This may be shocking for many, but the Covid-19 pandemic can actually be one of the best things that have happened in the recent past. True, there was tragedy and hardship and plenty of chaos, but when we say it was a good thing, we are looking at how it forced lots of people to reevaluate how they have been living their lives and whether that approach can take them into the future. The “great resignation” shows that millions of people were unhappy with how life played out before, and they are now opting to try something different.
You see, our culture has conditioned us to be always working on something, chasing that next promotion, working to hit the sales milestone, building the next company, and so on. That is the hustle culture, and that is what keeps giving business owners and executives sleepless nights as they desire to see growth and more growth with every quarter that goes by. We have hustled ourselves into burnout, chronic stress, poor health, compromised relationships, and so many other bad outcomes that we never signed up for when we got on the hustle train.
Now is the time to turn our backs on the hustle culture and embrace the unhustle mindset. The unhustle mindset removes you from the hustle culture and allows you to set the terms by which you want to live your life. To use familiar language, the unhustle culture is all about designing a life you want, and then adding work to that mix. Work-life balance doesn’t cut it because work would still dominate your life.
Here are some practical suggestions to get the hustle mindset out, and the unhustle culture in.
Make a conscious decision to unhustle your life
It is all about choice. The person who is too busy to go have a date night with their significant other is choosing work over their relationship. The person who puts off going to the gym in order to spend a few more hours at work is putting their work ahead of their health and fitness. It is all about choices. You allocate time to the things you value.
Getting out of the hustle mindset into the unhustle culture requires you to be conscious about the decisions and choices you make. For example, why not start by dedicating weekends to family instead of “sneaking some work” into your Saturday afternoon?
When you start viewing things this way, you will be empowered to make the small changes which will eventually snowball into a paradigm shift that puts you firmly in the unhustle culture.
Make your mental health a priority
We are a chronically stressed out generation, and that is the hallmark of the hustle mindset. Panic attacks, mental breakdowns and so many other manifestations of poor mental health signal that we aren’t giving our mental health enough attention.
The unhustle culture makes mental health a top priority. Fewer items on your to-do lists, mindfulness exercises, getting ample rest (no more bragging about 100-hour work weeks!), making better dietary choices and other such beneficial changes can improve your mental health.
When you focus on a few things that matter, you can afford to slow down and yet achieve more. Don’t let our fast-paced and tech-driven world dominate you! You will always be playing catch up, and that is a trap to keep you buried in the hustle culture.
Seek success within, not without
We have been conditioned to measure our success from external things like our job titles, the big houses we own, the accolades from professional circles, the brands of clothes or gadgets we own, and so many other shiny objects. There will always be something shinier, so we end up in a trap in which we are constantly looking for more. Do you see how destructive this path is?
The alternative is to look within and define what success means to us. It starts with knowing who you are and finding out what your purpose is on earth. Once you know what makes your heart sing, build your life and work around it.
When you live a life of purpose, you escape the hustle culture and thrive in the unhustle mindset. This isn’t to say you settle for a mediocre life; far from it! A purpose-driven life gives meaning and increases the likelihood of succeeding (whatever your definition of success is). For example, if time stops when you do gigs as a standup comedian, why on earth do you force yourself to work as a telecommunications engineer and yet each waking moment is miserable while you are doing that work? Build your work around comedy and your innate love for that calling could catapult you into one of the best, or at least it will allow you to increase how fulfilled you are.
Keep your “why” on your radar
If we are to be honest for a minute, we would admit that we got onto the hustle train by allowing ourselves to be driven by the opinions of others, or trying to keep up with the Jonases. The unhustle culture is about living by your own terms.
This calls for constantly checking in to ascertain whether something that you are about to do resonates with your true self and can enrich the life you want for yourself or not. If buying a big car after another big car impresses your neighbors but leaves you empty inside, ditch the habit. If spending Saturday afternoons at the local orphanage brings joy to your heart, by all means go for it even if everyone around you is revving about the Super Bowl (no offense to all you football fans out there!). If you keep your “why” in mind, you will reduce your chances of slipping back into the hustle culture.
When it comes to switching from the hustle mindset to the unhustle culture, less is really more. Make the changes in the discussion above and when you see your life becoming more meaningful and more fulfilling, you will be empowered to take even bolder steps on that journey. Let 2022 be the year when you stop hustling and start living the unhustle life. Are you up for the challenge?
To Your Success,