Lifestyle

Less Hustle, More Life: Slow Down & Simplify (Part 1)

Boiling Ourselves to Death in the Hustle

Have you ever heard the fable that tells of a frog being slowly boiled to death in a pot of water?

Well if not, allow me to let you in on this tale.

Throw a frog in a pot of water that’s already boiling? The frog will immediately jump out of the dangerously hot water.

But place a frog in a pot of water and slowly bring it to boil? Mr. Frog will acclimate to the temperature as the heat rises, remaining in the pot until he (sadly) meets his death.

Much like Mr. Frog, I believe we, too, have become acclimated to our culture’s temperature of hustle, causing us to boil away in the hurry sickness and stress that surrounds (and saturates) us.

We remain in the hustle, unaware of the damage it is causing to our emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual lives. We’re slowly boiling ourselves to death as we give way to more and more demands on our time and energy.

As the saying goes, “if you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen” (or taking this frog analogy further – “get out of the pot.”)

Well, many of us refuse to concede to mediocrity, let alone defeat.

So, instead we convince ourselves we can handle the heat and stick it out (or perhaps push even harder) as the pressures of life continue to cause the temperatures to rise.

The Hustle: Our Culture’s Pace of Life

Yes, it’s true: the hustle is the culturally accepted pace of life, and to a large extent, expected in our country. Particularly in corporate America.

However, just because hustle is popular and mainstream, doesn’t make it right.

Hustle is wearing us down, numbing us out, and distracting us from things that matter most. It has us grabbing for “more and more,” blinding us to the blessings we already have, and encouraging discontent.

Hustle is preventing us from living gratefully awake in the “now” and enjoying life in full.

It’s making us greedy consumers of life: always wanting more, never satisfied with what is, and striving for what’s to come.

More importantly, it’s distracting us from our ultimate purpose: to love and know God more fully, become more like Christ, and spread God’s Kingdom here on earth so that others may, too, experience God’s love and come to know Jesus.

To Hustle or Not to Hustle: It’s Our Choice

I know, I know. Everyone else around you is hustling, so you probably feel like you have to hustle as well in order to keep up, let alone come out ahead.

Perhaps you’re thinking, “Uhh, yeah, Rachael! Of course I’d choose to hustle less if I had a choice. Less hustle? That’d be nice! But this is real life. You have no idea how much is on my plate; the responsibilities I shoulder. My daily duties are incredibly demanding. There is no choice but to hustle.”

I hear you, Friend.

Personally, I used to feel limited to two options: 1) give way to the hustle and continue to push, strive, and claw my way to the top or 2) be willing to forfeit stepping into my “full potential” and be left in the dust as others claim success.

Perhaps you can relate?

Well, I don’t like option 1 or 2.

So, I propose another option. What I’ll be referring to as “Option P”.

An Alternative Way of Living

Option P: What it is NOT

Option P? What’s that?

Well, Option P is an option we often fail to consider. Before I jump right into what Option P is…allow me to first explain what Option P is not.

Option P is not focused solely on achieving worldly success. It’s bigger and more eternally focused than that.

We have been taught (and our culture continually reinforces) that the way to success and happiness is by way of achievement: gaining “more” and “leveling up” in order to attain more recognition, higher status, a bigger house, more money, fancy possessions, exotic vacations….you get the idea.

We don’t want to keep up with the Jones’ – we want to be the Jones’.

We’re fed the belief that more is better. We fantasize about the freedom we will have once we have “more.”

We don’t buy into the theory that more money brings more problems. “It’ll be different for me.” We think more (money, possessions, status, fame, fill-in-the-blank) won’t change us.

We think we’ll be different from the many others who foolishly fell victim to “more.”

So we willingly give in to hustle in order to gain more and more (i.e., more hustle = more success and a happier life).

We’re often disillusioned into believing if we are to just make it to level “XYZ”…

…then we’ll have made it and can finally relax and enjoy life….

…then our problems will go away and we can finally be happy.

Now, Option P doesn’t demonize the idea of “more.” Also, it doesn’t discount all the truly wonderful things “more” can get you. More can be great…having more can be fantastic.

Pursuing Option P doesn’t mean you’ll forfeit the enjoyment of some (if not many) of the benefits I’ve mentioned above. For some, such luxuries are viable bi-products of their Option P journeys; for others…not.

But having more or not having more isn’t really the point. Attaining “more” and “leveling up” in this world is quite frankly, not the target, nor the goal for those pursuing Option P.

Option P: What it IS

So WHAT, then, is Option P?

Well, now that I’ve cleared up what Option P is not, I’d love to let you in on Option P and its alternative way of living and thinking about success.

Interested in hearing more about what Option P actually is?

Stay tuned for more on that in my upcoming post.

In the meanwhile, you may want to check out my previous post about hustle.

And also, if you’re currently feeling over-stressed and anxious, check out this post on seeking out silence and solitude to help you find your way back to peace.

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