Why I Said Bye to Hustle Culture


There was a season of my life I participated in hustle culture, mostly from my teen years through early twenties. I believed that burning the candle at both ends and running myself ragged would help me get to the top faster.

I specifically remember one speaker in college who greatly inspired me. He was a highly successful businessman who was the guest speaker at an event my last semester. There were two quotes he shared that day that I wrote down and internalized,

“You can sleep when you’re dead.”

And

“Do not put off for tomorrow what can be done today.”

My type-A personality loved the reinforcement to continue to pursue my workaholic behaviors.

Fast forward two years from that event and my body was crashing, my marriage wasn’t very healthy, I was regularly sick, I lived with constant brain fog and I was exhausted all the time, to the point of falling asleep in my desk at work. This was not working for me.

I later learned that sure, this man had accumulated a lot of wealth and had built one of the largest advertising agencies in the world, but his family suffered. His marriage ended in divorce and come to find out, he didn’t have a strong relationship with his kids until they were adults.

After my body crashed and I took my sabbatical, I started reframing the way I did everything.

The first thing I did was grab a couple mentors. I looked specifically for people who were in their sixties and had created a life that looked like what I wanted mine to resemble at that age: strong family, successful career, financial independence and a peaceful confidence.

It was fascinating to me what these two very different people had in common. Although they had never met, their habits highly resembled one another:

• Strong spiritual life
• Daily meditation practice
• Full night’s rest every night
• Prioritized healthy eating
• Always stayed hydrated
• Had strong boundaries around their time
• Valued philanthropy
• Read books constantly
• Insatiable hunger to learn

I started realizing that I had none of these habits, and I had to release my beliefs around hustle culture. I was “too busy” to slow down and make time for these habits.

Instead of believing I could sleep when I was dead, I spent months getting 9 hours of sleep a night until my body caught up. Now 7.5 is when my body naturally wakes up.

Instead of believing nothing could wait until tomorrow, I now believe that almost everything can wait, and I pick the most important priorities each day. I am deliberate at prioritizing each area of my life and giving it space on my calendar. What’s not on the calendar waits until its designated time. I have fully accepted that my to-do list will never, ever, ever get to zero.

I calendar time with my husband to binge-watch television. I set aside time with my kids to sit in the house with no plans and chill on the couch or chase them around in circles (quite literally, one of their favorite games is playing ‘catch me’ while we run around the kitchen island).

Less truly is more.

As we enter into the peak of the holiday season, I hope you are able to detach from any hanging to-do lists. I hope you give yourself permission to rest. I hope you freely allow things to wait until January to be done. I hope you enjoy the present moment, enjoy your families, and create space and time for restoration, whatever activities that word involves for you.

Grace and Peace my friends,

Sophia

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