Hustle is the buzzword of the year. For those of you of another generation, I’m not talking about prostitution here. I’m not that exciting. Everyone’s talking about their hustle: the hard work and long hours they put into their passion project or job. I admire this working hard thing. There’s so much value in some good ol’ fashioned work.
I’m working really hard to build my business right now. It’s new and fresh. I guess as a 20-something, I’m new and fresh too. The world is ahead of me and you better believe I’m gonna make my dreams happen! My “hustle.”
But let me make this clear from the beginning: I will not sacrifice my life for my hustle. Ever.
I start getting super skeptical of the push for a hustle when I see or read about people bringing their work everywhere they go: on vacations, at dinner, at the gym. Waking at 5am, going to bed at 2am – and then recommending that others do the same to make the most of their work. Thinking they will never be successful unless their hustle starts dripping into every aspect of their lives.
No! I’m not buying what they’re selling. I have one life. And yes, I’d like to use that life to pursue my passions, to work hard at them, to make money to support myself, and to gain success. But at what cost? And what is success, really?
It was Jesus who said, “what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?” Many people think he spoke of the soul after death. But I always think Jesus was talking about the here and now much more than we give him credit for.
Our souls – that’s where the good stuff is. The likes and preferences, the passions, the unique quirks that make us interesting. Love is in the soul; joy is in the soul; freedom is in the soul. The fullness of life is in the soul. What if we gain the world but lose all the wonderful things that make us interesting, alive, individual human beings?
What if I gain wild success in my career as a writer, blogger, and editor – but what if that success came with no sleep, no social time, no fun, no adventures, no silence, no stillness, no play? My identity is not Taylor the Writer and Editor. Writer and editor are my professions, what I do. There is so much more to me than what I do to make money.
Work hard when it is time to work. Give it your best. Provide for yourself and your family. And then stop. Turn off the computer and live your life. Allow your hustle to be a part of your life, even an important part. But never more than a part.
I’m never going to sacrifice my life for the sake of my hustle. If that means I never get as far ahead as some of my peers, so be it. But I will have lived my life – to the very fullest!