Want to start your own business? Want to get better at something? Want to make more money?
A lot of people feel like they have to strain themselves to achieve what they want. They get dangerously caffeinated (or drugged), work on little sleep, and don’t take breaks. They become execution robots. They equate “stress” with “productivity”.
I was one of those people. What happened?
I burned out. I physically couldn’t take the stress. My body and mind shut me down and pulled the plug. I had to quit my job, see a doctor, and fucking relax and re-center my mind.
What I failed to realize, was while hustling gives you an adrenaline rush of “winning” in life, it isn’t a sustainable lifestyle long-term. It actually is more likely to impact your health in a negative way. We’re not meant to live like that.
So, what’s the alternative? How can I achieve what I want and not kill myself in the process?
- Realize that change is a long-term process. You can’t always control it, so admit you can’t control everything and you just need to let life happen.
- Work with what’s right in front of you. What stuff needs to get done right now? Don’t get overly caught up in grandiose schemes of being famously rich, moving to the coasts, and romance–that will only lead to delusion. Be grateful for any unfair advantages you may have going for you right now, where you are.
- Enjoy day-to-day life. A warm shower before bed. Practicing a musical instrument. Watching a good movie. Taking a walk outside. Laughing with old friends. You have to be able to love the simple, subtle activities of day-to-day life…and here’s the important part…WHILE you work hard on your projects.
- K.I.S.S. – Keep it Simple Stupid. Too many rules and restrictions you put on yourself are bound to be broken. Stick to your core values and just get those right every day.
- Show up every day. This is the secret to working smarter. The daily grind really adds up to your benefit. Treat your passion like a job and show up every single day regardless of how you feel. We all work jobs we hate but we don’t even dare not showing up to work. Why? Because we’d get fired and not be able to feed ourselves. So if you want to turn what you love into a career then treat it like a professional would and show up like you mean business.
- BALANCE. This is a 24/7, 365 days a year commitment…This means eating whole foods. This means keeping your physical body healthy by exercising. This means getting 8 hours of sleep every night. This means having quality relationships with friends and family. If any of these are out of whack, you’ll struggle to enjoy your full potential in life.
- Eliminate distractions and block time to work deeply: We have a finite amount of willpower. Distraction taxes it heavily. If you want to work smart, you have to work deeply. That means being as free from distraction as possible. I recommend reading Deep Work by Cal Newport, which discusses the importance and value of working deeply in a constantly distracted world.
So there ya have it. Hope this helps some people. Hustling can seem appealing, and might be worth a try. However, in my experience it only inspired me to be true to myself, cultivate a rich daily routine, and value a balanced lifestyle over short-term material gain.