Thursday, March 19, 2015
In last week’s blog post I wrote about how I was a recovering rusher. This aspect of my personality fit well with me also being one of those people who felt the need to “bust my ass” to succeed. This is so common in our culture: hustling, busting our tails to get ahead, being the early bird who gets the worm. For me this was a way of life that turned into a big struggle; the constant need to be hustling every day to get ahead, stay ahead, and chase the next thing (whatever it was in a given moment). This fit in nicely with my need to rush – my life was one big hustle until it became not only exhausting but also unnecessary.
Rushing, hustling, busting our tails, having crazy insane schedules, and struggling to succeed are ways of life in our culture. It’s what’s expected. Ask someone how their day is going and the common reply will likely be, “Crazy! It’s insane. I’m so crazy busy today.” It would probably be the same response any day of the week. What if, instead, someone replied: “I’m so well-rested and relaxed. I just had an awesome breakfast and now am going to take a walk outside before I have a call with a client.” What would you think of them? Not enough work to do? Slacker? Not busy enough? Our need to hustle and bustle and constantly be busy has become a sickness, as Scott Dannemiller recently wrote in his Huffington Post article: Busy Is A Sickness. (I highly recommend reading it!)
I think our need to constantly be busting our tail or hustling every day to succeed is also a sickness, for many of the same reasons Scott describes busyness as a sickness. It’s unnecessary stress we put on ourselves. We create this stress by the drive to constantly be doing something because we believe our success is defined based on how much we do, how busy we are, and how much hard work and effort we’re exerting every day. The online dictionary defines hustling as: forcing (someone) to move hurriedly or unceremoniously in a specified direction or, to obtain by forceful action or persuasion. Yuck. Why do we think that hustling every day is a good thing?
Why do we assume that this is what we need to do to be successful? And, what if we could achieve success by doing the opposite? What if we could achieve success without the struggle or hustle and instead, by easing into our days and going with the natural authentic flow and rhythm of life? What if we could be even more successful simply by listening to the messages from our bodies and heeding the tugs and pulls from our heart and intuition?
Having spent all of last year in life coach training with Martha Beck (life coach expert and NY Times Best Selling Author), I’ve learned that true meaningful success can only be achieved by doing things like heeding our body’s messages and paying attention to what our heart and intuition are telling us. We simply don’t practice this enough. We’ve been trained to only listen to our brains, which can and will talk us out of those body, heart, and gut messages and make us believe we must constantly be doing more and more to achieve our desired success. As I’ve learned from Martha Beck and many other wisdom teachers she exposed me to, our bodies and hearts lead us to true success in ways that differ from the way our brain alone tries to lead us. They still lead us there but the path is one where rushing, hustling, and busting your ass does not work. In fact, it can’t work because true success, defined by what’s most meaningful to your mind, body, and soul, does not align with those definitions of hustling and bustling. This new path to success won’t make you sick or create unnecessary stress in your life. It won’t have you believe that you must constantly be busy or struggling.
At first I did not buy into it. I was fully programmed to be the hustling, bustling, busting-my-tail-off person, until I realized it wasn’t getting me much more than some success with lots of struggle and stress. I wanted to let go of the struggle and stress and try the new way and, I am. It is a work in progress, a new way of being and living each day; one that allows me to flow with my authentic rhythm of life, which I’ve discovered doesn’t ever include a hustle, a need to rush, or excess struggle.
I welcome you to join me in this new way to reach your true authentic highest levels of success. I imagine with a little practice you too will begin to experience what it feels like to succeed without the hustle, bustle, and struggle we’ve all been trained to assume is required to achieve success.