Book a call

Hustling is for...someone else.

Jan 17, 2022

“Hustle. Grind. Strive. Achieve. Crush your goals. Kill it. Be a high performer. Your habits are your problem. Get up an hour earlier. Get to the gym. Winning!”

Doesn’t just reading that make you feel exhausted? It does me, anyway. All of these messages just sound like pressure to me. And mind you, I was an achievement junkie for a long time. Give me the good grade, the praise, and it was like a fix. The only problem is that when you don’t get the good grade, or the praise, you start to think the problem is with you. You haven’t done it right, or done enough. The doing becomes confused with the BE-ing. Well, I’ll just do more, we think. If I look and sound busy enough, then I’ll get the pat on the back. And in a culture that rewards busyness more than almost any other “ness,” we often do.

But at the end of the day, I found that a to-do list that was completely checked off or another round of meetings successfully completed (with minutes and action items, no less) wasn’t the same thing as feeling fulfilled with my life. I’ve taken some amazing trips and had wonderful experiences in my life, but even those didn’t last.

When we look outside of ourselves for meaning, we may feel the temporary “high” that comes with positive sensory input or experiences, but if we don’t have a corresponding sense of meaning that comes from our soul, from our inner experience, we will always be wanting. We will have the sense of “not enoughness” that comes from external validation. We can’t have a whole experience without including the soul. And most of the solutions that we are offered in our society steer us back to something outside of ourselves. Take a vacation, get a pedicure, go out for a drink with friends. Those things are all fun, to be sure, but they all still involve seeking something OUTSIDE of ourselves in order to know ourselves and find meaning on the INSIDE. As Ann Richards, the late, great Governor of Texas famously said, “that dog don’t hunt.”

So how do we do this? How do we even remember that we HAVE a soul, much less how to connect with it?

 We have to ask ourselves hard questions about who we are and who we wish to become.

Hard questions like this one:

What do I have to learn about myself to fully participate in the experiences of my life?


Am I willing to spend time in contemplation and be open to the answers I might receive?

My soul needs my time and


Am I willing to give it the same

time and attention that I give, say,


For example, I used to think that I was more extroverted than I actually am. When my youngest child started kindergarten, I realized that the long stretches of time I now had that didn’t require conversation or caregiving gave me a sense of being at home within myself that I hadn’t felt in a long time. My soul had been craving uninterrupted time, but there just hadn’t been much of it to experience. I still don’t have as much as I’d like, but I do know now that it’s necessary to my well-being. My version of self-care (which I call soul care) is 30 minutes without anyone speaking to me. That’s still a challenge in a household with three kids, but sometimes that means I get in the car to drive somewhere alone and I don’t turn on the stereo. Or I go in the garden and pull weeds. It’s not the same as meditating for 30 minutes, but it’s still uninterrupted quiet. It helps me be more fully present when I am with other people, instead of wishing I could escape to the quiet.

What do you need to learn about yourself to fully participate in the experiences of your life?

 That answer may have come to you as soon as you asked the question. Or, you might have thought, who knows? I haven’t had a minute to myself in years. Or maybe somewhere in between. No matter what, the path to the answer is always the same.

Uninterrupted quiet.

Just a few minutes a day can make a big difference.

A few minutes to just be with yourself, getting to know yourself.

And to ask…what do I have to learn about myself to fully participate in the experiences of my life?


That answer matters.

That answer helps you know that at the end of the day, you were a full participant in your own life.

That answer helps you live with a greater sense of meaning and purpose.

That’s my wish for each of you. Save the hustle for someone else.