The secret to figuring out your life and career

How many times has this happened to you: A day like any other is occurring when suddenly, without warning, you are attacked by every fear and self-doubt imaginable. You worry about deadlines, bills, money (or lack thereof), friends, appearances, diets, mental health, family, things, stuff, and a whole lot of additional nonsense too extensive to list in full here. These moment of panic happen to most, if not everyone trying to navigate the often treacherous landscape of existence, and most find they have no other choice than to endure such moments and hope they quickly pass.

If this applies to you, please do not fret. It applies to me as well, and probably every other person who dares click on this page. This is not the biggest website on Earth, but we do have visitors, so believe me when I say you should not feel alone because the fact you and I are connecting through these words now is proof there are many who suffer from these moments of uncertainty. If you only take one thing from this post please know that is that you are not alone in these struggles.

This brings me to the point of this post, which some of you may have already figured out. The secret to figuring out your life is accepting the fact you are nothing more or less than a constant work in progress. Happiness and success are journeys, not destinations, and the same can be said for anything else you may feel you are lacking right now in life. You might not be chasing your dreams the way you wish you could, but it is important to realize being able to chase your passions at all is something the vast majority of the 8 billion (plus) people walking this planet would kill to do. By simply knowing there is more in this life for you than what you have right now you are already miles ahead of most, and you will get further ahead still in time.

So embrace the chaos, my friend. Embrace it with the recognition that you have to wake every day and do the same, all while still pushing toward a better tomorrow. Some days you will get ahead, and if you’re lucky that good fortune will extend for weeks or even months, but at some point the pendulum of life will swing in the opposite direction and you will need to fight through that as well. This battle is yours and yours alone, but it is important to remember we are all fighting our own version of this battle in our individual lives each day. The wages of this war are often hard to see on the surface, but the exhaustion fighting to get ahead can cause is easy to see in the paths those around you inevitably fall into when their will to continue onward begins to breakdown. It is up to you to choose how far you go, and if you want to see your dreams through then that is entirely possible. Just remember that there will be setbacks, often far more frequently than you find success, but those setbacks only hurt you and your ability to achieve more as much as you allow. If you refuse to be stopped and wake every day battle ready you will, in time, find what you seek.

Through all of this you must keep your head held high for it is the only way to survive. You are worthy of the things you seek, but they must be earned each and every day.


James Shotwell is a ten year veteran of the music business. He is currently the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix, the world’s leading promotional distribution company, as well as the Web Editor for Substream Magazine. We don’t like telling people what to do, but you should probably follow him on Twitter.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.