The Hustle

“Hustle” is a term I have become WELL acquainted with since starting university. Being surrounded by entrepreneurs, and someday entrepreneurs, it seems to be quite the phenomenon to be able to grind and work day and night to say that you’ve “made it.” Even if you’re not in business, I see posts about this sort of lifestyle on the daily in other contexts.

I’ve been planning to go traveling for what seems like forever now, and I once had a friend ask me, “are you sure you really want to go traveling? Why not hustle and work hard now so you can travel as much as you want one day?”

This question hit me right in the face, and made me realize why I HATE this concept of the word hustle.

First of all, I don’t think I can grow as a human or business person by staying in my own little workaholic bubble. Traveling, taking in new cultures and experiences is what breaths life and creativity into the work that I do. It has totally changed my perspectives in ways that I feel are different than friends I know who have stayed stationary.

If I were to put off traveling until I have this ideal lifestyle where “I’ve made it,” my career might not be as dynamic, not to mention I might have to wait A LONG TIME before I experience the world like I so desire.

Secondly, I think this lifestyle is toxic.

As much as I applaud people like Gary Vaynerchuck’s wisdom and success, he makes life seem like an easy prescription: just hustle all day and night until you achieve your goals (I may be oversimplifying this, but meh, close enough). If you have no idea who/what I’m talking about, look him up!

While I think its important to pursue your dreams, I think that this “simple recipe” is heavily flawed, and not a one size fits all philosophy. First of all, studies show that humans don’t feel satisfied when they meet a goal they’ve been working towards, they set a new one. So how do you know when to get off the hustle treadmill? When you are used to that lifestyle, chances are you might not.

I have several friends that almost brag about how they work late into the night/morning, only to get up and start again at 6am.

If you enjoy this lifestyle, power to ya, but I think it’s toxic when people feel pressured to keep up with this standard when they just aren’t cut out for it. For example, the one time I tried working two jobs on top of a heavy load of volunteer work, I got mono.

I quickly learned I’m not cut out for “the hustle,” and REALLY value balance in my life.

And when I say balance, I don’t mean “work life balance”. I once had a teacher that said “if you’re not living while you’re working, then what are you doing?”

I mean getting off the treadmill. I believe you can still pursue your dreams while taking time to read books, have bubble baths, have a slow afternoon in a café. I think if you take the time to check out, you can revisit your goals with a whole new energy. This also means approaching your work with a different mindset when you do get down to business.

All of this is just my opinion. I can’t prescribe a perfect lifestyle that works for everyone, I just know what feels right for me (and its not hustling)!

What do you think about “the hustle”? I’d love to hear it!

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