principles are more or less the same. Thank you Chase for another inspiring blog post.

Chase says:

Perhaps it socialism or communism or whatever ism. The revolution has always been about the proletariat owning the means of production…

Now it is realized.

When it’s all said and done, I firmly believe that Chase will be at the very epicenter of a movement that all of humanity will be extremely proud of.

I call it the information democratization demonstration™


Declan Colohan says:

I think you should add “whatever”

Whatever happens.. Don’t give up!


With the exception of the Who. Who I am does matter now more than ever. I am who I am. Nobody can take that from me. Thats why it matters. It does NOT matter who I am if i detail cars, work at a gas station, or mop floors. I can be somebody if I don’t care “who” I am. If one thinks of themselves as just a dish boy, or waiter, or Joe Schmoe, then you will always be that.

When you realize who YOU are, thats when who you are does not matter, as you are dreaming of a better future, and you know yourself.

Greg Beams says:

Agree with Gabe on this one – Who you are is intrinsic – What you are is external. If people see you as a dushwasher then that may be “what” you are but you can wash dishes and see yourself as a photographer because that is your passion – the photographer is who you are and no matter what you do, they can’t change that – only you can change that.

Laurence Zankowski says:

Lest we forget: ,

these are dangerous times and as one who was a photojournalist for the USAF, my thoughts and prayers go out to them.

Helen Triolo says:

I agree about all of that except for How. I think that is still very important, perhaps even more important than When. Focusing on doing it now so you don’t miss an amazing opportunity can be good, but much better if you’ve also considered the best way (How) to make the most of the opportunity.

Love your blog, by the way, and I really loved the piece you did with the REI guy (especially the countdown before the interview actually began). One of the most inspiring things I’ve seen on the web.

amanda says:

hear hear! well said :)

Great post Chase – seizing the moment is definitely important, you hit the nail on the head.

Super poignant.

Thanks Chase!

Brian Palmer says:

Most Def Chase! Great post, short, simple, and powerful. Thanks for the continual motivation to not sit and wait for ‘it’ to happen.

This was exceptional. Thank you

Bob Williams says:

Thanks for the post. Losing my job in a few days and having to make some really hard choices. That little post helps more than you know.

joop says:

Couldn’t agree more, especially the WHY. Always keep asking yourself ‘WHY’…

Mel Reyes-Abbey says:

Spot on Chase!

I read this on my bb… it’s the first message I woke up to on Friday morning that I bothered to read. And it made me feel like getting up a little faster. Like the good angel on my shoulder pulling me up and pushing me along.

Lisa says:

Asking ourselves why before we put it on the calendar makes us master over our time and not a slave to it! Thanks for the great article.

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