What To Do When Everything Goes Wrong

by / ⠀Career Advice Entrepreneurship Health & Fitness / November 26, 2013


As a note, I recommend watching this video by the remarkable Eric Thomas first, who inspired this post.

With all the advice on the internet these days, it seems like there is a hack for everything. Your finances, relationships, and even your cellphone have secret and hidden techniques you have never heard of, that can make your life faster, easier, and more productive. But for all the shortcuts you see, there are certain things in life you cannot go around. You have to go through them.

The Situation:

I lost a friend to suicide several weeks ago. I do not know how, or why, or even the events leading up to it. All I know is that someone the same age as I am, with similar dreams, hopes, and aspirations, is no longer present. There is no lifehack for that. No amount of lists will bring that person back. But three simple sentences have helped make the difference in these past few weeks, and I believe can help you align your personal and professional life when things get out of sync.


I CAN  is a decision to believe against an impossibility. Encouragement is often a pill we willingly feed to other people, but rarely ingest ourselves. It is hard to do, many times because we like to pretend that we have it all together. The risk in fooling other people about not having blind spots, its that we actually begin to believe it.


Things have gotten ugly. Emotions are difficult to deal with, grief is painful, and balancing work can be overwhelming. But I WILL is a daily reminder to get up and go. I will continue to achieve in spite of pain. I WILL become who I am supposed to be in spite of this loss. It is fear’s biggest nightmare. I WILL ensures that you will starve your fears while feeding your hopefulness for the future.

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This is an imperative. A personal manifesto and commitment to greatness, in two words. You need to get through this. There is something you live for. Something that gets you out of bed, out the door, and back home with your mind intact. If I was going to quit, I should have done that the first time something difficult happened. For this type of situation there is no other option. If you were going to quit, you would have stopped a long time ago.

I MUST is also a responsibility to care for yourself holistically. For me, it means taking time to seek help where I need it, to lean on the friendships I have developed, and to be honest with my manager about what I need to do personally to be successful professionally. Never ask for permission to care for your needs.

A Challenge

I don’t know what you deal with day to day. Maybe it’s a difficult boss, brutal exam, or family member a disease. Regardless, these issues can and will affect your relationship with work.  You cannot always  control what happens, but you can learn to manage your response to what happens.

Your circumstances should NEVER determine your vision for your career or life. Every single day is a battle, so planning to win the war makes sense. It gets messy, it’s hard and it takes time, but what you look back on these moments of toil, you will probably be amazed by what you did to get where you are. That is the moment when I CAN, I WILL, and I MUST transform into: I DID. In the meantime, hold your head up. You got this.

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Jonathan Jackson is a recent college graduate who is building his brand, with a few Lego sets on the side. He loves technology, content marketing, and Air Max 90s.  

Image Credit: tumblr 

About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on Under30CEO.com, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.


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