I’ve never been a big fan of hustling.
Growing up feeling a bit “too much” and “not enough,” the idea of ‘hustling’ kind of felt like it was me having to prove myself.
Again. And again.
It was a trap I gladly fell into. Because it matched up with my own beliefs that I wasn’t good enough as I am. That I needed to prove myself.
Like I wasn’t inherently worthy. Like I had to earn my way to deserving. Like I had to push myself to the breaking point.
So I did. I woke up one day vomiting blood. And it didn’t stop for two months.
I knew hustling all too well. I had done it my entire life.
Whenever I tell someone I’m not a big fan of hustling, they always ask what I spend my time doing all day. And when I say I do things like write and read and work, they get confused.
It starts to look like being anti-hustle is more messaging than reality. And maybe there are plenty of people out there for whom that’s true.
But the truth is we fundamentally misunderstand what it means to be a visionary.
We don’t have to push our vision. We just have to let it guide us forward.
But it’s confusing. Because we see geniuses out there. People who spend lots of time on their craft. Devoting themselves to writing or painting or coaching. Sometimes working long hours. Sometimes staying up late. Sometimes making sacrifices to focus purely on their vision.
And we immediately assume that if we hustle just as hard, we’ll be that genius or successful or whatever we’re looking for. That we can just fight our way there. We can prove ourselves, that we’re capable too.
But that’s derivative. Genius—like life purpose—is never about what we’re doing; it’s about why we’re doing it.
Most of us like giving a lot of focused time and attention to sex. And, while it might very well be a good workout, we’re not conscious of how much we’re tightening this muscle over here or breathing heavy over there.
We just do it. We lose ourselves in the moment.
I don’t write because I think it’s the best marketing strategy or most profitable thing I could do with my time or whatever other stories could be out there.
I write because I lose myself in those moments. I forget about time. I become one with the page and the words. And I’m so focused. I want to work more. I want to keep getting back up and honing my craft.
I do it because I like it. Because it’s a moment I can fully lose myself. And those are the only moments where we ever find ourselves.
Like having an amazing late-night conversation with a best friend. Or reading a good book on a Sunday afternoon. Or going for a long walk. Or exercising in ways that feel good to my body.
I don’t do it because I think I’m supposed to. Or because I have to prove myself. Or because I think it’ll make me a better person.
I do it because I love it. Because that’s where I feel most at home. It’s a space where my genius shines.
And I want to keep getting up. I want to keep doing it. Not because of some external goal, but because of an internal feeling.
It makes me feel good. It makes me feel like me. And so I do it.
We have this horrible myth out there that the great geniuses had amazing willpower. But the truth is humans aren’t really good at willpower. A lot of studies that said so have been disproven.
We’re much better at doing things we love than things we don’t. And, even if we can muster up the willpower to do things we hate, it creates a lot of long-term stress for our bodies.
It’s a hell of a lot easier to just be really passionate and love what you do.
Right now, there’s not a place I’d rather be in the world than on my couch writing. Not in Aruba. Not in a giant mansion. Not on a yacht.
And knowing that allows me to be fully present and here. To give everything I have to this page today. Because it’s the only place I want to be.
When our mind doesn’t want to travel to something else, it tends to be pretty well-focused.
So I’m not a big fan of hustling. But that doesn’t mean I don’t lose myself in a good book for hours, or in writing my blog posts or sales copy, or in a Sacred Circle call.
I put a lot of focused time and work into a lot of things. I generally don’t hear Garrett if he tries to talk to me while writing. I’m just in the zone. And doing my thing.
There’s an idea in social psychology called the “Identity-Value Model”—essentially, we do things that align with our identity and values.
If we try to do things counter to that, it takes a lot of willpower to really make them stick. Because those behaviors will have to filter down to a fundamental shift in our identity to do it for the long-term.
It’s why behavior change is so hard (and good to do incrementally). It also means that we tend to be really bad at doing things we don’t identify with.
If we see ourselves are geniuses, we easily do what geniuses do. If we see ourselves as lazy, we tend to do things we think lazy people do.
We do what we identify with. Because the easiest way is always the path of least resistance—doing what feels good and easy.
And, when everything you do is aligned with who you really are and how you see yourself, it’s really easy to put a lot of time and energy into projects.
Not because you’re hustling or feel like you need to prove yourself. But because that’s the only thing you want to do.
When we are true to ourselves and love what we do, we never have to hustle. But we’ll always be extraordinarily productive.
Call me simple, but discovering your own genius and just doing that feels ways easier than hustling with willpower.
The moment you know your genius, your identity shifts, and all you have to do is fall in love with your own passions.
And I’d personally rather a passionate world than a hustling one any day.
Questions for Reflection:
*Answer in a journal, in the comments right here, or take it over to the Sacred Branding® Facebook group where we can support one another:
Do you hustle enough?
— Do you sometimes judge yourself for not “hustling enough” or just not exerting enough willpower to stick to your tasks and routines?
— Do you worry that the reason you’re not successful is that you aren’t doing enough? Do you push yourself to dedicate more time and energy to your work?
— What if you don’t have to hustle at all? What if the need to hustle is a sign that you aren’t completely passionate or loving every aspect of your work, and you can make some tweaks? What if your only job as a visionary is to choose your passion?