Health over Hustle
It's not popular to say, but I don't care & I can't wait to have my long hair back to prove it.
Over the last year I have learned more than I could ever fully express. I’ve read books, listened to books, watched/ listened to Ted talks, watched YouTube, and listened to COUNTLESS podcasts on and about EVERYTHING under the sun. I have fully embraced my love of learning and have been a complete sponge this last year, letting myself follow one rabbit after the other.
In this journey, I reacquainted myself with Gary Vaynerchuck - the KING of hustle. I first came to know him as the “wine guy” when my then boyfriend, now husband, took a class at Virginia Tech all about wine, in which the Professor frequently showed Gary Vee’s Wine Library TV show on YouTube. He was obnoxious and I LOVED it!
Years later, when I was knee-deep in my debt-free journey by myself, before Carl and I were married, I was listening to Dave Ramsey’s talk show on iheart radio and one day he had a guest - Gary Veynerchuck. He was on there talking about his new book Jab Jab Jab Right Hook [which I’ve read] and I was like, “Whoa, this guy again - cool. I didn’t know he was more than just the wine-guy… I’ll have to look into him.”
Then I became an avid consumer of The #AskGaryVeeShow. It’s great folks. I would begin to hear SO much about hustle and SO much about Gary calling people out who were not in fact hustling. I was inspired and motivated to work. And I did work. But then…
In my efforts to “hustle” I became COMPLETELY overwhelmed with what you are supposed to do on social media, what you are supposed to do when you start a business. I was bookmarking and pinning like a mad-woman. The more I learned, the more I became more and more aware of how little I knew and how much was out there for me to still learn. I was constantly scrolling, constantly consuming, constantly “tryin” to hustle. All the while, my confidence in my abilities was shrinking until it didn’t exist at all. I started doubting everything I was doing, doubting my passions, doubting what I could EVER bring to the table, doubting ALL the time.
I started comparing myself to everyone else - where they were with their business, the cool things they were doing, the recognition they were receiving, until the overwhelm completely took over my anxiety and my anxiety shifted into depression. It was the lowest I’ve ever been and the hardest time I’ve ever gone through. I won’t get too into it, since I’ve already written about it in my New Years post, which you can read here if you want.
Slowly, I started to come out of it. Slowly I started to realize that my jealousy of others had NOTHING to do with WHAT they had built and had everything to do with the fact that they HAD BUILT something. Once I realized that, I was able to stop myself whenever I began comparing my journey with someone else’s. I didn’t want what they had. I wanted what I was meant to build, what I was meant to offer to people - and I was very far from seeing it realized.
I continued to listen to Gary Vee and started paying more attention to his other main principle - self-awareness. I was already in the thick of getting to know myself and had already realized that most or all of my problems were tied to the fact that I wasn’t paying any attention to the fact that I am prone to anxiety. I am - that’s how I’m wired. I question just about everything and it’s exhausting. I get anxious and overwhelmed by all of the things I want to accomplish that I soon enter analysis paralysis and can’t make ANY decisions, then I wind up doing nothing, which completely negates the whole “hustle” concept in the first place.
I’m not sure when I started investigating minimalism further, or what was my initial point of contact with the lifestyle, but since exploring it, and applying many of the principles to my own life, I have experienced so much relief. You see, I’m hard-wired to want to do all the things, see all the things, accomplish all the things; but I’m also hard-wired to appreciate rest and freedom and loathe stupid bureaucratic/ corporate red tape in the workplace and life.
I value excellent work AND I value the idea of 3-4 day work weeks. To many, this seems contradictory. That’s fine - I get that it’s hard to wrap your head around it. I’ve suffered many years fighting this battle within myself. Usually, the “rest” side of me loses. It loses, because rest, slowness, simplicity, etc. are not valued in our culture. Our culture glorifies “busy” and suffering through it, “hard” work, climbing the ladder, pushing yourself beyond what your body can handle in order to “get it done.” And so, with these cultural norms, comes many expectations, and many you have to overcome as a person who does in fact value rest.
Whenever I talk about the importance of rest I’m usually met with eye-rolls or smirks that seem to express, “Simmer down, hippie. That’s not how things go. That’s not how things work. That’s not “how it is.”” When you advocate for rest, most of the time, you are perceived as lazy. But the thing is, rest is so vitally important to humanity, for our mind, body, and soul. When we’re rested, we work better. We are able to be more creative and enter states of “flow” more easily.
In the last few months, I have taken a DEEP dive into minimalism, slowing down, resting, and simplifying. And you know what?!? I have been more actively productive in the last three months than I have been in the last year. Yes, you read that correctly. I didn’t become productive, until I slowed down. Because, you wanna know what is probably the worse thing you can do to yourself when you are prone to anxiety?!? HUSTLE.
So, there you have it. I am totally and completely anti-hustle. No more for me. I will work at my pace and I will offer value to the people that I am meant to serve and I will rest and I will live the life I want and not the one that is currently being glorified as the one I am “supposed to” live. I am not Gary Vee. I will never be Gary Vee. And I don’t want to buy the Jets, so it’s fiiiiiiinnnnneeee. [And no, I am not blaming Gary Vee for the fact that I went through a season of depression this past year, what is wrong with you?!]
Hustle if that’s what works for you. Take your time if that’s what works for you. Do you & embrace your weird. It’s fine. It will be ok & we’ll all be better off for it.
Love & Blessings,