The Sacrifice of Hustle

“You’re hustlin’!” … “You better get your hustle on!” … or my favorite “#hustle”.

We hear these phrases a lot these days. They are statements of recognition for those who are working hard to achieve a desired lifestyle or career: putting in long hours, networking, sacrificing, and maintaining relentless focus. Hustle is good, but without purpose, it’s a waste of time and energy.

Are you hustling to an end that compromises what you really want? We have to uncover what truly matters in life and what doesn’t. There is no reward for being busy. Pursuing what you value most in life and doing it with an intense passion (a.k.a. hustle) is what living with purpose is all about. This takes focus and conscious effort, because it can be easy to focus on the hustle and not the reason behind it.

So, does it matter what kind of person you are?

Do values and morals weigh in on how you make life decisions?

How important are the relationships in your life?

Does it matter how much money you have?

Why am I asking all of these questions?

Hustle requires sacrifice, there’s no getting around it. The question I’m really trying to get at is, what are you willing to sacrifice? Have you counted what it will cost?

Sacrifice is a good word when it’s applied in the right direction, and a curse word when it’s not.

Here’s a formula for revealing whether a sacrifice is good or bad.

If I sacrifice ______ in order to get _______, I will look back with ________ (choose one: regret or joy).

For Example: If I sacrifice sleep, in order to get a promotion, I will look back with joy.

That’s a good hustle.

If I sacrifice family, in order to get a promotion, I will look back with regret.

This might not be a good hustle. Or maybe it is for you, because it’s only for a season. I can’t answer that question for you, but what I do know is hustle requires sacrifice. However, we should make a conscious decision about what we’re sacrificing before we dedicate ourselves to it, so we don’t look back with regret. Our hustle should matter and it should point us in the direction of the life we want to live instead of a life lived with regret.

If you’re spending a substantial amount of time, money, or energy on something that isn’t contributing to where you ultimately want to be, then why are you still doing it? Why are you sacrificing for something that doesn’t matter? Weed these “empty” practices out of your life as quickly as possible.

When paying off debt, there is something called the “snowball effect”. One will start with paying off the smallest debt they have. Once that account is paid, they’ll use the money they were spending to pay on the next debt and will knock out the next lowest balance owed, and so on and so forth. This same principle can be applied to eliminating the life habits that are not ultimately feeding into your purpose.

For instance, if part of your purpose in life is to be present daily in your children’s lives, then those extra curricular activities (or hustles) that interfere with that family time would be the first to cut. Run them through the sacrifice question. This will free up your time, along with your mental and physical energy to engage with your family, which is what you already found to be of greater importance in achieving what you really want in life.

See how simple this idea is? Figure out what you value most in life, and don’t sacrifice that, but feel free to sacrifice the other things that aren’t making the cut.

The hustle is real and you should do it … just as long as you don’t sacrifice what ultimately matters most along the way.

Chris CapehartComment