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JAX Methodology

Updated: May 3, 2021

Jax Methodology

The J.A.X methodology serves as a foundational measure for starting or continuing a new creative pursuit. There are three stages corresponding to each letter of the acronym. ‘J’ stands for joy, ‘A’ stands for Assess/Analyze, and ‘X’ stands for eXecute. This is a cyclical methodology meaning at any point in your journey you can turn to this scale as a reference and in fact should regularly go through each of the steps to reflect on where you are in your process.

Stage 1: Joy

The ‘J’ stands for Joy. It is at this stage that you want to identify if what you are doing or interested in pursuing brings you general positive feelings. You want to spend your time engaging with things that will make you happy, excite you, relieve stress, and/or bring you peace. If you are thinking about starting something new and the prospect of learning it or getting better at it stirs something in your heart, mind, or soul chances are it’s going to be worth giving it a try. If you are in the midst of your journey you want to check in with yourself and discern if you are still deriving enjoyment from the pursuit of growth in your area.

Ex) I have always been enticed by music. Recently the idea of making music coupled with a specific interest in the sounds, grooves, and funk of a bass guitar have led me to picking up and spending time learning to play the bass. Now a couple months into learning, I reflect and still find excitement in each new step I take when I pick up the instrument to practice. It may be the added sense of control in my fretting hand I did not experience last week, or being able to play a line more smoothly than before. Whatever the case, it is something I still look forward to working on.

Stage 2: Assess/Analyze

Now that you have your interest piqued in a new creative pursuit or area it’s time to learn more. In this stage you want to consume as much information as you can related to your new interest. You want to spend time learning about the different components of it, the history, the local community, and any online resources.


Once you’ve acquired a new focus on a passion it’s helpful to educate yourself on the history. Some example questions to get you started: Who is credited with starting it? How has it changed from it’s conception to today? Who paved the way for those changes? Who are the greats in your interest area? Who are the professionals considered to be some of the best now? How did they get to have that status? How did different eras of time and current events shape your prospective interest area?

Through the process of reviewing history you are undoubtedly going to come across some of the foundational staples of your interest area that will help shape your development. It is like laying good fertilizer for growth.

Local Community/‘Scene’

The next step in your assessment is to identify local community resources. Some questions to help get you started: Is there anyone in your local area that is practicing and or teaching in your interest area? Can you form a connection with a club, business, or community? Can you learn about other people's journeys in your area? Are they willing to give you feedback as you start your journey? Are there community events (shows, competitions, exhibitions) you can spectate or even enter?

I have found that one of the fastest ways to develop is by surrounding yourself with people who are also striving to develop themselves. More often than not you will fast track your growth and progress by gaining the benefit of experiencing how other people approach your given area. Furthermore, you will also find that the community can provide essential feedback, based on their experiences, that can help you avoid common mistakes and pitfalls of starting new or growing in general.

Online Resources

If you struggle to find and connect to the local community don’t fret. There are tons of online resources for you to take advantage of. Free resources and communities such as Youtube, Reddit, and MIT’s Open CourseWare as well as paid resources such as Skillshare, or Masterclass make it easier than ever to find information on how to grow and develop from the comfort of your own home.

Stage 3 eXecute

Once you have identified an area that excites you and you’ve done your research it’s time to develop a plan. In the previous steps If you are able to connect to a teacher, class, or coach you will want to default to their guidance.

If you are flying solo then it’s up to you to decide how you want to engage with this new interest area. The most important thing is to manage your expectations with the level at which you are executing. For example, if you commit to 1 day a week of practice with your new interest it may take longer to see noticeable improvements. In contrast If you commit to 5 days a week of practice you may see noticeable growth faster but you may find you have to sacrifice other aspects of your life to make time to practice. It is incredibly important to work through what works best for your schedule and goals. Consistency is key. You may progress faster practicing 5 days a week but if your schedule doesn’t allow for that time commitment you may find that you end up continually putting off practicing. In that case it is preferable to know you are going to be practicing 1 day a week and consistently and building up good habits instead of missing weeks of practice because you do not have the time. Do not be afraid to move slowly, keep in mind that stage one of the JAX Methodology is joy. If you are working yourself to the bone and no longer finding enjoyment in practicing that is a good indicator that you may want to reduce your practice engagement or reassess exploring other interests. If you can fall in love with the process of learning and growing and do a little bit on a consistent basis you will surprise yourself on how far you truly can go, you will see improvements.


Now that you have gone through the JAX methodology you will want to take time to reflect on the process at regular intervals. After a month of practicing or taking classes. You can re-go through this inventory. At stage one (Joy) ask yourself if you are still finding some kind of enjoyment or excitement in your learning and practicing. At stage two (Assess/Analyze) take stock of the knowledge that you have acquired and ask yourself, what more can you learn with your new context/perspective? This is also a good moment to check in with yourself if you have not been connected within your local community, do you feel more comfortable reaching out now? Lastly at stage three (eXecute) reflect on the past month and check if you have been engaging with your practice sessions, have you missed days? Do you need to change up your schedule? change up the content? If you have been practicing alone is it time to find a teacher, coach, or mentor?

Added bonus: keep some kind of log or record of your responses to each question/stage to track your growth on a monthly basis. Make sure you are answering honestly and the JAX Methodology will serve as a handy tool to help get you started or help keep you growing in following your passions.

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