I’m sure that any ambitious person out there has heard these phrases:
You’ve got to grind for success.
You must hustle hard.
Work, work, work!
Hustle, hustle, hustle!
But are these phrases really what we need to hear when pursuing our goals? Is “hustling” really the best way to achieve success?
I think not.
These phrases, this mindset, is toxic. It encourages working too much. Waking early and staying up late. Not enjoying leisure time or time with family and friends. It says that not doing the above means you’re lazy or not hard-working or not dedicated to your dream/vision.
The way I see it, this is not the key to success. If it was, all successful people would reach their idea of success and be totally worn out by the time they got there. They would be exhausted, angry, bitter, fatigued, unmotivated, lacking in interests, and creatively done.
Does that sound like success to you?
Would you rather meet success feeling excited, fulfilled, passionate, and well? Or feeling tired, done-in, and frustrated?
Now don’t get me wrong. I 100% believe that working hard and staying dedicated to your goal is the key to success. What I don’t believe is that everything else in your life should be put on hold whilst you pursue success.
If you only concentrate on your pursuits, you’ll find that your relationships will be affected. Your happiness affected. Your health affected. Life isn’t supposed to be about one thing, especially not one thing that involves arduous work, trials, and pursuits.
Stress is a very real thing. A very real thing that can completely cripple us (quite literally) if we’re not careful. I think it’s totally backwards to only look after yourself once you’ve had a breakdown, have to see a doctor, can’t get out of bed, or are suffering from chronic headaches, fatigue, and lack of interest in things.
Instead, we should be ahead of things and avoiding stress by practising balance and mental health awareness whilst on the road to success.
Which sounds better? Someone who dedicates their life from the age of 18-35 towards their business idea or book idea or whatever, never going out, never taking breaks, never knowing the shows on Netflix, and never venturing in love. Or someone who spends 70% of their time towards their goals, whilst also taking some time in the evening to watch a show with their partner on the couch, or going for a drink with their friends on the weekend?
I think the latter.
It’s funny because some of the people who use the phrases “hustle hard” and “grind” are also the ones who jump on the mental health bandwagon, at times. But anyone who really cares about advocating for mental health would never use these phrases, unless they’re saying, “hustle hard on self-care!” (which is true, but sounds ridiculous).
If you’re telling young people, desperate people, passionate people, ambitious people, that the only way to success is through hustling and sacrifice, you are telling them to set aside their relationships, leisure time, and health. You’re saying that watching TV is going to mean that they fail.
Yes, you probably will fail if you watch TV instead of doing your work towards your goals for the day, and binge watching a whole season of a show. But if you watch one show, once, you will not fail! You will not die! You can still reach success!
For example, I wrote a book whilst I was in college. This is a big fantasy book, that was written whilst I was still studying. Did it take hard work? Yes. Did it take sacrifices? Yes. Did I hustle hard and never have fun in order to write it? No.
I watched TV. I went out with my friends. I tried my hand at love. I read books. I worked out. I spent time with family. AND THE BOOK STILL GOT WRITTEN AND PUBLISHED AND MARKETED.
There is a lot you can achieve when you are dedicated, passionate, and focused. There is a lot you can achieve when you are clear on what you want. There is a lot you can achieve when you are fit and healthy (sound of mind and body) whenever you are working.
So, why are the influencers and leaders of the world not shouting out about that? They should be telling people that looking after yourself, in whichever way you need to, is the key to success because a healthy person works better than a stressed one!
Here’s some better, healthier advice:
Time management and organisation is the key to success
Dedication, passion, and committment is the key to success
Smart working is the key to success
Learning from your mistakes is the key to success
Perseverance is the key to success
Thought-out, actionable goals are the key to success
Priorities and focusing is the key to success
Good overall health is the key to success
Remove the “hustle” and “grind” from your vocabulary. Trust me, they don’t matter as much as the aforementioned statements do. Hustling like crazy without a plan, management, vision, passion, love, dedication, happiness, loved ones, and health does not a successful person make. So get that idea out of your head; it just doesn’t matter.
Working longer doesn’t mean you are working better. Work smart, take meaningful, well-informed steps towards your goals (with a healthy, working mind) and you will become successful. If the man who carries a rock on his back up the mountain, walking day and night, better than the man who works at set times to build the vehicle that will transport the rock up the mountain for him? (Not my best analogy, but you get the idea!)
If you’re stressed, think about your views concerning the pursuit of success. If you are ambitious but not happy, think about what else is going on in your life. If there’s nothing, then that’s what you need to fix.
Put your health first, and I promise you will be strong, focused, and well-equipped to deal with the arduous road to success.