Hustle: verb (North American English)
Meaning – to act in an aggressive way or with a lot of energy.
As a generation, we are driven by external goals. It is what gives us purpose in life. It is the goals we set, the bucket lists we create, and the thing that gets us up in the morning.
Through social media, we are being surrounded by success stories of Instagram influencers showcasing their Louis Vuitton collection and inspirational business people rising through the ranks to become millionaires. Our feed is bombarded with motivational quotes and self-made entrepreneurs proclaiming #RiseandGrind.
Hustle Culture is a fast-paced environment that feeds off long working hours and a restless sense of striving for some type of goal. Picture the hustle and bustle of New York City. You think of Wall Street and Suits. But do you also imagine people happy and content with where their lives are right now? Probably not. That is because Hustle Culture looks to the future, missing out on living in the present. You define yourself on external pressures instead of finding inner happiness and finding ‘casual magic’ in your everyday life. It is a new kind of philosophy. It has replaced the role of religion in giving people meaning and a purpose in life.
Hustle Culture is not all bad. It depends upon how far you take it! It would be very naive of us to dismiss the benefits that hustle culture has in our capitalist society. It is essential for modern-day social mobility that we work hard in the profession we do in order to climb the ladder of success. Everything in life revolves around money and getting a good job. If it means working, as Dolly would say, 9-till-5, then that what it takes! Technological giant Elon Musk reiterates this idea stating that “nobody ever changed the world on 40 hours a week”. Hustling maybe that bit of motivation that someone needs to kick-start their week, we shouldn’t attack someone for wanting to work for their goals.
Hustle culture can get toxic when you start to put your mental health below this idea of ‘constant working’. Hustle culture focuses on tangible outcomes, good mental health is not tangible but this does not however limit its value.
So, what should we do to get out of this mindset? It is essential to maintain a work-life balance, as a tired brain is an unproductive brain. Make sure you take time off work to spend time for yourself and friends (while sticking to government guidelines of course!), take up a hobby, go on a walk, anything! Doing so will allow your mind to recharge.
It is more productive to work smarter, not harder. Why slog on a projection for 8 hours when you could get it done in 2, just to say “this project took me 8 hours”? Hustle culture focuses more on quantity than quality. Working is not a competition with other people, it should only be about yourself and your goals. Longer working hours have been scientifically proven to result in poorer mental health and higher levels of anxiety and depression.
Hustle culture is a new brand that people are buying into. Working hard is not a bad mindset to have, as long as you are not sacrificing your well-being!
Feature Image: Pixabay @Comfreak
Last modified: 11th October 2020