- No pain, no gain.
- Growth is painful.
- Life is not easy.
- You have to hustle.
- You have to white-knuckle your way to success.
The Hustle Culture
10 main problems with the hustle culture
1. It robs you of focus and the ability to think deep.
I remember reading a study that says that an average office employee is interrupted every 3 to 5 minutes. These interruptions come from email notifications, slack messages, phone calls, etc. How much do you think one can do with 3 to 5 minutes of uninterrupted time? Not much, right? One can send an email or two but that’s about it.
No deep, meaningful, and impactful work can be done in this interrupted environment. Responding to emails doesn’t move organizations forward. Creative and impactful work does.
- Deep Work by Cal Newport
2. The hustle culture makes you irritable
3. It robs you of energy and health.
The hustle culture eventually causes burnout, depression, and mental health issues.
4. Hustle culture makes people focus exclusively on one area of their lives (most likely their work).
It completely ignores all other areas that also require attention to live a full life.
What ends us happening is that people burn themselves out. Nothing brings them happiness or excitement. Everything is in grayscale. Or they wait till their physical bodies stop properly functioning. Or their family life is completely ruined. Only then they slow down and start reevaluating their lives. We’ve seen it happen so many times to celebrities, to the people we personally know but somehow we still fail to connect it to the hustle culture.
5. Hustle culture fails at prioritization.
The biggest productivity lie is that everything matters equally.(Gary Keller)
There are things that are way more important and impactful. The hustle culture makes you believe that you should get everything done. But to live a good life, you need to get the most important things done. Not everything.
6. It makes you focus on false vanity metrics that don’t really matter.
You know the drill – Instagram likes, the number of followers, video views, etc. These metrics are created by social media platforms to entice users to spend more time using these platforms. Because their business evaluation depends on two things:
- How many customers they have.
- How much time these customers spend on their platform.
The more time they spend, the more advertising the platform can feed to these customers. And what better ways to bring people back to their platforms than creating vanity metrics?
7. Hustle culture doesn’t teach you to delegate.
It teaches that if you want to get it right, you need to do it yourself. Great things are rarely done alone. And you can’t build a successful company, a powerful movement or even a happy family if you are planning on doing it alone.
There is an unhealthy pride that is being promoted by the hustle culture. You are not doing anything noble if you are trying to do everything yourself.
8. There is a ceiling that you hit really quickly.
9. Self-worth of hustlers is based on how many tasks they get done.
You are worthy no matter if you had a productive day or not. People who operate under the hustle mindset get their sense of worth from the outside factors, from the outside approval.
When success is fueled by external motivation it is exhausting. There is never enough approval. The moment we get it we crave more. No one can ever validate us enough.
I remember hearing this term – validation junkies. Those are people in your life who always speak low of themselves seeking your approval. “I’m so big in this dress” clearly expecting that you say “No, you look fabulous in this dress, don’t be silly”.
And the hustle culture plays a huge role in cultivating these validation junkies. Social media is very “helpful” with their vanity metrics.
If you only have external motivation for doing something, it will never be enough. The best way to do something is from the place of internal motivation.
External validation is like a drug. Probably the most dangerous one. Think about it… even people who don’t drink, smoke or do drugs are hooked on Facebook and Instagram likes. The moment you post something, you are so tempted to go back and check on who liked your post.
10. The hustle culture embraces complexity.
The more complexity we have, the more we can hustle. The more we can complain about how difficult the world is. The more tasks we can add to our to-do list.
The opposite of it is embracing simplicity. Trying to simplify things. Because when you can simplify, you can optimize. You can delegate. You can create more time and more ease. But having more time and ease is a big no-no in the hustle culture. The hustle culture seeks to overcomplicate things because when something looks difficult it looks impressive to the outside world (and we are back to point #9).
The opposite of hustle is intentionality.
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