"Hustle culture" has been getting a lot of media coverage these days. Advocates such as Gary Vaynerchuk speak of the necessity they see for developing the hustle mindset if you want to succeed (for the record, I think he does have quite a lot of good ideas, brings a ton of passion, and he loves what he does). Should we really aim to adopt this way of life?
My answer: It depends on what your definition of "hustle" is.
I think that everybody has a different viewpoint but it seems that opinions can generally be grouped into two major categories- a completely healthy one and a toxic one.
The positive view of hustle culture allows you to have a balance while still pushing your limits. You have something that you want to accomplish and you're going to use your resources to get it done. You're completely committed to your cause and you're taking constant action toward your goals and objectives. This mindset puts you in control when problems come up since you know that you will eventually find a way to get over or around those roadblocks. You're not afraid of putting in the effort because you know that even though you can't directly dictate the outcomes, controlling how hard you try is the only thing you really can control in the end. It means you take consistent strides to making progress regardless of the setbacks, regardless of circumstances, and regardless of what anyone who tries to bring you down says or does.
The second view of hustle culture seems pretty unhealthy. It involves attempting to work and push yourself every hour of every day and feeling guilty when you try to get any rest, relaxation, or necessary sleep. That type of lifestyle is simply not sustainable as we are living things and not robots. It leads to burnout, depression, anxiety, and feeling unfulfilled.
It can be viewed as forsaking the reasons you do the work just to do the work.
The highest performing athletes know to push themselves to make gains but they also realize that the rest, recovery, and repair that comes after is just as important because it will allow you to go even further next time. The same applies to our work and efforts as well.
Working hard is good. Working hard and working smartly is an even better idea. "Hustle" and "hustle culture" don't have to be a bad things. We get to decide how we want to define those words and how to make them work for us.