the trouble with the hustle movement
Let me just start off by saying that I am SICK of hearing people place value on the hustle life, on the life that consists of nothing but work work work, grind grind grind, wake up and make shit happen daily. If you wake up and make shit happen, wonderful, but if you don't today it's totally o-freaking-kay. I'll admit I've fallen a victim to the #hustle, #boss, #workingtilliactuallyliterallycant and I'll also admit that there are messages in there are are great, I'm not a full hater of some of the hustle life's underlying messages, but I do think we need to stop placing all this importance on running yourself to the ground for a few important reasons.
Motivation is important, and sharing messages that are motivating and try to inspire people to use their full potential is great, but there is a fine line that the hustle movement is crossing. That fine line sits between motivating people to do, shaming those who do not, and encouraging burnout, and when crossed it can be harmful instead of motivating. There are some messages that are great like, hard work helps you achieve your dreams, being different and authentic is important, don't settle in life, believe in yourself - these are all good messages. Theres a lot of messages out there encouraging entrepreneurs and that's amazing too, but what worries me is that in over 9 million Instagram users that used #hustle on the photos they post mostly consist of things that say or imply you are your only excuse, that you need to wake up earlier then everyone, work longer then everyone, eat less then everyone, make the most money, and go be a business champion, or they're photos of nice things and nice places.
But really #hustling is whatever it is to you. If all you can do is wake up and get out of bed today and you really didn't think you could, that can be success for you. If you can wake up, do 100 things and make $100,000 that can be success for you. If you wake up and take care of your child or children and thats your #hustle then a-freaking-mazing! Neither are better than the other, neither mean you're having a better life than the next it just means thats your path right now and thats the shit you can or want to do when you wake up. Yes you should wake up and want to do good, you should be trying to find purpose, to live up to your potential, and to work hard, but some people don't do it the same way as other and we shouldn't be sending the message that they are the underachievers of the world, they aren't.
What bothers me is really two key thing - One is that these movements are unrealistic to most, not only some, of those with mental illness(E.G. If you have a kid, if you have any type of illness, if you're working two other jobs to pay for a roof over your head, 101 other reasons)(Also some people with lines and kids are grinding it out, just saying!) There are just so many barriers stopping people from just getting up and getting shit done or some are getting up and getting shit done in a different way, like you can have a kid and a mental illness and be working and that is waking up and getting shit done, just because you aren't making money every hour of the day or working yourself to the bone it's cool. Two, is that they are actually just harmful to so many people and here's how:
When you see these messages constantly, when we place value on burnout and on working harder, faster, longer, we're encouraging people to stop taking care of themselves, to ignore the signs their bodies are giving them to slow down, to take a break, to eat some food, and we don't need that. So many people already refrain from real self care, and it's such an important practise for both our minds and our bodies that we cant let this happen.
The hustle movement places all its value on making money and being your best self through working the most out of everyone, achieving everything all the time, getting your message to the most people today. The alternative message we should be sending is that there are so many ways to work hard, that success is what you want it to be, and you can achieve but also take care of yourself along the way and avoid burning out. Maybe I'm just not a true hustler, I'm sure folks can find ways to explain why I feel this way, but I just don't think this is the key to being successful in life. At all. I think that this movement needs to take a step back and realize that motivating people shouldn't come at the cost of making those who cannot possibly or just don't want to live that lifestyle feel bad, and it shouldn't come at the cost of ignoring self-care.
Here are some alternative graphics I think the #hustle movement can learn from, I created these quickly via. Canva:
As always, looking forward to hearing your thoughts. Are you as annoyed about the hustle movement as I am? Do you think I'm being overdramatic? Is this even a real thing? Let me know.