The word ‘hustle' is getting a lot of airtime these days. It’s one of those things all wildly ambitious entrepreneurs and movers and shakers seem to be good at doing on a daily basis. "Don’t wait for dreams to happen, hustle hustle hustle,” the sentiment goes. But living in a busy city that is already so hustle and bustle…I don’t know about you, but the thought of more hustle on-top of the hustle is…exhausting. I’ve already got enough on my to-do list without worrying about whether I am ticking more stuff off, ‘shaking those trees’ and increasing my social media following.
I think that perhaps the word hustle just needs to meet its[AP1] match. Alone, it is a bit manic and slightly obsessive. But, when you couple it with the word ‘graceful’, the whole dynamic changes. Graceful hustle. How does that make you feel? A little less hectic, right? And slightly counterintuitive.
Let me explain.
By graceful, I mean less pushing, less controlling, less balls in the air and soaring stress levels when things don’t land as we want. I’m talking about a graceful hustle that is about taking guided action. It’s about gaining momentum toward something that feels right. Something attuned to who we are and who we want to become. It’s not about moving mountains in one day, but taking focused, calm, intentional action. Because ironically when we slow down and take a moment to refocus on what we actually want, the path becomes clearer and the momentum accelerates.
I learned this recently while starting a business of my own. You can’t hustle your energy in a million different directions. Not only does your energy become diluted, you also don’t get the results we want.
As an individual, entrepreneur or company, try embracing this concept - less spinning wheels and more connection to what is truly important. Prioritize what matters and let go of the stuff that isn’t mission-critical. By freeing ourselves of our endless to do lists and pressure to accomplish so much, we free ourselves. And in that freedom we find more creativity and the ability to stay in an inspired place that leads to meaningful results.
Here are my favorite tips to help you hustle gracefully:
1) Bookend your day.
Block out morning and evening, even if it’s only 20 minutes, just to do you. That means anything creative, spiritual or physical that energizes you and helps reconnect you with yourself. You’ll naturally draw energy from an inspired place for the rest of the day, rather than allowing all your energy to go into everything else but you.
2) Make it visual.
I like to wake-up and remind myself of who I am becoming before the day decides for me. Get creative and design yourself a mood board with images of with what’s important to you. It will help ground you when you feel overwhelmed by the day’s perceived challenges.
3) Reality Check.
We’re all going to the grave, so you may as well do the stuff that makes you happy. This is a slightly morbid statement, but one of my mentors reminded me of it the other day. I find it actually helps get your head out of the daily minutia and focused on completing what really matters.