There's a term that saturates my Facebook and Instagram feeds - a concept worshipped by business people, entrepreneurs, motivational speakers or anyone hell-bent on success.
1. to proceed or work rapidly or energetically:
to hustle about putting a house in order.
2. to push or force one's way; jostle or shove.
3. to be aggressive, especially in business or other financial dealings.
4. Slang. to earn one's living by illicit or unethical means.
5. Slang. (of a prostitute) to solicit clients.
This 'hustle' work ethic appears to be lauded, rewarded and applauded and is a symptom of a myopic culture so obsessed with short term gains, quick fixes and more, more, MORE!
This obsession with hustle is exhausting and dangerous. To clarify - it's not hard work that's the problem, it's the 'win at all costs' mentality. By all means, work hard but work on what really matters to you and get clear on what this is.
So what is your purpose, what is the point of all this hard work and hustle? Is it to have things? If so, what will having those things give you? More time, more freedom, more opportunities?
What if you looked for and noticed where you have those things in your life right now and acknowledged, nurtured and grew them? There's always time, there's always freedom and opportunities, connection, love, money - whatever it is you desire, but many of us are too busy hustling to notice - so fixated on what you don't have to realise what you do.
The picture above was taken on Monday when I felt like I 'should' be 'working' - creating opportunities, contacting leads, following up with clients, planning, writing, reading, learning, doing more... I'd normally set up my office and get busy. Instead, I took the day off because I felt like it, I needed to. I knew I wasn't going to be productive because I was trying too hard.
So I left work at home and drove down to the coast. I had a surf in an-uncrowded line-up and hung out at the beach for most of the day. I felt free, connected, grounded and happy. And as a result, I created opportunities, leads contacted me, I planned, wrote, read, learned and was far more productive than usual. Why? Because I worked hard on what was really important. I acknowledged and embraced the time, freedom, connection, opportunities and fun I already have and as a result, created more of the same.
What if we flipped the model and instead of hustling to one day have and do all the things we want, we simply acknowledged where those things are in our lives right now and spent more time cultivating them with mindfulness and gratitude?
What if you focussed more on how you work, not how much you work.
What if you worked harder on better processes and were less fixated on the outcome.
What if how you're feeling was more important than what you're doing?
What if you focussed more on others and how you can help them succeed?
What if you stopped doing things that aren't working?
What if you spent more time acknowledging what you do have instead of what you don't?
What if you stopped trying and started allowing?
I reckon you might start doing things differently...
P.S. If you're loving the hustle and it's working out for you - rock on. Just don't forget to pause every now and then to be grateful for what you already have, for what's around you. Success is right in front of you, in fact it is you, already. It just depends on how you choose to look at it. Here's a good perspective on approaching work so that you die empty.