Impact Over Success: Artist Eli Jonah Karls’ Search for His Purpose and Creation of a Niche for Wisdom

Eli Jonah Karls is a 21-year-old social media artist from Montreal, Canada, popularly known online for making wisdom relevant, and creating impactful content. Through his channel, he delivers The Daily Wiz, a social media series focused on the relevance of wisdom in this modern day. Karls’ career as an ‘impactful’ content creator and a creative artist was a spur-of-the-moment decision, a bold step made when everyone assumed he’d already figured his life out and had a solid direction. He made some tough decisions and major sacrifices to carve out a place for his message to the world, but he’s often quoted saying, “Most of us are not willing to give up what we have, and who we are, in order to get what we want, and who we want to become.”

As a teenager, Karls started as a music festival producer in his hometown of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He organized the Bunnytown Music Festival as a 17-year-old, from ticket sales to social media marketing, pulling some of the most prolific DJs and entertainers in the world to his town to perform at his shows. As attractive and rewarding as this industry was, Eli was eager to continue in this line of business, but deep down he knew there was more to life than where he had been going towards. 

In his final year of high school, he traveled to Jerusalem, Israel, with The March of The Living organization, an annual educational program that unites students, mostly those with Jewish affiliations, to tour certain monumental places around the world. That year, in Jerusalem, a city considered to be one of the holiest cities in the world and a powerful place of significance for many religions, Karls experienced a strong epiphany that determined the course of his life forever. He said: “I made a promise to myself, and to God, that I would return within months and sacrifice everything that was to stop me from returning where I knew I needed to be, to become who I wanted to be.”

Wisdom is a continuous journey, not a destination

As a youngster diagnosed with learning disabilities, getting accepted into a highly competitive business program in Canada was not an easy feat for Karls. To his family’s utter dismay, Karls rejected the opportunity in search of something greater. 

He began applying to Yeshivas, Jewish educational institutions that focus on the deep study of historic texts for promoting spirituality, personal growth, and life wisdom.  Unfortunately, his earliest applications to several Yeshivas were rejected because he lacked the foundational spiritual knowledge. However, at a time when it seemed all hope was lost to his family alone, two weeks before the summer break was over, the Yeshiva in Israel sent Karls a letter of acceptance with a great welcome. To him, the purpose of his life had become clear – to inspire, and impact lives through making wisdom relevant again, just like the wisdom that changed his life. Following an 18-month search for spirituality and wisdom, he was given a full 105% scholarship to Yeshiva University’s Sy Syms School of Business in New York. According to the school newspaper, “Almost every student in YU has come across a video from The Daily Wiz, whether they discover the channel through flyers around campus, subscribed to the channel on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn or the WhatsApp group.”

Our level of sacrifice will ultimately determine our level of success, and that is something that could never be forgotten,” Karls said. 

Three years down the line, after Karls had amassed years of experience and devotion to understanding the art of social media, he decided it was time to use his expertise and build something that was greater than himself, that would last forever. He created The Daily Wiz, a weekly short film series where he delivers content grounded on wisdom, purpose, fulfillment, and true happiness. He created a strong community which he refers to as the ‘WizFam,’ for whom he’s dedicated his life to making content on how to “stop existing and finally start living.” With 36 episodes delivered so far, the series has been thriving for almost one year and has been endorsed by high profiles such as musical artist, Karl Wolf, hockey star, Nick Suzuki and 7x MMA world champion, Jose Shorty Torres. Because of his experience with strategizing social media content and building community, Eli is also frequently asked by many of these guests to be advised on their social media content, online presence, and building their community.

Karls also hosts the weekly show #What’sYourWiz, a unique social media talk show where well-respected and successful people in their industry, including performing artists, serial entrepreneurs, influential leaders, etc. are invited to share their knowledge and wisdom with today’s generation.

During the first COVID-19 lockdown, Eli realized that mental health issues were on the rise and no one seemed to be taking them seriously. 

He said to Global News, “Everyone was solely focused on today’s problem of COVID-19 death tolls and how fast the virus was spreading, but no one was talking about how dangerously our mental health was being threatened.”

Inspired to ease the difficulties of as many people as he could reach, Eli collaborated with his two great friends – Ari Solomon, a viral graphic designer, and Joe Veleno, a 1st-round NHL draft pick – and created the CellyForward Challenge. It was a social media challenge targeting artists, pro athletes, and celebrities to use their platforms to raise awareness and rake in donations to mental health organizations.

Karls believes that a person has not truly lived until they have discovered their unique purpose, potential, and impact on others that outlive them. His favorite philosophy of life reads as follows: “Who is wise? One who learns from everyone. And when speaking, our ears are closed, and therefore we cannot learn. So learn from everyone, know when to remain silent, and only then, can we speak and give over what we’ve acquired to others.”

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