Hey, I'm Jordan.
This Is My Story.

My name is Jordan Tarver. I’m a keynote speaker and the author of You Deserve This Sh!t. A close call with death and a soul-searching solo backpacking trip taught me how to live. Since then, I’ve dedicated myself to living a life infused with meaning and empowering others to do the same.

My work is a result of those two experiences and tireless work focused on creative self-growth. My goal is to take my life experiences and create digestible lessons, understandable action steps, and easy-to-follow frameworks that help you live the life that you deserve.

While I invest a handful of time in my passion of writing, you also can find me spending time in nature, singing, making music, traveling, and enjoying every moment I get with friends and family. I’m a firm believer in being passionate about what you do for work but also being passionate about doing things purely for joy and pleasure.

Changing your life is like the chain reaction of falling dominoes, or the domino effect. In the same way it only takes one domino to fall to knock the rest over, it only takes one experience to create a ripple effect of positive change in your life.

My first domino fell during my first year of college on March 22, 2013.

Just as I was going to ask the driver to slow down, something occurred that I never thought would happen to me—a life-threatening car crash. We began to fishtail. One big swing to the right, another to the left, back to the right, and one final swing to the left. It all happened in slow motion. “Please don’t die, please don’t die, please don’t die,” I whispered to myself.

It was silent chaos until our car flipped, slamming the driver’s side into the asphalt like an earthquake rattling within my soul. It felt like these were my last breaths.

The chaos continued, but now it was not so silent.

From the far-right lane, we slid toward the center divider at 85 MPH across a five-lane freeway in Orange County, California. Sparks filled my vision from the metal doors grinding on the unforgiving asphalt beneath. The burning metal became the only scent I was aware of—a smell that revisited me randomly for several months afterward. The sliding felt like it lasted a lifetime. My fear of losing my life persisted, and adrenaline pulsed through every inch of my body. By the grace of a higher power, our car came to a halt just before colliding with the center divider.

My friend spoke the first words since we began to fishtail. “Is everyone alive?!” he blurted out. But the rest of us were still paralyzed by shock. We couldn’t respond. I was sitting behind the front passenger seat, the side of the car that was facing up, and was the first person to emerge from the car. Still in shock, I forced myself up and out of the door, jumping down on the asphalt below.

Our lives were spared that night.

To this day, I think back to what would have happened if I had asked the driver to slow down. But maybe I wasn’t supposed to. Maybe I was supposed to dance with the afterlife to learn what I needed to learn to change the course of my life.

Not only was my car accident my wake-up call, but it also sent me on a celebration of life. I was given a second chance to live, and I intended to make the most of it. I chose to let this experience play a positive role in the way I live. I dedicated myself to living a meaningful life, doing what feels honest to my authentic self, creating more moments of joy, prioritizing gratitude and kindness, and helping others create a meaningful life of their own.

For the remainder of my time in college after that accident—just over three years—I felt like the same person internally. While this traumatic experience may not have changed me or my life immediately, it was my first domino to fall—another would soon follow.

My second domino fell on June 9, 2016

I was an unconfident and self-conscious person for many years, but I always knew there was so much more for me to become. After securing my business finance degree from California State University, Fullerton, I knew I needed to do something outside my comfort zone to jumpstart my life. Unlike most people in my circle, I skipped the traditional corporate follow-up after college and packed my bags for a three-month soul-searching solo backpacking trip around Europe—second domino down.

From the start, I knew this trip was meant to be more than a tour of museums, pubs, tourist attractions, and hostels. Of course, I did all those things that most people do when they travel, but it was the intention behind the trip that shifted it energetically—understanding everything I already was and who I was supposed to become. For three months, I put pen to paper in my leather-bound journal, documenting and reflecting on my experiences, feelings, and realizations.

The self-discovery work didn’t stop after returning home from Europe—I had only scratched the surface during those three months. To this day, journaling remains an essential part of my daily routine because I’ve found it is the easiest way to consistently explore my soul and give it a voice. I’ve become wildly passionate about learning more about myself and, over time, this passion has compounded into a deep connection with my reason for being.

I’ve come to understand that it’s the ability to drop your ego and harness a willingness to learn more about yourself that enables you to find direction, meaning, and clarity in life. The continuous unearthing of your truth creates a path toward an ever-evolving understanding of your life’s purpose. 

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